DVD & Blu-ray

This category contains 78 posts

American: the Bill Hicks Story

Feature-length doc is innovatively constructed and nicely reflective of Hicks’ worldview, which is ultimately optimistic of the potential of the human race even as it’s couched in his own brand of deeply sardonic black comedy. Continue reading

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Interlude; La Danse; The Darkman Trilogy; Wagner; I Know Where I’m Going! & A Canterbury Tale; The Princess of Montpensier

A round-up of notable Madman releases, among them Bertrand Tavernier’s latest film The Princess of Montpensier (pictured), and Sam Raimi’s Darkman trilogy. Continue reading

Pianomania

This documentary on Stefan Knüpfer, Steinway & Sons’ chief piano tuner in Austria, is as quiet and unassuming as its subject. The film tracks Knüpfer’s efforts to prepare pianos for a recording of Bach’s The Art of Fugue in the Vienna Konzerthaus. Continue reading

Two in the Wave

A history of la nouvelle vague as it sloshed around its two principal figures, François Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard. Well-researched (by film historian and Truffaut biographer Antoine de Baecque), but overly simplistic in its approach to its subjects’ work. Continue reading

When You’re Strange: a Film About the Doors

That this won the Grammy for “Best Long-Form Music Video” signals its intent to visually bewitch rather than intellectually satisfy. There’s lots of well-restored archival footage, but no first-hand accounts of this “spectacle of self-destruction.” Continue reading

Gasland

Josh Fox’s first-person semi-amateur documentary deals with the havoc wreaked by natural gas wells that produce bubbling, fizzing, and occasionally flammable water in the household drinking-water wells around their installation sites. Continue reading

Dogtooth (Κυνοδοντασ)

Yorgos Lanthimos’ Dogtooth is sort of like The Virgin Suicides—if the parents were out-and-out psychopaths instead of just mildly weird religious nutjobs. Continue reading

Hitchcock’s Classic Thriller Sextet

Between 1934 and 1938, Alfred Hitchcock made six films in England—his “classic thriller sextet”—that stand collectively as the highlight of his British period. Continue reading

Love and Other Impossible Pursuits

Natalie Porman delivers a powerful performance in this otherwise disappointing melodrama based on the novel by Michael Chabon’s wife Ayelet Waldman. Continue reading

A Town Called Panic

This completely wacky 75-minute claymation puppetoon animated feature from Belgian directors Stéphane Aubier and Vincent Patar is hilarious, gloriously inventive, and basically impossible to classify in tradition genre terms. Continue reading

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