Mainland master Jia Zhangke (A Touch of Sin) scales new heights with Mountains May Depart. Starring the luminous Zhao Tao, the film is both an intimate drama and a decades-spanning epic about how China's capitalist experiment has affected the lives of one splintered family, leaping in time from the past to the present to the speculative near-future. Jia's new film is an intensely moving study of how China's economic boom and the culture of materialism it has spawned has affected the bonds of family, tradition, and love.
Bonus Features: English Subtitles, Closed Captions, 5.1 Surround Sound, Booklet Essay by Aliza Ma, New York Film Festival: A Conversation with Jia Zhangke (73 min., courtesy of Film Society of Lincoln Center), Trailer
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Toshiro Mifune. A Japanese detective descends into a criminal underworld to find his missing gun-and the killer who's been using it. Directed by Akira Kurosawa. In Japanese with English subtitles. 1949/b&w/122 min/NR/fullscreen.
"My father says that Korea is the most beautiful country... Korea is the land of the rising sun," says eight-year-old schoolgirl Zin-mi. Despite continuous interference by government handlers, director Vitaly Mansky still managed to document life in Pyongyang, North Korea in this fascinating portrait of one girl and her parents in the year as she prepares to join the Korean Children's Union on the 'Day Of The Shining Star' (Kim Jong-Il's birthday). As the family receives instruction on how to be the ideal patriots, Mansky's watchful camera capture details from comrades struggling to stay awake during an official event to Zin-mi's tears at a particularly grueling dance lesson.
The late Andrzej Zulawski (Possession) made a delirious, inimitable career out of pushing the boundaries of fillm, and his final feature, Cosmos, makes for a fitting end. With fevered kineticism, it transforms Witold Gombrowicz s novel of the same name into an ominous and manic exploration of desire. Witold (Jonathan Genet), who has just failed the bar exam, and his companion Fuchs (Johan Libe reau), who has recently quit his fashion job, are staying at a guesthouse run by the intermittently paralytic Madame Woytis (Sabine Aze ma). Upon discovering a sparrow hanged in the woods near the house, Witold s reality mutates into a whirlwind of tension, histrionics, foreboding omens, and surrealistic logic as he becomes obsessed with Madame Woytis s daughter Lena (Victo ria Guerra).Special Features: Audio commentary by historian Daniel Bird, booklet essay by critic Glenn Kenny, making-of featurette, Video essay by filmmaker David Cairns, international trailer, theatrical trailer, introduction by producer Paulo Branco and direCtor Andrzej ZulAwski
Brand: The Criterion Collection
A poor man and his son search Rome for the stolen bicycle he needs to go to work. Vittorio De Sica's remarkable 1947 drama of desperation and survival in Italy's devastating post-war depression earned a special Oscar for its affecting power. Shot in the streets and alleys of Rome, De Sica uses the real-life environment of contemporary life to frame his moving drama of a desperate father whose new job delivering cinema posters is threatened when a street thief steals his bicycle. Too poor to buy another, he and his son take to the streets in an impossible search for his bike. Cast with nonactors and filled with the real street life of Rome, this landmark film helped define the Italian neorealist approach with its mix of real life details, poetic imagery, and warm sentimentality. De Sica uses the wandering pair to witness the lives of everyday folks, but ultimately he paints a quiet, poignant portrait of father and son, played by nonprofessionals Lamberto Maggiorani and Enzo Staiola, whose understated performances carry the heart of the film. De Sica and scenarist Cesare Zavattini also collaborated on Shoeshine, Miracle in Milan, and Umberto D, all classics in the neorealist vein, but none of which approach the simple poetry and quiet power achieved in The Bicycle Thief. --Sean Axmaker On the DVD The two-disc Criterion DVD of Bicycle Thieves is most significant for its fine digitally restored print quality, a marked improvement over previous video editions of the film. Now the...