Mark Boydell's Top DVDs of 2001
Many of this year's releases have really been pushing back the walls of our beloved medium and as a direct knock-on effect has been dealing my bank account some severe blows… There also seems to have been a worrying trend towards making DVDs very expensive just for mere collector value – the £35 I spent on the Amélie DVD being a case in point – but in many cases the added value has been worthwhile and wasn't necessarily extortionate.
My number one release has to be Kieslowski's Three colours trilogy (Blue, White and Red). I've been waiting for years for this to make it onto DVD and am more than grateful to MK2 for the effort they put into making them. The extras added are all fascinating and interesting and the transfer is as good as the films have ever looked. Hopefully, these first DVD releases of Kielsowski's work in R2 (if you discount the R0 release of The Decalogue) will not be the last and we'll see his less well known work making it onto DVD.
This year was also a great year for all the Jeunet fans out there – as long as they could speak fluent French! All of his back-catalogue has now been released onto DVD with Delicatessen and The city of lost children being given a boxset release in France. Although the extras were a tad disappointing, the excellent commentary by Jeunet more than made up for this… The DVD release of Amélie was also a wonderful addition to the collection so hopefully we will be seeing a decent UK release of these excellent films.
Although the neverending saga of Fire Walk With Me on DVD came to a bitter end (see here), I'm glad to see that Twin Peaks has got the release it deserves – minus the pilot though. Although I haven't yet got my hands on it, it looks like quite a nice little R1 boxset and as Lynch's previous releases have been quite lacking in the extras department, it's nice to see that there's a great deal of them included here and the transfer is also quite good from what I hear.
Another release that blew the standards to smithereens was the oft-lauded In the Mood for Love; all DVD manufacturers should be modelling their releases on this one and strangely enough my "bête noire" Tartan have released it for the UK market – after their dire original release, I suppose it was the least they could do! Still the mere fact they felt the UK market was worthy of this is probably a good sign for their future releases…For those who are not aware what this DVD is like check out the review here.
And finally, I've been more than happy to see most of Woody Allen's back-catalogue being given an anamorphic R1 release. Although Allen will never allow extras onto the DVDs, just the mere fact of being able to see these at home is great progress… so keep your eyes peeled for R2 releases of Zelig, Radio Days and Hannah and her sisters in the near(ish) future.