Like many of you, i was unable to afford even 5% of the discs I'd have liked in my collection. So, BERLIN ALEXANDERPLATZ, THE TWIN PEAKS GOLD BOX , BREATHLESS, IF..., OH LUCKY MAN!, TWO-LANE BLACKTOP and MIKIO NARUSE VOL 1 BOXSET will just have to wait. My choices are made up of retrospective fare, and a few titles that were 'blind' purchases of films that I was unable to see at the cinema. I haven't listed in order of preference, but hope my choices will strike a chord with some of you.
1/ THE LIVES OF OTHERS. Region 2
2/ INLAND EMPIRE. Region 1
3/ THE MARIO BAVA COLLECTION VOLS 1 AND 2. Region 1
4/ PERFORMANCE. Region 1
5/ BLADE RUNNER 5 DISC BOX SET. Region 2
6/ NOSFERATU. Region 2
7. PAN'S LABYRINTH. Region 2
8/ CRUISING. Region 1
9/ THE FUTURE IS UNWRITTEN. Region 2
10/ RISE OF THE FOOT SOLDIER. Region 2
We were certainly bombarded with an embarrassment of riches, mixing the old and the new. It was great to see DVD releases for CRUISING (one of the 80s darkest films) and PERFORMANCE (which has been crying out for the spiffing transfer it duly received) while fans of Mario Bava were blessed in triplicate with volumes 1 and 2 of the Mario Bava Collection, and Tim and Donna Lucas' magnificent Bava book which seemed more like a gift than a purchase. As for BLADE RUNNER.... well, I'm still having a whale of a time checking out all the extras which are adding considerably to my enjoyment and understanding of a landmark film. It's pleasing to note that the newer films amongst my choices have been generally well received. INLAND EMPIRE,I think, is a staggering work and may well be hailed as Lynch's finest in the fullness of time, while THE LIVES OF OTHERS is nothing short of a triumph, but tinged with a great sadness as Ulrich Muhe passed away on 22nd July last year. The last 3 words of dialogue in this film are especially poignant, both in art and in life. My biggest regret here is not being able to find a place for Stephen Frears' THE QUEEN. None of us can be sure how close Frears got to exactly what was said between members of the royal family and the government, but we can all remember the events of that terrible week when the Queen went into hiding and left the country in darkness. This is an extremely moving work, with a clutch of stellar performances including Helen Mirren's Oscar winning turn and Michael Sheen's excellent portrayal of Tony Blair. All in all, 2007 was a fine year for the shiny discs. Let's hope 2008 is just as kind to us.