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Addiction: On DVD, too.

Addiction

Addiction: HBO's stellar new documentary strives to break through the myths and explain what addiction really is, what causes it and what can solve it. If that sounds depressing, know that the film consists of nine separate segments directed by some of the medium's best directors, including Albert Maysles, Eugene Jarecki, Chris Hegedus, D.A. Pennebaker, and Barbara Kopple. The San Francisco Chronicle calls Addiction "extraordinary." The 4-disc set includes 3 discs of additional content that will not premiere on the network.

Continue Reading Addiction: On DVD, too.

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New on DVD: March 20, 2007

Several intriguing docs, a fairly harrowing political thriller from Hollywood, a classic noir via Criterion and a heartwarming story about racism in England highlight this week's eclectic batch of new releases.

Read on for titles new and coming soon!

Continue Reading New on DVD: March 20, 2007

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Animated Soviet Propaganda

A real curio just arrived on DVD which should pique the interest of animation buffs and those interested in 20th century propaganda:

Animated Soviet Propoganda

The New York Times wrote at length about the set this week:

A four-disc boxed set that includes both a two-hour documentary and six hours’ worth of short films, “Animated Soviet Propaganda” opens a window on a lost art from a lost world. Animation began in Russia under the czars, with the morbid wit of Ladislaw Starewicz’s stop-motion creations using the stiff little bodies of insects. (In “The Camerman’s Revenge” a grasshopper uses a movie camera to catch his unfaithful mate in flagrante delicto.) But after revolution and civil war, film acquired a new importance to the state.

With the establishment of the Soviet Union in 1922, Lenin proclaimed the cinema the most important of all the arts, presumably for its ability to communicate directly with the oppressed and widely illiterate masses; in that same year Stalin was named general secretary of the central committee and the Soviet censorship office was established — two developments that did not facilitate the free exchange of ideas.

Read the whole piece here.

Critic J Hoberman wrote about this on the Village Voice here.

A big chunk of part 1 is up on Google Video here >>

Rent or buy the set here >>

Continue Reading Animated Soviet Propaganda

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D. A. Pennebaker: Looking Back - Revisiting Monterey Pop

Interview By Jonathan Marlow

"The Monterey International Pop Festival forever altered world culture and music when it was held June 16 - 18, 1967. Monterey Pop drew hundreds of thousands of people to Monterey in Northern California. For one weekend, the harsh realities of the Vietnam War, student unrest, the Cold War, racism, urban riots, poverty and domestic politics were suspended and even transcended." -- Edna Gundersen, USA Today, March 2, 2007

The fortieth anniversary of Monterey Pop is upon us. To mark the occasion a special screening will take place tomorrow; Saturday March 17th at SXSW preceded by a panel featuring Lou Adler, Andrew Oldham and Michelle Phillips from The Mamas and The Papas. Read on for the second part of our interview with director D.A. Pennebaker, conducted by Jonathan Marlow.

Continue Reading D. A. Pennebaker: Looking Back - Revisiting Monterey Pop

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Our Boundaries, Our Selves - The Films of Hong Sang-soo

By Adam Hartzell

"I want to make a film that satisfies me first, especially in terms of aesthetic qualities and in terms of truthfulness... If I can have 50,000 people who really like my film, and who can understand what I'm trying to deliver, then that suits me very well. Numbers are not really that important." - Hong Sang-soo, Interview with J. Scott Burgeson, Bug Vol. 3 (1998).

Famed Korean master Hong Sang-soo, recipient of a special retrospective at this year's SF Int'l Asian American Film Festival, will be in San Francisco attending the festival. Catch this years SFIAAFF starting March 15th and ending March 25th.

Continue Reading Our Boundaries, Our Selves - The Films of Hong Sang-soo

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GreenCine Film Guide: Religion & Spirituality

By Heather Johnson

"Spiritual and/or religious themes permeate films of nearly all genres and budgetary means, either blatantly obvious or nestled elusively between the lines. But whether low-key comedy or bold, intellectual drama, many films with a mission ultimately fall into the spiritual or religious category, as each category bears its own characteristics. What follows are two interwoven "sub-primers," if you will. The two subgenres have much in common, but use different approaches to get their message across. The spiritual film takes an inner-directed road to our quest for higher purpose. The film may point to divine principles, but it may also inspire us to forge our own path toward discovering our true nature..."

Continue Reading GreenCine Film Guide: Religion & Spirituality

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Casino Royale: No cheese.

Casino Royale: A James Bond flick making some critics' ten best lists? This one did. A tough new 007 in Daniel Craig, a great story (from Ian Fleming's first book) - all brought new life to the franchise. "The most exciting Bond film in decades," raved Entertainment Weekly's Owen Glieberman.

Adds Peter Travers of Rolling Stone: "Craig gives us James Bond in the fascinating act of inventing himself. This you do not want to miss."

And to bone up on Bond, pre-Craig, here's a handy intro, a primer, a guide if you will. Shaken, not stirred. James Bond Guide >>

Continue Reading Casino Royale: No cheese.

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The Perfect Crime (El Crimen Ferpecto)/Interview with Alex de la Iglesia

The Perfect Crime: Also known by its more humorous, ironic title, "El Crimen Ferpecto", Alex de la Iglesia's black comedy features the director's patent mix of violence and farce. "Antic and outrageous," wrote the New York Times, "a bright, gaudy and tremendously satisfying ride."

A "gorgeous film to look at, shot and cut with pizzazz and filled with pitch-perfect characters and performances," adds Twitch.

Jonathan Marlow interviewed the director about the film and his other works.

Continue Reading The Perfect Crime (El Crimen Ferpecto)/Interview with Alex de la Iglesia

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“Pull ze Strings!": Ed Wood - A Salute to Incompetence

by Sean Axmaker

"Is Ed Wood the worst director who ever lived? Harry and Michael Medved crowned the cross-dressing auteur with that dubious honor in the their backhanded tribute to trash cinema The Golden Turkey Awards, and his reputation has since grown to mythic proportions." A brand new collection of Ed Wood's films have been released on DVD; The Ed Wood Collection - A Salute to Incompetence. Read on as Sean Axmaker revisits Woods' career and the indelible impression he left on cult cinema.

 

Continue Reading “Pull ze Strings!": Ed Wood - A Salute to Incompetence

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New on DVD: March 13, 2007

The first great Bond film in years, a memorable black comedy from Spain, a notorious nudie indie from Hedwig's John Cameron Mitchell, and two masterpieces from Japan highlight this very eclectic week of DVD releases.

On Burmese Harp: Kon Ichikawa's gorgeous meditation on the aftermath of war, as seen through the eyes of a Japanese soldier who becomes a monk while his mates are held captive in a POW camp, comes to us in a newly restored edition from Criterion. Also out today is Ichikawa's follow-up, the darker Fires on the Plain, also set at the end of the war; both films would make a fine double-feature with Letters from Iwo Jima. Harp is an enormously moving work of art; not to be missed.

Click the link below to see all the titles out on DVD today.

Continue Reading New on DVD: March 13, 2007

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