Three intriguing titles top my list of indie films to check out this week on DVD. Coincidentally, two of them feature actors who also directed (or directors who also acted).
Taiwanese film Help Me Eros, directed by and starring Lee Kang-Sheng, became slightly notorious at the Toronto film festival because droves of otherwise hardy film critics walked out of a press screening, either out of boredom or disgust. Ryan Stewart stayed, even though the first scene made him consider vomiting and the film as a whole was an unpleasant experience. Any film that provokes that strong a reaction, of course, makes it a perfect choice for adventurous renters who don't mind gambling a few dollars on the possibility that they'll never finish watching the movie. (The plot doesn't really matter in this case, does it?) DVD extras are limited to various trailers.
The English-language Big Dreams, Little Tokyo, directed by and starring Dave Boyle, is a culture clash comedy. Boyle plays a man who wants to become a language instruction guru, while his Japanese American roommate (Jason Watabe) wants to become a Sumo wrestler despite his slight build. KJ Doughton at Film Threat gave it a four-star rating ("a fresh filmic entree"). DVD extras include an audio commentary, behind the scenes interviews and "making of" footage, deleted scenes, web spots, and more.
French flick Heartbeat Detector (AKA La Question Humaine), directed by Nicolas Klotz, arrives with little fanfare that I can recall, though it did enjoy a brief, limited theatrical run earlier this year, and Scott Foundas admired "its epic sense of humanity" in the pages of The Village Voice. Mathieu Amalric (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) plays a company psychiatrist with odd methods of motivating the corporate troops. DVD extras appear to be non-existent.