CATEGORIES Documentary, Drama, Foreign Language, Independent, Shorts, New on DVD, Home Entertainment, Cinematical Indie, Features, DVDs, CinematicalMy pick of the week is the emotionally charged yet evenhanded documentary Your Mommy Kills Animals -- look for a separate review later today -- but it's a wonderfully packed week for indie releases. Arthouse fans of all stripes should have a field day with Criterion's edition of Rainer Werner Fassbinder's magnificent Berlin Alexanderplatz, originally aired on German television and now restored and available on DVD for the first time.
If you missed La Vie en Rose in theaters, now's the time to catch up with the "superb performance given by Marion Cotillard," in the words of our own Erik Davis. Erik had some reservations about the film as a whole, as did Jeffrey M. Anderson, who called it "a spectacular one-woman show, but not really a movie." The DVD includes a "making of" feature. The anthology Paris, Je T'aime should be ideal for consumption on DVD: 18 short films in 120 minutes. Cinematical's Ryan Stewart felt that only "about 40 of its 120 minutes is worth saving," but his was a minority opinion. The DVD includes a "making of" documentary.
Speaking of minority opinions, I found Argentine youth drama Glue to be acutely irritating, but most reviewers recommended it. The DVD includes deleted scenes for those who can't get enough. On the other hand, I thought French girls' school fable Innocence was visually beautiful yet devoid of any substance. Again, others were better attuned to its wavelength. The DVD includes interviews with the director and an 'explanation' by one of the actresses.
Ensemble drama Resilience (pictured) drew mixed critical response but may be just right if you're looking for more "challenging material," in the words of Variety. Shane Meadows' This is England "derives its power from a pair of extraordinary performances," according to Martha Fischer. And Amazing Grace features a strong cast in the true story of British antislavery pioneer William Wilberforce.