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Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014

Home Movies/Out on Digital: Jan. 16

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Let’s Get Lost

Chet Baker’s lonesome trumpet hovers over Let’s Get Lost, a scattered yet ultimately moving documentary on the “James Dean of jazz.” Baker didn’t know how near death he was when the film was shot in 1988; he obviously enjoyed the attention but the shadow of heroin was never far off. Along with reminiscences and interviews with his intimates, Let’s Get Lost focuses on recording the album of the same name—perhaps jazz’s greatest record of loss and sadness.

Our Nixon

Rarely is a documentary as artfully constructed as Our Nixon. Director Penny Lane assembled a flowing montage of voices and images, including revealing segments of the “Watergate Tapes” for audio, juxtaposed against previously unseen Super 8 movies shot by H.R. Haldeman and other Nixon aides along with archival news footage and TV interviews from the era and afterward. Our Nixon is a remarkable, evocative chronicle of an ambitious, deluded president undone by paranoia.

For Ever Mozart

From the mid-’60s, Jean-Luc Godard often inscribed his films in a personal language, devoid of emotional clues or dramatic structure as normally understood. Out on Blu-ray, For Ever Mozart (1996) is a bewildering kaleidoscope of overlapping ellipses on the tortured relations between reality and representation, horror and absurdity. “It’s what I like in cinema: A saturation of glorious signs bathing in the light of their absent explanation,” says one character. Godard would heartily agree.

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