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“Knock, knock.” “Who’s there?” “Only two.” “Only two who?” “Only two new DVD releases worth digging into this week.” Though one of them is a 6-movie set, that helps to fill things out a bit more. Anyway, let’s get to it:

The Missing Person (Strand Releasing) — Lest you think we’re treading in nepotistic waters here, I would like to state, for the record, that I had never had any interaction with writer/director Noah Buschel before I wrote the following plug for his latest film The Missing Person when it was released theatrically back in November of 2009: Though it might sound strange, the movie The Missing Person most reminds me of—more than any of the noir films it superficially resembles—is Spike Lee’s 25th Hour. On paper, it sounds like a horrible idea, mixing the tragedy of September 11th with the spicy noir genre, but Buschel shows a respect for both sources that adds up to something genuine and sincere. It also helps that he cast Michael Shannon as John Rosow, the down-on-his-luck private dick who finds himself caught up in a mystery that has deeper consequences every step of the way. The Missing Person is one of the more daringly original American narrative features of 2009. Since that time, Buschel has become an invaluable member of the Hammer to Nail team, producing some of the more excellent film essays I’ve read in a long, long time (go here to read them). So you can cry nepotism if you want, but I’d win this one in court. All you have to do is watch The Missing Person to see that it’s the most exciting new release of the week. Buy it on DVD.

Essential Art House, Volume 5 (Criterion) — The latest Criterion release in the Essential Art House collection is a miniature film history class all by itself. Even if you’ve already seen all of the included titles, they are the types of classics that get better and better on subsequent viewings: Loves Of A Blonde, Brief Encounter, Floating Weeds, 8 1/2, Jules and Jim, Kapo Buy the 6-disc DVD set.

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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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