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Some new World Cinema dvd releases to look out for in 2014

posted 13 Jan 2014, 00:59 by Julian Whiting
JANUARY 2014

LA GRANDE BELLEZZA/THE GREAT BEAUTY (15) 2013    ITALY  SORRENTINO PAOLO     £15.99
Italian existential drama directed by Paolo Sorrentino. Jep Gambardella (Toni Servillo) is an accomplished journalist who has made his name and reputation through his work and a largely successful novel he published as a young man. Presently a bachelor in his mid-60s, Jep spends much of his time around the upper bourgeoisie living in Rome and engages in a hedonistic and liberated life.

But when he learns of the death of a former lover through her widowed husband, Jep is at once confronted with the fragility of life and the certainty of death, making him reconsider his present situation and careless existence.

HANNAH ARENDT (12A) 2013   GERMANY   TROTTA,  MARGARETHE VON   £17.99
In this drama based on a true story, Barbara Sukowa stars as the German-American political theorist who caused a storm of controversy with her views on the trial of the Nazi war criminal, Adolf Eichmann. Sent to Israel in 1961 to cover the trial for ‘The New Yorker’ magazine, Arendt (Sukawa), a Jew who fled Germany during Hitler’s rise to power, provokes fury with her portrayals of both Eichmann and his captors, incurring the wrath of the Jewish world when she introduces her concept of ‘the banality of evil’, arguing that the great evils in history, and in particular the Holocaust, were not committed by monsters, but by ordinary people who were simply conditioned by the state. As she attempts to justify her stance, Arendt finds herself the centre of a political storm, whilst at the same time coming under increasing pressure from those closest to her.

FEBRUARY 2014

CLASSE TOUS RISQUES (12A) 1960 FRANCE   SAUTET, CLAUDE    £19.99
Lino Ventura and Jean-Paul Belmondo star in this early 1960s French Italian crime drama adapted from the novel by José Giovanni. Abel Davos (Ventura), a gangster wanted for murder, has been hiding out in Italy for the last decade. After getting married and having children he feels ready to return to his native France but making it back home proves difficult.

He ends up getting separated from his wife and finds himself on the run from the police with his two sons. After calling in a favour, however, he is assisted by fellow gangster Eric Stark (Belmondo) who tries to help them complete their journey without getting caught.

WADJDA (PG) 2012 SAUDI ARABIA  AL-MANSOUR, HAIFAA     
    DVD -  £17.99   BLU RAY – £23.99
A rebellious Saudi Arabian girl hatches a plan to get her hands on the bicycle she craves in this coming-of-age story from first time director Haifaa Al-Mansour. Living within a conservative suburb of Riyadh, fun-loving eleven-year-old Wadjda (Waad Mohammed) has her heart set on a green bicycle so that she can beat the boys in their neighbourhood races. But when her mother (Reem Abdullah) forbids it, anticipating a reaction from a society that disapproves of women riding bicycles, an enterprising Wadjda decides to raise the money herself by entering a local Qur’an-reading competition that offers a cash prize.

MARCH 2014

LA VIE D’ADÈLE/BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOUR (18) 2013 FRANCE   KECHICHE, ABDEL. 
    DVD – £15.99 BLU RAY – £19.99
Award-winning gay-themed drama directed by Abdel Kechiche. The film follows the 17-year-old closeted student Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos) as she pursues a passionate and fiery relationship with an older and ‘out’ blue-haired lesbian called Emma (Léa Seydoux). Throughout their relationship the two young women learn a lot about the pains and joys of being in love and the importance of staying true to oneself.

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