Tuesday, June 17, 2008

DVD releases for June 17

4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (2007) directed by Cristian Mungiu
DVD releases are a mysterious thing at times. I thought this film was coming out this week, but now I am struggling to find confirmation of that. (Greencine's site has a note that may allude to what is going on: "This release was pulled and delayed by the distributor. Please check back for release date updates.") Well, bug IFC and maybe they will get their act together. In any case, if I have to mention this film again in a month or so, it is certainly worthy of it. Cristian Mungiu is one of the recent Romanian directors to wow audiences far and wide. This film debuted at Cannes last year and made it's first appearance in the Twin Cities at the Walker and then for a short run at the Edina. Although it sounds contrived, it is the utter lack of melodrama that makes 4 Months the amazing film that it is. Yes, it is about the procurement of an illegal abortion, but it more about oppression and its commonality. Even though it looks like it is not coming out this week (or anytime soon) I look forward to seeing it again.

Joy Division (2007) directed by Grant Gee
Here's a bona fide release that should be available a reputable video stores. This is the other Joy Division movie, that tackles the band from a fact finding point of view (as opposed to the drama seeking Control) with interviews with the three surviving members of Joy Division as well as Annik Honore (Ian Curtis' girlfriend) Tony Wilson (of Factory Records) and Martin Hannett (producer). I wanted to see this after being somewhat disappointed in Control, but I don't think it ever played in the Twin Cities.

Be Kind Rewind (2007) directed by Michel Gondry
How do these films pass me by. Despite poor reviews, I fully intended on seeing this in the theaters. However, it might play out better with friends on DVD.

Under the Same Moon (2007) directed by Patricia Riggin
A melodrama that seemed undeniably weepy from the trailer about a family separated by the border that to the south that the US guards do vigilantly.

The Restless (2007) directed by Cho Dong-oh
This period swordplay film from South Korea seems to be more style than substance. The trailer exploits some of the beautiful cinematography and stunning effects. However, the real and more recent story about this film is that Ji Jung-Hyeon, who worked on the action choreography of this film, recently died during the production of The Good, The Bad and the Weird. As reported by Twitch, people involved with the production of the The Good, The Bad and the Weird (which had a special screening at Cannes) refuse to talk about the incident fearing bad luck! Ji was best known for his work on the barn busting action int Old Boy. (The is an interview with him on that special edition Old Boy DVD set.)

Boxes (2000) directed by Rene Besson
Here's an indie pick for you. Shot on a budget of $285. Yeah, whatever. The running theme of the film is...boxes! I don't know where this came from but IFC sees a need to release it. I'm interested enough to take note. (Check out the fast kicking new low-budg film from the same director here.)

And two from our friends at Criterion: Claude Sautet's Classe Tous Risques and Paul Schrader's Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters.


sandybeach said...

Hey, I thought I would just mention that "4 months" is available on the instant view on Netflix. Maybe that will satisfy everyones needs while they are awaiting the DVD release!

Kathie Smith said...

This doesn't surprise me. I think Netflix (ie Red Envelope Entertainment) was involved in the release of 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days. It is very possible it is currently only available through Netflix, but if you want to buy it or rent it from your local video store, you are sol. Off the soapbox, if you are Netflix member, this is worth cueing up.

sandybeach said...

I watched "4 months" on Netflix (I have alot of time on my hands these days) and was blown away. There is no "action" per se, but my heart was in my throat and my blood was running cold the entire movie. That is truly a talent, as a director. Very well acted, and to my knowledge, a very adept re-creation of communist Eastern Europe. It really makes you re-examine women's rights, or lack thereof, and the impact that can have on how we live.

Daniel G. said...

Yes, it was one of last year's best.

You're right on about Be Kind Rewind, Kathie. Rent it and watch it with some friends for the best experience.