Criterion Press Release: August 2009 Titles (DVD/Blu-ray)

Ronald Epstein

Founder
Owner
Joined
Jul 3, 1997
Messages
55,833
Real Name
Ronald Epstein
THE LAST DAYS OF DISCO
The Last Days of Disco is a clever, comic return to the nighttime party scene in early eighties Manhattan from director Whit Stillman (Metropolitan). At the center of the film’s roundelay of revelers are the icy Charlotte (Kate Beckinsale) and the demure Alice (Chloë Sevigny), by day toiling as publishing house assistants and by night looking for romance and entertainment at a premier, Studio 54–like club. The Last Days of Disco is an affectionate yet unsentimental look at the end of an era, brimming with Stillman’s trademark dry humor.

1998 • 114 minutes • Color • Stereo • 1.78:1 aspect ratio

FILM INFO
- Directed by Whit Stillman (Metropolitan, Barcelona)
- Starring Chloë Sevigny (Kids, Boys Don’t Cry, Zodiac, The Brown Bunny)
- Starring Kate Beckinsale (Cold Comfort Farm, Pearl Harbor, Underworld)
- Starring Chris Eigeman (Kicking and Screaming, Mr. Jealousy, Barcelona)

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
- New, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised and approved by director
Whit Stillman
- Audio commentary featuring Stillman and actors Chloë Sevigny and Chris
Eigeman
- Four deleted scenes with commentary by Stillman, Eigeman, and Sevigny
- Stills gallery with production notes by Stillman
- Stillman reading a chapter from The Last Days of Disco, with Cocktails at
Petrossian Afterwards, his novelization of the movie
- Behind-the-scenes featurette
- Original theatrical trailer
- PLUS: An essay by novelist David Schickler

Title: The Last Days of Disco
CAT: CC1829D
UPC: 7-15515-04821-7
ISBN: 978-1-60465-179-9
SRP: $39.95
Prebook: 7/28/09
Street date: 8/25/09

KAGEMUSHA – Blu-ray Edition
When a warlord dies, a peasant thief is called upon to impersonate him, and then finds himself haunted by his spirit as well as his own ambitions. With his late color masterpiece Kagemusha, Akira Kurosawa returned to the samurai film and to a primary theme of his career—the play between illusion and reality. Sumptuously reconstructing the splendor of feudal Japan and the pageantry of war, Kurosawa creates a historical epic that is also a meditation on the nature of power.

1980 • 180 minutes • Color • Stereo • In Japanese with English subtitles • 1.85:1 aspect ratio

FILM INFO
- Directed by Akira Kurosawa (Rashomon, Seven Samurai, High and Low, Ran)
- Starring Tatsuya Nakadai (Yojimbo, The Human Condition, Ran)

BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
- Restored high-definition digital transfer with DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack
- Audio commentary featuring Kurosawa scholar Stephen Prince (The Warrior’s
Camera: The Cinema of Akira Kurosawa)
- Lucas, Coppola, and Kurosawa (19 minutes, 2005), in which directors George
Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola discuss Kurosawa and their roles as executive
producers of Kagemusha
- A 41-minute documentary on the making of Kagemusha, part of the Toho
Masterworks series Akira Kurosawa: It Is Wonderful to Create
- Image: Kurosawa’s Continuity, a new video piece that reconstructs Kagemusha
through Kurosawa’s paintings and sketches
- A series of Suntory Whiskey commercials made on the set of Kagemusha
- A gallery of storyboards painted by Kurosawa and images of their realization on-
screen
- Theatrical trailers and teasers
- Optional English subtitle translation
- PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by scholar Peter Grilli and an interview with
Kurosawa by renowned critic Tony Rayns

Title: Kagemusha (Blu-ray edition)
CAT: CC1827BD
UPC: 7-15515-04841-5
ISBN: 978-1-60465-181-2
SRP: $39.95
Prebook: 7/21/09
Street date: 8/18/09

PLAYTIME – Blu-ray Edition
Jacques Tati’s gloriously choreographed, nearly wordless comedies about confusion in the age of technology reached their creative apex with Playtime. For this monumental achievement, a nearly three-year-long, bank-breaking production, Tati again thrust the endearingly clumsy, resolutely old-fashioned Monsieur Hulot, along with a host of other lost souls, into a bafflingly modernist Paris. With every inch of its superwide frame crammed with hilarity and inventiveness, Playtime is a lasting testament to a modern age tiptoeing on the edge of oblivion.

