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Vernon Mortensen
Filmmaker and board member, San Diego Filmmakers

Looking for something different? Try the long-lost '70s gem Cockfighter, based on Charles Willeford's novel. Roger Corman produces, Monte Hellman directs, and world-class cameraman Néstor Almendros provides the beautifully disturbing images. Professional cockfighters Warren Oates and Harry Dean Stanton are locked in a bitter rivalry that leaves a wake of pain and ruin for all those who have the misfortune to know them. It's strange to have two Corman films included but he only made a handful of art-house films, and for the most part, they're gems. In what has to be the performance of a lifetime, The Intruder features William Shatner (that's right, Captain Kirk) as a racist Northern carpetbagger who comes to a sleepy Southern town to stir up bigotry and hatred. The real treasure on this DVD is an interview where Corman recounts the amazing and harrowing story of how this film was made.

Cockfighter
(USA) 1974, Anchor Bay

The Intruder (Special Edition)
(USA) 1962, New Concorde

Gerald "W" Varney
Board member, San Diego Filmmakers, www.sdfilmmakers.org

Thumbsucker: Both Tilda Swinton and Lou Taylor Pucci turn in excellent performances in this story of an adolescent's struggle to communicate in an adult world. Kinky Boots: A great set-up as a reluctant young British man inherits his father's conservative shoe factory only to find that it's losing money. Much to the chagrin of the old-time factory workers, he employs a transsexual (Chiwetel Ejiofor) to design a new line of boots.

Last Year at Marienbad: A surreal French classic. Filmed in black and white by Alain Resnais, I remember this film from the '60s as being about elegant people gathering in a luxurious mansion. A beautiful married women is told by a stranger that he met her there a year before and she promised to meet him again. She has no recollection of such a declaration and the conflict ensues.

Thumbsucker
(USA) 2005, Sony Pictures

Kinky Boots
(England/USA) 2005, Miramax

Last Year at Marienbad
(France/Italy) 1961, Fox Lorber

Aaron CrabtreeSan Diego filmmaker

Nationalism fades, empires crumble, battles are forgotten, but a boy's dreams will live forever. The greatest war film ever made? Andrei Tarkovsky's first feature, Ivan's Childhood, is essential viewing everywhere. Tales of Hoffmann is Powell and Pressburger's adaptation of the Offenbach opera based on three E.T.A. Hoffmann fairy tales. Allergic to opera? Mute the sound for stunning, poetic fantasy. Includes George Romero's interview and Martin Scorsese's commentary. Zombies may want to gut themselves: this one started it all for Romero.

Three Films by Hiroshi Teshigahara includes Woman in the Dunes, Pitfall, and The Face of Another, all Japanese classics. Stunning monochrome transfers. See the full 148-minute cut of Woman in the Dunes for the first time! Criterion's organized a superior edition for those less familiar with Teshigahara's artistry by including four of the director's shorts. Save the existential terrors of The Face of Another and Pitfall for a more thoughtful Halloween treat!

Ivan's Childhood - Criterion Collection
(Russia) 1962, Criterion

Tales of Hoffmann (England) 1951, Criterion

Three Films by Hiroshi Teshigahara (Japan) 1962-66, Criterion

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