Vampires, Obsession and Madonna: This Week’s Hottest DVD Releases

By Diana Srougi, staff writer

MONTREAL (RPRN) 20/03/09- The picking is slim this week in DVD’s land.  However, Madonna’s film was also released this week, but only in Canada… for now.

Twilight : The Fascination

Many fans of the vampire-film genre have been impatiently waiting for this film’s release. “Twilight” is a thrilling and romantic fantasy film directed by Catherine Hardwicke (writer and director of “Thirteen” in 2003). Melissa Rosenberg (writer for various television shows such as “Dexter”, “Love Monkey” and “The O.C.”) adapted her screenplay on Stephenie Meyer’s novel (the author was also given a small part). Young actress Kristen Stewart (“Into the Wild”, “What Just Happened?”) plays a high-school
student who’s rather different from most girls. When she meets a gorgeous and intelligent boy (Robert Pattinson), who is a vampire with very little resemblance  with Dracula, she gets pulled into a passionate and desperate love affair. With “Twilinght”, the vampire film genre is turned upside, and breaks rules established in cinema since the creation of Nosferatu, resulting in a contemporary love story. “Twilight” premiered at the 3rd Annual Rome International Film Festival, and ever since, attracted much attention. The sequel is already in production!

DVD release date: Tuesday, March 17th 2009
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Distributor: Summit Entertainment
Rating: 6.1/10

Elegy: Dying Animal

Spanish filmmaker Isabel Coixet, director of “My Life Without Me” and “The Secret Life of Words”, gives us “Elegy”, a romantic drama based on Pulitzer Prize winner Philip Roth’s novel “The Dying Animal”. the screenplay was written by Nicholas Meyer, writer of Adrian Lyne’s “Fatal Attraction” and Robert Benton’s “The Human Stain” (based on another one of Roth’s novels). “Elegy”, starring Ben Kingsley and Penélope Cruz, tells the story of a college professor who falls deeply under the spell of his Cuban-born pupil, whose beauty and erotic intensity destabilizes him. “Elegy” was nominated for the Golden Bear at the 2008 Berlin Film Festival. Ben Kingsley was nominated at the London Critics Circle Film Awards for his performance, while Penélope won for Best Supporting Actress at the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards and at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. She was also nominated at the Satellite Awards, as was Nicholas Meyer for Best Screenplay. Coixet’s film also screened in numerous film festivals including Seattle, Istanbul, Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro.

DVD release date: Tuesday, March 17th 2009
Distributor: Red Envelope Entertainment
Rating: 7.0/10

Filth and Wisdom: Madonna Behind the Camera

Since there are very few DVD releases this week, this would be a good opportunity to say a few words about an interesting movie that was released Tuesday, but only in Canada (though it should soon make it to the USA). We all know Madonna for her singing and acting career, but she just recently stepped behind the camera to direct her Dell Canada Incvery first film entitled “Filth and Wisdom”. She also wrote the script alongside Dan Cadan. This comedy, mostly characterized as feel-good movie, tells the story of three London roommates (played by Eugene Hütz, Holly Weston and Vivky McClure) who go to desperate measures to make their dreams come true, dreams that have nothing to do with their everyday lives. There is without a doubt something autobiographical about Madonna’s first film. “Filth and Wisdom” aired at countless festivals, such as the Berlin International Film Festival, the Athens Film Festival, the Rio International Film Festival, the Helsinki International Film Festival, the Montreal Festival du nouveau cinema and the Tokyo International Film Festival.

DVD release date: Tuesday, March 17th 2009
Distributor: IFC Films
Rating: 5.1/10