Video Picks Archive

March 22, 2001
This Week's Video Picks
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Reviews by Matt Heffernan <>

This week my picks are Dancer in the Dark (2000 - ) and The Sound of Music (1965 - ).

The first film this week was a landmark in cinema that very few people got to see in theatres. The Academy has all but ignored it, but now it is on video for all to see. Björk stars as a metalworker who is going blind, but must hide her condition until she can save enough money for an operation to keep her son (Vladan Kostic) from suffering the same fate. Björk's character in Dancer in the Dark, Selma, is very childlike and somewhat deluded. This leads her to go into fantasies inspired by Hollywood musicals. One highlight of the film is the score, which features several songs that are sung with great passion to express the character of Selma. The other main highlight is the directorial style of Lars von Trier, who shot the film with a hand-held digital camcorder. The stark images and lingering moments were too much for some people in the theatre, making the experience almost painful for them. Others, including myself, were swept up by the power of the film, which will probably be much more accessible on television.
Full review from October 12, 2000

Throughout most of Dancer in the Dark, Selma is rehearsing for a community theatre production of The Sound of Music. That production was quite bizarre, but the film version of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical is a true classic, and the second pick this week. Julie Andrews plays an Austrian nun named Maria who is hired to take care of the von Trapp children while their father (Christopher Plummer) is busy with the diplomatic nightmare of World War II. Based on a true story, The Sound of Music was a simplistic, yet popular stage musical. Robert Wise's film adaptation, however, brings out the true potential of the story. From the moment that Andrews comes twirling onto a grassy hilltop singing the title tune, the film launches into pure cinematic bliss. It's long been a favorite on television, and the home video version has been a perennial bestseller. Now, a feature-packed two-disc DVD set is available -- a must-have for any family's collection.

For more information, visit the Internet Movie Database:
Dancer in the Dark (2000)
The Sound of Music (1965)

Here's some merchandise for sale at
Dancer In The Dark (2000) -- VHS
Dancer In The Dark (2000) -- DVD
Selmasongs: Dancer In The Dark -- Compact Disc
The Sound of Music (1965) -- VHS
The Sound of Music (1965) -- DVD
The Sound of Music: The Making of America's Favorite Movie, by Julia Antopol Hirsch -- Paperback
The Sound of Music: Vocal Score, by R. Rodgers and O. Hammerstein II -- Paperback
The Sound of Music: Soundtrack -- Compact Disc Home
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