Film and TV

DVDs & Blu-rays: Gerhard Richter Painting, Delicacy, Portlandia: Season 2 and The Tall Man

Gerhard Richter Painting is written and directed by Corinna Belz.

There are few living artists who enjoy a greater reputation than Gerhard Richter; there are also few living artists who more wholeheartily reject the examination of the artistic process. Corinna Belz's documentary Gerhard Richter Painting gives viewers a fly-on-the-wall look at the great painter working. In the 1970s Richter started a series of abstract paintings; hundreds more followed over the next 30 years. Richter builds up layer after layer of color, purposely not working toward any final image, leaving the finished result completely to chance.

Our Village Voice critic said the documentary "artfully and convincingly immerses us into the world of one of the greatest [painters], painting." Extras include two interviews with Richter, a look at the painter as he prepares for an exhibition, and interview with Corinna Belz, and trailers. Delicacy stars Audrey Tautou, Bruno Todeschini, and Francois Damiens; David Foenkinos and Stephane Foenkinos co-direct.

Delicacy is something akin to Catch and Release, but a bit more serious. Three years after Natalie (Audrey Tautou) lost her husband, she starts to take tiny steps toward re-engaging with the world. Much to the delight - and frequent consternation - of Markus (Francois Damiens), who offers himself up as a potential suitor. But while Natalie is lovely and delicate, Markus is awkward and slightly neurotic. Tautou gives an enchanting performance and Damiens is sufficiently geeky. This is the first outing for co-directors David and Stephane Foenkinos and their lack of experience shows from time to time, but even their missteps can't detract from Tautou's charm and appeal.

The Blu-ray release includes English subtitles, deleted scenes, bloopers, and a trailer.

Fred Armisen (Saturday Night Live) and Carrie Brownstein (guitarist for Wild Flag) star in the low-budget comedy sketch series Portlandia, marked by its biting satire. Season Two has just been released on DVD/Blu-ray and instant download. As you can tell by the title, the action is set in Portland. Several Season One characters return and Season Two special guests include Tim Robbins Joanna Newsom, and Modest Mouse's Isaac Brock.

The two-disc set Portlandia: Season Two includes ten episodes, Portlandia: the Tour: Seattle featurette, Inside Portlandia featurette, deleted scenes, Brunch Village: the Director's Cut, excerpt from the Portlandia book and audio commentary by Armisen and Brownstein.

The Tall Man stars Jessica Biel and Jodelle Ferland; Pascal Laugier writes and directs.

We can't resist adding The Tall Man to this week's column. Jessica Biel stars as Julia, a single mother living in a small town that's been plagued with a rash of kidnappings. She's not too concerned until her own son is taken. It seems The Tall Man, a legendary supernatural monster, has come alive. Julia sets out to find her son, with the mandatory scares along the way. The film, directed by French writer/director Pascal Laugier, premiered at SXSW last year. The Tall Man doesn't break any new ground in the genre, but it is a good ride and horror fans will want to take a look.

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Olivia Flores Alvarez