Sight & Sound’s annual poll of the year’s best DVD (and Blu-ray) releases is out, and this edition features choices from twenty-four “contributors, DVD distributors, and curators.” We’re pleased to note how many Criterion and Eclipse titles have been singled out. Chief among them is the box set 3 Silent Classics by Josef von Sternberg, which has been cited by Geoff Andrew, Michael Atkinson, James Bell, Nicolas Rapold, David Thompson, and Nick Wrigley. Other titles making appearances include The Actuality Dramas of Allan King, America Lost and Found: The BBS Story, Close-up, The First Films of Akira Kurosawa, Letters from Fontainhas: Three Films by Pedro Costa,The Night of the Hunter, Oshima’s Outlaw Sixties, Paths of Glory, Presenting Sacha Guitry, The Red Shoes, andThe Thin Red Line.
Sight & Sound isn’t the only one evaluating the year in home video. Over at Video Watchblog, Tim Lucas names Charles Laughton’s The Night of the Hunter 2010’s best release, as well as “one of the five or ten greatest horror films.” He’s especially fond of the two-and-a-half-hour documentary bonus feature made up of footage of Laughton directing the film, which, he exclaims, is “the most staggering supplement ever to appear on DVD.” America Lost and Found makes his list too, at number three, and is also highlighted by Eric Kohn, in an article at indieWIRE.
Michael Fox, writing for the San Francisco Film Society’s publication SF360, gives the Eclipse set Presenting Sacha Guitry (“witty and literate adult fare”) his top spot, while Josh Katz at Culture Mob saves his highest praise for America Lost and Found (“The folks at the Criterion Collection have outdone themselves with this, their best release yet”) and also makes room on his top-ten list of Blu-rays for Criterion's editions of The Night of the Hunter, Stagecoach, The Thin Red Line, and Paths of Glory. Plus, the horror site Fearnet has its own terror-centric take, offering praise for House, Antichrist, Cronos, The Night of the Hunter, and Videodrome and writing about Criterion: “When they happen to shine their spotlight on the darker, creepier, weirder, scarier stuff—man, do we enjoy it.”