Venus Beauty Institute
Manufacturer: Fox Lorber
The carefully unattached existence of working girl Nathalie Baye is suddenly upended when lovesick hunk Samuel Le Bihan introduces himself: "My name is Antoine and I love you." Set in a cute glass storefront with a neon pink and blue faÃ§ade that could have sprung from a Jacques Demy musical, this bittersweet romantic drama was written for the arresting Baye, who plays a middle-aged "girl" in a uniquely Parisian beauty shop that specializes in facials, body treatments, massages, and emotional confession. Her coworkers, young, sweetly guileless brunette cutie Audrey Tautou and gloomy twentysomething Mathilde Seigner, are like glimpses into her past lives, one full of hope and giddy optimism, the other turned resentful from disappointment. She clings to the girly camaraderie and workaday autopilot of her job while her "patronne" (the incomparable Bulle Ogier) nudges her toward responsibility. Writer-director Tonie Marshall has a marvelous feeling for the women who work and visit the place, though her soulful bohemian artist Le Bihan is defined by little more than good looks, shaggy charm, and a kind of reckless attraction. The film is at its best with the women: the easy by-play and guarded emotions of the shopgirls, the often uncontrolled outbursts of the offbeat and oddball clients, and especially the haunted and lonely performance from Baye, who warily creeps out of her shell for another chance at intimacy. --Sean Axmaker
Manufacturer: FIRST RUN FEATURES
Hailed as the first--and only--feature film about gay life ever produced in communist East Germany, and winner of the Silver Bear Award at the Berlin Film Festival, Coming Out is the "passionate and moving, honestly told" (Planet Out) story of a young high school teacher named Philipp. As a boy, Philipp was strongly attracted to his best (male) friend, but as an adult, he puts that behind him in order to live within the "norm." Philipp meets a shy girl who falls hard for him, and soon the couple is sharing an apartment and starting a family. But when Philipp meets a young man in a concert ticket line, he really falls in love and cannot deny his true, passionate desires any longer. "Coming Out captures the push and pull of conflicting desires and repressions as well as any other film we've ever seen." (Bay Windows)Heiner Carow made Coming Out as a plea for tolerance-- not only for gays and lesbians, but for all minorities in the German Democratic Republic. He wanted his film to be about love and honesty. Carow, a gay man himself, wanted to avoid sensationalism and was committed to authenticity; he sought to portray reality as he knew it. Hence many of the film's supporting characters are actual members of the (mostly male) underground gay scene of East Berlin essentially playing themselves. The gay locales were real hangouts and clubs, and much of the background action is genuine, not staged. "The descriptions of East Berlin's gay scene are revelations in themselves." (Variety...
Manufacturer: WOLFE VIDEO Brand: Wolfe Video
Synopsis: Item Type: DVD MovieItem Rating: ''NRStreet Date: 03/19/02Wide Screen: noDirector Cut: noSpecial Edition: noLanguage''ENGLISHForeign Film: noSubtitlesnoDubbed: noFull Frame: noRe-Release: noPackaging: ''Sleeve''
For a Lost Soldier
Manufacturer: Strand Releasing
For a Lost Soldier was originally released in the Netherlands as Voor een veloran soldaat. Using a flashback framework, the film deals with a gay "coming of age". Forty years after the fact, choreographer Jeroen Krabbe recalls a wartime romance. During the Allied liberation of Holland, the young Krabbe (played as a youth by Marten Smit) entered into a tender relationship with a Canadian soldier (Andrew Kelley). Back to the present, Krabbe attempts to incorporate his experiences in his latest ballet work, a celebration of the Liberation. This delicately handled tale was written by its director, Roeland Kerbosh. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
My Beautiful Laundrette
Manufacturer: MGM (Video & DVD) Brand: Sony
With its "extraordinary cast" (Los Angeles Times)including OscarÃ‚(r) winner* Daniel Day Lewisand "riveting visual style" (Newsweek), this "warm, compassionate and feisty" film (The Hollywood Reporter) about a young Pakistani man coming of age in London is "a fascinating, eccentric [and] very personal movie" (The New York Times)! Living on the dole with his alcoholic father in a shabby South London flat, Omar is a bright-eyed Pakistani teenager who wants to make something of himself. And as his papa drowns deeper in vodka and self-pity, Omar turns to his unscrupulous wheeling-and-dealing Uncle Nasser to show him the key to success. But when Nasser hires Omar as manager of a seedy, dilapidated laundromat, Omar is forced to choose between running a squeaky-clean establishmentor conducting some very dirty business! *1989: Actor,My Left Foot
By Hook or by Crook
Manufacturer: Wolfe Video
Written and Directed by Harry Dodge (Cecil B. Demented) and Silas Howard (of the punk band Tribe 8) with additional dialogue by Stanya Kahn. Shy is a handsome small-town loner who dumps his diner job and thumbs to San Francisco in pursuit of a life of petty crime. Along the way, Shy stumbles into the off-kilter Valentine, who is on a quest to locate his birthmother. An unexpected and magical friendship sparks as they steal and grift their way towards understanding themselves and the crazy world around them. "The humanity of the characters shines!" â€“ New York Times "Impressive!" â€“ LA Weekly
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