Thursday, May 22, 2008

DVD releases for May 20

The Delirious Fictions of William Klein
Forget the best DVD pick of the week, this set may be the best DVD pick of the year. The set includes Klein's fiction films, Who Are You, Polly Maggoo? (1966), Mr. Freedom (1969), and The Model Couple (1977). Here's what Michael Chaiken said about Klein in the most recent Film Comment: "American friend of the nouvelle vague, his 20-plus films cluttered with the detritus of modern life, expat photographer William Klein is the wayward child of Charlie Chaplin and cartoonist George Price. Whether filming Eldridge Cleaver in Algeria, models on the runways of Paris, or Muhammad Ali in Zaire, his subjects seem to exist in a hyper reality. His three fiction films are unabashedly caustic satires of a society that's been eclipsed by its own mass-mediated self-image." This is the ninth set from Eclipse, Criterion's eco-line.

The Flock (2007) directed by Andrew Lau
Andrew Lau is a respected filmmaker in Hong Kong, but his English language debut, The Flock, got seriously shafted for some reason. Of course the most obvious reason for this is that it sucks. Lau may be responsible for the Infernal Affairs trilogy, but let us not forget he is also responsible for The Wesley's Mysterious File (thank your lucky stars if you haven't seen this clunker.) The Flock stars Richard Gere, Claire Danes and Avril Lavigne.

The Willow Tree (2005) directed by Majid Majidi
If you are interested in this film and you live in the Twin Cities, you should go see it tonight at the Oak Street. Wait a minute, it's already too late for that. Nevermind, here 'tis on DVD.

A Dirty Carnival (2006) directed by Yu Ha
Now here's a recent Korean film that I fully intended on picking up when it came out in Korea. It's just as well that I didn't, because now it is available domestically and I can just rent it! Glowing reviews of this film claim it to be one of the best, if not the best, Korean gangster films out there. A Dirty Carnival is Yu Ha's forth film, and I have only seen his previous film The Spirit of Jeet Kune Jo (aka Once Upon a Time in High School.) I have been off Korean films for a while and would like to find one that would reinvigorate my excitement for South Korean films. Maybe A Dirty Carnival will be that film.

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