Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Upcoming Movies on DVD

... was peeking at the "Coming soon to DVD" section in the bottom right corner of Roger Ebert's main page. Three films to be excited about will be released on DVD in the next month or two: Arther Penn's Night Moves, Jerry Schatzberg's Scarecrow, and Jean Luc Godard's Weekend (which I've been eagerly waiting for). Night Moves (which stars Gene Hackman) I haven't seen, but it's a private-eye thriller that supposedly is somewhat subversive -- one of the 1970's movies that Robin Wood gets excited about in his interesting Hollywood from Vietnam to Reagan, which posits that many of the films of the 1970's showed a society in a state of unease; that, pre-Star Wars, pre-Rambo, pre-Spielberg, there was actually a period in American cinema where filmmakers could ask difficult questions, expose contradictions and confusions in American society, and serve to upset the status quo -- something Wood sees little hope for in the state of contemporary cinema. Scarecrow, which I have seen, certainly also deserves a place in such a book -- it's a movie about two drifters, played by Gene Hackman and Al Pacino, trying to survive together on the road. It's one of those films that slips something under your skin that stays; though I would never call it a favourite film of mine, every few years I have the desire to see it, to work with it, to try to understand it better, to feel what it wants me to feel as we watch its protagonists' generally downward arc. I'll probably buy the DVD.

I've also seen Weekend. It's harder to describe. It's Godard's angry rejection of bourgeois cinema, his assertion of an intent to challenge, assault, and criticize the way movies are viewed. It also deals with violence and our reactions to it, and, if I recall, has a middleclass couple setting out on a holiday which ends in revolution, murder and cannibalism... I'm interested in seeing it mostly because its one of the only films by Godard that I felt I fully understood and sympathized with -- usually with Godard I feel things whooshing by my head at every turn. It's been some time since I attempted to view his films (I challenged myself to Hail Mary, Prenom: Carmen, and a few other late-period films of his when I was in my early 20's), so I might be in a better position to view them now... I'm certainly looking forward to seeing Weekend again.

For anyone's reference, the films I'd most like to see distributed on DVD are, in the order they occur to me:

Cassavetes' Husbands and Love Streams
Robert Kramer's Ice and Milestones
Nic Roeg's Performance and Bad Timing
Antonioni's Zabriskie Point and The Passenger
the first season of The Naked City, starring John McIntyre
Lars Von Trier's Zentropa
Philip Ridley's The Reflecting Skin
Bertrand Tavernier's Death Watch (the long version, please! Great, unknown film with Harvey Keitel, Max von Sydow, and Harry Dean Stanton -- all very bankable! -- plus the last performance of the terrific Romy Schneider)
Bruce Sweeney's Dirty
Jeremy Podeswa's Eclipse
Ingmar Bergman's Face to Face
Wim Wenders' Alice in the Cities, Wrong Move, Kings of the Road, and The State of Things
Nick Ray's The Lusty Men
More Bela Tarr
More Peter Watkins (esp. Privilige)
Any Aleksei German (Russian filmmaker I've had recommended to me)
All Jodorowsky... and I mean in legit, Region 1 formats!!!

...I must be forgetting a few. Feel free to append your own list in the comments section!

1 comment:

ammacinn said...

...I forgot to include Ken Russell's The Devils...