John Cage: Chess Pieces; Sonatas and Interludes; Rieti: Chess Serenade Reviews

Posted by on Feb 7, 2013 in Chess DVD Video | 2 comments

John Cage: Chess Pieces; Sonatas and Interludes; Rieti: Chess Serenade

John Cage: Chess Pieces; Sonatas and Interludes; Rieti: Chess Serenade

  • In 1944, modernist composer John Cage contributed a painting entitled Chess Pieces to a show at the Julien Levy Gallery in New York. After Cage’s death, the painting was rediscovered, and Cage expert Margaret Leng Tan set about transcribing the music depicted on the painting into a playable score. This program is the premiere recording of the work–a pivotal composition with ties to Cage’s

Performed by pianist Margaret Leng Tan, a popular specialist in Cage’s music, this is the first recording of the previously lost Chess Pieces (1944). Features many extras, including a lengthy bio of Tan.

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Cadillac Records

Posted by on Feb 6, 2013 in Chess DVD Video | 3 comments

Cadillac Records

Cadillac Records

Cadillac Records chronicles the rise of Leonard Chess’ (Adrien Brody) Chess Records and its recording artists including Muddy Waters (Jeffrey Wright), Little Walter (Columbus Short), Chuck Berry (Mos Def), Willie Dixon (Cedric The Entertainer) and the great Etta James (Beyonce Knowles). In this tale of sex, violence, race and rock and roll in Chicago of the 1950s and 60s, the film follows the exciting but turbulent lives of some of America’s greatest musical legends.An energized and passionate, if selective, telling of the story of Chess Records, Cadillac Records is a worthy entry in the niche genre of movies about rock and roll roots. Adrien Brody plays Leonard Chess, who started Chess Records in Chicago in 1947 and turned the label into an important force for blues, rhythm and blues, gospel and, in time, early rock and roll. Cadillac Records focuses on Chess’ relationship with his first significant artist, Muddy Waters (Jeffrey Wright), and the label’s rise and expansion with the addition of such talents as Little Walter (Columbus Short), Willie Dixon (Cedric the Entertainer), Howlin’ Wolf (Eamonn Walker), Chuck Berry (Mos Def) and Etta James (Beyonce Knowles). Written and directed by Darnell Martin, Cadillac Records captures the scrappy beginnings of an enterprise, and a sound, inventing itself as it goes along. Particularly fun are scenes set in clubs or at Chess’ recording facility, where electrified blues never stop pushing the envelope of creative possibility. All the while, danger lurks in shadows or in rivalries between artists; also in the self-destructive streaks of Walter and James, and the sexual fetishes of Berry. But the drama largely centers on the potent connections between all these people, who don’t always know where their contribution to a cultural phenomenon is going. One of the film’s delights is the way Chess and Waters don’t really see rock coming until Berry steps through the door, fusing country music with blues. The film skips over a lot of facts: there’s no sign of Leonard Chess’ brother, Phil, who co-owned the company, nor is there much hint of Chess’ expansion into a lot of other areas of music. None of that is any big deal. But what Cadillac Records is missing is more of a unifying point of view. The story is told as a recollection by Willie Dixon, but in a scattershot way that doesn’t tell us who Leonard Chess or Waters really are. Aside from that, the film is well worth seeing. –Tom Keogh

Stills from Cadillac Records (click for larger image)

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Mystery of Chessboxing

Posted by on Feb 6, 2013 in Chess DVD Video | 3 comments

Mystery of Chessboxing

Mystery of Chessboxing

The stars and the director of Seven Grandmasters reunite for this action-packed genre classic, Mystery Of Chess Boxing. Lee Yi Min stars as an eager young kung fu student who seeks to improve his fighting skills with an aim to avenge his father’s murder at the hands of the Ghost Face Killer, an overwhelming force of destruction and master of the death-dealing Five Element Fist. Lee Yi Min’s eagerness to study attracts the attention of the Master Of Chess Boxing, Jack Long, who is the Ghost Face Killer’s arch enemy. Together, master and student devise a wicked cross fertilization of the Chess Boxing and Five Element Fist styles and set out to put an end to Ghost Face’s deadly reign.

