Home Movies/Out on Digital: June 23
■ Notes on a Scandal
Judi Dench is magnificent as a scowling secondary school teacher, cynical about her delinquent students and dim colleagues, and envious of the magnetic new art teacher (Cate Blanchett). They become friends, but friendship turns to intrusive jealousy as the older woman blackmails the younger over an affair with a student. Madness ensues. The quiet urgency and repressed emotional turmoil of the Philip Glass score are perfect for this 2007 film, out now on Blu-ray.
■ Hitler and the Nazis
The story has been told many times but continues to cast a shadow over the imagination. A fringe politician playing on fear and hope like a concert pianist seized a nation and led it to war and genocide. Drawn from archival footage and held together by a strong narrative voice, Hitler and the Nazis shows how political gridlock, economic anxiety and national indignation converged to provide opportunities for a man who would otherwise have been marginalized.
■ How It All Began
Although not as famous as Deepak Chopra, Mantak Chia is a briskly selling author whose message of ancient Eastern wisdom has touched the contemporary West. The documentary on the Taoist master follows Chia from Thailand to 1976 New York where he opened a workshop—appropriately enough—at the border between the Bowery and Chinatown, where his ideas on spirituality and sexuality, emotional and physical wellbeing, appealed to fellow Asians as well as the punk intelligentsia.