Hayek/Lithgow, Artist Lynch, Forster’s Maurice, French Animation, Drama | Fast Scans: Top Foreign & Indie Picks

Miguel Arleta’s biting satire of the privileged class works despite a few kinks; Lynch provides insight into the formative process that eventually graduated to animation, short works, and feature films; Laguionie’s endearing animated tale celebrates a hardscrabble dame in her dotage; a splendid restoration plus an additional disc of extras befitting a near-classic film; a revelatory pas de deux from two veteran actresses

Heal the Living, The Stranger, Their Finest | Fast Scans: Top Foreign & Indie Picks

The definitive “spaghetti Western”; a heartfelt tale in which the beat goes on; with detached precision, Haneke explores how control functions in relationships; a highly ­welcome Stranger; an inspirational picture for modern-day cynics

A Tolstoy Parable, Wartime Thriller, Noir, Union Activism | Fast Scans: Top Foreign & Indie Picks

This digitally restored rumination on the ruinous consequences of unethical behavior for a hapless innocent is “starkly” devastating; Lilti’s dramedy shows an appreciation for applied medicine; Figgis’s debut is an atmospheric film noir steeped in crime-genre tropes

Dheepan, Zombies, Hitchcock, Oscar Winner Pelle, French Musicals | Fast Scans: Top Foreign & Indie Picks

Jacques Audiard’s realistic drama steadily builds toward a Taxi Driver–like denouement; Colm McCarthy’s meagerly distributed theatrical feature deserves a wider audience; Hitchcock’s rare “failure” proves to be more intriguing than some directors’ successes; French New Wave filmmaker Jacques Demy brilliantly embraces Hollywood conventions

Mysteries to Microcosmos | Fast Scans: Top Foreign and Indie Picks

Grab a blanket and get cozy, because no matter your taste in movies, we have it here. Dramas, mysteries, comedies, or fascinating new takes on nature documentaries; whatever your preference, this list has got you covered.

Cinema Paradiso, Buster Keaton, and a Slow-Burning Ixcanul | Fast Scans: Top Foreign & Indie Picks

Tornatore’s beloved classic finally debuts on Blu-ray; this topical “slice of life” drama errs on the side of underplaying but is unexpectedly ­poignant; Bustamante’s slow-­burning drama unfolds at a measured pace; Olmi’s paean to the peasant life, fittingly told in an unflashy style

Hitchcock/Truffaut, The Quiet Earth, The People vs. Fritz Bauer | Fast Scans: Top Foreign & Indie Picks, February 15, 2017

Holly­wood’s reigning “master of suspense” Alfred Hitchcock is shown as more than a master entertainer inHitchcock/Truffaut; Oscar-nominated for its darkly comic but affecting screenplay The Squid and the Whale is definitely worth re-experiencing

Punch-Drunk Love, Mia Madre & The Best of Cinerama | Fast Scans: Top Foreign & Indie Picks, January 2017

Carefully restored classics, family predicaments and absurdities with well-staged comic relief; and big name actors such as Adam Sandler, John Turturro, and Emma Thompson, makes this collection wonderfully diverse

Best Media 2016: DVDs

LJ video reviewer/Fast Scans columnist Jeff T. Dick rounds up his favorite discs in a varied list that necessarily omits streaming-only titles from Netflix, Amazon, et al., and primarily favors recent releases over titles originally shown in the prior calendar year. Documentaries are limited to popular programs in lieu of arguably more worthy educational material. The biggest takeaway this year? Sixteen-plus hours—two miniseries—devoted to O.J. Simpson.

Fast Scans: Top Foreign & Indie Picks | Video Reviews, December 2016

A survey of some of the top foreign & indie movies, brought to you by reviewer Jeff T. Dick, including For the Love of Spock, a touching tribute to Leonard Nimoy