Criterion – June 2014 Titles

Criterion has released the titles it will release in June 2014:

All That Heaven Allows

All That Heaven Allows – June 10

This heartbreakingly beautiful indictment of 1950s American mores by Douglas Sirk follows the blossoming love between a well-off suburban widow (Jane Wyman) and her handsome and earthy younger gardener (Rock Hudson). After their romance prompts the scorn of her selfish children and snooty country club friends, she must decide whether to pursue her own happiness or carry on a lonely, hemmed-in existence for the sake of the approval of others. With the help of ace cinematographer Russell Metty, Sirk imbued nearly every shot with a vivid and distinct emotional tenor. A profoundly felt film about class and conformity in small-town America, All That Heaven Allows is a pinnacle of expressionistic Hollywood melodrama.

Special Features:

  • New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary featuring John Mercer, coauthor of Melodrama: Genre, Style, Sensibility, and film scholar Tamar Jeffers-McDonald
  • Rock Hudson’s Home Movies (1992), a groundbreaking essay film about the actor by Mark Rappaport
  • French television interview with Sirk from 1982
  • Excerpts from Behind the Mirror: A Profile of Douglas Sirk, a 1979 BBC documentary featuring rare interview footage with the director
  • Contract Kid: William Reynolds on Douglas Sirk, a 2007 interview with the actor, who costarred in three Sirk films, including All That Heaven Allows
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film scholar Laura Mulvey and an excerpt from a 1971 essay by filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder on Sirk

L'Eclisse

L’Eclisse – June 10

The concluding chapter of Michelangelo Antonioni’s informal trilogy on contemporary malaise (following L’avventura and La notte), L’eclisse (The Eclipse) tells the story of a young woman (Monica Vitti) who leaves one lover (Francisco Rabal) and drifts into a relationship with another (Alain Delon). Using the architecture of Rome as a backdrop for the doomed affair, Antonioni achieves the apotheosis of his style in this return to the theme that preoccupied him the most: the difficulty of connection in an alienating modern world.

Special Features:

  • New, restored high-definition digital film transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary by film scholar Richard Peña, former program director of New York’s Film Society of Lincoln Center
  • Michelangelo Antonioni: The Eye That Changed Cinema (2001), a fifty-six-minute documentary exploring the director’s life and career
  • Elements of Landscape, a twenty-two-minute piece from 2005 about Antonioni and L’eclisse, featuring Italian film critic Adriano Aprà and longtime Antonioni friend Carlo di Carlo
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by film critics Jonathan Rosenbaum and Gilberto Perez, as well as excerpts from Antonioni’s writing about his work

Judex

Judex – June 17

This effortlessly cool crime caper, directed by Georges Franju, is a marvel of dexterous plotting and visual invention. Conceived as an homage to Louis Feuillade’s 1916 cult silent serial of the same name, Judex kicks off with the mysterious kidnapping of a corrupt banker by a shadowy crime fighter (American magician Channing Pollock) and spins out into a thrillingly complex web of deceptions. Combining stylish sixties modernism with silent-cinema touches and even a few unexpected sci-fi accents, Judex is a delightful bit of pulp fiction and a testament to the art of illusion.

Special Features:

  • New 2K digital film restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Interview from 2007 with the film’s cowriter Jacques Champreux, the grandson of Louis Feuillade, cocreator of the silent serial Judex
  • Interview from 2012 with actor Francine Bergé
  • Franju le visionnaire, a fifty-minute program from 1998 on director Franju’s career and imagination
  • New English subtitle translation
  • One Blu-ray and one DVD, with all content available in both formats
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film scholar Geoffrey O’Brien, along with reprinted writings by and excerpted interviews with Franju

Hearts and Minds

Hearts and MindsJune 17

A startling and courageous film, Peter Davis’s landmark 1974 documentary Hearts and Minds unflinchingly confronted the United States’ involvement in Vietnam at the height of the foment that surrounded it. Using a wealth of sources—from interviews to newsreels to footage of the conflict and the upheaval it occasioned on the home front—Davis constructs a powerfully affecting picture of the disastrous effects of war. Explosive, persuasive, and wrenching, Hearts and Minds is an overwhelming emotional experience and the most important nonfiction film ever made about this devastating period in history.

