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Babette's Feast

Babette's Feast Lowest new price: $20.49
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Brand: AVEL,GABRIEL

Artistic, sensual and sacred passions unite in Babette's Feast. Written and directed by Gabriel Axel, from a short story by Out of Africa's Isak Dinesen, this Oscar(r)-winning*film offers "an irresistible mixture of dry wit and robust humanity" (Newsweek). Onthe desolate coast of Denmark live Martina and Philippa, the beautiful daughters of a devout clergyman who preaches salvation through self-denial. Both girls sacrifice youthful passion to faith and duty, and even many years after their father's death, they keep his austere teachings alive among thetownspeople. But with the arrival of Babette, a mysterious refugee from France's civil war, life for the sisters and their tiny hamlet begins to change. Soon, Babette has convinced them to try something truly outrageousa gourmet French meal! Her feast, of course, scandalizes the local elders. Just who is this strangely talented Babette, who has terrified this pious town with the prospect of losing their souls for enjoying too much earthly pleasure? *1987: Foreign Language Film

Some movies can only be described as delicious. In Babette's Feast, a woman flees the French civil war and lands in a small seacoast village in Denmark, where she comes to work for two spinsters, devout daughters of a puritan minister. After many years, Babette unexpectedly wins a lottery, and decides to create a real French dinner--which leads the sisters to fear for their souls. Joining them for the meal will be a Danish general who, as a young soldier, courted one of the sisters, but she turned him away because of her religion. The village elders all resolve not to enjoy the meal, but can their moral fiber resist the sensual pleasure of Babette's cooking? Babette's Feast deservedly won the 1987 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. This lovely movie is impeccably simple, yet its slender narrative contains a wealth of humor, melancholy, and hope. --Bret Fetzer

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The Celebration

The Celebration Lowest new price: $7.64
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Brand: PMV

It's Helge Klingenfeldt's much-anticipated sixtieth birthday party, but no one is ready for the bombshell about to be delivered by his oldest son, Christian - a dark family secret that contributed to his twin sister's recent suicide. Helge Klingenfeldt (Henning Moritzen) is a respected Danish patriarch whose country estate is the scene of a grand celebration. Friends and relatives have arrived. The staff has prepared the most succulent foods to be served with the finest wines. Even Helge's squabbling adult children seem to be on their best behavior: free-spirited Helene (Paprika Steen), hot-blooded Michael (Thomas Bo Larsen), and sensitive Christian (Ulrich Thomsen) whose birthday toast turns the genteel celebration into a surprise party from hell.

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Dogville

Dogville Lowest new price: $2.00
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Brand: LIONS GATE HOME ENT.

Nicole Kidman, Lauren Bacall, James Caan. A woman on the run from gangsters hides out in the small village of Dogville, but the welcoming townspeople soon discover her dangerous secret that threatens to unravel their idyllic landscape. 2003/color/177 min/NR/widescreen.

Features:

  • DVD Details: Actors: Nicole Kidman, Harriet Andersson, Lauren Bacall, Jean-Marc Barr, Paul Bettany
  • Directors: Lars von Trier
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC. Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1; Number of discs: 1; Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: August 24, 2004; Run Time: 178 minutes

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You Are Not Alone

You Are Not Alone Lowest new price: $8.31
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Brand: TLA RELEASING

Unflinchingly honest and boundlessly lyrical, the exploration of sexual awakening in You Are Not Alone was a turning point in world cinema. At a Danish boy's boarding school in the late 1970s, Bo and Kim are naive young classmates, whose friendship blossoms into a childlike love affair. When their friend is expelled for a prank involving lewd posters, the student body bands together to strike against the school and its authoritarian headmaster. Lasse Nielsen and Ernst Johansen's classic film is a groundbreaking meditation on innocence, rebellion and love.

Special Features:

  • Stills Gallery
  • TLA Releasing Trailers

Features:

  • Brand Name: TLA Mfg#: 807839002492
  • Shipping Weight: 0.18 lbs
  • Manufacturer:
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  • All music products are properly licensed and guaranteed authentic.

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Dancer in the Dark

Dancer in the Dark Lowest new price: $22.88
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Brand: New Line Home Video

Masterpiece or masquerade? Lars von Trier's digicam musical split the critics in two when it debuted at Cannes in 2000. There were those who saw it as a cynical shock-opera from a manipulative charlatan, others wept openly at its scenes of raw emotion and heart-rending intensity. There is, however, no in-between. "Dancer in the Dark" is that rarest of creatures, a film that dares to push viewers to the limits of their feelings. \n In her first and most probably last screen performance (she has foresworn acting after her bruising on-set rows with von Trier), brittle Icelandic chanteuse Bj??rk plays Selma, a Czech immigrant living in a folksy American small town with her young son, Gene. Selma is going blind and so will Gene if she does not arrange an important operation for him. To cover the expense, Selma works every hour she can, cheating on her eye tests so she can keep working at the local factory long after her vision has become too unreliable to work safely. She sublets a house from a local cop, Bill (David Morse), and his wife, Linda (Cara Seymour). When nearly bankrupt Bill asks Selma for a loan, she refuses, but he later returns and steals the money, which she demands back in a furious confrontation. In the ensuing melee, Bill is fatally shot and Selma is arrested and put on trial. Will justice prevail? \n Von Trier's passionate, provocative film runs all our emotional resources dry with suspense, giving us occasional flashes into Selma's gold heart and mind with superb song-and-dance numbers she conjures to banish the nightmare (Bj??rk also wrote the score). At some two-and-a-half hours, it's not for lightweights, but anyone bored with today's smug, "ironic" cinema will relish this as an astonishing assault on the senses and a stark reminder of von Trier's uncompromising talent. "--Damon Wise"

