BEST PLACE TO RENT FOREIGN FILMS (2001)
Videotapes of foreign films are too erratically distributed (and cost-prohibitive) in this country for any one rental outlet to be definitive: World-cinema junkies know well to keep membership cards from several stores in their pocket at all times. And belonging to the Chicago-based mail-order rental club Facets (www.facets.org) never hurt one's comprehensive video globetrotting either. But when the Twin Cities cineaste simply must borrow that obscure object of desire, chances are that Intercontinental is the answer. Don't expect the interior of this West Bank classic to be anything other than what it has always been: an unsightly mess. Do expect, however, that when you need Rossellini's Vanina Vanini, Mizoguchi's Crucified Lovers, or Rocha's Black God, White Devil, it'll be here--along with the early Dutch Verhoevens, the short Polanskis, the mid-period Makhmalbafs, and beaucoup de Godard. And did we mention the knockout collection of Asian action titles? Once you acquiesce to the owner's high-pressure sell to become a member ($25 a year; two free rentals included), most tapes go for a mere $1.55 per day.
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