Hermitage Revealed (Margy Kinmonth) dutifully and unimaginatively recounts the history of the Russian institution, from its founding by Catherine the Great in 1764 to the present day, when contemporary art shares space with Old Masters and priceless antiquities. The story of the Hermitage, housed in the Winter Palace, is anything but boring. It was almost burned down during the fire of 1837, was stormed during the October Revolution and survived several wars. Under Stalin, dozens of curators were sent to gulags. As one talking head rightly points out, the Hermitage is part of the countrys soul. But all of this could be found in a Wiki entry. Rather than focus in on the Rembrandts, Leonardos and Titians, writer/director Margy Kinmonth uses time-lapse photography and follows a young boy frolicking up and down the halls, banal decisions that provoke eye-rolling. Some subtitles. 82 min.
The films of Studio Ghibli, the animation studio created by Hayao Miyazaki, continue their Blu-ray rollout in the U.S. with three more debuts. Only one of this set, however, is directed by the animation legend himself. All three discs feature both English language and original Japanese soundtracks (with optional English subtitles), the complete film in storyboard form set to the soundtrack, and Japanese trailer, plus a bonus DVD copy of the film.
Once Upon a Time Veronica (Big World Pictures, DVD), from Brazilian director Marcelo Gomes, follows the emotionally turbulent life of a young woman fresh out of medical school and suddenly at a crossroads. Portuguese with English subtitles. 59ce067264