PBS Distribution has recently released the documentary series Mindfulness Goes Mainstream (DVD: 3 discs, $24.99). From British Parliament to the Marine Corps to Fortune 100 boardrooms, mindfulness is being practiced—backed by scientific evidence that confirms its benefits and positive impact on health and wellbeing. No longer limited to Eastern philosophers or California hippies, mindfulness is now embraced by millions of people trying to survive in a totally stressed-out world. Narrated by actor Michael Murphy, the film weaves personal stories together with expert opinions and includes interviews with Jon Kabat-Zinn and Dr. Judson Brewer of the UMASS Center for Mindfulness; Dr. Richard Davidson, Center for Healthy Minds; Chade-Meng Tan, former Chief Mindfulness Officer at Google; singer-songwriter Jewel; and ABC News correspondent Dan Harris.
On January 16, FilmRise will release Pornocracy, a provocative exposé of the modern-day porn industry. Directed by former French adult film director Ovidie, the investigative documentary provides a disturbing look at how the Internet has made shady pornographers rich. Featuring interviews with former and current porn stars, directors, studio heads, and CEOs of Internet companies, Pornocracy also examines how the arrival of free streaming websites has transformed the way that porn is created and consumed, and it exposes how a group of programmers hijacked the adult industry to create a mysterious multinational corporation that virtually controls the entire adult industry worldwide.
For 30 years, the inimitable Richard Simmons has been helping people lose weight (more than 3,000,000 pounds and counting) with his unique enthusiasm, charm, and encouragement. On October 31, Time Life celebrates the iconic weight-loss guru with Richard Simmons: Sweatin’ to the Oldies—30th Anniversary Edition (DVD: 6 discs, $39.95), available exclusively from Amazon.com. Since opening his first aerobics studio in Beverly Hills in 1974, Simmons has become a fixture in America’s pop-culture psyche, with 65 fitness videos (selling over 20 million copies), dozens of infomercials, nine bestselling books, myriad parodies of his over-the-top persona, and seemingly endless TV and film appearances. This six-disc set includes the complete collection of Simmons’s bestselling Sweatin’ to the Oldies workout volumes, featuring 41 exercise routines set to rock n’ roll classics such as “It’s My Party,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Gimme Some Lovin’,” “Oh, Pretty Woman,” and more. DVD extras include an exclusive interview with Simmons, testimonials and success stories from his students, a 20-page album of rare personal photos and memories personally selected by Richard, and a bonus disc featuring “Love Yourself and Win—Six Steps to Self-Esteem & Permanent Weight Loss.”
Eagle Vision and Cherrytree Management have announced the upcoming release of Sting: Live At The Olympia Paris (DVD: $14.98, Blu-ray: $19.98), slated for November 10. Capturing the musician’s critically-acclaimed guitar-driven rock tour as it hit the French capital for an April 2017 performance, the production celebrates highlights from across the 16-time Grammy Award winner’s illustrious career, with blistering performances of new songs from his latest album 57th & 9th alongside classic hits from The Police as well as Sting’s solo career. Sting is joined onstage by a four-piece band including his longtime guitarist Dominic Miller, Josh Freese (drums), Rufus Miller (guitar), and Percy Cardona (accordion), with backing vocals from Joe Sumner plus Diego Navaira and Jerry Fuentes of The Last Bandoleros. Bonus features include additional performances by Sting and special guests.
On November 7, FilmRise will release award-winning filmmaker Ramona S. Diaz’s documentary Motherland, which takes viewers into the heart of the busiest maternity hospitals in one of the world’s poorest and most populous countries: the Philippines. The Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital averages 60 births a day and is the final safety net for very poor pregnant women, most of whom cannot afford either contraception or the costs tied to birthing. The film centers on three women who share their stories with other mothers, their families, doctors, and social workers. While each faces daunting odds, their optimism, honesty, and humor underscore their strength and perseverance.
