In the spirit of "better late than never," over the weekend I watched a couple of the films that were released on DVD last Tuesday and also found a review of one of the more obscure titles that came out. As I noted in my Indies on DVD post, Steve Buscemi's Interview received mixed critical notices; after giving it a spin I can understand the reservations but I feel it's worth a rental.

Buscemi plays a reporter who's miffed to be assigned to interview a rising starlet (Sienna Miller). He arrives to their interview totally unprepared, matched by her arriving more than an hour late. The scene seethes with realistic resentment, after which the film segues into an extended fantasy in which Miller takes Buscemi back to her apartment to recuperate from a minor traffic accident. It's as though Buscemi's journalist, suffering from a slight head injury, dreams about all the questions he would ask a celebrity if there were no holds barred. Buscemi's character is not as important or superior as he thinks he is and Miller's actress is not as innocent or sympathetic as she imagines herself to be. Forget about realism and it's easy to get lost in the dramatics of two people who clash more than they mesh. As director, Buscemi keeps things fresh with his imaginative staging.

Latitude Zero, an English-language production made by Japanese filmmakers in 1969, which I wrote about in my Asian Films on DVD post, sounded like it might be a risk to rent if you're allergic to cheese. Glenn Erickson (AKA DVD Savant) at DVD Talk gives a complete rundown on the film -- which he calls "the most eclectic, disorganized thriller Toho ever produced" -- and the features. It's a great, detailed, respectful review, and an excellent example of Erickson's genial, informed writing style. Finally, just a word on Monte Hellman's existential road picture Two Lane Blacktop, which was, believe it or not, released by a major studio (Universal Pictures, albeit its "youth division") in 1971. I'd forgotten that I had it stored away on a DVR, and its recent release by the Criterion Collection prompted me to watch an amazing film that demands multiple viewings. The DVD has drawn raves from the usual suspects, and now that I've seen the movie I feel a moral obligation to pick it up and explore this fascinating picture further.
categories Dvds, Cinematical