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274

The Criterion Collection: Release Updates, Rumors and News
Topic by: Eoliano
Posted: March 7, 2005 - 4:38 PM PST
Last Reply: January 5, 2006 - 1:48 PM PST

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author topic: The Criterion Collection: Release Updates, Rumors and News
Eoliano
post #1  on March 7, 2005 - 4:38 PM PST  
An update on Criterion's forthcoming and new releases:

Criterion has re-released a stunning new 1.19:1 transfer of Fritz Lang's pivotal thriller, M. The two disc set includes audio commentary by German film scholars Anton Kaes and Eric Rentschler, Conversation with Fritz Lang by William Friedkin, Claude Chabrol's short film, M le Maudit, plus an interview with Chabrol discussing Lang's techniques, and the very informative, A physical history of M, which illustrates how the film was altered over the years. This is yet another great historical document by Criterion that deserves a place in the GC catalog.

And for Wes Anderson fans, rumor has it that Touchstone and Criterion have scheduled a May 10 release date for The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. The 2-disc set will include scene-specific commentary by Anderson, 10 deleted scenes, an Albert Maysles documentary on the making of the film, 10 David Bowie songs performed by Seu Jorge, and much more. No official announcement has been made as yet by Criterion, though it is listed on GreenCine as a two disc set.

The release date for Criterion's highly anticipated DVD of Akira Kurosawa's Kagemusha has been pushed back to March 29.

Also arriving in March, Antonioni's L'Eclisse, Truffaut's Jules and Jim, and Gus Van Sant's My Own Private Idaho.
Eoliano
post #2  on March 7, 2005 - 4:39 PM PST  
I forgot to mention that the dark samurai tale, The Sword of Doom directed by the late Kihachi Okamoto arrives March 15. The film stars Tatsuya Nakadai as a samurai who is decidedly an evil sociopath and a tad misanthropic, to say the least.

Coming in April is a two disc special edition of Pietro Germi's classic satire starring Marcello Mastroianni, Divorce Italian Style. The set will include a 39-minute documentary, Pietro Germi: The Man with the Cigar in His Mouth, and two other documentaries featuring Stefania Sandrelli, Lando Buzzanca, Mario Sesti and screenwriter Ennio De Concini.

Criterion's most recent addition to their April release calendar is the Orson Welles documentary about art forger Elmyr de Hory and other fakery, F for Fake. This two disc set will include the 1988 feature length documentary, Orson Welles: One-Man Band, a 1992 Norwegian documentary on forger de Hory and his notorious biographer Clifford Irving, and an essay by Chicago Reader critic Jonathan Rosenbaum.
Eoliano
post #3  on March 7, 2005 - 4:40 PM PST  
Nothing confirmed, but according to the Criterion rumor mill we might expect Les Blank's documentary, Burden of Dreams, Powell and Pressburger's 49th Parallel and A Canterbury Tale, plus, more Ozu, possibly An Autumn Afternoon, Equinox Flower and surprisingly, Ozu's first talkie, The Only Son, though Late Spring would be a welcome addition as well. Also mentioned is Mizoguchi's Ugetsu, and at some point, a new, remastered, special edition of Seven Samurai.

Speaking of Criterion reissues, several of their older widescreen DVDs, such as Kurosawas High and Low, Sanjuro and Yojimbo, are non-anamorphic, so it's a safe bet that they will eventually enhance those titles for widescreen TVs.
Eoliano
post #4  on March 7, 2005 - 4:42 PM PST  
Just announced for May: Les Blank's Burden of Dreams, Hoop Dreams, and Luis Buñuel's The Phantom of Liberty.

Burden of Dreams includes audio commentary by Blank, editor Maureen Gosling and Werner Herzog, Blank's short documentary, Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe, and a new video interview with Herzog.

Hoop Dreams contains two audio commentaries, one with the stars, and another with the filmmakers, segments from Siskel and Ebert, and an original music video.

Phantom of Liberty is a simpler affair and only features a video introduction by screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière.
Eoliano
post #5  on March 7, 2005 - 4:49 PM PST  
We can scratch another title from the rumor mill since Criterion just announced Wes Anderson's The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.

Criterion will release a single disc of the film as well as a two disc set. The single disc will include commentary by Anderson and co-writer Noah Baumbach, ten deleted scenes and Starz on the Set, a behind-the-scenes featurette. The two disc set will include the same features as the single disc along with This Is an Adventure, a documentary by Antonio Ferrera, Albert Maysles, and Matthew Prinzing, Mondo Monda, an Italian talk show featuring an interview with Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach, a video interview with Devo member Mark Mothersbaugh, ten video performances by Brazilian recording artist Seu Jorge, and interviews with the cast and crew. The packaging will have a fold-out insert featuring a cutaway of the Belafonte.
Eoliano
post #6  on March 7, 2005 - 4:59 PM PST  
By the way, GreenCine just added the remarkable new two disc set of Fritz Lang's masterpiece M to their inventory. If you are a fan of this film the bonus disc is definately worth renting. Highly recommended!
kamapuaa
post #7  on March 8, 2005 - 1:53 AM PST  
Thanks for the info. I recently watched M and the DVD transfer sucked. I'm glad to see a Criterion edition came out.

