Fast Scans, August 2012

Lina Wertmüller Collection. 3 discs. color. 332+ min. In English w/Italian subtitles. Kino Lorber. 1972–74. DVD UPC 78329094324. $59.95; Blu-ray UPC 738329102920. $89.95.

In the Seventies, the iconoclastic Wertmüller made her distinctive mark with a bunch of wild, satirical films dealing with class, politics, culture, feminism, and other hot-button material. All Screwed Up (UPC 738329094928), Love and Anarchy (UPC 738329094829), and The Seduction of Mimi (UPC 738329094720) (also available separately on Blu-ray for $29.95) comprise a representative trio, with the last two starring wide-eyed Wertmüller regular Giancarlo Giannini as, respectively, a would-be political assassin and a put-upon laborer. For more-than-casual foreign film aficionados of a certain age.

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia. color. 157+ min. In Turkish w/English subtitles. Cinema Guild. 2011. DVD ISBN 9780781514002. $29.95; Blu-ray ISBN 9780781514019. $34.95.

Winner of the Grand Prix at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, the latest film from Turkish auteur Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Distant; Climates; and Three Monkeys) ranks as his most challenging. The nighttime search for a murder victim by cops, a doctor, a prosecutor, and two suspects allows the director to display his trademark painterly compositions, lingering facial close-ups, minimal dialog, and absence of music. An introspective character piece apt to dazzle the hard-core art-house crowd while boring all others to tears.

Seven Minutes in Heaven. color. 94+ min. In Hebrew w/English subtitles. Film Movement. 2008. DVD UPC 616892146667. $24.95.

A young Israeli woman named Galia (Reymonde Amsallem, in an affecting performance) survives a suicide bombing, slowly healing from her burns while regaining memories of an ill-fated day. The receipt of a lost necklace prompts Galia to locate the paramedic who brought her back from clinical death, allowing her soul a chance to alter destiny. Flowing between present and past, director Omri Givon’s first feature tells a metaphysical love story that unfolds like a mystery. For viewers who don’t require spoon feeding.

Something’s Gonna Live. color. 78+ min. Docurama c/o New Video. 2010. DVD ISBN 9781422918845. $29.95.

Expanding his Oscar-nominated short film, The Man on Lincoln’s Nose (2000), documentarian Daniel Raim fleshes out his tribute to production designer Robert Boyle to include art directors Henry Bumstead, Albert Nozaki, and Harold Michelson, with nods to cinematographers Haskell Wexler and Conrad Hall. With some 400 films and 25 Oscar nominations under their collective belts (e.g., North by Northwest, Vertigo, and In Cold Blood), these often unsung artists get their due in refreshingly candid interviews and revealing film clips. Film buffs should raise a toast.

Summer Interlude. 96+ min. 1951. DVD ISBN 9781604655919. $19.95; Blu-ray ISBN 9781604655902. $29.95. Summer with Monika. 97+ min. 1953. DVD ISBN 9781604655933. $29.95; Blu-ray ISBN 9781604655926. $39.95. ea. vol: b/w. In Swedish w/English subtitles. Criterion Collection.

Summer is the season for young love in these early Ingmar Bergman films. Told in flashbacks from the vantage of a late-career ballerina, Interlude finds the disillusioned woman reflecting on a blissful teenage affair that ended tragically. In Monika, an impulsive, headstrong girl strikes up a romance with a shy lad, and the two leave their menial jobs and humdrum lives for an idyllic beach romp before reality returns. Not as deep as later Bergman works but hinting at nascent genius, these should please his fans.