Hello I Must Be Going. color. 94+ min. Oscilloscope Laboratories. 2012. DVD UPC 896602002463. $29.95. Rated: R.
Recently divorced and depressed after reluctantly moving back in with her parents (Blythe Danner, John Rubinstein), thirtysomething Amy (Melanie Lynskey) ends up getting involved with the 19-year-old college-bound son of family friends. Avoiding the usual rom-com clichés (e.g., cougar jokes), Todd Louiso (Love Liza), directing Sarah Koskoff’s female-perspective script, delivers a refreshingly sincere exploration of an imperfectly pretty woman’s reawakening to life’s possibilities. For discriminating audiences.
Purple Noon. color. 118+ min. In French w/English subtitles. Criterion Collection. 1960. DVD ISBN 9781604655278. $29.95; Blu-ray ISBN 9781604655261. $39.95.
French matinee idol of the 1960s and 1970s, Alain Delon made his mark in René Clément’s successful adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s novel The Talented Mr. Ripley. Delon’s eponymous character is clever as an American abroad, traipsing around Rome with a hail-fellow-well-met buddy whose identity he steals after murdering him. An ensuing cat-and-mouse game with the police, along with an opportunistic seduction of the victim’s girlfriend, propels this classic thriller that begs comparison with the decent Matt Damon 1999 remake.
The Qatsi Trilogy. 3 discs. color. 274+ min. Criterion Collection. 1983–2002. DVD ISBN 9781604656718; Blu-ray ISBN 9781604656701. $79.95.
Samsara. color. 101+ min. MPI Media Group. 2012. DVD UPC 030306733999. $27.98; Blu-ray UPC 030306183190. $34.98. Rated: PG-13.
Visually dazzling, music-driven, wordless meditations on nature, culture, and technology thematically defined by Hopi Indian terminology, Godfrey Reggio’s trilogy—Koyaanisqatsi (“life out of balance”), Powaqqatsi (“life in transformation”), Naqoyqatsi (“life as war”)—use slow-motion, time-lapse, and other cinematic techniques, along with hypnotic Philip Glass scores, to critique the modern world via persuasive, if at times repetitive, filmmaking. Reggio’s camera operator Ron Fricke went on to make his own less didactic documentaries—Chronos; Baraka; and Samsara—lensed in more stunning 70mm. Titled for the Tibetan word meaning “the wheel of life,” Samsara is poetry in motion, showing off the natural world in all its beauty, as well as diverse cultures and rituals, while mass production, slaughter houses, and other less “natural” activities provide counterpoint. Extras abound for both titles, providing insight into these unique works. IMAX nature-doc fans should appreciate the immersive yet contemplative experience of Samsara.
The Tin Drum. 2 discs. color. 163+ min. In German w/English subtitles. Criterion Collection. 1979. DVD ISBN 9781604656824. $29.95; 1-disc Blu-ray ISBN 9781604656817. $39.95.
A preternaturally wise three-year-old boy quite literally refuses to grow up, banging on his tin drum and shrieking in a glass-shattering pitch in order to protest the hypocrisy in his own family and society around him with the rise of Nazism. An evocative, surrealist allegory, Volker Schlöndorff’s masterly adaptation of Günter Grass’s acclaimed 1959 novel is a veritable classic. Digitally restored, with 21 additional minutes in this “director’s cut,” Drum beats a resounding anti-Fascist message. Essential for foreign-film fans everywhere.