While the topic is up, I can't enough recommend the excellent editions of the Mabuse films. The second in the series, Testament of Dr. Mabuse, is a stand-alone sequel to both "M" and Dr. Mabuse the Gambler, featuring the further adventures of the detective Lohmamn. Personally I prefer "Dr. Mabuse the Gambler". A four-hour long silent film probably sounds insufferable (however excellent), but it's really helped along by David Kalat's narration, which is definitely one of the best commentary tracks I've ever heard. It's conversational in tone, extremely informative and entertaining.
Eoliano
post #8  on March 8, 2005 - 9:40 AM PST  
> Thanks for the info. I recently watched M and the DVD transfer sucked.

Which DVD did you watch?

> I'm glad to see a Criterion edition came out.

This new Criterion DVD of M is actually their second though it retains the original spine number (30) of the first release. However, this is no mere reissue, but an entirely new, superior transfer with improved sound as well. In short, this edition is a revelation.

> While the topic is up, I can't enough recommend the excellent editions of the Mabuse films. The second in the series, Testament of Dr. Mabuse, is a stand-alone sequel to both "M" and Dr. Mabuse the Gambler, featuring the further adventures of the detective Lohmamn. Personally I prefer "Dr. Mabuse the Gambler". A four-hour long silent film probably sounds insufferable (however excellent), but it's really helped along by David Kalat's narration, which is definitely one of the best commentary tracks I've ever heard. It's conversational in tone, extremely informative and entertaining.

Funny you should mention Mabuse, I just watched Testament and right afterwards added the silent Mabuse films to my queue, which, by the way, have received very positive reviews, all praising Kalat's informative commentary. If these Image DVDs are anything like the Kino DVD of Metropolis, then I'm even more excited to see them. Speaking of four-hour silent films, have you seen the Nibelungen films?
kamapuaa
post #9  on March 8, 2005 - 11:17 AM PST  
> Which DVD did you watch?

It was a generic edition. I thought I rented it from Greencine but perhaps not.

> If these Image DVDs are anything like the Kino DVD of Metropolis, then I'm even more excited to see them.

The Image Mabuse DVDs are actually of the same (or better) quality as the Criterion Mabuse, which is well done but had a low-quality source material.

Funny you should mention Kino's DVD of "Metropolis" - I have the DVD, but can't make it more than a few minutes into the commentary although I'm sure it would point out a thing or two. It's just too dry. Personally I wish it had been released with the Freddy Mercury audio track.

> Speaking of four-hour silent films, have you seen the Nibelungen films?

They're in my queue, don't spoil them!
Eoliano
post #10  on March 8, 2005 - 1:04 PM PST  
I did manage to listen to the entire Metropolis commentary, but only listened. I agree that it's much too dry and the delivery is often annoying, perhaps due in part because Enno Patalas, who wrote and prepared the commentary, doesn't read it. However, the two documentaries round things out rather nicely.

Die Nibelungen is in my queue as well and I haven't seen it in decades so not to worry, but if you are at all familiar with Wagner's Ring Cycle then there is not much to spoil.
artifex
post #11  on March 8, 2005 - 1:59 PM PST  
Is it just me, or is the idea that Criterion is carrying a movie that just left theaters a bit weird? That, and they're releasing multiple versions of the same title? Is the single disc Criterion Lite? :)
kamapuaa
post #12  on March 8, 2005 - 2:59 PM PST  
> Is it just me, or is the idea that Criterion is carrying a movie that just left theaters a bit weird? That, and they're releasing multiple versions of the same title? Is the single disc Criterion Lite? :)

I haven't seen it, but perhaps they view it as a modern classic, they also have "In the Mood For Love" and some other modern movies. The Criterion that surprises me is "Chasing Amy," although I guess there are some people who take it seriously.

As for Criterion re-dos, I think they changed around Truffaut's Antoine Doinel movies slightly for the box sets. Whatever it was, I was confused.
underdog
post #13  on March 8, 2005 - 3:11 PM PST  
>
> I haven't seen it, but perhaps they view it as a modern classic, they also have "In the Mood For Love" and some other modern movies. The Criterion that surprises me is "Chasing Amy," although I guess there are some people who take it seriously.
>
Actually the Criterion that surprises *me* is this one. Now that really goes against the grain of most of their other releases. But they wanted to mix it up a bit, and make some extra money, I guess.
Eoliano
post #14  on March 8, 2005 - 4:15 PM PST  
> Is it just me, or is the idea that Criterion is carrying a movie that just left theaters a bit weird? That, and they're releasing multiple versions of the same title?

