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Home Movies/Out on Digital: April 27, 2017

Apr. 25, 2017
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“Hawaii Five-0: The Complete Series”

One of the longest-running cop shows is out as a 72-DVD set. “Hawaii Five-0” (1968-1980) lacked the memorable characters of “Columbo” and “Kojak,” but boasted the lush scenery and exotic milieu of Honolulu. Not for a moment did the producers allow the viewers to forget that this was time zones away from the U.S. mainland.

Each week brought trouble in paradise, usually involving murder committed by everyone from Hawaiian mobsters to Communist Chinese agents. Although the white guys were clearly in charge, “Hawaii Five-0” couldn’t help but acknowledge the state’s multi-ethnic society. The indefatigable chief detective, Steve McGarrett (Jack Lord), had the personality of an adding machine as he pursued the culprits with by-the-book efficiency. One of the show’s intriguing points was that the masterminds of mayhem sometimes slipped from his grasp. “Five-0” boasted one of the best-edited TV openings—a quick composition of faces and places that set the pace.


Saving Banksy

“This’ll look nice when it’s framed” taunted a Banksy inscription painted on a wall. The documentary Saving Banksy is driven by art collector Brian Greif’s efforts to painstakingly remove one of Banksy’s notorious painted rats and donate it to a museum. The film touches on the deliberate impermanence of the anonymous British street artist’s works, which are usually vandalized by taggers or painted over by building owners unless dealers remove them to sell on eBay.


An Art That Nature Makes

The aesthetic descendent of those Romantic-era artists drawn to painting ruins, photographer Rosamond Purcell is fascinated with the weird beauty of decay. She is shown at work, in this documentary by Molly Bernstein, scouring junkyards and the detritus of natural history museums, photographing the carefully catalogued skulls of phrenology and collecting artifacts that display the relentless power of nature and decomposition. Example: the thrown-away book transformed into a squirrel’s nest. Errol Morris is among the interviewees.

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