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9/16/2010

Film & Video

DVDs Nuts!
Lesser-seen OW-approved titles

 

Afterschool

A brilliant take on modern young detachment, then-college-age director Antonio Campos (the film made the festival circuit a couple years back) brings to sobering, fascinating life the tale of prep-school loner Rob (an affecting Ezra Miller), a YouTube-era Holden Caulfield. One day, Rob captures the accidental-overdose deaths of two alpha-female sisters at the school. The students deal with their shock in unusual ways while the school wraps the horror in dishonest sentimentality then sweeps the whole thing under the rug. But what’s at stake here is Rob standing in for an entire generation: Why is he so disconnected from any real feelings? What does that say about our future? Incorporating video footage and 2.0 scraps of randomness, Campos guides the film elegantly to his point, leaving the audience, like the students, to pick up the pieces without an instruction manual. (available now)

Special Features: Deleted scenes, storyboards, outtakes, short film, interviews

Breathless

  “Informers inform, burglars burgle, murderers murder, lovers love.” Very little else needs to be said about Breathless than that bon mot from its star, Michel Poiccard (Jean-Paul Belmondo), the doomed cop-killer on the run in this defining movie in cinema history. In this most recent transfer, working from a beautiful print that recently played in select cities to celebrate the film’s 50th anniversary, Criterion boasts “improved” subtitles. Any fan of the film should be curious about how the new translation will render the infamously botched, widely varied interpretation of the film’s iconic climax. Does Poiccard think his girlfriend is disgusting, or the world in general? If you care about the answer to that question, you probably already own Breathless. (available now)

Special Features: Restored high-def digital transfer, archival interviews, new interviews, video essays, 80-minute making-of doc, short film, improved subtitle translation, essays and writings

The Locksmith

In their debut feature, co-writer-directors Brad and Todd Barnes have proclaimed their existence, and thank goodness they’re here. Their tale of an ex-con locksmith and his self-abducted mental case (Anslem Richardson and Ana Reeder – respectively; two faces that electrify the screen) is wildly original, compelling and laugh-out-loud endearing. In a scant 88 minutes, the Barnes brothers craft, from the bottom up, a world that’s both grounded and magical, and that’s before Chicago’s “Saturday in the Park” becomes a plot point. (available now)

Special Features: none

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