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The Umbrellas of Cherbourg
(1964 -- France) An angelically beautiful Catherine Deneuve was
launched into stardom by this glorious musical heart-tugger from
Jacques Demy. She plays an umbrella-shop owner’s delicate daughter,
glowing with first love for a handsome garage mechanic, played by Nino
Castelnuovo. When the boy is shipped off to fight in Algeria, the two
lovers must grow up quickly. Exquisitely designed in a kaleidoscope of
colors, and told entirely through the lilting songs of the great
composer Michel Legrand, "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg" is one of the
most revered and unorthodox movie musicals of all time.
2K digital restoration, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack.
Extras: "Once Upon a Time
... The Umbrellas of Cherbourg,” a 2008 documentary; interview from
2014 with film scholar Rodney Hill; French television interview from
1964 featuring Demy and Legrand discussing the film; audio recordings
of interviews with Deneuve (1983) and Legrand (1991) at the National
Film Theatre in London; restoration demonstration; trailer; an essay
by critic Jim Ridley. (The Criterion Collection)
The Young Girls of Rochefort
(1967 -- France) Jacques Demy followed up "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg"
with another musical about missed connections and second chances, this
one a more effervescent confection. Twins Delphine and Solange, a
dance instructor and a music teacher (played by real-life sisters
Catherine Deneuve and Françoise Dorléac), dream of big-city life; when
a fair comes through their quiet port town, so does the possibility of
escape. With its jazzy Michel Legrand score, pastel paradise of
costumes, and divine supporting cast (George Chakiris, Grover Dale,
Danielle Darrieux, Michel Piccoli, and Gene Kelly), "The Young Girls
of Rochefort" is a tribute to Hollywood optimism from sixties French
cinema’s preeminent dreamer. 2K digital restoration, with 5.1
surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack.
Extras: French television
interview from 1966 featuring Demy and Legrand discussing the music
for the film; conversation from 2014 between Demy biographer
Jean-Pierre Berthomé and costume designer Jacqueline Moreau; episode
from "Behind the Screen," a 1966 series about the making of the film;
Agnès Varda’s 1993 documentary "The Young Girls Turn 25"; trailer; an
essay by critic Jonathan Rosenbaum. (The Criterion Collection)
Buena Vista Social Club
(1999) Traveling from the streets of Havana to the stage of Carnegie
Hall, this revelatory documentary captures a forgotten generation of
Cuba’s brightest musical talents as they enjoy an unexpected brush
with world fame. The veteran vocalists and instrumentalists
collaborated with American guitarist and roots-music champion Ry
Cooder to form the Buena Vista Social Club, playing a jazz-inflected
mix of cha-cha, mambo, bolero, and other traditional Latin American
styles, and recording an album that won a Grammy and made them an
international phenomenon. In the wake of this success, director Wim
Wenders filmed the ensemble’s members -- including golden-voiced
Ibrahim Ferrer and piano virtuoso Rubén González -- in a series of
illuminating interviews and live performances. The result is one of
the most beloved music documentaries of the 1990s, and an infectious
ode to a neglected corner of Cuba’s prerevolutionary heritage.
New high-definition digital transfer, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack.
Extras: Audio commentary
from 1999 featuring director Wim Wenders; new interview with Wenders;
"We Believe in Dreams," a new piece featuring never-before-seen
outtakes from the rehearsals for the Buena Vista Social Club’s
Amsterdam concerts; interview from 1998 with musician Compay Segundo
on his career and the Cuban music scene; radio interviews from 2000
featuring musicians Ibrahim Ferrer, Rubén González, Eliades Ochoa,
Omara Portuondo, and others; additional scenes; trailer; an essay by
author and geographer Joshua Jelly-Schapiro. (The Criterion
The Handmaid’s Tale
(1990) Dir.: Volker Schlöndorff; Natasha Richardson, Faye Dunaway, Robert Duvall, Aidan Quinn, Elizabeth McGovern. Based on Margaret Atwood's controversial and critically acclaimed best-selling novel. In the not-so-distant future, the strong-willed and beautiful Kate (Richardson) possesses a precious commodity that most women have lost and most men want to control... fertility. Having committed a crime by trying to escape the country, she is sentenced to life as a Handmaid. Leaving a brain-washing bootcamp that turns fertile women into surrogate mothers for elite men and their infertile wives, Kate thinks she's made out well when she's assigned to an eminent party leader (Duvall). But when she learns that he's sterile, she's faced with the impossible choice: produce him an heir or die. Formats: Blu-ray/DVD Combo. (Shout! Factory’s Shout Select).
