Video Reviews | November 15, 2013

redstar Portrait of Wally: The Face That Launched a Thousand Lawsuits. color & b/w. 90+ min. In English & German w/English subtitles. Andrew Shea, P.O.W. Prods., dist. by Seventh Art Releasing, 2013. DVD UPC 752423899209. $99; acad. libs. $350. Public performance. ART-GENERAL

The painting of Egon Schiele’s young mistress Walburga (“Wally”) Neuzil was the centerpiece of a complex and highly publicized legal case that went on for more than 13 years. This fascinating and very well-produced documentary presents the nuances of the issues—moral, ethical, political, cultural, and financial—in a coherent and dramatic fashion. This is an extraordinary exposition, not merely of the subject of Schiele’s small oil painting but of the complexities of the art world, ­museum exhibitions, artwork stolen by the Nazis, and attempts at restitution. Unlike the film The Rape of Europa, which deals with the vast amounts of European art stolen by the Nazis, this production focuses on the ownership and provenance of one painting that suddenly became a cause ­célèbre when it was shown at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York in 1997 as part of a major exhibition on Schiele (1890–1918). When the rightful heirs of Lea Bondi (the true owner of the painting) sought to hold the work (which was on loan to MOMA from the Leopold Museum in Vienna) in New York City, it prompted District Attorney Robert Morgenthau to launch a criminal investigation. This now famous case caused well-known and well-respected museums worldwide to look carefully at their own collections for art objects that may have been stolen. This documentary reflects the careful research and archival footage that brought the case back to life. VERDICT This DVD should be acquired for most library collections, especially those whose patrons enjoy programming on art history, legal studies, European history, and Holocaust and Judaic studies. Highly recommended.—Herbert E. Shapiro, Lifelong Learning Soc., Florida Atlantic Univ., Boca Raton

redstar Pedal-Driven: A Bikeumentary. color. 104+ min. Jamie Howell, Howell at the Moon Prods., dist. by Docurama c/o New Video, 800-314-8822; 2013. DVD UPC 767685287255. $29.95. SPORTS/ENVIRONMENT

Mountain biking is an increasingly popular way to enjoy the outdoors. In the recent past, trail-making bikers often found themselves at odds with the state or national organizations charged with maintaining public lands. This outstanding video documents the evolution of the Backcountry Bicycle Trails Club (BBTC), also known as the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance (EMBA), as it became a major advocate for mountain biking in Washington State. Following the model of the Central Oregon Trail Alliance and advocacy strategies of the International Mountain Biking Association, BBTC partnered with the U.S. Forest Service to create and maintain trails on the public lands near Leavenworth, WA. They didn’t stop there, however. EMBA also maintains a trail under highway I-5 in Seattle! The cinematography and bike riding here are spectacular. VERDICT This must-buy, must-see video is highly recommended to public librarians and their cycling patrons of all ages. Highly recommended.—Cliff Glaviano, formerly with Bowling Green State Univ. Libs., OH

redstar Elaine Stritch at Liberty. color. 89 min. Andy Picheta, Iambic Prods./HBO/BBC, dist. by Kultur, 2013. DVD ISBN 9780769750422. $24.99. THEATER

In her 2002 triumph, legendary Broadway icon and diva Elaine Stritch delivers exactly what you would want in a one-woman show: a brick wall, a stool, a spotlight, sparkling patter, humorous reminiscing, honesty, and dazzling talent. Never the pretty girl, best singer, or best dancer, she still attracted the attention of the likes of Noël Coward, Stephen Sondheim, Irving Berlin, Rodgers and Hart, and at the other end of the spectrum, Edward Albee. She covers an entire 60 years here, from a mispronounced introduction by Ed Sullivan to the filming of this production. All is bared, and nothing is hidden: alcoholism, disappointment, strip joints with Marlon Brando, imperfect marriages, and successes late in life. Nearly 80 here, Stritch exudes an energy that is as amazing as her revelations. One might quibble with the film’s too many close-ups or straight-on angles, but they don’t diminish its power. VERDICT Elaine Stritch at Liberty records a historic musical hurricane of a performance (Tony and Emmy Award–­winning) and should be considered required viewing for anyone even remotely interested in Broadway or musical theater. A one-of-a-kind career recorded for all to behold.—­Gerald A. Notaro, emeritus, Univ. of South Florida Lib., St. Petersburg

For all the latest reviews in this subject area and more, check out our new Book Verdict site! Book Verdict is fully accessible to all users, though certain content and functionality are only available to subscribers.

