A--F (Listed alphabetical according to country of origin) Click here for G - Z
BIRTH **** Ten years after the sudden death of her beloved husband Sean, Anna (Nicole Kidman) is finally ready to emerge from the shadow of grief and begin a new chapter in her life. Then a mysterious boy enters her life and changes it forever. Nicole Kidman delivers a stunning performance as a woman torn between her memories of a passionate past and the nightmarish realities of a new affair. Jonathan Glazer tells the story in a subtle, unobtrusive style. This is not a 'ghost' story, or a horror, but a tale filled with mystery and suspense that will keep you guessing until the very end Read more
BLINDNESS **** From Nobel Prize winning author Jose Saramago and acclaimed director Fernando Meirelles ("The Constant Gardener," "City of God") comes the compelling story of humanity in the grip of an epidemic of mysterious blindness. It is an unflinching exploration of human nature, both bad and good--people's selfishness, opportunism, and indifference, but also their capacity for empathy, love and sheer perseverance. It begins in a flash, as one man is instantaneously struck blind while driving home from work, his whole world suddenly turned to an eerie, milky haze. One by one, each person he encounters - his wife, his doctor, even the seemingly good samaritan who gives him a lift home - will in due course suffer the same unsettling fate. As the contagion spreads, and panic and paranoia set in across the city, the newly blind victims of the "White Sickness" are rounded up and quarantined within a crumbling, abandoned mental asylum, where all semblance of ordinary life begins to break down. But inside the quarantined hospital, there is one secret eyewitness: one woman (four-time Academy Award nominee Julianne Moore) who has not been affected but has pretended she is blind in order to stay beside her beloved husband (Mark Ruffalo). Bonus Feature: Sitting at nearly an hour long, "A Vision of Blindness" follows the process of building Meirelles' film from the ground up. It shows how the director introduced the actors to the concept of blindness and transforming sounds and textures into visual elements, as well as finding the locales for which they want situate the blindness ward. It discusses the unique process of obtaining the right for the story from José Saramango, as well as the arduous process of piecing the film together. This documentary is almost completely in behind-the-scenes mode, blending casual interview time with Meirelles and his cast and crew with a slew of both direction-based and production-based footage that show the film gradually finding its way to the final product. Read more
BROKEN FLOWERS **** As the devoutly single Don Johnston (Bill Murray) is dumped by his latest girlfriend (Delpy), he receives a anonymous pink letter informing him that he has a son who may be looking for him. The situation causes Don to examine his relationships with women instead of moving on to the next one, and he embarks on a cross-country search for his old flames who might possess clues to the mystery at hand. Directed by Jim Jarmusch. Read a Q & A with director Jim Jarmusch
CALLAS FOREVER ***** Franco Zeffirelli beautifully recreates the magic, passion and artistry of the opera diva Maria Callas, known as "the voice of the century". In this loving tribute to his long-time friend, Zeffirelli imagines what could have happened at the end of Callas' life. Popular French actress Fanny Ardent delivers a stunning performance as the temperamental opera diva, with Jeremy Irons delivering another great performance as the diva's former manager who persuades her to re-launch her career. Features: Behind the scenes featurette, interviews with Zeffirelli, Ardant and Irons. Read more
CROSSING OVER **** South African-born writer-director Wayne Kramer explores the allure of the American dream, and the reality that immigrants find - and create - in 21st century L.A. Immigrants from around the world enter Los Angeles every day, with hopeful visions of a better life, but little notion of what that life may cost. Their desperate scenarios test the humanity of immigration enforcement officers. Working for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Los Angeles, Max Brogan (Harrison Ford) is an agent sworn to protect our nation's immigration laws. He deals with the thousands that try to cross over into the US in search of a better life. Through the lives of Brogan; Brogan's ICE partner Hamid Baraheri (Cliff Curtis); Denise Frankel (Ashley Judd), an immigration defense attorney; and her husband applications adjudicator Cole Frankel (Ray Liotta) we see the impact of immigration goes beyond the job and defines their lives. Read more
DOWN BY LAW (two disc edition) **** Jim Jarmusch's highly acclaimed film is best summed up by his own words: a "neo-beat-noir-comedy", with Tom Waits as a man who is imprisoned for a murder he did not commit, sharing a jail cell with a small-town pimp (John Lurie) and an effervescent Italian (Roberto Benigni). When the trio escape and land at the home of a small town immigrant, they learn to appreciate the beauty the world has to offer. Features: Optional French dub track; 1986 Cannes Film Festival press conference, outtakes, Tom Waits music video directed by Jarmusch, a question and answer with Jarmusch
