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OnVideo's Guide to Blu-ray Debuts


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    September 5
  • Rebecca

    photo for Rebecca (1940) Romance becomes psychodrama in Alfred Hitchcock’s elegantly crafted "Rebecca," his first foray into Hollywood filmmaking. A dreamlike adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s 1938 novel, the film stars the enchanting Joan Fontaine as a young woman who believes she has found her heart’s desire when she marries the dashing aristocratic widower Maxim de Winter (played with cunning vulnerability by Laurence Olivier). But upon moving to Manderley -- her groom’s baroque ancestral mansion -- she soon learns that his deceased wife haunts not only the home but the temperamental, brooding Maxim as well. The start of Hitchcock’s legendary collaboration with producer David O. Selznick, this elegiac gothic vision, captured in stunning black and white by George Barnes, took home the Academy Awards for best picture and best cinematography. On DVD and Blu-ray, with new 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Extras: Audio commentary from 1990 featuring film scholar Leonard J. Leff; isolated music and effects track; new conversation between film critic and author Molly Haskell and scholar Patricia White; new interview with special effects historian Craig Barron on the visual effects in Rebecca; documentary from 2007 on the making of Rebecca; screen, hair, makeup, and costume tests including actors Joan Fontaine, Anne Baxter, Vivien Leigh, Margaret Sullavan, and Loretta Young; casting gallery annotated by director Alfred Hitchcock and producer David O. Selznick; television interviews with Hitchcock and Fontaine from 1973 and 1980; audio interviews from 1986 with actor Judith Anderson and Fontaine; three radio adaptations of "Rebecca," from 1938, 1941, and 1950, including Orson Welles’s version for the Mercury Theatre; theatrical rerelease trailer; an essay by critic and Selznick biographer David Thomson and selected production correspondence, including letters between Hitchcock and Selznick. (The Criterion Collection).


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    September 12
  • Festival

    photo for Festival (1967) Before "Woodstock" and "Monterey Pop," there was "Festival." From 1963 to 1966, Murray Lerner visited the annual Newport Folk Festival to document a thriving, idealistic musical movement as it reached its peak as a popular phenomenon. Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Howlin’ Wolf, Johnny Cash, the Staples Singers, Pete Seeger, Son House, and Peter, Paul and Mary were just a few of the legends who shared the stage at Newport, treating audiences to a range of folk music that encompassed the genre’s roots in blues, country, and gospel as well as its newer flirtations with rock ’n’ roll. Shooting in gorgeous black and white, Lerner juxtaposes performances with snapshot interviews with artists and their fans, weaving footage from four years of the festival into an intimate record of a pivotal time in music -- and in American culture at large. On DVD and Blu-ray, with a new, restored 2K digital transfer, approved by director Murray Lerner, and a new reconstruction and remastering of the monaural soundtrack using the original concert and field recordings, approved by Lerner and presented uncompressed on the Blu-ray. Extras: "When We Played Newport," a new program featuring archival interviews with Lerner, music festival producer George Wein, and musicians Joan Baez, Judy Collins, Buffy Saint-Marie, Pete Seeger, and Peter Yarrow; "Editing Festival,” a new program featuring Lerner, associate editor Alan Heim, and assistant editor Gordon Quinn; selection of complete outtake performances, including Clarence Ashley, Horton Barker, Johnny Cash, John Lee Hooker, and Odetta; a booklet featuring an essay by critic Amanda Petrusich and artist bios by folk music expert Mary Katherine Aldin. (The Criterion Collection).

