Stone and Who Loves the Sun among DVD release highlights
Featuring boxsets of Akira Kurosawa, Richard Woolley and Luis Buñuel
Here’s what may be of interest on DVD and Blu-ray that’s coming out in March. An Unflinching Eye: The Films of Richard Woolley (BFI ●●●●) brings together the almost complete short and feature work of this overlooked British filmmaker whose films were as important in essaying Britain’s social decline in the 1970s and 80s as those of Mike Leigh and Ken Loach. Highlights include his two best features Brothers and Sisters and Telling Tales.
City Island (Anchor Bay ●●●) is a likeably intimate comedy drama about a dysfunctional New York family. Andy Garcia stars as Vince Rizzo, a prison guard with a secret dream of becoming an actor. Julianna Margulies, Alan Arkin and Emily Mortimer bring a lot of class to this modest farce.
Just when you had finished watching all of Akira Kurosawa’s films on DVD, here comes Early Kurosawa: The Unknown Films of Akira Kurosawa (BFI ●●●●) containing Kurosawa’s long unavailable first six features. None of these films are as good as Yojimbo, Seven Samurai, Red Beard ad nauseum but they all contain suggestions and premonitions of the brilliance to come.
Crime drama Stone (Lionsgate ●●●) starring acting heavyweights Robert De Niro and Ed Norton, didn’t get a cinema release in the UK last year, which is a shame because this double-crossing psychological drama is better than some films that did, and of course it’s a veritable smorgasbord of method acting.
Susana and The Brute (both Bongo, both ●●●●) are two of the great Andalusian surrealist and filmmaker Luis Buñuel’s little seen 1950s melodramas. Susana (also known as The Devil and the Flesh) is a satiric fable of erotic desire and communal decay, while The Brute is an unblinking melodrama of capitalist brutality and corruption.
Powerful little seen psychological thriller The Night of the Following Day (Odeon ●●●●) starring Marlon Brando and Richard Boone gets a long overdue release, the depth and sadism of this 1968 kidnap drama now seems way ahead of its time.
Finally Canadian also-ran indie film director (and one-time Mr Molly Parker) Matt Bissonnette’s lovely 2006 film Who Loves the Sun (Axiom ●●●●) finally emerges on DVD. This dawdling tale of homecomings and old loves is as relaxing as English language cinema gets without herbal intervention.