The Best Stories Of 2013

Recent DVD Releases

A Warner Bros. 40th anniversary two-disc Blu-ray edition and Abel Ferrara’s “Welcome to New York” look at New York City with jaundiced eyes.

By J. HOBERMAN

W.­S. Van Dyke’s “Eskimo” and John Noel’s “The Epic of Everest” are early examples of “hybrid films, ” blending studio and documentary footage.

John Huston’s 1956 adaptation of the famous novel prompts memories for J. Hoberman; PBS’s Blu-ray reissue of Ken Burns’s “The Civil War” revisits American agony.

Sidney Lumet’s “Daniel” and Costa-Gavras’s “The Confession, ” new on Blu-ray and DVD, are similar movies in many ways.

Michael Schultz’s “Cooley High” (1975) and Joel DeMott and Jeff Kreines’s documentary “Seventeen” (1982) look at young Midwestern lives in the city and the suburbs.

In “The Tall Blond Man With One Black Shoe, ” Pierre Richard is mistaken for a spy; in NBC’s “The Man From U.N.C.L.E., ” secret agents swing.

Recent DVD releases recall the heyday of the western, and the way it mirrored social and political forces of the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s.

The French New Wave director made several films in the Golden State in the 1960s and early ’80s, which have been collected in a new DVD set from Criterion.

A Criterion set offers Robert Siodmak’s 1946 noir take on a Hemingway short story and Don Siegel’s treatment of the same material in 1964.

The “Eddie Cantor 4-Film Collection” from Warner Archive examines a high-energy singer-dancer-comedian who personified a certain image of New York in his era.

The Czech director Jaromil Jires’s phantasmagoric workout from 1970 is part avant-garde fairy tale, part hallucination; Gene Deitch’s cartoons for MGM also came from Czechoslovakia.

Robert Siodmak’s 1962 film, released on DVD by Warner Archive, depicts the derring-do of 29 East Germans who tunneled under the Berlin Wall a few months after its construction.

By MARC SPITZ

Little seen upon their first release, the three music documentaries, which have grown in stature, have been assembled in a box set.

Jean-Pierre Melville’s “Le Silence de la Mer” finds a metaphor for the French Resistance. Roger Vadim’s “Vice and Virtue” traffics in lurid imagery.

A Blu-ray set juxtaposes John M. Stahl’s 1934 “Imitation of Life” with Douglas Sirk’s better-known version from 1959, an examination of savage inequities.

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