The recommended DVD sections in each Amoeba Music location are the kind of places where time can stand still as you lose track of everything else around you and get lost in the sea of video/DVD delights in front of you. You can spend hours just digging in row upon row of a wide variety of movies and TV shows and music videos and concerts of every genre imaginable.
For proof, check out the current Top Sellers Movie charts for each of the three Amoeba stores (Berkeley, San Francisco, Hollywood), where you will also notice a real diversity of content on each of the Top 25 charts. The five DVDs listed from each store below are drawn mostly from these current Top 25's but also include some additional current hot sellers at Amoeba.
Amoeba Hollywood: 5 DVD Picks
Girl On The Bridge
Control (Joy Division)
Mad Men: Season 1
Spaced: The Complete Series
"The French movie Girl On The Bridge is doing really well right now," said Rigo at the Hollywood Amoeba of the movie La Fille Sur Le Pont (Girl On The Bridge). Check out a scene from the film below. This three minute clip is from the film's knife throwing scene and is set to the moving score of Marianne Faithfull's "Who Will Take My Dreams Away." Another music themed movie doing well with a clip below is last year's big screen biopic on Joy Division's late lead singer, Ian Curtis.
The critically acclaimed Control (Joy Division) is the first feature length from music video director Anton Corbijn. Star Sam Riley does a spot-on portrayal of the late Joy Division singer Ian Curtis, who hung himself. The B&W film is really good (especially if you are already a Joy Division fan), although I found it dragged a little in the second half. The "Miriam Collection" edition features a full-length audio commentary and includes additional conversation with Corbijn and extended live performances from the film. Also included are three Corbijn-directed music videos from Joy Division and The Killers. A must get for all Ian Curtis/Joy Division fans. Check out our own fanatic Brad's review of the film here.
And here's a clip from Girl on the Bridge:
And one from Control:
Other new DVD releases doing well at Amoeba include Spaced, Cocaine Cowboys, and Mad Men Season 1. The superb AMC television series is getting a lot of extra deserved attention, especially now that the second season is underway. This wonderful period piece perfectly captures Madison Avenue and America in a bygone era: the late fifties/early sixties when drinking and smoking and sexism were still rampant in the work place.
Amoeba San Francisco: 5 DVD Picks
Hood 2 Hood: The Blockumentary Part Two
The Bank Job
Comedy Central's TV Funhouse
"I didn't think it would do as well as it has...but a lot of people are buying that new Criterion release," said Steve in the DVD section of the San Francisco Amoeba, talking about the 2 disc DVD set Vampyr. The 1932 horror film by Danish filmmaker Carl Theodor Dreyer (The Passion of Joan of Arc and Day of Wrath) proved to be an early masterwork of unsettling imagery and dreamlike terror, as displayed in the clip below. Another classic film now on DVD that is doing well at the SF Amoeba is La Roue, the 1923 French film by writer/director/co-producer Abel Gance (Napoleon), who spent three years making this silent masterpiece.
Check out this clip from Vampyr:
And for something completely different: the sequel to 2005's straight-to-DVD rap "blockumentary" Hood 2 Hood: The Blockumentary Part Two offers up another fully-amped, non-stop, in your face tour of America's highest crime rated neighborhoods. Producers Rich Kid Entertainment deliver the tour over a rap soundtrack and chronicle the "day-to-day actions of life in crime-infested neighborhoods" and much more from the gritty ghetto streets of America.
The very recently released new second volume, which is selling very well at the SF Amoeba, offers "exclusive interviews with real gang members, drug dealers, pimps and killers" in dozens of US hoods including Oakland, Richmond, Sacramento, Vallejo, San Diego, Compton, the Bronx, and Harlem. Check out the clip below for a taste of Hood 2 Hood's raw uncensored blockumentary style:
Amoeba Berkeley: 5 DVD Picks:
Robot Chicken Star Wars
Flight of the Conchords: Season 1
The Executioner's Song
City of God
The Execuctioner's Song is the 1982 TV movie with a screenplay by Norman Mailer that tells the story of convicted murderer Gary Gilmore (played by a young Tommy Lee Jones) who lobbied for his own execution. Jones shines in his portrayal and is surrounded by a strong cast, including Rosanna Arquette. The DVD is doing well at each of the three Amoeba stores.
And finally, spill a lil on the curb for Bernie Mac and check out the clip below of the recently passed comedy great telling it like it is before he had his own TV show, and next time you are in the Amoeba DVD section pick up one of the many DVDs he appeared in including The Original Kings of Comedy, Head of State, Mr 3000, Bad Santa and Guess Who.