"Wouldn't this be a great world if insecurity and desperation made us more attractive? If 'needy' were a turn-on?" - Broadcast News
#373 | January 25, 2011
A director's death inevitably casts their last film in a new light. Claude Chabrol's Inspector Bellamy (just Bellamy in its native France) ups that ante in its opening credits, as a POV camera--but whose?--glides through a seaside cemetery, with unknown whistling behind it. It's a lovely moment now, with Chabrol whistling his way to death, even if its suggestion is entirely unintentional. Chabrol's finale has none of the self-conscious gravitas of Robert Altman's A Prairie Home Companion, a film the director announced was consciously about death. Altman knew he was dying, while Chabrol apparently didn't, but the film resonates regardless, and it's Vadim Rizov's pick for DVD of the Week. Read more >>
In This Dispatch:
  • What's New: Enter the Void, Santa Sangre, and tons more.
  • What We're Watching: Dogtooth, Heartbreaker, Jack Goes Boating.
  • Explore: Septien; Sabu.
"Irreversible provocateur Gaspar No unleashes another avant-garde assault upon audiences in this deliriously wicked, undeniably daring acid trip through Tokyo's neon-splattered underworld," wrote Aaron Hillis in the Village Voice. See (and hear) also his podcast chat with Noe about the film, on GC. "Suffice to say, unrelenting material like this isn't for everybody," adds the LA Times Robert Abeles. "That it is a gloriously filmic gesture - by turns jaw-dropping, elusive, silly, obnoxious, painful and beautiful - is celebration enough."
And while we're looking at trippy films: Alejandro Jodorowsky's cult classic makes its DVD debut. While it "plays like a bizarre carnival parade staged by Tod Browning, filled with freaks, cults, and an elephant funeral," says Fangoria, it "never has the episodic quality of many European Surrealist films. I would even compare Santa Sangre closely to the literary mode of magic realism, a genre that meshes fantastic elements with "reality," creating something that is never explicitly fantastic, but usually mythic and visionary...This is also one of Jodorowsky's most linear films." The extras in this 2-disc set are extra delicious and generous, too.
Also out [a ton!]: Red; Dogtooth [See review below; see also podcast >>]; The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest ; Stone ["far more complex, cracked and unique for an American movie boasting big-name stars: an unblinking glare into the abyss"-TimeOut]; Inspector Bellamy [see more above]; Nowhere Boy; Secretariat; Broadcast News (Criterion); Client 9: Rise and Fall of Elliot Spitzer ["a sad, disturbing and in some ways tragic tale that in its lurid combination of sex and politics, banal hypocrisy and bare-knuckles power"-LA Times]; Eclipse Series 25: Basil Dearden's London Underground ["elegantly crafted films brings this quintessential figure of British cinema out of the shadows"-Criterion]; You Won't Miss Me; Which Way Home; What's the Matter with Kansas?.

New and Coming Releases lists | Your Queue | Discuss! | GreenCine's review blog: Guru | GC Member Reviews and Lists | New DVD Spotlight
What We're Watching
Today's news that Dogtooth (perfectly timed with the DVD release) has been nominated for an Academy Award in the best foreign film category is stunning. While it's gratifying to know that one of 2010's most outr critical favorites somehow slipped into what typically is the mushiest of Oscar competitions, it's even more fun to imagine the reactions of more middlebrow Academy voters to this perverse family drama. I expect a whole lot of "what...the...?" reactions. The second feature from Greek director Giorgos Lanthimos is set in a studiously blank ex-urban home where three children - actually, fully grown college-age adults - spend their days competing in absurd challenges like: Who can inhale ether and not pass out the longest? For their dedication and achievement, the kids are rewarded with colorful stickers they can apply to the headboards of their beds... Read more >>
More like this Tulpan | Real LIfe
The reputation the French have for creating romantic comedy non pareil is well-deserved. In the last few years alone, we've had sophisticated charmers from Shall We Kiss to Priceless to Après vous. Now comes yet another, sporting a knock-out premise that is so original that it almost makes it impossible for the movie to live up to its nifty/nasty concept. That it finally does is due as much to the mysterious workings of chemistry between actors (Romain Duris and Vanessa Paradis) and the talent of new director Pascal Chaumeil (pronounced Show-MAY), as to the film's very funny and unusual script...Read more >>
Philip Seymour Hoffman is one of our great living actors, and has proven himself over the years in a number of supporting roles, ranging from sweaty and snarky to snaky and charming, to both funny and heartbreaking. Even his lead roles, such as  Capote Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, have managed to use his skills well. He's always pushing and allowing himself to be pushed, looking for fresh angles and daring ideas. Unfortunately, Hoffman does not bring much of this energy to his directorial debut, Jack Goes Boating, which is based upon a 2007 play by Bob Glaudini, but it's worth a watch. Hoffman stars and recreates his stage role, and...read more >>
Actor, director and respected film blogger Michael Tully's third feature, Septien makes its world premiere simultaneously at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and nationwide on VOD via Sundance Selects. Aaron Hillis chatted with Tully for a new podcast >>

Also on GC Daily: "Everymen in Trouble: The Punk-Rock Comedies of Sabu," in which Steve Dollar looks at the Japan Society of New York's Sabu retrospective...Read more >>

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