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  #841  
Old 15th April 2021, 09:46 PM
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'Mirror' (1975) - Pre-order available from Criterion direct for Blu-Ray $31.96 and DVD $23.96

Release date: July 6

"A subtly ravishing passage through the halls of time and memory, this sublime reflection on twentieth-century Russian history by Andrei Tarkovsky (Stalker) is as much a poem composed in images, or a hypnagogic hallucination, as it is a work of cinema. In a richly textured collage of varying film stocks and newsreel footage, the recollections of a dying poet flash before our eyes, his dreams mingling with scenes of childhood, wartime, and marriage, all imbued with the mystical power of a trance. Largely dismissed by Soviet critics on its release because of its elusive narrative structure, Mirror has since taken its place as one of the director’s most renowned and influential works, a stunning personal statement from an artist transmitting his innermost thoughts and feelings directly from psyche to screen."

Special Features:
  • New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Andrei Tarkovsky: A Cinema Prayer, a 2019 documentary about the director by his son Andrei A. Tarkovsky
  • The Dream in the Mirror, a new documentary by Louise Milne and Seán Martin
  • New interview with composer Eduard Artemyev
  • Islands: Georgy Rerberg, a 2007 documentary about the cinematographer
  • Archival interviews with Tarkovsky and screenwriter Alexander Misharin
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Carmen Gray and, for the Blu-ray, the 1968 film proposal and literary script by Tarkovsky and Misharin that they ultimately developed into Mirror

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  #842  
Old 15th April 2021, 09:49 PM
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'La Piscine' (1969) - Pre-order available from Criterion direct for Blu-Ray $31.96 and DVD $23.96

Release date: July 20

"The bright sun of the French Riviera is deceptive in this languorously alluring exercise in slow-burn suspense from thriller specialist Jacques Deray and legendary screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière. Ten years after their breakup, one of European cinema’s most iconic real-life couples, Alain Delon and Romy Schneider, reunited for this film, bringing a palpable erotic chemistry to their performances as the bronzed and beautiful vacationers whose blissed-out summer holiday on the Côte d’Azur is interrupted by the arrival of an old acquaintance (Maurice Ronet) and his eighteen-year-old daughter (Jane Birkin)—unleashing a gathering tidal wave of sexual tension, jealousy, and sudden violence. A paragon of 1960s modernist cool thanks to effortlessly chic clothes and a loungy Michel Legrand score, La piscine dives deep to reveal sinister undercurrents roiling beneath its seductive surfaces."

Special Features:
  • New, restored 4K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • The Swimming Pool: “First Love Never Dies,” the English-language version of the film
  • Fifty Years Later, a 2019 documentary by Agnès Vincent-Deray featuring actors Alain Delon and Jane Birkin, screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière, and novelist Jean-Emmanuel Conil
  • New interview with scholar Nick Rees-Roberts on the film’s cinematic and aesthetic legacy
  • Archival footage featuring Delon, Birkin, actors Romy Schneider and Maurice Ronet, and director Jacques Deray
  • Alternate ending
  • Trailers
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by film critic Jessica Kiang

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  #843  
Old 15th April 2021, 09:52 PM
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'Bringing Up Baby' (1938) - Pre-order available from Criterion direct for Blu-Ray $31.96 and DVD $23.96

Release date: July 6

"Screwball sparks fly when Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn let loose in one of the fastest and funniest films ever made—a high-wire act of invention that took American screen comedy to new heights of absurdity. Hoping to procure a million-dollar endowment from a wealthy society matron for his museum, a hapless paleontologist (Grant) finds himself entangled with a dizzy heiress (Hepburn) as the manic misadventures pile up—a missing dinosaur bone, a leopard on the loose, and plenty of gender-bending mayhem among them. Bringing Up Baby’s sophisticated dialogue, spontaneous performances, and giddy innuendo come together in a whirlwind of comic chaos captured with lightning-in-a-bottle brio by director Howard Hawks."

Special Features:
  • New, restored 4K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary from 2005 featuring filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich
  • New video essay on actor Cary Grant by author Scott Eyman
  • New interview about cinematographer Russell Metty with cinematographer John Bailey
  • New interview with film scholar Craig Barron on special-effects pioneer Linwood Dunn
  • New selected-scene commentary about costume designer Howard Greer with costume historian Shelly Foote
  • Howard Hawks: A Hell of a Good Life, a 1977 documentary by Hans-Christoph Blumenberg featuring the director’s last filmed interview
  • Audio interview from 1969 with Grant
  • Audio excerpts from a 1972 conversation between Hawks and Bogdanovich
  • Trailer
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Sheila O’Malley and, for the Blu-ray, the 1937 short story by Hagar Wilde on which the film is based

