DVD: This Weekend, Blow Your Mind and Get Caught Up on Oscar Nominees
There are those DVDs you throw in at the end of a long work day to decompress, turn off your brain, and have a few laughs. Three new titles out this week don't fall anywhere near that category. Trust me. Two of them will bombard you with sights and sounds that are like almost nothing you've ever seen before, and the other one is a disturbing and twisty dysfunctional family story that somehow snuck past the Academy gatekeepers and scored a Best Foreign Film Oscar nomination.
The Oscar nominee is Dogtooth (Kino International) and this Greek import will, if nothing else, probably make your own parents look even better. It's about teenagers whose parents have never let them leave their huge estate, and in their estrangement from the world at large, they've been told some...strange things. Without giving away any of this film's many shocking twists, suffice it to say that Dogtooth is a chilling and fascinating look at control, deception, and smothering parenting taken to a whole new level.
Speaking of new levels, filmgoers tended to adore or despise Gaspar Noe's Enter the Void (IFC Films/MPI Media Group), but in this day and age, there's something to be said about a movie that gets people arguing. This new DVD release features the full 161-minute director's cut, restoring almost 20 minutes that didn't make it into US theaters. I could try to describe the film's relentless audio and visual frenzy (some might call it an assault), but just take a look at the film's already-legendary opening credits sequence to get a taste:
And finally, no discussion of tripping-balls cinema would be complete without including Alejandro Jodorowsky, whose 1970s art flicks El Topo and The Holy Mountain were a cornerstone in the burgeoning midnight-movie movement. After a long hiatus, he returned in 1989 with Santa Sangre (Severin Films). The film makes iits Blu-Ray debut this week, and it stands alongside his earliest works as a visual extravaganza. (Any reality-show contestant who throws around the word "surreal" willy-nilly should watch a Jodorowsky film to find out what the word really means.)
The Blu-Ray and two-disc DVD collections come loaded with plenty of extras, including a 1990 British television documentary on Jodorowsky that features interviews with Dennis Hopper, Marcel Marceau, and Omar Sharif, as well as several interviews and features about Simon Boswell's score.