3 Backyards (Screen Media) — 3 Backyards is a truly ambitious and inventive work that speaks not only through acting and plot, but through Mendelsohn’s savvy directorial control of music, lensing and pacing. The film’s stylistic choice of ’70s-era American New Wave grammar is a joy to behold on the big screen. I can’t remember the last time I saw so many lens flares and long slow rack zooms. The narrative moves at a pace that recalls the best of those Euro-influenced American New Wave films from the 1970s that were allowed, for a short time, to explore oblique themes through small dramatic events. Everything from the ending of Easy Rider to the Beckett-like Westerns of Monte Hellman (The Shooting, Ride in the Whirlwind) through Altman’s Three Women reflected both filmmakers’ and audiences’ willingness to embrace the pursuit of realms beyond literal logic. But perhaps the film that 3 Backyards most reminds me of is Alan Rudolph rarely seen Remember My Name. Read Mike S. Ryan’s full HTN review, then buy it on DVD.
The Criterion Corner
Have Not Seen But Really/Kinda/Sorta/Maybe Wanna
The Alan Berliner Collection: The Family Album/Intimate Stranger/Nobody’s Business/The Sweetest Sound/Wide Awake (Lorber Films) — (I haven’t seen most of them, which is why i’m including this release in this section.) Buy the 5-DVD Set.
Wild Cards of the Week
While we’re at it, here’s another Severin Films release that seems muy interesante: