Here's a rundown of some notable DVD releases for 2008 that I haven't already brought to your attention. I'll have a list of what you're missing outside of North America sometime tomorrow.
8 January 2008
Though you're probably most excited about the Korean creature feature Dragon Wars (D-War), here are a few others that might be of interest. Strand will be releasing Daniel Sánchez Arévalo's film debut, DarkBlueAlmostBlack (Azuloscurocasinegro), about a young man's dealings with his ailing father. The film premiered at Toronto in 2006. Water Bears Films will release three DVDs this week: Go West, about internal struggle in the destruction of the former Yugoslavia with Rade Serbedzija (Before the Rain, Eyes Wide Shut); the surreal romance Madagascar Skin, with John Hanna; and a collection of three short films from Greek/British director Constantine Giannaris (From the Edge of the City). The titles include North of Vortex, Caught Looking, and A Place in the Sun.
15 January 2008
Tom DiCillo's comedy Johnny Suede, with a pompadour-donning Brad Pitt, Catherine Keener, Nick Cave, and Samuel L. Jackson, will make its much-delayed US DVD release from Anchor Bay, though it seems his most recent film, Delirious with Steve Buscemi and Michael Pitt, has already made its way out of theatres.
22 Jaunary 2008
Gather together your favorite theatre students (hopefully, that will result in one person at most) for Molière, which most critics compared to Shakespeare in Love as opposed to your run-of-the-mill biopic. French heartthrob of my dreams, Romain Duris, plays the artist before he hit it big. The impressive supporting cast includes Ludivine Sagnier, Edouard Baer, and Laura Morante.
29 January 2008
As it was unofficially announced before making my list of MIA DVDs for 2008, I didn't include Anthony Mann's glorious epic El Cid on the list. The Weinstein Company will release the film, which stars Charlton Heston and Sofia Loren, as the first entry on their Miriam label, which will take the place of what was once Wellspring. Like their releases of Cinema Paradiso, the DVD will be available in a "deluxe edition" and limited 3-disc collector's edition. Magnolia will also release Ira & Abby, from Jennifer Westfeldt, the star and writer of Kissing Jessica Stein. Still about Jews but free of lesbians, Westfeldt and Chris Messina (you may remember him as Claire's Republican boyfriend near the end of Six Feet Under) play the title characters with the likes of Jason Alexander and Fred Willard in support. You can also pick up King of Kong (subtitle: A Fistful of Quarters), a "sports" documentary of epic proportions as a good-natured family man tries to top the all-time high-score of Donkey Kong from an asshole my friend calls a walking Ben Stiller character who looks weirdly like Nick Cave. Check it. Two Nick Cave reference, one post.
Shit, Criterion be releasin' a fuckin' Godard film an' some movie 'bout Chinese dynasties an' some movie from that dood who made Repo Man. Apparently a two-disc of Pierrot le fou, a proper DVD release for Bernardo Bertolucci's Academy Award-winning The Last Emperor, and Ed Harris performing a coup-d'etat in 19th century Nicaragua in Alex Cox's Walker were enough to supply the entire month's Criterion roster. Yeah, awesome month, but I always look forward to the surprise announcement from them (we all knew these 3 were coming). A collection of Ernst Lubitsch musicals will make the month's Eclipse series.
5 February 2008
You can check out Julie Delpy in all her vanity with 2 Days in Paris this week, along with the ever-alluring Rosario Dawson fighting back against her rapists in Descent, which will be available in uncut NC-17 version, as well as the video-store friendly R-rated edit. Universal will have out a double-feature of Imitation of Life, including the 1934 John M. Dahl version as well as Douglas Sirk's more famous 1959 melodrama with Lana Turner. Cross the Canadian lesbian romance When Night Is Falling off my MIA list, as Wolfe will release it as part of their Vintage Collection. And, finally, Kino will bring a box-set of the films of Sergei Paradjanov, including his best regarded film Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors.
12 February 2008
In a curious move, Home Vision will release a single-disc version of The Double Life of Véronique, which may mean you should finally shelve out the money for the Criterion disc. I have no conformation that the double-disc, which has four shorts on it, is going to be discontinued, but if it does, don't say I didn't warn you. Strand will also be putting out Eytan Fox's The Bubble. From the director of Walk on Water and Yossi & Jagger, the film follows three friends in Tel Aviv, their failed attempts at romance, and their relationship with an Israeli Jew. It's not very good, by the way, though I falsely reported when it was hitting theatres that actor Lior Ashkenazi was not in the film (he has a brief cameo as an actor in the play Bent). Ben Affleck's overpraised Gone Baby Gone will also be released.
19 February 2008
First Run Features will release Daniel G. Karslake's For the Bible Tells Me So, a documentary which premiered at this year's Sundance about Christianity and homosexuality. The film balances right-wing bashing with Christian's ridiculous misinterpretation of Bible passages, as well as (most interestingly) how strict Christian families have dealt with homosexuality attacking (I jest) their families. Kurt Cobain: About a Son features a number of previously unreleased audio footage of the oft-misunderstood Nirvana frontman's self-reflection. Magnolia will be releasing Brian De Palma's Redacted and Barbet Schroeder's Terror's Advocate (Avocat de la terreur) on the same day. Redacted is a pretty hot topic as of lately, and you can easily find plenty of articles discussing it... De Palma also won the Best Director prize at this year's Venice Film Festival. Schroeder's documentary focuses on Jacques Vergès, a French political figure who notoriously defended certain Nazi officers. Koko, the Talking Gorilla, this isn't.
11 March 2008
I thought I had added Rolf de Heer's The Quiet Room to my MIA list, but I didn't find it on there. Anyway, Image will be releasing this 1996 drama about a young girl who stops talking. The film was released around the same time as Ponette, unfortunately overshadowed by the sizable praise for that film's young actress. Magnolia will continue their political streak, releasing Tony Kaye's Lake of Fire on the same day. Kaye, who's kept a low-profile after the sparks between him and Edward Norton flew on the set of American History X, spent several years exposing both sides of the abortion debate, apparently to much success.