New releases 7/14/20

New Foreign DVDs
Bacurau (Brazil, adventure/horror, Bárbara Colen. Rotten Tomatoes: 91%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 82. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Manohla Dargis’ Times review: “The town in the shocker ‘Bacurau’ is fictional, a bit magical, at once ordinary and otherworldly. It’s filled with faces that have life etched in them, which helps deepen the realism. And while the story is set in the near future, it looks like the present: the charming landscapes, laughing children, crowing roosters, the grinning balladeer with a guitar. Then, the guns come out, history rushes in and a ghost pops by. [It smiles.] In the wild world of ‘Bacurau,’ queasy humor meets razor-sharp politics and rivers of blood.” Read more…)

Beanpole (Russia, drama/war, Viktoria Miroshnichenko. Rotten Tomatoes: 91%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 84. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Manohla Dargis’ Times review: “This is only the second feature from the sensationally talented Russian director Kantemir Balagov [who was born in 1991], and it’s a gut punch. It’s also a brilliantly told, deeply moving story about love — in all its manifestations, perversity and obstinacy — one that starts to take shape when Beanpole’s friend Masha [a fantastic Vasilisa Perelygina] returns to Leningrad, medals pinned to her uniform. Inside Beanpole’s claustrophobic flat, with its peeling paint and stained wallpaper, they circle each other, trying to find equilibrium where there is none.” Read more…)

Attenberg (Greece, 2010, drama, Ariane Labed. Rotten Tomatoes: 78%. Metacritic: 73. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “Movies and literature do not lack for coming-of-age stories about young women in odd circumstances, but ‘Attenberg,’ Athina Rachel Tsangari’s new film, belongs in its own category. With an eccentric, beguiling blend of detachment and empathy — the camera sometimes lurking like a spy, sometimes trailing along like a shy, devoted friend — Ms. Tsangari observes the curious activities of Marina, a 23-year-old in the midst of an identity crisis that feels both highly idiosyncratic and weirdly familiar.” Read more…)

Mädchen in Uniform (1931, Germany, romance/lesbian—banned by the Nazis, Emilia Unda. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%. From Mordaunt Hall’s 1931 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “The widely discussed German language picture, ‘Mädchen in Uniform’ [‘Girls in Uniform’], which won glowing praise and enjoyed remarkable success in Berlin, Paris and London, finally was presented, with subtitles in English, at the Criterion last night. The New York State Board of Censors at first frowned upon the suggestion in this film of the “Captive” theme, but recently they reconsidered their refusal to grant it a license. It is a beautiful, tender and really artistic cinematic work.” Read more…

In a recent appreciation upon the release of ‘Mädchen In Uniform’ in this restored Kino version, New York Times critic J. Hoberman called it “a classic account of forbidden love in a girl’s boarding school [and] both an expression of anti-fascism and a lesbian coming-out story.” Read more…)

New Classic DVDs (pre-1960)
Marty (1955, drama/romance, Ernest Borgnine. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%. From Bosley Crowther’s 1955 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “No matter what the movie people may say or think about television, they have it to thank for ‘Marty,’ which came to the Sutton yesterday. This neat little character study of a lonely fellow and a lonely girl who find each other in the prowling mob at a Bronx dance hall and get together despite their families and their friends was originally done as a TV drama, and its present transposition to the screen has been accomplished by its TV director, Delbert Mann, as his first film achievement. The transfer is well worth a tribute, for ‘Marty’ makes a warm and winning film, full of the sort of candid comment on plain, drab people that seldom reaches the screen. And Ernest Borgnine as the fellow and Betsy Blair as the girl—not to mention three or four others — give performances that burn into the mind.” Read more…)

New American Back Catalog DVDs (post-1960)
Me, Natalie (1969, comedy/drama, Patty Duke. From Vincent Canby’s 1969 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “Stanley Shapiro is the writer who was in large part responsible for the films [‘Pillow Talk,’ ‘That Touch of Mink’] that turned Doris Day into one of the most profitable iron maidens in Hollywood history. In ‘Me, Natalie,’ which opened yesterday at the Fine Arts, Shapiro continues to display an almost Richardsonian [Samuel] concern for virginity. No longer, however, does he regard it as some fragile but foolproof weapon for blackmail. To Natalie [Patty Duke], a rather elderly looking Brooklyn teen-ager, it is a symbol of her physical ugliness—of upper front teeth that are slightly bucked and a nose that could delight only Cyrano de Bergerac.” Read more…)