Boxwalla Film: The Apu Trilogy Review
Boxwalla is a really unique subscription box service that offers four different types of subscriptions: Food, Beauty, Books, and Film. Subscribers can subscribe to multiple boxes, or can hop around among the four boxes from shipment to shipment. Fun! I love movies! Boxwalla’s website states:
‘Art Cinema is Boring.’ The Film Box challenges this notion by demystifying the work of the best filmmakers, by creating a context within which to view them.
Boxwalla kindly sent us this box for review purposes. (Check out our review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
This review is of the Boxwalla Film, $49.95 every other month, box.
About Boxwalla Film
The Subscription Box: Boxwalla Film
The Cost: $49.95 per shipment (every two months)
The Products: Two films from The Criterion Collection plus an insert are mailed to you. Additional material is emailed to you before and after you have watched the films.
Ships to: U.S. for free, Canada for $11.95, Internationally for $18.95
Boxwalla Film: The Apu Trilogy December 2018 Review
Boxwalla’s packaging is beautiful! The box is really high quality and very sturdy. It could easily be used for storage or gifts. This letter was included with information about the films that I was sent. I never read it before I watch the movies because I hate any kind of spoiler! I always read it afterward, though, and it is always helpful.
This month’s films are part of a boxed set featuring three films that were recently restored and released. The original films were destroyed in a nitrate explosion in a film lab in 1993! The movies were filmed over five years in the 1950’s and follow the life of a boy from Bangladesh as he matures into a man. This trilogy of films from director Satyajit Ray is largely considered the force that brought India into the golden age of international art-house film.
This amazing booklet was included in the box set. I don’t usually gush over booklets, but this one has essays by critics Terrence Rafferty and Girish Shambu as well as original storyboards from one of the films! It’s fascinating!
Pather Panchali (Song of the Little Road), 1955
The first of the three films is the story of Apu’s upbringing in rural India. It definitely is reminiscent of Italian neorealism from a stylistic standpoint. My favorite thing about this film was the influence of the women in his life in shaping him. His sister, mother, and elderly aunt are all very well developed characters!
Aparajito (The Unvanquished), 1956
This might have been my favorite of the three films, mainly because this is the age my boys are entering into. It picks up right where the last film left off, with an adolescent Apu moving with his family into the city. He eventually ends up studying in Kolkata, a huge city in India. This film delves deeper into the complex relationship between son and mother.
Apur Sansar (The World of Apu), 1959
The final film of the trilogy follows Apu into adulthood, a career, romance, and becoming a father. This film was also visually stunning! The imagery throughout the series is just incredible.
These movies are part of The Criterion Collection, which is an organization that works to preserve and restore classic and modern films that are considered important. The films are published in editions that offer the highest technical quality as well as fantastic supplemental material.
Boxwalla Film has a discussion group on Facebook! Subscribers can now meet up online to chat about the movies!
The Verdict: Every box I have ever received from Boxwalla Film is very thoughtfully curated, and the films taken as a whole are striking, both independently and together. I feel like the movies are all really important pieces in the history of film. That doesn’t always make them easy to watch! It’s often just the opposite. Boxwalla Film is a great way to feed your brain if you enjoy independent cinema!
To Wrap Up:
Value Breakdown: The retail value of the box’s contents is $99.95. This box costs $49.95 shipped. This represents a discount of 50%.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What do you think of Boxwalla Film box? Which film did you prefer?