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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 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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