Wednesday, May 7, 2008

DVD releases for May 6 and more

Three weeks of catch-up, just because:

May 6
I'm Not There (2007) directed by Todd Haynes
If you haven't seen this movie, just rent it already. If you have, I hope you would agree it is worth watching again. Todd Haynes has taken the biopic and turned it upside down. The performances are fantastic and the pacing is as unusual as it is perfect.

Teeth (2007) directed by Mitchell Lichtenstein
If you missed the midnight screening of this film at the Uptown, here is your chance to check out what will no doubt be some sort of cult hit.

Helvetica (2007) directed by Gary Hustwit
Get geeky with this documentary on a font.

Spider Lilies (2007) directed by Zero Chou
A mediocre lesbian film from Taiwan. I have a hard time saying this film is good, but it is not bad. Good performances from the two leads.

April 29
The Red Balloon (1956) directed by Albert Lamorisse
The more important issue here is to see Hou Hsiao Hsien's amazing Flight of the Red Balloon now playing at the Lagoon. This is the original which Hou took inspiration from and references many times in his film.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007) directed by Julian Schnabel
This is really a beautiful film and Mathieu Amairic is great in the lead role. The Diving Bell is a very visual film that would translate better to the large screen, but is more than worth watching at home.

King Corn (2007) directed by Aaron Woolf
This documentary has played around, I think even making appearances on PBS. Nonetheless, it's an important doc for anyone who eats food and anyone interested in the politics of food.

Nanking (2007) directed by Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman
I missed this documentary during its short run, and am glad I can finally get a chance to see it on DVD. Being the China-o-phile that I am, I'm more than aware of this divisive point in history and have been to the chilling Nanjing Massacre Memorial.

Party 7 (2000) directed by Katsuhito Ishii
This is Ishii's second film after Shark Skin Man and Peach Hip Girl. Ishii went on to make Taste of Tea and Funky Forest. Ishii is one of the most original directors out there, but unfortunately, compared to his other films, Party 7 is a bomb. It's wild and crazy and flashy, but it makes absolutely no sense. It's pretty clear, now that I watch the trailer again, that this was the precursor to Funky Forest, but Party 7 is a complete mess. For the fans only.

April 22
Silent Ozu: I Was Born, But... (1932), Passing Fancy (1933), Tokyo Chorus (1931)
An invaluable collection from those gosh darn Eclipse people.

Flash Point (2007) directed by Wilson Yip
Wilson Yip is where the Hong Kong action is, and when he is teamed up with Donnie Yen, the movies don't get any more kinetic. If low on brains, but high on action sounds good to you, check this out along with SPL (aka Kill Zone.)

Romulus, My Father (2007) directed by Richard Roxburgh
Remember the 2008 MSPIFF? Well, you could have avoided the crowds by simply renting this Australian drama. More to the point, if you missed it, you can check it out on DVD

The Exquisite Short Films of Kihachiro Kawamoto (1968-79) and The Book of the Dead (2005)
I'm really excited about these two. Stop action puppets from Japan? Sign me up. (Wanna come over and watch an unsubtitled version of Legend of the Sacred Stone?) Check out an interview with Kawamoto on Midnight Eye here.

Intimate Confession of a Chinese Courtesan (1972) directed by Chor Yuen
One of the most infamous Shaw Brothers films is now available here in the US. Don't let the lesbian intrigue of this film fool you, there is plenty of martial arts action to balance out the brothel drama. A Shaw masterpiece.

Also: The Savages, Charlie Wilson's War, The Orphanage

My double dare of the week: watch Cloverfield on your iPod.

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