Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project Is the Pick of the Week

With some regularity we invite various people, usually university students, over to the house to watch films. Several of them come regularly and we’ve developed something of a disorganized film-studies class. Not that I am qualified to teach such a class but we have great fun, and learn a great deal, watching these films and then discussing them together. Usually these films are of the foreign variety. I’m rather proud of my foreign-film collection actually. We own over 200 foreign films and are constantly buying more.

Again, I don’t consider myself an expert but rather an ever-learning student. One of the main reasons I think of myself as a student is that I’m regularly finding films, both classic and modern, that I’ve never heard of and never seen. This week’s pick of the week is a great example of this.

Martin Scorsese is not only one of the greatest living directors, but he is something of an encyclopedia of film knowledge. A few years ago he created the World Cinema Project with a mission to preserve and present smaller, marginalized, and rarely presented films from around the world. In conjunction with the Criterion Collection, he is presenting six films this week in a very wonderful looking collection.

The six films are Touki Bouki, Redes, A River Called Titats, Dry Summer, Trances, and The Housemaid. They come from all over the world and while I’ve only heard of The Housemaid before a recommendation from Scorsese and the Criterion people makes this collection easily my Pick of the Week.

Also out this week that looks interesting:

Mary Poppins: 50th Anniversary Edition: The practically perfect film gets a Blu-ray upgrade, but is sorely lacking in the new extras category. You can read my full review here.

Big: 25th Anniversary Edition: Another delightful film with an anniversary Blu-ray upgrade. This one comes with lots of fun-looking extras.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty: There is a new film based on the same story coming to theaters very soon so no doubt this 1947 film is trying to cash in on it.

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special: The Day of the Doctor: I’m not sure this special featuring three incarnations of The Doctor quite lived up to all the hype, but it was still a lot of fun.

Adore: Naomi Watts and Robin Wright play friends who wind up having affairs with each others sons. That sounds a bit icky, but I like the actresses enough to be interested.

A Serbian Film UNCUT: The apparently edited version was one of the most graphic, disturbing films I’ve seen in recent memory. I don’t want to imagine what they’ve possibly added back in that was considered too much for the original release.

Despicable Me 2: The first one was really kind of wonderful, but the sequel got killed by critics.

Mat Brewster

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