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On Deck: Indie Hits and Rarities

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1. THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY (Disney)
Julian Schnabel’s biopic of French Elle editor Jean-Dominique Bauby could have been just another guy-gets-paralyzed pity party. Instead, it’s an ecstatic visual riot—Schnabel at his least cynical and most joyful.
More of 2007’s Best on DVD: Sweeney Todd, There Will Be Blood.


2. GEORGES MÉLIÈS: FIRST WIZARD OF CINEMA (Flicker Alley)
This outstanding five-disc set is a thirteen-hour daydream. It’s hard to imagine how the age of Pixar and Peter Jackson (or Michel Gondry) could exist without, say, A Trip to the Moon.
Prefer a One-Disc Sampler? The Magic of Méliès.


3. JUNO (Fox)
Jason Reitman’s backlash-whipped comedy gets the extra-extras treatment, with Ellen Page’s screen tests and a digital version that you can play on your iPhone (note: not hamburger-phone-compatible).
Make It an Indie Double Date With: Lars and the Real Girl.


4. TIM AND ERIC AWESOME SHOW, GREAT JOB! SEASON 1 (Warner)
Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim are TV surrealists with glued-on grins, cable-access production values, and cameo-friendly friends including David Cross, Bob Odenkirk, and Paul Reubens.
More Comedy: Walk Hard.


5. THE DELIRIOUS FICTIONS OF WILLIAM KLEIN (Eclipse)
Before Zoolander, there was 1966’s Who Are You, Polly Maggoo? The former Vogue fashion photographer Klein made his fiction-film debut with this nutso, vicious spoof of Diana Vreeland–ish editors and Twiggy-style models.
Vreeland in Film: Factory Girl, Infamous.

... and the rest ...

6. Friday Night Lights: The Second Season For the off-season. 7. Starting Out in the Evening Frank Langella, misanthropic professor. 8. The Savages Philip Seymour Hoffman, misanthropic professor. 9. Charlie Wilson’s War P.S. Hoffman, misanthropic CIA man. 10. Hannah Takes the Stairs The least mumbly mumblecore film. 11. Before the Nickelodeon A doc on film pioneer Edwin S. Porter, Thomas Edison, and the birth of film. 12. Cloverfield Scary! A monster rampages through Manhattan. 13. The Bette Davis Collection Terrifying! A diva rages through her late period. 14. Blast of Silence A heavy-handed noir, but an apt capsule of 1961 New York.


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