Wednesday, February 4, 2009
DVD releases for February 3
The Singing Revolution (2006) directed by James Tusty and Maureen Castle Tusty
For many years Estonia was simply the country that Arvo Pärt was from, and then at the last MSPIFF I saw a very interesting Estonian film (Autumn Ball), and then just last night I met a guy who had been to Estonia. The Singing Revolution is a documentary that will no doubt provide an even greater context for the small country of Estonia. Between 1986 and 1991, hundreds of thousands gathered in public to sing forbidden patriotic songs and to rally for independence from decades of Soviet occupation. Revolution through singing! Now that is my kind of country!
Days and Clouds (2007) directed by Silvio Soldini
From the director of Bread and Tulips comes a story of Western bourgeois egotism, and I say that without judgement. Similar to Laurent Cantet's Time Out, Michele loses his job but refuses to tell his family out of pride. Just another reminder of the economic shit-bucket we have created and of vanishing 'middle-class'... This very understated film nonetheless finds a space for the characters to make a transition from have to not-have-so-much.
Diary (2006) directed by Oxide Pang
I may be alone on this one, but I am always glad to see Hong Kong films come out domestically. It means that I have probably dodged another bullet on purchasing a DVD that barely even deserves one viewing. That being said, I generally enjoy the work of the Pang Brothers (in this case Oxide) and the film stars young and able actors Charlene Choi, Shawn Yu and Isabella Leong.
Friday the 13th (Deluxe Editions) directed by Sean Cunningham
Just in time for the remake coming out February 13. (Yep! It's a Friday!) I wasn't raised by wolves, but my film sensibilities were certainly raised by horror films, and the Friday the 13th series epitomized the viewings of my youth. By the time we got the family VCR in 1982, both Part 1 and Part 2 were out on VHS, and I'm sure both my parents shake there head when they think about how they allowed me to watch such things. Friday the 13th ushered in a new era in horror film that where suspense took a back seat to the gore. I honestly haven't seen Friday the 13th since I was a kid, and don't really see the point in being disappointed by a movie that I enjoyed so much at the time, although watching the original trailer makes a pretty good case. (Parts 1, 2 and 3 all receive the Deluxe treatment, which probably means at least some remastering and some special features.)
...and then there is the handful of films that I missed in the theater and feel fairly apathetic about unless someone wants to change my mind about that:
Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008) directed by Kevin Smith
The Secret Life of Bees (2008) directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood
Bottle Shock (2008) directed by Randall Miller
Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist (2008) directed by Peter Sollett