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Criterion in April


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#1 of 10 PaulP

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Posted January 16 2008 - 01:48 PM

Posted Image

Quote:
Synopsis

Upper-class geometry professor Juan and his wealthy married mistress Maria José, driving back from a late-night rendezvous, accidentally hit a cyclist, and run. The resulting, exquisitely shot tale of guilt, infidelity, and blackmail reveals the wide gap between the rich and the poor in Spain, and surveys the corrupt ethics of a society seduced by decadence. Juan Antonio Bardem's charged melodrama Death of a Cyclist (Muerte de un ciclista) was a direct attack on 1950s Spanish society under Franco’s rule. Though it was ultimately affected by the dictates of censorship, the film's sting could never be dulled.

Special Features
  • - New, restored high-definition digital transfer
  • - Calle Bardem (2005), a documentary on the revolutionary life and career of director Juan Antonio Bardem
  • - Theatrical trailer
  • - New and improved English subtitle translation
  • - PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by scholar Marsha Kinder and a 1955 essay by Bardem on Spanish cinema
Film Info

1955
87 minutes
Black and White
1.33:1
Dolby Digital Mono 1.0
Not Anamorphic
Spanish

Posted Image

Quote:
Synopsis

Swift, brutal, and black-hearted, Allen Baron's New York City noir Blast of Silence is a sensational surprise. This low-budget, carefully crafted portrait of a hit man on assignment in Manhattan during Christmastime follows its stripped-down narrative with mechanical precision, yet also with an eye and ear for the oddball idiosyncrasies of urban living and the imposing beauty of the city's locations. At once visually ragged and artfully composed, and featuring rough, poetic narration by Lionel Stander, Blast of Silence is a stylish triumph.

Special Features
  • - DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES:
  • - New, restored digital transfer
  • - Requiem for a Killer: The Making of “Blast of Silence” (2007)
  • - Rare on-set Polaroids
  • - Locations revisited in 2008
  • - Trailer
  • - PLUS: An essay by film critic Terrence Rafferty and a four-page graphic-novel adaptation of the film by award-winning artist Sean Phillips (Criminal, Sleeper, Batman: Jekyll & Hyde)
Film Info

1961
77 minutes
Black and White
1.33:1
Dolby Digital Mono 1.0
Not Anamorphic
English

Posted Image

Quote:
In the late twenties and early thirties, Yasujiro Ozu was working steadily for Shochiku studios, honing his craft on dozens of silent films in various genres, from romantic melodramas to college comedies to gangster pictures—and, of course, movies about families. In these three droll domestic films—Tokyo Chorus, I Was Born, But . . . , and Passing Fancy, presented here with all-new scores by renowned silent-film composer Donald Sosin—Ozu movingly and humorously depicts middle-class struggles and the resentments between children and parents, establishing the emotional and aesthetic delicacy with which he would transform the landscape of cinema.

Box Set Includes:

I Was Born, But... Yasujiro Ozu, 1932

One of Ozu's most popular films, I Was Born But . . . is a blithe portrait of the financial and psychological toils of one family, as told from the rascally point of view of a couple of stubborn little boys. For two brothers, the daily struggles of bullies and mean teachers is nothing next to the mortification they feel when they realize their good-natured father’s low-rung social status. Reworked decades later as Ozu's Technicolor comedy Good Morning, it's a poignant evocation of the tumult of childhood, as well as a showcase for Ozu's expertly timed comedy editing.

Passing Fancy Yasujiro Ozu, 1933

The first of many films featuring the endearing single-dad Kihachi (played wonderfully by Takeshi Sakamoto), Passing Fancy is a humorous and heartfelt study of a close, if fraught, father-son relationship. With an ever more sophisticated visual style and understanding of fragile human relationships, Ozu seamlessly weaves rib-tickling comedy and weighty family drama for this distinguished precursor to a brilliant career.

Tokyo Chorus Yasujiro Ozu, 1931

Combining three prevalent genres of the day—the student comedy, the salaryman film, and the domestic drama—Ozu created this warmhearted family comedy, and demonstrated that he was truly coming into his own as a cinema craftsman. The setup is simple: Low wage–earning dad Okajima is depending on his bonus, and so are his wife and children, yet payday doesn't exactly go as planned. Exquisite and economical, Ozu's film alternates between brilliantly mounted comic sequences and heartrending working-class realities.

