Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Criterion Flash Sale - 50% off

Criterion has just announced a single-day 50% off sale on all of their 975 titles, including these works by filmmakers who also identify as visual artists:

Eleven other recommendations: 

The last film made by Pier Paolo Pasolini, before he was brutally murdered by being run over by his own car, having his testicles crushed by a metal bar and being burned with gasoline. His adaptation of the Marquis de Sade's 1785 novel The 120 Days of Sodom transposes the violent psycho-sexual story from 18th century Germany to WWII fascist Italy. Despite being made almost forty-five years ago, the film has lost none of it's power to shock and is often considered the most disturbing movie ever made.

Ten times better than the film Spike Lee won an Oscar for last week. BlacKkKlansman takes a story that already stretches credulity and adds a series of entirely fictional elements, most of which only serve to make the police look more heroic. While the Black Lives Matter movement is fighting to undo systemic institutional racism, BlacKkKlansman takes a "one bad apple" look at a police department. It's a film that feels entirely removed from the contemporary discussion around race, whereas Do The Right Thing was timely and urgent, so much so that some commentators feared the film would lead to race riots.

The brilliant debut of Lynne Ramsay (Morvern Callar, We Need To Talk About Kevin, You Were Never Really Here), Ratcatcher is a haunting look at childhood set during the national garbage strike in 1970's Scotland.

Volker Schlöndorff’s solid adaptation of the great novel by Günter Grass about a boy - repulsed by adult hypocrisy in the lead-up to WWII - who refuses to grow up. The film was banned in Ontario and - many years later - an Oklahoma man was arrested and charged with possession of child pornography, after renting a copy of the Palme d'Or and Oscar winning film, from Blockbuster Video. 

Mike Leigh has made many brilliant films. This is the best. 

If you own only one talking gorilla documentary, it should be this one, about Hanabiko "Koko", who died last June.

The semi-autobiographical film against which all of Noah Baumbach's work will be judged. 

The second feature by Andrea Arnold (Red Road, American Honey, some episodes of Transparent, etc.), about a 15 year old girl living on an East London council housing estate. Extras on the disc include the short films Milk (1998), i (2001), and the Oscar-winning Wasp (2003).

Often considered the greatest Canadian film ever (it's not - Leolo is), Claude Jutra's 1971 National Film Board feature is an evocative portrait of a boy's coming of age in wintry 1940s rural Quebec.

Another coming-of-age narrative, The Apu Trilogy follows the title character from his childhood in rural Bengal to eventual marriage and fatherhood. Often considered the greatest Indian film(s) ever made, the score also introduced the world to sitarist Ravi Shankar.  

Following her death at the age of 41, Morrissey dedicated a performance of his song "Late Night, Maudlin Street" at the Royal Albert Hall to actress Katrin Cartlidge, describing her as a "brilliant person and fantastic actor". He's wrong about a lot lately, but not this. Cartlidge was stunning in some Mike Leigh films (Naked, above, and Career Girls), Lars Von Trier's Breaking the Waves, as well as this epic British-French-Macedonian co-production.

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