The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (Momentum Pictures): The adaptation of the bestselling novel by Steig Larsson sees a discredited journalist (Mikael Blomkvist) and a mysterious computer hacker (Harriet Vanger) uncover dark secrets about a wealthy family, whilst trying to solve a 40 year-old murder.
Tokyo Story (BFI): The most famous and acclaimed film from Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu is a moving family drama about a married couple (played by Chishu Ryu and Chieko Higashiyama) who visit their grown children in Tokyo only to find their offspring too absorbed in their own lives to spend much time with them.
Exploring family relations, regret and the difficulties of life in a nuanced way Ozu crafted a film that has gathered enormous momentum down the years.
Partly this is down to the distinctively sparse style of Ozu’s camera work (he loves stillness and stationary shots) but it is also because the themes explored have a timeless poignancy.
Added to this is the backdrop of 1950s Japan which had only just emerged from the devastation of World War II which gives it a distinctively bittersweet flavour.
The film is usually included on more serious critics polls, so the its UK debut on Blu-ray from the BFI is a fairly big deal for serious cinema fans.
This is a dual disc version that includes the Blu-ray and DVD disc also contains a liner notes booklet with an essay by Professor Joan Mellen and Ozu biographer Tony Rayns.
Dual Format Edition: includes both Blu-ray and the DVD versions of the main feature
Also contains full length Ozu feature, Brothers and Sisters of the Toda Family (DVD only)
Original Theatrical Trailer
Extensive illustrated booklet featuring essays and film notes
Cameraman: The Jack Cardiff Story (Optimum Releasing): A new documentary from director Craig McCall explores the career of Jack Cardiff, one of Britain’s most famous cinematographers.
With a life that spanned the development of cinema, taking in silent film and the advent of Technicolor cinematographer Cardiff worked with luminaries such as Michael Powell, John Huston, Alfred Hitchcock, Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart and Audrey Hepburn.
On films such as A Matter of Life and Death (1946), Black Narcissus (1947), The Red Shoes (1948) and The African Queen (1951) he established himself as a world class talent and in 2001 he became the first cinematographer to receive an honorary, Lifetime Achievement Oscar® for:
“Exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences; and for outstanding services to the Academy.”
Director Craig McCall has been working on this documentary for several years, interviewing Jack himself (who passed away last year) and various admirers including Martin Scorsese, Thelma Schoonmaker, Kathleen Byron, Kim Hunter, Moira Shearer, John Mills, Lauren Bacall, Charlton Heston and Kirk Douglas.
Extras on the DVD include the following:
Interview With Craig McCall by Ian Christie (12:50)
In his search he comes across the newly arrived US Administrator of Iraq (Greg Kinnear); a CIA agent (Brendan Gleeson); a Wall Street Journal reporter (Amy Ryan); a local Iraqi (Khalid Abdalla); and a special forces Major (Jason Isaacs). Although a pulsating and technically brilliant thriller, the political subtext of the film is somewhat undermined by changing of names and details for legal reasons. [Empire Leicester Square & Nationwide / 15] (Previews from March 10th)
Although the performances are all solid and the technical aspects first rate, the underlying premise of the story feels an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Appropriately it references Hitchcock a lot (especially Vertigo), but never reaches the heights of Scorcese’s finest work, even if that is far better than most living directors. [Vue West End & Nationwide / 15]
Hachi: A Dog’s Tale (Entertainment): A US remake of the Japanese film Hachikō Monogatari directed by Lasse Hallström (who also made My Life As A Dog) starring Richard Gere as a college professor who has a special bond with an abandoned dog he takes into his home.
It went straight to DVD in the US but UK distributor Entertainment will be hoping that dog lovers and those looking for lighter fare this week will check it out. [Nationwide / U]
The books have become a sensation around the globe, selling over 21 million copies worldwide. The fact that the film is in Swedish, will inevitably mean reduced earnings but could still do decent arthouse and crossover business for Momentum. The inevitable Hollywood remake is already in the works and that probably will make more of an impact at the global box office. [Curzon Mayfair, Vue West End & Nationwide / 18]
The Kreutzer Sonata (Axiom Films): Following on from ivansxtc (2002) director Bernard Rose has done another re-imagining of a Tolstoy story exploring the darker side of Hollywood. The second of a planned trilogy, this sees a wealthy philanthropist (Danny Huston), who meets a beautiful and talented pianist (Elisabeth Röhm). [Key Cities / 18] (Scotland from March 26th)
The Ape (ICA Films): A Swedish noir film about an unsympathetic man who wakes up in a bathroom covered in blood and slowly realise what horrific circumstances brought him there. [ICA Cinema]