Friday, September 5, 2008

Films -- and a film distributor -- worth knowing

If you're film-lover who appre-ciates the humane, take a look at two movies from Italian writer/director Giuseppe Piccioni: Not of This World and Light of My Eyes. The former came out in 1999 (and is available on DVD via Facet's Accent Cinema) but still seems quite current in its subject and themes: a nun finds an abandoned baby and the whole of present-day urban Italy opens up before the viewer. Light of My Eyes, shown at the FSLC's Open Roads festival a few years back was distributed by Film Movement, one of the most consistent sources of intelligent movies from around the world that I have found.

Piccioni is a filmmaker for whom the social contract, never mentioned but implicit in all he shows us, is vital. It may work in very odd ways (we're in Italy, after all), yet it does work. And this is what matters. Both these films are available -- as online rentals -- from Netflix, GreenCine and Blockbuster. (If you're wondering which firm does the best job, by the way, I'll have a comparison ready to post fairly soon. I've belonged to all three for some time and so consider myself a pretty fair judge.)

Rather than recreate reviews of both movies, I've simply linked to what I've posted earlier (under the moniker of talltale) on GreenCine here and here. Regarding Film Movement, here's a link to an "appreciation" written for GreenCine a couple of years back, along with a listing of short reviews of the FM films I'd seen at that point. Since then, I've watched a number of others, and I still feel the same: there's not a movie in the bunch I'm sorry to have seen. Obviously some Film Movement features are better than others, but the overall level of quality -- from a single distribution source -- is unmatched in my experience. Some recent FM titles not covered earlier that are especially good: Days and Clouds, The Grocer's Son, Choking Man, XXY, The Violin, Her Name Is Sabine and Adam's Apples. (And these titles are just from the past year).

Film Movement is not the only distribution company doing excellent work, but it's one of the best. I'll hope to cover other firms in the weeks to come, including a couple of new ones on the scene. Stay tuned.


Ray Privett said...

FYI, NOT OF THIS WORLD was released on DVD by Accent Cinema / Facets Video, not Film Movement.

TrustMovies said...

Thanks, Ray. I did not mean to imply that "Not of This World" was released to DVD via Film Movement--only "Light of My Eyes." But I will now add a mention of Accent Cinema/Facets to that post.