ARROW’s February 2023 line-up

❉ ARROW present the exclusive premiere of Orchestrator of Storms: The Fantastique World of Jean Rollin.

Key highlights this February on the essential, alternative streaming service ARROW includes the exclusive screening of ORCHESTRATOR OF STORMS: THE FANTASTIQUE WORLD OF JEAN ROLLIN, a brand new documentary on the extraordinary director, as well as a season of his fantastically atmospheric films, reflective Paul Joyce documentaries on American independent cinema and auteur Robert Altman, a wonderfully entertaining season of B-movies from the legendary genre-filmmaker Charles Band, film selects from CINEMATIC VOID, and a mini-retrospective on the king of kung-fu Sonny Chiba, as well as much more…

In February ARROW are proud to present the brand new and exclusive documentary from filmmakers Kat Ellinger and Dima Ballin, Orchestrator of Storms: The Fantastique World of Jean Rollin, telling the story of one of Eurocult cinema’s most singular voices. Deeply misunderstood and widely misrepresented, Rollin seems only to have attained a marginal cult status in niche English speaking genre circles. Otherwise he has remained completely obscure.

The film sets out to tell this story in an attempt to elevate the director’s work by exploring it in depth, examining his singular vision, with the help of some of his key collaborators, close friends, and experts in both film and cultural history.

There is also the season Jean Rollin: The Fantastique Collection Part IV, and including the films The Living Dead Girl, featuring a truly intense descent-into-madness performance from Françoise Blanchard; Two Orphan Vampires and Dracula’s Fiancee, two films focussing on his favourite subject: sexy bloodsuckers, featuring plenty of signature Rollin style and imagery; and undead Nazi horror, Zombie Lake.

Also presented in February, legendary Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1987 The Last Emperor – made with British producer Jeremy Thomas (Naked Lunch, Crash) – which swept the 60th Academy Awards winning nine Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director. Filmed on location in China, Bertolucci (The Conformist) and Thomas were the first western filmmakers to be allowed access to the famous Forbidden City in China. Together with a cast including Ryuichi Sakamoto, Peter O’Toole, John Lone and Joan Chen, and the masterful Vittorio Storaro’s lushly evocative cinematography, the cast and crew created a classic film of epic scope poised with delicate intimacy that stunned critics and audiences alike.

Seasons in February include Charles Band: The Puppetmaster, whose films were a massive part of making the 1980s home video boom, well, boom. The season brings together many of his wildest and most fun work, including Puppet Master, Doctor Mordrid, and Trancers; Killer Tech, ARROW’s newest, smallest, lightest, fastest, most expensive curated collection including Laguna Ave., .Com For Murder and Edge of the Axe; Cinematic Void Selects, an odyssey into the mouth of cinemadness hosted by Jim Branscome, focusing on all oddball gems of all genres, including Blood and Black Lace, Deadly Games, Deep Red; The French Hitchcock: Claude Chabrol, a selection of dark, witty, ruthless, mischievous movies, including Cop au vin, Madame Bovary, and The Swindle; and King of Karate: The Sonny Chiba Collection, featuring brutal and lightning-fast martial arts action, including Wolf Guy, Battles Without Honor and Humanity.

NEW SEASONS THIS FEBRUARY

February 3: Charles Band: The Puppetmaster

Triple-threat writer-producer-director Charles Band has been pulling the strings making horror, sci-fi and fantasy features since the 70s and his films were a massive part of making the 1980s home video boom, well, boom. Charles Band: The Puppetmaster brings together many of his wildest and most fun work, from murderous pint-sized puppets to re-animated horrors, from time-travelling Trancers to a terrifying Tourist Trap, and even the re-tooled Doctor Strange movie Doctor Mordrid starring Jeffrey Combs as a slightly different sorcerer supreme. Sit back and enjoy being in the hands of genre film-making master, Charles Band.

February 6: Killer Tech

We all want the latest gadgets, but in Killer Tech screen time means scream time. From cursed videotapes and phone calls to the dangers of the dark web and vicious virtual reality, ARROW’s newest, smallest, lightest, fastest, most expensive curated collection doesn’t just have the best screen, largest amount of storage and the coolest camera – it also comes with a guarantee that the newest tech equals instant death. Titles include: .com For Murder, Laguna Ave, Edge of the Axe.

