DVDs that shaped 2010: World cinema DVDs

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The Independent Culture

The French New Wave is not so new any more, but it has had a resurgence with the DVD issue of films from Agnès Varda's real-time Cleo from 5 to 7 to Eric Rohmer's classic morality tale My Night with Maud, via two suspense-filled volumes of Claude Chabrol thrillers and one collection of Alain Resnais's dissections of love.

The French, in fact, had a dazzling year, what with Jacques Audiard's masterful prison drama A Prophet; the Vincent Cassel-fuelled telling of the violent life of the gangster Jacques Mesrine; and Olivier Assayas's enormously impressive epic Carlos, the story of the Jackal, which, despite its 330-minute, never flagged.

The Austrians, too, had something to cheer: Michael Haneke's The White Ribbon was outstanding; Gotz Spielmann's Revanche was an exemplary tale of vengeance; and two terrific films from Jessica Hausner, Hotel and Lovely Rita, were finally released.

One of the most bizarre DVDs came from Belgium: A Town Called Panic. Utter lunacy, but enormous fun. And from the Far East came two of the most powerful films: Still Walking, a Japanese Ozu-esque arthouse triumph from Hirokazu Kore-eda; and the Korean director Joon-ho Bong's infinitely quirky Mother.