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Home Movies/Out on Digital: Feb. 18

Feb. 18, 2014
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■ The Secret Policeman’s Ball—USA

Comedians and musicians helped Amnesty International reach the masses with its mission to free political prisoners. For its 50th anniversary show, shot live at Radio City Music Hall, Amnesty recruited Coldplay and Mumford & Sons but focused on comedy with stand-up by Ben Stiller and Sarah Silverman and cameos by Monty Python members. Peaks of hilarity include Jon Stewart’s skit with a Kim Jong-un stand-in and John Oliver interacting with a sneering, maniacal Julian Assange hologram.

The Artist and the Model

In Nazi-occupied France, Marc (Jean Rochefort) is an aged artist—a friend of Matisse—who wants to sculpt a final masterpiece. The object of his desire is Mercè (Aida Folch), a refugee who becomes his model, his odalisque, with the encouragement of his wife (Claudia Cardinale). Photographed in black and white (and many shades of gray), Fernando Trueba’s production evokes the profound mood of ’60s art house films in its meditation on time as it slips away.

The Booker

Professional wrestling has been in a steep slump and Steve Scarborough wants to do something about it. Establishing his own pro wrestling school in Atlanta as a springboard to his dream of organizing a championship bout, Scarborough tells the camera that he wants to restore the “sport” to its roots, which have more to do with boo-hiss theatrical characters than shock value, while matching mixed-martial arts with the grandiose poses of wrestling’s golden years.


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