Jumping on the whole releasing previously unreleased DVDs bandwagon is the Italian DVD label RaroVideo, who is opening the floodgates to their plethora of titles to the U.S.

First off the starting block will be film legend Federico Fellini’s The Clowns, a blend of fantasy and documentary from 1970 that has never before been available on DVD here in the States.

The DVD extras contain a rare and exclusive short film by Fellini, a video essay on the genesis of the film and a 40 page booklet with exclusive Fellini drawings. Hard-to-find, this 1970 film melds memoir and documentary into a circus of fiction and reality where Fellini delights in the role of ringmaster. The carnival-sounding score composed by Nino Rota, and an appearance by Anita Ekberg (star of Fellini’s 1960’s masterpiece La Dolce Vita), enhances the Fellini-esque experience.

Also hitting the streets will be The Fernando Di Leo Crime Collection, a four-disc DVD set of gangster flicks including the “Milieu Trilogy” that consists of Caliber 9, The Italian Connection, and The Boss, along with Rulers of the City — all of which inspired the works of Quentin Tarantino and John Woo.

All four films were digitally restored and remastered in collaboration with the Venice Film Festival. Each is presented with a number of extras, including a documentary about each film. The Fernando Di Leo Crime Collection will arrive on DVD February 22.
“The two killers in The Italian Connection inspired me to conceive of Vincent Vega and Jules Winnfield for Pulp Fiction,” says director Quentin Tarantino. “The Italian Connection is work of a genius.”

Scheduled for release later in 2011 are Antonioni’s The Vanguished, Pasolini’s The Anger, and Carmelo Bene’s Our Lady of the Turks.  The aforementioned Fellini and Di Leo sets hit stores on February 22nd.