Tales From the Hood BLU-RAY DEBUT
(1995) This cult horror anthology from director Rusty Cundieff and executive producer Spike Lee was lauded for its take on complex social issues like police brutality and domestic abuse. Stack, Ball and Bulldog arrive at a local funeral parlor to retrieve a lost drug stash held by the mortician Mr. Simms (Clarence Williams III). But Mr. Simms has plans for the boys. He leads them on a tour of his establishment, introducing them to his corpses. Even the dead have tales to tell and Mr. Simms is willing to tell them all. And you better listen -- because when you’re in the ‘hood, even everyday life can lead to extraordinary terror. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, VOD, Digital, UltraViolet (cloud). Extras: New "Welcome to Hell: The Making of Tales from the Hood" featurette featuring interviews with director-writer Rusty Cundieff, producer-writer Darin Scott, actors Corbin Bernsen, Wings Hauser and Anthony Griffith, special effects supervisor Kenneth Hall, doll effects supervisors Charles Chiodo and Edward Chiodo; commentary with Cundieff; vintage “Making of” featurette; original theatrical trailer; original TV spots; still gallery. (Scream Factory).
Woman of the Year
(1942) Before Katharine Hepburn ever met Spencer Tracy, she wanted him
as her co-star in this film. George Stevens’ "Woman of the Year,"
conceived to build on the smashing comeback Hepburn had made in "The
Philadelphia Story," is the story of rival newspaper reporters who wed
only to find that their careers aren’t so compatible, and in it the
pair forged a fresh and realistic vision of what marriage could be.
The freewheeling but pinpoint-sharp screenplay by Ring Lardner Jr. and
Michael Kanin won an Academy Award, and Hepburn was nominated for best
actress. "Woman of the Year" marks the beginning of the personal and
professional union between Hepburn and Tracy, who would go on to make
eight more films together, and it stands as a dazzling, funny, and
sometimes rueful observation of what it takes for men and women to get
along — both in the workplace and out of it. New high-definition digital
restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack.
Extras: New interview with
George Stevens Jr., the director’s son; new interview with George
Stevens biographer Marilyn Ann Moss; new interview with writer Claudia
Roth Pierpont on actor Katharine Hepburn; "The Spencer Tracy Legacy: A
Tribute by Katharine Hepburn," an 86-minute documentary from 1986;
trailer; an essay by critic Stephanie Zacharek. (The Criterion
(1983) In this deeply personal tale of estrangement and reconciliation
between two rebellious brothers, set in a dreamlike and timeless
Tulsa, Francis Ford Coppola gives mythic dimensions to intimate,
painful emotions. After releasing the classically styled "The
Outsiders" earlier the same year, the director returned to the work of
S. E. Hinton, this time with a self-described “art film for
teenagers.” Graced with a remarkable cast headed by Matt Dillon,
Mickey Rourke, Diane Lane, Dennis Hopper, Diana Scarwid, Vincent
Spano, Nicolas Cage and Chris Penn; haunting black-and-white visuals
that hark back to German expressionism and forward to Coppola’s own
"Tetro"; and a powerful, percussive score by Stewart Copeland that
underscores the movie’s romantic fatalism, "Rumble Fish" pulsates
throughout with genuine love and dread. New 4K digital restoration,
supervised by director of photography Stephen H. Burum and approved by
Coppola, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack.
remastered 5.1 surround soundtrack, presented in DTS-HD Master Audio
on the Blu-ray; audio commentary featuring Coppola; new interviews
with Coppola, author and co-screenwriter S. E. Hinton, and associate
producer Roman Coppola; new conversation between Burum and production
designer Dean Tavoularis; pieces from 2005 about the film’s score and
production; interviews from 1983 with actors Dillon, Lane, and
Vincent Spano and producer Doug Claybourne; French television
interview from 1984 with actor Rourke; "Locations: Looking for Rusty
James," a 2013 documentary by Alberto Fuguet about the impact of
"Rumble Fish"; new piece about the film’s existentialist elements;
"Don’t Box Me In” music video; deleted scenes; trailer; an essay by
critic Glenn Kenny. (The Criterion Collection)
(1985 -- Japan) The tale of an eccentric band of culinary ronin who
guide the widow of a noodle shop owner on her quest for the perfect
recipe, this rapturous “ramen western” by Japanese director Juzo Itami
is an entertaining, genre-bending adventure underpinned by a deft
satire of the way social conventions distort the most natural of human
urges, our appetites. Interspersing the efforts of Tampopo (Nobuko
Miyamoto) and friends to make her café a success with the erotic
exploits of a gastronome gangster and glimpses of food culture both
high and low, the sweet, sexy, and surreal "Tampopo" is a lavishly
inclusive paean to the sensual joys of nourishment, and one of the
most mouthwatering examples of food on film ever made.
New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack.
