As it is in Heaven
(Guest post from myself at The Film Talk)
Hey there folks - starting today, we're going to try to post on Tuesdays about films new out on DVD, or available to stream over the coming week; so herewith the inaugural 'It's Tuesday, so it Must Be the TFT DVD/Blu-Ray and Miscellaneous Other Digital Media Report:
We like to think we're all friends round here at TFT Central - so if you can, and if you trust me, then stop what you’re doing. Watch ‘As it is in Heaven’, finally available on DVD in the US (and to watch instantly on Netflix). If you like it, there's a good chance you’ll adore it. If you don’t, please forgive me; it’s a source of real regret that this Swedish film, that does a far better job than ‘Chocolat’ of evoking ‘Babette’s Feast’ was never theatrically released in the US;hopefully it will get the audience it deserves.
After 'As it is in Heaven', you might want some comic relief in the form of new-to-watch-instantly Philip Kaufman’s half-insane, half-brilliant ‘Rising Sun’ (Kaufman has a career as uneven as the politics behind the Golden Globes – he flits from a masterpiece like ‘The Right Stuff’ to the brutish idiocy of ‘Twisted’); ‘Rising Sun’ comes out somewhere in the middle, a serio-comic adaptation of one of Michael Crichton’s more ridiculous (but nonetheless entertaining) techno-thrillers, with the to-die-for buddy/buddy schtick of everyone's favourite investigative duo, Sean Connery and Wesley Snipes.
The release of ‘Un Chien Andalou’ continues the recent apparently relentless efforts of Netflix to get its subscribers to learn all they can about ‘serious’ film history; Bunuel would, I think, like the fact that his sliced eyeball is now available for streaming. (Ciprian Muresan's vision below, looks to be getting into the spirit of things.)
‘Peter and Vandy’, which could be described as ‘(500) Days of Summer’ without the tricks, turns out to be a sweet and credible story about love and what passes for love among people who I’m supposed to identify with because they’re about the same age as me, although they have more changes of clothes than I have meals in a year, and live in the kind of apartment that already looked impossibly expensive when Jane Fonda woke up beside a dead guy in one 25 years ago in ‘The Morning After’. But it has the discipline to be short enough not to outstay its welcome, its characters don’t take the tedious route of citing pop cultural texts as substitutes for conversation, and I found myself wanting to know what would happen to the main characters after the movie was over, despite my worry that we’re about to have unleashed on us an epidemic of films about people born in the late 70s complaining.
‘A Serious Man’, one of best films of last year, featured a scene that expresses some of the best and worst of what religion can mean in about three minutes. We talked about it on the show, and it’s available on DVD and Blu-Ray today. It's really something special.