1967 • 124 minutes • Color • Stereo • In French with English subtitles • 1.85:1 aspect ratio

FILM INFO
-Written and directed by Jacques Tati (M. Hulot’s Holiday, Mon oncle)

BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
- Restored high-definition digital transfer with uncompressed stereo soundtrack
- Video introduction by writer, director, and performer Terry Jones
- Selected scene audio commentary by film historian Philip Kemp
- Au-delà de “Playtime,” a short documentary featuring archival behind-the-scenes
footage from the set
- Tati Story, a short biographical film about Tati
- “Jacques Tati in Monsieur Hulot’s World,” a 1976 BBC Omnibus program featuring
Tati
- Rare audio interview with Tati from the U.S. debut of Playtime at the 1972 San
Francisco International Film Festival
- Video interview with script supervisor Sylvette Baudrot
- Cours du soir, a 1967 short film written by and starring Tati
- Alternate international soundtrack
- Optional English subtitle translation
- PLUS: An essay by Jonathan Rosenbaum

Title: Playtime (Blu-ray edition)
CAT: CC1830BD
UPC: 7-15515-04761-6
ISBN: 978-1-60465-105-8
SRP: $39.95
Prebook: 7/21/09
Street date: 8/18/09

JEANNE DIELMAN
A singular work in film history, Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles brilliantly evokes, with meticulous detail and a sense of impending doom, the daily domestic routine of a middle-aged widow—whose chores include making the beds, cooking dinner for her grown son, and turning the occasional trick—just as it begins to break down. In its enormous spareness, Akerman’s film seems simple, but it encompasses an entire world. Whether seen as an exacting character portrait or one of cinema’s most hypnotic and complete depictions of space and time, Jeanne Dielman is an astonishing, compelling movie experiment, one that has been analyzed and argued over for decades, and is finally making its long-awaited DVD debut.

1975 • 201 minutes • Color • Monaural • In French with English subtitles • 1.66:1 aspect ratio

FILM INFO
- Directed by Chantal Akerman (News from Home, A Couch in New York,
The Captive)
- Starring Delphine Seyrig (Last Year at Marienbad, Mr. Freedom, The Discreet
Charm of the Bourgeoisie)

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION DOUBLE-DISC SET FEATURES
- Restored digital transfer, approved by director Chantal Akerman
- Autour de “Jeanne Dielman,” a 70-minute documentary, shot by actor Sami Frey
and edited by Agnes Ravez, made during the filming of Jeanne Dielman
- New interviews with Akerman and cinematographer Babette Mangolte
- Excerpt from “Chantal Akerman par Chantal Akerman,” a 1997 episode of the
French television program Cinéma de notre temps
- An interview with Akerman’s mother, Natalia
- Archival television interview excerpt featuring Akerman and star Delphine Seyrig
- Saute ma ville (1968), Akerman’s first film, with an introduction by the director
- New and improved English subtitle translation
- PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by film scholars Ivone Margulies and Janet Bergstrom

Title: Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles
CAT: CC1825D
UPC: 7-15515-04801-9
ISBN: 978-1-60465-177-5
SRP: $39.95
Prebook: 7/28/09
Street date: 8/25/09

ECLIPSE SERIES 17: NIKKATSU NOIR
From the mid-1950s to the early 1970s, wild, idiosyncratic crime movies were the brutal and boisterous business of Nikkatsu, the oldest film studio in Japan. In an effort to attract youthful audiences growing increasingly accustomed to American and French big-screen imports, Nikkatsu began producing action potboilers (mukokuseki akushun, or “borderless action”) modeled on the western, comedy, gangster, and teen-rebel genres. This bruised and bloody collection represents a standout cross section of the nimble nasties Nikkatsu had to offer, from such prominent, stylistically daring directors as Seijun Suzuki, Toshio Masuda, and Takashi Nomura.

