Fast Scans: Top Foreign & Indie Picks, March 15, 2012

Beautiful Darling: The Life and Times of Candy Darling, Andy Warhol Superstar. color. 87+ min. Corinth Home Entertainment. 2010. DVD UPC 896137001115. $24.99.

Born James Slattery before morphing into Candy Darling, the transgendered superstar of Andy Warhol flicks (Women in Revolt; Flesh; and Small Craft Warnings) inspired Lou Reed’s song A Walk on the Wild Side and earned good notices in a Tennessee Williams play. Documentarian James Rasin relies on archival footage and audio, the reading of Darling’s letters, and interviews with the tragic pop icon’s friends to tell the sad story of a misfit seeking validation through fame but who died of cancer at 29. For biopic buffs.

Belle de Jour. color. 100+ min. In French w/English subtitles. Criterion Collection. 1967. DVD ISBN 9781604655056. $29.95; Blu-ray ISBN 9781604655049. $39.95.

The coolly beautiful Catherine Deneuve could not be more ideally cast in her signature role as Severine, a frigid newlywed given to sadomasochistic fantasies who works afternoons in a high-class Parisian brothel. Surrealist filmmaker Luis Buñuel (The Phantom of Liberty; Viridiana) blurs the line between daydreaming and reality in his most famous work, offering a provocative portrait of a troubled woman. Remastered and enhanced with extras, this classic is worth the upgrade for libraries owning the older disc. [See Trailers, LJ 12/11.]

Corman’s World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel. color & b/w. 90 min. Anchor Bay Entertainment. 2011. DVD UPC 013132387697. $26.98; Blu-ray UPC 013132388199. $29.99. Rated: R.

Nicknamed the King of the B’s for his prodigious output of cheaply made but moneymaking grindhouse and drive-in fodder, producer/director Roger Corman gets his due from admiring director/cowriter Alex Stapleton. Clips from Corman’s mainly cheesy genre films are interspersed with interviews featuring achievers (Scorsese, Nicholson, Bogdanovich, et al.) whose careers Corman launched over his 60-plus-year run as a soft-spoken schlockmeister who, ironically, dabbled in distributing art-house films. For camp-film fans.

Godzilla. 2 discs. b/w. 96+ min. In Japanese w/English subtitles. Criterion Collection. 1954. DVD ISBN 9781604655117. $29.95; 1-disc Blu-ray ISBN 9781604655100. $39.95.

Unleashed by U.S. military hydrogen-bomb testing, the titular fire-breathing monster tosses trains, crushes cars, and generally wreaks havoc on a skittish postwar Japan forced to rely on its own doomsday weapon for self-defense. A cautionary tale about the side effects of nuclear weapons, Ishiro Honda’s classic creature feature found its message blunted in the 1956 Hollywood reworking (thankfully included as an extra), starring Raymond Burr as a reporter inserted into the English-dubbed original. For retro-movie aficionados. [See Trailers, LJ 12/11.]

Tuesday, After Christmas. color. 99 min. In Romanian w/English subtitles. Kino Lorber. 2011. DVD UPC 738329078423. $29.95.

In a matter-of-fact confession that understandably does not go down well, a middle-aged man having an affair with his seven-year-old daughter’s dentist tells his wife over the holidays. Muted at first, her shock gives way to anger and resentment, with fists and voice raised. It is the only blatantly emotional scene in Radu Mun tean’s restrained take on the dissolution of a marriage, a tense situation where exit strategies (e.g., when to tell the child) are calmly discussed amid rituals still dutifully observed. For discriminating viewers.