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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Politics > Oppression > People > Militarism > Interviews > Sexuality > Religion > Biography > Cordillera Of Dreams (2019/Blu-ray*)/David Susskind: Gay Rights: Pro and Con (1982) + Truman Capote Tells All (1979/both MVD DVDs)/Fulci For Fake (2019/Severin Blu-ray)/Santiago, Italia (2019/DVD/*bot

Cordillera Of Dreams (2019/Blu-ray*)/David Susskind: Gay Rights: Pro and Con (1982) + Truman Capote Tells All (1979/both MVD DVDs)/Fulci For Fake (2019/Severin Blu-ray)/Santiago, Italia (2019/DVD/*both Icarus)

Picture: B-/C/C/B/C+ Sound: B-/C/C+/B-/C+ Extras: C+/D/D/C+/D Main Programs: B-/B/B/C+/B-

Here are some new documentary/special interest releases, more connected to each other than usual...

Patricio Guzman's Cordillera Of Dreams (2019) is the first of our two works on the lost country of Chile, lost to a militarist government that sold its people out, along with it resources to Neoliberal economic policy and wrote a new constitution when the coup took place in 1980! We have encountered this to some extent in many other countries, including the U.S. and U.K., but it is a full-blown nightmare here. I wanted more information on the history, but instead, the film wants to capture and recapture the people lost, disposed of and the land in its undisturbed form.

Thus, this is a tribute and love letter to the lost Chile in feel, location and the actual experience of being in the purest, real version versus the bastardized version since 1980. It helps if you know the history in advance, but seeing this beauty and the love of it all along with its people is accomplished well enough and makes this worth a look. Still, know your history and try out a few other titles on the subject, like Italia below.

Extras include a 25-minutes-long on-camera interview with Guzman, shorter ones with stone cutter Rolando Abarca and painter Angela Leiber, Julian Joy's 10-minutes look at Guzman's films and a 7-minutes Making Of featurette.

Next up are two more very welcome installments of classic, priceless interviews from one of the best archives in TV history. David Susskind: Gay Rights: Pro and Con (1982) + Truman Capote Tells All (1979) continue the rollout of great programs that have been out of circulation for far too long and I am happy to see them return. Their arrival could not be more timely.

Rights has three men on each side debating about civil rights for all, but proving why gay and lesbian persons needed and still need more explicit declarations of said rights. On one side is Protestant Pastor Jesse Lee, Catholic Dr. William Marra (his daughter later helped get a doctor who performed legal abortions assassinated, but that was before this program was recorded) and Rabbi Yehuda Levin, still stereotyping and spewing hate 40 years after this broadcast, complete with a website to help him. They make arguments they would not try to make today, parts of which here are more obviously flawed than when this was first broadcast and yes, they bring up AIDs which was new then.

On the other side of the debate are three men who did so much for other vulnerable people and have far more accomplished careers, including Matt Foreman (an openly gay Catholic who was part of Dignity New York), David Rothenberg of the Fortune Society and Tom Stoddard of the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund. More ahead of their time than anyone realized at the time, they make great arguments and counterarguments throughout the 57 minutes that could have gone on much longer. If anything, they were too nice and not aggressive enough debating the other side, but in the face of the events and changes as we post this review, they fared more than well enough.

Capote has the legendary author, talker, gossiper, critic and sometimes actor (he's great in the detective comedy Murder By Death) hanging with and talking about the richest and most powerful persons in the world, people he happens to know as friends or at least acquaintances. As always, he never holds back (as he did on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson where he worked to 'prove' his theory that intelligent people make bad actors and those not as 'smart' were brilliant actors) and he is as no holds barred here too.

I did get a kick out of some of the moments here and it is also interesting to hear him tell of his love of then-super-hot Studio 54, why he loved to go there and shows us how great and wild high society was then, plus how it was intersecting with pop culture, art and the rest of the world, Also interesting is when he comments on fellow prominent gay men in the world at that time and that is just some of what you get here.

My only complaint is that the box says this is 112 minutes and it seems like there was at least one more segment when the material here ends, but the copyright shows up and the disc is over. Hope there was more of this that somehow got lost!

