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OnVideo's Guide to Blu-ray Debuts 2021


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January 2022 | February 2022 | March 2022 | April 2022 | May 2022 | June 2022 |
July 2022 | August 2022 |


January 11
  • The Celebration

    photo for The Celebration (1998 -- Denmark) The Danish Dogme 95 movement that struck world cinema like a thunderbolt began with "The Celebration," the international breakthrough by Thomas Vinterberg, a lacerating chamber drama that uses the economic and aesthetic freedoms of digital video to achieve annihilating emotional intensity. On a wealthy man’s 60th birthday, a sprawling group of family and friends convenes at his country estate for a celebration that soon spirals into bedlam, as bombshell revelations threaten to tear away the veneer of bourgeois respectability and expose the traumas roiling beneath. The dynamic handheld camera work, grainy natural lighting, cacophonous diegetic sound, and raw performance style that would become Dogme hallmarks enhance the shattering visceral impact of this caustic indictment of patriarchal failings, which swings between blackest comedy and bleakest tragedy as it turns the sick soul of a family inside out. 2K digital restoration, approved by director Thomas Vinterberg, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack. Formats: Blu-ray. Extras: Audio commentary from 2005 featuring Vinterberg; new interview with Vinterberg; two early short films by Vinterberg: "Last Round" (1993) and "The Boy Who Walked Backwards" (1995); "The Purified," a 2002 documentary about Dogme 95, featuring interviews with Vinterberg and filmmakers Søren Kragh-Jacobsen, Kristian Levring, and Lars von Trier; program in which Vinterberg discusses the real-life inspiration for the film; documentaries featuring members of the cast and crew at the film’s premiere in Copenhagen and reflecting back on the production; "ADM:DOP," a 2003 documentary profile of cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle; deleted scenes, with optional audio commentary by Vinterberg; trailer; an essay by critic and author Michael Koresky. (The Criterion Collection)


    January 18
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    Red Angel

    (1966 -- Japan) Ayako Wakao, Shinsuke Ashida, Yûsuke Kawazu, Jôtarô Senba. Directed by Yasuzo Masumura ("Giants and Toys", "Blind Beast"), "Red Angel" takes an unflinching look at the horror and futility of war through the eyes of a dedicated and selfless young military nurse. When Sakura Nishi is dispatched in 1939 to a ramshackle field hospital in Tientsin, the frontline of Japan's war of with China, she and her colleagues find themselves fighting a losing battle tending to the war-wounded and emotionally shellshocked soldiers while assisting head surgeon Dr Okabe conduct an unending series of amputations. As the Chinese troops close in, she finds herself increasingly drawn to Okabe who, impotent to stall the mounting piles of cadavers, has retreated into his own private hell of morphine addiction. Adapted from the novel by Yorichika Arima, Masumura's harrowing portrait of women and war is considered the finest of his collaborations with Ayako Wakao ("A Wife Confesses," "Irezumi") and features startling monochrome scope cinematography by Setsuo Kobayashi ("Fires on the Plain," "An Actor's Revenge"). Formats:Blu-ray. Extras: New audio commentary by Japanese cinema scholar David Desser; newly filmed introduction by Japanese cinema expert Tony Rayns; "Not All Angels Have Wings," a new visual essay by Jonathan Rosenbaum; original trailer; image gallery; reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Tony Stella; FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated booklet featuring new writing by Irene González-López. (Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment). Read more here

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    Shock

    (1977 -- Italy) Daria Nicolodi, John Steiner, Ivan Rassimov, Lamberto Bava, David Colin Jr. In a career spanning four decades and encompassing virtually every genre under the sun, Mario Bava inspired multiple generations of filmmakers, from Dario Argento to Martin Scorsese and Tim Burton. Best remembered for his gothic horror movies, for his final feature, "Shock," he eschewed the grand guignol excesses of "Black Sabbath" or "Blood and Black Lace" for a more intimate portrait of mental breakdown in which true horror comes from within. Dora (Nicolodi) moves back into her old family home with her husband, Bruno (Steiner), and Marco (Colin Jr.), her young son from her previous marriage. But domestic bliss proves elusive as numerous strange and disturbing occurrences transpire, while Dora is haunted by a series of nightmares and hallucinations, many of them involving her dead former husband. Is the house itself possessed? Or does Dora's increasingly fragile grip on reality originate from somewhere far closer to home? Released in the United States as a sequel to Ovidio G. Assonitis's "Beyond the Door," "Shock" more than lives up to its name, proving that, even at this late stage in his career, Bava hadn't lost his touch for terror. Now restored in high definition for the first time. Formats: Blu-ray. Extras: New audio commentary by Tim Lucas, author of "Mario Bava: All the Colors of the Dark"; "A Ghost in the House," a new video interview with co-director and co-writer Lamberto Bava; "Via Dell’Orologio 33," a new video interview with co-writer Dardano Sacchetti; "The Devil Pulls the Strings," a new video essay by author and critic Alexandra Heller-Nicholas; "Shock! Horror! – The Stylistic Diversity of Mario Bava," a new video appreciation by author and critic Stephen Thrower; "The Most Atrocious Tortur(e)," a new interview with critic Alberto Farina; Italian theatrical trailer; four US “Beyond the Door II” TV spots; image gallery; reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Christopher Shy; FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Troy Howarth, author of "The Haunted World of Mario Bava." (Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment). Read more here


    January 25
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    The Lover (L'amant)