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  #844  
Old 15th April 2021, 11:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Susan Foreman View Post
'Deep Cover' (1992) - Pre-order available from Criterion direct for Blu-Ray $31.96 and DVD $23.96

Release date: July 13

"Film noir hits the mean streets of 1990s Los Angeles in this stylish and subversive underworld odyssey from veteran actor-director Bill Duke. Laurence Fishburne stars as Russell Stevens/John Hull, a police officer who goes undercover as the partner of a dangerously ambitious cocaine trafficker (Jeff Goldblum) in order to infiltrate and bring down a powerful Latin American drug ring operating in LA. But the further Stevens descends into this ruthless world of money, violence, and power, the more disillusioned he becomes—and the harder to make out the line between right and wrong, crime and justice. Steeped in shadowy, neon-soaked atmosphere and featuring Dr. Dre’s debut solo single, this unsung gem of the nineties’ Black cinema explosion delivers a riveting character study and sleek action thrills alongside a furious moral indictment of America and the devastating failures of the war on drugs."

Special Features:
  • New 4K digital restoration, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New interview with director Bill Duke
  • New conversation between film scholars Racquel J. Gates and Michael B. Gillespie about Deep Cover’s place within both the Black film boom of the early 1990s and the noir genre
  • New conversation between scholar Claudrena N. Harold and professor, DJ, and podcaster Oliver Wang about the film’s title track and its importance to the history of hip-hop
  • Panel discussion from 2018 featuring Duke and Fishburne and moderated by film critic Elvis Mitchell
  • Trailer
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: An essay by Gillespie

It's been a long time coming. Cannot wait.
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  #845  
Old 4th May 2021, 07:05 AM
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"Happy Spring! For the month of May, all Blu-rays and DVDs are 30% OFF, including preorders"

https://www.criterion.com/shop
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  #846  
Old 17th May 2021, 09:07 PM
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'After Life' (1988) - Pre-order available from Criterion direct for Blu-Ray $27.96 and DVD $20.96

Release date: August 10

"If you could choose only one memory to hold on to for eternity, what would it be? That’s the question at the heart of Hirokazu Kore-eda’s revelatory international breakthrough, a bittersweet fantasia in which the recently deceased find themselves in a limbo realm where they must select a single cherished moment from their life to be recreated on film for them to take into the next world. After Life’s high-concept premise is grounded in Kore‑eda’s documentary-like approach to the material, which he shaped through interviews with hundreds of Japanese citizens. What emerges is a panoramic vision of the human experience—its ephemeral joys and lingering regrets—and a quietly profound meditation on memory, our interconnectedness, and the amberlike power of cinema to freeze time."

Special Features:
  • New 2K restoration, approved by writer-director Hirokazu Kore-eda, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary featuring film scholar Linda Ehrlich
  • New interviews with Kore-eda, stills photographer–cinematographer Masayoshi Sukita, and cinematographer Yutaka Yamazaki
  • Deleted scenes
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen

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  #847  
Old 17th May 2021, 09:10 PM
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'Company' (1970) - Pre-order available from Criterion direct for Blu-Ray $27.96 and DVD $20.96

Release date: August 17

"This holy grail for both documentary and theater aficionados offers a tantalizingly rare glimpse behind the Broadway curtain. In 1970, right after the triumphant premiere of Stephen Sondheim’s groundbreaking concept musical Company, the renowned composer and lyricist, his director Harold Prince, the show’s stars, and a large pit orchestra all went into a Manhattan recording studio as part of a time-honored Broadway tradition: the recording of the original cast album. What ensued was a marathon session in which, with the pressures of posterity and the coolly exacting Sondheim’s perfectionism hanging over them, all involved pushed themselves to the limit—including theater legend Elaine Stritch, who fought anxiety and exhaustion to record her iconic rendition of “The Ladies Who Lunch.” With thrilling immediacy, legendary filmmaker D. A. Pennebaker offers an up-close view of the larger-than-life personalities, frayed-nerve energy, and explosive creative intensity that go into capturing the magic of live performance."

Special Features:
  • New, restored 4K digital transfer, supervised by Chris Hegedus and Nate Pennebaker, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New audio commentary by composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim
  • Audio commentary from 2001 featuring director D. A. Pennebaker, actor Elaine Stritch, and Broadway producer Harold Prince
  • New conversation among Sondheim, orchestrator Jonathan Tunick, and critic Frank Rich
  • New interview with Tunick on the art of orchestrating, conducted by author Ted Chapin
  • Never-before-heard audio excerpts from interviews with Stritch and Prince, conducted by D. A. Pennebaker and Hegedus in 2000
  • “Original Cast Album: ‘Co-Op,’” a 2019 episode of the TV series Documentary Now! that parodies the film
  • Reunion of the cast and crew of “Original Cast Album: ‘Co-Op’” recorded in 2020, featuring director Alexander Buono; writer-actor John Mulaney; actors Rénee Elise Goldsberry, Richard Kind, Alex Brightman, and Paula Pell; and composer Eli Bolin
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: An essay by author Mark Harris