  • The Resurrected

    (1991) John Terry, Jane Sibbett, Chris Sarandon, Laurie Briscoe, Robert Romanus. Since the beginning of time, man has struggled with death. Now Charles Dexter Ward (Sarandon), a wealthy scientist, may have found a way to beat it. Using an ancient diary and human remains, Ward begins a terrifying and bloody pursuit for immortality. By the time his wife Claire (Sibbett) hires private investigator John March (Terry) to halt the horrible experiments, it's too late ... the dead have been resurrected. Based on "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward" by H.P. Lovecraft. In a new 2K transfer from the film’s vaulted interpositive film element. Extras: New "Claire’s Conundrum"c interview with actress Jane Sibbett; new "The Strange Case of Charles Dexter Ward" interview with S.T. Joshi, author of "I Am Providence: The Life and Times of H.P. Lovecraft"; audio commentary with producers Mark Borde and Kenneth Raich, screenwriter Brent V. Friedman, actor Richard Romanus and make-up effects artist Todd Masters; "The Resurrected Man" interview with Chris Sarandon; "Abominations & Adaptations" interview with screenwriter Brent Friedman; "Grotesque Melodies" interview with composer Richard Band; "Lovecraftian Landscapes" interview with production designer Brent Thomas; "Human Experiments" interview with special effects artist Todd Masters; deleted and extended scenes from the workprint; home video trailer & Japanese trailer; photo gallery. (Scream Factory).



    September 19
  • Certain Women

    photo for Certain Women (2016) The expanses of the American West take center stage in this intimately observed triptych from Kelly Reichardt. Adapted from three short stories by Maile Meloy and unfolding in self-contained but interlocking episodes, "Certain Women" navigates the subtle shifts in personal desire and social expectation that unsettle the circumscribed lives of its characters: a lawyer (Laura Dern) forced to subdue a troubled client; a woman (Michelle Williams) whose plans to construct her dream home reveal fissures in her marriage; and a night-school teacher (Kristen Stewart) who forms a tenuous bond with a lonely ranch hand (Lily Gladstone), whose unguardedness and deep attachment to the land deliver an unexpected jolt of emotional immediacy. With unassuming craft, Reichardt captures the rhythms of daily life in small-town Montana through these fine-grained portraits of women trapped within the landscape’s wide-open spaces. On DVD and Blu-ray, with a new 2K digital transfer, supervised by director Kelly Reichardt and cinematographer Christopher Blauvelt, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Extras: New interviews with the film’s cast and crew, including Reichardt and executive producer Todd Haynes; new interview with Maile Meloy, author of the stories on which the film is based; trailer; an essay by critic Ella Taylor. (The Criterion Collection).

  • photo for The Moderns Collector's Edition

    The Moderns [Collector's Edition]

    (1988) Keith Carradine, Geraldine Chaplin, Linda Fiorentino, John Lone, Geneviève Bujold, Wallace Shawn. Paris, 1926. A time when anything could happen -- and usually did. At the center of this world is Nick Hart (Carradine), a struggling painter who makes a meager living drawing caricatures at his favorite café. Nick longs for success and even agrees to forge masterpieces for a wealthy divorcée (Chaplin). But what he truly desires is Rachel (Fiorentino), the alluring wife of an obsessively jealous and lethally dangerous businessman (John Lone). A stylish and witty exploration of the manners and mores within a lost generation. New 2K scan from the interpositive. Formats: Blu-ray Disc. Extras: New interviews with director Alan Rudolph, producer Carolyn Pfeiffer, and actor Keith Carradine. (Shout! Factory).


    September 26
  • David Lynch: The Art of Life

    photo for David Lynch: The Art of Life (2016) A rare glimpse into the mind of one of cinema’s most enigmatic visionaries, "David Lynch: The Art Life" offers an absorbing portrait of the artist, as well as an intimate encounter with the man himself. >From the privacy of his home and painting studio in the Hollywood Hills, a candid Lynch conjures people and places from his past, from his boyhood in Idaho and Virginia to his experiences at art school in Boston and Philadelphia to the beginnings of his filmmaking career in Los Angeles -- in stories that unfold like scenes from his movies. This remarkable documentary by directors Jon Nguyen, Rick Barnes, and Olivia Neergaard-Holm reveals the story behind Lynch’s early years as a painter and director drawn to the phantasmagoric, while also illuminating his enduring commitment to what he calls “the art life”: “You drink coffee, you smoke cigarettes, and you paint, and that’s it.” On DVD and Blu-ray, in a high-definition digital transfer, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Extras: New interview with co-director Jon Nguyen; a new essay by critic Dennis Lim. (The Criterion Collection).

