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Archive for the 'The Criterion Collection' Category

Haneke, Hitchcock & More Coming to The Criterion Collection in September 2017

In September, Murray Lerner’s Festival will join the Criterion Collection in time for its fortieth anniversary. The era-defining documentary caught the crest of a musical movement at the Newport Folk Festival from 1963 to 1966 and includes performances by giants like Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Johnny Cash, and the Staples Singers; the Criterion release’s special features will showcase rare additional footage from the festivals. Austrian maestro Michael Haneke strikes a jagged chord in The Piano Teacher, a twisted psychological study dominated by a steely performance from Isabelle Huppert, whose collaboration with Haneke will be explored in a number of special features on our release. Alfred Hitchcock entered a bold new phase of his legendary career with his first American film, the Oscar-winning gothic melodrama Rebecca, appearing in a stunning new 4K restoration in an edition packed with special features that illuminate the Master of Suspense’s transition to Hollywood. And there’s more: three of contemporary cinema’s greatest actresses share the screen in Kelly Reichardt’s Certain Women, which stars Laura Dern, Michelle Williams, and Kristen Stewart alongside revelatory newcomer Lily Gladstone in a keenly observed triptych of stories set against the lonely backdrop of rural Montana. Plus: David Lynch: The Art Life, fresh from its theatrical release, offers an intimate portrait of the famously elusive director of Eraserhead and Twin Peaks.

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Dheepan – The Criterion Collection (Blu-ray Review)

While I’ve mainly tackled reviews of Criterion Collection films that reflect the past, it is neat to deal with something more modern. Dheepan is a 2015 French film that won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. It tells the story of Tamil refugees reconstructing their lives in France. The film comes from writer-director Jacques Audiard, who has made several films, but caught my attention with the prison crime-drama A Prophet and followed that up with also great romance drama Rust and Bone. While Dheepan draws from some other notable films, it still serves as a new step for Audiard, which can be explored further, now that it is available on this involving Criterion Blu-ray.

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Sid & Nancy, Hopscotch and More Coming to The Criterion Collection in August 2017

In August, Criterion will take you into uncharted waters with the Hollywood master Michael Curtiz’s unsung classic The Breaking Point – a white-knuckle Hemingway adaptation starring John Garfield and Patricia Neal – on Blu-ray for the first time. The films of Sacha Guitry have long been celebrated in France, including the late-career black comedy La poison, the writer/director’s first collaboration with wildly expressive performer Michel Simon, making its home video debut. Mike Leigh’s Meantime, appearing in a new 2K restoration, was a revelation in 1984, exposing filmgoers to the character-based social realism Leigh had honed working in British theater and television, as well as to two young actors whose electrifying performances heralded incredible careers: Tim Roth and Gary Oldman. The latter was soon to co-star alongside Chloe Webb in Sid & Nancy, Alex Cox’s crash-and-burn punk romance, which we’ll present in a new 4K digital restoration. Finally, Walter Matthau exudes wily charm in the lovable cat-and-mouse spy comedy Hopscotch, on Blu-ray in a new 2K digital restoration.

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The Umbrellas of Cherbourg – The Criterion Collection (Blu-ray Review)

Get ready for a colorful and musical delight with The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. This Criterion Collection release has actually already been available in 2014’s The Essential Jacques Demy Blu-ray box set. However, it would seem the resounding success of the Oscar-winning La La Land led to a separate release, as that film is so indebted to both ‘Cherbourg’ as well as Demy’s The Young Girls of Rochefort, which also received a separate release. There’s also the matter of ‘Cherbourg’ being simply one of the well-regarded musicals of its time, placing it as a highlight among the French New Wave and serving as an ambitious inspiration for many films that followed. So yes, for those who can’t afford the full Demy Blu-ray box set, Criterion at least has you covered for one of the major highlights of his filmography.

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Brooks, Bresson and More Coming to The Criterion Collection July 2017

This July, Criterion will travel to the Zone with Andrei Tarkovsky’s hypnotic, philosophical sci-fi masterpiece Stalker-making its U.S. Blu-ray debut in a new 2K restoration, with special features that explore this endlessly mysterious film’s production and significance, including interviews with the crew as well as a new conversation with author Geoff Dyer. Albert Brooks and Julie Hagerty drop out of society and hit the road in Lost in America, a hilarious satire of yuppie dreams and delusions written and directed by Brooks, featuring new interviews with the cast and crew. Robert Bresson presents a world stripped of illusion in his final film, L’argent, an unsparing tale of crime and corruption adapted from a Tolstoy novella, on Blu-ray for the first time in a new, restored 4K digital transfer. And there’s more: the neorealist landmarks of Roberto Rossellini’s War Trilogy-intensely humane portraits of resistance, mourning, and hope filmed in the rubble of the Second World War-will arrive on Blu-ray in new restorations.

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Blow-Up – The Criterion Collection (Blu-ray Review)

I was actually surprised to learn that Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow-Up was not already in The Criterion Collection and simply making its Blu-ray debut. This 60’s classic tells a great story that defies convention by subverting the plot any viewer was expecting to see, while also presenting a good look at Swinging London. The result is a film still held up its style, direction and contemplative nature. Not hurting is how exciting the film is to watch. There may be a character facing a sort of existential crisis at its center, but this is a hip film that has now come to Criterion, looking better than ever and featuring plenty of extra content.

