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Germany


The Rape of Europa

The Rape of Europa Lowest new price: $9.94
Lowest used price: $11.69
List price: $24.95
Brand: PBS

The Rape of Europa tells the epic story of the systematic theft, deliberate destruction and miraculous survival of Europe's art treasures during the Third Reich and the Second World War. In a journey through seven countries, the film takes the audience into the violent whirlwind of fanaticism, greed, and warfare that threatened to wipe out the artistic heritage of Europe. For twelve long years, the Nazis looted and destroyed art on a scale unprecedented in history. But young art professionals as well as ordinary heroes, from truck drivers to department store clerks, fought back with an extraordinary effort to safeguard, rescue and return the millions of lost, hidden and stolen treasures.The Rape of Europa begins and ends with the story of artist Gustav Klimt's famed Gold Portrait, stolen from Viennese Jews in 1938 and now the most expensive painting ever sold.Today, more than sixty years later, the legacy of this tragic history continues to play out as families of looted collectors recover major works of art, conservators repair battle damage, and nations fight over the fate of ill-gotten spoils of war. Joan Allen narrates this breathtaking chronicle about the battle over the very survival of centuries of western culture.

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  • Brand Name: REPNET LLC Mfg#: 718122355419
  • Shipping Weight: 0.17 lbs
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  • Genre: DOCUMENTARY
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Running Scared

Running Scared Lowest new price: $2.73
Lowest used price: $0.01
List price: $5.97
Brand: Warner Home Video

Slick, fast-paced and brutally shocking, this gritty actioner will jolt your senses like nothing else you've ever experienced. Struggling mob hand Joey Gazelle (Paul Walker) finds his life turned inside-out when a "hot" weapon he's in charge of concealing goes missing. With two mafia families and a team of crooked cops watching his every move, Joey sets out on a chilling, bloody pursuit, maneuvering his way through a horrific web of creeps and criminals, praying he can retrieve the gun and make it home to his family -- alive.

Features:

  • Brand Name: EURPAC Mfg#: 794043103056
  • Shipping Weight: 1.00 lbs
  • Manufacturer: NEW LINE/EURPAC
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
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V for Vendetta (Widescreen Edition)

V for Vendetta (Widescreen Edition) Lowest new price: $2.78
Lowest used price: $0.01
List price: $5.97
Brand: TCM

Set against the futuristic landscape of totalitarian Britain, V For Vendetta tells the story of a mild-mannered young woman named Evey (Natalie Portman) who is rescued from a life-and-death situation by a masked man (Hugo Weaving) known only as "V." Incomparably charismatic and ferociously skilled in the art of combat and deception, V ignites a revolution when he urges his fellow citizens to rise up against tyranny and oppression. As Evey uncovers the truth about V's mysterious background, she also discovers the truth about herself - and emerges as his unlikely ally in the culmination of his plan to bring freedom and justice back to a society fraught with cruelty and corruption.

"Remember, remember the fifth of November," for on this day, in 2020, the minds of the masses shall be set free. So says code-name V (Hugo Weaving), a man on a mission to shake society out of its blank complacent stares in the film V for Vendetta. His tactics, however, are a bit revolutionary, to say the least. The world in which V lives is very similar to Orwell's totalitarian dystopia in 1984: after years of various wars, England is now under "big brother" Chancellor Adam Sutler (played by John Hurt, who played Winston Smith in the movie 1984), whose party uses force and fear to run the nation. After they gained power, minorities and political dissenters were rounded up and removed; artistic and unacceptable religious works were confiscated. Cameras and microphones are littered throughout the land, and the people are perpetually sedated through the governmentally controlled media. Taking inspiration from Guy Fawkes, the 17th century co-conspirator of a failed attempt to blow up Parliament on November 5, 1605, V dons a Fawkes mask and costume and sets off to wake the masses by destroying the symbols of their oppressors, literally and figuratively. At the beginning of his vendetta, V rescues Evey (Natalie Portman) from a group of police officers and has her live with him in his underworld lair. It is through their relationship where we learn how V became V, the extremities of the party's corruption, the problems of an oppressive government, V's revenge plot, and his philosophy on how to induce change.