Special Features:

  • High-definition digital restoration, supervised by director Peter Davis and cinematographer Richard Pearce, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary featuring Davis
  • A collection of over two hours of never-before-seen outtakes from the film, including interviews with presidential adviser George Ball, broadcast journalist David Brinkley, French journalist and historian Philippe Devillers, political activist Tony Russo, and General William Westmoreland
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by Davis, film critic Judith Crist, and historians Robert K. Brigham, George C. Herring, and Ngo Vinh Long

Picnic at Hanging Rock

Picnic at Hanging Rock – June 17

This sensual and striking chronicle of a disappearance and its aftermath put director Peter Weir on the map and helped usher in a new era of Australian cinema. Set at the turn of the twentieth century, Picnic at Hanging Rock concerns a small group of students from an all-female college and a chaperone, who vanish while on a St. Valentine’s Day outing. Less a mystery than a journey into the mystic, as well as an inquiry into issues of class and sexual repression in Australian society, Weir’s gorgeous, disquieting film is a work of poetic horror whose secrets haunt viewers to this day.

Special Features:

  • Remastered high-definition digital film transfer, supervised and approved by director Peter Weir, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Extended interview with Weir
  • New piece on the making of the film, featuring interviews from 2003 with executive producer Patricia Lovell, producers Hal McElroy and Jim McElroy, and cast members
  • New introduction by film scholar David Thomson, author of The New Biographical Dictionary of Film
  • A Recollection . . . Hanging Rock 1900 (1975), an on-set documentary hosted by Lovell and featuring interviews with Weir, actor Rachel Roberts, and source novel author Joan Lindsay
  • Homesdale (1971), an award-winning black comedy by Weir
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by author Megan Abbott and an excerpt from film critic Marek Haltof’s 1996 book Peter Weir: When Cultures Collide; a new paperback edition of Lindsay’s original novel, previously out of print in the U.S.

A Hard Day's Night

A Hard Day’s Night – June 24

Meet the Beatles! Just one month after they exploded onto the U.S. scene with their Ed Sullivan Show appearance, John, Paul, George, and Ringo began working on a project that would bring their revolutionary talent to the big screen. A Hard Day’s Night, in which the bandmates play slapstick versions of themselves, captured the astonishing moment when they officially became the singular, irreverent idols of their generation and changed music forever. Directed with raucous, anything-goes verve by Richard Lester and featuring a slew of iconic pop anthems, including the title track, “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “I Should Have Known Better,” and “If I Fell,” A Hard Day’s Night, which reconceived the movie musical and exerted an incalculable influence on the music video, is one of the most deliriously entertaining movies of all time.

Special Features:

  • New 4K digital film restoration, approved by director Richard Lester, with two audio options—a monaural soundtrack and a new 5.1 surround soundtrack made by Apple Records—presented in uncompressed monaural and DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary featuring various members of the film’s cast and crew
  • In Their Own Voices, a new piece combining interviews with the Beatles from 1964 with behind-the-scenes footage and photos
  • You Can’t Do That: The Making of “A Hard Day’s Night,” a 1994 documentary program by producer Walter Shenson
  • Things They Said Today, a 2002 documentary about the film featuring Lester, music producer George Martin, writer Alun Owen, cinematographer Gilbert Taylor, and others
  • New piece about Lester’s early work, featuring a new audio interview with the director
  • The Running Jumping and Standing Still Film (1959), Lester’s Oscar-nominated short featuring Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan
  • Anatomy of a Style, a new piece on Lester’s approach to editing
  • New interview with Mark Lewisohn, author of Tune In: The Beatles: All These Years—Volume One
  • Deleted scene
  • Trailers
  • One Blu-ray and two DVDs, with all content available in both formats
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Howard Hampton

Fantastic Mr. Fox – Criterion Blu-ray Unboxing

Hi, all! Earlier this week I received Criterion’s new release of Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox (one of my favorite animated films I’ve ever seen). I’m also just basically in love with Wes Anderson, so I’m pretty happy that I have another one of his films in my collection. Criterion has produced a beautiful new package, and I’ve taken some pictures just in case anyone wanted a closer look.

