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Picks of the Week

I Used To Be Darker (Strand Releasing) — Matthew Porterfield’s follow-up to his acclaimed Putty Hill finds the Baltimore-based director telling a more formally straightforward tale. Working from a screenplay co-written by Amy Belk, Porterfield first introduces us to Taryn (Deragh Campbell), a Northern Irish 19-year-old who has been living in Ocean City, Maryland for the summer. But when she becomes pregnant, she flees to Baltimore to connect with her aunt Kim (Kim Taylor), uncle Bill (Ned Oldham), and cousin Abby (Hannah Gross). The only problem is that Kim and Bill are currently divorcing, to the frustration and fury of their daughter. A patient drama, I Used To Be Darker is most notable for its master class utilization of music—specifically, how to weave diegetic songs into a film’s emotional atmosphere. Available: DVD

Concussion (Anchor Bay) — Concussion is a first film by Stacie Passon, but it was produced by filmmaking veteran Rose Troche. Though its setup is similar to Moonlighting Wives (1967), Concussion is actually way more lurid and transgressive, despite its very clean and safe suburban vibe. Like Bunuel’s Belle Du Jour, this film actually does deliver as a truly radical dramatic portrayal of sex outside the monogamous bourgeois suburban world. Read Mike S. Ryan’s full HTN review. Available: DVD, Amazon Instant, iTunes

New/Old to DVD/Blu-ray

The Long Day Closes (Criterion) — Available: Blu-ray/DVD

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

Bad Grandpa (Universal) — Available: DVD, Blu-ray/DVD + Digital HD, Amazon Instant, iTunes

Rush (Universal) — Available: DVD, Blu-ray/DVD + Digital HD w/ UltraViolet, iTunes

Treme: The Complete Fourth Season (HBO) — Available: DVD

1 (Millennium) — Available: DVD, Blu-ray, Amazon Instant, iTunes

The Fifth Estate (Touchstone) — Available: DVD, Blu-ray/DVD + Digital Copy, iTunes

Metallica Through The Never (Blackened Recordings) — Available: DVD, Blu-ray, Amazon Instant, iTunes

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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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