Extras: "The Making of
Tampopo,” a 90-minute documentary from 1986, narrated by director Juzo
Itami; new interview with actor Nobuko Miyamoto; new interviews with
ramen scholar Hiroshi Osaki; food stylist Seiko Ogawa; and American
chefs Sam White, Rayneil De Guzman, Jerry Jaksich, and others' "Rubber
Band Pistol," Itami’s 1962 debut short film; new video essay by Tony
Zhou and Taylor Ramos on the film’s themes of self-improvement and
mastery of a craft; trailer; an essay by food and culture writer Willy
Blackmore. (The Criterion Collection)
Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai Du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles
(1975) A singular work in film history, Chantal Akerman's "Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles" meticulously details, with a sense of impending doom, the daily routine of a middle-aged widow (Delphine Seyrig) -- whose chores include making the beds, cooking dinner for her son, and turning the occasional trick. In its enormous spareness, Akerman's film seems simple, but it encompasses an entire world. Whether seen as an exacting character study or one of cinema's most hypnotic and complete depictions of space and time, Jeanne Dielman is an astonishing, compelling movie experiment, one that has been analyzed and argued over for decades. New 2K digital restoration undertaken by the Royal Belgian Film Archive, supervised by director of photography Babette Mangolte, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack. Extras: "Autour de Jeanne Dielman," a 69-minute documentary-shot by actor Sami Frey and edited by Agnes Ravez and director Chantal Akerman, made during the filming of "Jeanne Dielman"; interviews from 2009 with Akerman and Mangolte; excerpt from "Chantal Akerman par Chantal Akerman," a 1997 episode of the French television program "Cinéma de notre temps"; interview from 2007 with Akerman's mother, Natalia; excerpt from a 1976 television interview featuring Akerman and actor Delphine Seyrig; "Saute ma ville" (1968), Akerman's first film, with an introduction by the director; a booklet featuring an essay by film scholar Ivone Margulies. (The Criterion Collection).
Serial Mom Collector's Edition
(1994) Kathleen Turner, Sam Watersto, Ricki Lake, Mink Stole, Patricia Hearst, Matthew Lillard, Mary Jo Catlett, Traci Lords, Suzanne Somers. If you are ill-mannered, have a poor sense of social etiquette or just plain irresponsible, then beware of the cheerfully psychotic housewife Beverly Sutphin from John Waters’ wickedly hilarious cult classic. Formats: Blu-ray Disc. Extras: New conversation with director John Waters, actress Kathleen Turner and actress Mink Stole; "Serial Mom: Surreal Moments" featuring interviews with Waters, Stole, actress Patricia Hearst, actress Ricki Lake, actor Matthew Lillard, casting director Pat Moran, production designer Vincent Pirano and more; commentary with John Waters and Kathleen Turner; commentary with John Waters; "The Making Of Serial Mom" original promotional featurette; "The Kings Of Gore: Herschel Gordon Lewis and David Friedman" featurette; original theatrical trailer. (Shout! Factory).
(1972) Lee Montgomery, Joseph Campanella, Arthur O'Connell, Rosemary Murphy, Meredith Baxter. Sequel to "Willard," also making its DVD and Blu-ray debut this week. When detective sergeant Cliff Kirtland (Joseph Campanella) investigates the horrifying murder of Willard Stiles by a band of rats, he discovers that the rats are now an organized army, and he must destroy the murderous rodents before it is too late. But the rats, led by Ben, the only survivor of the Willard attack, take to the challenge with full force and little fear. New HD transfer of the best surviving archive print. Extras: New audio commentary with actor Lee Montgomery, new interview with Montgomery, theatrical trailers, TV Spots, "Ben"/"Willard" Double feature trailer and TV spot, radio spot, still gallery. (Scream Factory).
(1959) A lighthearted take on director Yasujiro Ozu's perennial theme of the challenges of intergenerational relationships, "Good Morning (Ohayo)" tells the story of two young boys who stop speaking as an act of resistance after their parents refuse to buy a television set. Ozu weaves a wealth of subtle gags through a family portrait as rich as those of his dramatic films, mocking the foibles of the adult world through the eyes of his childish protagonists. Shot in stunning Technicolor and set in a suburb of Tokyo where housewives gossip about the neighbors' new washing machine and unemployed men look for work as door-to-door salesmen, this charming comedy reworks Ozu's own silent classic "I Was Born, But ..." to gently satirize consumerism in postwar Japan. New 4K digital restoration from Shochiku Co., with uncompressed monaural soundtrack. Extras: "I Was Born, But ...", Yasujiro Ozu's 1932 silent comedy masterpiece, with a score composed by Donald Sosin in 2008; surviving excerpt from "A Straightforward Boy," a 1929 silent film by Ozu; new video essay on Ozu's use of humor by critic David Cairns; new interview with film scholar David Bordwell; new English subtitle translation; an essay by critic Jonathan Rosenbaum. (The Criterion Collection).