  • The Piano Teacher

    photo for The Piano Teacher (2001) Academy Award–winning Austrian director Michael Haneke shifted his focus from the social to the psychological for this riveting study of female sexuality and the dynamics of control, an adaptation of a controversial 1983 novel by Elfriede Jelinek. Haneke finds his match in Isabelle Huppert, who delivers an icy but quietly seething performance as Erika, a middle-aged piano professor at a Viennese conservatory who lives with her mother, in a claustrophobically co-dependent relationship. Severely repressed, she satisfies her masochistic urges only voyeuristically until she meets Walter (Benoît Magimel), a young student whose desire for Erika leads to a destructive infatuation that upsets the careful equilibrium of her life. A critical breakthrough for Haneke, "The Piano Teacher" -- which won the Grand Prix as well as dual acting awards for its stars at Cannes -- is a formalist masterwork that remains a shocking sensation. On DVD and Blu-ray, with a new, restored 2K digital transfer, supervised by director Michael Haneke, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Extras: New interview with Haneke; new interview with actor Isabelle Huppert; selected-scene commentary from 2002 featuring Huppert; behind-the-scenes footage of a post-sync session for the film featuring Haneke and Huppert; trailer; an essay by scholar Moira Weigel. (The Criterion Collection).

  • photo for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band BLU-RAY DEBUT

    Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

    (1978) A musical spectacular featuring reinterpretations of over 20 classic Beatles songs. The one and only Billy Shears (multi-platinum recording artist Peter Frampton) and his best friends the Hendersons (Rock and Roll Hall of Famers The Bee Gees) are four young men from the quaint little town of Heartland. With superstardom calling, this fabulous foursome leaves Heartland -- and Billy’s beloved Strawberry Fields (Sandy Farina) -- vulnerable to mean Mr. Mustard, who steals Sgt. Pepper’s magical instruments for a fiendish plan that would, “poison young minds, pollute the environment, and subvert the democratic process.” It’s up to the four lads to save everything they hold dear with the power of music, kindness, and heart. Featuring performances by Aerosmith, George Burns, Steve Martin, Earth, Wind & Fire, and more, "Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band" is a magical, musical tour through some of the greatest songs ever written, and an astounding time capsule of the late 70s. Extras: Audio commentary with pop culture historian Russell Dyball, original theatrical trailer. (Shout! Factory).



    September 29
  • photo for Hype! [Collector’s Edition]

    Hype! [Collector’s Edition]

    (1996) It’s been just over 20 years since Doug Pray’s excellent documentary was released, capturing the story behind the organic rise of the influential movement that would come to be known as grunge. Fast forward to 2017, where the film is as relevant as ever, and will finally get its first Blu-ray release, as well as an updated DVD release. Drop into the Pacific Northwest in the early ’90s and watch a vibrant underground music scene explode into a global “grunge” media frenzy. "Hype!" follows the music from local bands playing for their friends, to Sub Pop Record’s brilliant exploitation of “the Seattle Sound,” to Nirvana's “Smells Like Teen Spirit” hitting #1 on the charts. Questions of money, authenticity, and fame arise as “grunge fashion” hits the runways and a mass migration of wanna-be Seattle bands saturates the city. The Northwest experience is one of humor, loss, and epic irony. "Hype!" showcases rare performance footage of Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Nirvana (their first live performance of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is here), Mudhoney, Supersuckers, The Young Fresh Fellows, Fastbacks, Seaweed, 7 Year Bitch, The Posies, The Gits, Flop, Gas Huffer, Love Battery, The MonoMen, Melvins, Blood Circus, Coffin Break, Dead Moon, Hammerbox, Some Velvet Sidewalk, Zipgun and Crackerbash. (Shout! Factory/Shout Select).


