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Pick of the Week

City of Life and Death (Kino) — In December 1937, China’s capital city Nanking fell to the invading Japanese Imperial Army. During the weeks that followed, the Japanese raped, tortured, and butchered its way through the city; the death toll varies widely, but some estimates put it at over 300,000. Lu Chuan’s epic film, which screens at Film Forum through May 24 and in select U.S. cities after that, dramatizes the Nanking Massacre from multiple perspectives. The major characters include a small band of soldiers struggling to resist the invaders; a German businessman (based on the real-life John Rabe) and his Chinese associates, who establish a safety zone to protect the citizens of the city; a Japanese sergeant whose fundamental decency is ultimately no match for his compatriots’ brutality. Read Nelson Kim’s full review. Available in a 2-Disc Special Edition on DVD and Blu-ray.

New/Old to DVD/Blu-ray This Week

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Acorn Media) — This is the original very highly acclaimed 1979 mini-series starring Alec Guinness. Available in a 3-DVD Set.

The Conversation (Lionsgate) — Available on Blu-ray.

Island of Lost Souls (Criterion) — Available on DVD and Blu-ray.

Dazed and Confused (Criterion) — Available on Blu-ray.

Identification of a Woman (Criterion) — Available on DVD and Blu-ray.

Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection (RHI Entertainment) — Available in a 10-DVD Set.

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

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (Oscilloscope) — Available on DVD and Blu-Ray/DVD 2-Pack.

Winnie the Pooh (Disney) — Available on DVD, 2-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo, and 3-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy.

Attack the Block (Sony) — Available on DVD and Blu-ray.

A Little Help (Image Entertainment) — Available on DVD and Blu-ray.

The People vs. George Lucas (Lionsgate) — Available on DVD.

Father of Invention (Anchor Bay) — Available on DVD and Blu-ray.

Wild Card of the Week

A Serbian Film (Invincible Pictures) — I just don’t know if this is my cup of laced tea anymore. Maybe one day I will plug my nose and take the plunge. Available on DVD and Blu-ray.

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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—http://blogs.indiewire.com/tully—for more sporadic personal updates.

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