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Being There – The Criterion Collection (Blu-ray Review)

The sublime comedy Being There has finally made its way to The Criterion Collection, further cementing its status as a true classic. The film received multiple awards and other acclaim, including a Best Actor nomination for star Peter Sellers and a Best Supporting Actor win for Melvyn Douglas. This praise was well-earned, as the Hal Ashby-directed film presented a wonderful satirical tale of how an anxious and delusional society could fall prey to a simple man’s charms. Previous releases have kept this film from falling out of the public conscious, but this Criterion Blu-ray easily provides the ultimate experience in enjoying the film and providing further insight in regards to its legacy.

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Straw Dogs, Hitchcock’s The Lodger and More Coming to The Criterion Collection in June 2017

This June, Criterion will bring three of the most beloved classics of French cinema to Blu-ray for the first time with a newly restored edition of Marcel Pagnol‘s Marseille Trilogy, a sweeping saga set in the author’s native Provence that tracks the lives and loves of its characters over the course of a generation. A legend is born in The Lodger: A Story of the London Fogthe silent serial-killer thriller that Alfred Hitchcock considered his true debut, which is accompanied in our release by Downhillanother variation on the “wrong man” theme that the Master of Suspense returned to throughout his legendary body of work. Nicholas Ray kicked off his own renowned career with They Live By Nighta lyrical film noir that would be imitated by decades of lovers-on-the-run thrillers to come, now on Blu-ray for the first time. Dustin Hoffman stands his ground in Sam Peckinpah‘s notorious shocker Straw Dogspresented in a new 4K transfer with extensive features that explore the film’s production and controversies. And not to be missed: Kenji Mizoguchi‘s Ugetsuan indisputable classic of world cinema and perhaps the finest achievement of the master whom Jean-Luc Godard called “quite simply one of the greatest of filmmakers.”

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Mildred Pierce – The Criterion Collection (Blu-ray Review)

mildred pierceMichael Curtiz, the acclaimed journeyman director of films such as Casablanca, The Adventures of Robin Hood and Yankee Doodle Dandy, finally finds one of his films as a part of The Criterion Collection with Mildred Pierce. An ambitious mix of film noir and melodrama, this acclaimed 1945 film marked a career comeback for Joan Crawford, who would go on to win a Best Actress Academy Award. Based on the hardboiled James M. Cain novel, the film is now heralded as a classic for its handling of Crawford’s character, the strong casting choices, blend of domestic drama with murder mystery and many other elements. Now everyone can dive into this Criterion Blu-ray release and revisit this story of maternal sacrifice.

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GHOST WORLD, OTHELLO and More Coming to The Criterion Collection in May 2017

GHOST WORLDThis May, Criterion will present a special edition of Orson Welles’s Othello, featuring two different versions of this visually astonishing Shakespeare adaptation as well as a host of special features chronicling its tumultuous production. Our second World Cinema Project collector’s set will feature restorations of hard-to-see classics from the Philippines (Insiang), Thailand (Mysterious Object at Noon), Soviet Kazakhstan (Revenge), Brazil (Limite), Turkey (Law of the Border), and Taiwan (Taipei Story), along with introductions by Martin Scorsese and interviews with renowned film figures including Hou Hsiao-hsien, Pierre Rissient, and Walter Salles. For the title character of Dheepan and his makeshift family, the flight from war-torn Sri Lanka to the banlieues of Paris is just the beginning of a dramatic, genre-bending story brought viscerally to life in Jacques Audiard’s 2015 Palme d’Or winner. Yasujiro Ozu’s wistfully comic Good Morning presents a gentler portrait of family life in postwar Japan, reworking the scenario of his silent classic I Was Born, But . . ., also included in this release. Bringing it all back home, our edition of Terry Zwigoff’s Ghost World – a cult favorite sketching the coming-of-age foibles of two sardonic teens (Thora Birch and Scarlett Johansson) against a backdrop of all-American kitsch – features new interviews with the cast. Plus: a Blu-ray upgrade of Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 BruxellesChantal Akerman’s revolutionary study of a woman’s work.

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UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG, RUMBLE FISH and More Coming to The Criterion Collection in April 2017

rumble fishThis April, Criterion is serving up a special edition of Tampopo, Juzo Itami’s delirious, genre-bending “ramen western,” fresh from its theatrical run. The kitchen becomes a battleground in Woman of the Year, where Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy play journalist spouses with different ideas about what makes for a successful marriage. There’s also Francis Ford Coppola’s feverish “art film for teenagers,” Rumble Fish, whose stunning black-and-white cinematography weaves expressionistic shadows around an all-star cast, including Matt Dillon, Mickey Rourke, Diane Lane, and Dennis Hopper. Another unforgettable ensemble is the title act of Buena Vista Social Club, Wim Wenders’ exuberant portrait of the performers who made Cuban music an international sensation. And for an encore: Jacques Demy’s color-drenched musicals The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (a big inspiration for current awards favorite La La Land) and The Young Girls of Rochefort step into the spotlight, in new stand-alone editions.

