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DVD RELEASES 2010/8/10

I have nothing interesting to say by way of introduction so let’s just get right into the home video pimping:


Crumb (Criterion) — Even back in 1994 when it first appeared, everyone seemed to agree that Terry Zwigoff’s Crumb was a classic addition to the documentary canon. Not that a Criterion approved home video release (15 years later?) was needed to remind everyone just how good Crumb is, but it’s certainly a nice reward for fans of the film. In legendary comic book artist R. Crumb, Zwigoff had found automatic, instant gold. But with regards to Crumb’s family, and especially his mentally tormented brother Charles, Zwigoff had struck platinum. Crumb is more than just a portrait of a unique artist. It’s a sobering and haunting depiction of the emotional stains that childhood and family can leave behind. Buy it on DVD or Blu-ray.

The Lottery (Great Curve Films) — Madeleine Sackler’s documentary about the hot-button issue of charter schools in New York City, and Harlem in particular, is a guaranteed fire-starter. While it does play like an advertisement for charter schools at times, it also pinpoints just how complicated and muddy this situation is. Beautifully shot by Wolfgang Held and scored by TV On The Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe and Gerard Smith, The Lottery is an important contribution to this ongoing debate. Buy it on DVD.

Children of Invention (Indieblitz Releasing) — When Tze Chun’s Children of Invention premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, the economy was on the brink of collapse. One year later, although the situation appears to have become a teensy bit more stable, it’s obvious that we still have a long way to go. Though Chun’s film could be read at as a direct response to this fragile chapter in history, Children of Invention is better experienced as a personal story about the timeless struggle of immigrant families making their way in America. Read the rest of my review, then buy it on DVD.

Have Not Seen But Plan To Do Just That

Lola (Mr. Bongo Films) — Jacques Demy’s first feature, shot by Raoul Coutard in black-and-white CinemaScope. Three reasons are much better than one! Buy it on DVD.

Animal Collective: Oddsac (Plexifilm) — I don’t have any psilocybic mushrooms laying around the house. From the description of this one, it might be best to wait until I locate some before pressing play. Or is this one of those cases where the film does the psilocybic work for you? Buy it on DVD.

Thorn in the Heart (Oscilloscope Pictures) — I missed Michel Gondry’s doc about his family when it was released in theaters, but this seems like a good one to check out from the comfort of one’s couch. Buy it on DVD.

The Good Heart (Magnolia) — This Magnolia Pictures release, starring Brian Cox and Paul Dano, sounds like one of those ’90s NYC indies to me for some reason. Which is probably why I didn’t see it in the theater, but it’s also why I am happy it’s now available on home video. Buy it on DVD.

Welcome (Film Movement) — I don’t know anything about Welcome other than it’s being released by Film Movement. Based on their track record, that’s good enough for me. Buy it on DVD.

Wild Card of the Week

Loose Screws: Screwballs II (Severin Films) — ***Only those of you with the most tender memories of ’80s T&A comedies need apply.*** Buy it on DVD or Blu-ray.

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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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