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El Norte (R)

The Criterion Collection

Gregory Nava (Selena, Mi Familia) has dedicated much of his career to telling the story of Latinos and their search for the American Dream. The 1983 should-be-a-classic El Norte was his breakout film, and may be his best to date. When their village is raided by the army, Guatemalan siblings Enrique (David Villalpando) and Rosa (Zaide Silvia Gutirrez) set out for America. Their vision of American ideals keeps them going in a sojourn fraught with setbacks. But when they do finally arrive on American soil, they find themselves running from immigration officials and slavish work conditions. El Norte is as powerful as filmmaking gets, compelling and honest and offering no easy answers, no matter which side of the immigration debate you fall on. Louis Fowler

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His Name was Jason: 30 Years of Friday the 13th (NR)

Anchor Bay Entertainment

Released to coincide with the big-budget re-imagining of the classic slasher film Friday the 13th, the documentary His Name Was Jason tells the history of the iconic fictional killer Jason Voorhees. It's the ultimate guide to the Friday films, an essential refresher for old fans and a great primer for new ones. Tom Savini hosts, with interviews from just about everyone involved with the three-decade-old series as well as movie recaps, behind-the-scenes tales and studies of the series' legacy and future. Not only is it a thorough look back, it's also a fitting tribute to Jason. This two-disc "splatter edition" comes with a poster and a movie coupon good toward admission to the new film. Talk about slashing prices! Louis Fowler

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Suzie Heartless (NR)

Alternative Cinema

Tony Marsiglia is the most depressing director working today. And by depressing, I mean in that gritty, dark and stark-Euro way made popular by directors like David Lynch, Lars Von Trier and Michael Haneke. Marsiglia's previous film, Chantal, was a shocking look at the downfall of a fresh-off-the-bus girl in Hollywood, and he continues along those lines with the masterful Suzie Heartless. Simply, it's the story of the last days of a teen prostitute in the underbelly of Los Angeles. It's told completely without words and only through the deadened emotions of the title character, brilliantly played by Wendy McColm. This is real art, scary art, that will never make it to your local cinema even though it's better than most of the films playing there. Louis Fowler

  • El Norte, His Name Was Jason, Suzie Heartless

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