Winner of both the Academy Award for best foreign-language film and the Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or, Marcel Camus’ Black Orpehus (Orfeu negro) brings the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice to the twentieth-century madness of Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. With its eye-popping photography and ravishing, epochal soundtrack, Black Orpehus was a cultural event, kicking off the bossa nova craze that set hi-fis across America spinning. Blame it on the bossa nova. French director Marcel Camus created an international sensation, and a craze for all things Brazilian, when he released Black Orpheus in 1959. Black Orpheus, based on a play by Vinicius de Moraes, is a valentine to Rio, Carnaval, and the infectious sounds of salsa and the then-just-emerging sultry bossa nova. When it was released, despite having won the Palme d'Or at Cannes, Black Orpheus had not been widely known, but after it won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, audiences worldwide sparked to its joyous cinematography and unforgettable soundtrack. Much as Leonard Bernstein did two years later with Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story, Camus takes a centuries-old tale of love and doom, the Greek legend of Orpheus, and sets it in modern times, against an unforgettable musical backdrop. The actors are all splendid, including Breno Mello making his screen debut as Orfeo, a streetcar conductor musician with an untamed heart. The American-born Marpessa Dawn, who had been acting in France, plays the lovely, innocent Eurydice, who captures Orfeo's heart. Yet the entire cast is unforgettable, including Lourdes de Oliveira as the gorgeous, hot-tempered Mira, Orfeo's intended, and the lit-from-within Léa Garcia as Serafina. Even the young boys who follow Orfeo's every move are winning and natural young actors. But it's Rio itself that takes center stage in Black Orpheus--a place, through Camus's eyes, where even walking through the marketplace or disembarking a ferry is a dance--joyful, intricate, free, full of possibility. As the characters'...
Luca Zingaretti, Katharina Bohm, Cesare Bocci. Based on the international best-selling mystery novels by Andrea Camilleri, Detective Salvo Montalbano uses his personal intuition as a valuable tool to shake down the likes of criminals who share a common denominator-they all come from Sicily. Includes The Snack Thief," The Voice of the Violin" and The Shape of Water." 3 episodes on 3 DVDs. In Italian with English subtitles. 1999-2000/color/5 hrs., 30 min/NR/widescreen.
Manufacturer: The Weinstein Company
One of the most accomplished action-thrillers to emerge in the last decade, Kill Zone features an all-star cast including Donnie Yen, Sammo Hung and Simon Yam in a compelling thrill-ride where two veteran detectives rage war against a secret criminal empire.
Manufacturer: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
How to describe Nobuhiko Obayashi’s indescribable 1977 movie HOUSE (Hausu)? As a psychedelic ghost tale? A stream-of-consciousness bedtime story? An episode of Scooby-Doo as directed by Mario Bava? Any of the above will do for this hallucinatory head trip about a schoolgirl who travels with six classmates to her ailing aunt’s creaky country home and comes face-to-face with evil spirits, a demonic house cat, a bloodthirsty piano, and other ghoulish visions, all realized by Obayashi via a series of mattes, animation, and collage effects. Equal parts absurd and nightmarish, HOUSE might have been beamed to Earth from some other planet. Never before available on home video in the United States, it’s one of the most exciting cult discoveries in years.
Manufacturer: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Brand: IMAGE ENTERTAINMENT
How to describe Nobuhiko Obayashi’s indescribable 1977 movie HOUSE (Hausu)? As a psychedelic ghost tale? A stream-of-consciousness bedtime story? An episode of Scooby-Doo as directed by Mario Bava? Any of the above will do for this hallucinatory head trip about a schoolgirl who travels with six classmates to her ailing aunt’s creaky country home and comes face-to-face with evil spirits, a demonic house cat, a bloodthirsty piano, and other ghoulish visions, all realized by Obayashi via a series of mattes, animation, and collage effects. Equal parts absurd and nightmarish, HOUSE might have been beamed to Earth from some other planet. Never before available on home video in the United States, it’s one of the most exciting cult discoveries in years. Infamous Japanese whatsit House is the ultimate 1970s artifact. The animated opening recalls The Rocky Horror Picture Show, while former ad man Nobuhiko Obayashi extends the anything-goes impression through freeze frames, painted backdrops, and old-timey flashbacks. He starts by introducing schoolgirls Fantasy (Kumiko Ohba) and Gorgeous (Kimiko Ikegami) to groovy H.R. Pufnstuf-style music. Then Gorgeous's widowed father presents his new bride, Ryôko (Haruko Wanibuchi), who enters like Joan Crawford in a flowing white gown. Afterward, Gorgeous invites Fantasy, Melody, Kung Fu, Prof, Sweet, and Mac to her aunt's house for the summer. Little does she know that Ryôko plans to crash the party. While they gather at the train station, the film slips into slapstick Monkees territory: a shoemaker croons as Fantasy's crush object, Mr. Tôgô (Kiyohiko Ozaki), trips over Gorgeous's green-eyed cat, Blanche. The girls make it to the country without incident, but the moment they arrive at the cobweb-covered estate, freaky things start happening: Auntie (Yôko Minamida) and Blanche, for instance, have met before. The ladies delight in the weirdness, enjoying a meal and exploring the grounds, but then Mac disappears. Auntie and Blanche, meanwhile, find novel ways to entertain the...