Film Info

Black and White
1.33:1
Dolby Digital Mono 1.0
Not Anamorphic
Japanese

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#2 of 10 SteveGon

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Posted January 16 2008 - 02:22 PM

Very nice. Posted Image

Blast of Silence is a real surprise and crime film enthusiasts should love it. If I remember correctly, there was a commentary track on the German DVD release; a shame Criterion couldn't port that.

#3 of 10 Elijah Sullivan

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Posted January 16 2008 - 07:35 PM

Never heard of Blast of Silence, but it sounds appealing.

Has anyone guessed the movie in the Criterion newsletter hint?

#4 of 10 Opi

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Posted January 16 2008 - 10:49 PM

For thoses interested in the German release mentioned by SteveGon.

OFDb - Fassung zu Explosion des Schweigens (1961)
German Title
Explosion des Schweigens

It has indeed a audio commentary provided by Allen Baron.
This is the result of my addiction
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#5 of 10 Simon Howson

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Posted January 16 2008 - 11:13 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elijah Sullivan
Never heard of Blast of Silence, but it sounds appealing.

Has anyone guessed the movie in the Criterion newsletter hint?

The consensus on the Criterion forum is Trafic by Tati

Trafic (1971)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Opi
For thoses interested in the German release mentioned by SteveGon.

OFDb - Fassung zu Explosion des Schweigens (1961)
German Title
Explosion des Schweigens

It has indeed a audio commentary provided by Allen Baron.

I also can't believe Criterion didn't / couldn't get the commentary. No doubt their transfer will be far superior to the German version, but big fans of the film will need / want to own both copies.

#6 of 10 george kaplan

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Posted January 17 2008 - 01:11 AM

The consensus on the Criterion forum is Trafic by Tati

Trafic (1971)
Now that would be excellent news!

I was Born But has been on my to rent list forever, but I've never been able to find it. So, I'm glad to see them releasing it, though I'll withhold judgment on the film itself til after I see it.
"Movies should be like amusement parks. People should go to them to have fun." - Billy Wilder

"Subtitles good. Hollywood bad." - Tarzan, Sight & Sound 2012 voter.

"My films are not slices of life, they are pieces of cake." - Alfred Hitchcock"My great humility is just one of the many reasons that I...

#7 of 10 Haggai

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Posted January 17 2008 - 03:01 AM

Glad to see Death of a Cyclist coming out soon. It's a great Hitchcockian thriller that I somehow had never even heard of until it played on TCM a little over a year ago.

#8 of 10 Brandon Conway

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Posted January 17 2008 - 12:48 PM

Also coming in April per criterionforum.org:

The Red Balloon (1956)

Newly restored and available for the first time on DVD, Albert Lamorisse’s exquisite The Red Balloon remains one of the most beloved children’s films of all time. In this deceptively simple, nearly wordless tale, a young boy discovers a stray balloon, which seems to have a mind of its own, on the streets of Paris. The two become inseparable, yet the world’s harsh realities finally interfere. With its glorious palette and allegorical purity, the Academy Award–winning The Red Balloon has enchanted movie lovers, young and old, for generations.

Single Disc
SRP: $14.95

The White Mane (1953)

In the south of France, in a near-desert region called La Camargue, lives White Mane, a magnificent stallion and the leader of a herd of wild horses too proud to let themselves be broken in by humans. Only Folco, a young fisherman, manages to tame him. A strong friendship grows between the boy and the horse, as the two go looking for the freedom that the world of men won’t allow them. Long unavailable in the U.S., this extraordinarily shot wonder from Albert Lamorisse, the director of The Red Balloon, is a work of technical sophistication and immense natural beauty.

Single Disc
SRP: $14.95

Paddle to the Sea (1966)

Based on Holling C. Holling’s beloved Caldecott-awarded children’s book, William Mason’s stunning film follows the adventures of a tiny, wood-carved canoe as it forges its own path from Lake Superior through the Great Lakes and down to the Atlantic Ocean. Buoyed by beautiful photography and a sense of true wonder about the sun, Earth, and water, the Academy Award–nominated Paddle to the Sea is an unforgettable tribute to the forces of the natural world, as well as a thrilling journey across the waves and rapids of North America.

Single Disc
SRP: $14.95

"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#9 of 10 Adam_Duncan

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Posted January 19 2008 - 02:49 AM

Are they ever going to release David Cronenberg's Crash on DVD? That's the film I want the most from Criterion.

#10 of 10 Larry Sutliff

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Posted January 19 2008 - 03:41 AM

Quote:
The Red Balloon (1956)

I'll be very happy to purchase this one.


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