Lebanon

Culture Warrior

I often find that, as a devotee to cinema and little else, I understand history through cinema. After all, cinema can take me to places I’ve never been and times I never lived with a particular sensory gestalt that’s simply not quite the same in other art forms. This is not to say that I make the mistake of substituting cinema for history, or treat cinema the same way I would treat a credible historical annal. But cinema, especially narrative fiction, has a fascinating capacity to represent subjective experiences and particular perspectives of history. By considering history through its cinematic representation, we may not become authorities of chronology, but rather understand emotions and experiences associated with lived events. Few movies claim to be comprehensive authorities of historical representation through cinema (and yes, selection, while problematic is essential for historical writing as well, but cinema simply provides yet another layer of artifice). Some films are canonized as such (anything from Saving Private Ryan to Ken Burns’s documentaries), but even as these are incomplete historiographies, they are in a sense “complete” biographies of thought, reflection, interpretation, and emotion.

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This Week in DVD

The past few weeks have been incredibly light when it comes to DVD Tuesdays, but that streak of limited releases appears to have come to an end. Fourteen titles are covered below, and they run the gamut from fantastic to pure drivel with a lot in between. Titles out this week include Animal Kingdom, Dark Skies, Justified, Freakonomics, Death Race 2, and more. And yes, I was as surprised as you that Takers is worth a rental.

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This Week in Blu-ray

Another seven days of movie watching, another week of Blu-ray releases to be dissected. As we move through the back-end of awards season, it’s going to be time for all of those hot Oscar hopefuls to make their play toward cashing in on all the buzz. The benefit to you is that you’ll get to see or own most of them very soon, and you don’t even have to leave your couch. This week brings us Animal Kingdom, the still under-the-radar crime thriller from down under. It also sees the streak of Criterion continue, with two more of their films ending up in my Buy section. I’m not pandering, I promise. They are just really good at releasing films on Blu-ray. It’s almost unfair to everyone else. Except for those of us who buy their stuff, of course. All this and more is just one click away in the latest entry of This Week in Blu-ray.

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Rob Hunter checks in with his first two capsule reviews from the San Francisco International Film Festival — Hiokazu Kore-eda’s Air Doll and Samuel Moaz’s Lebanon.

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lebanon-header

Sony Pictures Classics announced today via a press release that they have acquired all US rights to the Israeli film, Lebanon, from Celluloid Dreams.

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