    (1993 -- France) Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud; stars Jane March, Tony Leung Ka Fai. The Academy Award Nominated and César Award-winning film Based on the novel from international best-selling author Marguerite Duras. In colonial French Indochina in the late 1920s, a fifteen-year-old French girl (March) returns to Saigon, where she attends a girls’ boarding school. On her way there, she meets a handsome, wealthy and much older Chinese man (Leung Ka Fai) from a respectable family. Going against the conventions of their respective societies, the pair begin a passionate affair. Their strong attraction toward one another is only intensified by the illicit nature of their rendezvous. Formats: DVD, 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo. Extras: The 4k UHD/Blu-ray 2-disc combo will feature a limited edition Media Book in the package. (Capelight Pictures).<


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    February 1
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    Written on the Wind

    (1956) Douglas Sirk’s Technicolor expressionism reached a fever pitch with this operatic tragedy, which finds the director pushing his florid visuals and his critiques of American culture to their subversive extremes. Alcoholism, nymphomania, impotence, and deadly jealousy -- these are just some of the toxins coursing through a massively wealthy, degenerate Texan oil family. When a sensible secretary (Lauren Bacall) has the misfortune of marrying the clan’s neurotic scion (Robert Stack), it drives a wedge between him and his lifelong best friend (Rock Hudson) that unleashes a maelstrom of psychosexual angst and fury. Featuring an unforgettably debauched, Oscar-winning supporting performance by Dorothy Malone and some of Sirk’s most eye-popping mise-en-scène, "Written on the Wind" is as perverse a family portrait as has ever been splashed across the screen. New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack. Extras: "Acting for Douglas Sirk," a 2008 documentary featuring archival interviews with Sirk, actors Rock Hudson, Robert Stack, and Dorothy Malone, and producer Albert Zugsmith; new interview with film scholar Patricia White about the film and melodrama; trailer; an essay by filmmaker and critic Blair McClendon. (The Criterion Collection).


    February 8
  • Gold Diggers of 1933

    (2021) A Broadway producer has the talent, the tunes, the theater, and everything else he needs to put on a show – except the dough. Not to worry, say Ginger Rogers and the other leggy chorines decked out in giant coins. Everyone will soon be singing “We’re in the Money.” Soon after 42nd Street, the brothers Warner again kicked the Depression blues out the stage door and into a back alley. Mervyn Le Roy directs the snappy non-musical portions involving three wonderfully silly love matches (including Dick Powell and Ruby Keeler). And Busby Berkeley brings his peerless magic to the production numbers, his camera swooping and gliding to showstoppers that are naughty (“Pettin’ in the Park”), neon-lit (“The Shadow Waltz”) and soul-searing (“Remember My Forgotten Man”). Solid cinema gold. Extras: Featurette “F.D.R.’s New Deal: Broadway Bound”; vintage Warner Bros. cartoons “I’ve Got to Sing a Torch Song,” “Pettin’ in the Park,” “We’re In the Money”; vintage Warner Bros. shorts “Rambling Round Radio Row,” “The 42nd St. Special” and “Seasoned Greetings. ”(Warner Archive).


    February 15
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    Liar's Moon

    (1982) Matt Dillon, Cindy Fisher, Hoyt Axton, Yvonne DeCarl, Susan Tyrrell, Richard Moll, Broderick Crawford. Dillon stars in this tender tale of love’s first promise… and its enduring strength. Dillon plays Jack Duncan, an athletic, hardworking boy from the small town of Noble, Texas. Jack is happy just enjoying himself with the local boys, until he meets Ginny Peterson (Fisher), the town’s wealthiest young lady. Despite their obviously different backgrounds, Jack and Ginny fall desperately in love. Even though their parents have forbidden them to meet, Jack and Ginny sneak out, and finally elope, hoping to find happiness far from their hometown. But theirs is a love that falls prey to the sins of their elders - as the intrigue of two families reaches out an angry hand to its innocent victim in this touching, tragic story of youth, love and hope. Released theatrically by Crown International Pictures and originally on home video by Vestron Video, the film has been unavailable for decades. (MVD Rewind).

  • photo for Love Affair

    Love Affair

    (1939) Golden-age Hollywood’s humanist master Leo McCarey brings his graceful touch and relaxed naturalism to this sublime romance, one of cinema’s most intoxicating tear-wringers. Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer are chic strangers who meet and fall in love aboard an ocean liner bound for New York. Though they are both involved with other people, they make a pact to reconnect six months later at the top of the Empire State Building -- until the hand of fate throws their star-crossed affair tragically off course. Swooning passion and gentle comedy coexist in perfect harmony in the exquisitely tender film (nominated for six Oscars), a story so timeless that it has been remade by multiple filmmakers over the years -- including McCarey himself, who updated it as the equally beloved "An Affair to Remember." New 4K digital restoration by The Museum of Modern Art and Lobster Films, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack. Extras: New interview with film critic Farran Smith Nehme about the movie’s complicated production history; new interview with Serge Bromberg, founder of Lobster Films, about the restoration; two radio adaptations, featuring Irene Dunne, William Powell, and Charles Boyer; two shorts directed by Leo McCarey, both starring silent comedian Charley Chase: "Looking for Sally" (1925) and "Mighty Like a Moose" (1926); an essay by author Megan McGurk. (The Criterion Collection).

