On June 16, Juno Films and MVD Entertainment Group will release filmmaker Rob Garver’s What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael (DVD: $24.95).Tagged by Roger Ebert as the most influential film critic of the late 20th century, the documentary tells the story of Pauline’s turbulent life and work through never-seen archival footage, her published writing and personal letters, and interviews with both friends and foes of her pen. Pauline is voiced by Sarah Jessica Parker, and participants include Quentin Tarantino, Camille Paglia, David O. Russell, Molly Haskell, Francis Ford Coppola, and daughter Gina James. Pauline Kael (1919-2001) was likely the most powerful, and personal, movie critic of the 20th century. Writing for The New Yorker and publishing a dozen bestselling books, she ruthlessly pursued what made a movie or an actor’s performance work, or not, and why. Her passion made her both admired and despised amongst her readers and her subjects. Pauline’s own story is one of struggle and obsession: the fight to establish her voice and have it heard, and to raise a daughter on her own in a time when the obstacles were high. The latter golden age of movies of the 1960s and ‘70s are the focus of this film that pursues the question of what made Pauline Kael’s work so individual, so controversial–and so good. Bonus features will include a never before released interview of Pauline Kael with Alfred Hitchcock, deleted scenes, and interview excerpts with Tarantino and Paul Schrader.
On March 10, Music Box Films will release Erin Derham’s documentary Stuffed (DVD: $29.95), which looks at the fascinating and surprising world of taxidermy, as told through the eyes and hands of acclaimed taxidermy artists across the world. The film plunges viewers into the remarkably diverse subculture of taxidermy, a world where its practitioners must be masters of a collection of unique disciplines. Along with having an understanding of sculpting and painting, they also need to have a grasp of chemistry and biology, animal behavior and movement, and they also must know hundreds of species’ habitats. From an all-female studio in Los Angeles that has elevated taxidermy to the forefront of fashion and modern art, to a handful of fine artists in the Netherlands, to a big game taxidermist in Ohio and an anatomical sculptor in South Africa, the taxidermy artists of Stuffed are a collection of passionate experts who constantly push the creative boundaries of their profession.
First Run Features is releasing filmmaker Jonathan Schienberg’s documentary Colossus (DVD: $24.95) on March 10. Told through the eyes of 15-year-old Jamil Sunsin, this is a modern-day immigrant tale of one family’s desperate struggle after deportation leads to family separation, and the elusive search for the American dream. Jamil is the only person in his family born in the U.S. His parents and sister came from Honduras and lived in America for a decade before Jamil’s father was arrested for being undocumented. The entire family was forced to return to Honduras, a country wracked with violence. After a knife attack traumatizes Jamil, his family makes an excruciating choice to send him back to the America – alone. This intimate portrait offers a rare look into the aftermath of deportation and family separation, amidst the current backlash against America’s immigrants.