Film ReelI’m torn. Along with the list of new movies in the AV Center, should I review one of the most intriguing films that came in last month, the documentary Keep the River on your Right, or go with my gut which says, “It’s Spring! Everything’s in bloom! Review something magical!”? For me, that translates to recommending one of Hayao Miyazaki’s animated movies. Two just arrived in the AV Center: Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind and Princess Mononoke.

Because I am chronically indecisive, you get both. Enjoy!

“I am a cannibal… No matter into what far corner of my mind I push those words, they flash along the surface of my brain like news along the track that runs around the building at Times Square.” Artist, anthropologist, and author Tobias Schneebaum wrote these lines after spending a year living with a tribe in the depths of the Peruvian jungle. Forty-five years later, a pair of filmmakers–brother and sister duo David and Laurie Gwen Shapiro–followed Schneebaum, in his late 70s, as he returned to the Amazon.

Keep the River on Your Right (DVD 2743) initially seems like it’s going to be an exploitation tale; instead it is an astonishing portrait of the charming albeit foolish Schneebaum, a New York artist who became a self-proclaimed “explorer.” Critics had very mixed reviews of this complex documentary. While some saw in the story a heart wrenching tale of one man’s loneliness; others saw an keen portrayal of the sensationalism and objectification of developing world cultures. Whatever you see, it’s fascinating to watch.

A fantastically executed story of the battle between the forces of civilization and nature, Princess Mononoke (DVD 2730) is a magnificent animated epic by Japan’s Hayao Miyazaki. In the movie, while protecting his village from a charging boar-god, the young warrior Ashitaka is cursed with a magical spreading scar that threatens to end his life. In search for a cure and a reason for the animal-god’s attack, he travels to the Great Forest Spirit’s realm where he discovers that people have begun to destroy the surrounding land to mine for iron ore. In a fearless attempt to halt the encroachment, San, the adopted daughter of the wolf-god, raids the mining fortress, while Ashitaka is caught in the middle and must stop the war between the humans and the forest inhabitants before they destroy each other.

It is amazing to think that Miyazaki was personally responsible for 80,000 of the film’s 144,000 hand drawings. He’s striking execution and amazing artistry combine to make this animated picture well worth seeing.

Other New Arrivals:

DVD 2701, The Sixth sun Mayan Uprising in Chiapas
DVD 2702, Matewan
DVD 2703, 1-800-INDIA: Importing a White-collar Economy
DVD 2704, Globalization is Good
DVD 2705, The Krzysztof Kieslowski Collection
DVD 2706, A Jewel in History: The Story of Homer G. Phillips Hospital, St. Louis, Missouri
DVD 2707, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
DVD 2708, Johan van der Keuken, the Complete Collection
DVD 2709, Selma Lagerlöf’s Sir Arne’s Treasure: A Winter Ballad in Five Acts as Filmed
DVD 2710, Das Experiment
DVD 2711, Andrzej Wajda: Three War Films
DVD 2712, A Day in the Country (Partie de Campagne)
DVD 2713, Superman returns
DVD 2714, The Devil Wears Prada
DVD 2715, Young Mr. Lincoln
DVD 2716, The Bothersome Man (Den Brysomme Mannen)
DVD 2717, Cool hand Luke
DVD 2718, Spectres of the Spectrum
DVD 2719, The Wide Blue Road (La Grande Strada Azzurra)
DVD 2720, From Tugboats to Polar Bears, Short Films
DVD 2721, Sólo con tu Pareja (Only with your Partner)
DVD 2722, The Ossuary and Other Tales
DVD 2723, Gabrielle
DVD 2724, The Tenant (Locataire)
DVD 2725, Brutes and Savages
DVD 2726, Dead Man’s Bluff
DVD 2727, 20th Century with Mike Wallace
DVD 2728, Violence in the Media
DVD 2729, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
DVD 2730, Princess Mononoke
DVD 2731, Fast Food Nation
DVD 2732, Porco Rosso
DVD 2733, Dobutsu Takarajima (Animal Treasure Island)
DVD 2734, Castle of Cagliostro
DVD 2735, House of Usher / The Pit and the Pendulum
DVD 2736, Histoire(s) du Cinéma
DVD 2737, Playtime
DVD 2738, India
DVD 2739, China’s Prosperity Behind the Scenes of Progress
DVD 2740, A Film Trilogy
DVD 2741, The Good Shepherd
DVD 2742, The Pursuit of Happyness
DVD 2743, Keep the River on your Right: A Modern Cannibal Tale
DVD 2744, Sir! No sir! The Suppressed Story of the GI Movement to End the War in Vietnam
DVD 2745, United 93
DVD 2746, Hearts and Minds
DVD 2747, Lantana
DVD 2748, Iran, une Révolution Cinématographique
DVD 2749, Abhijan
DVD 2750, The Next Best Place: Short Films
DVD 2751, Au Hasard Balthazar
DVD 2752, Sanjuro
DVD 2753, Curse of the Golden Flower
DVD 2754, Gilles’ Wife
DVD 2755, A Time for Burning
DVD 2756, Autumn Sonata
DVD 2757, Before Stonewall: The Making of a Gay and Lesbian Community
DVD 2758, Pickpocket
DVD 2759, Ladies of the Bois de Boulogne (Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne)
DVD 2760, Ballets Russes

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