On October 7th, Rialto Pictures will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Gillo Pontecorvo’s masterpiece: The Battle of Algiers.The film has been newly restored in 4K, and will begin its theatrical run at the Film Forum in New York, the Nuart in Los Angeles, and the E Street Cinema in D.C.
Algiers, 1957: French paratroopers inch their way through the labyrinthine byways of the Casbah to zero in on the hideout of the last rebel still free in the city. Flashback three years earlier, as the Algerian National Liberation Front (FLN) decides on urban warfare. Thus begin the provocations, assassinations, hair-breadth escapes, and reprisals; Algerian women — disguised as chic Europeans — depositing bombs at a sidewalk café, a teenagers’ hang-out and an Air France office; and massive, surging crowd scenes unfolding with gripping realism.
Rialto has just sent out the new poster that will go along with this tour. If you have the chance, do not hesitate.
The Criterion Collection released their Blu-ray of The Battle of Algiers back in August of 2011, and note that it is a “high-definition digital transfer”. While it is unlikely (but not impossible) that Criterion will re-issue their Blu-ray with this new 4k transfer, I’d imagine that we’ll see it released somewhere in the world. The fact that Janus is partnering with Rialto on this new run is promising.
Back in August of 2011, we also recorded our episode of the podcast on the film, with special guest West Anthony.