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Home Movies/Out on Digital: Aug. 10, 2017

Aug. 8, 2017
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Prizzi’s Honor

Director John Huston’s late career picture, Prizzi’s Honor (1985), is a minor gem. A spoof of the post-Godfather Mafioso genre, Prizzi’s Honor runs seamlessly between mordantly humorous and murderously violent. Jack Nicholson is memorable as Charlie, a gape-mouthed, appraising mobster who falls in love with Irene (Kathleen Turner), the beautiful tax consultant who turns out to be an assassin. Anjelica Huston plays the Mafia don’s daughter in this tricky tale of love, betrayal and—yes—honor.

 

Obit.

Most people think writing obituaries is a depressing occupation, but the team at The New York Times obituary department begs to disagree. In Vanessa Gould’s surprisingly compelling documentary, they see their work as celebrating life, not death. Out of an 800-word obit, maybe 20 words pertain to the demise of the subject. The remaining 780 comprise a mini-biography composed from well-chosen details. One criteria determines who gets written up: Their life must have been newsworthy.

 

1944

Unlucky in World War II, Estonia was occupied by the Soviets, then the Nazis, then the Soviets again. 1944 is perhaps the only movie shot (in part) from the perspective of the Waffen SS—an Estonian unit, some of whose members eventually switch sides. Ideology is of less concern than hatred and survival. Estonia’s most popular director, Elmo Nüganen, captures the physical and emotional brutality of war as well as the special cruelty of true believers.

 

I Love You All the Time: Live at the Olympia in Paris

The Eagles of Death Metal became an unwanted mention in the annals of rock music when their Nov. 13, 2015 concert at Paris’ The Bataclan theatre was cut short by ISIS terrorists. Eighty-nine fans died. On Feb. 16, 2016, they returned to Paris to finish the show recorded on this concert documentary. Delivering melodic, fast-paced hard rock with sweaty fervor and swagger, EODM also maintained a long moment of silence in honor of the victims.

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