Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance. color & b/w. 82+ min. w/booklet. Bob Hercules, Hybrid Cinema, dist. by Docurama c/o New Video, 800-314-8822; www.newvideo. com. 2012. DVD ISBN 9781422918869. $29.95. Closed-captioned. DANCE
Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino founded the Joffrey Ballet in 1956. In the beginning, the troupe of six young dancers mainly traveled around the country performing on college campuses and in small towns. It soon developed a reputation for innovative choreography and performances that combined the best of classical ballet with modern dance. Arpino (1923–2008) contributed much of the original choreography, and Joffrey (1930–88) was an inspired teacher willing to take chances. Over almost six decades, the company suffered many creative and financial ups and downs and eventually relocated from New York to Chicago. This program makes use of extensive archival footage and interviews with former dancers, choreographers, and influential figures in the dance world. It features excerpts from such seminal company works as Astarte, Trinity, and Billboards, as well as important re-creations of historical pieces such as The Green Table, Parade, and Le Sacre de Printemps. Bonus items include a “making-of” featurette and scenes from Robert Altman’s 2003 film The Company, which featured Joffrey dancers and a full dress rehearsal of Kurt Jooss’s The Green Table. VERDICT This DVD is an essential purchase for dance collections and highly recommended for popular culture and arts shelves. Dance aficionados will love it.—Tom Budlong, Atlanta
Detropia. color. 86/58+ min. Heidi Ewing & Rachel Grady, Loki Films & ITVS, dist. by Bullfrog Films, 800-543-3764; www.bullfrogfilms.com. 2012. DVD ISBN 9781937772420. $295 (Rental: $95).Public performance; SDH subtitles; home version. 91+ min. Docurama c/o New Video, 800-314-8822; www.newvideo.com. DVD ISBN 9781422922897. $29.95. SOC SCI
In 1930, Detroit was the fastest growing city in the world. Today, it is the fastest shrinking city in the United States, with over 100,000 abandoned homes and vacant lots and a crippling financial situation. This sad fact appears in the early part of Ewing and Grady’s (Jesus Camp) film on the continuing decline of the Motor City. The directors view this through the eyes of three individuals: a young blogger who draws parallels between present problems and the city’s past; the president of a UAW local that faces cuts in member wages and benefits so GM may accept a federal government bailout; and the owner of a bar frequented by autoworkers who reflects on the city’s past, present, and future. Viewers also meet unemployed men who get by through salvaging scrap metal and young artists setting up studio space in the city center. Throughout, viewers see a proud city now down on its luck, with its citizens attempting to build a future. The documentary is available in a feature length and in a shorter version intended for classroom use. VERDICT Highly recommended for all viewers. [Short-listed for the 2013 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.—Ed.]—Stephen L. Hupp, West Virginia Univ. Parkersburg Lib.
Birders: The Central Park Effect. color. 60+ min. Jeffrey Kimball, Music Box Films, www.musicboxfilms.com. 2013. DVD UPC 741360538122. $19.95. English captions. NAT HIST
Abounding with life—human and avian—this splendid DVD takes viewers on a tour through the four seasons of America’s most celebrated city park. There are interviews with 14 featured individuals, for example, writers Jonathan Franzen, Marie Winn, and Jonathan Rosen. The cinematography by Kimball (Top Gun; Mission Impossible 2)showcases over 120 bird species, including 22 warblers, singing, capturing prey, nesting, fighting, or just migrating through. Interspersed with the birds are scenes of city traffic and people jogging, boating, cycling, and otherwise enjoying the park, as well as breathtaking aerial views. Well over a square mile, Central Park is a rich oasis in a region where converging shorelines and geography combine to concentrate birds. Birders explain why they bird, how they do it, and their various goals, from simple relaxation to serious science. Tasteful, with unobtrusive, appropriate music, Birders could be marginally improved with subtitles identifying the birds. The audio is of good quality, but there are also quiet segments where one just enjoys the scenery, birds, and people. VERDICT This excellent production should satisfy and intrigue those with an interest in cities and natural history, at any level.—Henry T. Armistead, formerly with Free Lib. of Philadelphia
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The following titles are reviewed in the March 15 print issue. Visit Book Verdict for the full reviews.