A lifetime of police work has left Kurt Wallander with the look of a man who's seen too much. In a spare and compelling performance, Krister Henriksson does justice to the detective beloved by fans of the crime novels by Henning Mankell. The series depicts a police team in the city of Ystad, Sweden, confronting the darkness of the human heart. Wallander works with his daughter Linda, who shares his instinct for crime solving and Stefan Lindman, a young detective eager to prove himself.
An epic on the grandest scale, Luchino Visconti’s The Leopard (Il gattopardo) re-creates, with nostalgia, drama, and opulence, the tumultuous years of Italy’s Risorgimento, when the aristocracy lost its grip and the middle classes rose and formed a unified, democratic Italy. Burt Lancaster (The Killers, Brute Force), stars as an aging prince watching his culture and fortune wane in the face of a new generation, represented by the gorgeous Alain Delon (Purple Noon, Le samouraï) and Claudia Cardinale (8 1/2, Once Upon a Time in the West). The Criterion Collection is proud to present The Leopard in two distinct versions: Visconti’s original and the English-language version released in America.
Manufacturer: Criterion Collection
Ground control has been receiving strange transmissions from the remaining residents of the Solaris space station. When cosmonaut and psychologist Kris Kelvin is sent to investigate, he experiences the strange phenomena that afflict the Solaris crew, sending him on a voyage into the darkest recesses of his own consciousness. In Solaris, the legendary Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky (Ivan’s Childhood, Andrei Rublev) gives us a brilliantly original science-fiction epic that challenges our conceptions about love, truth, and humanity itself.
High School of the Dead: Complete Collection [Blu-Ray]
Manufacturer: Section 23
Brand: High School of the Dead
It began without warning. It continues without mercy. Now a band of high schoolers join forces with guns, swords, baseball bats and anything else they can get their hands on to battle a bloodthirsty, flesh-hungry zombie apocalypse. Slashing action, stunning animation, and jawdropping excitement make High School Of The Dead the most hotly anticipated adventures of the year. For horror fans and animation addicts alike, nothing offers the high-energy adrenaline of High School Of The Dead!
It began without warning. It continues without mercy. Now a band of high schoolers join forces with guns, swords, baseball bats and anything else they can get their hands on to battle a bloodthirsty, flesh-hungry zombie apocalypse. Slashing action, stunning animation, and jawdropping excitement make High School Of The Dead the most hotly anticipated adventures of the year. For horror fans and animation addicts alike, nothing offers the high-energy adrenaline of High School Of The Dead! The broadcast series High School of the Dead (2010) opens on an ordinary day at Fujima Academy in Tokyo--until hordes of zombies begin attacking people. Anyone who's bitten by them is either devoured or turned into a zombie. Sophomore Takashi Komuro, four of his friends, and Ms. Shizuka, the overendowed school nurse, fight their way out of the school and struggle to survive in a world gone mad. Using swords, baseball bats, and an arsenal of high-tech weapons and vehicles, the teenagers beat, blast, and flatten their grisly foes. The cause of the zombie plague is just one of the many important plot points that's never explained, but director Tetsuro Araki isn't really interested in presenting a coherent story. He keeps the camera looking up the girls' skirts, down their blouses, or at blank walls that get splattered with blood. In one shot certain to go down in fan-service history, he follows a projectile over one girl's breasts and under another's skirt--in slow motion. Hormonal adolescent boys who enjoy the juxtaposition of jiggle shots and blood baths are the obvious audience for High School of the Dead; other viewers should approach it with caution. (Rated TV MA VSD: graphic violence, violence against women, grotesque imagery, cannibalism, nudity, sexual situations, profanity, tobacco use) --Charles Solomon (1. Spring of the Dead, 2. Escape from the Dead, 3. Democracy Under the Dead, 4. Running in the Dead, 5. Streets of the Dead, 6. In the Dead of Night, 7. Dead Night & Dead Rock, 8. The Dead Way Home, 9. The Sword and the D...