Upstart DVD label Benten Films (think Criterion for the indie kids) is prepping its second release, a double-disc special edition of two features by New York filmmaker Aaron Katz. The two features are Dance Party, USA (2006) and Quiet City (2007), both SXSW world premieres in their respective years. I’m a big Katz fan, and happy to call him a friend. Stumbling upon the engrossing and piercing Dance Party, USA still ranks as one of my happiest memories as a festival programmer. His quick follow-up, the Brooklyn romance Quiet City, is even more technically accomplished and nuanced.
For the Benten release, the extras are plentiful. Disc 1 features Quiet City, as well as a cast commentary track, some clips from talented composer Keegan Dewitt, and the prank film Joe Swanberg’s Quiet City. Disc 2 features Dance Party, USA, separate cast and crew commentary tracks, alternate scenes, an early Katz short film, and a couple of essays by Ray Carney and Ray Pride. Whew. This hefty set is available starting January 29. And, check out the nifty packaging: