Fall 2015

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26 CINEMONTAGE / FALL 2015 THIS QUARTER IN FILM HISTORY by Edward Landler T his year, as part of its annual selection of fully restored classics, the 72nd International Venice Film Festival presented, along with Federico Fellini's Amarcord (1973), Akira Kurosawa's Red Beard (1965) and Sergei Eisenstein' Alexander Nevsky (1938), among others, Charles Burnett's To Sleep with Anger (1990) — the most recently made of all the dramatic features chosen. Twenty-five years ago, on October 12, 1990 (seven days after its screening at the New York Film Festival), To Sleep with Anger premiered in Atlanta. It went on to play in only 17 more theatres around the country, grossing about $1.2 million — less than the movie's $1.4 million budget. Nevertheless, the National Society of Film Critics named it Best Screenplay of the year, and Burnett received Independent Spirit Awards for Best Director and Best Screenplay, along with actors Danny Glover for Best Male Lead and Sheryl Lee Ralph for Best Supporting Female. Despite this — and even though Sony Video Software, which financed the production and made a profit on VHS home video sales of the film during the 1990s — Anger has never had a DVD release in the US. Today, the only DVDs of the film in Los Angeles video stores are copies made for release in the UK by the British Film Institute in 2004. Yet all this is secondary to the power and depth of the movie's images and story. What begins as The Awakening of 'Anger' 25 Years Later To Sleep with Anger. Courtesy of Charles Burnett CONTINUED ON PAGE 29

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