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
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