Blues Doc ‘Deep Blues’ Due on Disc Nov. 23

Film Movement will release the classic blues documentary Deep Blues on DVD and Blu-ray Disc Nov. 23 with a new 4K restoration.

In 1990, commissioned by award-winning musician, songwriter, producer, innovator and Eurythmics co-founder Dave Stewart, veteran music film director Robert Mugge and renowned music scholar Robert Palmer ventured deep into the heart of the North Mississippi Hill Country and Mississippi Delta to seek out the best rural blues acts currently working. Starting on Beale Street in Memphis, they headed south to the juke joints, lounges, front porches, and parlors of Holly Springs, Greenville, Clarksdale, Bentonia and Lexington. Along the way, they visited celebrated landmarks and documented talented artists cut off from the mainstream of the recording industry. The resulting film expresses reverence for the rich musical history of the region, spotlighting local performers, soon to be world-renowned, thanks in large part to the film, and demonstrating how the blues continues to thrive in new generations of gifted musicians.

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“Ever since hearing my first blues albums at 14 years old I was transfixed, hypnotized by the sound and pure honesty coming off that old recording and I stared at the vinyl slowly turning, dreaming I could be there in that room witnessing the pure magic coming from these Blues artists,” Stewart said in a statement. “Well, sometimes dreams do come true and I was lucky enough to be in that room with Jessie Mae Hemphill, Junior Kimbrough and sit on the front porch being taught ‘jumper on the line’ by R.L. Burnside deep in the Mississippi Delta.”The film features performances by Booker T. Laury, R.L. Burnside, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Junior Kimbrough, Roosevelt “Booba” Barnes and the Playboys, Big Jack Johnson, Jack Owens with Bud Spires, and Lonnie Pitchford.Bonus features include new commentary by Mugge and rarely-seen behind-the-scenes footage.

Film Movement to Release Guatamalan Drama ‘Temblores’ March 10

Independent and foreign film distributor Film Movement has set a March 10 release date for Temblores, a Guatemalan drama from celebrated director Jayro Bustamante.

It will be available on DVD and digitally on iTunes, Amazon, and Vudu at a suggested retail price of $24.95.

The film follows the story of Pablo, a 40-year-old married father of two and devout Christian man living in Guatemala City, as he announces he intends to leave his wife for another man.

As Pablo tries to acclimate to his new life in the city’s gay subculture, his ultra-religious family does everything in its power to get their prodigal son, husband, and father back.  He is faced with the dilemma of having to choose between himself and his family as well as the conflict between his feelings and beliefs.

Bonus features include a behind-the-scenes featurette as well as Black Hat, a bonus short film by Sarah Smith about a seemingly pious Hasidic man living a secret double life who misplaces his black hat, causing his two separate lives to collide in a way he never imagined.

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Temblores was the winner of multiple awards on the festival circuit, including the Best Latin American Film at the San Sebastián International Film Festival, the Emerging Filmmaker Award for Bustamante at the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival and the Grand Jury Award for Juan Pablo Olyslager for Outstanding Performance in an International Narrative at L.A. Outfest.

Film Movement Sets Home Release Dates for Czech Road Movie ‘Winter Flies’

Indie film distributor Film Movement has set a Feb. 11 home release date for Winter Flies, a Czech road movie drama by Slovenian director Olmo Omerzu.

It will be available on both DVD and through digital retailers such as Amazon, Apple iTunes and Vudu.

The film follows the story of Mára, a rebellious 14-year-old who sets out behind the wheel of a stolen Audi with his eccentric friend Hedus. They head out into the frozen wastelands of the Czech Republic in search of adventure, and authorities are baffled at how far they made it when they finally catch up with them.

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This winter road movie about boyhood friendship and unexpected adolescent detours was the winner of four Czech Lion Awards including Best Film, Best Director and Best Supporting Actor and Actress; it was also Czechoslovakia’s official Oscar submission for “Best International Film” in 2019.

