The Inland Sea is the Pick of the Week

A rather unknown 1991 travelogue with one of film culture's greatest scholars headlines a week of new releases.
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As much I adore legendary film critic Donald Ritchie, I never knew he made a personal travelogue of his trip to Japan. Reading the premise, I actually found The Inland Sea promising, meaning that an individual allows the viewer to take a journey with them to faraway places. You're able to get a life-changing, or at least a spiritual experience that you wouldn't obviously get otherwise. I wish I had more to say, but I have never really heard of this small film until Criterion announced it for this month.

It isn't packed with supplements, but the ones on this week's release sound interesting. There is a new interview with its director Lucille Carra, new conversation between celebrated filmmaker Paul Schrader and cultural critic Ian Buruma on Ritchie, and an interview with Ritchie from 1991. This type of somewhat experimental film doesn't sound like a cup of tea for most people, but as for me, I think I would get a lot out of it.

Other releases:

Port of Shadows (Kino): A military deserter finds love, intrigue, and a small dog in a smoky city in France.

Touchez Pas au Grisbi (Kino): An aging, mild-mannered gangster is duped and forced out of retirement when his best friend is kidnapped and their eight stolen gold bars is demanded as ransom.

Blackmail (Kino): An early Hitchcock effort where a shopkeeper's daughter fights off blackmail after she murders a young would-be rapist and artist.

Murder (Kino): Another early Hitchcock classic, which centers on a juror who has second thoughts about a murder suspect up for execution, and does his own investigation before its too late.

Open Your Eyes (Lionsgate): The original, superior odyssey that inspired Cameron Crowe's 2001 lackluster remake, Vanilla Sky, where a handsome and naracisstic womanizer is deformed in a car accident, and seeks plastic surgery to bring his back to his original glory.

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