An Angel at My Table
Jane Campion’s 1990 feature was actually a three-part miniseries produced for New Zealand TV on the life of writer Janet Frame, who spent eight years in a psychiatric hospital misdiagnosed as schizophrenic before going on to a celebrated career as a poet and novelist. The disc includes a 1983 audio interview with Frame, excerpts from the author’s autobiography, and audio commentary by director Campion, cinematographer Stuart Dryburgh, and actress Kerry Fox.
The “uncut special edition” of Japanese shock-meister Takashi Miike’s most accessible movie restores two minutes trimmed from the 2001 R-rated version originally released in the United States. Features include commentary from Miike on selected scenes, an interview with the director, and a segment on the film from Bravo’s “100 Scariest Movie Moments.”
William Wyler’s lumbering 1959 beast may be fatally overlong for some 21st-century viewers, but certain stretches of its 222 minutes, particularly the justly celebrated chariot race, rank among the finest in any Technicolor-era Hollywood action epic. This four-disc collector’s edition packages the film with the 1925 silent version directed by Fred Niblo. Extras include a new documentary on the 1959 film, a 1994 making-of piece, screen tests, vintage newsreels, and highlights from the April 1960 Academy Awards ceremony, at which the movie won a record 11 Oscars.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 20, 2005