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Criterion's June Lineup

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#1 of 11 OFFLINE   Jeff Newcomb

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Posted March 16 2007 - 11:28 AM

A great month, and we can expect Ace in the Hole, Ivan's Childhood, and Melville's Les Enfants Terribles in July.

The Two of Us

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A young Jewish boy living in Nazi-occupied Paris is sent by his parents to the countryside to live with an elderly Catholic couple until France's liberation. Forced to hide his identity, the boy, Claude (played delicately by first-time actor Alain Cohen), bonds with the irascible, staunchly anti-Semitic Pepe (Michel Simon), who, improbably, becomes a friend and confidant to the child. Based on own childhood experiences, the poignant, light-hearted The Two of Us was acclaimed director Claude Berri's first feature film and gave legendary actor Michel Simon one of his most memorable roles at the twilight of his career.


• New, restored high-definition digital transfer
Le poulet (1962), director Claude Berri’s Oscar-winning short film, an earlier, playful take on the subject of disguise
• New video interviews, with Berri and actor Alain Cohen
• Two interviews from 1967: Berri on his family roots and identity and Michel Simon on his role
• An excerpt from a 1975 French talk-show segment, “The Jewish Children of Occupied France,” featuring Berri and the woman who helped secure his family’s safety during World War II
• Original theatrical trailer
• New and improved English subtitle translation
• PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by critic David Sterritt, an appreciation of the film by François Truffaut, and excerpts from Berri’s memoir

WR: Mysteries of the Organism

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What does the energy harnessed through orgasm have to do with the state of communist Yugoslavia circa 1971? Only counterculture filmmaker extraordinaire Dušan Makavejev has the answers (or the questions). His surreal documentary-fiction collision WR: Mysteries of the Organism, which begins as an investigation of the life and work of controversial psychologist and philosopher Wilhelm Reich, then explodes into a freeform narrative of a beautiful young Slavic girl’s sexual liberation. Banned in the director’s former homeland, WR is both whimsical and bold in its intersection of politics and sexuality.


• New, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised and approved by director Dušan Makavejev
• Audio commentary assembled from Raymond Durgnat's 1999 book on the film
Hole in the Soul, Makavejev’s 1994 tragicomic autobiographical short film, originally made for the BBC
• New video interview with Makavejev
• New and improved English subtitle translation
• PLUS: A new essay by critic Jonathan Rosenbaum

Sweet Movie

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Pushing his themes of sexual liberation to their boiling point, Yugoslavian art-house provocateur Dušan Makavejev followed his international sensation WR: Mysteries of the Organism with this full-throated shriek in the face of bourgeois complacency and movie-watching. Sweet Movie tackles the limits of personal and political freedom with kaleidoscopic feverishness, shuttling viewers from a gynecological beauty pageant to a grotesque food orgy with scatological, taboo-shattering glee. With its lewd abandon and sketch-comedy perversity, Sweet Movie became both a cult staple and exemplar of the envelope pushing of 1970s cinema.


• New, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised and approved by director Dušan Makavejev
• New video interview with Makavejev
• New interview with Balkan film scholar Dina Iordanova
• Actress Anna Prucnal sings a song featured in the film
• New and improved English subtitle translation
• PLUS: A booklet featuring new essays by Stanley Cavell and David Sterritt


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Lindsay Anderson’s If. . . . is a daringly anarchic vision of British society set in a boarding school in late sixties England. Before Kubrick made his mischief iconic in A Clockwork Orange, Malcolm McDowell made a hell of an impression as insouciant Mick Travis, who, along with his school chums trumps authority at every turn, finally turning violent savior against the draconian games of one-upmanship played by both students and the powers-that-be. Mixing color and black-and-white as audaciously as it mixes fantasy and reality, If. . . . remains one of cinema’s most unforgettable rebel yells.