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Double Indemnity and Touch of Evil Blu-rays

Universal Studios Home Entertainment will bring Billy Wilder’s Double Indemnity (1944) and Orson Welles’ Touch of Evil (1958) to Blu-ray this Spring. The former arrives via a 70th Anniversary Limited Edition Blu-ray/UltraViolet combo pack, while the latter arrives via a Limited Edition BD/UV combo. Both highly anticipated catalog classics make their Blu-ray debuts on April 15th. Pre-order links follow.

Double Indemnity - Blu-ray Cover Art Double Indemnity - Blu-ray Unboxed

Double Indemnity

Synopsis: Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck star in the gripping film noir classic Double Indemnity, directed by Academy Award winner Billy Wilder. A calculating wife (Stanwyck) encourages her wealthy husband to sign a double indemnity policy proposed by smitten insurance agent Walter Neff (MacMurray). As the would-be lovers plot the unsuspecting husband’s murder, they are pursued by a suspicious claims manager (Edward G. Robinson). It’s a race against time to get away with the perfect crime in this suspenseful masterpiece that was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

Double Indemnity is presented in 1080p with a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono track. Special features include:

  • Introduction by Robert Osborne
  • Commentary with Film Historian Richard Schickel
  • Commentary with Film Historian/Screenwriter Lem Dobbs and Film Historian Nick Redman
  • Shadows of Suspense Documentary
  • Double Indemnity (1973) TV Movie
  • Theatrical Trailer

Touch of Evil - Blu-ray Cover Art Touch of Evil - Blu-ray Unboxed

Touch of Evil

Synopsis: Directed by Orson Welles, Touch of Evil is a film noir masterpiece whose Hollywood backstory is as unforgettable as the movie itself. Starring Charlton Heston, Janet Leigh and Welles himself, this dark portrait of corruption and morally compromised obsessions tells the story of a crooked police chief who frames a Mexican youth as part of an intricate criminal plot.

The Blu-ray features three versions of the film: the Preview Version, the Theatrical Version and the Reconstructed Version, based on Orson Welles’ original vision. All three are presented in 1080p with a English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono track. Special features include:

  • Preview Version Commentary with Welles Historians Jonathan Rosenbaum and James Naremore
  • Theatrical Version Commentary with Writer/Filmmaker F.X. Feeney
  • Reconstructed Version Commentary with Charlton Heston, Janet Leigh and Reconstruction Producer Rick Schmidlin
  • Reconstructed Version Commentary with Reconstruction Producer Rick Schmidlin
  • Bringing Evil to Life
  • Evil Lost and Found
  • Theatrical Trailer

Double IndemnityAmazon

Touch of EvilAmazon

Criterion’s April 2014 Titles

In slightly newer news, Criterion has recently released it’s scheduled titles for April:

The 400 Blows - Cover Art

The 400 Blows – April 8

The unforgettable debut feature by François Truffaut is a wrenchingly personal coming-of-age story that introduced the character that would become the director’s lifelong cinematic counterpart, Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Léaud, in one of the screen’s great child performances). With the utmost sensitivity, The 400 Blows dramatizes the trials of Truffaut’s own difficult childhood, characterized by aloof parents, oppressive teachers, and petty crime. The film marks its maker’s official transition from influential critic to one of Europe’s most brilliant auteurs, and is considered the first true work of the French New Wave.

Special Features:

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • New digital transfer of Antoine and Colette (The Adventures of Antoine Doinel box set only)
  • Two audio commentaries, one by cinema professor Brian Stonehill and another by François Truffaut’s lifelong friend Robert Lachenay
  • Rare audition footage of Jean-Pierre Léaud, Patrick Auffay, and Richard Kanayan
  • Newsreel footage of Jean-Pierre Léaud in Cannes for the showing of The 400 Blows
  • Excerpt from a French TV program with Truffaut discussing his youth, critical writings, and the origins of Antoine Doinel in The 400 Blows and Antoine and Colette
  • Television interview with Truffaut about the global reception of The 400 Blows and his own critical impression of the film
  • Theatrical trailer for The 400 Blows
  • PLUS: A new essay by film scholar Annette Insdorf

Breaking the Waves - Cover Art

Breaking the Waves – April 15

Lars von Trier became an international sensation with this galvanizing realist fable about sex and spiritual transcendence. Emily Watson stuns, in an Oscar-nominated performance, as Bess, a simple, pious newlywed in a tiny Scottish village who gives herself up to a shocking form of martyrdom after her husband (Stellan Skarsgård) is paralyzed in an oil-rig accident. Breaking the Waves, both brazen and tender, profane and pure, is an examination of the expansiveness of faith and of its limits.

