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Top Picks: 'Boyhood' on DVD and Blu-ray, the documentary 'Patterns of Evidence: The Exodus,' and more

'Evolution of a Criminal' finds director and subject Darius Clarke Monroe examining his past, Jack Bruce's mastery of multiple musical genres shines on 'The 50th Birthday Concerts,' and more top picks.

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Childhood journey

Gifted director Richard Linklater filmed Boyhood over 12 years, with actor Ellar Coltrane, who portrays Texas boy Mason, growing from age 6 to 18 before our eyes. Actors Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette, and Lorelei Linklater (the director’s daughter) costar in the stunning film. It is now available on DVD and Blu-ray. 

Australian soundscapes

Esteemed Australian composer Peter Sculthorpe (1929-2014) accomplished something of a musical miracle. He evoked the vastness of his home country’s landscape using that most intimate of ensembles, the string quartet, augmented by the addition of a didgeridoo, the trumpet played by native Australians for at least 1,000 years. Del Sol String Quartet and Stephen Kent have joined forces to present the masterly Sculthorpe: The Complete String Quartets with Didjeridu

Ace of bass

Jack Bruce was the musical equivalent of a Swiss Army knife. On The 50th Birthday Concerts – filmed in 1993 and finally on DVD – the recently deceased musician flits between classical, jazz, blues, rock, and world music. He could sing, too. “Theme for an Imaginary Western” is built around his yearning yowls. The concert climaxes when the bassist jams with drummer Ginger Baker and guitarist Gary Moore on Cream classics such as “White Room.” See why Bruce was the cream of Cream.

Retracing the crime

Evolution of a Criminal, part of PBS’s “Independent Lens” program, is a documentary directed by Darius Clark Monroe, who also happens to be the subject. As a teen, Monroe, who was a good student, robbed a bank and was sent to prison. Years after his release, he tries to unravel what led him down that path. He interviews people ranging from his own family to a man in the bank during the robbery. It premières Jan. 12 at 10 p.m. Check local listings for rebroadcasts.

Out of Egypt

History, culture, and religion combine in Patterns of Evidence: The Exodus, as documentary filmmaker Timothy Mahoney chronicles an in-depth archaeological investigation in Egypt attempting to answer a fundamental question: Did the Exodus story actually happen? Presented by Fathom Events and Thinking Man Films, the documentary airs in select US cinemas at 7 p.m. (local time) on Jan. 19. Check www.fathomevents.com for participating theaters.

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