Wednesday, September 24, 2008

DVD releases for September 23

The Godfather: The Coppola Restoration
The name says it all. All three films painstakingly restored to perfection (that is, until the next set comes out.) I always feel a little torqued when a DVD set that I already own gets reissued, restored, or simply re-released with more bells and whistles. If you don't own The Godfather trilogy, it seems like you are safe buying this one.

Mother of Tears (2007) directed by Dario Argento
If you are looking for schlocky horror that is laughably absurd (and not in a good way), check this film out. Mother of Tears belongs to another era of horror film, with classic Argento sensibilities that seem out of date. Or maybe it only seems that way because this is a film I would have loved as a teenager.

Bashing (2005) directed by Masahiro Kobayashi
Wow. This film was a long time coming. Bashing played at Cannes in 2005 to very mixed reviews, especially from Kobayashi's homeland press. Bashing is nothing less than a social commentary that seems to have rubbed people the wrong way. The story is inspired by the true story of the Japanese relief workers who were kidnapped in Iraq in 2004 who prime minister Koizumi demonized by declaring that the situation was their own fault. The strong reactions to the film lead me to believe that Kobayashi puts forth a pretty harsh critique in the film. Previously unavailable with English subtitles, I am totally surprise and thrilled to see this film come out.

Love Conquers All (2006) directed by Tan Chui Mui
Yet another film that I am surprised to see come out on DVD. (Big kudos to Facets this week, also responsible for Bashing.) Tan Chui Mui is one of a handful of people redefining Malaysian film, often wearing multiple hats (director, actress, editor, producer, writer) alongside her compatriots and fellow filmmakers James Lee, Woo Ming Jin, Ho Yuhang and Amir Muhammad. Those interested in Malaysian films should check out Da Huang Pictures website and shop: a veritable DIY Malaysian film website.

Dororo (2007) directed by Akihiko Shiota
The Suicide Song (2007) directed by Masato Harada
Midnight Eagle (2007) directed by Izuru Narushima
Three Japanese films that I know zed about, but felt that they were worth mentioning simply because they both sport decent and interesting casts. Check out the (mostly unconvincing) trailers through links above.

Re-Cycle (2006) directed by the Pang Bothers
Here's another Pang film (in addition to The Detective; see below) that is probably more worth your time than the Bangkok Dangerous remake. I had to check my shelf to make sure this wasn't another DVD that I had but not yet watched. I would expect much out of Re-Cycle, but it stars a cast that is promising with Angelic Lee in the lead.

This American Life, Season 1
I love the radio program and I've heard that the TV show is better than one might think. Sad and cableless, now is my chance to check it out.

Aki Kaurismäki's Proletariat Trilogy: Shadows in Paradise (1986), Ariel (1988), The Match Factory Girl (1990)
What kind of proletariat am I if I have only seen one of the films in Aki Kaurismäki's Proletariat Trilogy? Eclipse does it again with their twelfth series. I look forward to seeing Shadows in Paradise and Ariel, and maybe I will even revisit The Match Factory Girl that I saw at the U Film Society so long ago.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that Sex and the City comes out this week. I don't really care about the movie. Even though I fully believe that it is smart and funny, I'm bugged by the fact that because I can't relate to these women and their life makes me, well, less female. Mostly I wanted to mention the release so I could post this amazing illustration published in the New Yorker the week it came out in theaters.


Anonymous said...

Oh, I've just ordered Bashing!

Daniel G. said...

Just want to say that I appreciate that you always pull out the independent and foreign releases here, Kathie.