What goes around comes around. Back when the wonderful laserdisc was just beginning to find its stride, and the serious movie buff could actually find most of the titles he or she was longing to see, the DVD came along and all but wiped out this entire format, this entire subculture. Now, at the dawn of 2008, it looks as if the war between Blu-Ray and HD-DVD may be coming to a close. Will one or the other format catch on? Will the regular DVD become extinct? No one can say. But when it comes to movies I'd like to see, none of this matters. 2007 brought us some amazing DVDs and DVD box sets, and the following is my wish list for titles I'd like to see produced in 2008.
(Note: I deliberately left off titles that are already available on import DVDs, such as Satantango, Celine and Julie Go Boating, Man of the West, Johnny Guitar, Lost Highway, Napoleon, The Dead, the Jean Vigo collection, and many more.)
1. Othello: 3-Disc Special Edition
In 1992, Orson Welles' daughter Beatrice authorized a "restored" version of the film that played in theaters. But purists claimed that her film deviated from what her father originally intended, and so the Criterion Collection released a laserdisc edition of Welles' original cut, the one that played at Cannes in 1952. Beatrice apparently blocked this earlier version, and so now only the 1992 cut is on DVD (and out of print besides). My fantasy DVD would be a three-disc box set (from Criterion, of course), collecting both the 1952 and 1992 cuts, as well as Orson's impossible-to-find documentary Filming Othello (1978), which is the last of his completed films I have yet to see. (There are clips of it on the Criterion Othello laserdisc.) On a side note, of Welles' thirteen completed films, seven are available on U.S. DVDs and four others are available overseas. That leaves only Othello and Filming Othello. Let's get on it!