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|La Vie en Rose (Extended Version)
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Brand: HBO HOME VIDEO
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.]]>
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
- Condition: New
- Format: DVD
- AC-3; Closed-captioned; Color; Dolby; DVD; Subtitled; Widescreen; NTSC
|Oliver Twist (2005)
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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.
|Tristan and Isolde (Widescreen Edition)
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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.
- TRISTAN AND ISOLDE (WIDESCREEN EDI MOVIE
|Loves of a Blonde (The Criterion Collection)
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With sixteen women to each man, the odds are against Andula in her desperate search for love-that is, until a rakish piano player visits her small factory town and temporarily eases her longings. A tender and humorous look at Andula's journey, from the first pangs of romance to its inevitable disappointments, Loves of a Blonde (Lásky jedné plavovlásky) immediately became a classic of the Czech New Wave and earned Milos Forman the first of his Academy Award® nominations.
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The latest provocation from surrealist master Jan Svankmajer deliriously combines live action, stop-motion animation, kinky sex, Euro-trash violence and horror, black comedy, and lots of frisky meat puppets. In nineteenth-century rural France, a young man named Jean Berlot becomes caught up in the nigthmarish world of a mysterious, decadent Marqius: orgiastic black masses, "therapeutic" funerals, and an asylum with a smoirgasbord of macabre "treatments" and tarred-and-feathered doctors.
|The Shop On Main Street (The Criterion Collection)
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An inept Czech peasant is torn between greed and guilt when the Nazi-backed bosses of his town appoint him "Aryan controller" of an old Jewish widow's button shop. Humor and tragedy fuse in this scathing exploration of one cowardly man's complicity in the horrors of a totalitarian regime. Made near the height of Soviet oppression in Czechoslovakia, The Shop on Main Street features intense editing and camera work which won it the Academy Award® for Best Foreign Film in 1965.
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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.
|Closely Watched Trains (The Criterion Collection)
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At a village railway station in occupied Czechoslovakia, a bumbling dispatcher's apprentice longs to liberate himself from his virginity. Oblivious to the war and the resistance that surrounds him, this young man embarks on a journey of sexual awakening and self-discovery, encountering a universe of frustration, eroticism, and adventure within his sleepy backwater depot. Wry and tender, Academy Award®-winning Closely Watched Trains is a masterpiece of human observation and one of the best-loved films of the Czech New Wave.
|Up and Down
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A dysfunctional family reunion between a college professor, his long-estranged son and the lover they both shared. Two petty pickpockets who attempt to rob a black belt in karate. A dimwitted soccer hooligan whose wife buys a baby in a pawnshop. These are just a few of the unconnected strangers whofind a common connection in the award-winning new comedy from the director of Divided We Fall. Winner of five Czech Lion Awards including Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Actress, UP AND DOWN is a "stirring comedy, too good to be missed!" (Joe Morgenstern, The Wall Street Journal)
|The End of August at the Hotel Ozone
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Brand: FACETS VIDEO
Nuclear war has destroyed most of civilization. A pack of wild girls search for males who can give them children. THE END OF THE AUGUST AT HOTEL OZONE, scripted by Czech New Wave filmmaker Pavel Juracek (Voyage to the End of the Universe), offers a chilling look at the future of humanity. With its stark cinematography and atmospheric settings, director Jan Schmidt creates the perfect mood to complement Juracek’s sci-fi tale about what awaits us after the end of the world.
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