(1971) Bruce Davison, Elsa Lanchester, Ernest Borgnine. Willard Stiles (Bruce Davison) is a young man with a big problem. He lives alone in a crumbling house with his ailing mother. His boss, Al Martin is a vulgar, cruel man who stole his business from Willard’s father and is now working Willard to death at his factory job. Lonely, depressed and isolated, Willard is on the verge of a breakdown when he makes a new friend: Ben, one of the many rats who inhabit his dilapidated home. Not only can Willard communicate with the rodent, but he can actually command him to do his bidding. Using Ben and his furry friends as instruments of retaliation, Willard commands his pets to carry out his vengeance. New 4K scan of the original camera negative. Extras: New audio commentary with actor Bruce Davison, new interview with Davison, theatrical trailer, TV spot, radio spots, still gallery. (Scream Factory).
(2015) With this Palme d'Or-winning drama, which deftly combines seemingly disparate genres, French filmmaker Jacques Audiard cemented his status as one of the titans of contemporary world cinema. In an arresting performance, the nonprofessional actor Antonythasan Jesuthasan (himself a former child soldier) stars as a Tamil fighter who, along with a woman and child posing as his wife and daughter, flees war-torn Sri Lanka only to land in a Paris suburb riddled with drugs. As the makeshift family embarks on a new life, Dheepan settles into an intimate social-realist mode, before tightening, gradually and organically, into a dynamic turf-war thriller, as well as an unsettling study of the psychological aftereffects of combat. Searing and sensitive, Audiard's film is a unique depiction of the refugee experience as a continuous crisis of identity. High-definition digital master, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc. Extras: Audio commentary from 2015 featuring director Jacques Audiard and coscreenwriter Noé Debré, new interview with Audiard, new interview with actor Antonythasan Jesuthasan, deleted scenes with audio commentary by Audiard and Debré, trailer, an essay by critic Michael Atkinson. (The Criterion Collection).
(2001) Terry Zwigoff's first fiction film, adapted from a cult-classic comic by Daniel Clowes, is an idiosyncratic portrait of adolescent alienation that's at once bleakly comic and wholly endearing. Set during the malaise-filled months following high-school graduation, "Ghost World" follows the proud misfit Enid (Thora Birch), who confronts an uncertain future amid the cultural wasteland of consumerist suburbia. As her cynicism becomes too much to bear even for her best friend, Rebecca (Scarlett Johansson), Enid finds herself drawn to an unlikely kindred spirit: a sad-sack record collector many years her senior (Steve Buscemi). With its parade of oddball characters, quotable, Oscar-nominated script, and eclectic soundtrack of vintage obscurities, "Ghost World" is one of the 21st century's most fiercely beloved comedies. New, restored 4K digital transfer, supervised by writer-director Terry Zwigoff, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. Extras: Audio commentary featuring Zwigoff, comic-book creator and screenwriter Daniel Clowes, and producer Lianne Halfon; new interviews with actors Thora Birch and Illeana Douglas; extended excerpt from "Gumnaam" (1965) featuring the Bollywood musical number that appears in "Ghost World'"s opening title sequence; deleted scenes; trailer; an essay by critic Howard Hampton. (The Criterion Collection).
(1992) Omar Epps, Tupac Shakur, Jermaine 'Huggy' Hopkins, Khalil Kain, Vincent Laresca, Samuel L. Jackson, Queen Latifah, Cindy Herron. A powerful morality tale steeped in 90s urban culture, "Juice" marked the feature directorial debut of Spike Lee’s acclaimed cinematographer Ernest R. Dickerson and the first starring roles for Omar Epps and an electrifying Tupac Shakur. Twenty-five years later, the gritty and influential film continues to be celebrated for its realistic portrayal of Harlem life, the early New York hip-hop scene, and the fate of four friends in pursuit of the power and respect they call the Juice. Extras: Commentary by director Ernest R. Dickerson; "You’ve Got the Juice Now," a look back at the making of the film featuring new interviews with Dickerson, producer David Heyman and actors Epps, Khalil Kain and Jermaine Hopkins. The piece details Dickerson’s struggle to remain true to his original vision, his desire to cast fresh new talent, the challenges of shooting on location in Harlem, and the reasons why the film’s ending was changed; "The Wrecking Crew" behind-the-scenes interview featurette with the film’s surviving lead actors; "Sip the Juice: The Music" featurette explores the essential role that music plays in the film, featuring vintage interviews with the Shocklee brothers about their score, as well as Erik B, EPMD, and members of Cypress Hill; "Stay in the Scene: The Interview" vintage interview with the four lead cast members on set; set photo gallery. (Paramount).
