Shout! Factory has announced the upcoming release on August 6 of the acclaimed documentary feature What We Left Behind: Looking Back at Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (DVD: $16.99, Blu-ray: 2 discs, $22.99). An in-depth look at the past, present, and future of a series whose dark, edgy take on Gene Roddenberry’s vision was often misunderstood when it premiered but has grown into a beloved mainstay in the Star Trek franchise, directors Ira Steven Behr and David Zappone’s film features extensive new interviews with the cast and crew of Deep Space Nine as well as newly remastered HD footage from the TV series. The film also focuses on the original writers of the series as they craft a brand-new episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, developing what would be the eighth-season premiere if the show were to return to the air today. Bonus features include deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes featurettes, and a segment on the HD restoration process. The special edition Blu-ray includes an exclusive reunion with composers Dennis McCarthy and Kevin Kiner, as well as a 50-minute roundtable discussion with the crew.
On June 11, First Run Features will release the documentary Before Homosexuals (DVD: $24.95). Director John Scagliotti—who produced the landmark films Before Stonewall and After Stonewall—provides viewers with a tour of same-sex erotic history, touching on topics including censored chapters of the Kama Sutra and two-spirit rituals performed by Native Americans. Billed as a prequel to Before Stonewall (which is being released theatrically in June to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Inn riots in Greenwich Village), Before Homosexuals travels all over the world and utilizes expert commentary to unearth the diverse and fascinating garden of human same-sexual desire in a wondrous tour of erotic history, poetry ,and visual art from ancient times to Victorian crimes.
The Criterion Collection’s August slate kicks off August 6 with the Blu-ray debut of director Jane Campion’s 1990 biopic An Angel at My Table (Blu-ray: $39.95), a harrowing autobiography of distinguished New Zealand author Janet Frame (played as an adult by Kerry Fox) that won the special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival. Slated for August 13 is a restored 4K digital transfer of Lucille Carra’s poetic and insightful 1991 film The Inland Sea (DVD: $29.95, Blu-ray: $39.95), based on Donald Richie’s renowned travelogue on Japan, in which Carra undertakes a parallel trip inspired by Richie’s 1971 memoir. Arriving August 20 is the Blu-ray debut of Douglas Sirk’s delirious 1954 melodrama Magnificent Obsession (Blu-ray: 2 discs, $39.95), starring Rock Hudson in his breakthrough role as a reckless playboy. Coming August 27 is Yasujiro Ozu’s beautifully observed Japanese domestic saga The Flavor of Green Tea over Rice (DVD: 2 discs, $29.95; Blu-ray: $39.95), a study of a marriage on the rocks (an edition that also includes Ozu’s 1937 feature What Did the Lady Forget?). Also slated for August 27 is Abbas Kiarostami’s Persian language The Koker Trilogy (DVD or Blu-ray: 3 discs, $99.95), an eye-opening triptych of playful films from the Iranian master: the profound and sensitive Where Is the Friend’s House? (1987), the earthquake aftermath drama And Life Goes On (1992), and the human comedy Through the Olive Trees (1994).
The timely documentary The Good Breast (DVD: $29.98) is slated for release on June 18 from Icarus Films. Veteran breast cancer surgeon Dr. Lauren Schnaper believes that fear and ignorance are fueling an alarming rate of medically unnecessary mastectomies in America, but for the four women who here allow viewers intimate access to the ups and downs of their mastectomies and breast reconstructions, their search for the “good breast” is a necessity. Directed by Bernadette Wegenstein, The Good Breast blends the stories of these courageous women with the journey taken by Schnaper to Catania, Sicily, to experience a festival honoring Saint Agatha, the patron saint of breast cancer patients. What the doctor learns leads to provocative insights into contemporary American attitudes toward breast cancer. Bonus features include behind-the-scenes footage and deleted scenes
Spotlighting former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon’s global crusade to spread far-right nationalism, The Brink (DVD: $26.98) arrives on DVD on June 18 from Magnolia Home Entertainment. Director Alison Klayman’s compelling story of Bannon’s political journey and the undeniable influence he possesses provides an insightful look into Bannon’s power amidst the 2018 U.S. mid-term elections as he pushes his political agenda further into mainstream American culture. To maintain his power and influence, the former Goldman Sachs banker and media investor reinvents himself as a self-appointed leader of a global populist movement. A keen manipulator of the press and gifted self-promoter, Bannon continues to draw headlines and protests wherever he goes, feeding the powerful myth on which his survival relies. Bonus features include additional scenes and interviews.
Kino Lorber and Greenwich Entertainment have announced the release of Ferrante Fever (DVD: $29.95), slated for June 4. With over 5 million copies of her “Neapolitan Novels” sold and publication rights in over 50 countries, Elena Ferrante is a global literary sensation. She was named one of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” and HBO recently turned the first book in the quartet, My Brilliant Friend, into a miniseries hit. The world- hopping documentary Ferrante Fever journeys between New York City’s cultural hub and Ferrante’s native Italy, exploring how an anonymous author’s visceral tales of love and friendship gained such an enthusiastic following. Featuring comments from Hillary Clinton, Roberto Saviano, Jonathan Franzen, and others, director Giacomo Durzi’s captivating peek inside the world of the renowned author includes the bonus featurette “Ferrante Fever in the Words of the Readers.”
On May 28, First Run Features will release To a More Perfect Union (DVD: $19.95), which tells a story of love, marriage, and a fight for equality. Directed by Donna Zaccaro, the film chronicles two unlikely heroes, octogenarian Edie Windsor and her attorney, Roberta Kaplan, who embark on a quest for justice. Windsor was forced to pay a huge estate tax bill upon the death of her spouse because the federal government denied federal benefits to same-sex couples. Deeply offended by this lack of recognition of her 40-plus-year relationship with the love of her life, Windsor sued–sparking a pivotal case in the marriage equality movement.
Some of the biggest U.S. sports stars come under harsh scrutiny in the eye-opening and darkly funny documentary Screwball (DVD: $24.98), which will be available from Greenwich Entertainment on June 4. Recounting the high-profile doping scandal that rocked Major League Baseball, director Billy Corben (Cocaine Cowboys) takes viewers into the surreal Miami underworld that provided performance-enhancing drugs to Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, and other star players. Although it unfolds like a madcap Floridian crime comedy, Screwball raises serious questions about the ethics of professional sports.
On May 14, First Run Features will release Guilty Until Proven Guilty (DVD: $19.95), which explores Louisiana’s criminal justice system. Spotlighted is the story of Tim Conerly, a young African American man who was arrested in the wake of an armed robbery in New Orleans and waited 28 months for a trial for a crime he says he did not commit. After more than two years in the Orleans Parish Jail, Conerly must choose between accepting a plea bargain of seven years or risking a sentence of 49½ to 198 years if he is convicted at trial. Director Harry Moses examines the ins and outs of a choice that no human being should have to make…one that someone with more resources could almost certainly avoid.
Aired on Masterpiece, PBS is releasing Les Misérables (DVD: 2 discs, $39.99; Blu-ray: 2 discs, $49.99), the 2018-19 BBC-produced miniseries adaptation of Victor Hugo’s iconic 1862 French historical novel. Directed by screenwriter Andrew Davies (Pride and Prejudice), this six-episode production stars Dominic West as Jean Valjean, the most famous fugitive in literature; David Oyelowo as his relentless pursuer, Javert; and Lily Collins as the tragic seamstress, Fantine. The cast also includes Oscar-winner Olivia Colman, Adeel Akhtar, David Bradley, and Derek Jacobi.