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  #848  
Old 17th May 2021, 09:16 PM
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'Ashed And Diamonds' (1958) - Pre-order available from Criterion direct

Release date: August 24

"A milestone of Polish cinema, this electrifying international sensation by Andrzej Wajda—the final film in his celebrated war trilogy—entwines the story of one man’s moral crisis with the fate of a nation. In a small Polish town on the final day of World War II, Maciek (the coolly charismatic Zbigniew Cybulski), a fighter in the underground anti-Communist resistance movement, has orders to assassinate an incoming commissar. But when he meets and falls for a young barmaid (Ewa Krzyzewska), he begins to question his commitment to a cause that requires him to risk his life. Ashes and Diamonds’ lustrous monochrome cinematography—wreathed in shadows, smoke, and fog—and spectacularly choreographed set pieces lend a breathtaking visual dynamism to this urgent, incendiary vision of a country at a crossroads in its struggle for self-determination."

Special Features:
  • On the Blu-ray: New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • On the DVD: restored high-definition digital transfer
  • Audio commentary from 2004 featuring film scholar Annette Insdorf
  • New video essay by Insdorf on the film’s legacy (Blu-ray only)
  • Andrzej Wajda: On “Ashes and Diamonds,” a 2005 program featuring director Andrzej Wajda, second director Janusz Morgenstern, and film critic Jerzy Plazewski
  • Archival newsreel footage on the making of the film
  • Rare behind-the-scenes production photos, publicity stills, and posters (DVD only)
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by film scholar Paul Coates

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  #849  
Old 17th May 2021, 09:18 PM
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'Beasts Of No Nation' (2015) - Pre-order available from Criterion direct for Blu-Ray $27.96 and DVD $20.96

Release date: August 31

"The nightmare of war is seen through the eyes of one of its most tragic casualties—a child soldier—in this harrowing vision of innocence lost from Cary Joji Fukunaga. Based on the acclaimed novel by Uzodinma Iweala, Beasts of No Nation unfolds in an unnamed, civil-war-torn West African country, where the young Agu (Abraham Attah, in a haunting debut performance) witnesses carnage in his village before falling captive to a band of rebel soldiers led by a ruthless commander (an explosive Idris Elba), who molds the boy into a hardened killer. Fukunaga’s relentlessly roving camera work and stunning visuals—realism so intensely visceral it borders on the surreal—immerse the viewer in a world of unimaginable horror without ever losing sight of the powerful human story at its center."

Special Features:
  • 2K digital master, approved by director Cary Joji Fukunaga, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New audio commentary featuring Fukunaga and first assistant director Jon Mallard
  • Two new documentaries on the development and making of the film, featuring interviews with Fukunaga; author Uzodinma Iweala; actors Idris Elba and Abraham Attah; and producers Amy Kaufman, Daniela Taplin Lundberg, and Riva Marker
  • New conversation between Fukunaga and producer and cultural commentator Franklin Leonard
  • New interview with costume designer Jenny Eagan
  • Trailer
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • English descriptive audio
  • PLUS: An essay by film critic Robert Daniels

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  #850  
Old 10th June 2021, 08:42 PM
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'Melvin Van Peebles: Four Films' - 5 disc Blu-Ray pre-order available from Criterion direct for $99.96

Release date: September 28

"Director, writer, composer, actor, and one-man creative revolutionary Melvin Van Peebles jolted American independent cinema to new life with his explosive stylistic energy and unfiltered expression of Black consciousness. Though he undeniably altered the course of film history with the anarchic Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song, that pop-culture bombshell is just one piece of a remarkably varied career that has also encompassed forays into European art cinema (The Story of a Three Day Pass), mainstream Hollywood comedy (Watermelon Man), and Broadway musicals (Don’t Play Us Cheap). Each facet of Van Peebles’s renegade genius is on display in this collection of four films, a tribute to a transformative artist whose caustic social observation, radical formal innovation, and uncompromising vision established a new cinematic model for Black creative independence. Also included in the set is Baadasssss!, a chronicle of the production of Sweet Sweetback made by Van Peebles’s son Mario Van Peebles—and starring the younger Van Peebles as Melvin.

