(Days of Heaven)
Film/Video Curator Chris Stults picks out some of his favorite DVDs from the Wexner Center Store, just in time for the holidays.
Days of Heaven – Even if you're well acquainted with Days of Heaven (surely one of the most beautiful films released by a major studio), you'll want to have this Criterion Collection DVD. Terence Malick and the film's camera operator supervised a new video transfer of the film that subtly refine the films justifiable famous "golden hour" palette into something even more stunning. And if you don't know the film, what are you waiting for?
The Films of Man Ray – Grab this rare DVD while you can. Imported from France (and not available at Amazon or the like), this DVD contains all four of famed Dadaist Man Ray’s landmark films plus a host of bonus materials. Among other things, the films masterfully employ the “rayogram” technique that the artist created: cameraless images created by placing an object directly on raw film stock which is then exposed to light, creating a shadow image.
Irma Vep – One of the best films of the 1990s is available on a new DVD bursting with extras and a vastly superior image quality to previous releases. Film critic-turned-director Olivier Assayas is a fascinating and eloquent speaker, so having his voice present to talk about Irma Vep, its star (and Assayas’ ex-wife) Maggie Cheung, and French silent cinema pioneer Louis Feuillade makes this disc essential for film lovers.
Walden: Diaries, Notes and Sketches – This epic 3-hour diary film by Jonas Mekas, one of the godfathers of American independent cinema, is an amazing document of the New York art and film scenes of the mid-to-late 1960s and a breathtaking artwork in its own right. Look for appearances by Stan Brakhage, Carl Dreyer, Alan Ginsberg, John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Hans Richter, Edie Sedgwick, the Velvet Underground, Andy Warhol, and many others. This box set also includes a poster and a richly detailed 150-page book that annotates the film and features texts by 60 authors, including many of the figures that appear in the film.