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New DVD releases: Films to make you laugh, sing along and cry

Issue No. 2103

Malcolm McDowell in O Lucky Man

Malcolm McDowell in O Lucky Man

Four very good films have recently been released on DVD.

Director Tim Burton’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is a masterful adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s Broadway musical.

It stars Johnny Depp as the hairdresser whose lust for revenge leads him to commit murder, and Helena Bonham Carter as Todd’s partner in crime.

Burton’s characteristic gothic direction lends itself brilliantly to the dark humour and beautiful music.

In The Valley of Elah is one of the many films that have come out of the US over the last few years exploring the issues arising from the “war on terror”.

Hank Deerfield’s soldier son is reported missing while on leave after returning from Iraq.

Hank decides to find out what has happened to his son in the face of military hostility.

Lindsay Anderson’s O Lucky Man has just been re-released on DVD. It is the 1973 follow‑up to Anderson’s classic 1968 film If, about a revolution in a British public school.

O Lucky Man follows Malcolm McDowell as Mick Travis and his rise and fall in the world of business.

It is a surreal look at the madness of capitalism.

The Palme d’Or winner, 4 Months, 3 Weeks And 2 Days, is set during the last days of the Communist regime in Romania. Gabita is pregnant and needs an abortion.

She turns to her roommate Otilia for help and a meeting is arranged in a downtown hotel with Mr Bebe, who is only in it for the money.

This film is a harrowing portrayal of what happens when women do not have abortion rights.

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Tue 27 May 2008, 18:52 BST
Issue No. 2103
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