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Top 10 Independent Releases on DVD in 2005
1. Murderball A pulse-pounding sports documentary that takes an unlikely subject (quad rugby) and fashions an utterly engrossing film - the DVD arrived stuffed with superb bonus features, enhancing the flick's already high rewatchability quotient.
2. Mysterious Skin Haunting, heartbreaking and harrowing, Gregg Araki's adaptation of Scott Heim's searing novel will linger with you long after the final frames fade. Tartan Video's DVD boasted superb picture and sound, as well as a host of engaging bonus features.
3. Tarnation Jonathan Caouette's shattering self-reflexive documentary arrived on DVD kitted out with several supplements this year; it's a film that practically requires more than one viewing.
4. In The Realms of the Unreal: The Mystery of Henry Darger An eerie portrait of a man who wasn't really there, director Jessica Yu's critically acclaimed documentary may find a more deserving audience on DVD than it did during its brief theatrical and festival run.
5. Maya A gripping and gut-clenching look at life for young girls in India, this unforgettable film will leave claw marks on your mind; sadly, Home Vision Entertainment didn't include much extra beyond an informative insert.
6. The Corporation A staggeringly complex yet bitingly funny dissertation on the concept of corporations, this two-disc set came loaded with enough supplemental material to keep viewers occupied for months.
7. DiG! Ondi Timoner's rock doc about The Dandy Warhols and The Brian Jonestown Massacre illuminates the thin line between art and madness; this two-disc DVD set is packed with terrific bonus features.
8. Gunner Palace An incisive (and somehow theatrically overlooked) examination of life on the ground in Iraq for a clutch of young soldiers, Gunner Palace arrived on DVD with a healthy selection of extra material.
9. Born Into Brothels The Oscar-winning documentary about Calcutta children given a second chance through photography is also a fantastic DVD - picture and sound are superb, as are the bonus features.
10. The Tunnel An imported nailbiter from Germany detailing the incredibly true story of the fallout from the Berlin Wall's erection in the early Sixties - the DVD boasts razor-sharp picture and sound and the true story is as gripping as any fiction.
--Preston Jones


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