When first released on New York’s 42nd Street, the movie caused near riots and played for two years. Chess Boxing found even more fame when the hip hop band Wu Tang Clan adapted the film for their music.

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Start Playing! Basic Chess Concepts

Posted by on Feb 6, 2013 in Chess DVD Video | 0 comments

Start Playing! Basic Chess Concepts

Start Playing! Basic Chess Concepts

A fundamental coverage of all the skills needed to play a competitive game of chess. Master the how to’s (tactics) and what to do’s (strategy’s) in over 99 interactive and easy to remember mini tutorials.

This product is manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media. Amazon.com’s standard return policy will apply.

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Queen to Play

Posted by on Feb 5, 2013 in Chess DVD Video | 3 comments

Queen to Play

Queen to Play

Oscar®-winner Kevin Kline (A Fish Called Wanda) and the luminous Sandrine Bonnaire (La Cérémonie) square off in this stylish and sophisticated dramedy of newfound passions and mid-life triumphs, set on the postcard-perfect isle of Corsica.

Lovely, repressed and quietly intelligent, French chambermaid Hélène (Bonnaire) comes upon a couple (The L Word‘s Jennifer Beals and Marie Antoinette‘s Dominic Gould) engaged in an intensely sensual chess match, and discovers she has a knack for the game. This obsession much to the chagrin of her husband and teenaged daughter leads her to seek the clandestine tutelage of a reclusive American doctor (Kline, in his first French-speaking role) a liaison that radically transforms both of their lackluster lives. Based on Bertina Henrichs acclaimed novel La Joueuse d<'>echec (The Chess Player, Queen to Play is the auspicious feature film debut of French director and screenwriter Caroline Bottaro.

– Beautiful high-definition transfer, enhanced for widescreen viewing
Joueuse, Le Making of: A 20-minute behind-the-scenes documentary, featuring interviews with actors Kevin Kline, Sandrine Bonnaire, Jennifer Beals and director Caroline Bottaro
– U.S. theatrical trailerA sun-washed but pleasingly cerebral tale of a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, Caroline Bottaro’s Queen to Play uses chess as its vehicle for a heroine’s taking wing. Yes, that’s right, chess: and those of you rolling your eyes at the idea that the slow-moving brain-game might be a dynamic agent of change are in for a nice surprise. Chess is somehow just right for the wonderful Sandrine Bonnaire, grave-faced star of many a serious French film (Vagabond, Monsieur Hire). Bonnaire plays a chambermaid living with her family on the Corsican coast; while cleaning the rooms of glamorous types, she becomes intrigued by a couple playing chess in seemingly intimate circumstances (the cameo by Jennifer Beals in these scenes is one of the film’s only missteps). The maid’s new enthusiasm–let’s call it an obsession, actually–with the game leads her to unexpected mastery of it, a development that doesn’t sit well with her blue-collar, traditional husband (Francis Renaud). Chess also brings her to the attention of an expat widower (Kevin Kline, executing his French dialogue with his usual precise aplomb), a picky fellow intrigued by this earnest woman who showed up to dust his shelves and now sits across from him at his chessboard. The movie’s various evolutions may be a little too neat overall, but there’s something about the solemnity of chess and the grounded-in-the-real-world demeanor of Sandrine Bonnaire that makes it all very gratifying to watch. She’s not a pawn in anybody’s game. –Robert Horton

