I may be biased, but I think DVDs make great holiday gifts, and in that spirit I am going to offer a series of selections that are the best of the current season's offerings. Today's picks are three items that highlight the early days of great creative individuals.
First off is the Apu Trilogy, the three films directed by Satyajit Ray that put Indian cinema on the international map. This Criterion Collection release is especially noteworthy because it surmounted the obstacle of having the films' original negatives destroyed in a fire two decades ago.
"James Dean: The Lost Television Legacy" is a TCM release that showcases the extensive television work Dean did before he broke into features with knockout performances in films like "East of Eden" and "Rebel Without a Cause."
A particular favorite of this group is Flicker Alley's release of 1916's newly restored "Sherlock Holmes," a film long thought lost that stars William Gillette, the actor whose creation of Holmes for the stage created the template all other actors have followed. If 221B Baker Street is an address you savor, you can't afford to miss this.