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Unseen in 2010

There were a lot of films released this past year. How many, you ask? Well, I stopped counting around 500. And I’d be willing to bet that you didn’t catch all of them.

So, I picked out a few of the lesser-known treasures from this past year that you may not have caught in theaters; most of them are available for rent or instant streaming.

“The Red Riding Trilogy”

A collection of 2009 films released in the United States in 2010, “The Red Riding Trilogy” follows the fictionalized hunt for the notorious, real-life “Yorkshire Ripper.” The films are all set in a different year: the first in 1974, the second in 1980 and the third in 1983. Each is helmed by a different director, with vastly different visual styles and a gigantic cast of characters. Both a true-crime story and an odyssey into the shady world of greed, evil and the subjectivity of objectivism, “The Red Riding Trilogy” is an epic but vital viewing.

All three films are available on request through the UW library system under the call numbers DVD TAC-3360 v. 1-3.

“I Am Love”

Tilda Swinton stars as Emma, who leaves Russia to marry Tancredi Recchi, the son of a powerful Milanese family. Although she becomes a respected mother of three, it isn’t long before she grows restless and insatiate, and soon she begins an affair with her son’s friend. Swinton learned to speak Italian with a Russian accent for the film, and the end product is nothing short of an extraordinary piece of cinema that explores the age-old conflict between the young and the old, and tradition and progression.

“I Am Love” is available at the Odegaard Media Library under the call number DVD MAGN 024.

“Greenberg”

From Noah Baumbach, director of the indie-adored “The Squid and the Whale,” comes “Greenberg.” Roger Greenberg (Ben Stiller) is having something of a midlife crisis. Travelling to Los Angeles to get his life in order, he agrees to housesit for his brother and, in doing so, starts to fall for his brother’s assistant, Florence Marr (Greta Gerwig). “Greenberg” was nominated for three Independent Spirit Awards: one for Best Feature, and two for Stiller and Gerwig.

“Terribly Happy”

A Danish noir that channels the Coen brothers, “Terribly Happy” is a violent and deeply macabre comedy-thriller about vice and folly. Robert is a cop from Copenhagen who has a nervous breakdown after catching his wife in bed with his partner and best friend. He’s transferred to a small town where things aren’t just amiss — they’re downright creepy. With more twists and turns than you can shake a stick at, “Terribly Happy” is offbeat entertainment of the highest order.

“Terribly Happy” is available at the Odegaard Media Library under the call number DVD OSCN 011.

“Restrepo”

Winner of the Grand Jury Prize for documentaries at the Sundance Film Festival, “Restrepo” is a look at the war in Afghanistan from the very front lines. Sebastian Junger and photographer Tim Hetherington spent a year embedded with the Second Platoon in one of Afghanistan’s most volatile and dangerous valleys. There, the filmmakers documented the brotherhood of soldiers, the surreal experience of battle and, inevitably, the horrors of war. “Restrepo” is a powerful, unforgettable experience and an unparalleled glimpse into the nature of modern conflict.

“Restrepo” is available at the Odegaard Media Library under the call number DVD VIRG 003.

Reach reporter Robert Frankel at weekender@dailyuw.com.

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