Scarecrow Suggests

Scarecrow Suggests: March 2017

'The Love Witch'

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Staff at the renowned video store and nonprofit archive highlight the best in this month’s new DVD and Blu-ray releases.

By Matt Lynch, Emalie Soderback and Mark Steiner

March 7
Film / Notfilm
In 1963, Irish avant-garde playwright Samuel Beckett hired silent slapstick comedian Buster Keaton to star in his first screenplay, Film. The result was a 24-minute masterpiece wherein we follow Keaton, silently, through a series of intense moments shot by legendary cinematographer Boris Kaufman (Zero de Conduit, On the Waterfront). Included in this package is the home video debut of Beckett’s seminal staging of Waiting for Godot, starring Zero Mostel and Burgess Meredith. Notfilm, released separately, is Ross Lipman’s award-winning documentary on the making of Film. MS

March 14
The Love Witch
This film combines ’60s Technicolor melodrama, Radley Metzger’s arty sexploitation and mid-period John Waters satire. As with her 2007 film, Viva, Anna Biller not only wrote, directed, produced and edited The Love Witch, she also designed the costumes, sets and props and wrote all the music, including a piece for harp. Her formal confidence is astounding, not only in reproducing this vintage Hollywood aesthetic but in lacing it with social critiques. Biller is the most promising voice to hit the exploitation genre in 20 years. ML

March 21
Master of None: Season 1
Aziz Ansari’s hilarious study of family, friendship, career and love follows a young Indian American and his life in New York City. Ansari—who also wrote a book of statistical studies and comic musings about online dating and modern relationships, aptly titled Modern Romance—co-directs, writes and stars alongside Noël Wells and Eric Wareheim in this fictional series. ES

March 28
The Wanderers
Forty years before he chronicled the mean streets of Baltimore in The Wire, Richard Price stunned the literary world with a debut novel set in his native Bronx in the early ’60s. Philip Kaufman adapted it in the late ’70s, creating this tense, funny coming-of-age tale. A doo-wop soundtrack contrasts with the story’s terrifying gangs to paint a rich portrait of Price and Kaufman’s youth. MS