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The DVD Filter

New on DVD this week: Performance, Marie Antoinette, The Departed, Infernal Affairs Trilogy, Half Nelson, Infamous, The Bicycle Thieves. Our Pick: Paul Robeson: Portraits of the Artist.

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NEW ON DVD
Performance
Donald Cammell and Nicolas Roeg’s gender-playful 1970 gangster flick is worth the price just to see James Fox snarl at a lipsticked-and-turtlenecked Mick Jagger, “You’re a comical little geezer. You’ll look funny when you’re 50.” X; $19.98.

Marie Antoinette
Last year’s best-dressed mess. PG-13; $28.95.

The Departed
Scorsese’s least ambitious movie in years, and better for it. R; $28.98.

Infernal Affairs Trilogy
The Departed’s watertight Hong Kong inspiration. R; $39.99.

Half Nelson
Ryan Gosling deserves his Oscar nod—but what about Shareeka Epps? R; $26.96.

Infamous
The lesser Capote. R; $27.98.

The Bicycle Thieves
Vittorio De Sica’s classic, restored. NR; $39.95.


Paul Robeson as Brutus Jones (not yet the emperor) in The Emperor Jones.  

OUR PICK
Practically a mythic figure, the late Paul Robeson was alternately beloved and blacklisted, celebrated and neglected—his ferocious artistic life a touchstone for many of our contemporary cultural convulsions. Criterion’s essential new collection Paul Robeson: Portraits of the Artist collects the films that best capture the actor-singer-lawyer-athlete-activist’s struggle to represent himself and his people, for better (The Proud Valley) and worse (Sanders of the River). The earliest of the seven films, Oscar Micheaux’s 1925 silent Body and Soul literally embodied Robeson’s dichotomy of nobility and danger, as the actor played rival twins: a sinning preacher and his do-gooder brother. Dudley Murphy’s adaptation of Eugene O’Neill’s The Emperor Jones captured the frenzy of Robeson’s historic stage performance. Neither movie gets at Robeson’s most extraordinary story—his own life. For that, there’s a terrific set of extras. NR; $99.95.


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