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Small Screen | “Winter’s Bone,” Fiery “Girl,” and a Slew of Films from the Vaults

Small Screen | "Winter's Bone," Fiery "Girl," and a Slew of Films from the Vaults

In a week of heavy hitters in the world of DVD, VOD, and film on TV, indieWIRE recommends you take a look at two films starring women on the verge, a healthy dose of box sets from the archives, and a few more. Take a look at this week’s world on the small screen…

1. Films with Strong Women: “Winter’s Bone” (criticWIRE rating: B+) and “The Girl Who Played With Fire” (criticWIRE rating: C)

Debra Granik’s Sundance suspense double winner “Winter’s Bone” comes home. The brooding family suspense film attracted a considerable number of theatergoers out to make the film one of the year’s biggest indie releases. The DVD release allows viewers all over the country to see the much buzzed about lead performance from newcomer Jennifer Lawrence (who was profiled as a FUTURES on this site earlier this year). Also on DVD this week is the second film from the blockbuster book and film Millenium trilogy, featuring the kick-ass actress who redefined the character of Lisbeth Salander, Sweden’s Noomi Rapace. While the second film got a lukewarm response from critics, there’s no doubting that any opportunity to see Rapace in action isn’t worth a few hours.

2. From the Vault: “Paths of Glory” and “House” on Criterion; “Alien” and “Back to the Future” Box Sets; Chaplin with Keystone

The Criterion Collection releases two films to their eclectic library this week, with Stanley Kubrick’s anti-war masterpiece “Paths of Glory” and Nobuhiko Obayashi’s bizarro “House” (Hausu) both appearing on the Criterion shelves. The “Paths of Glory” package includes a French television special that inspired the film, an interview with Kubrick, one with star Kirk Douglas, and new interviews from others involved with the film and Kubrick. Included on the restored edition of “House” are a new behind-the-scenes doc featuring interviews with people involved with the film, Obayashi’s experimental film “Emotion,” and a tribute from “House of the Devil” director Ti West. After cleaning up a collection of films that featured Charlie Chaplin’s work with Keystone Studios, Flicker Alley is releasing a box set of these early Chaplin films today. Also coming out of the vaults are new box sets of the “Back to the Future” and “Alien” series.

3. “South of the Border” (criticWIRE rating: B-)

Oliver Stone’s collection of profiles on South America’s leaders gets its home video release today. The film, which was promoted by Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales during its New York premiere last year, features interviews with world leaders rarely given time in U.S. media. Here’s a clip from the DVD release, exclusive to indieWIRE:

4. “Wild Grass” (criticWIRE rating: B+)

On French filmmaker Alain Resnais’s (“Hiroshima mon amour” and “Last Year at Marienbad”) new effort, our own Eric Kohn says, “the 88-year-old Alain Resnais gets a lot of publicity mileage out of staying active in his old age. While seniority hardly necessitates critical leniency, the most impressive aspect of ‘Wild Grass,’ Resnais’s twenty-fifth directorial effort, comes from its energetic youthfulness.” The film explores the power dynamic between a woman (Marguerite) and the man (Georges) who finds her wallet after it is snatched by a thief. Kohn continues, “Georges and Marguerite find themselves drawn together as the key performers in a movie principally devoted to sweetly captivating imagery.”

5. “The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner” on HBO

This week’s last recommendation comes from HBO, where “The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner,” an Oscar nominee this year for Best Documentary (Short Subject) debuts. The film takes a look at the former Washington governor’s campaign to pass the Death with Dignity Act in Washington state.

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