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Czech Republic & Slovakia


La Vie en Rose (Extended Version)

La Vie en Rose (Extended Version) Lowest new price: $5.99
Lowest used price: $1.80
List price: $14.97
Brand: HBO HOME VIDEO
Model: 3344132

La Vie En Rose (DVD)

Marion Cotillard ("Big Fish," "A Very Long Engagement") won a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for her performance in this examination of the life of singer Edith Piaf (1915-1963), known as “The Little Sparrow.” Piaf grew up in difficult circumstances, living at times with her mother, an alcoholic street singer; her father, a circus performer; and a grandmother, a madam at a brothel. A 20-year-old street singer, she is discovered by a club owner who is soon murdered, and coached by a musician who brings her to concert halls. Her rise to fame after that was fast, and her constant companions were alcohol and heartache. The tragedies of a love affair with Marcel Cerdan and the death of her only child belie the words of one of her signature songs, "Non, je ne regrette rien" (translated: “No, I regret nothing”). In addition to Cotillard’s Best Actress Oscar, “La Vie En Rose” also took home an Academy Award for Best Achievement in Makeup. French-language film with English subtitles.

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Edith Piaf is the subject of La Vie en Rose, director Olivier Dahan's powerful if emotionally redundant biographical film about the iconic French superstar whose life, as depicted here, seems to have been a numbing succession of tragedies interrupted on occasion by artistic triumph. Dahan's portrait begins with Piaf's stay in a brothel as a young girl. Left to the care of her grandmother (who runs the place) after her father pulls her away from a narcissistic mother, Piaf undergoes significant health problems and grows up to sing on the street in lieu of outright prostitution. The film pulses along with the usual biopic rhythms, with pivotal moments in the life of Piaf (played as an adult by Marion Cotillard) turning up regularly only to be smacked aside by the unseen hand of perpetual misfortune. There's the impresario (Gerard Depardieu) who recognizes Piaf's great but raw talent only to have a run-in with the criminal element around her. There's the heavyweight fighter (Marcel Cerdan) who becomes the love of Piaf's life but can't be with her. Drug addiction, random car accidents, tax problems, you name it, it's all here, topped by an unnerving revelation that pops up in La Vie en Rose's final moments. After awhile, with such a concentration of bad news squeezed into 140 minutes, one begins to wish Dahan had taken a more expansive approach to Piaf's life and times. But the film is never less than interesting, and the lead performance by Cotillard is often astonishing. --Tom Keogh

Features:

  • Condition: New
  • Format: DVD
  • AC-3; Closed-captioned; Color; Dolby; DVD; Subtitled; Widescreen; NTSC

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Oliver Twist (2005)

Oliver Twist (2005) Lowest new price: $2.38
Lowest used price: $0.87
List price: $7.99
Brand: KINGSLEY,BEN
Model: 2227288

Roman Polanski directs the classic Charles Dickens' story of a young orphan boy who gets involved with a gang of pickpockets in 19th Century London. Abandoned at an early age, Oliver Twist (Barney Clark) is forced to live in a workhouse lorded over by the awful Mr. Bumble, who cheats the boys of their meager rations. Desperate yet determined, Oliver makes his escape to the streets of London. Penniless and alone, he is lured into a world of crime by the sinister Fagin (Academy-Award(r) winner Sir Ben Kingsley) -- the mastermind of a gang of pint-sized pickpockets. Oliver's rescue by the kindly Mr. Brownlow is only the beginning of a series of adventures that lead him to the promise of a better life.

Features:

  • Shrink-wrapped

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Tristan and Isolde (Widescreen Edition)

Tristan and Isolde (Widescreen Edition) Lowest new price: $2.48
Lowest used price: $0.90
List price: $6.98
Brand: FRANCO,JAMES
Model: 2219033

In the medieval legend of Tristan and Isolde, young lovers become doomed against the forces of royal politics. English knight Tristan wins the hand of the daughter of the Irish King, but the love threatens the truce between their two countries.

Features:

  • Shrink-wrapped

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Zelary

Zelary Lowest new price: $10.50
Lowest used price: $1.90
List price: $19.99
Brand: GEISLEROVA,ANNA

Two very different people meet and fall in love in ZELARY, the Oscar(r)-nominated (Best Foreign Language Film, 2003) romantic epic from director Ondrej Trojan. Eliska, a sophisticated medical student,first meets Joza at a Prague hospital, where her blood saves the injured sawmill worker's life. But Eliska also works with the Czech resistance and when she's betrayed to the Gestapo, Joza agrees tohide the young woman in his romote mountain village of Zelary. Forced to marry the rough-hewn peasant and pose as his wife, Eliska is at first defiant and angry. But with the passing of time, she comes to realize that there's more to Joza than first meets the eye. And so, even as the war rages around them, Eliska and Joza soon find themselves deeply and passionately in love, until an unexpected twist of fate threatens to put their extraordinary romance to the ultimate test.

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Kolya

Kolya Lowest new price: $28.95
Lowest used price: $5.96
List price: $14.99
Brand: Buena Vista Home Video

Winner of the Academy Award(R) and Golden Globe as Best Foreign Language Film, this irresistible comedy treat was embraced by critics and audiences everywhere! A confirmed bachelor is in for the surprise of his life when a get-rich-quick scheme backfires ... setting off a wild set of circumstances -- and leaving him with a pint-sized new roommate! Now, with a mischievous five-year-old named Kolya suddenly in his care ... life in this once carefree playboy's tiny apartment changes faster than he could ever imagine! Uplifting and endlessly funny, KOLYA is delightful motion picture entertainment you'll want to take home!

