The pointed political satire Blade on the Feather stars Tom Conti as Daniel, a scholar who shows up at the home of Jason (Donald Pleasence) a famous author who is writing his memoirs. Potter systematically tears away his characters' social masks and engineers clever plot twists.
We learn that Daniel isn't a fan of the right-wing author, but his sworn enemy. He suspects Jason is a communist mole. Or is he?
Potter's sardonic wit is as sharp in Rain on the Roof, the story of a bourgeois couple torn apart by infidelity, who are visited by an avenging angel in the form of an illiterate country bumpkin. The weakest piece, Cream in my Coffee, follows an unhappy elderly couple haunted by powerful memories as they visit the hotel where they first made love.
Other DVDs of Note
Epitaph from TLA Video (www.tlareleasing.com; $19.99; not rated) is a dreamy, poetic Korean film about love, loss and death, which is shot through with moments of paralyzing terror. Moments before his death, an old doctor recounts how he became married to a ghost while he was in medical school.
Hong Kong superstars Andy Lau and Daniel Wu star on opposite sides of the law in Derek Tung-Sing Yee's breathtaking cop thriller Protg from Dragon Dynasty (www.dragondynasty.com; $19.98; not rated). A tragedy about the drug trade, the film displays an uncommon intelligence and depth of feeling.
Dutch helmer Pieter Kuijpers presents an accomplished, if disturbing, yarn about a child molester on the run in Nothing to Lose, due out Tuesday from BFS (www.bfsent.com; $24.98; not rated). The chilling thriller, which won the Jury Award at the 2008 Philadelphia Film Festival, raises the question: Are criminals ever capable being rehabilitated? It manages to paint its broken anti-hero in a sympathetic light - until its explosive end.
Learn why Alec Guinness is so celebrated in his native Britain as a comic actor with The Alec Guinness Collection from Lionsgate (www.lionsgateshop.com; $39.98; not rated), featuring five of Guinness' greatest comedies, including the 1949 masterpiece Kind Hearts and Coronets. Also check out Lionsgate's five-film Peter Sellers Collection ($39.98; not rated).
Careful (Remastered and Repressed), from Zeitgeist Films www.zeitgeistfilms.com; $29.99; not rated) features a pristine copy of Canadian avant-guarde master Guy Maddin's droll satire about a 19th-century mountain community where no one is allowed to make noise lest they trigger an avalanche.
Revisit Olivier Assayas' biting satire about the French film industry, Irma Vep (Essential Edition) in a new edition packed with extras, also from Zeitgeist ($29.99; not rated). A has-been director casts Hong Kong beauty Maggie Cheung in a remake of the 1915 classic Les Vampires.
Curious about the source material? Les Vampires, Louis Feuillade's 6-hour silent classic about a mysterious band of criminals, is available from Image (www.image-entertainment.com; $39.99; not rated).
French director Bertrand Tavernier (Atlantic City) returns to America with the Southern thriller In the Electric Mist also from Image ($27.98; rated R). Tommy Lee Jones and John Goodman star in a tale of greed and corruption in the Louisiana bayou, based on James Lee Burke's best-selling novel.
John Houseman reprises his role as a demanding law professor in the '70s TV series The Paper Chase: Season One from Shout Factory (www.shoutfactory.com; $49.99; rated G).
Trust the Swedish to make the most imaginative and touching vampire film since 1987's Near Dark. Let The Right One In from Magnolia (www.magpictures.com; $26.98; rated R) is a gorgeously shot and scored romance about a 12-year-old boy who is mercilessly bullied by his classmates until his new neighbor, a girl who is 12-going-on-50, teaches him to stand up for himself - that is, while she's not out biting one or another of her neighbors' necks for a liquid dinner.
Sally Hawkins turns in a brilliant performance as a woman who is compulsively cheerful in Mike Leigh's dramedy, Happy-Go-Lucky from Miramax (www.miramax.com; $29.99; rated R).
Contact staff writer Tirdad Derakhshani at 215-854-2736 or firstname.lastname@example.org.