Based on the popular graphic novel by Alan Moore, V for Vendetta's screenplay was written by the Wachowski brothers (of The Matrix fame) and directed by their protégé, James McTeigue. Controversy and criticism followed the film since its inception, from the hyper-stylized use of anarchistic terrorism to overthrow a corrupt government and the blatant jabs at the current U.S. political arena, to graphic novel fans complaining about the reconstruction of Alan Moore's original vision (Moore himself has dismissed the film). Many are valid critiques and opinions, but there's no hiding the message the film is trying to express: Radical and drastic events often need to occur in order to shake people out of their state of indifference in order to bring about real change. Unfortunately, the movie only offers a means with no ends, and those looking for answers may find the film stylish, but a bit empty. --Rob Bracco

Beyond Vendetta

The graphic novel by Alan Moore and David Lloyd

More by Alan Moore

From Graphic Novel to Big Screen

More by Natalie Portman

More by Hugo Weaving

More by the Wachowski Brothers

Features:

  • Set against the futuristic landscape of totalitarian Britain, V For Vendetta tells the story of a mild-mannered young woman named Evey (Natalie Portman) who is rescued from a life-and-death situation by a masked man (Hugo Weaving) known only as "V." Incomparably charismatic and ferociously skilled in the art of combat and deception, V ignites a revolution when he urges his fellow citizens to rise

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Stalker

Stalker Lowest new price: $14.99
Lowest used price: $11.28
List price: $29.98
Brand: Kino Video

One of Andrei Tarkovsky(Solaris, The Sacrifice) most acclaimed films, Stalker is an unforgettable film experience that evokes the spiritual lucidity of Carl Dreyer and the unbridled imagination of Philip K. Dick. Since its release in 1979, Stalker has inspired filmmakers as diverse as David Lynch and Steven Spielberg and ensnared audiences in a labyrinth of striking imagery revealing the familiar in the strange, the poetic in the disturbing and the mythic in the mordant. In the near future, an unseen alien force has taken possession of an area of Russian wilderness that authorities, have dubbed The Zone. The only thing known for sure about the region is that few who enter it ever return. Led by a Stalker one of a small group of outlaws able to safely navigate the Zone, a renegade scientist and a cynical, burnt out writer penetrate the dangers outside in search of the power and transcendence rumored to exist inside. The Stalker longs to un-do a mysterious physical transformation the Zone has performed on his young daughter. The scientist will risk anything to see that reason triumphs over faith. The writer seeks a germ of inspiration that the crumbling and corrupt world beyond the Zone no longer provides. Together, these three men become desperate pilgrims walking a desolate trail leading to one of the most enigmatic and tantalizing endings in the history of cinema. A haunting and honest meditation on the intersections of science, feeling, and faith.Stalker is both profoundly unsettling and deeply moving.

Challenging, provocative, and ultimately rewarding, Andrei Tarkovsky's Stalker is a mind-bending experience that defies explanation. Like Tarkovsky's earlier and similarly enigmatic science fiction classic Solaris, this long, slow, meditative masterpiece demands patience and total attention; anyone accustomed to faster pacing is likely to abandon the nearly three-hour film before its first hour is over. On the other hand, those who approach Tarkovsky's work in a properly receptive (and wide awake) frame of mind are likely to appreciate the film's seductive depth of theme and hypnotic imagery. Set in what appears to be a post-apocalyptic future (although the time-frame is never specified), the eerie and unsettling story focuses on the title character, Stalker (Aleksandr Kajdanovsky), who leads characters known only as the Writer (Anatoli Solonitsyn) and the Scientist (or Professor, played by Nikolai Grinko) into a mysterious region called The Zone. Tarkovsky films their journey as a long odyssey, or religious pilgrimage, and center of The Zone--said to be under an alien influence--is where each of these men hopes to find a kind of personal transcendence. Despite obvious parallels to The Wizard of Oz, Tarkovsky's film is devoid of special effects or any fantastical elements typically associated with science fiction or fantasy. Instead, Stalker makes astonishing use of sound and bleak-but-beautiful imagery to envelope the viewer into the eerie atmosphere of The Zone and the dank, colorless landscape that surrounds it. And while the film's glacial pacing may be off-putting to some viewers, there's no denying that Stalker has a mesmerizing power of its own, including a thought-provoking and highly debatable ending that propels the film to a higher level of meaning and significance. --Jeff Shannon

