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Pick of the Week

Putty Hill/Hamilton (Cinema Guild) — From Cullen Gallagher’s review: In 2006, Matthew Porterfield gave us Hamilton, a quiet, moody film about two young kids who have just become parents. Taking place over the course of only a couple of days, Hamilton captured the tension between stasis and unrelenting change that was occurring in both their lives, as well as the lives of their respective families and friends. Hamilton was impressive not only for its unusually evocative portrait of suburban Baltimore (Porterfield emphasizes atypical parts of the city as only a native could), but also its subtle yet sophisticated handling of the community. One really gets the sense of interconnectivity that is rarely seen outside of attention-mongering ensemble pieces. Instead of yelling from the rooftops, however, Porterfield remains understated in the way that he weaves the network between characters, often privileging implicit, almost instinctual, interactions that hint at something deeper than any explicit exposition could ever achieve. With Putty Hill, Porterfield has made good on all the promises of Hamilton, creating a film that is at once more redolent and reticent, but that also takes his narrative experimentation another step forward. Also read my full review of Hamilton, then buy the 2-Disc Special Edition DVD package.


The Upsetter: The Life and Music of Lee Scratch Perry (Upsetter Films) — Adam Bhala Lough and Ethan Higbee’s entertaining and illuminating documentary about the hugely influential musical mastermind from Jamaica is now available on DVD at Amazon (there are still Special Edition copies available directly through the film’s official website as well).

New/Old to DVD/Blu-ray Picks of the Week

Blue Velvet (MGM) — Available on Blu-ray (and Special Edition DVD).

Fanny and Alexander (Criterion) — Available on Blu-ray (and DVD).

To Die For (Image Entertainment) — Available on Blu-ray (and DVD).

One-Eyed Jacks (Entertainment One) — Available on Blu-ray.

Little Big Man (Paramount) — Available on Blu-ray (and DVD).

The Fisher King (Image Entertainment) — Available on Blu-ray (and DVD).

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

Life in A Day (Virgil Films and Entertainment) — Available on DVD and Blu-ray.

The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls (Disinformation) — Available on DVD.

A Good Man (Kartemquin Films) — Available on DVD.

The Sleeping Beauty (Strand Releasing) — Available on DVD.

The Human Resources Manager (Film Movement) — Available on DVD.

The Change Up (Universal Pictures) — Available on DVD and Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy.

The Ballad of Mott the Hoople (Redeye) — Available on DVD.

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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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