Bonus features include a short film titled Jackie (directed by Giedrius Tamosevicius) about a man named Tom who has restricted parental rights, eventually realizing he can’t come to terms with his situation and deciding to kidnap his daughter.

Film Movement Sets Home Release Dates for Japanese Drama ‘Complicity’

Independent and foreign film distributor Film Movement has set a Jan. 21 release date for Complicity, a drama from Japanese director Kei Chikaura.

The 2018 film will be available on DVD and digital on demand at a suggested retail price of $24.95.

An official selection at the Toronto International Film Festival and a nominee at the Berlin International Film Festival, the film follows a young Chinese immigrant illegally living in Japan under a fake identity. He blindly accepts a job offer and ends up working as an apprentice at a family-run soba restaurant, forming a strong bond with his mentor. He acclimates to his new life, but the threat of deportation looms largely over him.

Bonus features include a short documentary titled “About Bintou,” which follows a young African woman’s life as a student in Guangzhou.

Film Movement Sets Home Release Dates for British Post-War Comedies

Arthouse distributor Film Movement Plus has set Dec. 31 home release dates for two critically hailed British comedies, 1953’s The Titfield Thunderbolt by Charles Crichton and 1949’s Passport to Pimlico by Henry Cornelius.

The Titfield Thunderbolt tells the story of the inhabitants of a tiny village called Titfield, who struggle to prove that a single-track railway that passes through their town is a vital form of transportation — after the British Railways announce its closure. Backed by a wealthy member of the community, a group of local residents make a bid to run it themselves. This places them in direct competition with the owners of a bus line, who had been wanting to introduce a brand-new single-decker bus to Titfield.

The film will be available on Blu-ray Disc and digital on demand at a suggested retail price of $39.95, and will include bonus features such as the featurettes “Making the Titfield thunderbolt,” “The Lion Locomotive,” and “Locations.” Also included will be home movie footage from cinematographer Douglas Slocombe, an audio interview with Slocombe on Charles Crichton audio interview, the original trailer, and an archival stills gallery.

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Passport to Pimlico takes place in the sleepy district of Pimlico, when London’s last unexploded World War II-era bomb goes off. When investigating a crater caused by the explosion, Arthur and his daughter Shirley unearth a buried cellar containing riches and an unknown 15th century royal charter from King Edward IV. The charter declares Pimlico to be recognized as Burgundian soil, and having never been rescinded, the land is now no longer subject to British law — which includes postwar rationing and pub closure hours.

The post-war comedy will be available on Blu-ray Disc and digital on demand at a suggested retail price of $39.95. Bonus features include an interview with BFI curator Mark Duguid, a “locations” featurette with film historian Richard Dacre, a restoration comparison, and a stills gallery.

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Film Movement Sets Home Release Dates for Italy’s ‘Twin Flower’

Indie film distributor Film Movement has announced a Dec. 24 release date for Twin Flower, an Italian coming-of-age drama by Laura Luchetti.

The film will be available on DVD and through digital retailers (iTunes, Amazon, Vudu) at a suggested retail price of $24.95 — and will include a bonus short film written and directed by Carlota Pereda.

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Set in Sardinia, the 2018 film stars Anastasyia Bogach as a young woman on the run from human traffickers who have murdered her father. She forms a bond with a refugee from the Ivory Coast, played by Kalill Kone, who is desperately trying to avoid being caught by Italian immigration agents. They embark on a dangerous trip across tough terrain in hopes of overcoming their demons.

Twin Flower premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, where it received an honorable mention from the FIPRESCI Discovery Prize Jury. It went on to get nominated for the Grand Jury Prize and the Futurewave Youth Jury Award at the 2018 Seattle International Film Festival.

