Share this story
Close X
Switch to Desktop Site


A weekly update of video releases

* CAMERA BUFF - (New Yorker Video) Years before the current popularity of his ``Three Colors'' trilogy, Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Kieslowski directed this sardonic 1979 parable about the conflicts between self-expression and censorship in a bureaucratic nation. The hero is a factory worker who buys a movie camera to film his new baby, joins a state-sponsored cinema club with help from his supportive boss, then finds that the boss has strong opinions about suitable subjects for his amateur documentaries. The story swings from comic to tragic and back again, never losing its finely tuned compassion for everyone involved. * THE STORY OF A CHEAT - (Interama Video Classics) Sacha Guitry was a major figure in French cinema during the 1930s, but his reputation has languished despite the high praise he received from disciples in the popular New Wave movement. His virtuosity and versatility are triumphantly on display in this 1936 comedy about a man who learns the value of skullduggery at an early age, profits from a whopping variety of tricks and cons, and succeeds at everything he tries except going straight, which is his greatest ambition of all. Guitry directed the consistently clever movie from his own screenplay, based on his own novel, and he also plays the leading role. The result is delightful, but be warned that it's difficult to enjoy on this poor-quality cassette, which reduces the size of the image and translates the French dialogue in subtitles that are often hard to decipher. It's wonderful that this rare film is now available, but what a pity it isn't better served. * TOWARD THE WITHIN - (Warner Reprise Home Video) After a spaced-out travelogue that serves as introduction, Mark Magidson's movie turns into a concert by the art-rock group Dead Can Dance, punctuated by interviews with members of the band. While the visual style is more static than stimulating, it suits the high seriousness of the musicians, making this the ``Last Waltz'' of New Age pop.

Follow Stories Like This
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.