HOME VIDEO PICKS
Dogtooth (Kino) — If you haven’t seen Giorgos Lanthimos’s black comedy yet—easily one of 2010′s most audacious releases—get ready to cock your head to the side and be taken on a truly brain-bending ride. A Greek couple have raised their three children without any connection to the outside world. Yet when that outside world arrives in the form of a woman whom the father has hired to service the son, things begin to hit the spinning fan. Rich CinemaScope photography frames Lanthimos’s demented tale, which can be read as an allegory for over-parenting, or can be simply appreciated as a work of bracingly uncomfortable hilarity. I personally choose to see it as both. Buy it on DVD.
Enter the Void (MPI Home Video) — Gaspar Noé’s first two features, I Stand Alone and Irreversible, combined transgressive shock tactics with tricky narrative structures and aggressively baroque (and highly accomplished) technique. Enter the Void scales back somewhat on the sex and violence, but in all other respects it’s Noé’s boldest movie yet. He goes for maximum sensory overload in every moment of every scene, bombarding the viewer with lens-and-light effects, swirling CGI psychedelia, swamp-dense sound design, and above all, stunningly virtuosic camerawork. Read Nelson Kim’s full review here, then buy it on DVD or Blu-ray.
At the Edge of the World (Passion River Films) — Here’s my take: The Cove = Michael Bay; At the Edge of the World = Werner Herzog. While that might be a simplistic, trite way to compare these two similarly themed (and just about simultaneously released) eco-thrillers, I think the comparison has merit, at least in an aesthetic, energetic sense. No offense to the composer of At the Edge of the World, but the film’s incredibly misguided score threatened to toss me all the way overboard. Even taking that into account, I would still recommend Dan Stone’s action doc, which is a consistently riveting spectacle. Though to attribute the film solely to Stone doesn’t seem right, as he wasn’t actually there for the tumultuous shoot. Seven brave videographers risked their own lives to capture this dangerous adventure. This film belongs to them. Buy it on DVD or Blu-ray.
Anywhere, USA (Cinevolve Studios) — Winner of a Special Jury Prize at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, this is one of those whacked out American indies that perhaps didn’t receive the attention it deserved. Though, to be fair, it is a tough sell, as this North Carolina-set triptych ventures into uncomfortable places that might make Todd Solondz cringe. If you like ’em strange and zany, don’t pass this one up. Buy it on DVD.
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Wild Card of the Week