Blu-ray, DVD Release: Arabian Nights

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: May 3, 2016
Price: DVD $27.99, Blu-ray $34.99
Studio: Kino Lorber

The monumental film trilogy Arabian Nights by acclaimed Portuguese filmmaker Miguel Gomes (Tabu) uses One Thousand and One Nights as the basis for its structure, wherein the filmmaker his film in contemporary Portugal and explores political and economic unrest through the lens of a stylized fantasy.

arabian-nights-1_optGomes’ Scheherazade tells fantastic tales both fictional and documentary, from talking roosters to everyday trials of the unemployed. Gomes waves a colorful, surreal, and politically potent palimpsest of a film that captures how the Great Recession has affected both our lives and our dreams.

An Official Selection of the Cannes, Toronto International and New York Film Festivals, and was Portugal’s Official Entry for Best Foreign Language Film for the 2016 Academy Awards, it’s one helluva ambitious work.

Here’s a breakdown of the three films:

Disc 1: The Restless One (125 minutes)
In which Scheherazade tells of the restlessness that befell the country, where people dream of mermaids and whales, and unemployment in spreading.

Disc 2: The Desolate One (132 minutes)
In which Scheherazade tells of how desolation invaded men: where a distressed judge will cry, a runaway murderer will wander through the land, and where the residents of a suburban tower block are charmed by a friendly dog, while surrounded by ghosts.

Disc 3: The Enchanted One (125 minutes)
In which Scheherazade doubts that she will still be able to tell stories to please the king, so she therefore escapes from the palace and travels the kingdom in search of pleasure and enchantment.

Bonus features on the Blu-ray and DVD include the following:
-Booklet with Production Diary and an Essay by Dennis Lim
-New York Film Festival: A Conversation with Miguel Gomes
-Redemption (2013), a short film by Miguel Gomes

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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.