Criterion May titles

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Andrew_K, Feb 6, 2006.

  1. Andrew_K

    Andrew_K Stunt Coordinator

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    Viridiana (Luis Bunuel, 1961)
    Late Spring (Yasujiro Ozu, 1949)
    A nos amours (Maurice Pialat, 1983)
    Harlan County USA (Barbara Kopple, 1976)
    Grey Gardens 2-disc (Albert Maysles, 1975)
     
  2. ZacharyTait

    ZacharyTait Cinematographer

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  3. David Jay

    David Jay Stunt Coordinator

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    No need for the suit, Zachary [​IMG]

    I'd recommend Harlan County. It's a very good documentary on a coal miners' strike in the early 70's, in Kentucky. The highlight of the film is the great soundtrack, which is made up of songs that the miners wrote while they were on strike, like protest songs. Certainly not masterpieces of Lennon/McCartney quality or anything, but they add a lot of power to the film itself.

    I'm glad to see Viridiana with the Pinal interview, which I hope leads to Criterion releasing some of her other Bunuel films (Exterminating Angel, please!) Likewise about the Wim Wenders doc on the Late Spring DVD.
     
  4. Brian PB

    Brian PB Supporting Actor

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    I don't believe any of those five films has been 'officially' announced by Criterion for May just yet (unless there's a press release out there I haven't seen).

    Late Spring is a near-certainty, since the disc details and artwork are posted on Criterion's site (though it does not yet appear in the "Coming Soon" section---in fact, none of the five listed films do). Viridiana, Harlan County, U.S.A., and the new two-disc update of Grey Gardens all appear on Image's website with May release dates (Image is the official distributor for The Criterion Collection).

    The wild card is Pialat's À nos amours, which briefly appeared on Criterion's website designated as Spine #0 (it has now been taken down), but with no further details.

    AFAIK, the list above is still speculative (though an official announcement is expected at any time).
     
  5. Elijah Sullivan

    Elijah Sullivan Supporting Actor

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    It may not be in the "coming soon" section... but at least Viridiana has begun pre-ordering. I've already ordered it. [​IMG]
     
  6. Bradley Newton

    Bradley Newton Stunt Coordinator

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    I would love to have a two-disc Grey Gardens. I would definitely double-dip for that.
     
  7. MichaelScott

    MichaelScott Stunt Coordinator

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    [​IMG] ....wake me in June..
     
  8. Claude North

    Claude North Second Unit

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    Anyone else find Grey Gardens distasteful, exploitative, and impossible to watch? I felt that the filmmakers were having a big laugh at the expense of two women who were clearly not in their right minds. Perhaps if I tried watching it a second time, I might respond differently.
     
  9. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    Claude, it's received that criticism before, though personally it doesn't strike me as exploitative. The subjects of the film certainly don't see themselves as being exploited, though of course that's no assurance that they aren't. The camera does shy away in moments best left private, and I get the sincere feeling that the filmmakers love these women. There's an element of pity, as well, but not condescenscion. I admit, however, that it's not an easy call whenever private lives are exposed, willingly or not, and I respect your sensitivity to the question given that it seems more and more a concern very few acknowledge anymore. I say give it another shot, though you may not change your mind.

    On a much brighter note... VIRIDIANA!!!! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] (that's right, five thumbs way up)
     
  10. Brian PB

    Brian PB Supporting Actor

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    I think the Maysles brothers were walking a very fine line between pure documentary and exploitation in this film. I also think Little Edie (the daughter) had a diagnosable psychiatric condition.

    That said, I think the miracle of Grey Gardens is that it humanizes these eccentric women who had been caricatured and exploited by the contemporary press. By letting the Beales tell their own stories, the viewer can begin to fathom the strange, fascinating symbiotic relationship that resulted. The Beales were active, willing (and proud) participants--Little Edie even enjoyed a little notoriety because of the film.

    I recognize that "most" people would never let themselves be photographed in such unflattering circumstances, but Big and Little Edie made few objections. While they clearly enjoyed the attention, I believe they were very relaxed around the Maysles et al because the filmmakers were both non-judgemental and empathetic. Al Maysles kept in touch with Little Edie periodically up until her death.

    Ultimately, I find this film to be funny, touching, and wise--certainly one of the best documentaries I've ever seen.
     
  11. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    M. Hulot needs to visit Criterion to remind him who he is. [​IMG]
     
  12. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    Claude North, wrote:
    Possibly, but not I. Which aspects of the film did you find distasteful, Claude? Edith speaks plainly about her life, while Little Edie exaggerates or conflabulates her memories, but punctuates them with wonderful aphorisms: If you can't get a man to propose to you, you might as well be dead. So who's doing the exploiting? It certainly isn't Albert and David Maysles. The women are both grade-A genuine American eccentrics and that is an ultra-rare species. But they maintain their dignity in a strange way, as all great eccentrics do.

    Give it another go, Claude. I personally feel that it is one of the most fascinating documentary-portraits ever made.
     
  13. Elijah Sullivan

    Elijah Sullivan Supporting Actor

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    Grey Gardens could certainly feel very uncomfortable at times. I was pretty uncomfortable for almost the entire running length. The characters were so sad and pathetic that I almost wanted to scream... but I finished the movie, because the perspective on them was gentle, understanding, and totally free of judgment. I sympathized with these girls.

    The way the film was made was 100% free of exploitation - so long as you believe that the documentary form itself is not exploitation. Is Winged Migration exploiting those birds so that the filmmakers might have an interesting subject to photograph?

    If you want another sign, remember the interactions between the quieter Maysles brother (Albert, the cameraman?) and Little Edie. He handed the situation with great delicacy and care. I was very impressed with him - not so with Michael Moore. If you are looking for an example of expoitive documentary filmmaking...

    I liked Grey Gardens very much, although I did like Salesman better.
     
  14. Bob Turnbull

    Bob Turnbull Supporting Actor

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    Me too. And though I didn't feel it was exploitative and would find it hard to argue against the flattering comments about the film and filmmakers...I just couldn't stand it. I see all the value described here, but as something to watch I could barely make it through. The 2 ladies are indeed an interesting pair, but they were driving me batty. I can't imagine a whole extra disc devoted to the two of them. Might be interesting if the focus is directed more towards the Maysles.

    Looking forward to seeing Harlan County USA though. It's been on my list for awhile.
     
  15. rich_d

    rich_d Cinematographer

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    Rich_d at Criterion's Headquarters in Manhattan:

    Knock Knock!

    Who's There?

    Monsieur Hulot.

    Monsieur Hulot who?

    Ah, George Kaplan was right.
     
  16. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    I thought the scuttlebut was that Criterion is working on a Tati boxset (presumably to include the original three releases with an upgraded "Playtime", plus perhaps "Jour de fete"?).
     
  17. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    Yes, that's the rumor. And every month that passes without it showing up just gets me antsy.
     

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