DVD RELEASES 2009/5/12

While today’s slate of new DVD releases might not be as overflowing with goodies as last week, there are still treats to be had that cover the cinematic spectrum. Be sure not to let these slip through the cracks:

Of Time And The City (Strand Releasing) — The rich history of Liverpool, England is filtered through the wit and wisdom of Terence Davies in the brilliant Of Time And The City. While Davies expertly brings together archival footage with modern images from the ever-changing landscape of Liverpool’s working class shipyards and row houses, it is his ironic, moving and often-hilarious narration that never ceases to fascinate and entertain. Tracking the cultural history of England against Davies’ own evolution from child to young man to artist, Of Time And The City is at once sentimental and haunting, shaped by the texture of memory; an autobiography that serves as national treasure. Buy it at Amazon. (Tom Hall)

Wise Blood (Criterion) — It’s hard to imagine that Flannery O’Connor’s Southern Gothic world could ever find a more perfect expression than through her perverse pen, but John Huston’s adaptation of Wise Blood (1979) is a noble effort that comes mighty close. Brad Dourif (from Werner Herzog’s The Wild Blue Yonder, as well as the voice of Chucky in Child’s Play) plays a veteran who attempts to start “the Church of Truth Without Christ” in the sleepy southern town of Taulkinham. A strong cast of co-stars includes Ned Beatty, Harry Dean Stanton, Amy Wright, and Huston himself. Buy the extras-laden DVD at Amazon. (Cullen Gallagher)

Plague Town (Dark Sky Films) — Director and co-writer David Gregory and co-writer John Cregan don’t reinvent the wheel with Plague Town, but they put more thought and care into their story than most big budget horror films of late. An American family—and a recently acquired English boyfriend—arrive in a small Irish town to get in touch with their roots but instead get in touch with some monstrous, bloodthirsty children. As with the best of horror, Gregory and Cregan have a social agenda with their film, showing an extreme case in which parents protect their offspring even at their most devilish. And these children are devilish. Gregory doesn’t skimp on the graphic bloodletting, and he uses his camera and score to establish an even creepier tone. Buy it at Amazon. (Michael Tully)

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