CATEGORIES Documentary, Drama, Foreign Language, Independent, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, New on DVD, Home Entertainment, Cinematical Indie, War, Features, DVDs, CinematicalMy pick of the week is Charles Burnett's Killer of Sheep. Our own Jeffrey M. Anderson declared: "There's no question that it belongs in the canon of greatest American movies." As he pointed out, though, the film "has perhaps been more written about and appreciated than actually seen." Now we can all see it. The two-disk special edition DVD from New Yorker Video includes an audio commentary by Burnett and Richard Peña, two versions of Burnett's feature film My Brother's Wedding, four shorts (three rediscovered and one new) and cast reunion video.
Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse , directed by Fax Bahr and George Hickenlooper, stirred up controversy when Hickenlooper said that neither he nor Bahr were consulted on the DVD version of their documentary about the making of Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now. Jeffrey Wells of Hollywood Elsewhere calls it "one of the best making-of-a-famous-movie docs ever made," but also says that the new DVD from Paramount Home Video "looks like a VHS tape. ... No remastering, tweaking or upgrading ... brilliant!" Sounds like a rental to me. The DVD includes Eleanor Coppola's doc Coda: Thirty Years Later, which will also be screening on cable next month -- see Monika Bartyzel's story for more on that.
Cinematical's James Rocchi saw Gary Hustwit's Helvetica at SXSW and described it as "one of the most intellectually exciting, stimulating, warm-hearted and best-made independent documentaries I've seen in a long time." The DVD includes 95 additional minutes of interviews. Another festival favorite, So Yong Kim's In Between Days (pictured), about a teenage girl dealing with first-time romantic feelings for her "best and only" friend, hits DVD with a stills gallery and a conversation with the director and co-writer/producer Bradley Rust.
In her review Jette Kernion said she was "not a rabid [Werner] Herzog fan, which may actually be the reason why I liked his latest film, Rescue Dawn, as much as I did." The DVD includes commentary by Herzog, deleted scenes, and a "making of" featurette. Luc Besson's Angel-A did not cause much stir when it was released theatrically earlier this year, but I've always been fascinated by the director. The DVD has a "making of" feature.