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  • Brand Name: KNV Mfg#: 738329048822
  • Shipping Weight: 1.00 lbs
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Imagine Me & You

Imagine Me & You Lowest new price: $2.49
Lowest used price: $3.00
List price: $14.98
Brand: Fox

Piper Perabo lights up the screen as Rachel, a blushing bride whose perfect nuptials take a surprising turn at the altar. An innocent glance between Rachel and an unexpected wedding guest is all it takes to spark a 'love at first sight' romance with a surprising twist -- the object of Rachel's affection is a smart and sensuous... woman! Their shocking romance causes quite a stir amongst her family and friends as Rachel is forced to choose between her husband and the girl of her dreams. Say 'I do' to the wonderfully witty film that Cosmopolitan calls "a refreshing romantic comedy."

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The Pianist (Single-Sided Version)

The Pianist (Single-Sided Version) Lowest new price: $7.33
Lowest used price: $2.99
List price: $14.98
Brand: UNI DIST CORP. (MCA)

Nominated for 7 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and winner of 3, The Pianist, stars Oscar winner Adrien Brody in the true-life story of brilliant pianist and composer Wladyslaw Szpilman, the most acclaimed young musician of his time until his promising career was interrupted by the onset of World War II. This powerful, triumphant film follows Szpilman's heroic and inspirational journey of survival with the unlikely help of a sympathetic German officer. A truly unforgettable epic, testifying to both the power of hope and the resiliency of the human spirit, The Pianist is a miraculous tale of survival masterfully brought to life by visionary filmmaker Roman Polanski in his most personal movie ever.

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Downfall

Downfall Lowest new price: $9.35
Lowest used price: $2.88
List price: $14.99
Brand: Ganz

Called dramatic, accurate and harrowing by the San Francisco Chronicle and nominated for the Oscar(r)for Best Foreign Film, Downfall takes you into Hitler's bunker during the brutal and harrowing last days of the Third Reich. Seen through the eyes of Hitler's infamous secretary Traudl Junge, optimism crumbles into grim realization and terror as it becomes clear that Germany's defeat is inevitable. As the Russian army circles the city, the dimly lit halls of the underground refuge become an execution chamber for the Fuhrer and his closest advisors.

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The City of Lost Children

The City of Lost Children Lowest new price: $6.00
Lowest used price: $2.95
List price: $14.99
Brand: Columbia/Tristar Studios

One of the most unique and visually stunning films in years, The City of Lost Children concerns a malevolent scientist who attempts to unlock the mystery of dreaming. To this end, he kidnaps young children and studies them as they sleep. From Jean-Pierre Jeunet, the director of Amelie and Alien: Resurrection.

Features:

  • Condition: New
  • Format: DVD
  • Anamorphic; Black & White; Color; Dolby; DVD; Full Screen; Subtitled; Widescreen; NTSC

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Death at a Funeral

Death at a Funeral Lowest new price: $5.39
Lowest used price: $3.86
List price: $14.98
Brand: TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX HOME ENT

From acclaimed director Frank Oz (In & Out, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) comes "a fast, furious and riotously funny farce" (Maxim) that'll have you dying with laughter!

As the mourners and guests at a British country manor struggle valiantly to "keep a stiff upper lip," a dignified ceremony devolves into a hilarious, no-holds-barred debacle of misplaced cadavers, indecent exposure, and shocking family secrets. Packed with extras including audio commentaries and an uproarious gag reel, Death at a Funeral blows the lid off the proverbial coffin as "the film's delicious comic flourishes... sight gags, slapstick, flawless timing... are served up by an outstanding cast" (O, The Oprah Magazine).

