Sing Your Song: Harry Belafonte. color & b/w. 104+ min. Susanne Rostock, Belafonte Enterprises & S2BN Entertainment in assoc. with Julius R. Nasso Prods., dist. by Docurama c/o New Video, 800-314-8822; www.newvideo.com. 2012. DVD ISBN 9781422918708. $29.95. SDH subtitles. MUSIC/BIOG
In many ways, the biography of Harry Belafonte (b. 1927) is also the story of the struggle for social, racial, and civil justice in America (and in many parts of the world) over the past 60 years. The film bookends a conversation with Belafonte as he walks through the apartment in New York’s Harlem his family occupied when he was a child and over the course of 100 minutes presents the cultural background of Belafonte’s childhood, describes his artistic and political development, and touches upon some of the seminal events of our time: marching in the South with Martin Luther King Jr. while battling the red scare in the 1950s, the March on Washington in the early 1960s, USA for Africa and antiapartheid protests and support of Nelson Mandela in the 1980s, efforts in Haiti in the early 1990s, and, most recently, attempts at reengineering our social and political future through his interactions with youth in America. Belafonte appears almost Zelig-like with the key figures in his life. In reality, he was an active, driven supporter of causes—if not the catalyst—who risked family, security, and safety in pursuit of justice and a better future for all. Belafonte is a terrific subject, hugely talented and highly thoughtful, and this is a fabulous, informative, and inspiring film. Wonderful performances are superbly integrated with home movies and interviews with friends like Sidney Poitier and predominant political figures in the artist’s life. Bonus features include additional interviews and full-length performances. VERDICT An excellent biography and a primer on key moments in the social and political history of an American generation, this film is highly recommended for all viewers.—Bill Baars, Lake Oswego P.L., OR
Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview. color. 72+ min. Paul Sen, PBS, dist. by Magnolia Home Entertainment, . 2012. DVD UPC 876964004862. $26.98. BIOG/BUS
By the time of this 1995 interview for the PBS documentary Triumph of the Nerds: The Rise of Accidental Empires, Steve Jobs (1955–2011) had been forced out of Apple Computer and was running the small software company NEXT, which within a year would be bought by Apple, bringing Jobs back to the company he had founded. Most of this footage was lost until now. Jobs talks about his early love of computers, meeting Steve Wozniak, and how they turned their hobby into a business. Jobs discusses the Apple II, LISA, and Macintosh and desktop publishing, and he laments his ouster from Apple, saying it is a dying company on a probably irreversible downward glide path. He applauds Microsoft’s success but declares its products third-rate. Jobs muses about management styles, education, and the Internet. At all times, the camera remains in close-up on him. He is candid, often reflective, somewhat arrogant, and absolutely mesmerizing. It is eerie that at this juncture, Jobs had no idea that he would eventually turn Apple into one of the world’s great companies, producing iconic products such as the iPod, iPhone, and iPad. VERDICT Apple devotees and anyone interested in the computer industry will want to watch this interview.—Lawrence Maxted, Gannon Univ. Lib., Erie, PA
The Longoria Affair. color. 52+ min. John J. Valadez, dist. by Kitchen Sync Group, www.thelongoriaaffair.com. 2012. DVD ISBN 9781608833924. $39.95; acad. libs. $295.95. Public performance; SDH subtitles. SOC SCI
This award-winning PBS documentary tells the story of an often-overlooked incident in America’s civil rights history. The family of Felix Longoria (1920–45), a Mexican American soldier who died during World War II, was denied access to the funeral home chapel in his hometown of Three Rivers, TX. The funeral director told the family that “the whites wouldn’t like it” and so began in 1949 the Longoria Affair. The involvement of Héctor García (1914–96), a civil rights activist, and Sen. Lyndon B. Johnson ensured that the issue gained national notoriety. Director Valadez intertwines interviews and archival images to tell this controversial story. Viewers will find some of the most stirring interview segments are those with the daughters of García and the funeral home director as they relate their firsthand experiences throughout the incident. The cinematography and sound are first-rate; the incorporation of Mexican folk ballads aids in the storytelling. VERDICT This excellent documentary provides insight into an area of the civil rights movement unfamiliar to many viewers. Highly recommended for public and academic libraries.—Rod Bustos, Augusta State Univ. Lib., GA
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The following titles are reviewed in the February 1 print issue. Visit Book Verdict for the full reviews.
