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The Ross McElwee DVD Collection (Sherman's March / Time Indefinite / Six O'Clock News / Bright Leaves / Backyard / Charleen) (Five-Disc Collector's Edition) (1997)

Ross Mcelwee , Ross Mcelwee  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

List Price: $74.95
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Product Details

  • Actors: Ross Mcelwee
  • Directors: Ross Mcelwee
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated: Unrated
  • DVD Release Date: November 22, 2005
  • Run Time: 578 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000B5XPK6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #153,377 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Ross McElwee DVD Collection (Sherman's March / Time Indefinite / Six O'Clock News / Bright Leaves / Backyard / Charleen) (Five-Disc Collector's Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Two interviews with Ross McElwee
  • Outtakes with commentary
  • Bright Leaves follow-ups
  • Music tracks
  • Photo gallery
  • Film notes & more

Editorial Reviews

Product Description


Six Films Including Four Never Before Released on DVD! Plus One Hour of Exclusive Bonus Material!


CHARLEEN, 59 minutes, 1978
One month in the life of Charleen Swansea, North Carolina poet, mother, beloved teacher, eccentric, romantic, and complex star of McElwee's Sherman's March.

BACKYARD, 40 minutes, 1984
The result of McElwee turning his camera on his family and their neighbors, the film is a humorous and poignant look at odd moments in a genteel Southern town.

SHERMAN'S MARCH, 155 minutes, 1986
Chosen by the Library of Congress as a "historically significant American motion picture," Sherman's March, one of the first high grossing documentaries ever, is "an autobiographic quest for true romance: filmmaker Ross McElwee, camera in hand and eros on his mind after an old girlfriend deserts him, trains his lens with phallic resolve on every accessible women he meets along the original route of General Sherman's Civil War March." (Pat Graham, Chicago Reader's Circle)

TIME INDEFINITE, 117 minutes, 1993
McElwee, Charleen Swansea, and several other memorable characters you met in Sherman's March invite you to pick up their story in Time Indefinite, McElwee's hilariously profound sequel to his much-beloved, critically acclaimed hit. When McElwee announces at the family gathering in South Carolina that he's going to marry a nice Jewish girl from Boston, the results are memorable. A series of unexpected bumps along life's road add a poignant, wistful quality to McElwee's chronicle.

SIX O'CLOCK NEWS, 103 minutes, 1997
McElwee pursues murder, mayhem and catastrophe the same way he pursued southern women in Sherman's March. Made after McElwee becomes a father and finds himself at home watching a lot more TV, he becomes obsessed with the nightly tales of calamity reported on by the local news. This fascination soon turns into another cross country journey to unearth the full stories of those affected. As McElwee pursues this project he also finds himself in Hollywood preparing to direct a feature based on a fictional character much like himself.

BRIGHT LEAVES, 105 minutes, 2004
McElwee family legend has it that the Hollywood melodrama Bright Leaf starring Gary Cooper as a 19th century tobacco grower, is based on McElwee's great-grandfather who created the famous "Bull Durham" brand. Using this legacy as a jumping off point, McElwee reaches back to his roots in this wry, witty rumination on American History, the tobacco business, and the myth of cinema.


McElwee's sense of the absurd, combined with a genuine affection for his subject, makes him one of the most fascinating filmmakers working and one of those rare filmmakers for whom the word visionary is appropriate. --Boston Globe

Accept no imitations: A film by Ross McElwee could be made by no other.
Since his hilarious autobiographical breakthrough, SHERMAN'S MARCH, the profound artist-philosopher has been using his own life as a springboard to examine humankind's biggest issues, and tiniest. McElwee makes movies the way life might, ideally, be lived. --Entertainment Weekly

This most unusual of filmmakers makes intensely personal documentaries that are more like home movies of the soul. --USA Today

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Loses a star for an unfortunate FACTORY DEFECT December 7, 2005
This is a long-overdue DVD collection assembling the work of one of America's true hidden treasures, documentary filmmaker Ross McElwee. McElwee, a genteel Southern neurotic (think Woody Allen meets Tennessee Williams) has essentially been documenting his personal life since the mid 70's and managed to turn all those thousands of feet of footage into some of the most simultaneously original, hilarious, moving, thought-provoking and entertaining films that most people have never seen. Audiences weaned on the glut of "reality TV" of recent years may shrug thier shoulders and say "what's the big deal about one more schmuck making glorified home movies?" but they would be missing an enriching glimpse into the human condition. In addition to a couple of McElwee's more rarely screened early works- his debut "Backyard" and "Charleen", you get two bonifide classics about the eternal search for love and acceptance-"Sherman's March" and its unofficial "sequel", "Time Indefinite" plus his masterful meditation on the random cruelty of fate, "Six O'Clock News". NOW FOR THE BAD NEWS: First let me tell you that I own two DVD players-one is a standard Region 1, and the other an "all region". Here is what I have experienced with the film "Bright Leaves" (McElwee's most recent film included in the box). Straight and simple-IT DOES NOT PLAY. This is my conclusion after renting 2 (that is TWO) different copies of the "stand alone" release by this studio from my local video store. Neither one played past the FBI Warning (on EITHER of my 2 players). I also RENTED this boxed set as opposed to purchasing, because I was wary, and sure enough, the version of "Bright Leaves" included in the box set ALSO DOES NOT PLAY. I hope someone from the releasing studio reads this and addresses this obvious problem. It's keeping this eager consumer from investing in the box set, as much as I would love to own it. Have any other Amazon reviewers encountered this issue?
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Gold Standard January 25, 2006
Ross McElwee is the Gold Standard of personal film documentarians. His low tech approach (he's a one-man operation) allows him easy access to a scene that might otherwise be distracted or compromised by a crew. But what makes his films memorable is his kind-hearted, dead-pan wit.

This collection is a great film school for aspiring documentarians now that digital technology has made his method available to practically everyone. He shows how focusing on the mundane aspects of life add up, illuminating the profound.

BTW, to reviewer D.Hartley, all my disks, which I bought through, play with no problem.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant March 16, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
I just couldn't disagree more vigorously with "Chewbacca." SHERMAN'S MARCH was wondrous, but many were tempted to compare its wit with regard to romance with Woody Allen's take on that subject. Though SM touched on nuclear war, etc, it was still about a young guy looking for love. TIME INDEFINITE is a much weightier investigation of death and love and family, but the wit and gentle affection is still there. It's much more Kafka or Camus than Woody Allen. And, if anything, McElwee's ability to collage the small incidents of his life into something profound has only increased.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fine, Quiet Chronicle April 21, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
This is a real masterwork. It's a subtle, painful film and takes some time to develop, but the themes it considers are profound. McElwee is a charming man, and his omnipresence never grates. Indeed, the viewer is often aware of the camera only as a surrogate self. When watching this movie one feels honored to be observing firsthand the life of another person and community, and ain't that why we go to the movies?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ross McElwee's films February 4, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Ross McElwee is a surprisingly modest genius! Everybody that I introduce to his films is excited, impressed and begs to see more of Ross's profound and also humorous work
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius December 10, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Ross McElwee is a genius. The special features in this collection aren't great, but it's nice to have the movies all in one collection.
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