In this 'age of osterity' it's good to find ways of saving cash, and here's one, courtesy of the fickle judgements of the larger film-watching public.
Many of the best films that are on at the film festivals throughout the year make it onto DVD, but because much of the buying public are either unaware of them, or turn their nose up at that 'foreign muck' they are often found going for a song a few months later.
This post is dedicated to highlighting a few of the DVD releases that I would recommend, either for your own use or as a pressie under the tree for someone else. Ive included the amazon (because that is the place with the widest range/lowest prices I've found, especially in the Marketplace) links to show how cheap they can be bought.
The first section are the absolute bargains - a couple of quid up to a fiver. Even the rest are often less than a tenner now, and sure to go down soon. You can see my reviews for each of them using the festival links on the right of the page.
Going Cheap Now...
Departures - Last years winner of the Foreign Language Oscar, a beautiful, funny and poignant film about a man learning an unexpected trade.
Tales from the Golden Age - Five funny stories from the age of the Ceausescu regime (plus a sixth for the DVD).
Seraphine - The beautiful tale of the French painter.
Mad, Sad and Bad - A very funny and warm British comedy with Meera Syal.
Micmacs - The next film by Amelie director Jean-Pierre Jeunet, a magical underdog tale.
Elling - One of my favourites from Leeds this year, the tale of two inhibited men learning to cope with the outside world.
The Bothersome Man - A man wakes up in a strange city where no-one feels anything. Surreal, brilliant and inventive film with shades of The Prisoner.
Hierro - A horror/thriller about a woman who loses her child on a ferry trip to an island.
Cracks - A shocking British period piece set in a girl's boarding school.
Creation - Paul Bettany as Darwin in the biopic of his life prior to release of On the Origin or Species.
Kitchen Stories - A quietly funny film about the Swedish hunt for the best kitchen layout, through the lives of a survey taker and his reluctant subject.
.. And Ones to Keep and Eye on:
Mary and Max - Last years favourite film of the 200 I saw. A fantastic stop-motion animation about two lost souls finding each other.
A Town Called Panic - A bizarre, fantastic and energetic French animation.
Dogtooth - A brilliant, provocative audience dividing satire about the stunted lives of three siblings in a family run by a dictator father.
Restrepo - The definitive Afganistan war documentary.
Jackboots on Whitehall - A brilliant and funny stop-motion animation from the UK - an all-British Team America.
Skeletons - A great low budget and slightly surreal comedy about two men roaming the countryside for closets.
The Illusionist - Jaques Tati is resurrected in this quiet, beautiful animation with minimal dialogue.
The Secret in their Eyes - This years' Foreign Language Oscar winner. An author lives his desires through the novel he writes.
There's plenty more out there, and I'll see if I can't rustle up another post in a bit. If you fancy increasing your collections with some great films, you could do a lot worse than these.