Unusual home video selections for the somewhat discerning cinephile!
'The Swimmer' Tops a Trio of Recent Reissues
Published 4/2/2014 at 12:00 p.m. 0 comments
Just when you think you’ve seen it all, the world offers up Franco Nero as a bottle-blond space Jesus, Shelley Winters in a maid’s outfit singing “Shortenin’ Bread,” and Glenn Ford getting his eyes pecked out by a frenzied hawk. ...
Facing the Wilderness Within and Without in 'All Is Lost' and 'The Summit'
Published 2/19/2014 at 11:10 a.m. 0 comments
More than a mere portrait of the survival instinct, All Is Lost examines our reaction in the face of the fate we all have coming, and all the ways we deny it, elide it, try to cheat it, avoid it, ...
'I Used to Be Darker' and 'Nuit #1' Explore Intimate Relationships With Varying Degrees of Success
Published 2/5/2014 at 12:27 p.m. 0 comments
Like its predecessors, Hamilton and Putty Hill, I Used to Be Darker concerns itself less with plot than with character. After the opening burst of deft visual storytelling, Porterfield steps back into a more observational mode—through Jeremy Sauliner’s exquisite cinematography, ...
Looking Back at Cinema Classics 'Nostalghia' and 'Sunrise'
Published 1/23/2014 at 9:42 a.m. 0 comments
Tarkovsky’s mature work defies simple plot-summary encapsulation, but Nostalghia represents the closest it ever veered toward a mere cluster of auteurial obsessions and tics.
Recreating Tragedy in 'The Act of Killing' and 'Caesar Must Die'
Published 1/8/2014 at 10:12 a.m. 0 comments
The Act of Killing’s discursive path through these men’s lives and Indonesia’s past eventually forms a rough narrative arc. Despite the gangsters’ sanguine accounts of torture and bloodletting, re-enacting such horrors begins to dredge up more troubling feelings about the ...
The Best Home Video of 2013
Published 12/26/2013 at 10:00 a.m. 0 comments
The year’s best releases on disc and streaming.
Bounty and Loss in the Streaming Era
Published 12/11/2013 at 11:57 a.m. 0 comments
It feels like I’m standing on the lip of a new era of film-nerd-dom, one defined by both dizzying bounty and by gradual, possibly irrevocable loss. The boom in streaming offers the tantalizing promise of watching anything we want anytime ...
A Pair of Mumblecore Vets Find New Possibilities in 'Frances Ha' and 'Computer Chess'
Published 11/27/2013 at 2:04 p.m. 0 comments
At this late date, a platonic romcom crossed with a coming-of-age tale shouldn’t have Frances Ha’s freshness, its sparkle, its gimlet-eyed shrewdness about character, its genuine emotional wallop.
Some Things Never Change: Yet More Badly Written Female Characters, Led by 'Lovelace'
Published 11/13/2013 at 12:14 p.m. 0 comments
Fellow writer and film nerd Violet LeVoit made a solid case recently that Deep Throat is of such cultural and historical significance that it should be added to U.S. National Film Registry alongside Citizen Kane and the Zapruder film. No ...
Sailing Into Uncharted Territory With 'A Hijacking' and 'Leviathan'
Published 10/30/2013 at 11:11 a.m. 0 comments
No one could blame you if you felt you’d had your fill of films featuring mensch-y cargo-ship crews versus Somali pirates. But if Captain Phillips didn’t totally top you off, consider making time for A Hijacking (Magnolia DVD, Blu-ray, and ...
'Room 237' Sheds Light on the Craziest Interpretations of Stanley Kubrick’s 'The Shining'
Published 10/16/2013 at 11:26 a.m. 0 comments
“I’m gonna make a little bit of a leap here.” Yeah, no kidding. By the time you hear an unseen speaker say those words, you’re well down the rabbit hole that is Room 237 (MPI DVD, Blu-ray, and streaming), a ...
Olivier Assayas and Sofia Coppola Catch the Complicated Moods of Two Very Different Eras
Published 10/2/2013 at 11:21 a.m. 0 comments
A fun experiment that perhaps one could have conducted at some hypothetical groovy multiplex earlier this year: Switch the digital prints on audiences waiting to see Olivier Assayas’ Something in the Air (MPI DVD and streaming) and Sofia Coppola’s The ...
'Breaking Bad': The Most Overrated Show Ever
Published 9/25/2013 at 12:00 p.m. 9 comments
Over the past couple of months, I have watched every single episode of the series, seriously trying to understand what everyone else sees in the show. And I am here to tell you that I think show creator Vince Gilligan ...
Four Directors Focus on the Drama of Brutality, With Mixed Results
Published 9/18/2013 at 3:35 p.m. 0 comments
Canadian director Kim Nguyen’s War Witch begins at the kind of emotional pitch most films never reach—a self-orphaning—and it doesn’t let up, or let down, from there.
'Kon-Tiki' and 'Europa Report' Demonstrate the Perils of Old-School Adventure
Published 9/4/2013 at 10:52 a.m. 0 comments
Why do we go to the movies? Well, lots of reasons, but one of the easiest and most common answers involves living other lives, experiencing thrills and dangers unlike the routines of our ordinary lives. In a word: adventure. It ...
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