(1953) Having refined his craft in the silent era, Kenji Mizoguchi was
an elder statesman of Japanese cinema -- fiercely revered by Akira
Kurosawa and other younger directors -- by the time he made "Ugetsu."
And with this exquisite ghost story, a fatalistic wartime tragedy
derived from stories by Akinari Ueda and Guy de Maupassant, he created
a touchstone of his art, his long takes and sweeping camera guiding
the viewer through a delirious narrative about two villagers whose
pursuit of fame and fortune leads them far astray from their loyal
wives. Moving between the terrestrial and the otherworldly, "Ugetsu"
reveals essential truths about the ravages of war, the plight of
women, and the pride of men. New 4K digital restoration undertaken by
The Film Foundation, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack.
Extras: Audio commentary
by filmmaker, critic, and festival programmer Tony Rayns; "Kenji
Mizoguchi: The Life of a Film Director" (1975), a 150-minute
documentary by Kaneto Shindo; "Two Worlds Intertwined," a 2005
appreciation of Ugetsu by filmmaker Masahiro Shinoda; "Process and
Production," a 2005 interview with Tokuzo Tanaka, first assistant
director on "Ugetsu"; interview from 1992 with cinematographer Kazuo
Miyagawa; trailers; an essay by film critic Phillip Lopate and three
short stories that influenced Mizoguchi in making the film.
(The Criterion Collection).
They Live By Night
(1948) Legendary director Nicholas Ray began his career with this
lyrical film noir, the first in a series of existential genre films
overflowing with sympathy for America’s outcasts and underdogs. When
the wide-eyed fugitive Bowie (Farley Granger), having broken out of
prison with some bank robbers, meets the innocent Keechie (Cathy
O’Donnell), each recognizes something in the other that no one else
ever has. The young lovers envision a new, decent life together, but
as they flee the cops and contend with Bowie’s fellow outlaws, who
aren’t about to let him go straight, they realize there’s nowhere left
to run. Ray brought an outsider’s sensibility honed in the theater to
this debut, using revolutionary camera techniques and naturalistic
performances to craft a profoundly romantic crime drama that paved the
way for decades of lovers-on-the-run thrillers to come. New 2K digital
restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack. Extras: Audio commentary featuring film
historian Eddie Muller and actor Farley Granger; new video interview
with film critic Imogen Sara Smith; short piece from 2007 with film
critic Molly Haskell, filmmakers Christopher Coppola and Oliver Stone,
and film noir specialists Alain Silver and James Ursini; illustrated
audio interview excerpts from 1956 with producer John Houseman; a new
essay by film scholar Bernard Eisenschitz.
(The Criterion Collection).
The Marseille Trilogy
In the 1930s, Marcel Pagnol, a leading light of the Paris theater, set
out for new horizons as a filmmaker in his native Provence. His early
masterpieces "Marius" (1931), "Fanny" (1932) and "César" (1936) mix
theatrical stagecraft with realistic location photography to create an
epic love story from the fabric of everyday life. Gruff, sentimental
César (music-hall star Raimu) owns a waterfront bar in the old port of
Marseille, where his son, Marius (Pierre Fresnay), wipes down tables
and dreams of a life at sea. The prosperous, middle-aged sailmaker
Panisse (Fernand Charpin), wanting to wed Marius’s sweetheart, Fanny
(Orane Demazis), sets up a generation-spanning romantic triangle, the
story of which unfolds in a series of fateful twists in the films of
"The Marseille Trilogy," which first earned Pagnol his place in cinema
history. “If Pagnol is not the greatest auteur of the sound film,”
critic André Bazin wrote, “he is in any case something akin to its
genius.” New 4K digital restorations of all three films, with
uncompressed monaural soundtracks. Extras: New introduction by filmmaker
Bertrand Tavernier; new interview with Nicolas Pagnol, writer-director
Marcel Pagnol’s grandson; segments of "Marcel Pagnol: Morceaux de
choisis," a 1973 documentary series on Pagnol’s life and work; short
documentary on the Marseille harbor by Pagnol; archival interviews
with actors Orane Demazis, Pierre Fresnay, and Robert Vattier;
"Pagnol’s Poetic Realism," a new video essay by scholar Brett Bowles;
French television clip about the restoration of the trilogy;
theatrical rerelease trailer; an essay by film critic Michael Atkinson
and excerpts from Pagnol’s memoirs.
(The Criterion Collection).
