From the Big Screen:
“Birdman,” “St. Vincent,” “The Theory of Everything,” “The Homesman,” “The Interview” and “Dumb and Dumber To.” For more information on these and other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.
This Week’s Highlights:
From Studio Ghibli, the award-winning studio that produced “Spirited Away,” “My Neighbor Totoro” and “The Wind Rises,” comes “The Tale of the Princess Kaguya” (2014 — Japan), a powerful and sweeping film that redefines animated storytelling and marks a triumphant highpoint within an extraordinary filmmaking career for director Isao Takahata. Found inside a shining stalk of bamboo by an old bamboo cutter and his wife, a tiny girl grows rapidly into an exquisite young lady. The mysterious young princess enthralls all who encounter her — but ultimately she must confront her fate, the punishment for her crime. With the voices of James Caan, Mary Steenburgen, Chloe Grace Moretz. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Universal … “An Autumn Afternoon” (1962), the final film from Yasujiro Ozu, was also his last masterpiece, a gently heartbreaking story about a man’s dignifed resignation to life’s shifting currents and society’s modernization. Though widower Shuhei (frequent Ozu leading man Chishu Ryu) has been living comfortably for years with his grown daughter, a series of events leads him to accept and encourage her marriage and departure from their home. As elegantly composed and achingly tender as any of the Japanese master’s films, “An Autumn Afternoon” is one of cinema’s fondest farewells. New, 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack. In it’s Blu-ray debut from The Criterion Collection.
The documentary “The Sixties” (2014) explores the most turbulent decade of the modern era in America. From the Cold War to the War in Vietnam, from the Space Race to the Long March to Freedom and Civil Rights, the events of the 1960s were both dramatic and transformative. The Beatles invaded America, Man landed on the Moon and the Women’s, Environmental, Conservative and Gay movements were all born. It was a decade of assassinations and urban riots but also of Woodstock and Haight Ashbury. Television sets were tuned to “The Twilight Zone,” “The Andy Griffith Show” and “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In” while record players spun the songs of Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones and The Beach Boys. In its examination and portrayal of this most consequential time, this CNN Original Series (which originally began airing in May on CNN) reveals why it was truly “The Decade that Changed the World.” Three three-disc set includes 10 episodes: “Television Comes of Age,” “The World on the Brink,” “The Assassination of President Kennedy,” “The War in Vietnam,” “A Long March to Freedom,” “The British Invasion,” “The Space Race,” “1968,” “The Times They are A-Changin’,” “Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘N’ Roll.” $69.99 from PBS Distribution).