• New, restored high-definition digital transfer, approved by cinematographer Miroslav Ondricek and assistant editor Ian Rakoff
• Audio commentary featuring film critic and historian David Robinson and actor Malcolm McDowell
• A 2003 episode from the Scottish TV series Cast and Crew about If. . . ., featuring interviews with McDowell, Ondricek, director’s assistant Stephen Frears, producer Michael Medwin, and screenwriter David Sherwin
Thursday’s Children (1955), Anderson’s Academy Award–winning breakthrough documentary about a school for deaf children, co-directed by Guy Brenton and narrated by Richard Burton
• New video interview with actor Graham Crowden
• Original theatrical trailers
• PLUS: A booklet featuring pieces by critic David Ehrenstein, screenwriter David Sherwin, and director Lindsay Anderson

La Jetée and Sans soleil

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One of the most influential, radical science-fiction films ever made and a mind-bending freeform travelogue, La jetée (The Jetty) and Sans soleil (Sunless) couldn’t seem more different—yet they’re the twin pillars of one of the most daring and uncompromising careers in cinema’s history. Chris Marker, filmmaker, poet, novelist, photographer, editor, and now videographer and digital multimedia artist, has been challenging moviegoers, philosophers, and himself for years with his complex queries about time, memory, and the rapid advancement of life on this planet, and these two films—a tale of time travel told in still images and a journey to Africa and Japan—remain his best-loved and most widely seen.


• New, restored high-definition digital transfers, approved by director Chris Marker
• New video interview with filmmaker Jean-Pierre Gorin
Chris on Chris, a video piece on Marker by filmmaker and critic Chris Darke
• An excerpt from the French TV series Court Circuit: The Magazine, presenting a clip from David Bowie’s music video, “Jump They Say,” which is inspired by La jetée
• New and improved English subtitle translations

#2 of 11 OFFLINE   JeffMc


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Posted March 16 2007 - 11:34 AM

SWEET MOVIE from Criterion?!?!? What has the world come to! Kidding aside, that's great news. I'll be getting that and "IF..." IVAN'S CHILDHOOD in July? More good news.

#3 of 11 OFFLINE   Jeff Ulmer

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Posted March 16 2007 - 02:05 PM

If... is on my list, but I'm more exicted about O Lucky Man! coming sometime this year.

#4 of 11 OFFLINE   David_Blackwell



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Posted March 16 2007 - 02:26 PM

La Jeete has me excited.
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#5 of 11 OFFLINE   Patrick McCart

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Posted March 16 2007 - 02:30 PM

I watched part of If.... on YouTube and I'm going to pick up the DVD.

#6 of 11 OFFLINE   Jim_K


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Posted March 17 2007 - 02:14 AM

Nothing for me in this batch.

Was hoping for Robinson Crusoe on Mars.
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#7 of 11 OFFLINE   Will*B


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Posted March 17 2007 - 02:18 AM

Not hugely tempted by anything in this batch (for me, that's unusual). I hope they get around to releasing more Godard soon. (Pierrot le Fou has been my Criterion wish for a few years now....)


#8 of 11 OFFLINE   MichaelGH


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Posted March 17 2007 - 02:27 AM

I've been waiting for If... since the beginning of the format with little hope to ever really see it arrive. June will be the first month I've bought a Criterion in more than a year. Can't wait... Michael
Sight and Sound Movie Challenge: 79 Movies Seen...Last Watched: The Apartment
HTF 30's Greatest Movies Challenge: 25 Movies Seen...Last Watched: Duck Soup

#9 of 11 OFFLINE   Kris Z.

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Posted March 17 2007 - 10:26 AM

Does anyone happen to know if we might see the new version of Andrei Rublev anytime soon? My mother wanted the film on DVD and I told her to wait, but now she's starting to get impatient. Posted Image

#10 of 11 OFFLINE   Tim_C


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Posted March 17 2007 - 01:08 PM

This has been a heck of a year for Criterion, in my opinion. There are three titles in this batch that are must buys - The Two of Us sounds quite charming, and I've been meaning to see La Jetee for a long while after falling in love with 12 Monkeys, which was inspired by the Marker film.

But I'm especially excited for if... which has been on my DVD wishlist for a long time. I don't think the two Makavejev's are quite my cup of tea, but I may give them a rent at some point.

And we still have great stuff like Ace in the Hole, Ivan's Childhood, Les Enfants Terrible, and Drunken Angel coming by the end of the year... Posted Image

Phone rings,
Door chimes,
In comes

#11 of 11 OFFLINE   Thomas T

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Posted March 17 2007 - 02:44 PM

Looking at the June line up, I think this is the first time in months and months that Criterion isn't putting out something for me to buy. I'm actually quite relieved. My bank account can use the break!

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