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Searching for Bobby Fischer

Posted by on Feb 4, 2013 in Chess DVD Video | 3 comments

Searching for Bobby Fischer

Searching for Bobby Fischer

UPC: 97363267348

Josh Waitzkin is just a typical American boy interested in baseball when one day he challenges his father at chess and wins. Showing unusual precocity at the outdoor matches at Washington Square in New York City; he quickly makes friends with a hustler named Vinnie who teaches him speed chess. Josh’s parents hire a renowned chess coach; Bruce; who teaches Josh the usefulness of measured planning. Along the way Josh becomes tired of Bruce’s system and chess in general and purposely throws a match; leaving the prospects of winning a national championship in serious jeopardy.Steve Zaillian, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of Schindler’s List, made his directorial debut with this critically acclaimed but little-seen drama based on the nonfiction book by Fred Waitzkin, about a father (Joe Mantegna) who discovers that his seven-year-old son (Max Pomeranc) is a genius at playing chess. The boy plays chess for fun, but when he’s tutored by a former champion (Ben Kingsley) and entered into high-pressure competitions, an enjoyable pastime becomes a source of tension and resentment, forcing the father to reconsider his parental priorities. A poignant study of the difference between parental idealism and proper parenting, the movie is also an observantly witty portrait of a precocious child who is still, after all, a child, and still eager for the joyful discoveries of youth. While offering a fascinating look into the world of competitive chess, the movie’s dramatically engrossing and extremely well-acted by a brilliant cast that also includes David Paymer, William H. Macy, and Dan Hedaya in memorable supporting roles. –Jeff Shannon

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Roman’s Chess Labs: Vol. 26, Nimzowitsch’s “My System”, Part 1 Chess DVD Reviews

Posted by on Feb 4, 2013 in Chess DVD Video | 0 comments

Roman’s Chess Labs: Vol. 26, Nimzowitsch’s “My System”, Part 1 Chess DVD

Roman's Chess Labs: Vol. 26, Nimzowitsch's

Nimzowitsch’s “My System”, Part 1.
Over 2 hours of Chess Instruction on Chess DVD.

This chess DVD is part 1 of a 2 part chess DVD set containing together 4 hours of teaching based on Nimzowitsch’s best selling book “My System” – which is the foundation for modern day progressive thinking.

Roman will help you understand Nimzowitsch’s ideas and theories while adding 75 years of improvements, updates and refinements. Roman will cover both positional and tactical examples bringing to life one of the most popular books ever published.

Learn Chess from Grandmaster Roman Dzindzichashvili:

?Former two time U.S. Champion & Russian Champion

?World Open Winner, Writer & Teacher

?Former Chess Coach & Trainer for World Champions Gary Kasparov & Anatoly Karpov

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Frasier: The Complete Third Season

Posted by on Feb 3, 2013 in Chess DVD Video | 3 comments

Frasier: The Complete Third Season

Frasier: The Complete Third Season

  • Frasier – The Complete Third Season

24 episodes on 4 DVDs. Color/9 hrs/NR/fullscreen.With this third season, Frasier scored an impressive hat trick, winning its third successive Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series. You don’t need too much analysis to get to the bottom of this unprecedented success. The series was a primetime oasis of wit and sophistication, with welcome forays into farce that pricked Frasier’s bubble of pomposity. His priceless reactions to the assaults on his dignity are worthy of Jack Benny. Frasier (Kelsey Grammer) can be infuriating, as in “The Focus Group,” in which he is obsessed with knowing why a lone focus group participant (guest star Tony Shalhoub) doesn’t like him. But he is also endearing in his delusional view of himself as, in the words of one mocking bystander, a “man of the people.” Frasier meets his match in new station owner Kate Costas (Oscar-winner Mercedes Ruehl). Their combative relationship turns to lust over the course of the first 10 episodes.

But the season’s most pivotal story arc is the separation of Niles (David Hyde Pierce) and Maris. “Moon Dance,” which marked Grammer’s directorial debut, is a series benchmark, as a crestfallen Niles tangos with his unrequited love, Daphne (Jane Leeves), at a high society ball. Not that the Crane family still doesn’t have issues to work out. Frasier cannot abide being beaten at chess by Martin (John Mahoney) in “Chess Pains.” Frasier and Niles ill-advisedly go into joint practice in “Shrink Rap,” and find themselves on the opposite sides of a sanity hearing in “Crane vs. Crane.” Lilith is sorely missed, but in this season’s blast-from-the-past episode, Shelley Long returns in “The Show Where Diane Comes Back.” It is a joy to see Cheers resurrected, if only in Diane’s self-absorbed new play, which Frasier agrees to back. And any episode with Frasier’s amoral agent Bebe (Harriet Sansom Harris) is must-see television. Frasier‘s humor was character-based, rather than topical, giving it a longer shelf life. For those who lament the end of one of television’s gold standard series, this boxed set will be excellent therapy. –Donald Liebenson

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