The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
In 1996, Julian Schnabel directed Basquiat. Led by the charming and unforgettable performance of Jeffrey Wright as the famous artist, the film laid out the art world of 1980s New York City with heart, and it showcased many of today's top names. It was the straightforward film.
Now there's Golden Globe winner Le Scaphandre et le Papillon, a feature that has taken Schnabel out of the straight-forward and into a world of tragedy and eye-opening imagination. It's a move similar to David Lynch taking on The Straight Story, but switched. Instead of strange complexity to charming simplicity, it's the other way around.
Diving Bell is the true story of what happened to Jean-Dominique Bauby, a man who had been the editor-in-chief of French Elle, until a sudden stroke has left him still -- only able to move one eyelid. It's like taking the thought of paralysis and upping it -- no legs, no arms, no lips. But it isn't just a sad story of despair. After being forced to adapt to his condition, he write the memoir that becomes this film, all with the simple, blinking eye.
In James Rocchi's review from Cannes, he said: "I staggered into the light awestruck, a little moved, my heart and mind both racing with the excitement and power of the film I'd just seen," and that's only one sentence from the glowing review.
As for the DVD, it offers an audio commentary with Julian Schnabel, two featurettes -- "Submerged -- A Look Inside The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" and "A Cinematic Vision," plus an interview between Charlie Rose and Schnabel.
Check out James' review | Buy the DVD
Of course, this isn't the only release this week.
This Katherine Heigl romcom offer the always-the-bridesmaid-never-the-bride story, plus some featurettes, deleted scenes, and trailers. (When will we stop calling trailers special features? They're ads!)
The Golden Compass -- 2-Disc Special Edition
If you're one of the people who flocked to and loved this movie, this disc should be a jackpot -- there's commentary with writer/director Chris Weitz, as well as 160 minutes of special features that are categorized into Origins, Behind-the-Scenes, and Lyra's World. There are blips on costume design, interviews, props, and more.
The Living End: Remixed and Remastered
For those of you who have only seen the grainy old VHS of this film, this release should be a treat. Aside from the remastered film, there's a commentary with Greg Araki, gallery of unpublished photos, design art concepts, Q&A from Sundance 2008, and a booklet.