Monday, December 31, 2012

DVDBeaver DVD and Blu-ray of the Year 2012

The good folks at DVDBeaver have tallied the votes for this year's DVD and Blu-ray of the Year poll, to which I've contributed for the second straight year. Unlike years past, however, they've unfortunately opted against publishing the individual lists submitted by each contributor. But as this has been a particularly great year for digital home video, I thought I'd share my personal ballot, as many essential discs, for one reason or another, are not as widely recognized in the results as other more prominent releases. So below you'll find my top ten selections for both the best DVDs and Blu-Rays of the past 12 months, complete with region breakdowns and contextual information. And be sure to check out the complete poll over at DVDBeaver. 

Top 10 SD-DVD Releases of 2012
1. Sokurov: Early Masterworks (Aleksandr Sokurov, 1989 – 1994) Cinema Guild; R1
2. Driver x4: The Lost and Found Films of Sara Driver (Sara Driver, 1981 – 1994) New Video Group; R1
3. Eclipse Series 34: Jean Gremillon During the Occupation (Jean Gremillon, 1941 – 1944) Criterion; R1
4. Casa De Lava (Pedro Costa, 1994) Second Run; R0 PAL
5. Jean-Luc Godard: Politique (Jean-Luc Godard, 1967 – 2010) Gaumont; R2
6. Eclipse Series 31: Three Popular Films by Jean-Pierre Gorin (Jean-Pierre Gorin, 1980 – 1992) Criterion; R1
7. Casting a Glance / RR (James Benning, 2007) Austrian Film Museum; R0 PAL
8. Eclipse Series 32: Pearls of the Czech New Wave (Věra Chytilová, Jaromil Jireš, Jiří Menzel, Jan Němec, Evald Schorm, 1966 – 1969) Criterion; R1
9. Confidence (István Szabó, 1980) Second Run; R0 PAL
10. California Trilogy (James Benning, 1999 – 2001) Austrian Film Museum; R0 PAL

Top 10 Blu-ray Releases of 2012
1. A Hollis Frampton Odyssey (Hollis Frampton, 1966 – 1979) Criterion; RA
2. The Mizoguchi Collection (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1936 – 1946) Artificial Eye; RB
3. Trilogy of Life (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1971 – 1974) Criterion; RA
4. Gate of Hell (Teinosuke Kinugasa, 1953) Eureka / Masters of Cinema; RB
5. Lonesome (Paul Fejos, 1928) Criterion; RA
6. Die Nibelungen (Fritz Lang, 1924) Eureka / Masters of Cinema; RB
7. Letter from an Unknown Woman (Max Ophuls, 1948) Olive Films; RA
8. We Can’t Go Home Again (Nicholas Ray, 1976) Oscilloscope Laboratories; RA
9. On the Bowery – The Films of Lionel Rogosin, Vol. 1 (Lionel Rogosin, 1956 – 1964) Milestone; ALL
10. Ro.Go.Pa.G (Ugo Gregoretti, Jean-Luc Godard, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Roberto Rossellini, 1963) Eureka / Masters of Cinema; RB

Rants and Raves Section
Best Commentary Track: James Quandt, Stone (from Sokurov: Early Masterworks [Aleksandr Sokurov, 1990 – 1994] Cinema Guild; R1)

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