DVD & BLU-RAY PICKS
The Conformist (Arrow Video): Bernardo Bertolucci’s adaptation of Alberto Moravia’s novel is a dazzling exploration of his country’s facist past. When an Italian bureaucrat (Jean-Louis Trintignant) becomes an assassin for Mussolini‘s secret police, we see his troubled past in flashback, as he attempts to kill a former mentor now living in Paris. A landmark in cinematography, Vittorio Storaro’s compositions and lighting are some of the best of the 1970s and not only proved influential but led to work with directors such as Coppola (Apocalypse Now) and Beatty (Reds). A haunting portrait of Europe in the 1930s under the spell of Facism. [Buy the Dual Format DVD/Blu-ray from Amazon UK]
We Need to Talk About Kevin (Artificial Eye): Lynne Ramsay’s return to films after nine years is a dazzling adaptation of Lionel Shriver’s novel is a bold and unsettling drama that borders on horror. Depicting the anxieties of a middle class American mother (Tilda Swinton) it charts her disturbing relationship with her son over a number of years: the young toddler (Rocky Duer), the creepy 6-8 year old (Jasper Newell) and the malevolent teenager (Ezra Miller). Brilliant audio-visual design and a predictably great performance from Swinton are just some of the highlights, as the film homes in with laser-like precision on the darkest fears of motherhood. [Buy the Blu-ray or DVD from Amazon UK] [Read our full review]
The Mizoguchi Collection (Artificial Eye): A Blu-ray release a box set with four films by Japanese director Kenji Mizoguchi, renowned for his renowned for his carefully constructed takes and emotional purity. It contains the following films:
- Osaka Elegy (1936): A woman living in 1930s Osaka (Isuzu Yamada) struggles to deal with the men who control her emotional and working life.
- Sisters of the Gion (1936): The story of two geisha sisters living in an okiya of their own in Kyoto.
- The Story Of The Last Chrysanthemum (1939): Based on an ancient legend, the son of a renowned Kabuki actor falls in love with a servant girl, and his father violently opposes the union.
- Utamaro And His Five Women (1946): A famed 18th-century Edo artist expresses his love for five women through his paintings.
In Time (20th Century Fox Home Ent.) [Blu-ray / Normal]
Mr Popper’s Penguins (20th Century Fox Home Ent.) (Blu-ray / Normal)
Paranormal Activity 3 (Paramount Home Entertainment) [Blu-ray / Normal]
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (20th Century Fox Home Ent.) [Blu-ray / Normal]
Sleeping Beauty (Revolver Entertainment) [Blu-ray / Normal]
The Front Line (Showbox Media Group) [Blu-ray / Normal]
The Scorpion King 3 – Battle for Redemption (Universal Pictures) [Blu-ray / Normal]
The Three Musketeers (Entertainment One) [Blu-ray / Normal]