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Blow-Up, Being There and More Coming to The Criterion Collection in March 2017

being thereIn March, Criterion will be celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of Blow-Up, Michelangelo Antonioni’s existential portrait of swinging-sixties London, with a special edition packed with supplements. It’ll be joined by John Waters’ outrageous take on American counterculture Multiple Maniacsa filth-spattered spectacle never before available on home video. We’re also proud to present the first-ever U.S. release of Felipe Cazals’s Canoa: A Shameful Memory, a searing assault on the Mexican church and state that left its mark on a generation of Mexican filmmakers. Subtler wonders abound in 45 YearsAndrew Haigh’s devastating portrait of a marriage, with career-topping performances from Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay. And director Hal Ashby adds a sly satirical touch to the month with Being There, a poker-faced fable starring Peter Sellers, Shirley MacLaine, and Melvyn Douglas.

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The Before Trilogy And More In The Criterion Collection’s February 2017 Announcement

beforeIn February, Criterion will put out the first-ever box set of Richard Linklater’s The Before Trilogy, a three-part romance and meditation on cinematic time featuring intimate performances by Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke. And that’s just one release in a month filled with extraordinary releases, including beloved films by two cinema giants: Pedro Almodóvar’s Academy Award-nominated Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, a raucous, screwball battle of the sexes starring Antonio Banderas and Rossy de Palma that announced the director to the world; and Ermanno Olmi’s Palme d’Or-winning The Tree of Wooden Clogs, an absorbing and sensual film that faithfully captures the rhythms of a now lost way of life in rural Italy at the turn of the twentieth century. All this plus Michael Curtiz’s noir masterpiece Mildred Pierce, starring Joan Crawford in a career-defining role (which earned her an Academy Award); and, fresh from an acclaimed theatrical run, Kirsten Johnson’s Cameraperson, the noted cinematographer’s deeply personal examination of what it means to train a camera on the world, which the New York Times has called “transfixing” and “unlike anything you’ve seen before.”

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Criterion Collection January 2017 Blu-ray Releases Have Been Announced

CriterionCriterion will ring in 2017 with a diverse lineup of films, including three whose directors are joining the collection for the first time. January will feature the films His Girl FridayFox and His FriendsSomething Wild, and Black Girl. All of these releases will come replete with the treatment and features we have come to expect from the Criterion Collection. Start to make some new year’s resolutions to watch great films as you check out all the juicy details below. Continue reading ‘Criterion Collection January 2017 Blu-ray Releases Have Been Announced’

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Check Out the Criterion Collection Blu-rays Coming in December!

CriterionThe Criterion Collection will be releasing a number of films this December and below you can see the list of what great, important, beloved, or underappreciated films they have coming to Blu-ray. December’s releases are pretty much a film-lover’s treat, with directors Federico Fellini, Luis Buñuel, Laurie Anderson and John Huston all getting releases. See all the details about special features and release dates here. Continue reading ‘Check Out the Criterion Collection Blu-rays Coming in December!’

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The Immortal Story – Criterion Collection (Blu-ray Review)

Immortal Story thumbNewly released on Blu-Ray by The Criterion Collection comes The Immortal Story, the first color production directed by Orson Welles (Citizen Kane, Touch of Evil). As can be expected by the curators at Criterion, this release has been cleaned up, freshly transferred and given a ton of love by way of commentary, interviews, an included documentary about Welles, and an essay on the film. If, like myself, one is met with the thought “The Immortal Story? I have never heard of that,” then what a delightful opportunity to discover something worth treasuring we have been given. Continue reading ‘The Immortal Story – Criterion Collection (Blu-ray Review)’

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A Taste of Honey (Criterion Collection)

unnamedThe kitchen sink realistic play comes to the living room screen. “A Taste of Honey”, the 1961 British classic from Tony Richardson, finally makes it’s Blu-ray debut. Thanks to the folks at Criterion, “A Taste of Honey” has been digitally restored and remastered. Completely unapologetic in its’ depiction of life for the poor living in industrial Manchester, “A Taste of Honey” cuts to the bone in a way so few films capture. Where so many films and dramas aim to capture a story with a clear and resolute ending, A Taste of Honey does something  different. There is no happy ending, only happy moments, tucked away among the clutter of reality. Continue reading ‘A Taste of Honey (Criterion Collection)’

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Muriel – The Criterion Collection (Blu-ray Review)

81MWUb-suxL._SL1500_ Coming July 19th from The Criterion Collection, Muriel, or The Time of Return. Directed by Alain Resnais and written by Jean Cayrol, Muriel is a lost 1963 french classic incorporating themes of time, memory, war, and unrequited love. Starring  Delphine SeyrigJean-Pierre Kérien, Nita Klein, and Jean-Baptiste Thiérrée, Muriel revolves around four souls as they attempt to navigate life shortly following the troubled resolution of the Algerian War. Continue reading ‘Muriel – The Criterion Collection (Blu-ray Review)’

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