I’ve been catching up on short films lately and filling out my “Top Films of 2017” list. One favourite has been Makoto Nagahisa’s And So We Put Goldfish in the Pool (2017), the Short Film Grand Prize Jury Winner at Sundance earlier this year. The short follows Mayu (Reina Kikuchi), Tamiko (Rina Matsuyama), Ryoko (Marin Nishimoto), and Akane (Nina Yukawa), a quartet of rebellious sixteen year-olds unfulfilled in their hometown of Saitama and who release 400 goldfish in their high school swimming pool. Nagahisa aimed to emphasize “speed, dialogue, and sound” in Soushite watashitachi wa pûru ni kingyo o and the short draws quick comparisons to Edgar Wright for its exuberant style. For those won over Nagahisa energetic portrait of teenage apathy and cynicism, we encourage you to explore his previous works in music video and commercial film profiled on his website.
The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of classic important and contemporary films presents American Movie.
Menomonee Falls may be a long way from Hollywood, but quick-talking filmmaker Mark Borchardt has a cinematic dream and he aims to finance his magnum opus, Northwestern, through a direct-to-market, no-budget horror short titled Coven. Filmmakers Chris Smith and Sarah Price filmed Borchardt and his team of hometown thespians and semi-willing family members through two years of financial crisis and emotional turmoil. The result was a bizarrely heartfelt and hilariously poignant documentary that became the award-winning hit of the 1999 Sundance Film Festival and a uniquely arresting portrait of Midwestern eccentricity, determination and character.
- Restored 2K digital transfer approved by filmmakers Chris Smith and Sarah Price, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
- Audio commentary with filmmakers Smith and Price, star Borchardt, and co-star Mike Schank
- Coven, the short film of Borchardt
- New interview with filmmakers Smith and Price
- New interview with documentary subjects Borchardt and Schank
- Twenty-two deleted scenes
- All five appearances by Borchardt on Late Show with David Letterman
- NFL commercial starring Borchardt and Schank
- Mark and Mike, a zerotv.com series featuring Borchardt and Schank
- Theatrical trailer
- PLUS: An essay by filmmaker Ti West
The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
Adapted from the critically acclaimed off-Broadway hit, John Cameron Mitchell’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch tells the story of an “internationally ignored” rock singer and her search for stardom and love. Born an East German boy named Hansel, Hedwig marries an American G.I. to get over the Berlin Wall to freedom and suffers a botched sex-change operation in the process that leaves her with just a one-inch mound of flesh. Finding herself high, dry, and divorced in a Kansas trailer park, Hedwig pushes on to form a rock band and encounters a lover/protegé in Tommy Gnosis, a young Christian army brat who eventually leaves her, stealing her songs to become a huge rock star. Left to stalk Tommy’s stadium tour with her group, the Angry Inch, Hedwig crisscrosses America intent on exposing Gnosis and claiming her rightful position in the pantheon of rock icons.
- New, restored 2K digital transfer, supervised by director John Cameron Mitchell and cinematographer Frank G. DeMarco, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
- Audio commentary featuring Mitchell and DeMarco
- Deleted scenes with optional commentary
- Whether You Like It or Not: The Story of Hedwig, a feature-length documentary on the musical and the film
- I am Hedwig, new interviews on with Mitchell, Neil Patrick Harris, Andrew Rannells, Michael C. Hall, Darren Criss, and Taye Diggs, the stars of Hedwig‘s Broadway productions
- Follow My Voice: With the Music of Hedwig, Katherine Linton’s documentary on the lives of four students attending the Harvey Milk School for LGBTQ youth and the recording of Wig in a Box, a tribute album raising funds for the institute operating the school
- Anatomy of a Scene, a making of featurette on the adaptation of the musical at the Sundance Institute
- New video appreciation by critic Kim Morgan
- Theatrical trailer
- PLUS: An essay by critic Stephanie Zacharek