  • The Three Musketeers

    (1848) Gene Kelly stars as the swashbuckling young French nobleman D'Artagnan who, possessing nothing more than his title, travels to Paris to join The Three Musketeers. D'Artagnan no sooner arrives in the capital, than he insults Athos (Van Heflin), Porthos (Gig Young) and Aramis (Robert Coote), the most feared of the musketeers. Challenged to a duel by each, D'Artagnan earns their respect with his courage, if not by his fighting prowess. But his courage, skill and wit are quickly needed to help the musketeers thwart a plot by the powerful Prime Minister Richelieu (Vincent Price) to overthrow King Louis XIII (Frank Morgan), save Queen Anne (Angela Lansbury) and win the heart of Lady de Winter (Lana Turner). This all-star frolic was a boxoffice hit as MGM and director George Sidney pulled out the stops to bring together its finest talents, and now it's been restored and remastered for its Blu-ray debut. Extras: Vintage “FitzPatrick Traveltalks” short: “Looking at London”; vintage Tex Avery cartoon “What Price Fleadom”; vintage MGM radio promo with Lana Turner; original theatrical trailer. (Warner Archive).


    February 22
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    Boat People

    (1982 -- Hong Kong) One of the preeminent works of the Hong Kong New Wave, "Boat People" is a shattering look at the circumstances that drove hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese refugees to flee their homeland in the wake of the Vietnam War, told through images of haunting, unforgettable power. Three years after the Communist takeover, a Japanese photojournalist (George Lam) travels to Vietnam to document the country’s seemingly triumphant rebirth. When he befriends a teenage girl (Season Ma) and her destitute family, however, he begins to discover what the government doesn’t want him to see: the brutal, often shocking reality of life in a country where political repression and poverty have forced many to resort to desperate measures in order to survive. Transcending polemic, renowned director Ann Hui takes a deeply humanistic approach to a harrowing and urgent subject with searing contemporary resonance. New, restored 4K digital transfer, approved by director Ann Hui, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack. Extras: New conversation between Hui and filmmaker Stanley Kwan, who was the movie’s assistant director; "Keep Rolling," a 2020 documentary about Hui made by Man Lim-chung, Hui’s longtime production designer and art director; "As Time Goes By," a 1997 documentary and self-portrait by Hui, produced by Peggy Chiao; press conference from the 1983 Cannes International Film Festival; trailer; essays by film critic Justin Chang and scholar Vinh Nguyen. (The Criterion Collection).

  • Edge of Darkness

    (1943) In 1930, director Lewis Milestone won an Academy Award for his eloquent anti-war masterpiece, "All Quiet on the Western Front." But with "Edge of Darkness," made in 1943 during the dark days of the German blitzkrieg, Milestone displays no such pacifist sentiments. Indeed, this remarkable drama, set in a small Norwegian village, pays tribute to the heroic spirit of common people taking up arms against the Nazi invaders. Errol Flynn delivers a fine, understated performance as a common fisherman who leads the town’s resistance efforts, while Ann Sheridan’s strong character reflects the strength of all womankind. And featured in the superb ensemble cast are Walter Huston, Ruth Gordon, and Judith Anderson. Extras: Vintage WB short “Gun to Gun”; vintage WB cartoon “To Duck or Not To Duck”; original theatrical trailer. (Warner Archive).


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    March 15
  • Dream a Little Dream

    (1989) Body swap cult favorite, the latest in the Vestron Video Collectors’ series. Bobby has everything a young guy should: a good buddy, a girlfriend, and parents who love him. When the older couple down the street try a transcendental experiment to extend their lives, they quite literally become trapped in the teen's bodies. The teen comedy has a great cast including the two Coreys – Corey Haim and Corey Feldman, as well as Harry Dean Stanton, Piper Laurie and Jason Robards. Formats: Blu-ray, Digital. Extras: “Young at Heart” interview with Corey Feldman, “When Lightning Strikes” interview with executive producer Lawrence Kasanoff, theatrical trailers, TV spots, stills gallery. (Vestron Video/Lionsgate).

  • The Sword and the Sorcerer (Collector's Edition)

    (1982) Lee Horsley, Kathleen Beller , Simon MacCorkindale, Richard Moll. Talon is a daring mercenary who conquers castles and dungeons alike with his lethal three-bladed sword. But when Talon learns that he is the prince of a kingdom controlled by an evil sorcerer, he is thrust into the wildest fight of his life. Can Talon rescue the beautiful princess and slay the warlock, or will he fall prey to the black magic of medieval mayhem? Cult action-packed adventure saga filled with brutal battles, plucky maidens, savage monsters and more. Formats: 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo, VOD, Digital. Extras: New 4K scan from the original negative; new audio commentary with director Albert Pyun; new "Tales of the Ancient Empire" interview with director Albert Pyun; new "A Princess’ Tale" interview with actress Kathleen Beller; new "Mightier Than the Sword" interview with co-writer/co-producer John Stuckmeyer; new "Master of the Blade" interview with editor Marshall Harvey; new "The Specialist and the Effects" interview with special makeup effects artist Allan Apone; new "Brothers in Arms" interview with special effects artists the Chiodo Brothers – Charles, Edward and Stephen; new "Dedicated to Jack Tyree, Stuntman" the cast and crew remembrance of stuntman Jack Tyree; "Trailers from Hell" with editor Marshall Harvey; theatrical trailers; TV spot; still gallery. (Scream Factory).


