A Tunisian widow takes an unlikely journey of self-discovery in Raja Amari’s sumptuous and sensual SATIN ROUGE. While investigating a suspected liaison between her headstrong teenaged daughter and a cabaret musician, Lilia becomes drawn to an exhilarating nightclub netherworld of Rubenesque belly dancers and nocturnal pleasure-seekers. In trading her shapeless housedresses for sequins and satin, she begins to emerge from her cocoon of melancholy and loneliness. Writer-director Amari’s tale of liberation recalls Douglas Sirk’s 1950s suburban melodramas as it also paints a distinctly modern portrait of Arab women.
The Sixties may have been even more exaggerated in the hothouse atmosphere of the East German musical HOT SUMMER than they ever were in Beach Blanket Bingo. In HOT SUMMER, the East Germany’s ‘Grease’, two groups of high school students–eleven girls and ten boys–meet on their way to a vacation on the Baltic Sea they face off like a rugby team, and with one extra girl there’s bound to be trouble. The inevitable love story soon brews between the impetuous Kai (Frank Schöbel) and the precocious Brit (Chris Doerk), who are soon professing their love to each other… and starting trouble for everyone else in the group. The popularity of Schöbel and Doerk, an East German pop duet, helped HOT SUMMER skyrocket to be one of the top films of 1968 and placed the film’s music on all the hit radio play lists. Beginning with its release, this German camp classic provided sheer entertainment value to teens in a culture that was undergoing deep political changes. In 1968 audiences rushed to movie theatres to watch this teenage-romp over and over again. Back then the film carried a unique promise of freedom and happiness in the socialist system. When the film was shot, none of the filmmakers could foresee the dreadful disaster which would occur in the Prague Spring of August 1968. In this respect HOT SUMMER, by mere chance, offered the perfect escape from the images of Soviet tanks rolling into Czechoslovakia and an escape from the realization, that with this, the last chance for a liberal and democratic socialism had died.
Bollywood Hollywood is a delightful, cross-cultural parody of both India’s and America’s musical film traditions. Directed by Deepa Mehta (Earth), Bollywood Hollywood concerns the desperate effort of wealthy businessman Rahul (Rahul Khanna) to get his mother and grandmother off his back when it comes to his romantic life. In love with a white pop-star girlfriend (Jessica Paré), Rahul’s fortunes change when she dies. Still grieving, he is told by his mother that Rahul’s only sister won’t be allowed to marry until he finds a nice Indian girl to wed. The solution: hire a beautiful, dark-skinned, allegedly Spanish escort named Sue (Lisa Ray) to pose as his Indian fiancée. With tongue firmly planted in cheek, Mehta pokes fun at a number of Bollywood cinema clichés, especially that familiar mix of modern luxury and old world traditions, melodramas involving the saddest of character backstories, and spontaneous musical numbers that remind one as much of Hollywood’s Golden Age as Bollywood’s current one. –Tom Keogh
Stage and Spectacle: Three Films by Jean Renoir (The Golden Coach / French Cancan / Elena and Her Men) (The Criterion Collection)
Near the end of his long and celebrated career, master filmmaker Jean Renoir indulged his lifelong obsession with life-as-theater and directed The Golden Coach (1953), French Cancan (1955), and Elena and Her Men (1956), three delirious films, infatuated with the past, love, and artifice. Awash in jubilant Technicolor, each film interweaves public display and private feelings through the talents of three immortal film icons#Anna Magnani, Jean Gabin, and Ingrid Bergman. The Criterion Collection is proud to present these three majestic films by Jean Renoir for the first time on DVD.
Two childhood friends, Javier and Beatriz, coerced by their parents, agreed to get engaged. Although Javier is in love with a cabaret singer and Beatrice is head over heels with a painter. The pair agrees to continue the comedy until they finally manage to break the engagement, but when they do it, they realize then that are in love with each other.Spanish:Dos amigos de la infancia, Javier y Beatriz, coaccionados por sus padres, se comprometen oficialmente aunque Javier ama a una cantante de cabaret y Beatriz está enamorada de un pintor. Los dos acuerdan seguir la comedia de su compromiso hasta que consiguen finalmente romperlo, pero ambos se enamoran.
The Best of Abbott & Costello, Vol. 3 (Abbott & Costello Go to Mars / Abbott & Costello in the Foreign Legion / Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein / Abbott & Costello Meet the Invisible Man / Abbott & Costello Meet the Killer / Comin' Round the Mountain
Includes the following movies, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein Mexican Hayride Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff Abbott and Costello in the Foreign Legion Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man Comin’ Round the Mountain Lost in Alaska Abbott and Costello Go to MarsNOTE:There is a message on the title menu which states "flip the disc over to play the other two episodes."
