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Pick of the Week
Wuthering Heights (Oscilloscope) — Occasionally a period piece comes along that feels neither like the gauzy, ignorantly rendered, idealized versions of the past churned out by the Hollywood of yesteryear nor like the product of our grim and cynical and corporatist postmodern times, the maddening ideological manifestations of which are usually filtered through the perspective of some stooge director (see, uh, Marie Antoinette). I’m about to tell you about one such film. As stark and unforgiving as her previous works, Andrea Arnold’s new film finds her pondering the aftermath of a mysterious, multi-pronged trauma for yet another soulful, alienated loner. That this shatteringly potent adaptation of Emily Bronte’s too often filmed 19th Century English Lit Classic Wuthering Heights is an absolute provocation has little do with that bit of auteurist observation however, even if the movie confirms Ms. Arnold to be one of the 21st Century’s most essential filmmakers. Read Brandon Harris’ full HTN review. Available on DVD, Blu-ray, and at Amazon Instant.
G-DOG (Docurama) — Certainly not a formally groundbreaking work, Freida Mock’s documentary remains an inspiring portrait of a man—Father Greg “G-DOG” Boyle—whose contribution to the world is deeply commendable. Available on DVD.
Promised Land (Universal) — Certainly not Gus Van Sant’s best film, this remains a handsome production that does its best to inject the topic of fracking into the mainstream conversation (of course, if forced to pick one, go with Gasland). Available on DVD, 2-Disc DVD/Blu-ray Combo Pack + Digital Copy + UltraViolet, and at Amazon Instant.
Any Day Now (Music Box Films) — Certainly not as strong as Patrick Wang’s In The Family, this film nonetheless has a similarly noble message and is elevated by its heartfelt lead performances (Alan Cumming, Garret Dillahunt, and newcomer Isaac Leyva). Available on DVD and Blu-ray.
Happy People: A Year In The Taiga (Music Box Films) — Certainly not Werner Herzog’s best film (co-directed with Dmitry Vasyukov), this documentary provides a pleasant glimpse into a (cold, cold) world that most of us would never see otherwise. Available on DVD.
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