Written by: Michael Den Boer on July 14th, 2015
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1973
Director: James B. Harris
Writer: James B. Harris
Cast: Zalman King, Carol White, Tisa Farrow, Richard Pryor, Veronica Anderson, Logan Ramsey, Brandy Herred, Ed Rue, Pat Priest, Joseph DeMeo
BluRay released: July 14th, 2015
Approximate running time: 103 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
Subtitles: English SDH
BluRay Release: Etiquette Pictures
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $29.98
Synopsis: A lonely jazz musician becomes enamored with a sleeping beauty exhibit at a carnival. Unable to get her off of his mind and not willing to play the game of buying a kiss with her for one dollar. The jazz musician makes the owner of the exhibit a monetary offer he can’t refuse. From there the Jazz musician takes the young woman home and shortly there she awakens from her slumber. Now awake will she be everything his heart desires or has he set himself up for something that is unattainable?
Some Call it Loving was written and directed by James B. Harris, a filmmaker who first rose to prominence because of his collaborations with Stanley Kubrick. He produced three films with Kubrick, The Killing, Paths of Glory and Lolita. In 1965 he would make his directorial debut with the film The Bedford Incident. Key collaborators on Some Call it Loving include cinematographer Mario Tosi (Carrie 1976 version, The Stunt Man) and composer Richard Hazard (Nickelodeon). The screenplay for Some Call it Loving was adapted from a short story titled ‘Sleeping Beauty’ written by John Collier.
Love, it is so much more than a four letter word. Throughout the history of cinema countless filmmakers have tried their hands at trying to capture the essence of what is love. With the majority of these depictions coming off as nothing more than superficial fluff.
Also whenever a film comes along that does not conform to what is considered the normal way of telling a story cinematically. Then there are those who quickly define such films as bizarre or even worse call said films incomprehensible. Case is point, Some Call it Loving!
Though this film employees elements from the ‘Sleeping Beauty’ persona, the end result is something that transcends the original source material and any other inspirations. At the heart of this film is an exploration about love and how ones viewpoint of said love can become distorted.
One of this film greatest strengths is that way it presents its subject matter in a dream like fashion. Also in a perfect world everyone not only would find love, they would find their romanticized version of love. Besides love this film does a remarkable job exploring the other end of the spectrum, loneliness.
From a production stand point there is not any area where this film excels and then some. The first rate visuals are filled with a tremendous amount of atmosphere. Pacing is never an issue as the narrative moves along briskly from one moment to the next. Another strength of this film is it’s the use of Nat King Cole’s ‘The Very Thought of You’.
Cast in the role of this film’s protagonist is Zalman King who is most remember for his contributions to erotic cinema as a filmmaker, The Red Shoes Diaries and Two Moon Junction. He delivers an utterly convincing performance which makes his character fate all the more resonate. Other notable cast members include Tisa Farrow (Zombie) in the role of ‘Sleeping Beauty’ and Richard Pryor (The Mack, Car Wash) in the role of drug addict.
Some Call it Loving comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. There are no issues with DNR or compression and film grain remains intact. Colors and flesh tones look accurate, black and contrast levels look consistently strong and details look crisp throughout.
This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD mono mix in English. The audio like the transfer is in great shape as dialog is always clear, everything sounds balanced and the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack are well represented. Also included with this release are removable English SDH subtitles.
Extras for this release include, outtake footage (15 minutes 55 seconds – 1080 progressive widescreen, with audio commentary from James B. Harris who discusses the footage), two interviews – the first interview with director James B. Harris (6 minutes 52 seconds – 1080 progressive widescreen) and the second interview with cinematographer Mario Tosi (8 minutes 25 seconds – 1080 progressive widescreen) and an audio commentary with James B. Harris and moderator Sam Prime.
Topics discussed in the interview with James B. Harris include, how he got involved in filmmaking, the origins of Some Call it Loving, collaborating with Stanley Kubrick, why it took him so long to make a second film as a director, the freedom of working independent of Hollywood and his thoughts on the film.
Topics discussed in the interview with Mario Tosi include, how he turned down the chance to be the cinematographer for Easy Rider, the main location in the film and how they discovered this location, critical reaction to the film, the look of the film, working with James B. Harris, the cast and his thoughts on the film.
Topics discussed in the audio commentary how there was a longer version of the film that was ultimately shortened after negative reaction from a preview audience, how the film fared at the Cannes film festival, the cast, the look of the film, critical reaction to the film and his thoughts on the film.
Rounding out the extras is a reversible cover art option with the alternate title Sleeping Beauty and a eight page booklet with an essay about the film titled ‘This Order Functions Quite Differently From Most Orders’ written by Kevin John Bozelka and information about the transfer. Also included with this release is a DVD that has the same content included on the Blu-Ray included as part of this combo release.
Etiquette Pictures launches its label with an exceptional debut release for Some Call it Loving, an extraordinary film that has for far too long languished in obscurity.