Video Reviews, January 2012

OrangeReviewStar Video Reviews, January 2012 Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. 3 discs. color. 324+ min. John Irvin, BBC in assoc. with Paramount, dist. by Acorn Media, 888-870-8047; www. acornonline.com. 2011. DVD ISBN 9781598286915. $49.99.Closed-captioned. F
tinker0112 Video Reviews, January 2012Timed to the December 2011 release of a new theatrical version staring Gary Oldman and Colin Firth, this is the first DVD release of the original 1979 British television series staring Alec Guinness as John le Carré’s protagonist George Smiley. The original seven-episode version has been edited down to six segments on three discs. Based on the second novel of le Carré’s Karla Trilogy, the story is set during the heart of the Cold War after a mole is discovered to have infiltrated the Circus, a code name for the British Secret Intelligence Service. A stellar cast of British actors support Guinness’s award-winning performance. The plot is not so much an action-based spy thriller as an intricate dance of intelligence, rumors, shared confidences, and political posturing and maneuvering within the agency. This puts a heavy burden on the actors, particularly because the filmmakers don’t want to tip the scales too soon as to the identity of the mole. The production won two BAFTA Awards, including best actor for Guinness. Bonus features include a 28-minute interview with le Carré, production notes, and a le Carré biography and booklist. A welcome purchase for fans of le Carré and the spy genre; highly recommended.‚ Tom Budlong, Atlanta

OrangeReviewStar Video Reviews, January 2012 The Art of Piano: Great Pianists of the 20th Century. 107 min. DVD ISBN 9780769791128.
OrangeReviewStar Video Reviews, January 2012 The Art of Singing: Golden Voices of the Century. 116 min. DVD ISBN 9780769791135.
ea. vol: color & b/w. Donald Sturrock, dist. by Kultur, www.kultur.com. 2011. $29.99. MUSIC/PERFORMING ARTS
singing0112 Video Reviews, January 2012A more exact title for each should be The Art of Opera Singing and The Art of Classical Piano. The singers are those who became the Golden Voices of the 20th century: Maria Callas, Enrico Caruso, Beniamino Gigli, Rosa Ponselle, and Feodor Chaliapin among them. They are seen and heard in rare footage, some very early and in remarkably pristine condition, and appear much more impressive than in earlier VHS releases. The interviews are delightful as well as revealing. These are all great entertainers of their day and even long past their prime can dazzle with sheer force of personality. Many are schooled from the era of stand, sing, and gesture, a style long abandoned by the fireworks and dazzling showmanship of a Callas, but the beauty of tone and delivery is undisputed. The clips may be too specialized to serve as a true introduction, but opera fans will be thrilled at the variety. Seeing and hearing Leontyne Price sing Aida alone can thrill the soul. The disc fittingly ends with Callas performing Vissi d’arte from Tosca, a zenith of 20th-century opera.

What allows The Art of Piano to shine is similar to its sister DVD: rare footage of great artists performing the classics of their form. Some may quibble with inclusions or exclusions, but there is plenty here about which to rejoice. Great care has been taken to reproduce the film and sound, which are far superior to earlier releases. Viewers already familiar with the likes of Ignacy Paderewski, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Glenn Gould, Vladimir Horowitz, and Arthur Rubinstein will equally thrill to discover Josef Hofmann in his only filmed recording, or the lightning technique of György Cziffra playing Liszt. The commentaries are expert and help to establish an authoritative tone. Both films are highly recommended for music lovers.‚ Gerald A. Notaro, Univ. of South Florida Lib., St. Petersburg

OrangeReviewStar Video Reviews, January 2012 A Small Act. color. 88+ min. Jennifer Arnold, HBO Documentary Films, Harambee Media, & Considered Entertainment,
dist. by Docurama c/o New Video, 800-314-8822; www.newvideo.com. 2011. DVD ISBN 9781422927007. $29.95. ED/INT AFFAIRS
smallact0112 Video Reviews, January 2012This is the simple story of Hilde Back, a Holocaust refugee in Sweden who in the 1970s sent a small monthly contribution to help youngster Chris Mburu through primary and secondary school in Kenya. Years later, Mburu, a lawyer for the United Nations’ anti defamation division in Geneva, finds Back, then 85, and brings her to his village in Kenya to be celebrated. Today, Mburu gives out scholarships in Back’s name to children in his village whose parents are too poor to pay for secondary school. This film is so much more than a happy reunion. Director Arnold also follows three village children hoping to gain these scholarships and the opportunity to continue their education. We come to understand that these scholarships will provide these children with a new life, as did Back’s support of Mburu. This film is enthusiastically recommended for all general collections for its strong story as well as its emphasis on the importance of giving and the life-changing effects of education.‚ Ernest Jaeger, formerly with North Plainfield Schs., NJ


The following titles are reviewed in the January print issue. Visit our Reviews Center (Beta) for the full reviews.

