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Remastered “The Hours and Times” Hits DVD

Remastered "The Hours and Times" Hits DVD

With Charles Burnett’s long unseen “Killer of Sheep” finally making the rounds thanks to Milestone and delighting many a critic frustrated with contemporary American cinema offerings, I humbly offer another little masterpiece, Christopher Munch’s debut “The Hours and Times,” which small video distrib Choices just released on DVD yesterday.

The new high-definition digital transfer was approved by director Munch and includes a 22-minute featurette on the making of the film, and a commentary by Münch. Hailed by the long-ago Village Voice as “the best American indie in many years,” “The Hours and Times” imagines what might have happened between John Lennon and Beatles manager Brian Epstein during a 1963 vacation in Barcelona. Beautifully restrained and shot in black-and-white, the movie stands as a testament to the profoundly intimate portraits that truly indie cinema can capture.

In an article for the Village Voice five years ago, I spoke with Munch about the difficulties of making movies his own way. “I know how difficult it is to make money theatrically, so I can’t really blame anyone for not wanting to spend money on a film that has more hurdles to cross,” he told me. “The goal of distributors is to grow their businesses and make money, and to go about that in a way that’s going to involve as little risk as possible. Nobody is engaged in a philanthropic effort here.” The times haven’t changed much, have they?

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