Tuesday, October 21, 2008

DVD releases for October 21

There's some other stuff out this week, but I am being lazy. Here's the top of the heap:


Kenji Mizoguchi's Fallen Women from Eclipse
Wow. This set from Eclipse includes: Osaka Elegy (1936), Sisters of Gion (1936), Women of the Night (1948), and Street of Shame (1956). Have any of these films ever been available or in circulation with English subtitles? Well, I haven't seen a damn one of them but plan on buying this set so I can savor them.

Flight of the Red Balloon (2007) directed by Hou Hsiao-hsein
One of the best films I have seen this year, full of cinematic beauty and overall a celebration of the medium. Inspired by Albert Lamorisse's charming The Red Balloon and commissioned by the Musee d'Orsay, Flight of the Red Balloon is more than meets the eye. Hou hardly misses a beat in the Paris setting and creates is a beautiful companion peice to his 2004 film Cafe Lumiere. Juliette Binoche is unusual and effective as a character she and Hou collaborated in molding.

Missing (1982) directed by Costa-Gavras
What a great film for Criterion to choose. Missing has sort of faded from my mind, but this new release seems perfectly timed. (Maybe even better timed than W.) Jack Lemon plays Ed who travels to Chile to try and find his missing son and ends up making discoveries he did not expect. I will not tell you any more. Sissy Spacek also stars.


The Strangers (2008) directed by Bryan Bertino
A fine horror film that I am also fond of. There is some serious suspense in The Strangers that eventually gives out to a lame ending. Nonetheless. An awesome movie for Halloween! (Fans should also check out the very interesting French film Ils (Them) from 2004. The two would be a great Halloween double feature!)

Billy the Kid (2007) directed by Jennifer Venditti
Wasn't there some local aspect to this film? Is Jennifer Venditti from here? I can't remember. This film played at the Parkway for a week this past Spring. It is a coming-of-age documentary about an interesting kid. It comes off as honest and genuine.

And finally, if you are Region 2 (PAL or Blu-ray) capable, there is only one DVD to buy:

3 comments:

Dan said...

I found that Hou unbearable and very frustrating to watch! It's different from all his films; maybe, Hou wanted to realize a film in European style...

Osaka Elegy (1936), Sisters of Gion (1936), Women of the Night (1948), and Street of Shame (1956). Have any of these films ever been available or in circulation with English subtitles?
I think Street of Shame was available, but I'm not sure. Instead, Osake Elegy and Sisters of Gion were published years and years ago by Criterion in VHS. In fact, the quality wasn't satisfactory, especially for a Mizoguchi!
Regards.

Kathie Smith said...

I'm sorry to hear that you didn't like Hou's Flight of the Red Balloon, and while I do think Binoche's character is completely contrary to Hou's previous films, I would argue that stylistically it is very compatible. His adornment of the simple things and the emphasis on the social circles (family, friends, co-workers) that make up individuals push pull universe.

You've compelled me to look at the film again and present a better argument!

Dan said...

You've compelled me to look at the film again and present a better argument!

Alright, I'll watch it again too, then we'll have a regular trial. Ahaha!