I Remember You (Ali Khamraev, 1985)

Like Fellini’s Amarcord, whose title it recalls, I Remember You is a semi-autobiographical meditation on the past. Kim, a veterinarian, leaves Samarkand at the request of his seriously ill mother and heads on a voyage across Russia in search of the grave of his father who died during the war. Reflecting Ali Khamraev’s own personal history – his Ukrainian mother and Tajik father, his father’s death during World War II, his own subsequent voyage with his brother to find the grave – this poetic journey into the subconscious memory is rendered in images of extraordinary intensity and beauty and one of Khamraev’s true masterpieces.

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Ghosts… of the Civil Dead (John Hillcoat, 1988)

“A brilliantly and authentically shocking film … nothing I have seen compares with Ghosts in the power of its ideas and the intensity of their treatment.” – THE AUSTRALIAN

“Combining structural daring with thumping emotional power, this film is the best news from Australian Cinema since the hey-day of the Aussie New Wave.” – Harlan Kennedy, FILM COMMENT

Drafthouse Films LogoCentral Industrial Prison, a new generation of maximum security prison painted in play school colors, is located in the middle of the desert.  It’s been locked down – confinement of all prisoners to their cells – following an outbreak of violence.  The film reveals the truth of the system told through a flashback.  Unseen but omnipotent, the prison’s administration deliberately provokes and manipulates inmates and officers alike until inmates exact their bloody revenge against their perceived oppressors.  With expert direction by John Hillcoat and a maniacal performance by Nick Cave (who also provides the film’s haunting soundtrack), Ghosts… of the Civil Dead is a “masterpiece on the order of Goya” (Brian Case, Time Out UK) with “echoes of Stanley Kubrick at his most uncompromising” (Derek Malcolm, The Guardian UK).

Ghosts… of the Civil Dead goes beyond traditional prison themes of good and evil to draw a frightening allegorical portrait of the nature and organization of our society, made most disturbing by the fact that it is all true.  Presented here, for the first time to North American audiences, is the most extraordinary collection of extras gathered for an Australian film – a complete history from inception to release as told by key cast, crew, and musicians, providing compelling insight into the film and the people who made it.

Special Features:

Central Industrial Edition – Package Includes:

  • Ghosts… of the Civil Dead on Blu-ray or Standard DVD featuring over 2 hours of bonus material
  • High quality 720p HD Digital Download of the Film Available on Street Date
  • Instant Download of Nick Cave’s 13-track Ghosts… of the Civil Dead Soundtrack
  • 27″ x 40″ Poster
  • Jack Henry Abbott’s book In the Belly of the Beast

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Wuthering Heights (Yoshishige Yoshida, 1988)

The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents Wuthering Heights.

criterion logoYoshishige Yoshida’s violent and erotic vision of Emily Brontë’s classic novel transposes its story from 19th century Yorkshire to medieval Japan to create a distinctive version of an English masterpiece.  Gone are the foggy, north English moors, the titular farmhouse, and Thrushcross Grange – replaced with a steaming, volcanic mountainside and the rival East and West mansions.  Onimaru (Yasaku Matsuda) is the orphan boy adopted into the Yamabe family of the East Mansion, responsible to appease the Mountain of Fire’s god.  His forbidden love for Kinu (Yuko Tanaka) is frustrated when she marries into the West Mansion, inspiring Onimaru’s vengeance and madness.  Yoshida’s brooding and claustrophobic Wuthering Heights celebrates the novel’s uncertainty and Gothic darkness while incorporating Shinto folklore and ritual, transgressive sexuality, and the romantic rebelliousness of the Japanese avant-garde.

Disc Features:

  • New 2K digital film restoration, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Introduction by Yoshishige Yoshida
  • New audio commentary by Japanese film scholar David Desser
  • Making of documentary
  • A new video piece by musician and scholar Philip Brophy on Wuthering Heights, Takemitsu Toru’s score, and the Japanese Gothic
  • Theatrical trailer
  • PLUS:  A booklet of essays by Wuthering Heights scholar Hila Shachar and Japanese film scholar Isolde Standish

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Big Time (Chris Blum, 1988)

The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents Big Time.

criterion logoFilmed during his 1987 tour, Big Time represents Tom Waits’ last great hurrah with his alter ego Frank O’Brien, a used furniture salesman who burned down his middle class, Californian existence and left for Hollywood to find show biz success.  Chris Blum’s film finds O’Brien working in an old theatre and dreaming of an eclectic cast of broken-down performers – wise-cracking pianists, masked preachers, skid row troubadours.  More than a mere concert film, Big Time is a musicotheatrical fantasy in dream time, embellishing Waits’ barks and stomps with unconventional sound-effects and additionally staged footage to create a vaudevillian fantasy and an ode to the musically surreal changes brought by his move to Island Records.

Disc Features:

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Tampopo (Juzo Itami, 1985)

criterion logoThe Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents Tampopo.

The vow of two truck drivers to help the widow Tampopo with her modest noodle shop is just the start of Juzo Itami’s singularly hilarious political satire and intertextual genre mash-up.  The film’s strange brew of unusual characters and narrative asides includes gangster gourmands, food squeezers, pasta slurpers, vagabond foodies and some very kinky sex.  Lampooning conventional definitions of the Japanese identity with a joyful and eclectic embrace of individualist thinking, Tampopo bulges with social commentary while being a guaranteed recipe for provocative entertainment.

Disc Features:

  • New high-definition digital restoration
  • New Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack
  • New audio commentary with film scholar Tony Rayns
  • The Making of Tampopo, Toshiro Uratani’s 87 minute documentary
  • Juzo Itami: The Man with 13 Faces, Uratani’s 120 minute made-for-TV documentary
  • New interviews with actor Tsutomu Yamazaki and Itami’s widow and star actress Nobuko Miyamoto
  • Original teasers and trailers
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS:  A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum and an illustrated guide to Japanese cuisine by Oishinbo writer Tetsu Kariya and artist Akira Hanasaki

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