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Monday, July 1, 2013

Home Movies/Out on Digital: July 1

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The Taste of Money

In South Korean director Im Sang-soo’s The Taste of Money, the bright lights of Seoul cannot eclipse the darkness at society’s heart. In a family drama that reaches a Shakespearean pitch, a young assistant is drawn into the sexual politics and financial corruption of the super rich and their socially irresponsible machinations with a sinister American investor. Much of the film unspools in the family’s mansion, a crazy visual puzzle of cold, marbled and mirrored surfaces.

Cleopatra: 50th Anniversary Edition

The five-and-a-half hour Cleopatra, which director Joseph Mankiewicz presented to bemused producers at 20th Century Fox, was the subject of a transatlantic search by the preservationists behind the bonus documentary “Cleopatra’s Missing Footage.” They never found it, but for the new Blu-ray edition, restored the stilted but scenic epic to the four-hour running time of its New York premiere—an hour longer than the familiar version. Other bonus material provides historical context: Cleopatra was really an astute woman, not the vamp of popular lore.

Death by China

Since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, America lost 57,000 factories according to this Martin Sheen-narrated documentary. Low-cost Chinese products have flooded the U.S. from low-wage, environmentally unsound workplaces. Death by China blames Bill Clinton’s heedless globalism, self-serving multi-national corporations and big-box retailers, “cool” companies like Google that have enabled China’s cyber police and the American consumer, greedy for cheap goods and blind to the consequences.

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