Sadly, neither disc has any extras.

Simone Scafidi's Fulci For Fake (2019) is one of the oddest and mixed such releases I have seen in a long time. It is not like no one knows who Lucio Fulci is, especially if you are a horror film fan, but we have an actor (Nicola Nocella) who is about to play the director in an upcoming biopic, but needs to find out more about him. With apparently limited access to Blu-rays of the director's work that might include interviews, et al, he goes on a search for the 'real' Fulci and allegedly uncovers revelations about him. Will they be added to the biopic script? Do we care?

Of course, this is a fans-only affair and the title is intentionally referencing the Orson Welles film F For Fake, a superior affair. The interviews with key figures in Fulci's career and family are good for the record, but they could have just made an outright documentary and that would have worked better. In the end, the 91 minutes here just try to hard.

Extras include an interview with Director Scafidi, Crew Interviews, Camilla Fulci Uncut - The first and only video interview with Lucio Fulci's daughter, Lucio Fulci & Friends - Interview outtakes with Sergio Salvati, Fabio Frizzi, Paolo Malco, Michele Soavi and Enrico Vanzina, The Eye Of The Witness - Biographer Michele Romagnoli recalls his relationship with the director, Looking For Lucio - Rare home movies from Fulci's private life and location scouts, with accompanying commentary by Romagnoli and Fulci, Lucio Fulci's Audio Tapes - Audio highlights from conversations between Fulci and Romagnoli for the writing of Fulci's memoir, Zombie Parade at the Venice Film Festival and a Trailer.

We conclude with Nanni Moretti's Santiago, Italia (2019) documentary, also looking at the lost Chile more directly than the Cordillera Of Dreams doc reviewed at the top of this coverage, though I also just reviewed Moretti's comedy Caro Diario that put him in Woody Allen mode, so this is a man (and artist) who has more range than he might initially show.

Of course, Chile had elected the beloved Salvador Allende (the last legitimately elected official in over 40 years now; we've covered the Allende story on the site before) and his plans to help people all over, make sure all children got educations as in a first-world country not only upset the fascist right wing in that country, it upset the same group in the United States (especially with Ronald Reagan coming in a president), so they teamed up to make the militarized coup happen and the country is still living under these circumstances.

If Dreams above covers those who have stayed behind in the darkness, this strong 80 minutes is about how many were smuggled out of the country to safety, the flip side of saving lives and preserving the true Chile against all odds. It is also a story of making sure any assassinations that could be prevented were. This is still an actively unfolding history and story, so it will take releases like these to continue to record the truth and bring light to what is really going on, as it is not a story you are hearing much of or enough of anywhere else.

There are no extras, but the content speaks for itself.

Now for playback performance. The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition images on Dreams and Fulci are the best performers here as expected, but dreams is a little on the lite side in color and detail, more often than expected. The sound is DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless on both releases, but Dreams is in 5.1 sound while Fulci is 2.0 Stereo. Both sound as good as they ever likely will.

The 1.33 X 1 image color transfers on the Susskind DVDs can show the age of the materials used and has color issues (there are lite orange stripes on the faces on the Capote DVD), then add softness and the Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono on both can be flawed, but Capote sounds better of the two.

The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Italia is somewhere in between, also an HD shoot, but with some vintage footage, et al, playing as well as can be expected. The lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is also not bad, but this is mostly talking and explaining.

Extras in this great slipcase packaging include a DigiPak with a nicely illustrated booklet on the film including informative text and yet another excellent, underrated essay by the great film scholar Julie Kirgo, feature length audio commentary track (s), Behind The Scenes, Making Of, Isolated Music Score with select Sound Effects, Photo Gallery, Poster Gallery, Stills Gallery, Teasers, Original Theatrical Trailer, TV Spots, Radio Spots, Deleted Scenes, Alternate Scenes, Extended Scenes, Director's Cut, Gag Reel, Documentary, Bloopers, bonus DVD version and miniature reproductions of the lobby cards, Digital HD Ultraviolet Copy for PC, PC portable and other cyber iTunes capable devices, while the Blu-ray adds BD Live interactive functions, a Making Of featurette

- Nicholas Sheffo


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