Glory, Kedi, The Madness of King George, Rebecca, Ronin | Fast Scans: Top Foreign & Indie Picks

Glory. 101+ min. In Bulgarian w/English subtitles. Film Movement. 2017. DVD UPC 859686006208. $24.95. Closed-captioned.

A railroad lineman (Stefan Denolyu­bov) stumbles onto a fortune in cash during a routine inspection and, after alerting police, is feted as a hero by an opportunistic transport minister. Orchestrated by the department’s hard-driving public relations manager (Margita ­Gosheva), the worker is presented with a cheap watch in a photo-op. In the process, the hapless man’s own engraved watch is misplaced, setting in motion a series of attempts to get back his timepiece, which end in calamity. Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov (The Lesson) adroitly skewer a corrupt bureaucracy.

Kedi. 79+ min. In Turkish w/English subtitles. Oscilloscope Labs. 2017. DVD UPC 857490005431. $34.99; Blu-ray UPC 857490005448. $39.99.

Wandering the streets of Istanbul, seven stray cats of differing personalities star in Ceyda Torun’s purr-fect meditation on the nature of felines and the people who love them. Feeding off the kindness of strangers who do not remain strangers for long, these neither feral nor tame nomads are frequently captured in “cat-cam” fashion at ground level, proving they’re better than poison in dealing with rodents. But the real focus is on the effect cats have on the lives of entranced residents who interact with them even as the objects of their affection maintain a certain mystery. [See Best Media 2017, LJ 1/18, p. 31.]

The Madness of King George. 111 min. Olive Films. 1994. DVD UPC 887090138413. $24.99; Blu-ray UPC 887090138512. $29.99. Rated: PG-13.

Based on Alan Bennett’s praised play The Madness of King George III, Nicholas Hytner’s much-lauded adaptation portrays the apparent dementia of the late 18th-century monarch. Reprising his stage role, Nigel Hawthorne rules the screen with grandly temperamental outbursts that spark a plot to unseat the King by the Prince of Wales (Rupert Everett) and others, which the Queen (Helen Mirren) and Prime Minister (Julian Wadham) oppose. Meanwhile, an unconventional physician (Ian Holm) offers useful aid. The Oscar-winning art direction reigns in this HD debut.

Rebecca. 2 discs. b/w. 130+ min. Criterion Collection. 1940. DVD ISBN 9781681433509. $29.95; Blu-ray ISBN 9781681433493. $39.95.

Making his first stateside film—an Oscar-winning United Artists indie—for famed producer David O. Selznick (Gone with the Wind), Alfred Hitchcock highlights the psychodrama in Daphne du Maurier’s 1938 gothic romance. Laurence Olivier is Maxim de Winter, the troubled widower who takes a young bride (Joan Fontaine) to help him forget about his former wife, whose presence lingers in his sprawling country estate. Judith Anderson is truly creepy as the obsessive housekeeper Mrs. Danvers. Restored and remastered in high-definition, the film oozes a foreboding atmosphere.

Ronin. 2 discs. 122+ min. Arrow Video c/o MVDvisual. 1998. DVD/Blu-ray UPC 760137035381. $39.99. Rated: R.

Like wandering samurai without a master, onetime Special Forces and intelligence operatives (Robert De Niro, Jean Reno, Stellan Skarsgård, et al.) at loose ends after the Cold War hire out as mercenaries to steal an attaché case for a mysterious boss (Natascha ­McElhone). In his late-career comeback film, John Frankenheimer (The Manchurian ­Candidate) reestablishes his chops as an action-thriller director with elaborate car chase sequences that rival Bullitt and The French Connection. And the surprising double- and triple-crosses contribute to one heck of an exciting ride.

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