Films In This Set

The Story of a Three Day Pass (1967)

Melvin Van Peebles’s edgy, angsty, romantic first feature could never have been made in America. Unable to break into segregated Hollywood, Van Peebles decamped to France, taught himself the language, and wrote a number of books in French, one of which, La permission, would become the stylistically innovative The Story of a Three Day Pass. Turner (Harry Baird), an African American soldier stationed in France, is granted a promotion and a three-day leave from base by his casually racist commanding officer and heads to Paris, where he finds whirlwind romance with a white woman (Nicole Berger)—but what happens to their love when his furlough is over? Channeling the brash exuberance of the French New Wave, Van Peebles creates an exploration of the psychology of an interracial relationship as well as a commentary on France’s contradictory attitudes about race that is playful, sarcastic, and stingingly subversive by turns, and that laid the foundation for the scorched-earth cinematic revolution he would let loose just a few years later.

Watermelon Man (1970)

Melvin Van Peebles’s only foray into Hollywood filmmaking, Watermelon Man is one of the most audacious, radically conceived works to be financed by a major American studio in the 1970s. Comedian Godfrey Cambridge delivers a virtuoso performance (initially in whiteface) as Jeff Gerber, a loudmouthed, bigoted white insurance salesman whose sitcomlike suburban existence is jarringly upended when he wakes up to discover, in a wild spin on Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, that he has become a Black man. What ensues is a ferocious satire of society’s racist double standards that gradually transforms into an empowering portrait of awakening Black consciousness, executed with a mix of acerbic irreverence and deadly serious political commentary by a relentlessly subversive Van Peebles.

Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (1971)

A landmark of Black and American independent cinema that would send shock waves through the culture, Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song was Melvin Van Peebles’s second feature film, after he walked away from a contract with Columbia in order to make his next film on his own terms. Acting as producer, director, writer, composer, editor, and star, Van Peebles created the prototype for what Hollywood would eventually co-opt and make into the blaxploitation hero: a taciturn, perpetually blank-faced performer in a sex show, who, when he’s pushed too far by a pair of racist cops looking to frame him for a crime he didn’t commit, goes on the run through a lawless underground of bikers, revolutionaries, sex workers, and hippies in a kill-or-be-killed quest for liberation from white oppression. Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song’s incendiary politics are matched by Van Peebles’s revolutionary style, in which jagged jump cuts, kaleidoscopic superimpositions, and psychedelic sound design come together in a sustained howl of rage and defiance

Don’t Play Us Cheap (1972)

Melvin Van Peebles’s film version of his own Tony Award–nominated Broadway musical is a bold blend of theater and nervy, New Wave–inflected cinematic invention. A cast of Black stage and screen luminaries including Esther Rolle, Mabel King, and Avon Long stars in this charmingly offbeat, fablelike fantasy in which a pair of mischief-making devil-bats dispatched by Satan assume human form in order to wreak havoc on a Saturday-night house party in Harlem—only to find their diabolical plan thwarted by their hosts’ infectious generosity of spirit. Staged with ebullience, the original blues- and gospel-infused songs by Van Peebles burst forth in a life-affirming celebration of Black joy, tenderness, resilience, and strength."


Special Features:
  • New 4K digital restorations of all four films, approved by filmmaker Mario Van Peebles, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks for The Story of a Three Day Pass, Watermelon Man, and Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song and 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack for Don’t Play Us Cheap
  • Baadasssss!, a 2003 fictional feature film based on director Melvin Van Peebles’s diaries from the making of Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song, directed by and starring his son Mario Van Peebles, with commentary by father and son
  • New conversations between Mario Van Peebles and film critic Elvis Mitchell; producer Warrington Hudlin and critic and filmmaker Nelson George; and scholars Gerald R. Butters Jr., Novotny Lawrence, and Amy Abugo Ongiri
  • Audio commentary by Melvin Van Peebles from 1997 on Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song
  • Three early short films directed by Melvin Van Peebles
  • How to Eat Your Watermelon in White Company (and Enjoy It), a 2005 documentary on Van Peebles’s life and career
  • The Story Behind “Baadasssss!”: The Birth of Black Cinema, a 2004 featurette
  • Melvin Van Peebles: The Real Deal, a 2002 interview with the director on the making of Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song
  • Episodes of Black Journal from 1968, 1971, and 1972, on The Story of a Three Day Pass, Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song, and Don’t Play Us Cheap
  • Interview from 1971 with Van Peebles on Detroit Tubeworks
  • French television interview from 1968 with Van Peebles and actors Harry Baird and Nicole Berger on the set of The Story of a Three Day Pass
  • Excerpts from a 2004 interview with Van Peebles for the Directors Guild of America Visual History Program
  • Introductions to all four films by Van Peebles
  • Trailers
  • New English subtitle translation for The Story of a Three Day Pass
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: A 64-page book featuring writing on the films, including an introduction by film scholar Racquel J. Gates

Attached Images
File Type: jpg Melvin Van Peebles.jpg (95.9 KB, 3 views)
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