    October 3
  • 976-EVIL

    (1988) Stephen Geoffreys, Jim Metzler, Pat O'Bryan, Sandy Dennis. 976-EVIL is the number to dial to receive supernatural powers and turn into satanic killers. Hoax (Geoffreys) uses the powers the number gives him to exact revenge against everyone who has wronged him, inadvertently allowing his soul to be slowly taken over by Satan. Extras: New commentary with director Robert Englund and set decorator Nancy Booth Englund, alternate home video version of the film with 12 extra minutes of footage. (Sony).

  • Vampyr

    photo for Vampyr BLU-RAY DEBUT (1932 -- Germany) With "Vampyr," Danish filmmaker Carl Theodor Dreyer channeled his genius for creating mesmerizing atmosphere and austere, unsettling imagery into the horror genre. The result -- a chilling film about a student of the occult who encounters supernatural haunts and local evildoers in a village outside Paris -- is nearly unclassifiable. A host of stunning camera and editing tricks and densely layered sounds creates a mood of dreamlike terror. With its roiling fogs, ominous scythes, and foreboding echoes, "Vampyr" is one of cinema's greatest nightmares. Formats: High-definition digital transfer of the original German version of the film, from the 1998 restoration by Martin Koerber and the Cineteca di Bologna, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack. Extras: Alternate version with English text; audio commentary featuring film scholar Tony Rayns; "Carl Th. Dreyer," a 1966 documentary by Jørgen Roos chronicling Dreyer's career; video essay by scholar Casper Tybjerg on Dreyer's influences in creating "Vampyr"; radio broadcast from 1958 of Dreyer reading an essay about filmmaking; a booklet featuring essays by critics Mark Le Fanu and Kim Newman, a piece by Koerber on the restoration, and a 1964 interview with producer and actor Nicolas de Gunzburg; and a book featuring Dreyer and Christen Jul's original screenplay and Sheridan Le Fanu's 1872 story "Carmilla," a source for the film (The Criterion Collection)


    October 10
  • The Lure

    photo for The Lure (2015 -- Poland) This genre-defying horror-musical mash-up -- the bold debut of Polish director Agnieszka Smoczynska -- follows a pair of carnivorous mermaid sisters drawn ashore to explore life on land in an alternate 1980s Poland. Their tantalizing siren songs and otherworldly auras make them overnight sensations as nightclub singers in the half-glam, half-decrepit world of Smoczynska's imagining. The director gives fierce teeth to her viscerally sensual, darkly feminist twist on Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Mermaid," in which the girls' bond is tested and their survival threatened after one sister falls for a human. A coming-of-age fairy tale with a catchy synth-fueled soundtrack, outrageous song-and-dance numbers, and lavishly grimy sets, The Lure explores its themes of emerging female sexuality, exploitation, and the compromises of adulthood with savage energy and originality. Formats: High-definition digital master, supervised by director of photography Kuba Kijowski, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Extras: New program about the making of the film, featuring interviews with director Agnieszka Smoczynska, actors Marta Mazurek and Michalina Olszanska, screenwriter Robert Bolesto, Kijowski, composers Barbara and Zuzanna Wronski, sound designer Marcin Lenarczyk, and choreographer Kaya Kolodziejczyk; deleted scenes; "Aria Diva" (2007) and "Viva Maria!" (2010), two short films directed by Smoczynska; an essay by writer Angela Lovell. (The Criterion Collection)