THE DREAMERS **** Fans of Bernardo Bertolucci will indulge in this rich and sexy exploration of a young students sexuality. Set against the turbulent political backdrop of France in the spring of 1968 when the voice of youth was reverberating around Europe, this is a story of self-discovery as the three students test each other to see just how far they will go. Read more
GARDEN STATE **** Andrew Largeman (Zach Braff) is a moderately successful TV actor living in Los Angeles, "Large" hasn't been home to the "Garden State" in nine years. Read more
THE HOURS ***** Eerily depicting how three women from three different time periods are brought together by a masterful piece of literature, it tells the story of three very different individuals who share in common the feeling that they have been living their lives for someone else. It has excellent features and is highly recommended. Go behind the scenes
IMAGINARY HEROES **** Writer-director Dan Harris' superb human drama takes a look at a year in the lives of an ostensibly typical, upper-middle-class suburban family. It tells of a family in crisis with wit, warmth and a very contemporary sardonic spin. It features some great performance by Sigourney Weaver, Jeff Daniels and Emile Hirsch. Read more
JOHNNY GOT HIS GUN **** Described as a '70s counterculture and anti-war movie' it features Timothy Bottoms as a gentle America boy who becomes a basket case as the result of a bomb explosion during WWI. Confined to a hospital bed, with no arms, legs, face, voice or ears, he is unable to distinguish if he is awake or dreaming. He communicates through thought. This is the only film directed by writer-director Dalton Trumbo, who was jailed for 10 months in 150 and blacklisted until 1960 for refusing to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee, and wrote such classic films such as 'Roman Holiday', 'Spartacus' and 'Papillon'.
MY PRIVATE IDAHO (2 disc set) ***** Written and directed by Gus van Sant, this surreal character study focuses on the friendship between two male hustlers, who live on the streets of Portland, Oregon. It features a memorable performance by River Phoenix as the abandoned child who is obsessed with finding his long-lost mother, and Keanu Reeves as the rebellious son of a high-ranking family, who lives his life mostly to embarrass his father. Features: The making of featurette; a Kings of the Road documentary and conversations with Gus van Sant, Todd Hayes, Laurie Parker and Rain Phoenix, as well s deleted scenes.
LORDS OF DOGTOWN ***** The tough, gritty streets of "Dogtown" in Venice, California didn't look like much to outsiders, but to a handful of teenage surfers (Stacy Peralta, Tony Alva and Jay Adams) in the 1970s they were the hard, winding, sloping inspiration for a revolutionary style of skateboarding. Transferring the aggressive wave-riding moves to concrete from their death-defying surfing skills at the Pacific Ocean Park pier, the Z-Boys - mostly kids with rough home lives and rougher attitudes - became sensations, local legends. Features: Director and cast commentary; deleted scenes; featurettes on the making of; introduction to Dogtown; music video; storyboard comparisons. Read more, go behind the scenes
NATURAL BORN KILLERS - The Director's Cut ***** On the surface, "Natural Born Killers" is a simple tale of two lovers: Mickey and Mallory Knox (Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis). The catch is they are two deeply damaged, self-aware mass murderers.. There's a lot of hidden depth to why Mickey and Mallory become killers in Stone's film. Stone chooses to spell it out very clearly through the distinct, hyperactive style of editing. His experiments with multiple film stocks (35mm, 16mm, 8mm, video, etc) allow us to get glimpses into the memories and subconscious of our characters. Warner finally delivers the definitive DVD edition of "Natural Born Killers" bringing over the best supplemental features from the previous, non-Warner release and giving the film a much-needed visual overhaul. Most importantly, this is Stone's original pre-MPAA cut, restoring around three minutes of numerous small edits that range from shots of graphic violence in the riot, to subliminal disturbing images that give viewers a complete look at the constant, upset mind frame of Mickey and Mallory. Bonus Features: The pinnacle of the bonus features is Stone's relentless, dense commentary track. The man holds his own throughout the film's 122-minute runtime, talking straight into the end credits. Stone is thorough in discussing production aspects as well as story elements. The three new special features are an introduction to the film by Stone. Stone is very eloquent in his introduction, but unfortunately, for new viewers spoils many plot points, including the finale, and the ones he doesn't spoil are spoiled by footage from the film displayed behind him. If you've never seen the movie before, don't watch this introduction.
