The Ones Below (15)

Icon, £12.99

This short but not-so-sweet first feature from screenwriter-turned-director David Farr is a study in what happens when fate and malevolence meet in a world fenced in by urban manners and social convention. Or, to put it another way, how things can go pear-shaped when you invite your new downstairs neighbours to dinner in your posh London flat because you feel you ought to; she falls down the stairs and loses her baby; and you give birth to yours unhindered by tragedy. Fans of Roman Polanski will be marking this as a cross between Carnage and Rosemary's Baby and they wouldn't be wrong.

Clemence Poesy stars, channelling Homeland's Carrie Matheson in her more dishevelled and less lucid moments, and David Morrissey is excellent as creepy downstairs neighbour, John. It's his wife Theresa (Laura Birn) who loses her baby.

Farr isn't convincing as a director. But he sticks assiduously to the screenwriter's show-don't-tell mantra, as you'd expect from the man who turned John le Carre's The Night Manager into a TV sensation earlier this year. Best not watch if you're a nursing mother, though.

The Wicked Lady (18)

Second Sight, 15.99

Michael Winner never took himself very seriously, so he rarely extended the courtesy to others. Where film-making was concerned, however, he was always in earnest: how else do you explain the stellar cast he corralled for this 1983 remake of the 1945 Margaret Lockwood melodrama about a cross-dressing 17th century highwayman?

Among those turning out here for Winner are John Gielgud, essentially reprising his role as Dudley Moore's acid-tongued butler Hobson in Arthur, and Faye Dunaway, two years on from playing Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest and still channelling some of Crawford's viciousness as lascivious noblewoman-turned-stick-up artist Lady Barbara Skelton.

Sure, we've had the first instance of full-frontal nudity before the credits have even rolled, but the cinematography is by Jack Cardiff (another top drawer recruit) and, with tongue only partly in cheek, we can place The Wicked Lady in a continuum of bawdy historical romps that has Stanley Kubrick's Barry Lyndon at one end and Peter Greenaway's The Draughtsman's Contract at the other. Plus, female highwaymen are endlessly appealing. There's also a role for Oliver Tobias of cult 1970s TV series Arthur Of The Britons, and for the BDSM-minded there's a vigorous (and at the time highly controversial) whipping scene involving Dunaway and a near-naked Marina Sirtis, here making her film debut but later to be cast as Deanna Troi in Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Joshua Oppenheimer: Early Works (E)

Second Run, £12.99

Joshua Oppenheimer may just be the most interesting and radical documentary-maker you've never heard of. His two most recent films, both dealing with the mass political killings which took place in Indonesia in the 1960s, were each Oscar-nominated, but despite the acclaim the Harvard-educated Anglo-British director is still far from a household name. This collection of a dozen of his earliest films won't change that, but they're important waymarkers and, taken together, add up to a considerable body of work.

Many are only a minute or so long, studies in the abstract play of light on lens, or collage-type collections of soundless images. But when you come to the 10 minute Hugh, a grainy, fly-on-the-wall study of a bearded, likeable Christian fundamentalist who believes homosexuals are an abomination, you start to see Oppenheimer tackling meatier subject matter. This film, from 1996, was made around the time he was coming out as gay, and homophobia and intolerance are also the subject of the extraordinary, near-feature length 1997 film The Entire History Of The Louisiana Purchase. A fictional documentary, it uses treated archive footage and fake interviews to tell the story of a young woman who claims to have had an immaculate conception and then murders her baby in a microwave.

The seven-minute Challenge Of Manufacturing is equally unsettling, juxtaposing advertising images with footage from battery farms, and by the time we've reached The Globalisation Tapes and Muzak: A Tool Of Management (both 2002), Oppenheimer has arrived in Indonesia, his grand subject. The first film dips into the sorry lives of women working on a rural plantation, the second drops muzak over a subtitled account by an ancient Indonesian man about the methods he used to murder suspected Communists. Once seen, never forgotten.

Ivan's Childhood (PG)

Curzon Artificial Eye, £15.99

The great Andrei Tarkovsky's mesmerising 1962 debut feature centres on 12-year-old Ivan (Kolya Burlyaev), orphaned by the Nazis and now attached to a Russian army unit where he works as a scout. Dream-like flashbacks to Ivan's earlier life abound - one extraordinary scene is shot upwards from the bottom of a well - and Tarkovsky's startling image-making turns the Eastern front into an apocalyptic landscape punctured by the odd oasis of beauty, such as a forest of silver birch. Even before the haunting final scene, it's clear this is one of the best films ever made about the second world war.

Among the extras are featurettes about Tarkovsky and the film itself, and interviews (sadly not new) with actor Evgeniy Zharikov, who plays Ivan's protector Galtsev, and the man who helped the director give the film its visual flair, cinematographer Vadim Usov.