The Cup. color. 96+ min. Simon Wincer, Screen Australia, Roadshow Films & Ingenious Broadcasting, dist. by Lionsgate, www.lionsgate.com. 2012. DVD UPC 031398158776. $26.98. Closed-captioned. Rated: PG. F/BIOG
V/H/S. color. 115+ min. Adam Wingard & others, Magnolia Home Entertainment, www.magpictures.com/VHS. 2012. DVD UPC 876964005128. $26.98; Blu-ray UPC 876964005135. $29.98. Rated: R. HORROR
ARTS & HUMANITIES
Grrrl Love and Revolution: Riot Grrrl NYC. color. 42 min. Abby Moser, Women Make Movies, www.wmm.com. 2012. DVD $89; acad. libs. $195 (Rental: $60). Public performance. MUSIC
Fastest. color. 110+ min. Mark Neale, dist. by Docurama c/o New Video, 800-314-8822; www.newvideo.com. 2012. DVD ISBN 9781422918852. $29.95. Rated: PG-13. SPORTS
Highlights of the 2012 Masters Tournament. color. 52+ min. Augusta National Inc., dist. by A&E Television Networks c/o New Video, 800-314-8822; www.newvideo.com. 2012. DVD ISBN 9781422919118. $22.95.SPORTS
Dan Goggin’s Nunset Boulevard: The Nunsense Hollywood Bowl Show. color. 95+ min. Dan Goggin & David Stern, dist. by SRO c/o Kultur, 732-229-2343; www.kultur.com. 2012. DVD ISBN 9780769792231. $19.99. THEATER
Bonsai People: The Vision of Muhammad Yunus. 3 discs. color 79/56+ min. Holly Mosher, Hummingbird Pictures LLC, bonsaimovie.com/purchase. 2012. DVD UPC 823857157525. $89; acad. libs. $250. Public performance; home version $19.95.
The Micro Debt: A Critical Investigation. color. 57 min. Tom Heinemann, Heinemann Media, dist by Films Media Group, 800-322-8755; www.films.com. 2011. DVD ISBN 9781617338076. $99.95; chaptered $169.95; DVD + 3-year streaming $254.93. Public performance; closed-captioned. ECON
Bear Nation. color. 78+ min. Malcolm Ingram, View Askew Prods., dist. by Kino Lorber, www.kinolorber.com; www.kinolorberedu.com. 2012. DVD UPC 738329094225. $19.95; public performance $189. GENDER STUDIES
8:46: Never Forget. color. 55+ min. Jennifer Gargano, Forget Me Not Prods., dist. by Virgil Films, www.virgilfilmsent.com. 2012. DVD UPC 829567083321. $14.99. HIST
MLK: The Assassination Tapes. color & b/w. 46 min. Tom Jennings, 1895 Films, Smithsonian Networks, dist. by Inception Media Group, www.inceptionmediagroup.com. 2012. DVD/Blu-ray UPC 815300010877. $26.98. Closed-captioned. HIST
Paraiso for Sale. color. 73 min. tchr’s. guide. In Spanish w/English subtitles. Anayansi Prado, Impacto Films, paraisoforsale.impactofilms.com. 2012. DVD $290. Public performance. INT AFFAIRS
Armadillo. color. 100 min. In Danish, Pashto, & English w/subtitles. Janus Metz, Lorber Films, www.lorberfilms.com. 2012. DVD UPC 738329073527. $29.95. MILITARY HIST
Windjammer: The Voyage of the Christian Radich. color & b/w. 142+ min. Louis de Rochemont III & Bill Collerand, dist. by Cinerama & Flicker Alley, www.flickeralley.com. 2012. Blu-ray/DVD ISBN 9781893967755. $39.95. TRAV
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
The Arabian Horse: A Gift from the Desert. color. 60 min. Jo Franklin, Seacastle Films, dist. by Janson Media, www.janson.com. 2012. DVD ISBN 9781568394756. $24.95. ANIMAL HUSBANDRY
UPDATE The well-praised DVD Battle for Brooklyn (starred review, LJ 7/12), about the machinations behind the creation of the Barclays Center sports and entertainment venue, is now available in a home version from Virgil Films (www.virgilfilmsent.com) for $19.99.