If you're referring to The Life Aquatic, then I would have to say no, it's not weird, since Criterion and Buena Vista worked out this arrangement in advance. Criterion more or less did the same thing with The Royal Tenenbaums. However, Buena Vista initially released Tenenbaums, then Criterion released their DVD and consequently, Buena Vista discontinued theirs. Anderson obviously has a very special relationship with Buena Vista and Criterion. Anyhow, as kamapuaa pointed out, they did the same with In the Mood for Love, and thank heaven Criterion released it instead of an outfit like USA Home Entertainment.

I think that Criterion is exploring new ways of marketing their product and it's only recently that they have released multiple versions of the same title. I think Fanny and Alexander is an obvious example, releasing the theatrical version separately, and a box set that includes the theatrical version and the TV version. Fritz Lang's M is another story entirely since it is a reissue with a completely new transfer, and just to cite another example, Criterion is preparing a new transfer of Seven Samurai as a two-disc set that will replace the earlier edition.

>Actually the Criterion that surprises *me* is this one.

That isn't the only older Criterion title that confounds me, but I think they are back on track and thankfully haven't released anything like that in quite a while.
Eoliano
post #15  on March 10, 2005 - 2:40 PM PST  
Due from Criterion in the coming weeks are three films by Polish director Andrzej Wajda, A Generation, Kanal and Ashes and Diamonds, Volker Schlöndorff's Young Törless, and the highly anticipated release of Michelangelo Antonioni's L'eclisse, starring Monica Vitti and Alain Delon.

Wajda's "War Trilogy" will be available as a box set and feature new interviews for each film with Wajda, assistant director Janusz Morgenstern, and film critic Jerzy Plazewski. Included with Ashes and Diamonds will be an audio commentary by film scholar Annette Insdorf, and vintage newsreel on the making of the film.

Young Törless features a recent interview with Volker Schlöndorff, and a rare presentation of the original score by acclaimed contemporary classical composer, Hans Werner Henze, with a video introduction by Schlöndorff.

The special edition of L'eclisse includes audio commentary is by film scholar Richard Peña, a 56-minute documentary, Michelangelo Antonioni: The Eye That Changed Cinema, and a video, The Sickness of Eros, with Italian film critic Adriano Apra and longtime Antonioni friend Carlo di Carlo, plus new essays by film critics Jonathan Rosenbaum and Gilberto Perez in the accompanying booklet.
Eoliano
post #16  on March 11, 2005 - 6:59 AM PST  
Criterion officially added a double-disc set of François Truffaut's early masterpiece Jules and Jim to what promises to be a busy May schedule for the company.

Jules and Jim will be presented in a newly restored transfer supervised by cinematographer Raoul Coutard, plus two audio commentaries, one featuring co-writer Jean Gruault, Truffaut collaborator Suzanne Schiffman, editor Claudine Bouché, and Truffaut scholar Annette Insdorf, and another with legendary actress Jeanne Moreau and Truffaut biographer Serge Toubiana.

The Bonus Disc will include new video interviews, one with Raoul Coutard, and another with co-writer Jean Gruault, as well as a video conversation between scholars Robert Stam and Dudley Andrew; excerpts from the French television program Cinéastes de notre temps dedicated to François Truffaut; a segment from the French program L'Invité du Dimanche, featuring Truffaut and Moreau; Truffaut on novelist Henri-Pierre Roché, from the French program Bibliothèque de poche, and an audio interview with Truffaut.
Gradalis
post #17  on March 14, 2005 - 9:22 AM PST  
...Volker Schlöndorff's Young Törless...

The debut of Törless is quite significant, in that (to my knowledge) this is the first time that it has appeared on video in any format. It also one of the few film adaptations of Robert Musil's exceptional work.
Eoliano
post #18  on March 14, 2005 - 12:55 PM PST  
> The debut of Törless is quite significant, in that (to my knowledge) this is the first time that it has appeared on video in any format. It also one of the few film adaptations of Robert Musil's exceptional work.

I saw Young Törless ages ago and have not forgotten its impact, Törless along with Peter Brook's Lord of the Flies are two of the best films about malevolent schoolboys ever made, certainly the best of the sixties.
Eoliano
post #19  on March 16, 2005 - 11:58 AM PST  
Fritz Lang fans take note: This afternoon, Turner Classic Movies will broadcast a quintet of the director's American films starting at 2pm Eastern and 5pm Pacific Time. The mini-retrospective consists of Ministry of Fear, followed by Western Union, Fury, You Only Live Once, Moonfleet and Cash By Night. None of these titles is currently available on DVD.
NGitomer
post #20  on March 19, 2005 - 5:43 PM PST  
> On March 11, 2005 - 6:59 AM PST Eoliano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Criterion officially added a double-disc set of François Truffaut's early masterpiece Jules and Jim to what promises to be a busy May schedule for the company.

I'm kinda bummed that this is taking so long to get out there (it was originally supposed to come out this month). My favorite movie in double disc treatment!
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