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Pick of the Week

Ganja & Hess (Kino International) — How do you make a Christian vampire movie? Perhaps more specifically, how does one make a film that accepts the idea that undead, bloody thirsty immortals and the all-powerful protestant God are both existent presences in the Universe that must be reckoned with? It sounds like sort of a silly idea, right? Maybe not. Bill Gunn, the late African-American playwright, actor and film director, gave it a shot in his almost legendary Ganja & Hess, a bona fide cult film, the anti-Blacula, defiantly difficult and parochial, a vampire film in which the word itself is never used and its tropes mostly discarded. Ganja & Hess is jolting, jagged, lyrical, mythic and utterly unclassifiable, as avant-garde as the most independent film of today or any of the New American Cinema work from the 1960s or audacious studio films of the 1970s, with resonances one isn’t likely to encounter ever again. Read Brandon Harris’ full HTN review, then buy the special remastered edition is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.


Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie (Magnolia) — Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim’s uniquely twisted blend of humor is an acquired taste. Or maybe that’s not the right word. Let’s say that it appeals to folks who have a very specific taste. That is on full display in this feature-length romp that is sufficiently off the hinges. Available on DVD, Blu-ray, and Blu-ray/DVD + Digital Copy.

New/Old to DVD/Blu-ray

La Haine (Criterion) — Now available on both DVD and Blu-ray.

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

Amador (Film Movement) — Available on DVD.

Norman Mailer: The American (Cinema Libre) — Available on DVD and at Amazon Instant.

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Michael Tully was born and raised in Maryland and now lives on Tennis Court in Brooklyn. His most recent narrative feature, Septien, world-premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and was picked up for distribution by Sundance Selects. In addition to directing Cocaine Angel (2006) and Silver Jew (2007), he is also a proud alumni of Filmmaker Magazine's annual "25 New Faces of Independent Film" club (2006). Visit his indieWIRE blog Boredom at its Boredest——for more sporadic personal updates.

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