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Criterion Press Release: April 2009 Releases (DVD/Blu-ray)

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#1 of 1 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

Ronald Epstein

    Studio Mogul

  • 41,780 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 03 1997

Posted January 16 2009 - 10:16 AM

THE WAGES OF FEAR – Blu-ray In a squalid South American oil town, four desperate men sign on for a suicide mission to drive trucks loaded with nitroglycerin over a treacherous mountain route. As they ferry their expensive cargo to a faraway oil fire, each bump and jolt tests their courage, their friendship, and their nerves. The Wages of Fear (Le salaire de la peur) is one of the greatest thrillers ever committed to celluloid, a white-knuckle ride from France’s legendary master of suspense Henri Georges-Clouzot. Info • Directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot (Le corbeau, Diabolique, Quai des orfèvres) • Starring Yves Montand (Z, Tout va bien, Le cercle rouge) • Starring Charles Vanel (Wooden Crosses, Diabolique, To Catch a Thief) BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES: • Restored high-definition digital transfer with uncompressed monaural soundtrack • Video interviews with assistant director Michel Romanoff and Henri-Georges Clouzot biographer Marc Godin • Interview with Yves Montand from 1988 • Henri-Georges Clouzot: The Enlightened Tyrant, a 2004 documentary on the director’s career • Censored, an analysis of cuts made to the film for its 1955 U.S. release • PLUS: An booklet featuring an essay by novelist Dennis Lehane Title: The Wages of Fear (Blu-ray) CAT: CC1796BD SRP: $39.95 UPC: 7-15515-04251-2 ISBN: 978-1-60465-123-2 Prebook: 3/24/09 Street date: 4/21/09 SCIENCE IS FICTION: 23 FILMS BY JEAN PAINLEVÉ Jean Painlevé was a film director, critic, theorist, and animator, yet his interests and studies also extended to mathematics, medicine, and zoology. Amazingly, all these disparate strands came together in a groundbreaking, decades-spanning artistic career. Operating under the credo “Science is fiction,” Painlevé forged his own unique cinematic path, creating countless short films for both the viewing public and the scientific community. Moreover, he was also one of the first filmmakers to take his camera underwater. Surreal, otherworldly documents of marine life, these films transformed sea horses, octopi, and mollusks into delicate dancers in their own floating ballets. This anthology features twenty-three of Painlevé’s shorts in their original form, as well as Yo La Tengo’s ninety-minute original score The Sounds of Science, written in 2001 to accompany eight of the director’s films. THREE-DISC SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES: • New, restored digital transfers • The Sounds of Science, an original score by Yo La Tengo to Jean Painlevé’s films, plus an interview with the band • More than two hours of interviews with the filmmaker, drawn from the eight-part television series Jean Painlevé au fils de ses films, directed by Denis Derrien and Hélène Hazera • New and improved English subtitle translations • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by film scholar Scott MacDonald and notes on all the films by Painlevé Title: Science Is Fiction: 23 Films by Jean Painlevé CAT: CC1805D SRP: $49.95 UPC: 7-15515-04491-2 ISBN: 978-1-60465-144-7 Prebook: 3/24/09 Street date: 4/21/09 THE HIT Terence Stamp is Willie, a gangster’s henchman turned informer trying to live in peaceful hiding in a remote Spanish village. Sun-dappled bliss turns to nerve-racking suspense, however, when two hit men—played by a soulless John Hurt and a youthful, loose-cannon Tim Roth—come a-calling to bring Willie back for execution. This stylish early gem from Stephen Frears boasts terrific performances from a roster of England’s best hard-boiled actors and ravishing photography of its desolate Spanish locations—a splendid backdrop for a rather sordid story. Info • Directed by Stephen Frears (Dangerous Liaisons, The Grifters, The Queen) • Starring Terence Stamp (Billy Budd, The Collector, Superman II, The Limey) • Starring John Hurt (Midnight Express, Alien, The Elephant Man) • Starring Tim Roth (Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Rob Roy) • Music by Paco de Lucía (Carmen, Blood and Sand) and Eric Clapton (Lethal Weapon, Rush, Nil by Mouth) SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES: • New, restored high-definition digital transfer, approved by director of photography Mike Molloy • Commentary featuring director Stephen Frears and actors John Hurt and Tim Roth • Parkinson One-to-One: “Terence Stamp,” a 1988 television interview with the actor • Original theatrical trailer • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by film critic Graham Fuller Title: The Hit CAT: CC1798D SRP: $29.95 UPC: 7-15515-04271-0 ISBN: 978-1-60465-125-6 Prebook: 3/31/09 Street date: 4/28/09 IN THE REALM OF THE SENSES Still censored in its own country, In the Realm of the Senses (Ai no corrida), by Japanese director Nagisa Oshima, remains one of the most controversial films of all time. A graphic portrayal of insatiable sexual desire, Oshima’s film, set in 1936 and based on a true incident, depicts a man and a woman (Tatsuya Fuji and Eiko Matsuda) consumed by a transcendent, destructive love while living in an era of ever escalating imperialism and governmental control. Less a work of pornography than of politics, In the Realm of the Senses is a brave, taboo-breaking milestone. Info • Directed by Nagisa Oshima (Cruel Story of Youth; Empire of Passion; Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence) • Produced by Anatole Dauman (Hiroshima mon amour, Masculin féminin, The Tin Drum) • Starring Tatsuya Fuji (Velvet Hustler, Empire of Passion, Bright Future) SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES: • New, restored high-definition digital transfer (with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition) • New audio commentary with film scholar Tony Rayns • New interview with actor Tatsuya Fuji • A 1976 interview with director Nagisa Oshima and actors Fuji and Eiko Matsuda, and a 2003 program featuring interviews with consulting producer Hayao Shibata, line producer, Koji Wakamatsu, assistant director Yoichi Sai, and film distributor Yoko Asakura • Deleted footage • U.S. trailer • New and improved English subtitle translation • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by Japanese film scholar Donald Richie and a reprinted interview with Oshima Title: In the Realm of the Senses (DVD) In the Realm of the Senses (Blu-ray) CAT: CC1806D CAT: CC1808BD UPC: 7-15515-04501-8 UPC: 7-15515-04531-5 ISBN: 978-1-60465-145-4 ISBN: 978-1-60465-148-5 SRP: $39.95 SRP: $39.95 Prebook: 3/31/08 Prebook: 3/31/08 Street date: 4/28/09 Street date: 4/28/09 EMPIRE OF PASSION With an arresting mix of eroticism and horror, Oshima plunges the viewer into a nightmarish tale of guilt and retribution in Empire of Passion (Ai no borei). Set in a Japanese village at the end of the nineteenth century, the film details the emotional and physical downfall of a married woman (Kazuko Yoshiyuki) and her younger lover (Tatsuya Fuji) following their decision to murder her husband and dump his body in a well. Empire of Passion was Oshima’s only true kaidan (Japanese ghost story), and the film, a savage, unrelenting experience, earned him the best director award at the Cannes Film Festival. Info • Directed by Nagisa Oshima (Cruel Story of Youth; In the Realm of the Senses; Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence) • Produced by Anatole Dauman (Hiroshima mon amour, Masculin féminin, The Tin Drum) • Starring Tatsuya Fuji (Velvet Hustler, In the Realm of the Senses, Bright Future) • Cinematography by Yoshio Miyajima (The Human Condition, Harakiri, Kwaidan) • Music by Toru Takemitsu (Woman in the Dunes, Antonio Gaudí, Ran) SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES: • New, restored high-definition digital transfer • New video essay by film historian and critic Catherine Russell • New interview with actors Kazuo Yoshiyuki and Tatsuya Fuji • An interview program from 2003 featuring production consultant Koji Wakamatsu and assistant directors Yusuke Narita and Yoici Sai • New and improved English subtitle translation • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by film critic Tony Rayns and a reprinted interview with Nagisa Oshima Title: Empire of Passion CAT: CC1807D SRP: $29.95 UPC: 7-15515-04511-7 ISBN: 978-1-60465-146-1 Prebook: 3/31/09 Street date: 4/28/09 ATTN CANADA: THE HIT IS AVAILABLE IN ALL CANADA. THE WAGES OF FEAR BLU-RAY IS AVAILABLE IN US ONLY. ALL OTHER APRIL RELEASES ARE AVAILABLE IN ENGLISH-SPEAKING CANADA ONLY.


Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner


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