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New video: 'Dawson City' is a must-see time capsule for cinephiles

New on Blu-ray

“Dawson City: Frozen Time” (Kino Lorber DVD, $29.95; Blu-ray, $34.95)

In 1978, in a small town in the Canadian Yukon Territory, a construction worker unearthed a cache of long-forgotten early 20th century silent films, perfectly preserved during its decades in the frozen ground. Bill Morrison’s absorbing documentary “Dawson City: Frozen Time” assembles a compilation of footage from those lost pictures, weaving them into a history of where and how they were found. One of 2017’s best movies, “Dawson City” is a must-see for cinephiles — especially those who are always on the lookout for films that few have ever seen. But it should also appeal to anyone who’s ever spent time browsing through old bookstores and antique shops, getting lost in the mysteries of the past.

VOD

“Most Beautiful Island” (available Nov. 3)

An unusually insightful, pertinent and personal thriller, writer-director Ana Asensio’s debut feature “Most Beautiful Island” stars Asenio as an immigrant in the country illegally hustling to get by in New York City. The first half of the story is a realistic, somewhat wry look at how the heroine makes ends meet and avoids detection, by doing odd jobs and living in the shadows. In the second half, she takes a gig that becomes shadier and more dangerous the deeper she gets into it. Shot on film, in vividly real New York locations, “Most Beautiful Island” is a phenomenal first effort from a natural filmmaker, fusing genre conventions with well-observed indie drama.

TV set of the week

“Outcast: Season 1” (20th Century Fox Blu-ray, $29.99)

Here’s a public service announcement for any horror fans who are disappointed that AMC’s “The Walking Dead” isn’t really about zombies anymore. Try writer Robert Kirkman’s other cable project “Outcast,” which is much more fiercely committed to the spooky. Patrick Fugit stars in the Cinemax series as a trouble-plagued small-town outsider, whose firsthand experience with demonic possession draws him into the orbit of a crusading minister (Philip Glenister). The 10 episodes of Season 1 gradually expose the secrets of one small town, in ways that develop complex characters without sparing the shocks.

[Special features: Deleted scenes and featurettes]

From the archives

“The Sissi Collection” (Film Movement DVD, $49.95; Blu-ray, $74.95)

Between 1955 and 1957, Romy Schneider starred in a trio of German-language historical melodramas, written and directed by Ernst Marischka, about Austria’s beloved 19th century Empress Elizabeth. The movies have remained perennially popular around the world. They represent Schneider at the start of her remarkable career, and have an enjoyably soapy take on the private lives of royalty — dealing with the pressures of living in the public eye all day and all night. The box set “The Sissi Collection” contains clean-looking versions of “Sissi,” “The Young Empress” and “Fateful Years of an Empress,” along with the English-dubbed 1962 film “Forever My Love,” which compiles the trilogy’s highlights, telling the whole story of how a headstrong young aristocrat learns to accept the responsibility of becoming a leader.

[Special features: A pair of featurettes]

Three more to see

“The Dark Tower” (Sony DVD, $30.99; Blu-ray, $34.99; 4K, $45.99; also available on VOD); “Kidnap” (Universal DVD, $29.98; Blu-ray, $34.98; also available on VOD); “Slaughter High” (Lionsgate/Vestron Blu-ray, $39.97)

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