February 10: Cinematic Void Selects

Cinematic Void is a Los Angeles-based cult film odyssey into the mouth of cinemadness hosted by Jim Branscome. Focusing on all oddball gems of all genres, the Void unleashes an onslaught of horror, eurotrash, exploitation and gonzo action on the silver screen. CV film programmer Jim Branscome has selected a few of his favourite films of the genre for your viewing pleasure. Titles include: Blood and Black Lace, Deadly Games, Deep Red.

February 14: Jean Rollin: The Fantastique Collection Part IV

Led by the brand new and exclusive documentary from the mind of EuroCult expert Kat Ellinger, Orchestrator of Storms, welcome to our final volume of horrifying dream-like sauce from the master of conjuring up erotic nightmare fuel, Jean Rollin, The Fantastique Collection Part IV.

The Living Dead Girl features a descent-into-madness performance from Françoise Blanchard that is so intense the crew thought she had genuinely lost her mind, and the fifty-minute film that sees two girls travelling through time and space – Lost In New York – went viral in the 2010s when clips were used in Glams Casino’s I’m God.

Two Orphan Vampires and Dracula’s Fiancee feature plenty of signature Rollin style and imagery in two films focussing on his favourite subject: sexy bloodsuckers. Two Orphan Vampires tells the tale of sisters who are innocent and blind by day, but bloodthirsty by night, and Dracula’s Fiancee features a beautiful bride-to-be protected by a mansion full of strange nuns, The Order of the White Virgins.

Undead Nazi horror, Zombie Lake, sees Rollin filling in last minute for Jess Franco and features a female basketball team versus brain-munchers who have risen from the depths, AND FLAMETHROWERS.

February 17: The French Hitchcock: Claude Chabrol

For five decades Claude Chabrol navigated the unpredictable waters of Cinema, leaving in his wake more than fifty feature films that remain among the most quietly devastating genre movies ever made. Sardonic, provocative, and unsettling, Chabrol’s films cut to the quick with a clarity and honesty honed to razor sharpness.

Though influenced by Fritz Lang, Alfred Hitchcock and Jean Renoir, Chabrol’s voice was entirely and assuredly his own, influencing in turn filmmakers like Bong Joon-ho, James Gray and Dominik Moll. His amused, unblinkered view of life and refusal to judge his characters makes his films timelessly relevant and accessible to all. Dark, witty, ruthless, mischievous: if you’ve never seen Chabrol before, you’re in for a treat. Titles include: Cop au vin, Madame Bovary, The Swindle.

February 24: King of Karate: The Sonny Chiba Collection

Put up your dukes and prepare yourselves for brutal and lightning-fast martial arts action starring the King of Karate: Sonny Chiba.

Whether you’ve only heard of Sonny through Clarence and Alabama’s True Romance triple-bill, have seen him sword-making for The Bride in Kill Bill, or know Shinichi Chiba since way back in the 70s martial arts boom where his lethal mastery of karate, judo and kenpo made him an in-demand anti-hero to legions of fans, there’s plenty of bruising bad-assery to be had in King of Karate: The Sonny Chiba Collection. Titles include: The Street Fighter, Wolf Guy, Battles Without Honor and Humanity: Hiroshima Death Match.

FEBRUARY TITLES – IN DEPTH

FROM FEB 2: ROBERT ALTMAN: GIGGLE AND GIVE IN

Paul Joyce’s documentary profile of Robert Altman, with contributions from Altman, Elliott Gould, Shelley Duvall, assistant director Alan Rudolph and screenwriter Joan Tewkesbury. Originally broadcast on July 17th 1996 in Channel Four’s Cinefile series.

MADE IN THE USA

A Paul Joyce documentary on the American independent film scene.

FEB 13: THE LAST EMPEROR

A dramatic history of Pu Yi, the last of the Emperors of China, from his lofty birth and brief reign in the Forbidden City, the object of worship by half a billion people; through his abdication, his decline and dissolute lifestyle; his exploitation by the invading Japanese, and finally to his obscure existence as just another peasant worker in the People’s Republic.

FEB 14: LOST IN NEW YORK

A modern-day Alice in Wonderland in which two siblings explore the wastelands of Manhattan.

