The Conformist

This Week in DVD

Welcome back to This Week In DVD and the last day of February! Well, what should be the last day but is instead actually the 2nd to last thanks to the shenanigans of the evil and gilled Leap Dave Williams. Only one big title hits shelves this week, but it’s an Academy Award winner! Other titles that aren’t named Hugo include a few fantastic and exciting foreign films (The Front Line, Rabies, The Yellow Sea), a few less exciting foreign films (The Conformist, Tomorrow When the War Began, Mandrill) and more! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. I Melt With You Four old college friends (Thomas Jane, Rob Lowe, Christian McKay, Jeremy Piven) get together annually for a drug-fueled weekend, but their latest reunion finds each of them at the lowest point of their lives. All four leads do a fantastic job in this energetic but terribly depressing movie that examines the ideas of failure, depression and expectations at the mid-point of a man’s life. Things tease the point of over-doing it, but the lasting effect is a powerful one as the men face the lives and mistakes they’ve made. Plus Carla Gugino, Arielle Kebbel, and Sasha Grey! Director Mark Pellington has a couple solid films under his belt (Arlington Road and The Mothman Prophecies), but his main career focus seems to be music videos so it’s fitting that his latest film matches the stylish visuals, heavy emotional toll and powerful […]

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With a little less than a week to go until I land at Nice Airport and get the hugely unglamorous Hack Bus into Cannes along with my boys from ObsessedWithFilm.com to begin FSR’s official Cannes film festival 2011 coverage, now is surely a prudent time to offer my thoughts on the biggest and brightest films showing on the Croisette this year. You already know what films are showing, so I won’t exhaustively trawl back through the list, but I wanted to take the opportunity to announce what I am particularly excited about. This also gives me the opportunity post-festival to look back at happier, simpler times when my optimism at seeing four films a day wasn’t yet destroyed by watching three incredibly boring flicks in a row, followed by a blockbuster during which I fell asleep (as happened in 2009). Anyway, lesson learned, and this year I’ll be packing as many natural amphetamines as possible. If you’re heading out there look for me, I’ll be the guy with the grinding jaw, the sallow eyes and the notepad full of doodles/plans to change the future of cinema. So anyway, here’s what I’m looking forward to most.

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The Cannes Film Festival is about far more than just the Competition titles, and the Cannes Classics line-up allows those willing to broaden their focus to experience often seminal works on the big-screen for the first time. Last year, I nearly got to see The African Queen for instance, but was sadly unable thanks to a clash in the chaotic screening schedule. This year, I’m determined to see at least one of the just-announced films in the line-up, and I shall not be thwarted. Unless there’s something, like really good on at the same time… Anyway, the official Cannes site has today released the Classics, and features some of the most important films in cinematic history, including the restored color version of Georges Méliès’ A Trip To The Moon, beefed up with a brand new soundtrack from French hipsters AIR, plus restored prints of A Clockwork Orange and special screenings of Bertolucci’s The Conformist and De Niro’s A Bronx Tale. That’s some line-up for what is usually considered only a tertiary concern out on the Croisette. The full line-up is as follows:

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Criterion Files

One of the unwritten wish-fulfillment articles I’ve had in mind for Culture Warrior that nobody will ever read is an overview of cinematic adaptations of the work of the Marquis de Sade, including anything ranging from an early cinematic adaptation of his work in the landmark Surrealist film L’Âge d’Or to his comparatively more mainstream embodiment by none other than Geoffrey Rush in Quills to osbsure examples from all over the globe like Czech filmmaker Jan Svankmejer’s part-live-action/part stop-motion animation film Lunacy. At the center of this hypothetical list, of course, would be arguably the most famous and easily one of the most divisive adaptations of de Sade’s work, and one of Cole Abaius’s all-time favorite films, Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975).

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