    March 22
  • Bryan Loves You

    (2008) Tony Todd, Tori King, Tiffany Shepis, Candy Stanton, Daniel Roebuck, George Wendt, Brinke Stevens. In the early 1990s, a 32-year-old psychotherapist (Seth Landau) began to suspect that his small Arizona community was being taken over by a homicidal religious cult known as "The Bryans". His entire ordeal was captured on camcorder footage and security tapes. This is what was recovered. "Found footrage" chiller based on the 1993 true story that shocked America. Extras: New audio commentary with writer-producer-director Seth Landau; commentary with Landau, cast and crew along with JoBlo writer/critic James Oster, Elissa Dowling and professor/religious expert Dr. Phillip Baker; new interview with star George Wendt; new interview with star Tiffany Shepis; new interview with star Daniel Roebuck; new interview with star Brinke Stevens; new 2022 theatrical trailer. (JAL Smithtown/MVD Entertainment).

  • Captains of the Clouds

    (1942) The incomparable James Cagney stars with Dennis Morgan, Brenda Marshall and Alan Hale in his first Technicolor feature, once again reunited with Warner Bros.' legendary Michael Curtiz at the helm. Cagney portrays pilot Brian MacLean, a hot-shot Canadian pilot who is just as adept at stealing flying jobs from his competition as he is at stealing their girlfriend's hearts. But when he hears a speech by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill about the looming Nazi threat, MacLean enlists in the Royal Canadian Air Force ... only to find his superior is a man from whom he stole both a job and a girl -- and to encounter action and adventure in aerial combat over the North Atlantic. This was the first Hollywood production to be filmed almost entirely on location in Canada and was released right after the U.S. entered WWII. Extras: 1942 Newsreel, vintage 1942 color WB Short "Rocky Mountain Big Game," classic Bugs Bunny cartoons: "What's Cookin', Doc?" and "Hold the Lion, Please," original theatrical trailer. (Warmer Archive).

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    The Flight of the Phoenix

    (1965) A downed airplane is a motley group of men’s only protection from the relentless desert sun, in this psychologically charged disaster epic, one of the all-time great survival movies. James Stewart is the veteran pilot whose Benghazi-bound plane -- carrying passengers played by an unshaven ensemble of screen icons including Richard Attenborough, Ernest Borgnine, Ian Bannen, Dan Duryea, Peter Finch, and George Kennedy -- crash-lands in the remote Sahara. As tensions simmer among the survivors, they find themselves forced to trust a coldly logical engineer (Hardy Krüger) whose plan to get them out may just be crazy enough to work -- or could kill them all. Directed with characteristic punch by Hollywood iconoclast Robert Aldrich, "The Flight of the Phoenix" balances adventure with human drama as it conducts a surprising and complex examination of authority, honor, and camaraderie among desperate men. With 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack. Extras: New conversation between filmmaker Walter Hill and film scholar Alain Silver; new interview with biographer Donald Dewey on actor James Stewart and his service as a bomber pilot; trailer; an essay by filmmaker and critic Gina Telaroli. (The Criterion Collection). Read more here


    March 29
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    Love Jones

    (1997) Steeped in the bohemian cool of Chicago’s 1990s Black creative scene, "love jones" -- the smart, sexy, and stylish debut feature of writer-director Theodore Witcher -- is a love story for anyone who has ever wondered: How do I know when I’ve found the one? Larenz Tate and Nia Long have magnetism and chemistry to burn as the striving, artistically talented twentysomethings -- he’s a poet, she’s a photographer -- who spark over their love of literature and jazz, but whose mutual reluctance to commit to a relationship leaves them both navigating an emotional minefield of confusion, jealousy, and regrets. Velvety cinematography; an unforgettable, eclectic soundtrack; sophisticated dialogue; and refreshingly low-key, naturalistic performances by an ensemble cast that also includes Isaiah Washington, Lisa Nicole Carson, Bill Bellamy, Bernadette Speakes, and Leonard Roberts come together in an intoxicating, seductively moody romance that engages both the heart and the mind. With new 4K digital restoration, supervised by director Theodore Witcher, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. Extras: New interview with Witcher and film scholar Racquel J. Gates; new interview with music scholars Mark Anthony Neal and Shana L. Redmond on the soundtrack; panel discussion featuring Witcher and members of the cast and crew; trailer; an essay by critic Danielle A. Jackson. (The Criterion Collection). Read more here

  • A Star Is Born (1937)

    (1937) Producer David O. Selznick turned his attention to Hollywood with this 1937 original classic directed by William A. Wellman. Its Academy Award-winning screenplay co-written by Dorothy Parker tells the story of hopeful, young would-be actress Esther Blodgett (Academy Award winner Janet Gaynor) whose career is launched by movie star Norman Maine (Academy Award winner Fredric March), who also wins the young actress' heart. Esther becomes leading lady Vicki Lester and Mrs. Norman Maine, but as Maine's career flounders, he sinks into an abyss of alcoholism. Esther chooses to sacrifice her stardom to care for her husband, but he will not allow Esther to abandon her dreams for him. Remade three times in years ahead, this original version has finally undergone a meticulous restoration and has been remastered from its original nitrate Technicolor camera negatives, especially for this Warner Archive Blu-ray release. The result is a sterling presentation of a landmark in film history. Extras: Two Lux Radio Theater broadcasts; Janet Gaynor and Robert Montgomery (9/13/37), Judy Garland and Walter Pidgeon (12/28/42) [audio only]; classic WB cartoon "A Star is Hatched" (1938); classic WB shorts: "Mal Hallett & His Orchestra” (1937), “Taking the Count” (1937) and Alibi Mark (1937); original theatrical trailer. (Warner Archive).


