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DVD reviews

The Tunnel (15)

The Tunnel (15)

This is heretical, but this 10-part Sky/Canal Plus take on Swedish-Danish hit The Bridge is actually better than the original, in part because director Dominik Moll tones down the in-your-face weirdness of the female lead (Clemence Poesy) and adds some much-needed wry British humour, in the shape of Stephen Dillane. With an exquisite palette of wintry greys and sickly yellows, the whole thing looks superb, too.

Frances Ha (15)

Comedy drama from Noah Baumbach, a proponent of the school of filmmaking known as "mumblecore". Greta Gerwig, his star here and now his partner, is its poster girl, having featured in his 2010 film, Greenberg. In Frances Ha she plays a middle-class 20-something New Yorker who dreams of being a dancer. If you're a fan of Woody Allen and Lena Dunham's hit TV series Girls, you'll love it. It has certainly turned Gerwig into the queen of the America indie film - or that part of the realm ruled over by white, whip-smart middle-class boys which, let's face it, is most of the territory.

Upstream Colour (15)

A bizarre though deeply imaginative love story-cum-philosophical odyssey from one of US cinema's true outliers, Shane Carruth. He also stars, alongside Amy Seimetz. The story turns on two strangers who are assaulted independently and deliberately infected by a parasite that moves from pigs to humans to orchids. They remember nothing of the experience but when they meet by chance, they connect on some level and try to understand what has happened to them. Underpinning it all are guiding references to the theories of 19th-century American writer Henry Thoreau, though if it's filmic signposts you want, Carruth places his work firmly in the territory of the two Davids, Cronenberg and Lynch.

Il Bidone (12)

Fellini's sixth film and his first after his breakthrough hit, La Strada. Released in 1955, it translates as "The Swindlers" and stars American actors Broderick Crawford and Richard Basehart as two of a trio of conmen working their way through post-war Italian society. Giuletta Masina, the director's wife and muse, features and the film itself marks the mid-point in the trilogy of neo-realist-style works he completed in 1957 with Nights Of Cabiria. Presented here in a new high-definition restoration as part of Eureka!'s Masters Of Cinema series.

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