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DVD RELEASES 2010/6/22

Yikes, sorry people, but this is one of those Tuesdays in which I haven’t seen donkey squat when it comes to new—as well as new-old—home video releases. Aside from one trusted pick-of-the-week, compliments of Nelson Kim, you can file all of these under “might be good but I can’t officially vouch for them just yet.”

Pick of the Week

Close-Up (Criterion) — Abbas Kiarostami’s semi- or pseudo-documentary masterpiece turns 20 this year, and Criterion’s beautiful new edition, stuffed with first-rate supplemental materials, is the birthday present it deserves. “Based on a true story” is only the beginning here: Hossein Sabzian, a lonely, unemployed film lover, was arrested for impersonating the director Mohsen Makhmalbaf in order to win the confidence of a middle-class Tehran family. Kiarostami interviews the principals, films Sabzian’s trial, and in his boldest conceptual leap, casts the con man as well as his victims to play themselves in re-enactments of the crime and its aftermath. My full review will appear tomorrow. Buy it on DVD or Blu-ray. (Nelson Kim)

Have Not Seen But Plan To Do Just That

Bluebeard (Strand Releasing) — Catherine Breillat’s take on Charles Perrault’s famous tale has gotten a wide mix of reactions, from gushingly positive to dismissively negative, which only makes me more intrigued to decide for myself. Buy it on DVD.

Green Zone (Universal) — I’ll eventually getting around to seeing everything that Paul Greengrass directs, but for whatever reason, I didn’t manage to catch this one during its theatrical run (come to think of it, I was planning to do a double-header with it and the last film mentioned in this week’s post, but the other ‘green’ movie—Greenberg—won out). Seems like I wasn’t the only one who missed it in the theater, as Greengrass’s noble attempt to fuse Bourne-style entertainment with Iraq War politics didn’t sweep the nation. Buy it on DVD or Blu-ray.

Le Combat dans l’ile (Fire and Ice) (Zeitgeist Films) — Alain Cavalier. Romy Schneider. Jean-Louis Trintignant. ‘Nuff said. Buy it on DVD.

The Maid (Oscilloscope) — Sebastian Silva’s film won the Dramatic World Cinema Award at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, and has earned actress Catalina Saavedra more awards than most actors get in a career. Buy it on DVD.

Rappin’ With The Rickster (Traffic Ent.) — The Beastie Boys made fellow NYC b-boy Ricky Powell famous on wax, and now’s a chance for those of us who never had access to Powell’s cult cable access show to see what the hype was about. Buy it on DVD.

Red Desert (Criterion) — This is another classic that I have actually seen, but as it was so long ago, back in my undergraduate days, it’s just too foggy to recall and write about with any semblance of personal authority. Buy it on DVD or Blu-ray.

(Borderline) Avant-Retarde Pick Of The Week

Remember Me (Summit Entertainment) — This one I have seen. My advice: Pick a rainy Saturday afternoon in which your brain is still groggy from the night before. Then press play. Then be careful. 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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