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Jackie Chan, Jim Jarmusch & More Coming to The Criterion Collection in April 2019

This April, Jackie Chan smashes into the Criterion Collection through a plate-glass window with a double-bill edition of his action-comedy classics Police Story and Police Story 2, newly restored in 4K. Andy Griffith plays a boisterous folk hero turned TV demagogue in Elia Kazan’s eerily prescient satire A Face in the Crowd, appearing on Blu-ray for the first time. Jan Němec’s haunting and hallucinatory feature debut Diamonds of the Night, one of the most visionary films of the Czechoslovak New Wave, will make its first appearance on home video in a new 4K restoration. Australian auteur Gillian Armstrong will join the Collection with her coming-of-age classic My Brilliant Career, a breakthrough film for the director and for its magnetic star, Judy Davis. And there’s more: two beloved Jim Jarmusch films-the minimalist masterpiece Stranger Than Paradise and the taxicab odyssey Night on Earth will make their Blu-ray debuts.

Police Story/Police Story 2

The jaw-dropping set pieces fly fast and furious in these breathtakingly inventive action comedies, two smash hits that made Jackie Chan a worldwide icon of daredevil spectacle. The director/star/one-man stunt machine plays Ka-Kui, a Hong Kong police inspector whose methods are, ahem, unorthodox; the phenomenal Maggie Cheung, in a star-making role, plays his much-put-upon girlfriend, May. Packed wall-to-wall with astoundingly acrobatic fight choreography, epic explosions, charmingly goofball slapstick, and awesomely 1980s electro soundtracks, Police Story and Police Story 2 set a new standard for rock-’em-sock-’em mayhem that established Chan as a performer of unparalleled grace and daring and would influence a generation of filmmakers, from Hong Kong to Hollywood.

SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
* New 4K digital restorations of Police Story and Police Story 2
* Alternate 5.1 surround and English-dubbed soundtracks for both films
* Hong Kong-release version of Police Story 2, presented in a high-definition digital transfer for the first time
* New programs on Chan’s screen persona and action-filmmaking techniques featuring author and New York Asian Film Festival co-founder Grady Hendrix
* Archival interviews with Chan and actor and stuntman Benny Lai
* Television program from 1964 detailing the rigors of Peking-opera training, akin to the education that Chan received as a child
* Chan stunt reel
* Trailers
* New English subtitle translations
* More!
* PLUS: An essay by critic Nick Pinkerton

Police Story
1985 * 100 minutes * Color * Monaural * In Cantonese with English subtitles * 2.35:1 aspect ratio

Police Story 2
1988 * 122 minutes * Color * Monaural * In Cantonese with English subtitles * 2.35:1 aspect ratio

Available April 30, 2019

My Brilliant Career

For her award-winning breakthrough film, director Gillian Armstrong drew on teenage author Miles Franklin’s novel, a celebrated turn-of-the-twentieth-century Australian coming-of-age story, to brashly upend the conventions of period romance. Headstrong young Sybylla Melvyn (Judy Davis, in a star-making performance), bemoans her stifling life in the backcountry, where her writerly ambitions receive little encouragement, and craves independence above all else. When a handsome landowner (Sam Neill), disarmed by her unruly charms, begins to court her, Sybylla must decide whether she can reconcile the prospect of marriage with the illustrious life’s work she has imagined for herself. Suffused with generous humor and a youthful appetite for experience, My Brilliant Career is a luminous portrait of an ardently free spirit.

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
* New 2K digital restoration, approved by director Gillian Armstrong, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
* Audio commentary from 2009 featuring Armstrong
* New interview with Armstrong
* Interview from 1980 with actor Judy Davis
* New interview with production designer Luciana Arrighi
* Trailer
* PLUS: An essay by critic Carrie Rickey

1979 * 110 minutes * Color * Monaural * 1.85:1 aspect ratio

Available April 30, 2019

Diamonds of the Night

With this simultaneously harrowing and lyrical debut feature, Jan Němec established himself as the most uncompromising visionary among the radical filmmakers who made up the Czechoslovak New Wave. Adapted from a novel by Arnost Lustig, Diamonds of the Night closely tracks two boys who escape from a concentration-camp transport and flee into the surrounding woods, a hostile terrain where the brute realities of survival coexist with dreams, memories, and fragments of visual poetry. Along with visceral camera work by Jaroslav Kučera and Miroslav Ondříček – two of Czechoslovak cinema’s most influential cinematographers -Němec makes inventive use of fractured editing, elliptical storytelling, and flights of surrealism as he strips context away from this bare-bones tale, evoking the dizzying plight of consciousness lost in night and fog.

SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
* New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
* Interview from 2009 with director Jan Němec
* A Loaf of Bread, Němec’s 1960 student thesis film, based on a short story by Arnost Lustig
* Arnost Lustig Through the Eyes of Jan Němec, a short documentary on Lustig from 1993
* New interview with film programmer Irena Kovarova
* New video essay on the film’s stylistic influences by scholar James Quandt
* New English subtitle translation
* PLUS: An essay by film critic Michael Atkinson

1964 * 67 minutes * Black & White * Monaural * In Czech with English subtitles * 1.37:1 aspect ratio

Available April 16, 2019

A Face in the Crowd

A Face in the Crowd chronicles the rise and fall of Larry “Lonesome” Rhodes (Andy Griffith), a boisterous entertainer discovered in an Arkansas drunk tank by Marcia Jeffries (Patricia Neal), a local radio producer with ambitions of her own. His charisma and cunning soon shoot him to the heights of television stardom and political demagoguery, forcing Marcia to grapple with the manipulative, reactionary monster she has created. Directed by Elia Kazan from a screenplay by Budd Schulberg, this incisive satire features an extraordinary debut screen performance by Griffith, who brandishes his charm in an uncharacteristically sinister role. Though the film was a flop on its initial release, subsequent generations have marveled at its eerily prescient diagnosis of the toxic intimacy between media and politics in American life.

SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
* New, restored 4K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
* New interview with Ron Briley, author of The Ambivalent Legacy of Elia Kazan
* New interview with Andy Griffith biographer Evan Dalton Smith
* Facing the Past, a 2005 documentary featuring actors Andy Griffith, Patricia Neal, and Anthony Franciosa; screenwriter Budd Schulberg; and film scholars Leo Braudy and Jeff Young
* Trailer
* PLUS: An essay by critic April Wolfe and a 1957 New York Times Magazine profile of Andy Griffith
1957 * 126 minutes * Black & White * Monaural * 1.85:1 aspect ratio

Available April 23, 2019

Night on Earth

Five cities. Five taxicabs. A multitude of strangers in the night. Jim Jarmusch assembled an extraordinary international cast of actors (including Gena Rowlands, Winona Ryder, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Beatrice Dalle, and Roberto Benigni) for this quintet of transitory tales of urban displacement and existential angst, all staged as encounters between cabbies and their fares. Spanning time zones, continents, and languages, Night on Earth winds its course through scenes of uproarious comedy, nocturnal poetry, and somber fatalism, set to a moody soundtrack by Tom Waits. Jarmusch’s lovingly askew view of humanity from the passenger seat makes for one of his most charming and beloved films, a freewheeling showcase for the cosmopolitan range of his imagination.

DIRECTOR-APPROVED BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
* High-definition digital restoration, supervised and approved by director Jim Jarmusch, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack
* Selected-scene commentary from 2007 featuring director of photography Frederick Elmes and location sound mixer Drew Kunin
* Q&A with Jarmusch from 2007, in which he responds to questions sent in by fans
* Belgian television interview with Jarmusch from 1992
* PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by authors and critics Thom Andersen, Paul Auster, Bernard Eisenschitz, Goffredo Fofi, and Peter von Bagh, and the lyrics to Tom Waits’s original songs from the film

1991 * 128 minutes * Color * 2.0 surround * In English, French, Italian, and Finnish, with English subtitles * 1.78:1 aspect ratio

Available April 9, 2019

Stranger than Paradise

With this breakout film, Jim Jarmusch established himself as one of the most exciting voices in the burgeoning independent-film scene, a road-movie poet with an affinity for Americana at its most offbeat. Jarmusch follows rootless Hungarian émigré Willie (John Lurie), his pal Eddie (Richard Edson), and his visiting sixteen-year-old cousin Eva (Eszter Balint) as they drift from New York’s Lower East Side to the snowy expanses of Lake Erie and the drab beaches of Florida, always managing to make the least of wherever they end up. Structured as a series of master-shot vignettes etched in black and white by cinematographer Tom DiCillo, Stranger Than Paradise is a nonchalant masterpiece of deadpan comedy and perfectly calibrated minimalism.

DIRECTOR-APPROVED BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
* High-definition digital restoration, supervised and approved by director Jim Jarmusch, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
* Permanent Vacation (1980, 75 minutes), Jarmusch’s first full-length feature, presented in a high-definition digital restoration supervised by the director
* Kino ’84: Jim Jarmusch, a 1984 German television program featuring interviews with cast and crew from Stranger Than Paradise and Permanent Vacation
* Some Days in January, 1984, a behind-the-scenes Super 8 film by Tom Jarmusch
* U.S. and Japanese trailers
* PLUS: A booklet featuring Jarmusch’s 1984 “Some Notes on Stranger Than Paradise,” critics Geoff Andrew and J. Hoberman on Stranger Than Paradise, and author and critic Luc Sante on Permanent Vacation

1984 * 89 minutes * Black & White * Monaural * 1.78:1 aspect ratio

Available April 9, 2019

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Writer/Reviewer, Film Lover, Podcaster, Gamer, Comic 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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