DVDs Nuts!

Lesser-seen OW approved titles

Children’s Hospital: Complete First & Second Seasons

OK, the first season is, like, a half an hour total, but the beautifully surreal, outrageously nasty Adult Swim hit from the barbed-wire brain of creator and head writer Rob Corddry plays like a quick Happy Meal of grown-up comedy. Evolving from web-only shorts to more elaborately designed 15-minute episodes (written and directed in the second season by a crew of geniuses, from The State’s David Wain to Paul Scheer and Diablo Cody), Children’s Hospital eviscerates ER-set soaps, from E.R.’s crippled administrator to Grey’s Anatomy’s faux-wisdom voiceover nuggets. As the resident clown who does as much harm as good for the little tykes in need, Corddry confounds expectations every time he appears, to gut-busting effect. (available now)

Special Features: Featurettes, deleted scenes, outtakes

Picasso and Braque Go to the Movies

Here is a film that gathers a bunch of endlessly interesting filmic and art-world personalities – Martin Scorsese, Julian Schnabel, Chuck Close – for an interesting discussion, then never gets out of the way. Directed by Arne Glimcher, the documentary’s title states its premise clearly, but the thesis fails to quite coalesce. Did the burgeoning art form of silent film at the turn of the 20th century influence cubist artists like Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque? Maybe. It seems like every time someone’s about to make a point about it, they end up talking about something else. But that something else, with these people, is, well, something else. The doc, incidentally, treats us to Scorsese opining on the last shot of The Departed, along with sequences of dancer Loie Fuller’s surreal filmed choreography and footage of the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1900. As sidetracks go, they’re mesmerizing. (available now)

Special Features: More than 80 minutes of short films

Public Speaking

Speaking of Scorsese, he’s behind the camera where he belongs in this remarkable documentary about the life and captivating opinions of Fran Lebowitz. The film, which aired on HBO last year, takes a cue from its subject and shies away from formality of treatise, instead luxuriating in presence – hers, Manhattan’s, the Waverly Inn’s. Although she’s coped with a famous, massive case of writer’s block for decades, Lebowitz is never short on words, and Public Speaking sits back and lets them flow out of her, in front of audiences and tucked away in a restaurant booth. You won’t spend a more pleasant hour with anyone else this week. (available now)

Special Features: None


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