"NBK Evolution: How Would It All Go Down Now?" is a roughly 25 minute, new retrospective featurette gathering Stone and some of the film's stars (including Lewis and Harrelson) as well as figures in modern media. It's a very engaging piece that shows that the insanity Stone committed to film is relatively mild compared to the sensationalism brought on by modern media, especially when it comes to Internet fame.
"Chaos Rising" is the original making of featurette from the old DVD that again features interviews from the cast and crew. It is much more comprehensive when it comes to discussing the film itself and the experiences of those involved.
A selection of deleted scenes with optional commentary by Stone show up. While they are all very interesting, at least one would have created a major plot point conflict had it been included, despite it being one of the most shocking scenes to come out of the entire production. An alternate ending is also included that answers a big question about a character that seemingly vanishes; it features an introduction by Stone.
Finally the film's trailer and a short segment from the Charlie Rose Show featuring Stone discussing many themes covered elsewhere on this disc rounds out the bonus features.
NIGHT ON EARTH **** A collection of five stories involving cab drivers in five different cities. Los Angeles: a talent agent for the movies discovers her can driver would be perfect to cast, but the cabbie is reluctant to give up her solid cab driver's career. New York: an immigrant can driver is continually lost in a city and culture he doesn't understand. Paris: a blind girl takes a ride with a cab driver from the Ivory Coast and they talk about life and blindness. Rome: a gregarious cabbie picks up an ailing man and virtually talks him to death. Helsinki: an industrial worker gets laid off and he and his compatriots discuss the bleakness and unfairness of life and death.
THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST **** It began more than 12 years ago when Mel Gibson found himself in the midst of a spiritual crisis which led him to re-examine his own faith, and in particular, to meditate upon the nature of suffering, pain, forgiveness and redemption. "When you tackle a story that is so widely known and has so many different pre-conceptions, the only thing you can do is remain as true "This is what I tried to do." Go behind the scenes
PERMANENT VACATION *** This film that defined Jim Jarmusch's unique style is an intimate study in the search for meaning in life. Suffering a bout of insomnia, a sixteen year old drifter wanders through downtown Manhattan in search of some kind of cure for his loneliness. A chance encounter leads him to commit a crime, perhaps more from boredom than personal gain, and sends him on journey through a world populated by a series of larger-than-life characters.
THE STATION AGENT **** Anyone who has been an outsider, or lived on the fringe, or wondered if they are completely on their own in life will likely resonate with the story of Finbar McBride (Peter Dinklage), a handsome dwarf, just wants to be left alone. Go behind the scenes
STRANGER THAN FICTION *****An amazing love story about life, death and literature and what happens if these worlds collide. From first time writer Zach Helm and directed by Marc Foster (Stay, Finding Neverland), it tells of an ordinary man (Will Ferrell) who finds himself trapped in the extraordinary fictional reality of a novelist's (Emma Thompson) imagination. One morning, a seemingly average and generally solitary IRS agent named Harold Crick begins to hear a female voice narrating his every action, thought and feeling in alarmingly precise detail. There are tons of features, including alook at the casting, the design, the screenplay, as well as deleted scenes. Go behind the scenes
STRANGER THAN PARADISE **** The film that launched the career of cult filmmaker Jim Jarmusch. It follows the adventures of Willie (John Lurie) and his best friend (Richard Edson) - a couple of small time gamblers disenchanted with their lives. After a visit from his pretty Hungarian cousin (Eszter Balint), Willie at first rejects this unwanted intrusion into his life. However, after an unexpectedly large poker win, the trio sets off on an unforgettable road trip through the wastelands of Cleveland to the sunshine and blue skies of Florida and from misfortune, to fortune and back. It won the Camera d'Or for Best First Feature at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival and marks one of the most inventive and entertaining films from the U.S independent scene. Special Features: A behind the scenes film shot by Tom Jarmusch.