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    April 12
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    Walker

    (1987) A hallucinatory biopic that breaks all cinematic conventions, "Walker," from British director Alex Cox, tells the story of 19th-century American adventurer William Walker (Ed Harris), who abandoned a series of careers in law, politics, journalism, and medicine to become a soldier of fortune and, for many months, the dictator of Nicaragua. Made with mad abandon and political acuity -- and the support of the Sandinista army and government during the contra war -- the film uses this true tale as a satirical attack on American ultrapatriotism and a freewheeling condemnation of “manifest destiny.” Featuring a powerful score by Joe Strummer and a performance of intense, repressed rage by Harris, "Walker" remains one of Cox’s most daring works. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray, with restored high-definition digital transfer, approved by director Alex Cox, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Extras: Audio commentary by Cox and screenwriter Rudy Wurlitzer; "Dispatches from Nicaragua," a documentary about the filming of "Walker"; "On Moviemaking and the Revolution," reminiscences about the production 20 years later from an extra on the film; behind-the-scenes photos; essays by film critic Graham Fuller, Wurlitzer, and Linda Sandoval. Blu-ray adds "Walker 2008" and "On the Origins of Walker” (2016), two short films by Cox; trailer. (The Criterion Collection). Read more here


    April 19
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    The Girl Can’t Help It

    (1956) In 1956, Frank Tashlin brought the talent for zany visual gags and absurdist pop-culture satire that he’d honed as a master of animation to the task of capturing, in glorious DeLuxe Color, a brand-new craze: rock and roll. This blissfully bonkers jukebox musical tells the story of a mobster’s bombshell girlfriend -- the one and only Jayne Mansfield, in a showstopping first major film role -- and the washed-up talent agent (Tom Ewell) who seeks to revive his career by turning her into a musical sensation. The only question is: Can she actually sing? A CinemaScope feast of eye-popping midcentury design, "The Girl Can’t Help It" bops along to a parade of performances by rock-and-roll trailblazers, including Little Richard, Fats Domino, Julie London, Eddie Cochran, the Platters, and Gene Vincent, who light up the screen with the uniquely American sound that was about to conquer the world. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray, with new high-definition digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Extras: Audio commentary featuring film scholar Toby Miller; new interview with Eve Golden, biographer of actor Jayne Mansfield; new video essay by film critic David Cairns; interview with filmmaker John Waters; new conversation between WFMU DJs Dave “the Spazz” Abramson and Gaylord Fields about the music in the film; on-set footage; interviews with Mansfield (1957) and musician Little Richard (1984); episode of Karina Longworth’s podcast "You Must Remember This" about Mansfield; trailer; an essay by critic Rachel Syme and, for the Blu-ray, excerpts from director Frank Tashlin’s 1952 book "How to Create Cartoons" with a new introduction by Ethan de Seife, author of "Tashlinesque: The Hollywood Comedies of Frank Tashlin." (The Criterion Collection). Read more here


    April 26
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    ’Round Midnight

    (1986 - US, France) "’Round Midnight" is a love letter from director Bertrand Tavernier to the heyday of bebop and to the Black American musicians who found refuge in the smoky underground jazz clubs of 1950s Paris. In a miraculous, sui generis fusion of performer and character that was nominated for an Oscar, legendary saxophonist Dexter Gordon plays Dale Turner, a brilliant New York jazz veteran whose music aches with beauty but whose personal life is ravaged by addiction. Searching for a fresh start in Paris, Turner strikes up an unlikely friendship with a struggling single father and ardent jazz fan (François Cluzet) who finds his life transformed as he attempts to help the self-destructive musician. Herbie Hancock’s evocative, Oscar-winning score sets the mood for this definitive jazz film, a bittersweet opus that glows with lived-in, soulful authenticity. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray, with new 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed stereo soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Alternate 5.1 surround soundtrack, supervised by composer Herbie Hancock and presented in DTS-HD Master Audio. Extras: New interview with jazz and cultural critic Gary Giddins; new conversation with music producer Michael Cuscuna and author Maxine Gordon, widow of musician Dexter Gordon; "Before Midnight, a 1986 behind-the-scenes documentary; panel discussion from 2014 featuring director Bertrand Tavernier, Cuscuna, Maxine Gordon, and jazz scholar John Szwed, moderated by jazz critic and broadcaster Mark Ruffin; performance from 1969 of “Fried Bananas” by Dexter Gordon, directed by Teit Jørgensen; an essay by scholar Mark Anthony Neal. (The Criterion Collection). Read more here

  • Sibyl

    (2019 -- France/Belgium) Virginie Efira, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Gaspard Ulliel, Sandra Hüller. A sly, sultry character study follows a psychotherapist who decides to quit her practice and return to writing instead. As Sibyl starts dropping patients, she begins to struggle with excess time and a lack of inspiration--until she gets a call from Margot, a young actress wrapped up in a dramatic affair with her costar, Igor, who happens to be married to the film's director. Becoming further enmeshed in Margot's life, Sibyl starts to blur past and present, fiction with reality, and the personal with the professional as she begins to use Margot's life as source material for her novel. (Music Box Films).