Masterpiece or masquerade? Lars von Trier's digicam musical split the critics in two when it debuted at Cannes in 2000. There were those who saw it as a cynical shock-opera from a manipulative charlatan, others wept openly at its scenes of raw emotion and heart-rending intensity. There is, however, no in-between. Dancer in the Dark is that rarest of creatures, a film that dares to push viewers to the limits of their feelings.

In her first and most probably last screen performance (she has foresworn acting after her bruising on-set rows with von Trier), brittle Icelandic chanteuse Björk plays Selma, a Czech immigrant living in a folksy American small town with her young son, Gene. Selma is going blind and so will Gene if she does not arrange an important operation for him. To cover the expense, Selma works every hour she can, cheating on her eye tests so she can keep working at the local factory long after her vision has become too unreliable to work safely. She sublets a house from a local cop, Bill (David Morse), and his wife, Linda (Cara Seymour). When nearly bankrupt Bill asks Selma for a loan, she refuses, but he later returns and steals the money, which she demands back in a furious confrontation. In the ensuing melee, Bill is fatally shot and Selma is arrested and put on trial. Will justice prevail?

Von Trier's passionate, provocative film runs all our emotional resources dry with suspense, giving us occasional flashes into Selma's gold heart and mind with superb song-and-dance numbers she conjures to banish the nightmare (Björk also wrote the score). At some two-and-a-half hours, it's not for lightweights, but anyone bored with today's smug, "ironic" cinema will relish this as an astonishing assault on the senses and a stark reminder of von Trier's uncompromising talent. --Damon Wise

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The Island on Bird Street

The Island on Bird Street Lowest new price: $9.98
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Brand: FIRST LOOK HOME ENTERTAINMENT

Polish ghetto with his father and great-uncle, knows this too well. When Nazis come to his city and clear the town, Alex manages to escape with the help of his family, but is left with only his pet mouse "Snow". Finding refuge in an abandoned building on Bird Street, Alex seeks inspiration from his favorite book, Robinson Crusoe, while he, and Snow, await his father's return.

Based on a true story by the winner of the Hans Christian Andersen Award for Writing.

Features:

  • Brand Name: MILLENNIUM MEDIA SERVICES INC Mfg#: 687797122995
  • Shipping Weight: 1.00 lbs
  • Manufacturer: FIRST LOOK PICTURES
  • Genre: Drama
  • All music products are properly licensed and guaranteed authentic.

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After the Wedding

After the Wedding Lowest new price: $9.38
Lowest used price: $4.99
Brand: Genius Products INC

Far from home, Jacob (Casino Royale villain, Mads Mikkelsen), runs a struggling orphanage in one India’s poorest regions. Desperate to save the orphanage from closure, he returns to Denmark to meet Jorgen (Rolf Lassgard) a wealthy businessman and potential benefactor. What appears to be nothing more than a friendly gesture to attend a wedding sets in motion an increasingly devastating series of surprises, revelations, and confessions that will forever change their lives.

Equal parts weepy drama and soap opera, After the Wedding is a beautifully filmed story centering on Jacob (Mads Mikkelsen, Casino Royale), a Danish man working at a orphanage in Bombay. Just when funds have run desperately low, Jorgen (Rolf Lassgård)--a wealthy benefactor--promises to donate millions of dollars to the orphanage. But there's a catch. Jacob must collect the funds himself in Copenhagen... and attend the wedding of the eccentric millionaire's daughter. But once Jacob meets the benefactor's wife Helene (played by a radiant Sidse Babett Knudsen), it's obvious to the viewer that the two have a complicated history. It’s also likely that her daughter Anna (Stine Fischer Christensen) most probably is theirs. So why did Jorgen invite Jacob to Anna's wedding? Does he know Jacob is Anna's father? Is something nefarious in the works? The thought-provoking film was Denmark's entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2007 Academy Awards. Subtitled in English, the Danish picture is well helmed by director Susanne Bier (Brothers), who manages to keep the film from delving into over the top histrionics. Mikkelsen is particularly good, whether he's channeling his anger at having been shut out of his maybe-daughter's life for the past 20 years, or having to grovel a bit to get Jorgen to donate the funds as promised to his orphanage. The relationships here are messy and often uncomfortable. But they also ring true to life. --Jae-Ha Kim