THE VISITOR ***** A college professor becomes embroiled in the lives of a young immigrant couple living in New York City and stumbles into an unexpected romance as a result. As these strangers struggle to deal with their individual lives in a changed world, their shared humanity is revealed in awkward, humorous and dramatic ways. In The Visitor, Walter Vale (Richard Jenkins), a widower of five years, lives an aimless life as a college economics professor in suburban Connecticut. When Walter reluctantly agrees to fill in for a colleague at a conference in New York City he discovers a young couple, Tarek and Zainab, who have been scammed into illegally renting his vacant flat. Walter agrees to let them stay until they find a place of their own and soon Walter and Tarek form a friendship of which the more guarded Zainab disapproves. However when an arbitrary interaction with the police lands Tarek, an undocumented New Yorker, in an ICE detention center Walter emerges as the only person able to visit Tarek. When Tarek's mother Mouna (Danai Gurrira) appears in search of her son, Walter's emotional commitment in Tarek's case is sealed. As the four people struggle to deal with the stark realities of the US immigration system and their own individual lives, their shared humanity is revealed in awkward, humorous and dramatic ways. Go behind the scenes Writer-director Tom McCarthy talks about The Visitor
AUSTRALIAN/ NEW ZEALAND
OYSTER FARMER ***** New Zealand filmmaker Anna Reeves' heart-warming romance tells the extraordinary story of a man (Alex O'Lachlan) who leaves Sydney to take care of his sister on the banks of the winding Hawkesbury River in New South Wales, where a population of fishermen and eccentrics live a simple live. Anna Reeves describes Oyster Farmer as her love letter to Australia. Read more
BACK ROADS *** Jack (Bill Hunter) is an aimless drifter who runs into Gary (Gary Foley), an Aborigine at a loose end after his marriage breaks up. They steal a beat up old Pontiac and begin a journey through some backroads towards the coast, picking up another aborigine, Joe (Zac Martin), a French hitch-hiker (Terry Camilleri), and a disaffected service station attendant, Anna (Julie Mcgregor), at a remote petrol station. Drinking and swearing, yarning and quarrelling, the carload arrives at a remote beach, but Anna decides to take off leaving the men, and their rifles, stranded - until they discover a parked Mercedes with the keys in it. But the find leads to tragedy. Barely feature length at 57 minutes, Backroads is a truly impressive first film from Phillip Noyce, who went on to make the multi award winning Newsfront a year later. Backroads is a road movie that fires on all cylinders: it's funny, it's political, it's engaging and the characters are tangibly real in a definitive landscape - photographed by the great Russell Boyd. Thwe bonus features include audio commentary by Phillip Noyce, and interviews with Noyce, Gary Foley and Russell Boyd.
BAD BOY BUBBY (two disc collectors edition) **** Undoubtedly one of the disturbing films ever made, this international art house hit by Australian director's Rolf de Heer, tells of an abused and exploited 35-year-old Bubby who has been confined to a two-room slum his whole life by his mother. When his father, a religious freak and alcoholic turns up, Bubby's world explodes. Features: Interviews with Rolf de Heer and star Nicholas Hope; audio commentary by de Heer and Hope. Definitely not for sensitive viewers of the faint hearted.