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    May 10
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    Mr. Klein

    (1976 -- France) One of the crowning achievements of blacklisted Hollywood director Joseph Losey’s European exile, the spellbinding modernist mystery "Mr. Klein" puts a chilling twist on the wrong-man thriller. Alain Delon delivers a standout performance as Robert Klein, a decadent art dealer in Paris during World War II who makes a tidy profit buying up paintings from his desperate Jewish clients. As Klein searches for a Jewish man with the same name for whom he has been mistaken, he finds himself plunged into a Kafkaesque nightmare in which his identity seems to dissolve and the forces of history to close in on him. Met with considerable controversy on its release for its portrayal of the real-life wrongdoings of the Vichy government, this haunting, disturbingly beautiful film shivers with existential dread as it traces a society’s descent into fascistic fear and inhumanity. Formats: Blu-ray, with new 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack. Extras: Interviews from 1976 with director Joseph Losey and actor Alain Delon; "Story of a Day," a 1986 documentary on the real-life Vél d’Hiv Roundup, a central historical element of "Mr. Klein"; trailer; an essay by film scholar Ginette Vincendeau. (The Criterion Collection). Read more here

  • Year of the Jelly Fish

    (1984 -- France) Valerie Kaprisky, Caroline Cellier, Bernard Giraudeau, Jacques Perrin. A French Eurotrash cult classic. Set in Saint Tropez during mid-summer, this darkly biting coming-of-age story is a tale of obsession and sexual desire. A young woman (Kaprisky) vacations in an upscale beach resort with her mother, where it becomes clear that a layer of secrets and jealousy lay beneath the sundrenched paradise. Formats: Blu-ray. (Cohen Film Collection).


    May 17
  • Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde

    (1941) Spencer Tracy, Ingrid Bergman, Lana Turner, Ian Hunter, Donald Crisp. Laurence Olivier once observed that he “learned more about acting from watching [Spencer] Tracy than in any other way.” Undertaking the dual title role in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Victorian science-fiction thriller, Tracy fulfilled that compliment by abandoning his characteristic down-to-earth image for the most terrifying portrayal of his career. Also cast “against type” are “Sweater Sweetheart” Lana Turner as Jekyll’s fiancée and Ingrid Bergman, who plays Hyde’s victimized Cockney mistress. Tracy and director Victor Fleming ("Gone with the Wind") decided to break with convention by interpreting Hyde from a Freudian perspective instead of portraying him as the usual physically grotesque monster, and he emerges as a menacing distortion of the sexually frustrated Jekyll. To Tracy fans, this amazing piece of virtuosity will come as an unforgettable revelation. Formats: Blu-ray. (Warner Archive).

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    The Funeral

    (1984 -- Japan) It’s death, Japanese style, in the rollicking and wistful first feature from maverick writer-director Juzo Itami. In the wake of her father’s sudden passing, a successful actor (Itami’s wife and frequent collaborator, Nobuko Miyamoto) and her lascivious husband (Tsutomu Yamazaki) leave Tokyo and return to her family home to oversee a traditional funeral. Over the course of three days of mourning that bring illicit escapades in the woods, a surprisingly materialistic priest (Chishu Ryu), and cinema’s most epic sandwich handoff, the tensions between public propriety and private hypocrisy are laid bare. Deftly weaving dark comedy with poignant family drama, "The Funeral" is a fearless satire of the clash between the old and new in Japanese society in which nothing, not even the finality of death, is off-limits. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray, with high-definition restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Extras: New interviews with actors Nobuko Miyamoto and Manpei Ikeuchi; "Creative Marriages: Juzo Itami & Nobuko Miyamoto," a short program produced by the Criterion Channel; Commercials for Ichiroku Tart by director Juzo Itami; trailers; an essay by author Pico Iyer and, for the Blu-ray, excerpts from Itami’s 1985 book Diary of “The Funeral” and from a 2007 remembrance of Itami by actor Tsutomu Yamazaki. (The Criterion Collection). Read more here

  • Two Men In Town

    (2014) Forest Whitaker, Harvey Keitel, Brenda Blethyn, Luis Guzman, Ellen Burstyn, Dolores Heredia. Whitaker stars as William Garnett, an ex-con starting life over as a recently converted Muslim. With the help of his determined parole officer (Brenda Blethyn), he gets a job, meets an interesting woman, and keeps his head down. But the town sheriff, Bill Agati (Harvey Keitel), can’t leave him alone since Garnett was responsible for killing his deputy. As Agati puts pressure on him, and his old partners in crime hassle him, Garnett slowly starts to unravel. When his former life catches up with him, Garnett has to make peace with his past and face the future head on, with a gun. Formats: Blu-ray. (Cohen Media Group).


    May 24
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    Mississippi Masala

    (1991) The vibrant cultures of India, Uganda, and the American South come together in Mira Nair’s "Mississippi Masala," a luminous look at the complexities of love in the modern melting pot. Years after her Indian family was forced to flee their home in Uganda by the dictatorship of Idi Amin, twentysomething Mina (Sarita Choudhury) spends her days cleaning rooms in an Indian-run motel in Mississippi. When she falls for the charming Black carpet cleaner Demetrius (Denzel Washington), their passionate romance challenges the prejudices of both of their families and exposes the rifts between the region’s Indian and African American communities. Tackling thorny issues of racism, colorism, culture clash, and displacement with bighearted humor and keen insight, Nair serves up a sweet, sexy, and deeply satisfying celebration of love’s power. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray, with new 4K digital restoration, supervised by director Mira Nair and director of photography Ed Lachman, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Extras: New audio commentary featuring Nair; new conversation between actor Sarita Choudhury and film critic Devika Girish; new interviews with Lachman, screenwriter Sooni Taraporevala, and production designer and photographer Mitch Epstein; an essay by critic Bilal Qureshi and, for the Blu-ray, excerpts from Nair’s production journal. (The Criterion Collection). Read more here


