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Home Movies/Out in Digital: March 2, 2017

Feb. 28, 2017
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London Town

Punk rock coming-of-age movies are becoming more common as fans grow older and nostalgic. London Town follows 15-year-old Shay (Daniel Huttlestone) from a dead-end U.K. city as he discovers The Clash (and enjoys his first kiss) in London during the feverish summer of ’78. The acting is spot-on (even before Jonathan Rhys Meyers materializes as Joe Strummer). London Town catches the heat and recreates the look of London from that era.

Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story

Alto saxophonist Frank Morgan was one of the most respected post-bebop jazz musicians. Sound of Redemption is a dynamically paced documentary centered around a tribute concert at San Quentin led by Delfeayo Marsalis. Morgan served time there for theft as he struggled with heroin addiction. Drawn from many interviews, Sound of Redemption explores the vibrancy of 1950s jazz and the musicians enslaved by heroin, which they thought was the key to a higher state of self-expression.

23 Paces to Baker Street

Van Johnson plays a blind American playwright in London who overhears a crime being plotted in a pub. Directed by consummate Hollywood professional Henry Hathaway, this 1956 crime thriller is executed with almost Hitchcockian precision. Vera Miles costars as the jilted lover drawn back into the playwright’s life as he searches for the criminals, aided by his acute senses of sound and smell. It’s one of the best roles ever for the usually bland Johnson.

Betty / Torment / The Swindle

Claude Chabrol was one of the more technically accomplished directors to emerge from the French New Wave. His subtle cinematic mastery is evident in Betty (1992). The title character is a sexually careless, emotionally complex, alcoholic young woman who is befriended by Laure, a sympathetic older woman. Her story gradually unfolds in flashback while conversing with Laure. Betty is out on Blu-ray along with a pair of other late Chabrol films, Torment and The Swindle.


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