  • photo for Othello

    Othello

    (1952/1955) Gloriously cinematic despite being made on a tiny budget, Orson Welles's "Othello" is a testament to the filmmaker's stubborn willingness to pursue his vision to the ends of the earth. Unmatched in his passionate identification with Shakespeare's imagination, Welles brings his inventive visual approach to this enduring tragedy of jealousy, bigotry, and rage, and also gives a towering performance as the Moor of Venice, alongside Suzanne Cloutier as his innocent wife, Desdemona, and Micheál MacLiammóir as the scheming Iago. Shot over the course of three years in Morocco, Venice, Tuscany, and Rome and plagued by many logistical problems, this fiercely independent film joins "Macbeth" and "Chimes at Midnight" in making the case for Welles as the cinema's most audacious interpreter of the Bard. New, restored 4K digital transfers of two versions of the film, the 1952 European version and the 1955 U.S. version, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks. Extras: Audio commentary featuring filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich and Orson Welles scholar Myron Meisel; "Return to Glennascaul," a 1953 short film made by MacLiammóir and actor Hilton Edwards during a hiatus from shooting "Othello"; new interview with Welles biographer Simon Callow; new interview with Welles scholar François Thomas on the differences between the two versions; new interview with Ayanna Thompson, author of "Passing Strange: Shakespeare, Race, and Contemporary America"; interview from 2014 with Welles scholar Joseph McBride; an essay by film critic Geoffrey O'Brien. (The Criterion Collection).


    October 17
  • Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me

    photo for Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me BLU-RAY DEBUT (1992) In the town of Twin Peaks, everyone has their secrets -- but especially Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee). In this prequel to his groundbreaking 1990s television series, David Lynch resurrects the teenager found wrapped in plastic at the beginning of the show, following her through the last week of her life and teasing out the enigmas that surround her murder. Homecoming queen by day and drug-addicted thrill seeker by night, Laura leads a double life that pulls her deeper and deeper into horror as she pieces together the identity of the assailant who has been terrorizing her for years. Nightmarish in its vision of an innocent torn apart by unfathomable forces, "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me" is nevertheless one of Lynch's most humane films, aching with compassion for its tortured heroine -- a character as enthralling in life as she was in death. Formats: Restored 4K digital transfer, supervised by director David Lynch; 7.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray, supervised by Lynch; alternate original 2.0 surround soundtrack, presented in DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray. Extras: "The Missing Pieces," 90 minutes of deleted and alternate takes from the film, assembled by Lynch; new interview with actor Sheryl Lee; interviews from 2014 by Lynch with actors Lee, Ray Wise, and Grace Zabriskie; an interview with Lynch from the 2005 edition of filmmaker and writer Chris Rodley's book "Lynch on Lynch." (The Criterion Collection)


    November 7
  • The Philadelphia Story

    (1940) With this furiously witty comedy of manners, Katharine Hepburn revitalized her career and cemented her status as the era’s most iconic leading lady -- thanks in great part to her own shrewd orchestrations. While starring in the Philip Barry stage play "The Philadelphia Story," Hepburn snapped up the screen rights, handpicking her friend George Cukor to direct. The intoxicating screenplay by Donald Ogden Stewart pits the formidable Philadelphia socialite Tracy Lord (Hepburn, at her most luminous) against various romantic foils, chief among them her charismatic ex-husband (Cary Grant), who disrupts her imminent marriage by paying her family estate a visit, accompanied by a tabloid reporter on assignment to cover the wedding of the year (James Stewart, in his only Academy Award–winning performance). A fast-talking screwball comedy as well as a tale of regrets and reconciliation, this convergence of golden-age talent is one of the greatest American films of all time. New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack. Extras: Audio commentary from 2005 featuring film scholar Jeanine Basinger; new introduction to actor Katharine Hepburn’s role in the development of the film by documentarians David Heeley and Joan Kramer; "In Search of Tracy Lord," a new documentary about the origin of the character and her social milieu; two full episodes of "The Dick Cavett Show" from 1973, featuring rare interviews with Hepburn, plus an excerpt of a 1978 interview from that show with director George Cukor; Lux Radio Theatre adaptation of the film from 1943, featuring an introduction by filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille; restoration demonstration; an essay by critic Farran Smith Nehme. (The Criterion Collection).