Special Features:

  • New 4K digital restoration, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Selected-scene audio commentary featuring director Lars von Trier, editor Anders Refn, and location scout Anthony Dod Mantle
  • New interview with filmmaker and critic Stig Björkman
  • New interviews with actors Emily Watson and Stellan Skarsgård
  • Interview from 2004 with actor Adrian Rawlins
  • Watson’s audition tape, with commentary by von Trier
  • Deleted and extended scenes, with commentary by von Trier
  • Deleted scene featuring the late actor Katrin Cartlidge
  • Cannes Film Festival promotional clip
  • Trailer
  • New English subtitle translation
  • One Blu-ray and two DVDs, with all content available in both formats
  • PLUS: An essay by critic David Sterritt

Master of the House - Cover Art

Master of the House – April 22

Before he got up close and personal with Joan of Arc, the Danish cinema genius Carl Theodor Dreyer fashioned this finely detailed, ahead-of-its-time examination of domestic life. In this heartfelt story of a housewife who, with the help of a wily nanny, turns the tables on her tyrannical husband, Dreyer finds lightness and humor; it’s a deft comedy of revenge that was an enormous box-office success and is considered an early example of feminism on-screen. Constructed with the director’s customary meticulousness and stirring sense of justice, Master of the House is a jewel of silent cinema.

Special Features:

  • New 2K digital restoration, with a recent score by Gillian Anderson, presented in uncompressed stereo on the Blu-ray
  • New interview with Dreyer historian Casper Tybjerg
  • New visual essay on Dreyer’s camera work and editing by film historian David Bordwell
  • New English intertitle translation
  • One Blu-ray and one DVD, with all content available in both formats
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film scholar Mark Le Fanu

Riot in Cell Block 11 - Cover Art

Riot in Cell Block 11 – April 22

Early in his career, Don Siegel made his mark with this sensational and high-octane but economically constructed drama set in a maximum-security penitentiary. Riot in Cell Block 11, the brainchild of producer extraordinaire Walter Wanger, is a ripped-from-the-headlines social-problem picture about prisoners’ rights that was inspired by a recent spate of uprisings in American prisons. In Siegel’s hands, the film is at once brash and humane, showcasing the hard-boiled visual flair and bold storytelling for which the director would become known and shot on location at Folsom State Prison, with real inmates and guards as extras.

Special Features:

  • New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New audio commentary by film scholar Matthew Bernstein
  • Excerpts from the director’s 1993 autobiography, A Siegel Film, read by his son Kristoffer Tabori
  • More!
  • One Blu-ray and one DVD, with all content available in both formats
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Chris Fujiwara, a 1954 article by coproducer Walter Wanger, and a 1974 tribute to Siegel by filmmaker Sam Peckinpah

Il Sorpasso - Cover Art

Il Sorpasso – April 29

The ultimate Italian road comedy, Il Sorpasso stars the unlikely pair of Vittorio Gassman and Jean-Louis Trintignant as, respectively, a waggish, free-wheeling bachelor and the bookish law student he takes on a madcap trip from Rome to rural Southern Italy. An unpredictable journey that careers from slapstick to tragedy, this film, directed by Dino Risi, is a wildly entertaining commentary on the pleasures and consequences of the good life. A holy grail of commedia all’italiana, Il Sorpasso is so fresh and exciting that one can easily see why it has long been adored in Italy.