    May 31
  • photo for Chan Is Missing

    Chan Is Missing

    (1982) A mystery man, a murder, and a wad of missing cash -- in his wryly offbeat breakthrough, Wayne Wang updates the ingredients of classic film noir for the streets of contemporary San Francisco’s Chinatown. When their business partner disappears with the money they had planned to use for a cab license, driver Jo (Wood Moy) and his nephew Steve (Marc Hayashi) scour the city’s back alleys, waterfronts, and Chinese restaurants to track him down. But what begins as a search for a missing man gradually turns into a far deeper and more elusive investigation into the complexities and contradictions of Chinese American identity. The first feature by an Asian American filmmaker to play widely and get mainstream critical appreciation, "Chan Is Missing" is a continuously fresh and surprising landmark of indie invention that playfully flips decades of cinematic stereotypes on their heads. In English, Cantonese, and Mandarin with English subtitles. Formats: Blu-ray, with high-definition digital master, approved by director Wayne Wang, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack. Extras: "Is Chan Still Missing?," a making-of documentary directed by Debbie Lum; new conversations between Wang and critic Hua Hsu and Wang and filmmaker Ang Lee; conversation between Wang and film programmer Dennis Lim; trailer; an essay by critic Oliver Wang. (The Criterion Collection). Read more here


    June 7
  • The Clock

    (1945) Over two whirlwind days, the impossible happens: Two strangers meet and fall in love with each other, with the City -- and its iconoclastic, eccentric inhabitants in this romance directed by Vincente Minnelli. After 10 years of musical appearances on film, M-G-M finally let Judy Garland exhibit her extraordinary acting talents without the need for song, and the results are unforgettable. Despite this romantic classic being very decidedly not a musical, the film is well-regarded for its haunting original score by composer David Raksin. Extras: Vintage Pete Smith specialty "Hollywood Scout," classic Tex Avery cartoon "Screwy Truant," audio-only bonus: radio show adaptation with Judy Garland and John Hodiak, original theatrical trailer. (Warner Archive).

  • For Me And My Gal

    (1942) Judy Garland got top billing at the mere age of 20 as the central star of this quintessential classic that introduced none other than Gene Kelly, making his film debut as her co-star. Directed with panache by the legendary maven of the movie musical Busby Berkeley, the films casts Gene and Judy as young vaudeville performers Harry Palmer and Jo Hayden. The pair dream of stardom, but the United States enters World War I and Harry receives his draft notice -- trapping the two between their obligation to each other's dreams and their duty to their country. Extras: Commentary by Judy Garland biographer John Fricke, vintagelhorts "Every Sunday" and "La Fiesta de Santa Barbara," "For Me and My Gal" deleted finale, "Three Cheers for the Yanks" outtake, photo re-creations with original recordings, audio only bonuses: Screen Guild Players Radio Show from March 23,1943, with Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, and Dick Powell and "Leo is on the Air" radio trailer, original theatrical trailer. (Warner Archive).

  • photo for The Tales of Hoffmann

    The Tales of Hoffmann

    (1951) Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger create a phantasmagoric marriage of cinema and opera in this one-of-a-kind take on a classic story. In Jacques Offenbach’s fantasy opera "The Tales of Hoffmann," a poet dreams of three women — a mechanical performing doll, a bejeweled siren, and the consumptive daughter of a famous composer — all of whom break his heart in different ways. Powell and Pressburger’s feverishly romantic adaptation is a feast of music, dance, and visual effects, and one of the most exhilarating opera films ever produced. Formats: Blu-ray, with 4K digital restoration by The Film Foundation and the BFI National Archive, in association with STUDIOCANAL, featuring newly rediscovered footage and with uncompressed monaural soundtrack. Extras: Audio commentary from 1992 by filmmaker Martin Scorsese and critic Bruce Eder, newly updated by Eder; interview with filmmaker George A. Romero from 2005; "The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (1956)," a short musical film based on the Johann Wolfgang von Goethe story and directed by Michael Powell; collection of production designer Hein Heckroth’s design sketches and paintings; gallery of production and publicity photographs; trailer; an essay by film historian Ian Christie. (The Criterion Collection). Read more here

  • Ziegfeld Girl

    (1947) An amazing all-star cast came together for this beloved classic drama about love and fame, set against the backdrop of the legendary Ziegfeld Follies. Judy Garland, Lana Turner, and Hedy Lamarr -- three of the screen's most glamorous leading ladies -- star with James Stewart as young hopefuls seeking fame as a Ziegfeld Girl. Garland portrays Susan Gallagher, who leaves her vaudevillian father to climb the ladder of stardom. Turner portrays Sheila Regan who drops her loyal beau Gilbert Young (James Stewart) for a wealthy suitor, forcing Young to resort to bootlegging to earn the money to win Sheila back, and Hedy Lamarr is the exotic Sandra Kolter. whose quest for stardom nearly destroys her marriage to the struggling violinist who adores her. Highlighted by spectacular musical sequences staged by the great Busby Berkeley. Extras: Introduction By Judy Garland biographer John Fricke, vintage musical short "A New Romance of Celluloid, We Must Have Music," Our Gang short "Melodies Old and New," audio-only outtakes, original theatrical trailer. (Warner Archive).


    June 14
  • Last Passenger

    (2012) Dougray Scott, Kara Tointon, In this nail-biting thriller, Dr. Lewis Shaler (Scott) boards a night train with his young son, Max. As he chats with a friendly fellow passenger, Sarah (Tointon), he idly wonders why the train isn’t following its normal route. When the train hurtles past their stops, Shaler and the other passengers realize something is seriously wrong. Communications are down and the emergency brakes don’t work. As the train rockets dangerously down the tracks and crashes through whatever is put in its path, Shaler and the rest of the passengers take matters into their own hands. But they’re no match for this multi-ton monster careening down a path to utter destruction. Extras: B Roll; sound bites; featurettes on set design, sound design, visual effects; trailers. (Cohen Media Group).