FICTION

Bereavement. color. 103+ min. Stevan Mena, Aurilia Arts & Crimson Films, dist. by Anchor Bay Entertainment, www.anchorbayentertainment.com. 2011. DVD UPC 013132349190. $26.98; Blu-ray UPC 01313234695. $34.99. Rated: R. HORROR

Identity. 2 discs. color. 29+ min. Brendan Maher & Andy Hay, ITV Global, dist. by Acorn Media, 888-870-8047; www.acornonline.com. 2011. DVD ISBN 9781598285604. $39.99. SDH subtitles. F

Rubber. color 83+ min. Quentin Dupieux, Realitism Films, dist. by Magnolia Home Entertainment, www.magpictures.com. 2011. DVD UPC 876964003681. $26.98; Blu-ray UPC 876964003698. $29.98. Rated: R. F

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. 3 discs. color. 324+ min. John Irvin, BBC in assoc. with Paramount, dist. by Acorn Media, 888-870-8047; www. acornonline.com. 2011. DVD ISBN 9781598286915. $49.99.Closed-captioned. F

ARTS & HUMANITIES

Magic Trip: Ken Kesey’s Search for a Kool Place. color. 107+ min. Alex Gibney & Alison Ellwood, Imaginary Forces & Jigsaw Prods., dist. by Magnolia Pictures, www.magpictures.com. 2011. DVD UPC 876964004237. $26.98. Rated: R. LIT/HIST

The Art of Piano: Great Pianists of the 20th Century. 107 min. DVD ISBN 9780769791128.

The Art of Singing: Golden Voices of the Century. 116 min. DVD ISBN 9780769791135.
ea. vol: color & b/w. Donald Sturrock, dist. by Kultur, www.kultur.com. 2011. $29.99. MUSIC/PERFORMING ARTS

Cuba: Island of Music. color. 72 min. Gary Keys, MVD Visual, 800-888-0486; www.mvdb2b.com. 2011. DVD UPC 760137517092. $14.95. MUSIC

Kate Bush: A Life of Surprises; The Story So Far. 2 discs. 108+ min. Pride Prod., dist. by MVD Visual, 800-888-0486; www.mvdb2b.com. 2011. DVD UPC 823564525792. $26.95. MUSIC

The Death of Andy Kaufman. color & b/w. 80+ min. Christopher Maloney, Wild Eye Releasing, dist. by MVD Entertainment, 800-888-0486; www.mvdb2b.com. 2011. DVD UPC 760137520092. $15.95. PERFORMING ARTS/TV

18 Voices Sing Kol Nidre. color. 40+ min. Allen Oren, dist. by Voices of Kol Nidre Inc., 914-833-0155; www.18voices.com. 2011. $24.95; public performance $74.95. REL

Dale Evans: Beyond the Happy Trails. 2 discs. color & b/w. 200+ min. Steve Morales, Dale Evans Film Project in coop. with Henninger Media Svcs. & Commissioned Films, 434-286-2275; www.RoyandDale.com. 2011. DVD UPC 793573076298. $24.95; public performance $49.95; acad. libs. $100. TV/FILM

SOCIAL SCIENCES

A Small Act. color. 88+ min. Jennifer Arnold, HBO Documentary Films, Harambee Media, & Considered Entertainment, dist. by Docurama c/o New Video, 800-314-8822; www.newvideo.com. 2011. DVD ISBN 9781422927007. $29.95. ED/INT AFFAIRS

Broken Doors. color. 36 min. Goro Toshima, One Arm Prod., dist. by Transit Media, 800-343-5540; www.transitmedia.net; jim@transitmedia.net. 2011. DVD $200. Public performance. SOC SCI

When Strangers Click: Five Stories from the Internet. color. 56+ min. Robert Kenner, Robert Kenner Films, dist. by Disinformation Co., www.disinfo.com. 2011. DVD ISBN 9781934708811. $19.98. SOC SCI

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Cake Treasures Collection. Vol. 1: Simple Designs Using Cricut Cake. 81+ min. DVD UPC 9780980183214.
Cake Treasures Collection. Vol. 2: Advanced Designs Using Cricut Cake and Design Studio. 64+ min. DVD. UPC 9780980183221. Topsy Turvy Crooked Cakes. 60 min.
ea. vol: color. Carrie’s Cakes, dist. by AV Café, 877-228-2233; www.theavcafe.com. 2011. DVD $35. COOKING

Managing Menopause Naturally: What Every Woman Needs To Know. color. 80 min. True Mind, www.truemind.tv. 2011. DVD ISBN 9781934708712. $19.98. HEALTH

No Dinosaurs in Heaven. color. 53 min. Greta Schiller, Jezebel Prods., dist. by New Day Films, 888-367-9154; www.nodinos.com. 2011. DVD ISBN 9781574482973. $99; acad. libs. $289 + $15 s/h. Public performance. SCI/ED

No Dinosaurs in Heaven. color. 53 min. Greta Schiller, Jezebel Prods., dist. by New Day Films, 888-367-9154; www.nodinos.com. 2011. DVD ISBN 9781574482973. $99; acad. libs. $289 + $15 s/h. Public performance. SCI/ED

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Bette-Lee Fox About Bette-Lee Fox

Bette-Lee Fox (blfox@mediasourceinc.com) is Managing Editor, Library Journal.

Celebrating her 42nd year with Library Journal, Bette-Lee also edits LJ's Video Reviews column, six times a year Romance column, and e-original Romance reviews, which post weekly as LJ Xpress Reviews. She received the Romance Writers of America (RWA) Vivian Stephens Industry Award in 2013 for having "contributed to the genre or to RWA in a significant and/or continuing manner"

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