PBS Distribution has announced the upcoming release of The Amazing Human Body (DVD: $24.99), slated for September 25. Presented in partnership with the BBC, this new series explores the human body through the use of cutting-edge graphics, exploring the ingenious ways your body develops, adapts, and endures. Case studies from across the globe showcase the dazzling secret science of the human body, including a child prodigy in Phoenix, a chilling dip in an icy lake, and low-level torture techniques in a London laboratory. Set to premiere on PBS on September 19, the three-part series includes the episodes “Grow,” “Survive,” and “Learn.”
PBS Distribution has announced the release of The Mayo Clinic: Faith – Hope – Science (DVD: $24.99, Blu-ray: $29.99), coming September 25. Executive produced by Ken Burns, and directed by Burns, Erik Ewers, and Christopher Loren Ewers, the documentary tells the story of William Worrall Mayo, an English immigrant who, after traveling throughout the Midwest looking for a place to practice, settled with his family in rural Minnesota. Together with the Sisters of Saint Francis and his sons Will and Charlie, he laid the foundation for a medical center that now treats over a million patients every year from 50 states and 150 countries, while employing 64,000 in Rochester, MN and at campuses in Jacksonville, FL, and Scottsdale, AZ. Blending historical narrative with contemporary patient stories, this film offers a timely look at how one institution has met the changing demands of healthcare for 150 years—and what that can teach us about facing the challenges of patient care today. Narrated by Peter Coyote and featuring interviews with patients including John McCain and the Dalai Lama, The Mayo Clinic: Faith – Hope – Science demonstrates the power of collaboration in medicine, the role of humanity in science, and the importance of hope in healing.
IFC has announced the release of That Summer (DVD: $24.98), slated for September 11. Three years before Albert and David Maysles’ landmark documentary Grey Gardens introduced the world to unforgettable mother and daughter (and Jackie O. relatives) Edith and Edie Beale and their decaying dream world on Long Island, renowned photographer Peter Beard chronicled life at their crumbling estate during the summer of 1972. In That Summer, director Göran Olsson assembles this long-lost footage—featuring glimpses of luminaries such as Andy Warhol, Mick Jagger, and Truman Capote—into a one-of-a-kind family portrait bursting with the loving squabbles, quotable bon mots, and impromptu musical numbers that would make Big and Little Edie beloved cultural icons.
First Run Features will release Nana (DVD: $24.95) on September 18. Born in Poland, Maryla Michalowski-Dyamant survived Ravensbruck, Malchow, and Auschwitz, where she was the forced translator for the “Angel of Death,” Josef Mengele. Directed by her granddaughter Serena Dykman, Nana documents Serena’s journey with her mother Alice as they retrace the story of an Auschwitz survivor who spent her life fighting intolerance and publicly speaking about her survival to younger generations.
Viewers can celebrate the 20th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and the real inspirations behind the beloved series in Harry Potter: A History of Magic (DVD: $14.98), slated for release on October 30 from BBC Worldwide Ltd.. Narrated by Imelda Staunton and featuring readings by other franchise actors including David Thewlis, Evanna Lynch, Warwick Davis, Miriam Margoyles, and Mark Williams, the documentary visits the real-life magical history behind J.K. Rowling’s beloved classics and includes footage from the British Library’s exhibition in London. Featuring interviews with Rowling as she examines the most exciting items on display and talks for the first time about her own personal drawings and drafts featured in the exhibition, the film is being released in conjunction with the official Harry Potter touring exhibition.
The Criterion Colllection’s November releases launch November 6 with a new 4K restoration of Kenji Mizoguchi’s long-unavailable 1954 late-career classic A Story from Chikamatsu (DVD: $29.95, Blu-ray: $39.95), an exquisitely moving tale of forbidden love based on a classic of 18th-century Japanese drama. Slated for November 13 is a 4K restoration of Billy Wilder’s sizzling gender-bending 1959 masterpiece Some Like It Hot (DVD: 2 discs, $29.95; Blu-ray: $39.95), which follows Chicago musicians Joe and Jerry (Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon) who skip town after witnessing a mob hit, don drag, and join an all-female band—with Marilyn Monroe as the group’s singer—en route to Miami. On November 20, David Byrne explores the wild, wild life of Texas in the 1986 musical odyssey True Stories (DVD: 2 discs, $29.95; Blu-ray: $49.95), making its Blu-ray debut in a special edition that also includes a never-before-released 23-song CD of the film’s complete soundtrack. Also slated for November 20 is the Blu-ray debut of Orson Welles’s elegiac 1942 second feature The Magnificent Ambersons (DVD: 2 discs, $29.95; Blu-ray: $39.95), adapted from an acclaimed Booth Tarkington novel, featuring powerful performances from a cast including Joseph Cotten, Tim Holt, and Agnes Moorehead, that traces the rifts deepening within the Amberson family. And November 20 also celebrates the 100th birthday of visionary Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman (1918-2007) with the release of Ingmar Bergman’s Cinema (Blu-ray: 30 discs, $299.95), which spans six decades and 39 films, including such celebrated classics as The Seventh Seal, Persona, and Fanny and Alexander, alongside previously unavailable works like Dreams, The Rite, and Brink of Life, as well as featuring more than 30 hours of supplemental features and a 248-page book with essays on each film.
