Pick of the Week
Two Years At Sea (Cinema Guild) — Winner of a FIPRESCI prize at Venice, the first feature by renowned short filmmaker/installation artist Ben Rivers is a staggering accomplishment of low budget filmmaking. The placement in ‘Views from the Avant Garde’ section in the New York Film Festival might scare people away, daunted as they are by a 90-minute feature that features only one human on screen and not one single line of spoken dialogue, but the film is no less approachable than any late Tarkovsky or Albert Serra. Shot in anamorphic on Rivers’ favorite soon-to-be-discontinued black-and-white Kodak film stock and hand-developed in a ragtag manner befitting the patchwork lifestyle of the subject, Two Years at Sea showcases an impressive command of space, creating a wholly alien yet familiar landscape out of a remote cabin and the area surrounding it, where a solitary and robustly bearded man lives with his cats. Rivers steps almost as far back as possible, allowing many takes to linger for five, six minutes, even more, forcing the viewer to study the old man as he confronts inhuman objects, such as his record player, a handmade boat, or some unexplained apparatus that lifts his small trailer high into the trees. Rivers’ use of the widescreen format to illustrate the vastness of the forest and the miniscule presence of mankind within is outstanding, making this unmissable as a theatrical experience. (Alex Ross Perry) Available on DVD.
Kiss of the Damned (Magnet Releasing) — Xan Cassavetes’ Kiss of the Damned is dripping with mood and atmosphere, yet its tone is more haunting than “scary.” What stands out are not the showpiece scenes of killing, but instead the overriding pleasure of witnessing a passionate battle between characters who are adult enough to face their own desires. Like all great contributions to the horror genre, Kiss of the Damned allows us to view the darker aspects of our own urges and to face the monster within. The fact that this battle plays out under such a raging soundtrack and through such beautiful creatures is what makes it all so much goddamn, dirty fun. Read Mike S. Ryan’s full HTN review. Available on DVD, Blu-ray, Alternate Artwork DVD, Alternate Artwork Blu-ray, and at Amazon Instant.
New/Old to DVD/Blu-ray
Have Not Seen Yet But Really/Kinda/Sorta/Maybe Wanna
Wild Card of the Week
Twixt (20th Century Fox) — This motion picture was directed by Francis Ford Coppola and stars Val Kilmer. This trailer made me go ????!I!I!WUHUWYAAaakwioeuywywgybe227L???? Available on DVD, Blu-ray, and at Amazon Instant.