New Releases 07/02/13

Top Hits
56 Up (British documentary series, social history. Rotten Tomatoes: 98%. Metacritic: 83. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Manohla Dargis’ Times review: “Life rushes by so fast, it flickers today and is gone tomorrow. In 56 Up — the latest installment in Michael Apted’s remarkable documentary project that has followed a group of Britons since 1964, starting when they were 7 — entire lifetimes race by with a few edits. One minute, a boy is merrily bobbing along. The next, he is 56 years old, with a wife or an ex, a few children or none, a career, a job or just dim prospects. Rolls of fat girdle his middle and thicken his jowls. He has regrets, but their sting has usually softened, along with everything else.” Read more…)

Supporting Characters (comedy/romance, Alex Karpovsky. Rotten Tomatoes: 86%. Metacritic: 62. From Stephen Holden’s New York Times review: “There are many rueful chuckles to be harvested from Supporting Characters, Daniel Schechter’s small, minutely observed portrait of fragile egos colliding inside the pressure cooker of New York’s indie filmmaking world. The main characters, Nick [Alex Karpovsky] and Darryl [Tarik Lowe, who wrote the screenplay with Mr. Schechter], are a film-editing team busy polishing a shaky comedy.” Read more…)

Upside Down (sci-fi/romance, Kirsten Dunst. Rotten Tomatoes: 28%. Metacritic: 43. From Stephen Holden’s New York Times review: “Eden [Kirsten Dunst] and Adam [Jim Sturgess], the star-crossed lovers in the murky science-fiction romance Upside Down, occupy different worlds. Eden lives Up Top on a planet of cold corporate affluence. Adam’s planet, Down Below, is a grungy wasteland that suggests Union Square after an earthquake. The planets are practically within spitting distance, yet despite that proximity, it is almost impossible to get from one to the other. The political implications of Upside Down, written and directed by the Argentine filmmaker Juan Solanas, may be obvious, but the movie is not a dystopian satire about the haves and the have-nots. If it were, it might have some bite.” Read more…)

New Foreign
Comment Ça Va? (France, 1978, dir. by Jean-Luc Godard, polemical drama. From Vincent Canby’s 1982 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “The Agee Room at the Bleecker Street Cinema, currently sponsoring a Jean-Luc Godard retrospective, opens today with his Comment ,Ca Va? [How’s It Going?]. It was made in 1976 with Anne-Marie Mieville when Mr. Godard was living in Grenoble, France, and after his Maoist period. It’s a comparatively short [78 minutes], technically complex, typically Godardian inquiry into the nature of things, this time into mass communications and the truth or falsity of the information communicated.” Read more…)

New Brit
56 Up (British documentary series, social history, in Top Hits. Rotten Tomatoes: 98%. Metacritic: 83.A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Manohla Dargis’ Times review: “Life rushes by so fast, it flickers today and is gone tomorrow. In 56 Up — the latest installment in Michael Apted’s remarkable documentary project that has followed a group of Britons since 1964, starting when they were 7 — entire lifetimes race by with a few edits. One minute, a boy is merrily bobbing along. The next, he is 56 years old, with a wife or an ex, a few children or none, a career, a job or just dim prospects. Rolls of fat girdle his middle and thicken his jowls. He has regrets, but their sting has usually softened, along with everything else.” Read more…)

New Docs
56 Up (British documentary series, social history, in Top Hits. Rotten Tomatoes: 98%. Metacritic: 83. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Manohla Dargis’ Times review: “Life rushes by so fast, it flickers today and is gone tomorrow. In 56 Up — the latest installment in Michael Apted’s remarkable documentary project that has followed a group of Britons since 1964, starting when they were 7 — entire lifetimes race by with a few edits. One minute, a boy is merrily bobbing along. The next, he is 56 years old, with a wife or an ex, a few children or none, a career, a job or just dim prospects. Rolls of fat girdle his middle and thicken his jowls. He has regrets, but their sting has usually softened, along with everything else.” Read more…)

The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu (history, biography, Communism. Rotten Tomatoes: 85%. Metacritic: 87. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Manohla Dargis’ Times review: “It’s impossible that The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu is the monument that the former Romanian dictator would have produced in his own honor. Among other things, it has an unhappy ending, at least for him and his wife, Elena, who were executed on Christmas Day, 1989. Yet in many respects Ceausescu turns out to be as much the author of this brilliant documentary as the director, Andrei Ujica, who waded through more than 1,000 hours of filmed state propaganda, official news reports and home movies to create a cinematic tour de force that tracks the rise, reign and grim fall of its subject.” Read more…)

New Children’s DVDs
American Girl: Saige Paints the Sky