After a long delay, Paramount will finally be releasing two classic Bertolucci films, The Conformist (Il conformista) and 1900, on the 5th of December. The discs will be packed and reasonably priced (the 2-disc 1900 runs $19.99, while The Conformist is $14.99). Best of all, 1900 will be in its uncut 318-minute version. You can expect Bertolucci’s Before the Revolution sometime next year from Criterion.
Strand will be releasing François Ozon’s latest, Time to Leave (Le temps qui reste) on November 21st. The melodrama stars Jeanne Moreau, Valerie Bruni-Tedeschi, and Melvil Poupaud as a fashion photographer who finds out he has brain cancer. The film got much stronger raves than Ozon’s last film, 5x2, also with Bruni-Tedeschi.
If you’re in the mood for more melodrama, Criterion is releasing G.W. Pabst’s Pandora’s Box (Die Büchse der Pandora) on the same day, starring the iconic Louise Brooks. The disc will include two docs on Brooks, and I strongly suggest also picking up Kieslowski’s The Double Life of Véronique (La double-vie de Véronique), also from Criterion, on the same day.
If drugs-and-crime flicks are your thing (they certainly aren’t mine), Magnolia will be putting out the Danish Pusher trilogy on November 7th, each directed by Nicolas Winding Refn. The set will include the original Pusher from 1996, Pusher 2: With Blood on My Hands from 2004, and the conclusion, Pusher 3: I’m the Angel of Death from 2005. The discs are also available separately.
Nauseatingly, the Weinsteins will be releasing two special-er editions of their much beloved Cinema Paradiso, easily one of my least favorite films of all time, in November. The special-est edition will include the soundtrack. If you’re up for a disgustingly manipulative and “feel-good” time, have fun. And, yes, the discs will include both the U.S. theatrical version and the original director’s cut, which gives you over a half hour more shit to make you queasy.
Ryko Distribution will re-release two out-of-print video-nasties on Halloween, Cannibal Ferox (also known as Make Them Die Slowly) and Jörg Buttgereit’s Schramm. The discs look to be identical to the previous releases. Unfortunately, Cinema Paradiso comes out a week later, or you could have had a stomach-churning Halloween marathon.
Just in time for Christmas, Criterion will re-release Grey Gardens in a 2-disc set, likely to cash in on the Broadway play and upcoming narrative remake, starring Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore (scary, eh?). The second disc will feature the Maysles brothers’ The Beales of Grey Gardens, which puts together additional footage they took of Big and Little Edie.
IFC Films will release Brothers of the Head, which I strongly recommend on November 14th. The film uses fake archival footage of a fictitious pair of conjoined twins who become punk rock stars. You can read my review here.
IFC will also be releasing Patrice Chéreau’s Gabrielle on the 19th of December. The film stars Isabelle Huppert in the title role, and while the film didn’t get a whole lot of critical praise, I hear both Huppert and the cinematography are exquisite.
Touted as one of the year’s biggest critical failures, Shadowboxer will be out on November 7th. How can you resist the sexual pairings of Helen Mirren and Cuba Gooding Jr. (who’s really trying to get his Oscar revoked), not to mention Mysterious Skin’s Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Mo’nique? Sounds like a winner to me. For additional fun, a cracked-out Macy Gray plays an alcoholic and a cracked-out Stephen Dorff shows his condom-sheathed penis. Read my friend Brad’s review of it here. I don’t know how you’ll be able to resist after that.
Oh, boy! Also in time for Halloween is Frankenhooker, which Unearthed Films will be releasing on the 17th of October. The tagline says something about “sluts and bolts.” Please pick it up and let me know if it’s worth my time. The title alone makes me wanna pre-order it, but I made a similar mistake with a film called Let Me Die a Woman!
Fantoma will finally be releasing the first volume of their Kenneth Anger box set. Despite the photo I’m using above, the set will not include his most famous, Scorpio Rising. So buy this set and convince Fantoma that it’s worth their time to release the rest. Plus, Fireworks is great.
Other Cinema is releasing video-artist Craig Baldwin’s Tribulation 99: Alien Anomalies Under America, a film solely comprised of found-footage worked into a science fiction tale. My asshole film professor should be kicking himself right now, as he said the film would never be readily available to the public, and felt like fucking Jonas Mekas for having it.
For the first time on DVD anywhere (I think), New Yorker is releasing Jean-Luc Godard’s Hail Mary (Je vous salue, Marie) next Tuesday. The film, which reportedly caused an outrage in the then-super Catholic France during the 1980s, reinterprets the virgin birth of Jesus in modern-day setting. A young Juliette Binoche has a supporting role as well.
And finally, Kino will be re-releasing Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker in a more affordable, more aesthetically-appealing disc on November 7th. Pick it up.
And I’m spent…