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DVD RELEASES 2009/8/25

Two exceptional weeks in a row for new home video releases? We are not going to complain about that. This week is so good, in fact, that we’ve already written about most of these films more thoroughly (click on the film’s title to read the full Hammer to Nail review). After reading, get to shopping, you lucky consumers:

Invisible Girlfriend (Carnivalesque Films) — Oh, boy, kiddies, are you in for a real treat. For those of you who love your movies to toss elements of nonfiction, fiction, fantasy, Americana, sociology, personal journey, and who-knows-what-else into a blender, producing a cinematic smoothie the likes of which you’ve never tasted, then David Redmon and Ashley Sabin’s Invisible Girlfriend is the movie for you. I will go to my grave fighting over this one. The lack of recognition that Redmon and Sabin’s magically realistic and utterly devastating documentary received on the festival circuit this year was extremely disappointing to me. Indisputable fact: at the moment, Redmon and Sabin are coming as close to reaching Herzog’s “ecstatic truth” as a filmmaker in America. This portrait of a Southern man embarking on a Wizard Of Oz-esque journey through the South has a climactic revelation that must be seen to be believed (even though you won’t want to believe it). I will be posting a full review of this extraordinary achievement in the next few days. But this is all that really needs to be said: YOU MUST WATCH INVISIBLE GIRLFRIEND. Buy the DVD Amazon. (Michael Tully)

Goodbye Solo (Lionsate) — “Goodbye Solo marks the graduation of Ramin Bahrani from one of American independent cinema’s most accomplished voices to one of the most accomplished voices in American cinema, period. In a time of universal concern and worry, Bahrani has given us a character that confronts his troubles head on and rebukes his sorrows with a smile. It’s a lesson we all need to learn. Especially now.” Buy the DVD at Amazon. (Michael Tully)

Trouble The Water (Zeitgeist Films) — “Too much good cinema has sprung from Hurricane Katrina to label one of these works the definitive statement on the tragedy—When the Levees BrokeKamp KatrinaLow and Behold, just to name a few—but after watching Tia Lessin and Carl Deal’s Trouble the Water, it’s hard not to place this film at the top of the list.” Buy the DVD at Amazon. (MT)

Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (Criterion) — “Nearly three and a half hours long, Jeanne Dielman is a severe and demanding viewing experience, but if you’re up for the challenge, you might leave the theater convinced you’ve seen one of the towering masterpieces of modern cinema.” Buy the DVD at Amazon. (Nelson Kim)

The Last Days of Disco (Criterion) — “If Metropolitan remains chaste, fully-clothed, and Barcelona strips down to its swimming trunks, then Disco, the most bawdy member of the troika, straight-up takes off its pants. Characters discuss cocaine and STDs with a frankness they once applied only to conversations about Jane Austen. Stillman has moved the party downtown and the decadence no longer takes the form of afternoon tea and copious cabs. Instead, we see sequins, exposed navels and Jaid Barrymore as a cougar in an alarming catsuit.” Buy the DVD at Amazon. (Lena Dunham)

Adventureland (Miramax) – While we didn’t publish a full review of Greg Mottola’s Adventureland when it was released in theatres out of concern that you more skeptical readers might think, “Well, of course you’re gonna say nice stuff about the latest Ted Hope production,” the truth is thatAdventureland is a very, very good movie and a very, very worthy contribution to the coming-of-age canon. Buy the DVD or Blu-ray at Amazon. (MT)

— Michael Tully

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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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