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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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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.
- 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
|A Day in October
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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.
|After the Wedding
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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
- AFTER THE WEDDING (DVD MOVIE)
|Dancer in the Dark
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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
|Smilla's Sense of Snow
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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
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- Anamorphic; Closed-captioned; Color; Dolby; DVD; Subtitled; Widescreen; NTSC
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A Dark Secret Mars A Dane'S 60Th Birthday Celebration, Attendedby His Family & Friends.
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Traveling across America with her father (Willem Dafoe), Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard) comes to discover the isolated plantation of Manderlay – a place whose inhabitants do not know that slavery has been abolished. Outraged to discover that the plantations
- Brand Name: GAIAM, INC. Mfg#: 796019795098
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- Genre: Drama
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|Europa (The Criterion Collection)
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You will now listen to my voice . . . On the count of ten you will be in Europa . . ." So begins Max von Sydow s opening narration to Lars von Trier s hypnotic Europa (known in the U.S. as Zentropa), a fever dream in which American pacifist Leopold Kessler (Jean-Marc Barr) stumbles into a job as a sleeping-car conductor for the Zentropa railways in a Kafkaesque 1945 postwar Frankfurt. With its gorgeous black-and-white and color imagery and meticulously recreated (if then nightmarishly deconstructed) costumes and sets, Europa is one of the great Danish filmmaker s weirdest and most wonderful works, a runaway train ride to an oddly futuristic past.
SPECIAL EDITION DOUBLE-DISC SET FEATURES:
New, restored high-definition digital transfer
Audio commentary featuring director Lars von Trier and producer Peter Aalbæk Jensen (in Danish)
The Making of Europa (1991), a documentary following the film from storyboarding to production
Trier s Element (1991), a documentary featuring an interview with von Trier, and footage from the set and Europa s Cannes premiere and press conference
Anecdotes from Europa (2005), a short documentary featuring interviews with film historian Peter Schepelern, actor Jean-Marc Barr, producer Peter Aalbæk Jensen, assistant director Tómas Gislason, co-writer Niels Vørsel, and prop master Peter Grant
2005 interviews with cinematographer Henning Bendtsen, composer Joachim Holbek, costume designer Manon Rasmussen, film-school teacher Mogens Rukov, editor/director Tómas Gislason, producer Peter Aalbæk Jensen, art director Peter Grant, actor Michael Simpson, production manager Per Arman, actor Ole Ernst
A conversation with Lars von Trier from 2005, in which the director speaks about the Europa trilogy
Europa The Faecal Location (2005), a short film by Gislason
New and improved English subtitle translation
PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by critic Howard Hampton
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- Manufacturer: CRITERION COLLECTION
- Genre: Suspense
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|Russian Ark: The Masterworks Edition
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A modern filmmaker magically finds himself transported to the 18th century, where he embarks on a time-traveling journey through 300 years of Russian history in Alexander Sokurov’s masterpiece. Filmed in HD with directors commentary
Russian master Alexander Sokurov has tapped into the very flow of history itself for this flabbergasting film. Thanks to the miracles of digital video, Sokurov (and cinematographer Tilman Buttner) uses a single, unbroken, 90-minute shot to wind his way through the Hermitage in St. Petersburg--the repository of Russian art and the former home to royalty. Gliding through time, we glimpse Catherine II, modern-day museumgoers, and the doomed family of Nicholas II. History collapses on itself, as the opulence of the past and the horrors of the 20th century collide, and each door that opens onto yet another breathtaking gallery is another century to be heard from. The movie climaxes with a grand ball and thousands of extras, prompting thoughts of just how crazy Sokurov had to be to try a technical challenge like this--and how far a distance we've traveled, both physically and spiritually, since the movie began. --Robert Horton
- A modern filmmaker magically finds himself transported to the 18th century, where he embarks on a time-traveling journey through 300 years of Russian history. Filmed with a cast of thousands, three live orchestras and an army of technicians, Russian Ark is the longest uninterrupted shot in film history, and the first feature film ever created in a single take. Format: DVD MOVIE Genre: FO
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