DVD Round-up (October 2008)


The much threatened, barely still breathing DVD industry has had little to celebrate in the last few years. The current modus operandi seems to be: ‘let’s release as much old, new and rubbish stuff as we can before the bubble bursts and new technology sweeps us away.’ One company that is bucking that trend by simply taking the highbrow cinema product they release very seriously is the Second Run DVD. This issue’s roundup is dedicated solely to them.

Set up in 2005, Second Run DVD began with an agenda of releasing important and award-winning films from around the world. Their films encompass many genres and languages and are chosen for their quality and ethos. They are films the company obviously love and want to share with others. Every release is re-mastered to the best possible sound and picture quality and includes a range of original extras.

In the past 12 months Second Run has released undeniable masterworks of world cinema such as Andrzej Zulawski’s 1971 wartime nightmare Third Part of the Night, Frantisek Vlácil’s bonkers 1967 pagan romancer Marketa Lazarová, two indescribably good films by the great Hungarian filmmaker Miklós Jancsó, My Way Home and The Round-Up, and, most recently Jaromil Jires’ much celebrated sexual fairytale Valerie and the Week of Wonders. Future releases include two films by Ron Peck the great forgotten progenitor of British queer cinema and two documentary films by rising star Kim Longinotto (the first of a whole package of documentaries by Longinotto and other British documentary filmmakers). It’s an idiosyncratic and inspired catalogue, most of which is available for around the £10 mark. Without sounding like I have stakes in the company I can only urge you to check out Second Run’s awe-inspiring selection of challenging, unforgettable and conversation- creating films.


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