An empowering coming-of-age tale set against the backdrop of World War II, In This Corner of the World (DVD: $16.98, Blu-ray/DVD Combo: $22.98)—which won the coveted Animation of the Year award at the 40th Japan Academy Awards—will bow November 14 from Shout! Factory. Based on the award-winning manga by Fumiyo Kouno, acclaimed director Sunao Katabuchi’s film tells the emotional story of Suzu, a young woman from Hiroshima, who has just become a bride in the nearby city of Kure during World War II. Suzu’s life is thrown into chaos when her town is bombed during the war. Her perseverance and courage underpin this heartwarming and inspirational tale of the everyday challenges faced by the Japanese people in the midst of a violent, war-torn country. Bonus features include a post-screening Q&A.
Scream Factory will release the iconic 1990 thriller Misery: Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray: 2 discs, $34.95), adapted from Stephen King’s bestselling 1987 psychological horror novel, on November 28. Author Paul Sheldon (James Caan) doesn’t remember the blinding blizzard that sent his car spinning off the road. Nor does he recall being nursed back from unconsciousness. But he will never forget Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates), the “number one fan” benefactor who Paul begins to realize is bent on keeping her favorite writer as her personal prisoner for the rest of his “cock-a-doodie” life. Adapted by Oscar-winning screenwriter William Goldman and directed by Rob Reiner, this edition features a new 4K restoration and bonus features including audio commentaries with Reiner and Goldman, production featurettes, and new interviews with Reiner and special effects artist Greg Nicotero.
PBS Distribution has just released The Farthest: Voyager in Space (DVD: $24.99, Blu-ray: $29.99), a new documentary about NASA’s historic Voyager mission to explore our solar system and beyond. With participation from more than 20 of the original and current mission scientists, engineers, and team members, the film tells the story of one of humanity’s greatest achievements in exploration. From supermarket aluminum foil added at the last minute to protect the craft from radiation, to near disasters at launch, to emergency maneuvers to fix a crucial frozen instrument platform, viewers will get a sense of how difficult—and rewarding—space exploration can be. Featuring a soundtrack of evocative period music (including songs from Pink Floyd), stunning cinematography, vivid CGI animations of Voyager robotic probes traversing the solar system, and original groundbreaking photographs taken by the spacecraft, the documentary will include a “Second Genesis” featurette with Cassini mission scientist Carolyn Porco, who explores the possibility of finding life on Saturn’s moon Enceladus.
Kino Lorber and Zeitgeist Films have released the critically-acclaimed documentary Harold and Lillian: A Hollywood Love Story (DVD: $29.95, Blu-ray: $34.95), from Oscar-nominated director Daniel Raim and executive producer Danny DeVito. The film tells the story of husband-and-wife team Harold and Lillian Michelson, who brought their talents as storyboard artist and film researcher, respectively, to numerous Hollywood classics including The Ten Commandments, Ben-Hur, and The Graduate, and worked with master filmmakers such as Hitchcock, Spielberg, and Kubrick. Named as a New York Times Critic’s Pick and chosen as an Official Selection of Cannes Classics and Doc NYC, Harold and Lillian weaves together stories about the couple’s personal and professional lives to present an intimate, moving portrait of an enduring marriage and immense talent. Bonus features include deleted scenes, “Lillian’s Life Lessons,” “Harold’s Film School Seminar,” and a bonus short on “Storyboarding The Graduate,” as well as a booklet featuring a Filmmaker Magazine interview with Raim
Shout! Factory will release several titles from the famed Studio Ghibli library of animated classics this fall (Blu-ray/DVD Combo: $29.95 each), presenting significant upgrades to one of the world’s most coveted animation collections. Slated for release on October 17 are Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, Howl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo, Kiki’s Delivery Service, and Princess Mononoke. Coming on October 31 are Castle in the Sky and Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, followed by The Secret World of Arrietty and Porco Rosso on November 21. Each release will have bonus features, and in some cases extras that have never been seen before on home media in North America.