DRACULA’S FIANCEE

A Van Helsing-like professor and his protegé are tracking Dracula’s descendants through the world of “parallels”, creatures who are human in form but live quite distinct psychic lives. A circus dwarf who is in love with one of these creatures leads them to a mansion filled with oddly behaving nuns, The Order of the White Virgins. The nuns are detaining a beautiful woman who is the betrothed of the still-extant Dracula. When she escapes, everyone follows her to Dracula’s seaside castle, on the way dealing with a baby-eating ogress and a wolf-woman (Brigitte Lahaie in a cameo), witches and madwomen. The bizarre wedding ritual commences.

THE LIVING DEAD GIRL

A toxic spill revives a beautiful, dead heiress who, with the help of her childhood friend, must quench her insatiable thirst for blood.

TWO ORPHAN VAMPIRES

A pair of teenage girls, who are blind by day, but when the sun goes down, they roam the streets to quench their thirst for blood.

ZOMBIE LAKE

In a small village, somewhere in France, German soldiers, killed and thrown into the lake by the Resistance during WWII, come back.

ORCHESTRATOR OF STORMS: THE FANTASTIQUE WORLD OF JEAN ROLLIN

Orchestrator of Storms: The Fantastique World of Jean Rollin tells the story of one of Eurocult cinema’s most singular voices. Deeply misunderstood and widely misrepresented, during his decades-long career as a film director (1958-2009), Rollin’s work received absolutely no recognition in his native country of France, and was completely unknown anywhere else. In the nineties, because of home video, Rollin attained a marginal cult status in niche English speaking genre circles. Otherwise he has remained completely obscure.

Rollin was raised within the bosom of some of France’s most influential and intellectual elites, thanks to his mother Denise’s friendship with figures such as Maurice Blanchot, George Bataille, Jean Cocteau, as well as Jacques and Pierre Prévert.Similarly his father was a director in avant garde theatre, exposing Jean to some of France’s most interesting aspects of culture. It is perhaps not surprising that when it came to making his films, Jean Rollin’s were unlike anything else on the scene.

Once you dig into the director’s life and passions, what emerges is a strong connection to the French surrealists, to symbolist art, to the poetry of Tristan Corbière, to the French anarchist scene in the sixties, and counterculture. Orchestrator of Storms: The Fantastique World of Jean Rollin sets out to tell this story in an attempt to elevate the director’s work by exploring it in depth alongside these major influences, as well as other key themes such as the tradition of the French Fantastique. The film also looks at his frustrations, the way in which he had to constantly grapple and scramble for funding as one of the only filmmakers predominantly working within the horror genre through the sixties and seventies. Most importantly, it examines his singular vision, one that ran completely counter to other western traditions in genre film.

The project began life on more modest terms, but after working very closely with Jean’s family, including his surviving son Serge, and close family friend Véronique D-Travers, it became apparent there was a far deeper and richer story to tell. A story of struggle that led to the filmmaker falling into poverty and ill health in his later years, one in which he was never understood or given the credit he was due during his own lifetime, where he was forced to constantly battle to make the films he wanted to make. Filmmakers Dima Ballin and Kat Ellinger hope to change that in presenting Jean’s story as never seen before, with the help of some of his key collaborators, close friends, and experts in both film and cultural history, as well as those responsible for ensuring his work never completely fell.

FEB 24: THE STREET FIGHTER

Terry, a master of martial arts, is hired by the mafia and his aide to kidnap the daughter of a business magnate who has recently died. Later, they try to kill him as he demands a hefty sum.

RETURN OF THE STREET FIGHTER

Terry, a master of martial arts, takes on a Yakuza clan, which in the name of charity is simply generating cash for its operations.

THE STREET FIGHTER’S LAST REVENGE

Terry Tsugury is a street-wise thief who agrees to help an underworld crime boss. For a fee, Tsugury will steal back a set of cassette tapes that contain precise instructions on how to manufacture cheap heroin. But when he realizes he’s been double-crossed, Tsugury makes off with the tapes. With a deadly assassin on his trail and an ever-widening circle of people he can’t trust, Tsugury finds help in a mysterious agent.

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❉ News source: Fetch Publicity.

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