    June 28
  • photo for Pink Flamingos BLU-RAY DEBUT

    Pink Flamingos

    (1972) John Waters made bad taste perversely transcendent with the forever shocking counterculture sensation "Pink Flamingos," his most infamous and daring cinematic transgression. Outré diva Divine is iconic as the wanted criminal hiding out with her family of degenerates in a trailer outside Baltimore while reveling in her tabloid notoriety as the “Filthiest Person Alive.” When a pair of sociopaths (Mink Stole and David Lochary) with a habit of kidnapping women in order to impregnate them attempt to challenge her title, Divine resolves to show them and the world the true meaning of the word filthy. Incest, cannibalism, shrimping, and film history’s most legendary gross-out ending — Waters and his merry band of Dreamlanders leave no taboo unsmashed in this gleefully subversive ode to outsiderhood, in which camp spectacle and pitch-black satire are wielded in an all-out assault on respectability. Formats: Blu-ray, with new 4K digital restoration, supervised and approved by director John Waters, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack. Extras: Two audio commentaries featuring Waters, from the 1997 Criterion laserdisc and the 2001 DVD release; new conversation between Waters and filmmaker Jim Jarmusch; tour of the film’s Baltimore locations, led by Waters; deleted scenes, alternate takes, and on-set footage; trailer; an essay by critic Howard Hampton and a piece by actor and author Cookie Mueller about the making of the film, from her 1990 book "Walking Through Clear Water in a Pool Painted Black." (The Criterion Collection). Read more here


    July 5
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    The Virgin Suicides

    (1999) With this debut feature, Sofia Coppola announced her singular vision, exploring the aesthetics of femininity while illuminating the interior lives of young women. An adaptation of Jeffrey Eugenides's highly acclaimed first novel, "The Virgin Suicides" conjures the ineffable melancholy of teenage longing and ennui in its story of the suicides of the five Lisbon sisters, stifled by the rules of their overprotective religious parents -- as told through the collective memory of a group of men who were boys at the time and still yearn to understand what happened. Evoking its 1970s suburban setting through ethereal cinematography by Ed Lachman and an atmospheric score by Air, and featuring a magnetic performance by Kirsten Dunst, the film secured a place for its director in the landscape of American independent cinema and has become a coming-of-age touchstone. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD, with new 4K digital restoration, approved by director Sofia Coppola and supervised by cinematographer Ed Lachman, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the 4K UHD and Blu-ray. In the 4K UHD edition: One 4K UHD disc of the film and one Blu-ray with the film and special features. Extras: Read more here. (The Criterion Collection).


    July 12
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    Summertime

    (1955) With this sublimely bittersweet tale of romantic longing, director David Lean left behind the British soundstage to capture in radiant Technicolor the sun-splashed glory of Venice at the height of summer. In a tour de force of fearless vulnerability, Katharine Hepburn portrays the conflicting emotions that stir the heart of a lonely, middle-aged American tourist who is forced to confront her insecurities when she is drawn into a seemingly impossible affair with a charming Italian shopkeeper (Rossano Brazzi) amid the ancient city's canals and piazzas. Lean's personal favorite among his own films, "Summertime" is an exquisitely tender evocation of the magic and melancholy of a fleeting, not-quite-fairy-tale romance. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray, with new 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Extras: Read more here. (The Criterion Collection).


    July 19
  • photo for Devil in a Blue Dress

    Devil in a Blue Dress

    (1995) The bone-deep disillusionment of postwar film noir becomes a powerful vehicle to explore America's racial injustices in Carl Franklin's richly atmospheric "Devil in a Blue Dress," an adaptation of the hard-boiled novel by Walter Mosley. Denzel Washington has charisma to burn as the jobless ex-GI Easy Rawlins, who sees a chance to make some quick cash when he's recruited to find the missing lover (Jennifer Beals) of a wealthy mayoral candidate in late-1940s Los Angeles-only to find himself embroiled in murder, political intrigue, and a scandal that crosses the treacherous color lines of a segregated society. Featuring breakout work by Don Cheadle as Rawlins's cheerfully trigger-happy sidekick, this stylish mystery both channels and subverts classic noir tropes as it exposes the bitter racial realities underlying the American dream. Formats: Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD with new 4K digital restoration, approved by director Carl Franklin, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. In the 4K UHD edition: One 4K UHD disc of the film presented in Dolby Vision HDR and one Blu-ray with the film and special features. Extras: Read more here. (The Criterion Collection).


    August 23
  • photo for Buck and the Preacher

    Buck and the Preacher

    (1972) With his rousingly entertaining directorial debut, Sidney Poitier helped rewrite the history of the western, bringing Black heroes to a genre in which they had always been sorely underrepresented. Combining boisterous buddy comedy with blistering, Black Power-era political fury, Poitier and a marvelously mischievous Harry Belafonte star as a tough and taciturn wagon master and an unscrupulous, pistol-packing "preacher," who join forces in order to take on the white bounty hunters threatening a westward-bound caravan of recently freed enslaved people. A superbly crafted revisionist landmark, "Buck and the Preacher" subverts Hollywood conventions at every turn and reclaims the western genre in the name of Black liberation. Formats: Blu-ray, with new 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack. Extras: Read more here. (The Criterion Collection).



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