Though it doesn't hit the same comic heights as Bowfinger, Death at a Funeral is a fun little romp. Granted, not all of the characters are meant to be humorous, like Daniel (Matthew Macfadyen, Pride & Prejudice) and his wife, Jane (Keeley Hawes, Tristram Shandy), straight-faced foils for the more over-the-top performers. After Daniel's father passes away, the couple offers to host the funeral, so all his relatives descend on the family abode, including Daniel's estranged brother, Robert (Rupert Graves, V for Vendetta). The mood is already tense when their cousin, Martha (Daisy Donovan), arrives with her nervous fiancé, Simon (Alan Tudyk, Serenity). On the way over, Simon takes a Valium that's actually a hallucinogenic concoction cooked up by Martha's pharmacology student brother. By the time they arrive, Simon's inhibitions are gone with the wind. Other guests include Uncle Alfie (Peter Vaughn) and an uninvited American mourner (Peter Dinklage). By the end of the movie, one of these individuals will be dead. Though he's worked in the States for several decades, director Frank Oz was born in the UK, and Death at a Funeral feels like the work of a British filmmaker. As drawing room comedies go, it may not rival Arsenic and Old Lace, but it's still funnier than most. If the film has a flaw, it's one misjudged moment of scatological humor, which is sure to induce more cringes than giggles. Fortunately, it's over quickly, and Tudyk's hilarious performance provides ample compensation. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Beyond Death at a Funeral

More from Frank Oz

More British Comedies

More from MGM



Stills from Death at a Funeral







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  • Brand Name: MGM Mfg#: 883904100287
  • Shipping Weight: 0.20 lbs
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The Lives of Others

The Lives of Others Lowest new price: $19.99
Lowest used price: $4.89
List price: $14.99
Brand: Sony

This critically-acclaimed, Oscar®-winning film (Best Foreign Language Film, 2006) is the erotic, emotionally-charged experience Lisa Schwarzbaum (Entertainment Weekly) calls "a nail-biter of a thriller!" Before the collapse of the Berlin Wall, East Germany’s population was closely monitored by the State Secret Police (Stasi). Only a few citizens above suspicion, like renowned pro-Socialist playwright Georg Dreyman, were permitted to lead private lives. But when a corrupt government official falls for Georg’s stunning actress-girlfriend, Christa, an ambitious Stasi policeman is ordered to bug the writer’s apartment to gain incriminating evidence against the rival. Now, what the officer discovers is about to dramatically change their lives - as well as his - in this seductive political thriller Peter Travers (Rolling Stone) proclaims is "the best kind of movie: one you can’t get out of your head."

Nominated for a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, this is a first-rate thriller that, like Bertolucci's The Conformist and Coppola's The Conversation, opts for character development over car chases. The place is East Berlin, the year is 1984, and it all begins with a simple surveillance assignment: Capt. Gerd Wiesler (Ulrich Mühe in a restrained, yet deeply felt performance), a Stasi officer and a specialist in this kind of thing, has been assigned to keep an eye on Georg Dreyman (Sebastian Koch, Black Book), a respected playwright, and his actress girlfriend, Christa-Maria Sieland (Martina Gedeck, Mostly Martha). Though Dreyman is known to associate with the occasional dissident, like blacklisted director Albert Jerska (Volkmar Kleinert), his record is spotless. Everything changes when Wiesler discovers that Minister Hempf (Thomas Thieme) has an ulterior motive in spying on this seemingly upright citizen. In other words, it's personal, and Wiesler's sympathies shift from the government to its people--or at least to this one particular person. That would be risky enough, but then Wiesler uses his privileged position to affect a change in Dreyman's life. The God-like move he makes may be minor and untraceable, but it will have major consequences for all concerned, including Wiesler himself. Writer/director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck starts with a simple premise that becomes more complicated and emotionally involving as his assured debut unfolds. Though three epilogues is, arguably, two too many, The Lives of Others is always elegant, never confusing. It's class with feeling. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Beyond The Lives of Others


Films from Germany

Other Cold War Films


More Arthouse Selections

from Sony Pictures Classics

Stills from The Lives of Others (click for larger image)







Features:

  • Condition: New
  • Format: DVD
  • AC-3; Color; Dolby; Widescreen; Subtitled; NTSC

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