The DVD Filter

Iraq in FragmentsPhoto: Courtesy of Typecast Films

Ace in the Hole
Finally! Billy Wilder’s impossible-to-find, black-hearted classic makes its DVD debut in a Criterion edition. Kirk Douglas plays the ultimate cynical New York journo in a film so dark it makes The Sweet Smell of Success seem almost sweet. NR; $39.95.

The Woman in the Window
Fritz Lang’s noir—the best of several MGM noirs out this week—stars Edward G. Robinson as a crime professor who acquires intimate knowledge of his field. NR; $19.98.

Princess Raccoon
Seijun Suzuki’s nut-job megamusical stars Ziyi Zhang in the pointy-eared title role. NR; $29.98.

The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing
Joan Collins, before Dynasty. NR; $19.98.

Extras: The Complete Second Season
Gervais, after The Office. NR; $29.98.

Three Films by Hiroshi Teshigahara
Criterion restores three films, including the sandy existentialist experiment Woman in the Dunes. NR; $79.95.

Amid the flood of digital-video docs, rapid-fire TV pieces, partisan screeds, and embedded reports rushing out of Iraq, James Longley’s Iraq in Fragments will outlast them all. His film follows a young mechanic in Baghdad, two brick-baking Kurdish families in the north, and the followers of Moqtada al-Sadr in the early days of their rebellion—composing a beautifully shot and relentlessly empathetic meditation on Iraqi identity and daily life. Better, this two-disc set adds commentary and interviews by Longley, who explains how he got such extraordinary access; four short docs by Iraqi film students; and two of Longley’s shorts. Iraq Before the War is culled from the months Longley spent in Iraq prior to the war; Sari’s Mother is the unmissable fourth chapter of Fragments—the tragedy of an Iraqi mother whose son contracts HIV through a blood transfusion and who struggles to care for him in the shadow of the war. NR; $29.99.

The DVD Filter