CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.
CHICAGO – The partnership between IFC and The Criterion Collection has led to a number of great releases (“A Christmas Tale,” “Che”) and a few questionable entries (“Life During Wartime”) but rarely has it completely unearthed a film as little-seen as Lee Chang-Dong’s brilliant “Secret Sunshine.” This award-winning dissection of faith amidst tragedy never even received a Chicago release as far as I can remember but it absolutely deserves a wider audience. This is a great film given a strong release by the DVD/Blu-ray series ever.
CHICAGO – Our film critic Matt Fagerholm may have felt that “The Good, The Bad, The Weird” valued style over substance to a fault (read his review) but this critic still holds it as one of the best films of the year; a joyful cavalcade of modern action and spaghetti western archetypes that’s unlike anything else released in 2010. Don’t miss this excellent movie now that it’s on Blu-ray.
CHICAGO – Easily one of the most interesting and original films of 2009, “Thirst” deserves at least the basic Blu-Ray treatment being given nearly every theatrically released film in the current market or, failing that, at least a special edition DVD. Instead, Focus/Universal has gone the baffling route of releasing a bare bones disc featuring only the film. The movie itself is great enough to warrant a look, but that’s in spite of its home release.