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Strange water spots form on the ceiling of her rundown apartment and worse still are apparitions of a girl who went missing two years earlier. The protagonist is in an acrimonious custody battle over her 6-year-old girl; her previous brush with psychotherapy is being used against her. Japanese director Hideo Nakata’s Dark Water makes us wonder: Is it madness, a ghost or a conspiracy? And then there’s that red plastic tote bag that keeps resurfacing…
Last of the Mississippi Jukes
The original Mississippi juke joints were shacks at the edge of plantations where African American field hands gathered on Saturday nights. The jukes were an endangered species when Robert Mugge made this 2003 documentary. By that time, only half a dozen “genuine” joints still existed. Mugge catches one, the Subway Lounge, as it went under, and another, Morgan Freeman’s Ground Zero Blues Club, as it got underway. The film includes performances, interviews and archival footage from the 1930s.
The Quiet Man
Although John Ford made his mark directing westerns, he digressed into ethnic nostalgia with The Quiet Man (1952). The multiple Oscar-winning picture stars John Wayne as an Irish American who returns to his ancestral village, spies a comely lass (Maureen O’Hara) and runs afoul of her brother, the blustering local squire. Filmed in Technicolor, The Quiet Man endowed the landscape with hues richer than reality. Bonus materials on the Blu-ray release include a documentary on O’Hara.
Boy on a Dolphin
Director Jean Negulesco began in film noir, but by 1957 he was making amusing trifles such as Boy on a Dolphin. Raising wet from the wine dark sea, Sophia Loren stars as a simple Greek fisherwoman who discovers a treasure on the ocean floor. Alan Ladd costars as an upright American archeologist. Clifton Webb, appearing as a haughty patrician treasure hunter, echoes dialogue and mannerisms from his role in the film noir classic, Laura.