Monday Blu(e)s and DVD

A Gallic air runs through this week’s Home Video releases, with a pair of new French dramas leading a worldly group of films. At the top of the pile comes a wonderful double-bill from Hope Lies favourites Masters Of Cinema, one of which is a strong contender for DVD release of the year.

Please feel free to use the comments section below to let us know if we’ve missed anything. Monday Blu(e)s and DVD’s is produced in association with Film@Home, the British Video Association’s digital hub for the promotion of Blu-ray. More information on Film@Home can be found on their Facebook page.

Disc Of The Week

Colossal Youth 

We start off this weeks rather worldly set of releases with a look towards Portugal, with a marvellous release from Masters Of Cinema. The Eureka imprint turn their attention to Pedro Costa for the first time, with a stacked double-disc set focussing on his Colossal Youth. The sheer amount of extra material for Costa’s “intimate epic” is astounding, going someway to prove that there’s still life yet in the regular DVD format. Central to this landmark release is a 2-hour long documentary entitled Finding The Criminal, in which MoC’s own Craig Keller converses with Costa and film critic Andy Rector on the cinema and all its associated threads.

Order the disc directly from Eureka HERE, and support one of the many independent British film distribution companies affected by the recent Sony fire during the London riots. It’s a win-win situation. Our full review of Colossal Youth will follow later in the week.

Schloss Vogelöd aka The Haunted Castle

Elsewhere Eureka’s Masters Of Cinema label continue in their quest to publish the complete surviving catalogue of works from German master of the silent movie F.W. Murnau. Schloss Vogelöd is accompanied by a nice booklet and a solid little documentary on Murnau’s early works that runs to around half an hour.

Little White Lies

The sort of Franco-crossover hit that dominates the UK art house box office for a couple of weeks, Guillaume Canet’s follow up to similarly successful Tell No One comes complete with a cast that reads like a who’s-who of French cinema. Marion Cotillard heads up an ensemble that features the likes of Francois Cluzet, Gilles Lellouche and Jean Dujardin, the soon to be huge star of Cannes dominating The Artist (in English-speaking territories; he’s already big in France). “Magnolia on the continent” is mightily crass, but I’d be surprised if it hasn’t been used when describing Little White Lies before now.

Our Day Will Come

On the other side of the multiplex we have Romain (son of Costa) Gavras’ Our Day Will Come. Vincent Cassel stars in this road trip of sorts, which plays out like the bastard child of Baise Moi and Antonioni. The film wasn’t deemed worthy of theatrical release for some reason, but that ought not reflect on the quality of the work.


Call it kismet, call it destiny, call it a coincidence, but whatever it is the gods have deemed Mammuth worthy of release in the middle of Gerard Depardieu’s greatest scandal since Green Card. The film itself is a nice little comedy, which reminded the Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw of the work of Ricky Gervais.

La Jetée / Sans Soleil

Chris Marker’s most notable pair of works. *Insert Obligatory Mention Of La Jetée as Twelve Monkeys Influence Here*.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy / Smiley’s People – Double Feature

Turning attentions to the UK, and a timely re-release for the landmark BBC adaptation of the John le Carre novel. While undoubtedly a masterful exercise in dramatic execution, one can’t help but think one ought to hold out for next month’s Tomas Alfredson adaptation, and indulging in the original 290 minute mini-series afterwards. This edition includes the follow-up series, Smiley’s People. At less than £8 for the box-set, this is a something of a bargain. An almost-eleven-hour bargain.

The Big Lebowski 

Unfathomably the most popular work by the brothers Coen, The Big Lebowski makes the upgrade to HD with a disc that is disappointingly layered in edge enhancing lacquers and digital sharpening.  There are a couple of new extra features though, for those who simply need to know more about this terribly average film.



Add yours →

  1. No brotherhood of the wolf??

    • I did originally have it down for inclusion (especially considering it would fit in nicely with the huge number of French films released this week) alas I simply don’t like it, and only like to feature one questionable title per week, with that honour this week falling upon The Big Lebowski!

  2. Schloss Vogelöd will eventually be out on blu ray, so I’ll probably hold off. However do consider its important to support our UK labels in this period of post-riot shortages.

    • You can pick up Colossal Youth safe in the knowledge that it won’t ever be released on Blu-ray, as it was shot in SD and MoC have repeatedly said that they won’t be upgrading it. I can’t stress enough how great it is.

  3. I love The Big Lebowski. I don’t think it’s The Coens’ best work by some considerable stretch, but as a shaggy dog story and as a very funny and sly dissection of The Big Sleep et al. it’s a really fun watch. It also features the following line, which makes me laugh more and more every time I watch it.

    “I’m a brother shamus.”
    [Pause]”An Irish monk?”

  4. It sounds interesting from their write up, you know me, my interest is always East but I may just do that.

  5. Hmm, consider it sold then. I’ll order one now. As for Big Lebowski I enjoyed it on release but this is probably rose-tinted nostalgia now.

    Have read criticism of the techniques used for this blu ray. Do the Coen’s actually care about their releases on home formats?

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