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Loves of a Blonde (The Criterion Collection)

Loves of a Blonde (The Criterion Collection) Lowest new price: $17.97
Lowest used price: $7.50
List price: $22.10
Brand: BREJCHOVA,HANA
Model: 2225024

A Czech musician seduces and abandons a factory worker. Directed by Milos Forman.

Features:

  • Shrink-wrapped

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Lemonade Joe

Lemonade Joe Lowest new price: $13.40
Lowest used price: $4.99
List price: $13.99
Brand: FACETS VIDEO

An outrageous parody of classic Hollywood westerns, this musical comedy from Czech director Oldrich Lipsky draws on his previous work in animation to spoof and exaggerate the genre. Set in Stetson City, the story opens with a brawl in the Trigger Whisky Saloon. Silver-clad Lemonade Joe rides into town, bringing law and order-and lemonade-to the frontier, while rescuing Winifred Goodman from the clutches of Hogo Fogo. Throughout the film, characters burst into song at the slightest provocation, regaling audiences with such memorable tunes as "Do You See My Moist Lips?" and "When The Smoke Thickens in the Bar." One of the most novel films from the Czech New Wave, LEMONADE JOE is a comic gem and a clever homage to early Hollywood westerns.

Features:

  • Factory sealed DVD

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Divided We Fall

Divided We Fall Lowest new price: $21.96
Lowest used price: $7.26
Brand: POLIVKA,BOLEK

Earning an Academy Award(r) nomination for Best Foreign Language Film of 2000, DIVIDED WE FALL tells the true and bittersweet story of a Czechoslovakian couple whose village has been taken over by Nazis during World War II. Josef (Boleslav Polívka) and Marie Cizek (Anna Sisková) lead a simple and restricted life in their small apartment while outside the turmoil of war and prejudice is a constant threat. When they decide to hide a young Jewish neighbor in their home (Csongor Kassai), the danger of their situation increases, especially since they have a constant visitor Horst (Jaroslav Dusek), aformer colleague of Josef's and a German sympathizer with eyes for Marie. When she rejects his advances, he seeks revenge by trying to move a Nazi clerk into their home, forcing the couple to tell a lie that will change their lives forever. With an engrossing, historically-charged story and subtle yet stirring performances, DIVIDED WE FALL is a film of depth and humanity that you'll never forget.

A daring comedy of ethics, Divided We Fall takes place during World War II in a small, Nazi-occupied town in Czechoslovakia. Josef and Maria, a childless couple, have withdrawn further and further from reality even as the war circles closer to their eerily quiet town. Josef's decision to sleep through a war he doesn't want to acknowledge is soon tested when the Jewish son of his former employer arrives in the middle of the night seeking refuge. David, the sole survivor from his family, escaped from a concentration camp in Poland and managed to return to the only place he knows in search of help. As they harbor David in their pantry over the next three years, Josef and Maria discover the depth of their resolve, forced to play the role of seeming collaborators in order to save themselves and David. Reminiscent more of Yugoslav filmmaker Emir Kustirica's devastating brand of black humor (Underground, Time of the Gypsies) than the saccharine Life Is Beautiful, to which it has been repeatedly compared, Divided We Fall achieves quite a lot, capturing the pervasive suspicion and betrayal of World War II through the unexpected guise of situation comedy. --Fionn Meade

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Body Without Soul

Body Without Soul Lowest new price: $10.01
Lowest used price: $8.88
List price: $14.95
Brand: Water Bearer Films

From director Wiktor Grodecki (Mandragora) this startling and disturbing feature is a graphic insider's view of the seedy but burgeoning East Europe industry that trades nubile young men. The film introduces us to one of the adults (now jailed) who exploits Prague's youth; the city's police coroner and prolific porn director named Pavel. Told with unflinching honesty, Body Without Soul provides an explicit view of the exploitation, pain , and pitiful existence of young men who, out of necessity, sell their bodies to survive. The camera follows the young men as they walk the streets, work on porno shoots, hustle for money, and talk abut their emotions, bodies, sexual preferences and fear of AIDS, their hopes and demons.

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Fantastic Planet

Fantastic Planet Lowest new price: $39.99
Lowest used price: $5.97
List price: $24.95
Brand: FACETS VIDEO

René Laloux's mesmerising psychedelic sci-fi animated feature won the Special Jury Prize at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival and is a landmark of European animation. Based on Stefan Wul's novel Oms en série [Oms by the Dozen], Laloux's breathtaking vision was released in France as La Planète sauvage [The Savage Planet]; in the USA as Fantastic Planet; and immediately drew comparisons to Swift's Gulliver's Travels and Planet of the Apes (both the 1968 film and Boule's 1963 novel). Today, the film can be seen to prefigure much of the work of Hayao Miyazaki at Studio Ghibli (Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away) due to its palpable political and social concerns, cultivated imagination, and memorable animation techniques.

Fantastic Planet tells the story of Oms, a human-like species, kept as domesticated pets by an alien race of blue giants called Draags. The story takes place on the Draags' planet Ygam, where we follow our narrator, an Om called Terr, from infancy to adulthood. He manages to escape enslavement from a Draag learning device used to educate the savage Oms - and begins to organise an Om revolt. The imagination invested in the surreal creatures, music and sound design, and eerie landscapes, is immense and unforgettable. This release includes the early LaLoux short The Snails.


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