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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
|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.
|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.
|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.
|The Firemen's Ball (The Criterion Collection)
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A milestone of the Czech New Wave, Milos Forman's first color film The Firemen's Ball (Horí, má panenko) is both a dazzling comedy and a provocative political satire. A hilarious saga of good intentions confounded, the story chronicles a firemen's ball where nothing goes right-from a beauty pageant whose reluctant participants embarrass the organizers to a lottery from which nearly all the prizes are pilfered. Presumed to be a commentary on the floundering Czech leadership, the film was "banned forever" in Czechoslovakia following the Russian invasion and prompted Forman's move to America.
|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.
|The Great Water
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A man near the end of his life relives a crucial period from his youth in this powerful drama. Lem Nikodinoski (Meto Jovanovski) is a prominent Macedonian politician who has suffered a severe heart attack. As Lem drifts between life and death, his mind wanders to his childhood, and he observes his younger self (played by Saso Kekenovski) during his days in a camp for children whose parents were unwilling to embrace Russia's Stalinist regime following World War II. Ariton (Mitko Apostolovski), the camp's headmaster, is a strong taskmaster, but he displays a genuine compassion for his charges; Olivera (Verica Nedeska), his second in command, takes a more stern approach, and is willing to dole out physical punishment to any child who does not absorb her Stalinist teachings. One day, a new boy enters the camp, Isak (Maja Stankovska), who displays a calm but resilient nature that's different from the fearful attitudes of the other children. After initial resistance, Lem becomes close friends with Isak, and their friendship helps Lem confront the horrors of camp life in a new way.
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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.
|Loves of a Blonde (The Criterion Collection)
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A Czech musician seduces and abandons a factory worker. Directed by Milos Forman.
- Ingmar Bergmans Cinema (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
- Dietrich and von Sternberg in Hollywood (Morocco, Dishonored, Shanghai Express, Blonde Venus, The Scarlet Empress, The Devil Is a Woman) (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
- Knife in the Water
- The Passion of Joan of Arc (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
- Night of the Living Dead (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
- Eclipse Series 32: Pearls of the Czech New Wave (Pearls of the Deep, Daisies, A Report on the Party and Guests, Return of the Prodigal Son, Capricious Summer, The Joke) (Criterion Collection)
- Four by Agnes Varda (La Pointe Courte / Cleo from 5 to 7 / Le bonheur / Vagabond) (The Criterion Collection)
- The Importance of Being Earnest (The Criterion Collection)
- A Matter of Life and Death (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
- Il Posto (The Criterion Collection)
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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.
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