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Election & More Coming to The Criterion Collection in December 2017

This December, Alexander Payne’s caustically funny Election, a biting satire of political hubris set at an Omaha high school, will join the Criterion Collection in an edition featuring a new, restored 4K digital transfer and new interviews with Payne and Reese Witherspoon. Politics get even uglier in Barbet Schroeder’s General Idi Amin Dada: A Self-Portrait, an unsettling encounter with the murderous, charismatic Ugandan dictator, in a new, restored 2K digital transfer, and on Blu-ray for the first time. Plus, fifty years after the Summer of Love, a new Blu-ray collector’s edition of The Complete Monterey Pop Festival celebrates a watershed moment in music history. In addition to D. A. Pennebaker’s classic concert films Monterey Pop (in a new 4K digital restoration), Jimi Plays Monterey, and Shake! Otis at Monterey, the box set contains new supplements and every available complete performance filmed by Pennebaker and his crew. And as previously announced: 100 Years of Olympic Films: 1912-2012, a landmark collector’s set featuring fifty-three films from a century of Olympic Games presented together for the first time, as well as a lavishly illustrated, 216-page book.

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Election 

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Perky, overachieving Tracy Flick (Reese Witherspoon) gets on the nerves of history teacher Jim McAllister (Matthew Broderick) to begin with, but after she launches her campaign for high-school president and his personal life starts to fall apart, things spiral out of control. In Alexander Payne’s satire Election, the teacher becomes unhealthily obsessed with cutting his student down to size, covertly backing a spoiler candidate to stop her from steamrolling to victory, and putting in motion a series of dirty tricks and reckless promises with uncanny real-world political parallels. Adapting a then-unpublished novel by Tom Perrotta, Payne grounds the absurdity of his central dynamic in the recognizable – the setting is his hometown of Omaha, and the accomplished cast is rounded out with nonprofessionals – and distills his closely observed take on deeply flawed humanity to its bitter but stealthily sympathetic essence.
1999 * 103 minutes * Color * 5.1 surround * 2.40:1 aspect ratio
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DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
* New, restored 4K digital transfer, supervised and approved by cowriter-director Alexander Payne, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
* Audio commentary from 2008 featuring Payne
* New interview with Payne
* New interview with actor Reese Witherspoon
* The Passion of Martin, Payne’s 1991 UCLA senior thesis film
* TruInside: “Election,” a 2016 documentary featuring on-set footage and interviews with cast and crew
* Omaha local-news reports on the film’s production
* Trailer
* More!
* PLUS: An essay by critic Dana Stevens

Available December 12, 2017

General Idi Amin Dada: A Self-Portrait

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In 1974, Barbet Schroeder went to Uganda to make a film about Idi Amin, the country’s ruthless, charismatic dictator. Three years into a murderous regime that would be responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Ugandans, Amin prepared a triumphal greeting for the filmmakers, staging rallies, military maneuvers, and cheery displays of national pride, and envisioning the film as an official portrait to adorn his cult of personality. Schroeder, however, had other ideas, emerging with a disquieting, caustically funny brief against Amin, in which the dictator’s own endless stream of testimony – charming, menacing, and nonsensical by turns – serves as the most damning evidence. A revelatory tug-of-war between subject and filmmaker, General Idi Amin Dada: A Self-Portrait is a landmark in the art of documentary and an appalling study of egotism in power.
1974 * 90 minutes * Color * Monaural * 1.37:1 aspect ratio
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DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
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* New, restored 2K digital transfer, supervised by director Barbet Schroeder, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
* New interview with Schroeder
* New interview with journalist and author Andrew Rice about Idi Amin’s regime
* PLUS: An essay by critic J. Hoberman