Ganja & Hess: Remastered Edition. color. 113+ min. Bill Gunn, Kino Lorber, www.kinolorber.com. 2012. DVD UPC 738329084929. $24.95; Blu-ray UPC 738329092825. $29.95; public performance $189. HORROR
I Wish. color. 128+ min. In Japanese w/English & Spanish subtitles. Hirokazu Koreeda, dist. by Magnolia Home Entertainment, www.magpictures.com. 2012. DVD UPC 876964004893. $26.98. Rated: PG. F
Injustice. color. 223+ min. Colm McCarthy, Injustice Films Ltd., dist. by Acorn Media, 888-870-8047; www.acornonline.com. 2012. DVD ISBN 9781598288254. $39.99. SDH subtitles. F
ARTS & HUMANITIES
Place. color. 30+ min. Jonas Åkerlund, dist. by Kultur, 732-229-2343; www.kultur.com. 2012. DVD ISBN 9780769790190. $19.99. DANCE
Holy Flying Circus. color. 99+ min. Owen Harris, FremantleMedia Ltd. & Hillbilly Television, BBC, dist. by Acorn Media, 888-870-8047; www.acornonline.com. 2012. DVD/Blu-Ray ISBN 9781598288780. $34.99. SDH subtitles. HUMOR
Circle Jerks: My Career as a Jerk. b/w. 95+ min. David Markey, dist. by MVDVisual, 800-888-0486; www.MVDb2b.com. 2012. DVD UPC 760137545798. $16.95. MUSIC
Showing Up: A Conversation About the Audition. 2 discs. color. 83+ min. Riad Galayini & James Morrison, Fireweed Films & Justified Ends Entertainment, 323-646-7374; www.showingupmovie.com. 2012. DVD ISBN 9780985859619. $250 + $10 s/h. Public performance. PERFORMING ARTS
Raw Faith: Love…Even If It Takes a Lifetime. color. 92+ min. Peter Wiedensmith, Film Action Oregon & Alive Mind Cinema, dist. by Kino Lorber, www.kinolorber.com. 2012. DVD UPC 738329077327. $24.95. REL
Golf’s Grand Design: The History of American Golf Course Architecture. color & b/w. 60 min. John Grant, WNED-TV, Buffalo, dist. by PBS, shoppbs.org. 2012. DVD ISBN 9781608837335. $24.99. SDH subtitles. SPORTS
Savage Memory. color. 77 min. In English & Kiriwinian w/English subtitles. Zachary Stuart & Kelly Thomson, Sly Prods., dist. by Transit Media, www.transitmedia.net. 2012. DVD $75; acad. libs. $250 +$10 s/h. Public performance. BIOG
Dreams of a Life. color. 95+ min. Carol Morley, Strand Releasing, www.strandreleasing.com. 2012. DVD UPC 712267320820. $24.99. CRIME/SOC SCI
Heist: Who Stole the American Dream? And How We Can Get It Back. color & b/w. 76+ min. Frances Causey & Donald Goldmacher, dist. by. Bullfrog Films, 800-543-3764; www.bullfrogfilms.com. 2012. ISBN 9781937772154. $295 (Rental: $95). Public performance; SDH subtitles; home version. Passion River, www.passionriver.com. DVD UPC 091037489968. $24.95. ECON
Tales of the Waria. color. 56 min. In Indonesian w/English subtitles. Kathy Huang, Kathy Huang Films, www.thewaria.com; transitmedia.net (ow.ly/hUQxO). 2012. DVD UPC 884501707824. $25 + $7 s/h; public performance $295 + $15 s/h. Closed-captioned. gender studies/SOC SCI
Incident in New Baghdad. color. 23 min. James Spione, Morninglight Films, dist. by Seventh Art Releasing, www.7thart.com. 2012. DVD $79; acad. libs. $249. Public performance. MILITARY STUDIES
As Goes Janesville. color. 88 min. Brad Lichtenstein, dist. by Cinema Guild, www.cinemaguild.com. 2012. DVD ISBN 9780781514293. $99.95; acad. libs. $295. Public performance; home version $29.95. SOC SCI
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Three Stars: A Culinary Documentary. color. 94 min. In English, German, Dutch, Japanese, Italian Spanish, & French w/English subtitles. Lutz Hachmeister, First Run Features, 800-229-8575; www.firstrunfeaturse.com. 2013. DVD UPC 720229915236. $27.95. COOKING