U.K. Festival Fave ‘I Am Not a Witch’ Due on Disc Jan. 22

Film Movement will release I Am Not a Witch, the United Kingdom’s official submission for this year’s Best Foreign Film Oscar,on DVD Jan. 22.
The film from Zambian-born Welsh director Rungano Nyoni takes a satirical look at witchcraft in contemporary Zambia, focusing on a 9-year-old girl who is accused of witchcraft and exiled to a witch camp run by a corrupt and inept government official. Tied to the ground by a white ribbon, she is told that she will turn into a goat if she tries to escape, but as the only child witch she becomes a local star and the adults around her hope to exploit her supposed powers for financial gain.
Festival audiences and juries bestowed more than 20 nominations on I Am Not a Witch, including the AFI Fest Audience Award and a BIFA nod for “Best British Independent Film.” The film was also nominated for a 2018 Independent Spirit Award for Best International Film and a Golden Camera Award at Cannes.
Bonus materials include an interview with Nyoni and the bonus short film Mwansa the Great (also directed by Nyoni) about a boy’s quest to fix his sister’s special mud doll.

Voyeuristic Asia Argento Film Headed to DVD, Blu-ray Disc

Film Movement on Sept. 2018 will release on disc Scarlet Diva, a dark, voyeuristic film that marks the directorial debut of Asia Argento.

The 2000 Italian film stars Argento as an actress who experiments with drugs and meets a musician who leaves her lovesick and pregnant.

Newly restored in HD, the film will be released on both Blu-ray Disc (with a suggested retail price of $39.95 and DVD (SRP, $29.95).

Argento is at the center of controversy over allegations that she sexually assaulted a minor in May 2013. Jimmy Bennett says the actress sexually assaulted him in a hotel room in California when he was 17 and the actress was 37. According to The New York Times, Argento agreed to pay $380,000 to Bennett.

Argento, now 42, denies the allegation and maintains the actor is the one who initiated the sexual contact.

Bennett’s attorney, Gordon K. Sattro, told People magazine in a statement, “This situation has escalated due to Asia’s offensive and dismissive interpretation of this situation in whole…. We read this statement as a self-serving and slanderous one which is offensive, not only to my client, but in all likelihood to victims both silent and outspoken, everywhere,” the statement read. “It would seem that Asia is implying that her truth is the actual truth because of her perceived position in this all too important movement and a delusional view of her own importance to it.”

Asia Argento is the daughter of famed Italian horror director Dario Argento, known for such dark classics as Suspiria and The Devil’s Daughter.

In Scarlet Diva, Argento plays Anna Battista, a rising young actress who, despite her popularity and success, experiences despair and degradation at the hands of the film industry. Her journey toward redemption leads her on a sordid spree of excess across America and Europe while trying to recapture her innocence and find true love.

Scarlet Diva has been praised by audiences and critics since its original release. In his New York Times theatrical review, A.O. Scott called the film “weirdly fascinating … curiously moving.” Writing in the Los Angeles Times, Manohla Dargis said Scarlet Diva “has more guts and energy than much of what will open this year.”

Bonus features include two audio commentaries by Argento (from 2002 and 2018), the featurette Looking Into the Eye of the Cyclops with Joe Coleman, a “making of” documentary and an interview with Argento. Discs come packaged with a 20-page commemorative booklet.

Founded in 2002 as one of the first-ever subscription film services with its DVD-of-the-Month club, Film Movement now distributes award-winning independent and foreign films. The New York-based company has released more than 250 feature films and shorts from film festivals worldwide.  Film Movement’s theatrical releases include American independent films, documentaries, and foreign art-house titles.

Its catalog includes titles by directors such as Hirokazu Kore-eda, Maren Ade, Jessica Hausner, Andrei Konchalovsky, Andrzej Wajda, Diane Kurys, Ciro Guerra and Melanie Laurent.

In 2015, Film Movement launched its reissue label Film Movement Classics, featuring new restorations released theatrically as well as on Blu-ray Disc and DVD, including films by such noted directors as Eric Rohmer, Peter Greenaway, Bille August, Marleen Gorris, Takeshi Kitano, Arturo Ripstein, Sergio Corbucci and Ettore Scola.