9 items from 2010
The Videodrome Blu-Ray seems to be sourced from same master as the 2004 Criterion DVD. Extras are largely same. Cronos is newly restored and packed with extras, including a previously unreleased short film called Geometria. Check the links in the calendar for full specifications.
Finally, as mentioned in the last Criterion Column, the DVD release of the America Lost and Found: The Bbs Story comes out on December 14th. The Blu-Ray will be released on November 23rd.
The Criterion Collection 2010 Release Calendar (January through December 2010, up-to-date as of September 16, 2010)
In November, The Criterion Collection is set to release an eclectic mix of American classics with a bit of European transgression thrown in. A newly restored version of Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times is planned for DVD and Blu-Ray. Charles Laughton's stunning black-and-white noir/horror tale Night of the Hunter (1955) is also on the schedule for DVD and Blu-Ray. Lars Von Trier's Antichrist will invade home video players everywhere.
Those are great releases, but highlight of the November list is the America Lost and Found: The Bbs Story box set, which features 6 films from Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider's production company Bbs during the 60s-70s. Titles include: Head, Easy Rider, Five Easy Pieces, Drive He Said, The Last Picture Show, and The King Of Marvin Gardens. Think about the scope of this release for a second. This is six films by Dennis Hopper, Henry Jaglom, Jack Nicholson Bob Rafelson, »
"To watch Sanshiro Sugata, one of the most accomplished directorial debuts in film history, is to marvel at the emergence of a film artist whose aesthetic sensibility is fully formed from the first reel," writes Christian Blauvelt in Slant. "All of the techniques that distinguish Akira Kurosawa's best films — his elaborate tracking shots, his wipes and axial cutting, his externalization of human emotion in wind and rain — are all there, in this subtle tone poem of a film about the expression and containment of violence through judo. If anything, his technique seems even more refined in Sanshiro Sugata than in some of his later, more overcooked samurai epics."
For more on The First Films of Akira Kurosawa, the latest box set from Criterion's Eclipse series, which includes Sanshiro Sugata(1943), The Most Beautiful (1944), Sanshiro Sugata, Part Two (1945) and The Men Who Tread on the Tiger's Tail (1945; image above), see Christopher Long »
A look at what's new on DVD today:
"A Prophet" (2009)
Directed by Jacques Audiard
Released by Sony Pictures Classics
Audiard's ("The Beat That My Heart Skipped") ridiculously cool prison drama well earns its over two-and-a-half hour runtime -- the transformation of relative newcomer lead Tahar Rahim from illiterate mouse to underworld kingpin never seems forced or unnatural. Rahim's impressive, as is Niels Arestrup as the head of the jail's Corsican mob, but overshadowing both is the film's portrait of a multicultural (if criminal) population that looks nothing like the cast of your average French import. (Matt Singer's review from February.)
Directed by Agnieszka Wojtowicz-Vosloo
Released by Starz/Anchor Bay
Christina Ricci is dead! But she's not dead. Unless she died! Or did she? In Wojtowicz-Vosloo's feature debut (following her acclaimed 2001 short "Pâté"), Liam Neeson plays a funeral director who's either a sadist plays elaborate mindgames on Ricci's character, or »
- Alison Willmore
Over the last few years my interest in Akira Kurosawa has grown and grown, but it isn't as if I have been familiar with his work for all that long. It wasn't until August 25, 2007 that I saw my first Kurosawa film, and just as I assume to be the same for many before and after me, that film was Seven Samurai. I enjoyed it and began my exploration into Kurosawa using that film as my starting point. Since that day in August I have seen twelve more of Kurosawa's features and with Criterion's recent Eclipse release titled "The First Films of Akira Kurosawa" I have added four more to that tally.
This was my first time watching one of Criterion's Eclipse releases, which seem to primarily dedicate themselves to ensuring lesser known films from well known directors never die, and while they don't get the full Criterion treatment they will live on. »
- Brad Brevet
The October 2010 batch of Criterion titles brings a few surprises. Stanley Kubrick's Paths of Glory is hitting DVD and Blu-Ray as is Ingmar Bergman's film The Magician. Criterion continues its relationship with Wes Anderson by releasing The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-Ray and DVD. Ok.
Akira Kurosawa's The Seven Samurai is headed for Blu-Ray with a new restored high-def transfer. If the quality of Criterion's other Kurosawa Blu-Ray discs (e.g. Kagemusha, Sanjuro and Yojimbo) are any indication, it is time to ditch the DVDs. This one should look spectacular.
Finally, Nobuhiko Obayashi's House is making its way to Blu-Ray and DVD just in time for Halloween. There are a few things to note here. First, the fact that Criterion is releasing this on Blu-Ray with a restored transfer and uncompressed mono sound is kind of a surprise. This is a very good thing. The other curious thing is the extras. »
The September releases of Breathless on Blu-Ray and The Thin Red Line on Blu-Ray and DVD aren't so much of a surprise. A high-def Breathless release was inevitable and the Malick title leaked out a while ago. Also, Charade is the sort of classic Hollywood auterist fare that Criterion often deals in. No, the big surprise here is Oshima's Happy Birthday Mr. Lawrence. Both this release and the recent Oshima DVD box indicate that Criterion is seriously intent to digging deeper into the director's filmography. Finally, it would be a mistake not to mention the Eclipse box set of Allan King films. The Canadian director's documentaries have never been readily available in the U.S. so this box should expose his work to an entirely new audience (including this writer).
The Criterion Collection 2010 Release Calendar (Covers January through September 2010, up-to-date as of July 7, 2010)
Fall 2010 brings very interesting news and rumors about releases from The Criterion Collection. First, the label has issued the official list of films for August release. These include two essential documentaries by Terry Zwigoff, Black Orpheus, a box of Josef von Sternberg silent films, and 4 early Akira Kurosawa films that originally appeared in the Ak 100 25 disc box set.
Lots of unofficial information has also begun to surface about future releases. In late April, The New York Times confirmed rumors that Criterion will release Nobuhiko Obayashi's Hausu will in September. Additionally, pre-order pages for Criterion Blu-Rays of Antichrist, The Darjeeling Limited, The Seven Samurai, The Thin Red Line, and Videodrome have popped up on Amazon. Look for official updates in the next Criterion Column.
The Criterion Collection 2010 Release Calendar (Covers January through August 2010, up-to-date as of May 23, 2010)
Criterion has announced that they'll be releasing Akira Kurosawa's first four films on August 3rd as an Eclipse Series box set. Those of us unable to afford their huge Ak 100 anniversary set can now rejoice at the opportunity to finally complete our Kurosawa collections! The films included in the set are: Sanshiro Sugata, The Most Beautiful, Sanshiro Sugata Part 2 and The Men Who Tread On The Tiger's Tail. »
9 items from 2010
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