Available December 12, 2017

The Complete Monterey Pop Festival

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On a beautiful June weekend in 1967, at the beginning of the Summer of Love, the first and only Monterey International Pop Festival roared forward, capturing a decade’s spirit and ushering in a new era of rock and roll. Monterey featured career-making performances by Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Otis Redding, but they were just a few performers in a wildly diverse lineup that included Simon and Garfunkel, the Mamas and the Papas, the Who, the Byrds, Hugh Masekela, and the extraordinary Ravi Shankar. With his characteristic vérité style – and a camera crew that included the likes of Albert Maysles and Richard Leacock – D. A. Pennebaker captured it all, immortalizing moments that have become legend: Pete Townshend smashing his guitar, Jimi Hendrix burning his, Mama Cass being blown away by Janis Joplin’s performance. The Criterion Collection is proud to present the most comprehensive document of the Monterey International Pop Festival ever produced, featuring the films Monterey Pop, Jimi Plays Monterey, and Shake! Otis at Monterey, along with every available complete performance filmed by Pennebaker and his crew.
MONTEREY POP
1968 * 79 minutes * Color * Stereo * 1.33:1 aspect ratio
JIMI PLAYS MONTEREY
1986 * 49 minutes * Color * Stereo * 1.33:1 aspect ratio
SHAKE! OTIS AT MONTEREY
1986 * 19 minutes * Color * Stereo * 1.33:1 aspect ratio
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DIRECTOR-APPROVED BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
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* New 16-bit 4K digital restoration of Monterey Pop, supervised by director D. A. Pennebaker, with uncompressed stereo soundtrack
* Restored high-definition digital transfers of Jimi Plays Monterey and Shake! Otis at Monterey with uncompressed stereo soundtracks
* Alternate soundtracks for all three films featuring 5.1 mixes by legendary recording engineer Eddie Kramer, presented in DTS-HD Master Audio
* THE OUTTAKE PERFORMANCES: Two hours of performances not included in Monterey Pop, from the Association, Big Brother and the Holding Company, the Blues Project, the Byrds, Country Joe and the Fish, the Electric Flag, Jefferson Airplane, Al Kooper, the Mamas and the Papas, Laura Nyro, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Simon and Garfunkel, Tiny Tim, and the Who
* Audio commentaries by Pennebaker and festival producer Lou Adler, and music critics and historians Charles Shaar Murray and Peter Guralnick
* New interviews with Adler and Pennebaker
* Chiefs (1968), a short film by cameraman Richard Leacock, which played alongside Monterey Pop during its inaugural theatrical run
* Interviews from 2002 with Adler and Pennebaker and with Phil Walden, Otis Redding’s manager
* Audio interviews with festival producer John Phillips, festival publicist Derek Taylor, and performers Cass Elliot and David Crosby
* Photo-essay by photographer Elaine Mayes
* Monterey International Pop Festival scrapbook
* More!
* Trailers and radio spots
* PLUS: Essays by critics Michael Chaiken, Armond White, David Fricke, Barney Hoskyns, and Michael Lydon

Available December 12, 2017

Monterey Pop

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On a beautiful June weekend in 1967, at the beginning of the Summer of Love, the first and only Monterey International Pop Festival roared forward, capturing a decade’s spirit and ushering in a new era of rock and roll. Monterey featured career-making performances by Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Otis Redding, but they were just a few performers in a wildly diverse lineup that included Simon and Garfunkel, the Mamas and the Papas, the Who, the Byrds, Hugh Masekela, and the extraordinary Ravi Shankar. With his characteristic vérité style – and a camera crew that included the likes of Albert Maysles and Richard Leacock – D. A. Pennebaker captured it all, immortalizing moments that have become legend: Pete Townshend smashing his guitar, Jimi Hendrix burning his, Mama Cass being blown away by Janis Joplin’s performance. The Criterion Collection is proud to present this timeless document of a landmark event.
1968 * 79 minutes * Color * Stereo * 1.33:1 aspect ratio
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DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
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* New 16-bit 4K digital restoration of Monterey Pop, supervised by director D. A. Pennebaker, with uncompressed stereo soundtrack on the Blu-ray
* Alternate soundtrack featuring a 5.1 mix by legendary recording engineer Eddie Kramer, presented in DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray
* THE OUTTAKE PERFORMANCES: Two hours of performances not included in Monterey Pop, from the Association, Big Brother and the Holding Company, the Blues Project, the Byrds, Country Joe and the Fish, the Electric Flag, Jefferson Airplane, Al Kooper, the Mamas and the Papas, Laura Nyro, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Simon and Garfunkel, Tiny Tim, and the Who (Blu-ray only)
* Audio commentary by Pennebaker and festival producer Lou Adler
* New interviews with Adler and Pennebaker
* Chiefs (1968), a short film by cameraman Richard Leacock, which played alongside Monterey Pop during its inaugural theatrical run
* Interview from 2002 with Adler and Pennebaker
* Audio interviews with festival producer John Phillips, festival publicist Derek Taylor, and performers Cass Elliot and David Crosby
* Photo-essay by photographer Elaine Mayes
* Monterey International Pop Festival scrapbook
* More!
* Trailers and radio spots
* PLUS: An essay by critic Michael Chaiken

Available December 12, 2017

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Writer/Reviewer, Film Lover, Podcaster, Video Game Player, Comic Book Reader, Disc Golfer & a Lefty. There are too many films, TV, books, etc. for me to list as favorites, but I can assure that the amount film knowledge within my noggin is ridiculous, though I am always open to learning more. You can follow me on Twitter @AaronsPS4, see what else I am up to at TheCodeIsZeek.com & check out my podcast, Out Now with Aaron and Abe, on iTunes.

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