Special Features:

  • New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New interviews with screenwriter Ettore Scola and film scholar and professor Rémi Fournier Lanzoni
  • Interview from 2004 with director Dino Risi by film critic Jean A. Gili
  • Introduction by actor Jean-Louis Trintignant from a 1983 French television broadcast of the film
  • A Beautiful Vacation, a 2006 documentary on Risi featuring interviews with the director and his collaborators and friends
  • Excerpts from a 2012 documentary that returns to Castiglioncello, the location for the film’s beach scenes, featuring rare on-set color footage
  • Trailer
  • New English subtitle translation
  • One Blu-ray and two DVDs, with all content available in both formats
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by critics Phillip Lopate and Antonio Monda, as well as excerpts from Risi’s writings, with an introduction by film critic Valerio Caprara

March 2014 Titles – Criterion

Well, this is old news, but better late than never. Here’s the release schedule for the Criterion Collection’s March titles:

George Washington - Cover Art

George Washington – March 11

Over the course of one hot summer, a group of children in the decaying rural South must confront a tangle of difficult choices. An ambitiously constructed, elegantly photographed meditation on adolescence, the first full-length film by director David Gordon Green features remarkable performances from an award-winning ensemble cast. George Washington is a startling and distinct work of contemporary American independent cinema.

Special Features:

  • Restored high-definition digital transfer, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Commentary by director David Gordon Green, cinematographer Tim Orr, and actor Paul Schneider
  • Deleted scene, with commentary by Green, Orr, and Schneider
  • Two student shorts by Green: Pleasant Grove (1997), with commentary by Green, Orr, and Schneider; and Physical Pinball (1998)
  • Charlie Rose interview with Green from 2001
  • Interviews with cast members
  • Clu Gulager’s 1969 short film A Day with the Boys, an influence on George Washington
  • Trailer
  • One Blu-ray and one DVD, with all content available in both formats
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Armond White and a director’s statement

The Hidden Fortress - Cover Art

The Hidden Fortress – March 18

A grand-scale adventure as only Akira Kurosawa could make one, The Hidden Fortress stars the inimitable Toshiro Mifune as a general charged with guarding his defeated clan’s princess (a fierce Misa Uehara) as the two smuggle royal treasure across hostile territory. Accompanying them are a pair of bumbling, conniving peasants who may or may not be their friends. This rip-roaring ride is among the director’s most beloved films and was a primary influence on George Lucas’s Star Wars. The Hidden Fortress delivers Kurosawa’s trademark deft blend of wry humor, breathtaking action, and compassionate humanity.

Special Features:

  • New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Alternate 5.1 surround soundtrack preserving the original Perspecta simulated stereo effects, presented in DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray
  • New audio commentary by film historian Stephen Prince, author of The Warrior’s Camera: The Cinema of Akira Kurosawa
  • Documentary from 2003 on the making of the film, created as part of the Toho Masterworks series Akira Kurosawa: It Is Wonderful to Create
  • Interview from 2001 with filmmaker George Lucas about Kurosawa
  • Trailer
  • New English subtitle translation
  • One Blu-ray and one DVD, with all content available in both formats
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film scholar Catherine Russell

A Brief History of Time - Cover Art

A Brief History of Time – March 18

Errol Morris turns his camera on one of the most fascinating men in the world: the pioneering astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, afflicted by a debilitating motor neuron disease that has left him without a voice or the use of his limbs. An adroitly crafted tale of personal adversity, professional triumph, and cosmological inquiry, Morris’s documentary examines the way the collapse of Hawking’s body has been accompanied by the untrammeled broadening of his imagination. Telling the man’s incredible story through the voices of his colleagues and loved ones, while making dynamically accessible some of the theories in Hawking’s best-selling book of the same name, A Brief History of Time is at once as small as a single life and as big as the ever-expanding universe.

Special Features:

  • New, restored 4K digital film transfer, supervised by director of photography John Bailey and approved by director Errol Morris, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New interview with Morris
  • New interview with Bailey
  • One Blu-ray and one DVD, with all content available in both formats
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic David Sterritt, a chapter from Stephen Hawking’s 2013 memoir My Brief History, and a short excerpt from Hawking’s 1988 book A Brief History of Time

The Freshman - Cover Art

The Freshman – March 25

Harold Lloyd’s biggest box-office hit was this silent comedy gem, featuring the befuddled everyman at his eager best as a new college student. Though he dreams of being a big man on campus, the freshman’s careful plans inevitably go hilariously awry, be it on the football field or at the Fall Frolic. But he gets a climactic chance to prove his mettle—and impress the sweet girl he loves—in one of the most famous sports sequences ever filmed. This crowd-pleaser is a gleeful showcase for Lloyd’s slapstick brilliance and incandescent charm, and it’s accompanied here by a new orchestral score by Carl Davis.

