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Plaion Pictures: home-video releases for March

Let's discover together the new home-video releases from Plaion Pictures: from John Ford to Russell Crowe, from Theorem to One Piece, there really is something for everyone.

Plaion Pictures’ new home-video releases. for the month of March 2023 traverse virtually all of film history, from the Hollywood Classics of John Ford and John Wayne to the Japanese animated fare of Gorō Taniguchi and Toei Animation, from one of the most controversial masterpieces of Italian cinema to the new direction of one of the world’s most beloved stars: Theorem, A Quiet Man, Poker Face and One Piece Red, four totally different films for a home-video offering for literally every taste.

After the blurays of Broker: The Good Stars and Point of No Return, Plaion Pictures doubled down by sending us no less than four print copies of the month’s new releases, so this week’s marchetta moment quadruples: take notes!

A Quiet Man by John Ford

Screened in competition during the 13th Venice International Film Festival in 1952, A Quiet Man has gone down in film history for marking the last victory of John Ford at the Oscars, when during the 25th Academy Awards the mythological author of Wild Trails e Red Shadows won his fourth Best Director statuette (an all-time record for the award; no director has won more than him personally), following those for The traitor (in 1936), for Wrath (in 1941) and for How green was my valley (in 1942) (in 1940 he was also nominated for Red Shadows, ‘risking’ a legendary hat trick).

The story, starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara, is about Sean Thornton (Wayne), a retired boxer who decides to return to his home village in Ireland to claim his family inheritance. Here he meets lively young Mary Kate Danaher (O’Hara), and soon finds himself confronted by her belligerent brother and the rigid customs of the country.

Plaion Pictures Home Video 1

Often remembered among the greatest stories ever told by Classic Hollywood, A Quiet Man is certainly not the first film to come to mind when one thinks of John Ford, but also one of the most unforgettable after seeing it: Monument Valley horizons typical of Fordian cinema move to Gaelic Ireland (along with virtually the entire cast of the previous Rio Bravo, including Victor McLaglen as well), but the themes of his filmography (an inordinate, all-American belief in love, friendship, and especially justice) do not suffer from the shift from the yellow of the desert to the bucolic green of the Irish hills; in fact, they appear even more idealized here.

Also in the Plaion Pictures edition, shining in the sheen of True HD in 1.37:1 format, is an unmissable ‘making of’ on the film’s shooting: will John Ford have kept the horizon line high, as he would have taught the young Spielberg in The Fabelmans?

Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Theorem

Just in time for the 101th anniversary of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s birth, and in conjunction with the release on Sky and streaming on NOW of the documentary Pasolini, Chronology Of A Political Crime., loosely based on the book “Pasolini, un omicidio politico” by Andrea Speranzoni and Paolo Bolognesi and presented at the last Rome Film Festival, comes with Plaion Pictures the new 4K edition of Theorem, hands down one of the most enigmatic, scandalous and watershed films of Italian cinema.

Presented at the 1968 Venice Film Festival and winner of the Coppa Volpi for best female performance by Laura Betti (and the inspiration for the equally controversial Visitor Q, one of cult Japanese director Takashi Miike’s most celebrated titles) Theorem is reborn in a fully restored edition curated by the Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna and Mondo TV Group, in collaboration with Cinema Communications Services at the L’Immagine Ritrovata Laboratory.

The story, which is well known, is thus presented on the back cover by none other than the writer Alberto Moravia, also a film critic in his boundless output: “A mysterious as well as handsome young man, announced with somersaults and dances by a happy letter carrier, ‘visits’ a middle-class family in a town in Lombardy. The ‘visited’ family is what is usually called a ‘normal’ family, meaning normality is the middle-class’s own way of understanding life. The young man’s visit upsets this ‘normality’ or rather reveals its fictitious character. The young man, full of compassion and lightness, makes love to all members of the family: to the maid, to the son, to the daughter, to the mother, to the father. That is, he makes love by satisfying the hitherto ignored thirst for love of the five characters. But, lo and behold, the leaping, somersaulting letter carrier returns. A telegram sets the young man off.

The Plaion release is embellished with two versions of the film, both bluray and 4K bluray.

Russell Crowe’s Poker Face

Second, fascinating direction by Oscar-winning actor Russell Crowe, who returns behind (but also in front of) the camera eight years after his debut with the mediocre The Water Divine, Poker Face is an honest and surprising project not so much for what it tells or the mechanisms it uses to do so, but for what it chooses to place its accents on.

The story is that of Jake Foley, an unbeatable player who has become a very rich entrepreneur thanks to his skills in the game of poker: he decides to give his childhood friends a night they will never forget, a chance to win more money than they ever dreamed of. But in order to participate in the game, they will have to give up the one thing they have fought all their lives for: their secrets. And as the game goes on, the friends will find out what the real stakes are, the biggest stakes of all.

A film with basically no poker game at the center (certainly don’t expect the way to build tension from the cards of a Casino Royale, for example) but in which poker becomes the façade (the title after all is ‘Poker Face’) to conceal one’s true intentions: the protagonist is a professional bluffer, highly experienced In lying and deceiving for the purpose of pushing others to do what he wants them to do and unveil its own truths, and likewise the film pretends to go in one direction (that of the old-fashioned thriller, that of the home-grown action: the card game among friends will be interrupted by a group of robbers who want to take away the paintings that adorn Russell Crowe’s mansion) when underneath he is interested in something else entirely, namely the falsehoods and truths that govern friendship relationships.

Not surprisingly, the script – personally written by Russell Crowe, demonstrating to how much he cared, the New Zealand actor, about this project-which makes the plot slip away following that of a thousand other similar films and without worrying too much about finding original insights, focuses instead on the sentimental part, that of the development of the characters’ relationships, here one finds a novel and interesting component to be discovered. The feeling, on the credits, is that the pretext for building the entire film came precisely from the need to say something about the contradictory personalities that populate it.

One Piece Red by Gorō Taniguchi

On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the manga (a record with over half a billion copies sold to date worldwide) and the animated TV series (with over 1,000 episodes broadcast in 80 countries) Luffy and Straw Hat’s crew return with One Piece Red, a must-see film for fans of the saga that for the first time sees deep involvement as producer from author Eiichiro Oda and comes to the home-video market for one last victory lap after the outstanding results achieved at the global box office, Italy included.

Plaion Pictures Home Video 4

One Piece RED is the first episode with a strong musical component (thanks to the evocative performance of Japanese star Ado) and features the return of One of the most iconic characters created by Oda: Shanks the Red, one of the four emperors who inspired and pushed Luffy as a child to become a pirate, as well as the father of the new character Uta. The story follows Uta herself , the world’s most beloved singer, whose voice has been called “otherworldly,” decides to reveal her face to the world during a live concert. The concert arena, held on the island of Elegia, filled with all his fans, including notorious pirates, Navy exponents, and the Straw Hat Pirates led by Luffy, all determined to enjoy this highly anticipated singing performance. But when the concert begins, the audience discovers that the exceptional power of Uta’s voice conceals a danger that could change the world: so it will be up to Luffy and Shanks to spring into action and lead a new battle for freedom.

Among the many special contents, in this Limited edition containing no less than six collectible cards, also a special on dubbing with voice actors Patrizio Prata, Federica Simonelli and Emanuela Pacotto, the original preview and a juicy interview with Goro Taniguchi.

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Matteo Regoli

critica i film, poi gli chiede scusa si occupa di cinema, e ne è costantemente occupato è convinto che nello schermo, a contare davvero, siano le immagini porta avanti con poca costanza Fatti di Cinema, blog personale

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