Scott Of The Antarctic (U)

Studio Canal, £17.99

It's strange to think that when Ealing Studios released Scott Of The Antarctic in 1948 it was only 36 years since the events it portrayed: the ill-fated 1912 polar expedition which led to the deaths of Captain Robert Scott and his four companions. To put that into perspective, 41 years elapsed between Philipe Petit's World Trade Centre high-wire walk and Robert Zemeckis's 2015 cinematic retelling of it, yet the world it portrays still feels relatively recent (even if the Twin Towers themselves are history). Of course two world wars had intervened between Scott's death and Charles Frend's celebrated film, here presented in a lovingly-crafted restoration. But title credits thanking the families of the dead explorers underline the fact that in 1948 many people had a close personal connection to the story. Scott's wife Kathleen only died in 1947 and there were many expedition members still alive when filming began.

Viewed today, however, Scott Of The Antarctic feels like a museum piece, a study of British fortitude and stoicism from the Edwardian era which is infected with an appreciation for the stiff upper lip that clearly lingered on into the post-war era. John Mills as Scott puts in a typically heroic performance but while the scenes which draw on expedition diaries and letters have some rousing phrases, there's a dearth of emotional insight: facing death with flippancy or a bon mot has its appeal for the obituarists, but it's little use for script writers.

What is still immensely appealing about the film is its cinematography and its score. The first comes courtesy of the great Jack Cardiff, who also shot A Matter Of Life And Death, Black Narcissus and The Red Shoes for Ealing. Creator of the second was Ralph Vaughan Williams, whose haunting choral compositions bring a chilling majesty to the snowy panoramas. Parts of the score would be reworked for his seventh symphony, Sinfonia Antarctica. Among the extras are interviews with composer Sir Andrew Davies, explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes and home movie footage shot by John Mills.

Thicker Than Water (15)

Arrow Films, £12.99

This latest offering in Arrow's ever-expanding Nordic Noir series certainly qualifies as Scandinavian - it's set on a remote island in the Swedish archipelago - though it's less noirish than, say, The Bridge or The Killing. There is crime and criminals but the main drama comes from troubled family relationships, specifically the one between siblings Lasse (Bjorn Bengtsson), Oskar (Joel Spira) and Jonna (Aliete Opheim) who are dragged back to their childhood home, a rundown hotel, by their mother. She tells them hey won't inherit a thing unless they run the place together for an entire season. Then she shoots herself, which sort of ends the conversation. Hovering over it all is the memory of the children's abusive father, who may or may not be buried under the disused swimming pool. So far, so Festen-meets-Six Feet Under.

But on top of that are some messy back stories and romantic entanglements which throw a bit of soap opera into the mix too: Oskar's wife Liv (Jessica Grabowsky) used to be involved with restaurateur Lasse, who owes money to some dangerous types; actress Jonna's theatre director boyfriend doesn't take kindly to her heading off for three months; Oskar seems unusually close to the local Lutheran minister who, this being Sweden, is an attractive blonde woman. The music is truly awful, but it's watchable enough and was deemed acceptable by More4 which screened it earlier this year as part of the ongoing Walter Presents strand.

Stuff And Dough (15)

Second Run, £12.99

When Cristi Puiu's second feature The Death Of Mr Lazarescu walked off with one of the top prizes at the 2005 Cannes film festival, the so-called Romanian New Wave was well under way. Underlining his role as a key player in it, Second Run belatedly release his first feature, from 2001, generally reckoned to be the film which kickstarted the whole movement.

Essentially a road movie, it follows hapless teenager Ovidiu (Alexandru Papadopol) and his equally hapless mate Vali (Dragos Bucur) as they try to deliver a bag of “medicine” (yeah, right) to an address in Bucharest at the behest of local gangster Mr Marcel (Razvan Vasilescu). Also along for the ride is Vali's girlfriend, Bety (Ioana Flora, recently seen in Radu Muntean's One Floor Below at the Glasgow Film Festival). Method of transport: Ovidiu's beaten-up van.

Unfortunately the novice couriers are barely out of their home city of Constanta before they're attacked by two men in a red SUV. What follows is a game of cat and mouse as the trio try to avoid another encounter with the mystery assailants while fending off irritable phone calls from Mr Marcel, received on Ovidiu's laughably old-fashioned mobile. As they drive, they argue, laugh, dream big and brag. Outside the van windows, meanwhile, post-Ceausescu Romania drifts past in a series of industrial estates, dusty roads, poorly-maintained motorways and police roadblocks where bribes are solicited as a matter of course. A vigorous and engaging debut showing a country and a society finding its feet - and looking a little unsteady as crime, capitalism, corruption and ambition form a no-questions-asked culture that only benefits the strong.