The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog
(1927) With his third feature film, "The Lodger: A Story of the London
Fog," Alfred Hitchcock took a major step toward greatness and made
what he would come to consider his true directorial debut. This
haunting silent thriller tells the tale of a mysterious young man
(matinee idol Ivor Novello) who takes up residence at a London
boardinghouse, just as a killer who preys on blonde women, known as
the Avenger, descends upon the city. The film is animated by the
palpable energy of a young stylist at play, decisively establishing
the director’s formal and thematic obsessions. In this edition, "The
Lodger" is accompanied by "Downhill," another 1927 silent exploration
of Hitchcock’s “wrong man” trope, also headlined by Novello -- making
for a double feature that reveals the great master of the macabre as
he was just coming into his own. 2K digital restoration, with a new
score by composer Neil Brand, performed by the Orchestra of Saint
director Alfred Hitchcock’s 1927 feature film starring Ivor Novello,
in a 2K digital restoration with a new piano score by Brand; new
interview with film scholar William Rothman on Hitchcock’s visual
signatures; new video essay by art historian Steven Jacobs about
Hitchcock’s use of architecture; excerpts from audio interviews with
Hitchcock by filmmakers François Truffaut (1962) and Peter Bogdanovich
(1963); radio adaptation of "The Lodger" from 1940, directed by
Hitchcock; new interview with Brand on composing for silent film;
essays on "The Lodger"and "Downhill" by critic Philip Kemp.
(The Criterion Collection).
(1971) In this thriller, arguably Sam Peckinpah’s most controversial
film, David (Dustin Hoffman), a young American mathematician, moves
with his English wife, Amy (Susan George), to the village where she
grew up. Their sense of safety unravels as the local men David has
hired to repair their house prove more interested in leering at Amy
and intimidating David, beginning an agonizing initiation into the
iron laws of violent masculinity that govern Peckinpah’s world.
Working outside the U.S. for the first time, the filmmaker airlifts
the ruthlessness of the Western frontier into Cornwall in "Straw
Dogs," pushing his characters to their breaking points as the men
brutalize Amy and David discovers how far he’ll go to protect his home
-- culminating in a harrowing climax that lays out this cinematic
mastermind’s eloquent and bloody vision of humanity. New, restored 4K
digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack. Extras: Audio commentary from 2003 by
Stephen Prince, author of "Savage Cinema: Sam Peckinpah and the Rise
of Ultraviolent Movies"; "Mantrap: 'Straw Dogs' --The Final Cut," a
2003 documentary about the making of the film, featuring cast and
crew; "Sam Peckinpah: Man of Iron," a 1993 documentary about the
director featuring actors Kris Kristofferson, Jason Robards, Ali
MacGraw, and many others; new conversation between film critic Michael
Sragow and filmmaker Roger Spottiswoode, who worked as one of the
editors on the film; new interview with film scholar Linda Williams
about the controversies surrounding the film; archival interviews with
actor Susan George, producer Daniel Melnick, and Peckinpah biographer
Garner Simmons; behind-the-scenes footage; TV spots and trailers; an
essay by scholar and critic Joshua Clover.
(The Criterion Collection).
(1983 -- France) In his ruthlessly clear-eyed final film, French master Robert Bresson pushed his unique blend of spiritual rumination and formal rigor to a new level of astringency. Transposing a Tolstoy novella to contemporary Paris, "L’argent" follows a counterfeit bill as it originates as a prop in a schoolboy prank, then circulates like a virus among the corrupt and the virtuous alike before landing with a young truck driver and leading him to incarceration and violence. With brutal economy, Bresson constructs his unforgiving vision of original sin out of starkly perceived details, rooting his characters in a dehumanizing material world that withholds any hope of transcendence.
Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc with a new, restored 4K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Extras: Press conference from the 1983 Cannes Film Festival; “L’argent, A to Z," a new video essay by film scholar James Quandt; trailer; an essay by critic Adrian Martin and a newly expanded 1983 interview with director Robert Bresson by critic Michel Ciment.
(The Criterion Collection).
