Congrats to Phil Hall on the 350th in his “Bootleg Files” series on the Film Threat website. His tributes to the off-beat and off-the-beaten track gems is a pleasure to read and a great source of ideas for not-on-Netflix treasures that are worth tracking down.
Created in the summer of 2003 and appearing every Friday on Film Threat, The Bootleg Files has spanned the full history of motion pictures, from an 1894 Thomas Edison-produced “souvenir strip” of legendary strongman Eugen Sandow to the recently released viral video “Right Wing Radio Duck.” The 350th entry in the series, to be published on November 19, will be a review of Joseph Losey’s rarely seen 1951 drama “M.”
“While it is against the law to bootleg films, it is not against the law to purchase these items on DVD or to watch them on YouTube,” explains Hall. “There is also the fuzzy world of public domain films, where copyrights have expired but movies are duped in second-, third- or even fourth-generation versions and sold to the unsuspecting public.
And the amazing thing is that so many of theses films represent the finest works in global cinema. To date, we’ve had works by Orson Welles, Akira Kurosawa, D.W. Griffith, John Huston, William Wellman, Satyajit Ray, Oscar Micheaux, Walt Disney, Vittorio De Sica, Andy Warhol, Stanley Kubrick, Leni Riefenstahl, Robert Altman and Chris Marker in The Bootleg Files.”
Thanks to Phil Hall, and here’s to the next seven years of the Bootleg Files.