New DVDs for July include a fascinating doco on art collecting socialite Peggy Guggenheim; a new TV adaptation of ‘War & Peace’; critically acclaimed films such as ‘Song of Saul’ & ‘The Revenant’; Alan Bennett’s story of ‘The Lady in The Van’; a gripping look at the financial crisis of 2008 in ‘The Big Short’; and the latest Quentin Tarantino.
Peggy Guggenheim : art addict.
“Filmmaker Lisa Immordino Vreeland examines the life of Peggy Guggenheim, the wealthy socialite who amassed a world-class collection of modern European and American art. Vreeland does a good job of examining the different sides to Guggenheim’s life and cohering them into some sort of whole by the end of this cradle-to-grave account. She was blessed by a stroke of incredible good fortune: the discovery of audio tapes, thought lost, of interviews between Guggenheim and her biographer Jacqueline Weld.” (Syndetics summary)
War & peace.
“Russia 1805. When we first meet Pierre, Natasha, and Andrei, their youthful ambition, despite their privileged circumstances, is to find meaning in their lives. Kind-hearted but awkward Pierre, the illegitimate son of Russia’s richest man, wants to change the world for the better. The beautiful and spirited Natasha is searching for true love, while handsome and gallant Andrei, frustrated with the superficiality of society, seeks a higher purpose. At the same time Napoleon’s army edges ever closer to Russia’s borders. As everthing they thought they knew is thrown into question, Pierre, Andrei, and Natasha find themselves in a time when Russian lives are about to change forever.” (Container)
Son of Saul.
“October 1944, Auschwitz-Birkenau. Saul Ausländer is a Hungarian member of the Sonderkommando, the group of Jewish prisoners isolated from the camp and forced to assist the Nazis in the machinery of large-scale extermination. While working in one of the crematoriums, Saul discovers the body of a boy he takes for his son. As the Sonderkommando plans a rebellion, Saul decides to carry out an impossible task: save the child’s body from the flames, find a rabbi to recite the mourner’s Kaddish.” (Syndetics summary)
“Inspired by true events, an expedition of the uncharted American wilderness, legendary explorer Hugh Glass is brutally attacked by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team. In a quest to survive, Glass endures unimaginable grief as well as the betrayal of his confidant John Fitzgerald. Guided by sheer will and the love of his family, Glass must navigate a vicious winter in a relentless pursuit to live and find redemption.” (Syndetics summary)
The lady in the van.
“The film tells the true story of the relationship between Alan Bennett and the singular Miss Shepherd, a woman of uncertain origins who “temporarily” parked her van in Bennett’s London driveway and proceeded to live there for fifteen years.” (Syndetics summary)
The Danish girl.
“The remarkable love story inspired by the lives of artists Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener. Lili and Gerda’s marriage and work evolve as they navigate Lili’s groundbreaking journey as a transgender pioneer.” (Syndetics summary)
The big short.
“The financial meltdown from the perspective of a number of players: Michael Burry, a bizarre autistic-like stock-picking genius, and the first to realize that the market’s housing boom is based on a “house of cards” sham; Mark Baum, self-loathing fictional character whose firm picks up insider trading information from a wrong number phone call; Jared Vennet, a smart-aleck broker who confirms the ominous suspicion; and Charlie Gellar and Jamie Shipley, small-time players who hit it big.” (Syndetics summary)
Orange is the new black. Season three.
“A new regime has arrived at Litchfield and with it comes new business interests, spiritual movements, and parental problems that turn life behind bars upside down and ignite power struggles among Litchfield’s residents and guards.” (Syndetics summary)
“A biopic of Steve Jobs that takes us behind the scenes of the digital revolution in order to paint a portrait of the man at its epicenter. The story unfolds backstage at three iconic product launches, ending in 1998 with the unveiling of the iMac.” (Syndetics summary)
The h8ful eight.
“A stagecoach hurtles through the wintry Wyoming landscape. Bounty hunter John Ruth and his fugitive Daisy race toward the town of Red Rock, where Ruth will bring Daisy to justice. Losing their lead on the blizzard, they seek refuge at Minnie’s, a stagecoach stopover on a mountain pass. When they arrive at Minnie’s, they are greeted not by the proprietor but by four unfamiliar faces. As the storm overtakes the mountainside stopover, our travelers come to learn they may not make it to Red Rock.” (Syndetics summary)
“Based upon Marvel Comics’ most unconventional anti-hero, the film tells the origin story of former Special Forces operative turned mercenary Wade Wilson, who after being subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers, adopts the alter ego Deadpool. Armed with his new abilities and a dark, twisted sense of humor, Deadpool hunts down the man who nearly destroyed his life.” (Syndetics summary)