As I was sort of annoyed at thinking up clever tid-bits about all the weeks' new releases on DVD, I killed off my weekly listings. However, this week appears especially promising at the video store, so I thought I'd highlight a few of the notables. First off, we have Michelangelo Antonioni's The Passenger (Professione: reporter) with Jack Nicholson and Maria Schneider (above). While not nearly as strong as some of his earlier work, it's still worth a look, if only for its signature Antonioni ending and a memorable performance from Jack.
Also on DVD this week is the latest Claire Denis film, The Intruder (L'intrus), which is supposed to be a lot better than her previous Vendredi soir and on par with some of her best work (Beau travail). Expect a review of this as soon as Netflix gets around to sending it to me. As you can see above, Béatrice Dalle has still not fixed the large gap between her two front teeth.
Criterion's got a pair of films you've probably never heard of from directors you probably have.
From Marco Bellocchio (Devil in the Flesh) comes Fists in the Pocket (I pugni in tasca), a "horror film" about an epileptic, and from Louis Malle (Au revoir les enfants), his first feature film, Elevator to the Gallows (Ascenseur pour l'échafaud) stars Jeanne Moreau as a woman who wants to kill her husband.
Strand is releasing a deluxe edition of Gregg Araki's Mysterious Skin, a film that ranked high in my best of 2005 list, after acquiring the rights from Tartan. As the disc is no less expensive than the Tartan one was, purchasing this instead seems unnecessary, as the only deluxe addition seems to be cast audition tapes and some deleted scenes. I e-mailed Strand to see if they were planning on obtaining the rights to the rest of Araki's titles (they've already released Totally Fucked Up; The Doom Generation and The Living End are in need of new transfers; and Nowhere and Three Bewildered People in the Night have yet to make it to DVD), but they did not respond.
For the nun lovers out there (you know who you are), Jerzy Kawalerowicz's Mother Joan of the Angels (Matka Joanna od aniolów), based on The Devils of Loudon (the source material for Ken Russell's far more decadent The Devils), is on DVD now. Lionsgate is also releasing a Spanish horror film titled simply The Nun (La monja), which looks awful but does have the hilarious tagline, "Not all water is holy." This should hold the nun fetishists over for a while.
In music DVD, you can finally fulfill your secret desire to mention Suicide, Captain Beefheart, and Mariah Carey in the same sentence. The Suicide disc is a live concert in Paris, which looks to be a recent concert with poor artwork, so be cautious. The Captain Beefheart disc is a two-hour documentary about the man himself. The Mariah Carey disc is a Behind the Music-esque exploration of how this diva has stood the test of time.
Artificial Eye UK is releasing Krzysztof Kieslowski's The Double Life of Véronique (La double vie de Véronique), which is still unavailable on DVD in the US. Irène Jacob (who won the Best Actress prize at Cannes) plays two women (Véronique and Weronika) born on the same day, one in France, the other in Poland. Though I haven't seen The Decalogue, this film marked, for me, Kieslowski's wonderful turn from boring Polish realism to cinematic treats.
If you like melodramatic Spanish romances about two lovers with palindrome names, then check out Lovers of the Arctic Circle (Los amantes del Círculo Polar). The film stars Fele Martínez (Bad Education) and Najwa Nimri (Sex and Lucia).
Woody Allen's Match Point, reviewed below, and Werner Herzog's Where the Green Ants Dream (Wo die grünen Ameisen träumen) are also being released, though most will note these as lesser entries on the directors' filmographies.