Features:

  • AFTER THE WEDDING (DVD MOVIE)

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A Day in October

A Day in October Lowest new price: $5.98
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List price: $14.98
Brand: Entertainment Treasures Llc

This compelling suspense drama follows the underground war-time evacuation of the Jews from Nazi-occupied Denmark to neutral Sweden. The Jewish Kublitz family lives quietly and comfortably in Copenhagen until a wounded Gentile resistance fighter, Niels (D.B. Sweeney), is saved from death by young Sarah Kublitz (Kelly Wood) who gives him shelter in the Kublitz home. Sarah and Niels fall in love as the Resistance learns of the Nazis plan to arrest Jews. Sarah's father, who works as a bookkeeper in a Nazi arms factory, must face some tough moral choices - including whether to sabotage the factory in which he works. A DAY IN OCTOBER, by the Academy Award winning producers of BABETTE'S FEAST, presents with distinction the true story of a nation that had the courage to stand up against the enemy.

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Smilla's Sense of Snow

Smilla's Sense of Snow Lowest new price: $39.93
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Brand: ORMAND/BYRNE/HARRISS

Based on the best-selling novel this gripping, suspenseful thriller about a headstrong woman who uses her uncanny knowledge of ice and snow to unravel a taut web of lies and intrigue. When her six-year old neighbor falls from a snow covered roof, Smilla suspects the boys death was no accident. Together with a mysterious lover, who holds secrets of his own, she defies local authorities and begins a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse in an effort to uncover the truth.

Based on a much-praised 1992 bestseller by Peter Hoeg, Smilla's Sense of Snow is a film of moody power and boundless mystery in its first half, but it becomes an overblown, conspiracy-laden schlock thriller in its second. Julia Ormond stars as the half-Inuit, Greenland native of Hoeg's book, a loner who is supported by an emotionally ambivalent father (Robert Loggia) in Copenhagen. Apparently perceived as a troublemaker who sees secret plots everywhere, Smilla finds herself largely alone in an effort to discover what really happened to a six-year-old Inuit boy who fell (or jumped) off the roof of her apartment building. Somewhat aided by an ambiguous neighbor (Gabriel Byrne), Smilla investigates a connection between the child's death and the misdeeds of a mining company, a story hook that conveniently ratchets up the action but quickly dissipates the more compelling, introspective intrigue of the film's beginning. Ormond is fascinating, somehow more beautiful than usual through her emphasis of her character's destabilizing conflicts (isolation and a possibly unhinged intelligence). But she isn't done any favors by an unreliable script or by the usually superb Danish director Bille August's chronic problems working in English-language films (including his disastrous The House of the Spirits). The DVD edition of this film includes an original theatrical trailer and a short feature on the making of the production. --Tom Keogh

Features:

  • Condition: New
  • Format: DVD
  • Anamorphic; Closed-captioned; Color; Dolby; DVD; Subtitled; Widescreen; NTSC

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The Element of Crime (The Criterion Collection)

The Element of Crime (The Criterion Collection) Lowest new price: $23.19
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Brand: Image Entertainment

Lars von Trier's stunning debut film is the story of Fisher, an exiled ex-cop who returns to his old beat to catch a serial killer with a taste for young girls. Influenced equally by Hitchcock and science fiction, von Trier (Zentropa, Breaking the Waves, The Idiots) boldly reinvents expressionist style for his own cinematic vision of a post-apocalyptic world. Shot in shades of sepia, with occasional, startling flashes of bright blue, The Element of Crime (Forbrydelsens Element) combines dark mystery and operatic sweep to yield a pure celluloid nightmare.

It may prove confounding to anyone expecting a more conventional narrative, but The Element of Crime--the debut feature of Danish visionary Lars von Trier--marks the arrival of an audaciously original talent; the film is deeply personal in its inspirations yet richly informed by a pure love of cinema. Approaching a hard-boiled detective plot from a hypnotically subconscious perspective (thus establishing the tone he would echo in his later films Epidemic and Europa), von Trier presents a murder case solved from the inside out. Which is to say, the plot unfolds as recollected under hypnosis by Fisher (Michael Elphick), the grizzled cop who investigates the case.

This framework is arguably beside the point; it's merely von Trier's way of entering a post-apocalyptic world of his own making, flooded and decaying, and filmed entirely in an amber-tinted tone punctuated only by blue police lights and sickly green fluorescents. By following principles of crime solving conceived by his mentor (played by British film veteran Esmond Knight), Fisher closes in on an awful revelation that spins The Element of Crime into another psychological dimension. Multilayered, deliberately paced, and atmospheric in the extreme (which less appreciative viewers may find intolerable), The Element of Crime elicits a dream state that is simultaneously oppressive and visually unforgettable, crammed with symbolic subtleties and cinematic references that can only be fully absorbed over multiple viewings. To say the least, this is a film that grows on you. --Jeff Shannon

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