June 10, 2008
Praise the DVD Gods
After nearly three years of scouring Amazon.com to see when one of my favorite British movies of all time, Peter's Friends, would be released in the States, I finally had my prayers answered.
Kenneth Branagh directed and starred in this beautiful British Big Chill about college chaps who reunite for a New Year's Eve weekend at a countryside estate. Rounding out the rest of the cast is Emma Thompson (when she was married to Branagh in real life), Hugh Laurie (years before House), Imelda Staunton, Stephen Fry, and Rita Rudner. The 80s soundtrack is killer, highlighted by an amazing opening credits sequence done to Tears for Fears's "Everybody Wants to Rule the World."
The film was released here as an indie in 1992, back when independent films barely registered on the mainstream radar. And back then, when I was wee lad in Westchester, the only theater that played indies or foreign films (outside Manhattan, of course) was a venue situated in a small Hartsdale strip mall on Central Park Avenue. Sadly, it is now a patio furniture outlet sharing a parking lot with a California Pizza Kitchen.
I fell in love with the movie (and all things British) when I rented it from the New Rochelle Public Library one rainy afternoon in the mid-90s. Since then, all that I had to cherish it with was a grainy VHS copy dubbed from cable. And the burning desire to spend a rainy weekend at a British countryside manor.
Thank you, Samuel Goldwyn Films, for finally making my small geeky wish come true.
Planning to jump on my mailbox the minute my DVD arrives,
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