You can say that all you need is a Region-free DVD or Blu-Ray player, but sometimes you just don’t want to deal with the hassle of importing movies, plus the extra costs. And sometimes, you really do need quality English subtitles that these releases don’t have. So, here’s to hoping that these films find a way to the United States soon because they do deserve some more eyes on them.
Directed by Neon Genesis Evangelion’s Hideaki Anno, this is his second foray into live-action. It tells the story of a depressed, anti-social filmmaker who meets a strange young woman who has a ritual of claiming that every day is her birthday. They both attempt to connect to each other, but they are separated by their own anxieties and mysteries. It’s a beautiful, haunting film that sadly has not seen any release of any kind in the USA. Worse yet, in its origin country of Japan, the DVD is now out of print. Given that Hideaki Anno has his niche among anime fans and Japanophiles in the USA, maybe it’s time to give this movie a proper release, especially on Blu-Ray. Perhaps his upcoming Godzilla: Resurgence movie will inspire someone to do so. And while we’re at it, could they also please release the soundtrack? The beautiful score by Takashi Kako deserves its own album.
Speaking of Hideaki Anno, his first live-action film, the shocking and moving Love and Pop has also gone out of print.
Made as part of a deal with the BBC that had Danny Boyle make two movies on digital format for them, Strumpet is about a homeless angry poet who teams up with a young woman to create a music duo, as they’re represented by a bigshot-wannabe agent who wishes to take them to the Top of the Pops and beyond. This charming, surprisingly poignant and energetic film features an electric performance by Christopher Eccleston, and Danny Boyle’s powerful, gritty direction. Unfortunately, it’s not been released in the States at all. The strange part is that the other film of the BBC deal, Vacuuming Completely Nude in Paradise does have a DVD release. Why release Vacuuming and not Strumpet? Who knows. Regardless, it’s a decision that has left one of Boyle’s most interesting movies unwatched by many.
If you have the means, you can get a UK copy of Strumpet here.
If you wish for an appetizer, feel free to get Vacuuming Completely Nude in Paradise right here.
A sweet and funny, romantic comedy about two kids who decide to marry, this movie was long absent from the DVD format in the States. It was made available in an NTSC all-region release. Although this is one way to check it out without much hassle, the release is in Pan and Scan, and the video quality isn’t anything to write home about.
If none of that matters to you, you can get the low-quality NTSC release of Melody here.
Based on the novella by B. Traven, Macario shows what happens when a peasant makes a deal with Death to give him miraculous powers under the condition that Death chooses who lives or dies. Captivating, funny and haunting, it is well-deserving of the classic title. Unfortunately, the DVD offered in NTSC doesn’t have any English subtitles or any subtitles of any kind. An odd choice for a multi-region DVD. On top of that, the picture quality doesn’t do justice to Gabriel Figueroa’s gorgeous cinematography.
A frightening true story about an Argentinian student protest gone wrong, La Noche de los Lápices, unfortunately, hasn’t seen made available for the US. For now, it remains one of those movies that people catch thanks to borrowing copies or catching on TV.
In the world of this movie, once you die, you’re allowed to pick one memory to take with you to the rest of your after-life. Once you’ve made a choice, officials in the after-life work to recreate the memory and film it like a movie. This is a fantastic, bittersweet and thought-provoking comedy that would sit well with fans of Charlie Kaufman. The film used to be readily available on DVD, but now it has gone out of print and used copies are available for more than 90 dollars.
A stylish and fun take on the Apocalypse, Alex de la Iglesia’s Day of the Beast hasn’t fallen under consideration for a more serious, proper DVD release that includes English subtitles.
Perhaps Nicolas Winding Refn’s most underrated film. More of a relationship drama in contrast to Refn’s other work, it plays like a love letter to movies, as well as a cautionary tale of obsession and love gone sour. Given that lead Mads Mikkelsen and Refn himself have gone on to gain international success, it is high time for this movie to get a proper home video release in the States.
If you have the means, you can get the UK DVD here.