English filmmaker Michael Winterbottom is noted for incorporating formal experimentation in even his most mainstream genre entries, including
His most daring experiment, the explicit sex and rock-and-roll odyssey 9 Songs (2004), is finally available on Blu-ray from Palisades/Tartan (http://www.palisadestartan.com/; $24.97; not rated; also available on DVD for $21.49).
Kieran O'Brien and Margo Stilley star as a newly minted couple who have an intense affair centered on two activities: sex and rock shows. The film alternates between love scenes (the actors engage in sex acts) and live footage of the lovers rocking out at shows by the Von Bondies, Elbow, Primal Scream, and other hipster acts.
9 Songs isn't for everyone. But fans of the equally daring auteurs Catherine Breillat (Romance) and Lars von Trier (Antichrist) will dig Winterbottom's crazy adventure.
Mexican writer-director Mario Muñoz explores the horrific spate of female homicides that has gripped Ciudad Juárez in the visually stunning, sophisticated thriller
Bajo la Sal (Under the Salt)
from Maya Entertainment (
; $19.98; not rated). Muñoz deals with the murders indirectly by setting his story in a small, isolated community terrorized by a serial killer. We see the action through the eyes of two equally desperate individuals: a veteran detective recently kicked off the force, and a teenager who works in a funeral home and makes animated slasher films starring Barbie dolls in his spare time. Both are hiding guilty secrets. . . .
Chicago alt.rock band Califone makes its film debut with the quirky ghost drama All My Friends Are Funeral Singers from IndiePix Films (www.indiepixfilms.com/; $24.95; not rated). Written and directed by band leader Tim Rutili, it stars Angela Bettis as a fortune-teller who shares her house with a dozen eccentric ghosts who help her ply her trade. But the spirits go on strike, and get nasty, when they realize they are trapped in the house by a magic spell.
Catch the first season of one of cable's best dramedies with Royal Pains: Season One, from Universal ($59.98; www.universalstudioshomeentertainment.com; not rated). Mark Feuerstein stars as an unemployed New York doctor who is hired as a private doc by a billionaire in the Hamptons.
Timothy Hutton and Gina Bellman do the Ocean's Eleven thing in the droll con-artist series Leverage: The Complete Second Season, from Paramount (www.paramount.com/dvd; $39.98; not rated).
Acclaimed actor Martin Shaw stars in two British TV dramas. George Gently: Series 2, from Acorn Media (www.acornmedia.com/; $59.99; not rated), features Shaw as a former Scotland Yard super-sleuth who is closing out his career in Britain's North Country during the early '60s.
Shaw plays a brilliant high court judge whose antiestablishment ethos brings him in conflict with the British government in Judge John Deed: Season One & Pilot Episode from BBC/Warner (www.bbcamericashop.com/; $39.98; not rated).
French director André Téchiné explores racial politics in modern France in the gripping drama The Girl on the Train from Strand Releasing (www.strandreleasing.com/; $27.99; not rated), starring Catherine Deneuve, Émilie Dequenne, and Michel Blanc. Based on a true story, it's about an attention-starved young woman (Dequenne) who pretends she was the victim of an anti-Semitic attack on a commuter train.
The Criterion Collection presents a newly restored and remastered edition of John Ford's classic western Stagecoach (www.criterion.com/; $39.95 DVD and Blu-ray; not rated). The film features John Wayne in the first of what was to become a rich series of collaborations with Ford. He stars as infamous outlaw the Ringo Kid in a deceptively simple tale about a group of strangers who must help one another survive during a long trip from Arizona to New Mexico. With its iconic imagery, its sweeping, epic feel, and the cast's top-notch performance, Stagecoach redefined the western and elevated the genre from the B- to the A-list, and introduced the idea that genre films could aspire to the status of high art.
Monty Python delivers a 40th-anniversary production with the stage musical
Not the Messiah (He's a Very Naughty Boy)
, due June 8 from Sony (
; $24.96 DVD; $30.95 Blu-ray; not rated). . . . Watch a gorgeously restored version of David Lean's masterpiece with
Doctor Zhivago 45th Anniversary Special Edition
from Warner (
; $24.98 DVD; $35.99 Blu-ray; rated PG-13). . . . Martin Scorsese delivers his most hyperbolic potboiler of a pulp thriller since
, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo. It's due June 8 from Paramount
; $29.99 DVD; $39.99 Blu-ray rated R). . . . Jenny Agutter and David Gulpilil star in Nicolas Roeg's magical Australian coming-of-age drama,
, which has been reissued in a restored edition by Criterion Collection (
; $39.95 DVD and Blu-ray; rated R). . . . The impressive young British actor Harry Treadaway stars as a mentally disturbed teen haunted by the death of his younger brother in Johnny Kevorkian's subtle, realistic ghost drama,
, from IFC/MPI Home Video
; $24.98; not rated). . . . Michelle Williams and Gael Garcia Bernal generate powerful dramatic sparks in Swedish helmer Lukas Moodysson's autopsy of a dying relationship,