The myth of home video is that everything is readily available for us to consume. We tend to perceive DVD, especially, as an exhaustive catalog of cinematic history, a format upon which even the smallest films have been released. But while Netflix continues to pretend that it that its users have instant access to everything worth watching, countless essential works both old and new remain unreleased or out of print throughout North America. And as great films languish in perpetual obscurity, their place in the canon inevitable diminishes, woefully unmentioned and undiscussed simply by virtue of being hard (if not impossible) to see.
We like to think that we have complete control over the films we chose to value, and yet basic availability—what’s easy to find and accessible to watch—greatly affects even the most fair-minded conceptions of the canon. The importance of celebrating those films without the privilege of even a simple DVD release can’t be overstated, and they need to be tracked down and championed whether it takes traveling to see a rep-theater screening or finding a bootleg rip online.
With that in mind, here are 10 great films very much in need of a proper home video release: