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NEW RELEASES - August 2

FRESH FROM THE THEATERS

Downfall (2004).

Few films have sparked as much contentious debate in Germany in recent years as Downfall, the wrenching depiction of the last ten days of Adolf Hitler, his lover, Eva Braun, and more than a few top-level Nazis and their families in a bunker deep underground while the city above them, Berlin, burned. Hitler had been depicted in German films before, but never in such a human light. Was this permissible? Or, on the other hand, was it even necessary for an understanding of evil as originating from within our own nature rather than from some conveniently exterior supernatural force?

Regardless of where critics, philosophers and politicians, at home and abroad, stood on the film (nominated for an Oscar in the Foreign Language category), few have denied that Bruno Ganz's performance as the dictator sinking ever deeper into paranoia and dementia is absolutely riveting.

Alexander (Director's Cut; 2004).

When both Baz Luhrmann and Oliver Stone announced all but simultaneously that their next films would be epic retellings of the legend of the Macedonian conqueror, the race was on. Stone won, but the speed with which he crossed the finish line may not have served his film all that well. Here, with the Director's Cut, he gets another shot at reshaping the tale. Starring Colin Farrell, Anthony Hopkins and, "with nose-flaring gusto" (Manohla Dargis in the New York Times), Angelina Jolie.

"Not being an Oliver Stone fan, I am beyond shocked at how much I enjoyed his Alexander - first moment to last," writes talltale. "One of the most intelligent of spectacles, the movie is almost always gorgeous to watch without hitting you over the head with its display."

Bonus disc.

FOREIGN

Beautiful Boxer (2004).

"Ekacahi Uekrongtham's debut feature is a beautifully shot chronicle of the trials, tribulations and watery makeup days that face all transvestites trying to earn the cash for their transgender surgery while labouring in Thailand's kick boxing industry," writes James Wegg at Film Threat. "Beautiful Boxer is a magical vision of the ring of the imagination, where anything is possible if the top of the seemingly impossible staircase of self acceptance can be reached."

What's more: "The kick boxing is incredible," says ZArkles.

CLASSICS

The Thin Man (1934).

"Pretty girl."
"Yes. She's a very nice type."
"You got types?"
"Only you, darling. Lanky brunettes with wicked jaws."

Ah, Nick and Nora, William Powell and Myrna Loy, and their irresistible blend of sophisticated cosmopolitanism and pure American, wisecracking sass. Under the direction of W.S. Van Dyke, they set the standard and no other married pair of detectives would ever rise to it.

If you fall in love with the series as deeply as we're sure you will, check out our Screwball Comedy primer for more whiplash double entendre.

After the Thin Man (1936).

Another Thin Man (1939).

Shadow of the Thin Man (1941).

The Thin Man Goes Home (1944).

Song of the Thin Man (1947).

Hollywood Remembers: Myrna Loy - So Nice to Come Home To (1991).

EXPERIMENTAL / AVANT-GARDE

Avant-Garde: Experimental Cinema of the 1920s and 30s (2005).

In the latter half of the 20th Century, Raymond Rohauer was one of the nation's foremost proponents of experimental cinema. Programming diverse films at the Coronet Theatre in Los Angeles, and making the films in his personal archive available for commercial distribution, he helped preserve and promote avant-garde cinema. This two-DVD collection assembles some of the most influential and eclectic short films in the Rohauer Collection, including works by Man Ray, Hans Richter, Marcel Duchamp, Watson & Webber, Fernand Léger, Joris Ivens, Dimitri Kirsanoff, Jean Epstein and Orson Welles.

Disc 2.

ANIME

Lupin III Volume 11: From Moscow With Love (2005).

Will Lupin's sexy and mysterious rival Fujiko help him in his next heist or lead him into Interpol Inspector Zenigata's next ambush? "Silly and slapsticky," says IronS of the series. She means it in the best way, of course.

Browse the New Releases Archive for more recent arrivals.

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