The latest DVDs and Blu-rays are given the once-over by our writers. Read first before reaching for your credit card.
The film, based on the international bestseller by Sofi Oksanen, opens with Zara, a young pink-haired woman escaping from the Russian mafia who had enslaved her as a prostitute. The dishevelled figure is found by Aliide, an elderly woman who lives in an isolated house in the Estonian forest. But Zara’s presence unlocks Aliide’s suppressed memories of the past: her love, her sister and the trauma of her life. Zara and Aliide’s stories are told through flashbacks and symbolic repetition, as we discover there are more similarities between the two women than they first thought.
Distributors Metrodome are marketing this movie alongside several European 'true' stories of war, such as Cross of Honour and Saints & Soldiers: Airborne Creed (as well as the excellent, but slightly older, Lebanon, appealing to tank enthusiasts). However Russian Director Karen Shakhnazarov's White Tiger makes no such claims to verisimilitude, erring on the side of mysticism, fanaticism and fantasy.
Vulgaria begins with a framing device in which To Wai Cheung (Chapman To), a Hong Kong movie producer, is talking to an audience of film students about the perils of his chosen profession. You couldn't ask for a more warts and all exposé – first comparing the role of a producer to that of pubic hair (absorbs friction), he then goes on to tell them the harrowing tale of how his most recent movie came about. By the end of the story, they'll never look at four-legged animals the same way again.
Journeyman ran for a short season of 13 episodes in 2007 before being cancelled, and it's only just now making it onto DVD. It's a science fiction show created by a writer (Kevin Falls) and main director (Alex Graves) whose background is in character-driven TV (they worked together on The West Wing). In the short term, this might well have been its commercial downfall, but in the long term it's this very factor which gives Journeyman its freshness and charm.
There are few more fitting examples of the contemporary film industry’s globalised infrastructure and the collaboration involved in funding an independent work of cinema these days than Lore. Produced by a combination of UK-based Edge City Films, Porchlight Films (the Australian company behind 2010’s Animal Kingdom) and Rohfilm in Germany, it’s the second feature film from Australian director Cate Shortland.