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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.

The Silence (Music Box Films) — Available on DVD and Blu-ray.

Arcadia (Film Movement) — Available on DVD.

New/Old to DVD/Blu-ray

The Ice Storm (Criterion) — Available on DVD and Blu-ray.

Babette’s Feast (Criterion) — Available on DVD and Blu-ray.

Have Not Seen Yet But Really/Kinda/Sorta/Maybe Wanna

The Jeffrey Dahmer Files (MPI Home Video) — Available on DVD and at Amazon Instant.

Trance (20th Century Fox) — Available on DVD, Blu-ray, and at Amazon Instant.

Pieta (Image Entertainment) — Available on DVD + Digital Copy and Blu-ray + Digital Copy.

Graceland (Image Entertainment) — Available on DVD + Digital Copy and Blu-ray + Digital Copy.

Hunky Dory (Gravitas Ventures) — Available on DVD.

Welcome to the Punch (MPI Home Video) — Available on DVD and Blu-ray.

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.

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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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