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Artistic, sensual and sacred passions unite in Babette's Feast. Written and directed by Gabriel Axel, from a short story by Out of Africa's Isak Dinesen, this Oscar(r)-winning*film offers "an irresistible mixture of dry wit and robust humanity" (Newsweek). Onthe desolate coast of Denmark live Martina and Philippa, the beautiful daughters of a devout clergyman who preaches salvation through self-denial. Both girls sacrifice youthful passion to faith and duty, and even many years after their father's death, they keep his austere teachings alive among thetownspeople. But with the arrival of Babette, a mysterious refugee from France's civil war, life for the sisters and their tiny hamlet begins to change. Soon, Babette has convinced them to try something truly outrageousa gourmet French meal! Her feast, of course, scandalizes the local elders. Just who is this strangely talented Babette, who has terrified this pious town with the prospect of losing their souls for enjoying too much earthly pleasure? *1987: Foreign Language Film
Some movies can only be described as delicious. In Babette's Feast, a woman flees the French civil war and lands in a small seacoast village in Denmark, where she comes to work for two spinsters, devout daughters of a puritan minister. After many years, Babette unexpectedly wins a lottery, and decides to create a real French dinner--which leads the sisters to fear for their souls. Joining them for the meal will be a Danish general who, as a young soldier, courted one of the sisters, but she turned him away because of her religion. The village elders all resolve not to enjoy the meal, but can their moral fiber resist the sensual pleasure of Babette's cooking? Babette's Feast deservedly won the 1987 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. This lovely movie is impeccably simple, yet its slender narrative contains a wealth of humor, melancholy, and hope. --Bret Fetzer
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Brand: Universal Music
Jackie (Katie Dickie) works at a video-surveillance firm that is in charge of protecting people who live on a single block of Red Road in urban Glasgow. When she sees an ex-con (Tony Curran) from her past appear on her monitor, she is compelled to confront him for his crimes and begins to stalk him. What mysterious history do they share, and why is Jackie so determined to punish this man? Filmmaker Andrea Arnold keeps the audience guessing and the tension building as Red Road crescendos to an explosive finale.
|You Are Not Alone
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Brand: TLA Releasing
Unflinchingly honest and boundlessly lyrical, the exploration of sexual awakening in You Are Not Alone was a turning point in world cinema. At a Danish boy's boarding school in the late 1970s, Bo and Kim are naive young classmates, whose friendship blossoms into a childlike love affair. When their friend is expelled for a prank involving lewd posters, the student body bands together to strike against the school and its authoritarian headmaster. Lasse Nielsen and Ernst Johansen's classic film is a groundbreaking meditation on innocence, rebellion and love.
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|Europa (The Criterion Collection)
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You will now listen to my voice . . . On the count of ten you will be in Europa . . ." So begins Max von Sydow s opening narration to Lars von Trier s hypnotic Europa (known in the U.S. as Zentropa), a fever dream in which American pacifist Leopold Kessler (Jean-Marc Barr) stumbles into a job as a sleeping-car conductor for the Zentropa railways in a Kafkaesque 1945 postwar Frankfurt. With its gorgeous black-and-white and color imagery and meticulously recreated (if then nightmarishly deconstructed) costumes and sets, Europa is one of the great Danish filmmaker s weirdest and most wonderful works, a runaway train ride to an oddly futuristic past.
SPECIAL EDITION DOUBLE-DISC SET FEATURES:
New, restored high-definition digital transfer
Audio commentary featuring director Lars von Trier and producer Peter Aalbæk Jensen (in Danish)
The Making of Europa (1991), a documentary following the film from storyboarding to production
Trier s Element (1991), a documentary featuring an interview with von Trier, and footage from the set and Europa s Cannes premiere and press conference
Anecdotes from Europa (2005), a short documentary featuring interviews with film historian Peter Schepelern, actor Jean-Marc Barr, producer Peter Aalbæk Jensen, assistant director Tómas Gislason, co-writer Niels Vørsel, and prop master Peter Grant
2005 interviews with cinematographer Henning Bendtsen, composer Joachim Holbek, costume designer Manon Rasmussen, film-school teacher Mogens Rukov, editor/director Tómas Gislason, producer Peter Aalbæk Jensen, art director Peter Grant, actor Michael Simpson, production manager Per Arman, actor Ole Ernst
A conversation with Lars von Trier from 2005, in which the director speaks about the Europa trilogy
Europa The Faecal Location (2005), a short film by Gislason
New and improved English subtitle translation
PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by critic Howard Hampton
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Brand: LIONS GATE HOME ENT.
Grace arrives in the isolated town of Dogville, on the run from gangsters. The townspeople agree to hide her. However, when outsiders start looking for the fugitive, the locals make demands of Grace in exchange for the risk of harboring her. But Grace has a secret and it is a dangerous one. Dogville may regret it ever decided to bare its teeth.
- DVD Details: Actors: Nicole Kidman, Harriet Andersson, Lauren Bacall, Jean-Marc Barr, Paul Bettany
- Directors: Lars von Trier
- Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC. Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
- Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1; Number of discs: 1; Studio: Lions Gate
- DVD Release Date: August 24, 2004; Run Time: 178 minutes
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Brand: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
It's Helge Klingenfeldt's much-anticipated sixtieth birthday party, but no one is ready for the bombshell about to be delivered by his oldest son, Christian - a dark family secret that contributed to his twin sister's recent suicide. Helge Klingenfeldt (Henning Moritzen) is a respected Danish patriarch whose country estate is the scene of a grand celebration. Friends and relatives have arrived. The staff has prepared the most succulent foods to be served with the finest wines. Even Helge's squabbling adult children seem to be on their best behavior: free-spirited Helene (Paprika Steen), hot-blooded Michael (Thomas Bo Larsen), and sensitive Christian (Ulrich Thomsen) whose birthday toast turns the genteel celebration into a surprise party from hell.
|Smilla's Sense Of Snow
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Based on the best-selling novel this gripping, suspenseful thriller about a headstrong woman who uses her uncanny knowledge of ice and snow to unravel a taut web of lies and intrigue. When her six-year old neighbor falls from a snow covered roof, Smilla suspects the boys death was no accident. Together with a mysterious lover, who holds secrets of his own, she defies local authorities and begins a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse in an effort to uncover the truth.
