Still here. Not asleep. Here are the goodies for your home theater:
Antonio Gaudi (1984) directed by Hiroshi Teshigahara
A documentary on architect and artist Antonio Gaudi may not sound like an exciting release, but with recent releases of Teshigahara's Pitfall and The Face of Another, I have become quite a fan. Teshigahara directed the well-know Woman in the Dunes (which I also love) but his other films have been sadly unavailable until recently. The man is nothing short of a master. Gaudi's aesthetics match those of Teshigahara's visual flare, so it is no wonder why he made this documentary. This is the full sha-bang 2 DVD Criterion set (spine number 425, if you are keeping track) that is loaded up with various materials. Those worth noting are a documentary made by Teshigahara on his father who was a sculptor, and another documentary on Gaudi by Ken Russell.
Tongues Untied (1989) directed by Marlon Riggs
Wow. I saw this video when I was in art school in 1989 when the AIDS crisis and queer activism was at a fever pitch. Video art was also at a fever pitch of sorts, and the result were some amazing videos like Tom Kalin's They Are Lost to Vision Altogether, Catherine Saalfield and Zoe Leonard's Keep Your Laws Off My Body, and Marlon Riggs' Tongues Untied - all videos that I never dreamed I would get a chance to see again. Tongues Untied attacks the stigma of being black and gay with personal profundity. The DVD also includes a 1991 interview with Marlon T. Riggs and interviews with Issac Julien, Filmmaker; Phill Wilson, AIDS Activist; Juba Kalamka, Spoken Word and Rap Artist; Herman Gray, Cultural Critic. Riggs died at the age of 37 in 1994.
Funky Forest: The First Contact (2005) directed by Katsuhiro Ishii, Hajime Ishimine, Shunichiro Miki
Better late than never, Funky Forest arrives! Words fail to describe this mixed bag of wonder. If three hours of bizarre for the sake of being bizarre sounds good to you, check it out. This film is an absolute hoot. I've watched it three times and have yet to tire of its audacity.
Southland Tales (2006) directed by Richard Kelly
At the very least, people who wanted to see this movie now have the chance. It played a very short run in very few theaters. The disappointing thing about this release is the lack of a director's cut, which would be the longer cut screened in Cannes. I loved Southland Tales, but even at 144 minutes, it felt rushed. I was hoping that Kelly would push for a nice two disc director's cut, but Kelly has moved on to his next film The Box. Southland seemed like a bitter ordeal for him, first bombing at Cannes and then, a year and a half later after much wrangling, bombing theatrically.
Battlestar Galactica - Season 3
I am making Battlestar Galactica my personal project for next winter. I really really want to watch this series, and everything I have read only confirms my desire.
Operation Pussycat (2004) directed by Ryuichi Honda
No guarantees on this one. Here is the only info I can find on this one: "Filmed as an homage to the late Russ Meyer, Ryuchi Honda's 2004 film Operation Pussycat follows 3 girls as they plot to kill a rich man's servant and steal all his money."
After Dark Horrorfest: 8 Films to Die For (Borderland/Unearthed/Tooth and Nail/Crazy Eights/Nightmare Man/The Deaths of Ian Stone/Lake Dead /Mulberry St.)
Yes, all the films from the Horrorfest are out, if you are interested. These played around town last Fall, and the two that I saw (Mulberry St and Crazy Eights) failed to impress.
Also this week: I Am Legend, Atonement, The Ice Storm (Criterion), Mafioso (Criterion), Love in the Time of Cholera.
...and for those who were waiting for the CBS News to come out on DVD, your time has arrived: CBS has enter an agreement with Amazon.com and CustomFlix to make over 50 years of the CBS News available on DVD. You can basically order up to 90 minutes of the specific day(s) or week(s) of news you want. I'm sure there is someone out there who is excited about this, but I can't say it's me.