Roberto Rossellini’s War Trilogy
Roberto Rossellini is one of the most influential filmmakers of all time. And it was with his trilogy of films made during and after World War II -- "Rome Open City" (1945), "Paisan" (1946), and "Germany Year Zero" (1948) -- that he left his first transformative mark on cinema. With their stripped-down aesthetic, largely nonprofessional casts, and unorthodox approaches to storytelling, these intensely emotional works were international sensations and came to define the neorealist movement. Shot in battle-ravaged Italy and Germany, these three films are some of our most lasting, humane documents of devastated postwar Europe, containing universal images of both tragedy and hope. Special Edition three-disc set with new high-definition digital restorations, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks. Extras: Introductions by Roberto Rossellini to all three films; interviews from 2009 with Rossellini scholar Adriano Aprà, film critic and Rossellini friend Father Virgilio Fantuzzi, and filmmakers Paolo and Vittorio Taviani; audio commentary from 2009 on "Rome Open City" by film scholar Peter Bondanella; "Once Upon a Time ... Rome Open City,” a 2006 documentary on the making of this historic film, featuring rare archival material and footage of Anna Magnani, Federico Fellini, Ingrid Bergman, and many others; "Rossellini and the City," a 2009 video essay by film scholar Mark Shiel on Rossellini’s use of the urban landscape in "The War Trilogy"; excerpts from rarely seen videotaped discussions Rossellini had in 1970 about his craft with faculty and students at Rice University; "Into the Future," a 2009 video essay about "The War Trilogy" by film scholar Tag Gallagher; "Roberto Rossellini," a 2001 documentary by Carlo Lizzani, assistant director on "Germany Year Zero," tracing Rossellini’s career through archival footage and interviews with family members and collaborators, with tributes by filmmakers François Truffaut and Martin Scorsese; "Letters from the Front: Carlo Lizzani on Germany Year Zero,” a podium discussion with Lizzani from the 1987 Tutto Rossellini conference; Italian credits and prologue from "Germany Year Zero"; essays by James Quandt, Irene Bignardi, Colin McCabe, and Jonathan Rosenbaum. (The Criterion Collection).
(1979 -- USSR) Andrei Tarkovsky’s final Soviet feature is a metaphysical journey through an enigmatic postapocalyptic landscape, and a rarefied cinematic experience like no other. A hired guide—the Stalker—leads a writer and a scientist into the heart of the Zone, the restricted site of a long-ago disaster, where the three men eventually zero in on the Room, a place rumored to fulfill one’s most deeply held desires. Adapting a science-fiction novel by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, Tarkovsky created an immersive world with a wealth of material detail and a sense of organic atmosphere. A religious allegory, a reflection of contemporaneous political anxieties, a meditation on film itself—Stalker envelops the viewer by opening up a multitude of possible meanings.
Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc, with a new 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Extras: New interview with Geoff Dyer, author of "Zona: A Book About a Film About a Journey to a Room"; interview from 2002 with cinematographer Alexander Knyazhinsky; interview from 2002 with set designer Rashit Safiullin; interview from 2002 with composer Eduard Artemyev; an essay by critic Mark Le Fanu.
(The Criterion Collection).
Lost in America
(1985) In this hysterical satire of Reagan-era values, written and directed by Albert Brooks, a successful Los Angeles advertising executive (Brooks) and his wife (Julie Hagerty) decide to quit their jobs, buy a Winnebago, and follow their Easy Rider fantasies of freedom and the open road. When a stop in Las Vegas nearly derails their plans, they’re forced to come to terms with their own limitations and those of the American dream. Brooks’s barbed wit and confident direction drive "Lost in America," an iconic example of his restless movies about insecure characters searching for satisfaction in the modern world that established his unique comic voice and transformed the art of observational humor. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc, with a new 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Extras: New conversation with director Albert Brooks and filmmaker Robert Weide; new interviews with actor Julie Hagerty, executive producer Herb Nanas, and comic writer and director James L. Brooks; trailer; an essay by critic Scott Tobias.
(The Criterion Collection).
The Breaking Point
(1950) Michael Curtiz brings a master skipper’s hand to the helm of this thriller, Hollywood’s second crack at Ernest Hemingway’s "To Have and Have Not." John Garfield stars as Harry Morgan, an honest charter-boat captain who, facing hard times, takes on dangerous cargo to save his boat, support his family, and preserve his dignity. Left in the lurch by a freeloading passenger, Harry starts to entertain the criminal propositions of a sleazy lawyer (Wallace Ford), as well as the playful come-ons of a cheeky blonde (Patricia Neal), making a series of compromises that stretch his morality -- and his marriage -- farther than he’ll admit. Hewing closer to Hemingway’s novel than Howard Hawks’s Bogart-Bacall vehicle, "The Breaking Point" charts a course through daylight noir and working-class tragedy, guided by Curtiz’s effortless visual fluency and a stoic, career-capping performance from Garfield. On DVD and Blu-ray, with new 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Extras: New interview with biographer and film historian Alan K. Rode ("Michael Curtiz: A Life in Film"); new piece featuring actor and acting instructor Julie Garfield speaking about her father, actor John Garfield; new video essay by filmmakers Tony Zhou and Taylor Ramos, analyzing Curtiz’s directorial techniques; excerpts from a 1962 episode of the "Today" show showing contents of the Ernest Hemingway House in Key West, Florida, including items related to "To Have and Have Not," the novel on which "The Breaking Point" is based; trailer; an essay by critic Stephanie Zacharek. (The Criterion Collection).
