Sigur Rós: Inní ($15.99)
The Icelandic music quartet ventures where no band has gone before. They sing in "Vonlenska" – an imaginary language completely free of meaning but rich in sounds – in emotional, angelic voices. Their guitar player saws his electric guitar with a bow, like a cello. They are often accompanied by strings and horns. Their music has been used in countless movie and TV soundtracks, and they encourage their fans to attach their own meaning to the songs, which sometimes have no titles. This eccentric, pioneering quartet has just released a DVD film and double live album package titled "Inní," documenting a London concert by the group in 2008. Its visuals, intimately capturing the band at its ethereal best, match the emotional heart of their soaring music, looking like ancient daguerreotypes brought to swirling, riveting life. "Inní" is a stunning, enchanting musical and visual experience that defies categorization.
CLASSIC FILMS Citizen Kane: 70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition ($49.92)
This greatest and most controversial of American films offers drama – both real and fictional. Studio heads thought to burn every print to prevent the movie's release. Enfant terrible Orson Welles – actor, writer, and director in his first film – fought for its survival. It is the archetypal American narrative of vision and power and the battle over who gets to control the final story. Technophiles will enjoy the remaster with restored sound. The centerpiece of this three-DVD set, however, is Charles Foster Kane, based on publishing titan William Randolph Hearst. His character remains the most compelling movie portrait of the effect of power on an individual's ability to love and be loved. That's where "The Battle Over Citizen Kane" comes in: It's a two-hour documentary about the events leading up to the real-life clash between outsized personalities Welles and Hearst. With "Kane," art and life did collide. Other extras include booklets, cards, and "RKO 281," HBO's fictional adaptation of the documentary that provides the final footnote to this fascinating package, a perfect present for the cinephile on your list.
TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Astaire and Rogers, Volume Two ($27.98)
The four movie musicals here again pair the dancing duo Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, shot in glorious black and white. The set includes "Roberta" (1935), "Follow the Fleet" (1936), "The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle" (1939), and the deliciously campy "Flying Down to Rio" (1933), the team's first movie together, complete with dancing girls high-kicking on biplane wings overhead. Extras include classic cartoon shorts, trailers, 1930s celebrity-watching at a garden party (in rare Technicolor!), and a minidocumentary on the greatest dance team in movie history. (Note to newcomers: They were great comic actors and gifted singers, too.)