Ryan Steans

Film/TV Reviews

Ryan Steans has been reviewing pop culture since 2003, formerly of Film Fodder, League of Melbotis and currently at The Signal Watch.  He sifts through comics, movies and the occasional television program seeking out the best but making time to celebrate the worst in genre media. It will surprise some to learn that Ryan does hold a film degree of some sort, and has a basic, public school education.  He resides in Austin, Texas and is quite fond of Superman.

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Kino Lorber

“Maigret and the St. Fiacre Case” is the second film pairing director Jean Delannoy with actor Jean Gabin, adapting the mystery novels of George Simenon. Released roughly a year after “Maigret Sets a Trap,” the movie acts as a stand-alone episode rather than a sequel, and is just one of many adaptations of a character that has not enjoyed the same popularity in the U.S. as in Europe.  

Kino Lorber

The character of Maigret is not as well known in the United States as Hercule Poirot, or certainly Philip Marlowe or Sam Spade (this writer Googled Maigret when the Blu-rays crossed his desk),  but the detective has enjoyed portrayals from actors as diverse as Charles Laughton to Rowan Atkinson in a current run of films, television shows and more.

Kino Lorber

Even if you have never seen “One Million Years B.C.,” it’s entirely possible you’re familiar with the iconic promotional photos for the film. Think of a buckskin-bikini-clad Raquel Welch, arms bent at the elbow, looking out into the distance. And indeed this image does give an idea of what the film has to offer if you’re not here for the stop-motion dinosaurs or awe-inspiring tale. Originally produced in 1965 by the U.K.’s Hammer Films, a studio most famous in the U.S.

Kino Lorber

In addition to its distribution of modern foreign films, Kino Lorber has in recent years been acquiring and distributing classic titles for home video, and one of their specialties has been the world of Film Noir. They recently released two early classics that if they don’t fit into the traditional noir stylings of hard-nosed private eyes and shady alleyways, do follow the noir pattern of a corrupt system stacked against the individual.

Kino Lorber

Tabu (1931) was the final film of renowned German filmmaker F.W. Murnau. Created on the edge of the sound era, the movie is silent, black and white and shot on location in the South Seas. It’s fairly unimaginable that an American studio would have attempted the feat, either with sound or color, yet it was distributed by Paramount Pictures. It is one of the last, great gasps of the silent era, and perhaps a fitting capstone to the career of Murnau, who died even before the film’s premiere.

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