(1980) The inimitable comic team of Walter Matthau and Glenda Jackson star in this nimble tale of international intrigue from master British filmmaker Ronald Neame. Based on Brian Garfield’s best-selling novel, the blithe thriller centers on Miles Kendig (Matthau), a disillusioned retired CIA agent who, with the help of a chic and savvy Viennese widow (Jackson), threatens to publish his memoirs and expose the innermost secrets of every major intelligence agency in the world. Despite being in major hot water with his former colleagues, Kendig refuses to get in line -- he’s having too much fun. Set to the sounds of Mozart, this lighthearted sendup of the paranoid dramas of its era is an expertly crafted, singular take on the spy movie. On DVD and Blu-ray, with new 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Extras: Interviews from 2002 with director Ronald Neame and writer Brian Garfield; Walter Matthau in a 1980 appearance on "The Dick Cavett Show"; trailer and teaser; optional broadcast television audio track for family viewing; an essay by critic Glenn Kenny. (The Criterion Collection).
(1984) A slow-burning depiction of economic degradation in Thatcher’s England, Mike Leigh’s "Meantime" was the culmination of the writer-director’s pioneering work in television and became his breakthrough theatrical release. Unemployment is rampant in London’s working-class East End, where a middle-aged couple and their two sons languish in a claustrophobic public housing flat. As the brothers (Phil Daniels and Tim Roth) grow increasingly disaffected, Leigh punctuates the grinding boredom of their daily existence with tense encounters, including with a priggish aunt (Marion Bailey) who has managed to become middle-class and a blithering skinhead on the verge of psychosis (a scene-stealing Gary Oldman, in his first major role). Informed by Leigh’s now trademark improvisational process and propelled by the lurching rhythms of its Beckett-like dialogue, " Meantime" is an unrelenting, often blisteringly funny look at life on the dole. On DVD and Blu-ray, with New, restored 2K digital transfer, supervised by cinematographer Roger Pratt and director Mike Leigh, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Extras: New conversation between Leigh and musician Jarvis Cocker; new conversation between actor Marion Bailey and critic Amy Raphael; an essay by film scholar Sean O’Sullivan. (The Criterion Collection).
(1951 -- France) The writer, actor, and director Sacha Guitry emerged from the theater to become one of France’s best-known and most inventive filmmakers, and "La poison" marked his first collaboration with another titan of the screen, the incomparably expressive Michel Simon. With Guitry’s witty dialogue and fleet pacing, the black comedy is the quintessential depiction of a marriage gone sour: after 30 years together, a village gardener (Simon) and his wife (Germaine Reuver) find themselves contemplating how to do away with each other, with the former even planning how he’ll negotiate his eventual criminal trial. Inspired by Guitry’s own post–World War II tangle with the law -- a wrongful charge of collaborationism -- "La poison" is a blithely caustic broadside against the French legal system and a society all too eager to capitalize on others’ misfortunes. On DVD and Blu-ray, with new high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray Extras: New interview with filmmaker Olivier Assayas on director Sacha Guitry’s influence on French cinema; "On Life On-screen: Miseries and Splendour of a Monarch," a 60-minute documentary from 2010 on the collaboration of Guitry and Michel Simon; an essay by film scholar Ginette Vincendeau and a 1957 obituary for Guitry by François Truffaut. (The Criterion Collection).
Sid & Nancy
(1986) With the lacerating love story "Sid & Nancy," Alex Cox reimagines the crash-and-burn affair between punk’s most notorious self-destructive poster children: Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious and his girlfriend, Nancy Spungen -- brought to visceral life by brilliant performances from Gary Oldman and Chloe Webb. Cox turns his anarchic filmmaking style on the explosive energy of the London punk scene and the degenerate streets of seventies New York, making for an eviscerating depiction of excess and addiction. Through the lens of cinematographer Roger Deakins, the imagery goes from swooning to grimy, and the film’s bleakness is balanced with surreal humor and genuine tenderness, making for an affecting, music-fueled vision of doomed love. On DVD and Blu-ray, with new 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed stereo soundtrack on the Blu-ray; alternate 5.1 surround soundtrack, presented in DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray. Extras: Two audio commentaries: one from 1994 featuring co-writer Abbe Wool, actors Gary Oldman and Chloe Webb, cultural historian Greil Marcus, filmmakers Julien Temple and Lech Kowalski, and musician Eliot Kidd; the other from 2001 featuring co-writer-director Alex Cox and actor Andrew Schofield; "England’s Glory," a 1987 documentary on the making of "Sid & Nancy"; infamous 1976 Bill Grundy interview with the Sex Pistols on British television; rare telephone interview from 1978 with Sid Vicious; interviews with Vicious and Nancy Spungen from the 1980 documentary "D.O.A.: A Right of Passage"; archival interviews and footage; an essay by author Jon Savage and a 1986 piece compiled by Cox about Vicious, Spungen, and the making of the film. (The Criterion Collection).