Wednesday, September 26, 2007

This Just In: New DVD Releases

Bitter Sweet (Nôkô furin: torareta onna), 2004, directed by Mitsuru Meike, Japan
When young Shoko (Konatsu) begins to have doubts about her impending marriage, she sets out to explore the boundaries of love by seducing and having an illicit affair with an older man (Hitoshi Ishikawa). This provocative and erotic study of love, betrayal and sexual awakening makes for a notable entry in the catalog of Japanese "pink" films. Yuya Matsuura, Rinako Hirasawa, Mutsuo Yoshioka and Kazuhiro Sano co-star.

A Woman Without Love (Una Mujer Sin Amor), 1951, directed by Luis Buñuel, Mexico
Married to an old and ailing antiques dealer (Julio Villarreal), lonely society wife Rosario (Rosario Granados) has an affair and becomes pregnant. She successfully hides the true identity of the child's father for 20 years -- until a large inheritance arrives for her son. Filmed in Mexico by master surrealist director Luis Buñuel, this melodrama is based on a short story by Guy de Maupassant.

Grandes Muralistas, 2004, Mexico
Art and politics converge in this dramatic exploration of two famous Mexican muralists, Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros. Commissioned by Nelson Rockefeller to paint a mural, the fiery Rivera ultimately saw it destroyed when he refused to remove a portrait of Communist Party leader Lenin. The film further canvases the work of Siqueiros, a socialist whose paintings were strongly influenced by the Mexican Revolution.

Leyendas Del Cine Mexicano: Vol. 2, 2004, directed by Luis Kelly, Mexico
Originally produced for television, these programs pay tribute to two of Mexican cinema's beloved stars: María Félix and Pedro Armendáriz. Known to her fans as La Doña, Félix enjoyed a long, celebrated career as an actress, a profession she came upon by accident. Similarly, Armendáriz made his start as a railroad worker and tour guide when a chance encounter with a film director led to movie stardom.

Robinson's Garden (Robinson No Niwa), 1987, directed by Masashi Yamamoto, Japan
A contemporary take on the Robinson Crusoe story, this lyrical Japanese drama takes place in Tokyo, where a young woman, Kumi, loses herself in an abandoned factory and the surrounding lush gardens she discovers on the edge of town. Entranced by the beauty she finds there, Kumi starts spending more and more time in this haunting paradise, until she withdraws completely from the world outside. Cutting-edge filmmaker Masashi Yamamoto directs.

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