Posted by: damong
Snell Library has an impressive selection of DVD’s, and the DVD section is undeniably something that has improved over the past two years. I mean this in an entirely physical sense: the DVD’s, VHS’s and the books on movies have wisely been integrated together, in to a well-organized cinema-in-general section, which spans most of the PN call numbers on the third floor shelves.
Since there are not many good video stores in Boston, and not many cheap or nearby Movie Theaters, Snell Library is the best place here to rent a DVD. Since you can stop at the Library to rent a DVD, it is also advisable that you rent something that is not the standard fare you will be finding at the LOEWS by Boston Common, or in a Blockbuster; I am aware that I am speaking largely to Cinema Studies Majors and Minors with this suggestion, but so be it. I would recommend a good Japanese film such as Ugetsu (1953). Ugetsu is for anybody who is interested in Film History, Japanese History, or just Beauty. It was directed by Kenji Mizoguchi, a nowadays seldom- mentioned Japanese filmmaker who turned out a prolific amount of work that was once regarded as some of the best stuff Cinema had to offer. Ugetsu has some of the most graceful, eye-pleasing Black-and-White imagery that can be found in Japanese Cinema, and is one of the few films to my mind that succeeds as a strange blending of several different genres; it is an Adventure story, a Ghost story, a Tragic Love story, a Period/Costume piece, and occasionally a dark comedy.
Don’t be afraid by the age of the film: it has been restored to a crisp image by the Criterion Collection, and is very well subtitled. See it while you can.