Tuesday, July 3, 2007

This Just In: New DVDs

The Taste of Tea (Cha No Aji), 2004, directed by Katsuhito Ishii – Japan
Director Katsuhito Ishii's whimsical episodic tale chronicles a summer in the lives of the quirky Haruno clan, who passes the unhurried days trying to realize their ambitions. As Mom (Satomi Tezuka) attempts to revive her career, her hypnotherapist hubby (Tomokazu Miura) practices on the family. Meanwhile, their pubescent son (Takahiro Sato) feels the pangs of love, and their 6-year-old daughter (Maya Banno) grapples with a pesky dopplegänger.

Look to the Sky (Jon ache Visse Nella Balena), 1993, directed by Roberto Faenza – Germany/Italy
A Jewish boy struggles to survive when he and his parents are thrown into a German concentration camp during World War II in this touching drama that explores the Holocaust from the perspective of a young Dutch child. As Jona (played by Luke Petterson and Jenner Del Vecchio) grows up in the midst of horror, he tries to retain his humanity by clinging to his family and to his fading memories of a world where kindness is not a rarity.

Sodom the Killer (Sodomu no Ichi), 2004, directed by Hiroshi Takahashi, Japan
When his bride dies during the wedding, Lord Sodomu Ichibei kills two innocent girls in a vengeful rampage. Fast-forward 300 years to the present-day wedding of Ichibei's descendant Sodomu Ichiro, who will pay dearly for his ancestor's sins. The ghosts of Ichibei's victims return in unexpected places, prompting a matrimonial massacre that will drive Ichiro to unprecedented depths of despair and wrath. Takashi Urai plays both Sodomu men.