New DVDs 8-19-2008

Criterion has released Larisa Shepitko’s two best-known films, “Wings” (1966, above) and “The Ascent” (1977), on the company’s no-frills Eclipse label, and they remain stunning fragments from a career that never was — Shepitko died in a car accident at the age of 40. Seen again, they bear a closer resemblance to the work of her near contemporary Andrei Tarkovksy than I remembered: the first time around, for example, I missed Anatoli Solonitsyn, Tarkovsky’s favorite actor and the lead in “Andrei Rublov,” playing the diabolical German collaborator in “The Ascent.” More musings in the New York Times.

Manny Farber has died at the age of 91. J. Hoberman and Jonathan Rosenbaum have fine appreciations.  Carrie Rickey, who studied with Farber, has posted her appreciation here.

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