The sensuality and stylized ritual of the tango are captured in this illuminating documentary. Director Jorge Zanada spent years researching and recording the tango’s place in Argentine culture and exploring the machismo that drives the dance. Most riveting are the milongueros-the amateur dancers who preserve the pure, traditional steps. Their intimate stories about their personal experiences reveal the intensity that feed their individual tango styles. Numerous tango aficionados, including actors Robert Duvall and Juan Carlos Copes (star of Broadway’s TANGO ARGENTINO), make special appearances. A passionate valentine to what Martha Graham called "the most beautiful dance of this century."
Merchant Ivory Productions, The Criterion Collection, and Home Vision Entertainment are proud to present The Merchant Ivory CollectionThe Householder is the story of a shy, young, underpaid Delhi schoolteacher (Shashi Kapoor) who marries and then, little by little, gets to know his young wife during their first year together. She is a charmer with a mind of her own, yet is as little prepared for marriage as he. Their story is full of a variety of subtle but shining pleasures and charming touches of humor. The characters they encounter are unforgettable, especially his mother-in-law, a tearful tyrant who comes to live with them, and the platitudinous headmaster and obsequious senior master at the school. The wonder of this story derived from the culture of modern, middle-class India is that it is able to transcend national boundaries and relate to the problems common to young couples everywhere. This landmark film also marks the first collaboration between producer Ismail Merchant, director James Ivory, and screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (adapting her acclaimed novel for the screen), a productive artistic relationship that has continued for forty years and produced many award-winning films.
Considered one of the most important figures in the history of British television, Dennis Potter (The Singing Detective, Pennies from Heaven) created numerous widely-acclaimed television dramas. Powerful and often controversial, his groundbreaking works continue to enthrall audiences worldwide. Dennis Potter: 3 To Remember showcases three exquisite but rarely-seen teleplays shot on location and specifically produced for London Weekend Television. Blade on the Feather (Original UK Broadcast: 10/19/80) Jason (Donald Pleasence), a reclusive author, is visited by Daniel (Tom Conti), a young admirer, but both men are more than they claim to be. After Daniel seduces Jason’s daughter, dark secrets are unearthed. Rain on the Roof (Original UK Broadcast: 10/26/80) Disturbed by her husband’s infidelity, Janet (Cheryl Campbell) flirts with her simple reading student Billy (Ewan Stewart). Unfortunately, her advances trigger aggressive behavior in Billy, putting her and her husband in danger. Cream in my Coffee (Original UK Broadcast: 11/2/80) Past and present intertwine between the early 1930s – where a young couple Bernard (Peter Chelsom) and June (Shelagh McLeod) are having a pre-marital fling, and the present – where the same couple, now elderly (played by Lionel Jeffries and Peggy Ashcroft), revisit the Grand Hotel in Eastbourne, the scene of their blossoming romance. Also Includes: Dennis Potter: The Last InterviewBroadcast in April 1994, this Channel 4 television special was recorded only three months prior to Potter’s death and features the dramatist candidly discussing his life and career with interviewer Melvyn Bragg.
Sometimes the game of love requires a little cheating… The Other Side of the Bed is a raucous and sexy romantic comedy with a musical twist. The film tells the story of two couples, along with a collection of their friends and co-workers, whose switching back and forth between lovers leads to lies and heartache – and lots of song and dance.
Recently recovered and restored, here is one of the best films you’ve never heard of. This lavish, action-filled, poignant, and extremely cinematic adventure/romance follows the episodic adventures of a chivalrous noble (Pierre Blanchar) traveling incognito, and a dastardly duke ("Algiers’" Charles Boyer) pursuing innocent damsel Lien Deyers in the basest manner. Highway robbers, swordfights, disguises, and the very long arm of coincidence spice up this colorful, lively romp in the vein of "The Three Musketeers." Digitally mastered from a beautiful 35mm tinted print and featuring new English titles, this recovered classic recently premiered to great acclaim in Europe and now prepares to swashbuckle its way onto DVD!
Christophe Honoré further makes a case as one of the most exciting filmmakers of our generation with the exuberant and tender Love Songs (Les Chansons D’Amour), a modern day musical told through unforgettable songs sung entirely by the cast. In the hope of sparking their stalled relationship, Ismaël (Louis Garrel, Dans Paris, The Dreamers) and Julie (Ludivine Sagnier, Swimming Pool) enter a playful yet emotionally laced threesome with Alice (Clotilde Hesme, Regular Lovers). When tragedy strikes, these young Parisians are forced to deal with the fragility of life and love.
Anthony is a bland and cautious American office worker living in Tokyo with nothing exceptional about him. Or so he thinks. When his young son is killed, Anthony begins a violent and bizarre metamorphosis, his flesh transforming into metal, his body expressing his repressed rage and lust for revenge. Anthony is becoming the weapon that will destroy the man who killed his son and, if his rage cannot be contained, the entire city in the process. Cult director Shinya Tsukamoto s TETSUO trilogy comes full-circle with TETSUO: THE BULLET MAN.