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DVD RELEASES 2010/8/17


The Conversation (Lionsgate) — Truth be told, I didn’t do enough research to know what makes the release of this Francis Ford Coppola classic different from any others—had it become unavailable for some dumb reason?—but it is The Conversation, it is great, it is again available on DVD, and that is that.

Off and Running (First Run Features) — In post-screening Q&As, most documentary filmmakers always say that the success of a nonfiction project really centers on the collaboration between storyteller and subject. But during the making of the film, how many of them actually say to their subject, “You choose. Do you want this scene in the film, or not?” That would be a typical exchange between filmmaker Nicole Opper and her teenaged subject, Avery Klein-Cloud, during an edit session of their film Off and Running. While Avery does not share a directing credit, she does share a writing one: the two garnered a Writers Guild of America Documentary Screenplay Award at SILVERDOCS last June. Read the rest of Pamela Cohn’s conversation with Opper, then buy her film on DVD.

The U (ESPN’s 30 For 30 Series) — For college football fans—and especially those of you (or should I say us) who came of age in the 1980s—Barry Corben’s The U will bring back a flood of memories. Not only is Corben’s documentary an entertaining jaunt down memory lane that recounts the unexpected rise of the University of Miami football team from total haplessness to utter dominance in a legendarily quick span of time; more vitally, it illuminates the culture-shifting influence of this controversial program, which literally transformed the landscape of college football in the ‘80s. When it comes to one’s tolerance for smack-talking, showboating on-the-field antics, The U is a blunt Rorschachumentary test. Read the rest of my review, then buy it on DVD.

Have Not Seen But Need To

Black Orpheus (Criterion) — Buy it on DVD or Blu-ray.

L’enfance Nue (Criterion) — Buy it on DVD.

The Good, The Bad, The Weird (MPI Home Video) — Buy it on DVD or Blu-ray.

Soundtracker (IndiePix) — Buy it on DVD.

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Michael Tully is an award-winning writer/director whose films have garnered widespread critical acclaim, his projects having premiered at some of the most renowned film festivals across the globe. He is also the former (and founding) editor of this site. In 2006, Michael's first feature, COCAINE ANGEL, chronicling a tragic week in the life of a young drug addict, world premiered at the International Film Festival Rotterdam. The film immediately solidified the director as one of Filmmaker Magazine’s "25 New Faces of Independent Film,” a reputation that was reinforced a year later when his follow-up feature, SILVER JEW, a documentary capturing the late David Berman's rare musical performances in Tel Aviv, world-premiered at SXSW and landed distribution with cult indie-music label Drag City. In 2011, Michael wrote, directed, and starred in his third feature, SEPTIEN, which debuted at the 27th annual Sundance Film Festival before being acquired by IFC Films' Sundance Selects banner. A few years later, in 2014, Michael returned to Sundance with the world premiere of his fourth feature, PING PONG SUMMER, an ‘80s set coming-of-age tale that was quickly picked up for theatrical distribution by Gravitas Ventures. In 2018, Michael wrote and directed the dread-inducing genre film DON'T LEAVE HOME, which has been described as "Get Out with Catholic guilt in the Irish countryside" (IndieWire). The film premiered at SXSW and was subsequently acquired by Cranked Up Films and Shudder.

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