To log in to your account, click here. To view the new subscription options, Get Started With Book Verdict Pro Today.

Don't know if you have an account with us? It's easy to check and verify your email, or create a new account.
The following titles are reviewed in this month's print issue.
Visit Book Verdict for the full reviews.


The Devil and Miss Jones. b/w. 92 min. Sam Wood, dist. by Olive Films, 2013. DVD UPC 887090056700. $24.99; Blu-ray UPC 887090056809. $29.99. F

The English Teacher. 2 discs. color. 93+ min. Craig Zisk, Artina Films in assoc. with JSC Entertainment, dist. by Tribeca Film & Cinedigm c/o New Video, 800-314-8822; 2013. DVD UPC 767685292310. $24.95; Blu-ray/DVD combo UPC 767785292327. $29.95. Closed-captioned. Rated: R. F

Savannah. color. 110+ min. Annette Haywood-Carter, Unclaimed Freight Prods., dist. by Ketchup Entertainment, 2013. DVD UPC 796019827201. $20.99. Rated: PG-13. F


Baby Peggy: The Elephant in the Room. color & b/w. 54+ min. Vera Iwerebor, dist. by Milestone Film & Video, 800-603-1104; 2013. DVD ISBN 9781933920474. $24.95. FILM/BIOG

Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey. color. 105+ min. In English & Tagalog w/English subtitles. Ramona S. Diaz, Cinedigm & Docurama, 2013. DVD UPC 767685285015. $24.95. Closed-captioned. Rated: R. MUSIC

Greetings from Tim Buckley: The Story of the Rise of Jeff Buckley. color. 99+ min. Dan Algrant, Smuggler Films, dist. by Tribeca Film, Cinedigm c/o New Video, 800-314-8822; 2013. DVD UPC 767685294925. $26.95. Closed-captioned. MUSIC/BIOPIC


Shaman Healer Sage. color. 64+ min. Miguel Heded Abraham, True Mind, dist. by Entertainment One, 2013. DVD UPC 826262008291. $19.98. BIOG

Peace Through Education: Stealing the Light. color. 51 min. In English & Pashto w/English subtitles. Aimie Burns, Rock-Creek Prods., dist. by AV Café, 877-228-2233; 2013. DVD $14.99. ED/INT AFFAIRS

Hands on a Hardbody: The Documentary. color. 96+ min. S.R. Bindler, dist. by Hands on a Hard Body, 2013. DVD UPC 823857165124. $20. Rated: PG. SOC SCI

Only the Young. 70+ min. Jason Tippet & Elizabeth Mims.

Tchoupitoulas. 82+ min. Bill Ross IV & Turner Ross.

ea. vol: color. dist. by Oscilloscope Labs, 2013. 2-disc set DVD UPC 896602002487. $29.99. SDH subtitles. SOC SCI


The Business of Being Born: Classroom Edition. color. 30 min. w/tchr’s. guide. Abby Epstein, NewLine Home Entertainment, dist. by TopSpinMedia, or Choices in Childbirth, 2013. DVD $29.99; digital download $24.99. CHILDBIRTH

Cape Spin! An American Power Struggle. color. 86+ min. Robbie Gemmel & John Kirby, Rebirth Prods./Press & the Public Project, dist. by Video Project, 800-4-PLANET; 2013. DVD $39.95; acad. libs. $295. Public performance; closed-captioned. ENVIRONMENT

redstar Arthritis Rx: Exercises To Keep You Active and Pain-Free. color. 70+ min. Ernie Schultz, RLJ Entertainment, dist. by Acacia, 800-944-0474; 2013. DVD ISBN 9781621721055. $19.95. SDH subtitles. HEALTH