CANDY **** An exceptional romance that explores the fatalistic relationship between two junkies. This story is a narration from an Australian man (Heath Ledger) who falls in love with two kinds of Candy: a woman of the same name and heroin. The narrator changes from a smart-aleck to someone trying to find a vein to inject, while Candy changes from an actress, call girl, streetwalker, and then a madwoman. The features include audio commentary by director Neil Armfield and screenwriter Luke Davies, as well as interviews on them. Go behind the scenes Read more about what the cast have to say about their characters
CITY OF GOD ***** Celebrated with worldwide acclaim, this powerful true story of crime and redemption is set in the streets of the world's most notorious slum, Rio de Janeiro's 'City of God'. In the midst of the oppressive crime and violence, it focuses on a frail and scared young boy who will grow up to discover that he can view the harsh realities of his surroundings with a different eye: the eye of an artist. Go behind the scenes Read an interview with director Fernando Meirelles.
EMILE **** Starring Sir Ian McKellen, writer-director Carl Besai's touching story tells of an older man's struggle to reconnect with his past. He meets his only living relatives, his niece Nadia and her daughter, who hold the key to his tragic past and the guilt which has haunted his entire life. Features: Audio commentary by director Carl Besai, the making of.
HERO *** At the height of China's Warring States period, the country was divided into seven kingdoms. For years, the separate kingdoms fought ruthlessly for supremacy. As a result, the populace endured decades of death and suffering. . A story about what it means to be a hero. Go behind the scenes
KUNG FU HUSTLE *** A martial arts extravaganza, filled with magic and spectacle. Bizarre characters, unbelievable scenarios, and loads of fun will provide more than enough stimulation for those who enjoyed films like 'Crouching Tiger'. Be prepared to enter a world where anything is possible, and the impossible dominates the narrative that moves at the speed of a bullet. Set in Canton, China in the 1940s, the story revolves around a hapless wannabe gangster who aspires to become a member of the notorious "Axe Gang." Features: Director's commentary; deleted scenes; Interview with Stephen Chow; outtakes and bloopers. Go behind the scenes
BLACK CAT WHITE CAT **** Emir Kustirica's zany farce about three generations of gypsy men and women is a must for any collector. Although there are no features, it does include the director's trailer reel
LIFE IS A MIRACLE ***** Award-winning director Emir Kusturica (Black Cat, White Cat) brings to life an exuberant tale of star-crossed lovers, full of wine, song and dancing. An irresistible blend of riotous humour and romance, set against the turbulent backdrop of the Bosnian war of the early 90s, Kusturica's fantastic spectacle is filled with a wonderfully eccentric bunch of madcap characters, marauding bears and lovesick donkeys. The special features include a making of documentary.
UNDERGROUND ***** Prepare your senses for one of the most bizarre experiences of your life. Emir Kusturica's masterpiece won the Palme D'Or for Best Film at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival. Kusturica's extraordinary dramatic black tragi-comedy is an epic tale about love, friendship, betrayal, manipulation and lies. It is also the first film to deal with the Yugoslavian tragedy; this is not a true account of the conflict but express' the Balkan vitality, energy, humour and the will to survive, set against the complex historical backdrop of the past fifty years in Yugoslavia. It is based on Dusan Kovacevic's story 'One Upon A Time There Was A Country', the story follows two likeable crooks and the woman they both love. The three of them live and take part in a world of self delusion, deceit and abuse, but one where there is always love and tenderness. The film is in Croation-Serbian, with English subtitles. Note: Also look for Kusturica's 'Arizona Dream', and 'Black Cat, White Cat'
WELCOME TO THE STICKS (BIENVENUE CHEZ LES CH'TIS) ***** The second feature as a director of actor-comedian Dany Boon after La maison du bonheur (Dream House). Leaving his child and wife behind, the crucified man leaves for his frightening destination, a dreadfully cold place inhabited by hard-drinking, unemployed rednecks, speaking an incomprehensible dialect called Ch'ti. Philippe soon realizes that all these ideas were nothing but prejudices and that Bergues is not synonymous with hell... Go behind the scenes
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