Directed by Oscar-winner Alex Gibney and Emmy-winner Blair Foster, Rolling Stone: Stories from the Edge (DVD: 2 discs, $26.98; Blu-ray: 2 discs, $34.95) is slated for release on September 11 from Shout! Factory and HBO Documentary Films. Narrated by Jeff Daniels, the six-part special chronicles the last 50 years of American music, politics, and popular culture from the unique perspective of a celebrated magazine that always understood that rock ‘n’ roll was more than just music—it was a cultural force that helped shape America and defined generations. An exhilarating visual and musical experience of the magazine’s history, the series features performances by a dazzling array of artists, including The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Tina Turner, Janis Joplin, The Sex Pistols, The Clash, and Ice-T, and music from some of the cultural icons the magazine heralded, including Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Fleetwood Mac, and Chance the Rapper. The series also showcases the superb, groundbreaking work of its Rolling Stone’s writers, spotlighting the magazine’s impact on society and providing an engrossing inside look at how it helped shape the zeitgeist and has endured for a half-century. Bonus features include deleted scenes with extended interviews.
The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll and the bestselling solo music artist of all time is showcased in Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s Elvis Presley: The Searcher (DVD: $30.99), slated for release on October 16. Also available in a “Limited Collector’s Edition” (DVD: $45.99) that includes a 20-page digi-book, this documentary created from the archives of Graceland and executive producer Priscilla Presley is a three-hour presentation that focuses on cultural icon Elvis Aaron Presley’s creative journey from his childhood through the final 1976 Jungle Room recording sessions. Containing never-before-seen footage and music recordings, the film features commentary and interviews from some of the biggest names in music, including the late Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, Emmylou Harris, music producer Jon Landau, and Elvis’s guitarist, Scotty Moore, among others. Directed by Thom Zimny, bonus features include an “In Conversation” Q&A discussion with Zimny, executive producers Priscilla Presley and Jerry Schilling, and Grammy Museum executive director Scott Goldman recorded at the Los Angeles Grammy Museum.
Kino Lorber has announced the release of the documentary Filmworker (DVD: $29.95), slated for September 11. Leon Vitali was a rising British television actor when Stanley Kubrick picked him for the role of Lord Bullingdon in Barry Lyndon. That first encounter with the famed auteur proved decisive—Vitali swiftly resolved to devote the rest of his life to working for the director, this time behind the scenes, and took on just about every job available: casting director, acting coach, location scout, sound engineer, color corrector, A.D., promoter, and eventually restorer of Kubrick’s films. Tony Zierra’s affecting documentary enthusiastically recounts Vitali’s days with the notoriously meticulous, volatile, and obsessive director, celebrating the invisible hands that help shape masterpieces. Bonus features include a Q&A with Vitali and Zierra.
Kino Lorber has announced the upcoming release of The People Speak (DVD: $29.95), slated for September 11. A moving documentary inspired by Howard Zinn’s books A People’s History of the United States (1980) and Voices of a People’s History of the United States (2004), the film features the actual words (in letters, songs, poems, speeches, and manifestos) of rebels, dissenters, and visionaries from our past and present, including Frederick Douglass, Susan B. Anthony, Bob Dylan, Langston Hughes, Chief Joseph, Muhammad Ali, and unknown veterans, union workers, abolitionists, and many others never featured in high school textbooks. The film is co-produced by Matt Damon and Josh Brolin, and features Benjamin Bratt, Sean Penn, Don Cheadle, Kerry Washington, Marisa Tomei, and many others. Like Zinn’s work as a whole, The People Speak celebrates the extraordinary possibilities for creating social change that ordinary people have realized throughout the course of our nation’s rich but often ignored history of dissent and protest.