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Bombay Beach [DVD]

Alma Har'el    Exempt   DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: £11.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Directors: Alma Har'el
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Dogwoof
  • DVD Release Date: 26 Mar 2012
  • Run Time: 78 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0076KDP6I
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 44,098 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

The rusting relic of a failed 1950s development scheme, the Salton Sea is a barren California landscape often seen as a symbol of the failed American Dream. First-time director Alma Har'el visits this poetically fruitful terrain and finds there a motley cast, including a bipolar seven-year-old, a lovelorn high school football star, and an octogenarian poet-prophet. Together they make up a triptych of manhood in its decisive moments, populating the Salton Sea's land of thwarted opportunity.

True to her roots as a photographer, video artist, and music video director, Har'el crafts an adamantly atypical and artistically innovative film a dreamlike poem that sets the personal stories of these distinctive yet familiar characters to a stylized amalgam of observational documentary and choreographed dance, with music by Beirut and Bob Dylan, all cast against the atmospheric scenery of the titular ghost town. The result is a moving and extraordinary documentary experience an evocative, symbolic portrait of those who live in cultural obscurity.

Music by Bob Dylan and Beirut


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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Bombay Beach follows a group of likeable loners, misfits & dreamers. A hyperactive child, a black aspiring football star fleeing from gang violence in L.A., and Red, a good ole boy who used to work in the oilfields. The photography is poetic and arresting, the music is by Bob Dylan and Zach Condon of Beirut, and there are moments of startling, unexpected choreography. The result is a haunting & unusual portrait of a group of marginal people on the edge of an inland sea in southern California. Highly recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent film 9 April 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A rare film that sits comfortably between two genres, a bit like "under the skin" by Jonathan Glazer but in reverse. Bombay Beach is a documentary with elements of staged non reality, Under The Skin is largely fiction but with moments of captured reality.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great observations of some crazy people 15 Feb 2013
Format:DVD
Beautifully shot, throughly intriguing insight into the lives of people in one of the strangest communities you'll ever witness. Great music too and cool bonus feature on the dvd where you can see how the featured characters ended up.
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0 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars overview 10 Jun 2012
By sandy
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I was disappointed in the DVD as it was too slow and not what i believed it to be about
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  21 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Living On The Fringe: A Society On The Tail End Of The American Dream 4 Jan 2012
By K. Harris - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
The unusual and visually arresting documentary "Bombay Beach" offers a unique slice-of-life approach to its subjects that makes for an intimacy and immediacy that is quite unexpected. As the Salton Sea area of California evolved from an upscale tourist resort in the fifties to near desolation sixty years later, I anticipated that this was to be a document of that downward transitioning. It's not, however. So anyone expecting a traditional documentary feature about the area and its history is sure to be disappointed. But that's not to say that the film is a complete write-off, far from it. It just may not meet your initial expectations, but offers something even more rewarding. It showcases a world of isolationism, poverty, and decay that is haunting, disturbing, and undeniably memorable. The citizens that still inhabit the area are an eclectic group. Many might be considered societal misfits, some are just struggling to rebuild their lives, and some are striving for success and opportunity beyond the Salton Sea.

"Bombay Beach" follows three residents (or families) that live in the area. One family has lived on the fringes of society for many years, coming up on the wrong side of the law and child welfare services as often as not. They, however, are attempting a new leaf. One participant is an elderly hard-living gentleman who thrives in this impoverished community--reflecting back on his early years, but relishing every day he has left. He is very popular as a purveyor of convenient smokes. And the third subject is a high school student who escaped the gangland dangers of Los Angeles to have a more solid and safer start. He dreams of utilizing his experiences as the star of the small local football team to capture NFL glory. While the portrait of these individuals may not always be flattering due to the circumstances of how they live, they are eminently real and relatable. And even if their prospects appear bleak, there is no lack of hope or joy in their existence. This is truly a refreshing viewpoint.

Much of the film is done in a cinema verite, fly-on-the-wall approach. But some of the sequences are staged to music (songs by the band Beirut and Bob Dylan) This, at times, gives the film an oddly surreal feeling. This mix of juxtaposed tones is quite unexpected and really resonated with me. But it is the film's photography that really stands out. As the camera pans across deserted beaches, abandoned homes, and collecting refuse--the movie quietly says more about the death of the American Dream than a dozen speeches could convey. It's haunting and impactful in a very understated way, allowing the viewer to interpret the film in very personal ways. Ultimately, maybe "Bombay Beach" is not for everyone. That's okay. But for those interested in sociology, this experimental portrait of people on the fringe offers much insight. KGHarris, 1/12.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poetic, gorgeous documentary about eccentrics living at the Salton Sea.. 4 Nov 2011
By Mary - Published on Amazon.com
This won best doc at TRIBECA FILM FEST. It's a stunning, warm and heartbreaking documentary that follows a group of unique people - each with their own dreams - living at The Salton Sea. Wonderfully inventive, beautifully shot and a portrait of people you won't soon forget. Really worth a watch.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Salton Sea Not So Much 13 Feb 2013
By Kenneth Ray Lloyd - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
All Salton Sea documentaries are more inhabitant centric but this one more than most
focuses on less area and really delves into a couple of specific families. It's not a bad
sideline for those with interest in SS but not exactly what I was hoping for.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best documentary of the year. 29 Nov 2011
By duy718 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
"Bombay Beach" is that rare film that attempts to be something truly new. And it succeeds. The documentary genre is an important one, but it tends to take itself too seriously these days. Whether it's the muckraking of Michael Moore or the We-Know-What's-Good-For-Your patronizing of Frontline, documentary films have become cliches that too often play it safe with conventional shooting, editing, and storytelling. "Bombay Beach" is poetic and lyrical and all the things that naysayers will condemn it for being. But, in my opinion, that's a good thing. Some of the most meaningful non-fiction stories come in the form of poems and songs and dances. This film deftly combines the best of many artistic genres into a compelling, stunning story of real people in a real town dealing with real problems.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars One of the Most Pointless and Disorganized Movies I Have Ever Seen 2 July 2013
By shelfishness - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Based on the title and description, I thought that this would be an informative documentary, but really it was one of the most pointless movies I have ever seen. It gives about 30 seconds of history of the Salton Sea, and then goes into different character snapshots with absolutely no narration. Viewers have no idea what is going on and about half of the people are impossible to understand. The story gives no details as to why these people were selected, how big the community is, what life in Bombay Beach is like, etc. Because everything is out of context, it is really hard to get into. This is a selection of various stories - there isn't a specific theme and everything seems haphazard; I kept waiting for a main theme or a focused train of thought, but was sorely disappointed. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone - it is a waste of time.
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