Songlines World Cinema editor John Atkinson selects his five favourite DVD releases from this year
A Bigger Splash (Studiocanal)
Ralph Fiennes’ post-Voldemort career catch-up rolls on with his fabulous turn as a record producer invading his ex-wife’s (Tilda Swinton) island paradise. Adult entertainment in the best sense. Reviewed in #120.
High Rise (Studiocanal)
This JG Ballard adaptation split the critics, but Ben Wheatley’s film successfully captures the Ballardian spirit of (sub)urban breakdown and class warfare in a 1970s setting that is recognisable but subtly sci-fi. It’s also surprisingly funny.
When every Nicholas Cage straight-to-video release is marketed as ‘an event’, Napoleon is the real deal – the culmination of a restoration project 50 years in development. See Abel Gance’s masterpiece on the big screen if you can; otherwise, this four-disc DVD is the essential Christmas present for the cinephile in your life.
Things to Come (Curzon/Artificial Eye)
The ubiquitous Isabelle Huppert stars as a woman whose identity as a mother, wife, daughter and professional is shaken by mid-life events. The film is as fragile but resilient as Huppert herself. Reviewed in #121. (Reviewed in issue #121).
Rams (Soda Pictures)
Marketed as a Scandi-comedy, Rams is laughter in the dark – Icelandic sheep-farming brothers deal with an outbreak of disease that threatens their whole way of life. Weird and touching in equal measure. Reviewed in #115.
Pick up the next issue of Songlines (January/February 2017, #124), which goes on sale December 9, for more world cinema reviews.