    November 14
  • Desert Hearts

    (1985) Donna Deitch’s swooning and sensual first narrative feature, "Desert Hearts," was groundbreaking upon its 1985 release: A love story about two women, made entirely independently, on a self-financed shoestring budget, by a woman. In the 1959-set film, an adaptation of a novel by Jane Rule, straitlaced East Coast professor Vivian Bell (Helen Shaver) arrives in Reno to file for divorce but winds up catching the eye of someone new, the younger free spirit Cay (Patricia Charbonneau), touching off a slow seduction that unfolds against a breathtaking desert landscape. With undeniable chemistry between its two leads, an evocative jukebox soundtrack, and vivid cinematography by Robert Elswit, "Desert Hearts" beautifully exudes a sense of tender yearning and emotional candor. New, restored 4K digital transfer, supervised by cinematographer Robert Elswit and created by the UCLA Film & Television Archive in conjunction with the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project and the Sundance Institute, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack. Extras: Audio commentary from 2007 featuring director Donna Deitch; new conversation between Deitch and actor Jane Lynch; new conversation between Deitch, Elswit, and production designer Jeannine Oppewall about the film’s visual style; new interviews with actors Helen Shaver and Patricia Charbonneau; excerpt from "Fiction and Other Truths: A Film About Jane Rule," a 1995 documentary about the author of "Desert of the Heart," the 1964 novel on which the film is based; an essay by critic B. Ruby Rich. (The Criterion Collection).

  • Le samouraï

    (1987 -- France) In a career-defining performance, Alain Delon plays Jef Costello, a contract killer with samurai instincts. After carrying out a flawlessly planned hit, Jef finds himself caught between a persistent police investigator and a ruthless employer, and not even his armor of fedora and trench coat can protect him. An elegantly stylized masterpiece of cool by maverick director Jean-Pierre Melville, "Le samouraï" is a razor-sharp cocktail of 1940s American gangster cinema and 1960s French pop culture -- with a liberal dose of Japanese lone-warrior mythology. New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack. Extras: Interviews with Rui Nogueira, editor of "Melville on Melville," and Ginette Vincendeau, author of "Jean-Pierre Melville: An American in Paris"; archival interviews with Melville and actors Alain Delon, François Périer, Nathalie Delon, and Cathy Rosier; "Melville-Delon: D’Honneur et de nuit" (2011), a short documentary exploring the friendship between the director and the actor and their iconic collaboration on this film; an essay by film scholar David Thomson. The Blu-ray also features an appreciation by filmmaker John Woo and excerpts from "Melville on Melville." (The Criterion Collection).


    November 21
  • Jabberwocky

    (1977) Amid the filth and muck of England in the Dark Ages, a fearsome dragon stalks the land, casting a shadow of terror upon the kingdom of Bruno the Questionable. Who should emerge as the town’s only possible savior but Dennis Cooper (Michael Palin), an endearingly witless bumpkin who stumbles onto the scene and is flung into the role of brave knight? Terry Gilliam’s first outing as a solo director -- inspired by Lewis Carroll’s poem “Jabberwocky” and made on the heels of Gilliam’s success as a member of the iconic comedy troupe Monty Python -- showcases his delight in comic nonsense, with a cast chock-full of beloved British character actors. A giddy romp through blood and excrement, this fantasy remains one of the filmmaker’s most uproarious visions of society run amok. New 4K digital transfer from a restoration by the BFI National Archive and The Film Foundation, approved by director Terry Gilliam; 5.1 surround mix, supervised by Gilliam and presented in DTS-HD Master Audio. Extras: Audio commentary from 2001 featuring Gilliam and actor Michael Palin; new documentary on the making of the film, featuring Gilliam, producer Sandy Lieberson, Palin, and actor Annette Badland; new interview with Valerie Charlton, designer of the Jabberwock, featuring her collection of rare behind-the-scenes photographs; selection of Gilliam’s storyboards and sketches; an essay by critic Scott Tobias. (The Criterion Collection).


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