Based on a much-praised 1992 bestseller by Peter Hoeg, Smilla's Sense of Snow is a film of moody power and boundless mystery in its first half, but it becomes an overblown, conspiracy-laden schlock thriller in its second. Julia Ormond stars as the half-Inuit, Greenland native of Hoeg's book, a loner who is supported by an emotionally ambivalent father (Robert Loggia) in Copenhagen. Apparently perceived as a troublemaker who sees secret plots everywhere, Smilla finds herself largely alone in an effort to discover what really happened to a six-year-old Inuit boy who fell (or jumped) off the roof of her apartment building. Somewhat aided by an ambiguous neighbor (Gabriel Byrne), Smilla investigates a connection between the child's death and the misdeeds of a mining company, a story hook that conveniently ratchets up the action but quickly dissipates the more compelling, introspective intrigue of the film's beginning. Ormond is fascinating, somehow more beautiful than usual through her emphasis of her character's destabilizing conflicts (isolation and a possibly unhinged intelligence). But she isn't done any favors by an unreliable script or by the usually superb Danish director Bille August's chronic problems working in English-language films (including his disastrous The House of the Spirits). The DVD edition of this film includes an original theatrical trailer and a short feature on the making of the production. --Tom Keogh
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- Format: DVD
- Anamorphic; Closed-captioned; Color; Dolby; DVD; Subtitled; Widescreen; NTSC
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Brand: Film Movement Presents
Ivan is an insanely optimistic preacher who takes in convicts to help around the remote, rural church he ministers to. His current charges are a psychotic Saudi immigrant addicted to robbing gas stations and an alcoholic tennis pro convicted of sexual assault. His newest "helper" is Adam, a vicious neo-Nazi anxiously biding his time before he can return to hell-raising. Asked to set a goal for his stay, Adam sarcastically answers that he'd like to bake a cake. Ivan cheerfully takes that statement at face value and puts him in charge of the parish's pride and joy: the only apple tree in the vicinity. Grasping the extent of Ivan's crazed, preternatural determination to look on the bright side of everything, Adam immediately decides to shake him out of his rose-colored stupor.
Official Selection - Sundance, Toronto, Seattle and San Francisco Film Festivals. In Danish with English subtitles.
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Brand: CINEDIGM - UNI DIST CORP
TRAVELING ACROSS AMERICA WITH HER FATHER, GRACE HAPPENS UPON THE ISOLATED PLANTATION OF MANDERLAY - A PLACE WHOSE INHABITANTS DO NOT KNOW THAT SLAVERY HAS BEEN ABOLISHED. OUTRAGED, GRACE FIGHTS AGAINST ALL ODDS TO PUT THINGS RIGHT AND FREE THE SLAVES.
- Liberation. Whether They Want It Or Not. From the director of Dancer In The Dark and Dogville comes Manderlay, a moving and hard-hitting story about emancipation from slavery. Traveling across America with her father (Willem Dafoe), Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard) comes to discover the isolated plantation of Manderlay-a place whose inhabitants do not know that slavery has been abolished. Outraged t
|After the Wedding
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Far from home, Jacob (Casino Royale villain, Mads Mikkelsen), runs a struggling orphanage in one India’s poorest regions. Desperate to save the orphanage from closure, he returns to Denmark to meet Jorgen (Rolf Lassgard) a wealthy businessman and potential benefactor. What appears to be nothing more than a friendly gesture to attend a wedding sets in motion an increasingly devastating series of surprises, revelations, and confessions that will forever change their lives.
Equal parts weepy drama and soap opera, After the Wedding is a beautifully filmed story centering on Jacob (Mads Mikkelsen, Casino Royale), a Danish man working at a orphanage in Bombay. Just when funds have run desperately low, Jorgen (Rolf Lassgård)--a wealthy benefactor--promises to donate millions of dollars to the orphanage. But there's a catch. Jacob must collect the funds himself in Copenhagen... and attend the wedding of the eccentric millionaire's daughter. But once Jacob meets the benefactor's wife Helene (played by a radiant Sidse Babett Knudsen), it's obvious to the viewer that the two have a complicated history. It’s also likely that her daughter Anna (Stine Fischer Christensen) most probably is theirs. So why did Jorgen invite Jacob to Anna's wedding? Does he know Jacob is Anna's father? Is something nefarious in the works? The thought-provoking film was Denmark's entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2007 Academy Awards. Subtitled in English, the Danish picture is well helmed by director Susanne Bier (Brothers), who manages to keep the film from delving into over the top histrionics. Mikkelsen is particularly good, whether he's channeling his anger at having been shut out of his maybe-daughter's life for the past 20 years, or having to grovel a bit to get Jorgen to donate the funds as promised to his orphanage. The relationships here are messy and often uncomfortable. But they also ring true to life. --Jae-Ha Kim
- AFTER THE WEDDING (DVD MOVIE)
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