Movies, movies, movies

by John P.

New DVDs at Santa Fe Public Library

The library continues to receive new DVD titles; either completely new or new to Santa Fe Public Library.  Unfortunately, since patrons are not able to come in at this time and browse our new titles, we thought we would feature some of the new adult DVDs on our blog. Since going to a movie theater isn’t an option right now, here’s a few new-to-us titles to explore.

First we start off with Rudolph Valentino in the silent classic, Blood & SandBlood and Sand premiered at the Rialto Theater in Los Angeles on August 22, 1922. The film was a box office hit and was one of the top-grossing films of 1922.  The film, along with The Sheik and Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (both 1921), helped to establish Valentino as a star and was one of the most successful films of his career.

Then leaping forward to 2018 is Reinvention  a DVD Biography of Camila Cabello.  This film covers the rise of Camila Cabello, mostly through a series of interviews.

Next is A place called Chiapas-(1998): “On January 1, 1994, the Zapatista National Liberation Army — made up of impoverished Mayan Indians from the state of Chiapas — took over five towns and 500 ranches in southern Mexico. The government deployed its troops, and at least 145 people died in the ensuing battle. Fighting for indigenous Mexicans to regain control over their lives and the land, the Zapatistas and their charismatic leader, guerilla poet Subcomandante Marcos, began sending their message to the world via the Internet. The result was what The New York Times called “the world’s first postmodern revolution”. Years into the uprising, filmmaker Nettie Wild traveled to the jungle canyons of southern Mexico to film the elusive and fragile life of the rebellion over an eight month period. Her camera effectively and movingly captures the personal stories behind a very public clash of traditional culture and globalization.”

Then a title recommended for addition by my colleague affectionately known as “T”,   is 2016’s The Love Witch – Elaine, a beautiful young witch, is determined to find a man to love her. In her Gothic Victorian apartment she makes spells and potions, and then picks up men and seduces them. However her spells work too well, and she ends up with a string of hapless victims. When she finally meets the man of her dreams, her desperation to be loved will drive her to the brink of insanity and murder. With a visual style that pays tribute to Technicolor thrillers of the 60s, The Love Witch explores female fantasy and the repercussions of pathological narcissism.

Next from Mexico, directed by Gerardo Naranjo is Miss Bala – (2011) – “An aspiring beauty queen finds herself in the wrong place at the worst possible time in this explosive crime thriller set amid Mexico’s increasingly violent drug war. After witnessing a shooting in a nightclub, the young woman is kidnapped and forced to work for ruthless gangsters in order to keep her dreams, and her family, alive.”

Moving over to Berlin is Night out (2017) –“ Saturday night in Berlin. A colorful mix of hetero and gay singles, couples and polyamorous, craving fun explore the city and their relationships for different reasons. Their journey will lead them into a frenetic night where anything goes, portraying an array of contemporary nightlife possibilities. Loaded, passionate, and sweaty, the stories of our protagonists ultimately intertwine in the KitKatClub. At the break of dawn, and after a series of mishaps, they each leave changed people.”

The music DVD section at Southside Branch Library has always been strong, and now we just added Nirvana: live at the Paramount from 1991 – a  Halloween concert at Seattle’s Paramount Theater in its entirety; – part of the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the release of Nevermind. It is the only known Nirvana concert shot to film.

Returning to World Cinema we also have from France: Return of the Hero-(2018) – France, 1809: “The charming Captain Neuville is set to marry the naive Pauline when the war breaks out, forcing Neuville to depart for the battlefield. After not hearing from the captain for months, Pauline grows sick with worry, and her sister Elizabeth decides to write letters on Neuville’s behalf to cheer her up. Unexpectedly, Neuville returns home in glory and is welcomed as a hero, but unbeknownst to everyone, he is a coward and a war deserter.” Those who were introduced to Melanie Laurent, in Inglourious Bastards, will enjoy seeing her in a different role.

It took a while for Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma,(2018)  to be released on DVD, with a Criterion version coming out in 2020. It is now in our collection:  –“With his eighth and most personal film, Alfonso Cuarón recreated the early-1970s Mexico City of his childhood, narrating a tumultuous period in the life of a middle-class family through the experiences of Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio, in a revelatory screen debut), the indigenous domestic worker who keeps the household running. Charged with the care of four small children abandoned by their father, Cleo tends to the family even as her own life is shaken by personal and political upheavals. Written, directed, shot, and co-edited by Cuarón, Roma is a labor of love with few parallels in the history of cinema, deploying monumental black-and-white cinematography, an immersive soundtrack, and a mixture of professional and nonprofessional performances to shape its author’s memories into a world of enveloping texture, and to pay tribute to the woman who nurtured him. “

Photo by Grace Kusta Nasralla on Pexels.com

Also, for another World Cinema treat, we have from India Trishna– (2011) – the title character of Michael Winterbottom’s subcontinental rethink of Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles.– “Trishna lives with her family in a village in Rajasthan and works in a resort to help pay the family bills. Jay is the wealthy son of a property developer. When Jay takes up managing resorts, he meets Trishna and wins her affection. They move to Mumbai, but problems arise when his deep family bond threatens their bliss. –”Do you think you’ll have to pay a high price for your mistakes?” 

Returning to US films; a recent addition not in the collection before, is The Wild Angels (1966) – The Wild Angels is a 1966 American outlaw biker film produced and directed by Roger Corman. Made on location in Southern California, The Wild Angels was the first film to associate actor Peter Fonda with Harley-Davidson motorcycles and 1960s counterculture. –also featuring Bruce Dern and Nancy Sinatra.

And finally from 1967, Dame Edith Evans stars in The Whisperers – “Elderly Mrs. Ross (Edith Evans) loses her grip on reality when she begins to hear “voices” that seem to be conspiring against her. Separated from her dishonest husband, Archie (Eric Portman), and living alone, Mrs. Ross is patiently waiting for a windfall from her late father’s nonexistent estate. When her thieving son, Charlie (Ronald Fraser), stashes a large sum of stolen cash in her apartment, Mrs. Ross finds it, assuming the money is her long-awaited inheritance.”

We hope you find a new movie to check out or a an old classic to share. Make sure you check out or DVD collection at santafepubliclibrary.org.

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