Special Features:

  • New 4K digital transfer from a restoration by the UCLA Film and Television Archive
  • New orchestral score, composed and conducted by Carl Davis, presented in uncompressed stereo on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary featuring director and Harold Lloyd archivist Richard Correll, film historian Richard Bann, and film critic and historian Leonard Maltin
  • Lloyd’s prologue to the film, created for the 1966 rerelease
  • Three newly restored Lloyd shorts: The Marathon (1919), with a new score by Gabriel Thibaudeau, and An Eastern Westerner and High and Dizzy (both 1920), with new scores composed and conducted by Davis
  • Big Man on Campus, a new visual essay on the film’s locations by silent-film historian John Bengtson
  • Conversation between Correll and film historian Kevin Brownlow
  • Footage from a 1963 Delta Kappa Alpha tribute to Lloyd, featuring comedian Steve Allen, director Delmer Daves, and actor Jack Lemmon
  • Lloyd’s 1953 appearance on the television show What’s My Line?
  • One Blu-ray and two DVDs, with all content available in both formats
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Stephen Winer

Persona - Cover Art

Persona - March 25

By the mid-sixties, Ingmar Bergman had already conjured many of the cinema’s most unforgettable images. But with the radical Persona, this supreme artist attained new levels of visual poetry. In the first of a series of legendary performances for Bergman, Liv Ullmann plays an actress who has inexplicably gone mute; an equally mesmerizing Bibi Andersson is the garrulous young nurse caring for her in a remote island cottage. While isolated together there, the women perform a mysterious spiritual and emotional transference that would prove to be one of cinema’s most influential ideas. Acted with astonishing nuance and shot in stark shadows and soft light by the great Sven Nykvist, Persona is a penetrating, dreamlike work of profound psychological depth.

Special Features:

  • New, 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New visual essay on the film’s prologue by Ingmar Bergman scholar Peter Cowie
  • New interviews with actor Liv Ullmann and filmmaker Paul Schrader
  • Excerpted archival interviews with Bergman and actors Bibi Andersson and Ullmann
  • On-set footage, with audio commentary by Bergman historian Birgitta Steene
  • Liv & Ingmar, a 2012 feature documentary directed by Dheeraj Akolkar
  • Trailer
  • New English subtitle translation
  • One Blu-ray and two DVDs, with all content available in both formats
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film scholar Thomas Elsaesser, an excerpted 1969 interview with Bergman, and an excerpted 1977 conversation with Andersson

The Great Beauty - Cover Art

The Great Beauty – March 25

For decades, journalist Jep Gambardella has charmed and seduced his way through the glittering nightlife of Rome. Since the legendary success of his only novel, he has been a permanent fixture in the city’s literary and elite social circles. But on his sixty-fifth birthday, Jep unexpectedly finds himself taking stock of his life, turning his cutting wit on himself and his contemporaries, and looking past the lavish nightclubs, parties, and cafés to find Rome itself, in all its monumental glory: a timeless landscape of absurd, exquisite beauty. Featuring sensuous cinematography, a lush score, and an award-winning central performance by the great Toni Servillo, this transporting experience by the brilliant Italian director Paolo Sorrentino is a breathtaking Fellini-esque tale of decadence and lost love.

Special Features:

  • New 2K digital transfer, approved by director Paolo Sorrentino, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Conversation between Sorrentino and Italian cultural critic Antonio Monda
  • New interview with actor Toni Servillo
  • New interview with screenwriter Umberto Contarello
  • Deleted scenes
  • Trailer
  • New English subtitle translation
  • One Blu-ray and two DVDs, with all content available in both formats
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Philip Lopate

City Lights and Frances Ha – Unboxings

I have recently received the Criterion Collection’s releases of Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights and Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha. Like always, I took some pictures of the releases (you know, just in case anyone wanted to see the packaging). Take a look:

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