FIVE-DISC BOX SET INCLUDES:

I Am Waiting (1957)
In Koreyoshi Kurahara’s directorial debut, rebel matinee idol Yujiro Ishihara (fresh off the sensational Crazed Fruit) stars as a restaurant manager and former boxer who saves a beautiful, suicidal club hostess (Mie Kitahara) trying to escape the clutches of her gangster employer. Featuring expressionist lighting and bold camera work, this was one of Nikkatsu’s early successes.

91 minutes • Black & White • Monaural • In Japanese with English subtitles • 1.33:1 aspect ratio

Rusty Knife (1958)
Rusty Knife was the first smash for director Toshio Masuda, who would go on to become one of Japanese cinema’s major hit makers. In the film, Yujiro Ishihara and fellow top Nikkatsu star Akira Kobayashi play former hoodlums trying to leave behind a life of crime, but their past comes back to haunt them when the authorities seek them out as murder witnesses.

90 minutes • Black & White • Monaural • In Japanese with English subtitles • 2.35:1 aspect ratio

Take Aim at the Police Van (1960)
At the beginning of Seijun Suzuki’s taut and twisty whodunit, a prison truck is attacked and a convict inside is murdered. The penitentiary warden on duty, Daijiro (Michitaro Mizushima), is accused of negligence and suspended, only to take it upon himself to track down the killers.

79 minutes • Black & White • Monaural • In Japanese with English subtitles • 2.45:1 aspect ratio

Cruel Gun Story (1964)
Fresh out of the slammer, Togawa (Branded to Kill’s Joe Shishido) has no chance to go straight because he is immediately coerced by a wealthy mob boss into organizing the heist of an armored car carrying racetrack receipts. After gathering together a ragtag bunch to carry out the robbery, Togawa learns that all is not what it seems in Takumi Furukawa’s thriller. Cue the double (and triple) crosses!

91 minutes • Black & White • Monaural • In Japanese with English subtitles • 2.45:1 aspect ratio

A Colt Is My Passport (1967)
One of Japanese cinema’s supreme emulations of American noir, Takashi Nomura’s A Colt Is My Passport is a down-and-dirty but gorgeously photographed yakuza film starring Joe Shishido as a hard-boiled hit man caught between rival gangs. Featuring an incredible, spaghetti-western-style soundtrack and brimming with formal experimentation, this is Nikkatsu at its finest.

84 minutes • Black & White • Monaural • In Japanese with English subtitles • 2.45:1 aspect ratio

Title: Eclipse Series 17: Nikkatsu Noir
CAT: ECL075
UPC: 7-15515-04971-9
ISBN: 978-1-60465-194-2
SRP: $69.95
Prebook: 7/28/09
Street date: 8/25/09

ATTN CANADA: JEANNE DIELMAN, ECLIPSE SERIES 17: NIKKATSU NOIR & PLAYTIME BD ARE AVAILABLE IN ENGLISH SPEAKING CANADA ONLY
 

Jeff Ulmer

Producer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 23, 1998
Messages
5,584
Playtime on BD should look stunning, and I hope the rest of the Hulot films follow shortly, especially Mon Oncle.

What I am a little disappointed in is that Walkabout has yet to be announced, since it was rumoured to be among the earlier Criterion BD releases.
 

RDarrylR

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Feb 19, 2009
Messages
117
Real Name
Darryl
Not complaining at all but I find it interesting that so many of the Blu-rays from Criterion are movies from France.
 

Martin Teller

Effects Supervisor
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2006
Messages
2,414
Real Name
Martin Teller
Excellent month. Play Time is a no-brainer, and as a Kurosawa completist I have to buy Kagemusha even though it's not one of my favorites. Probably won't buy Jeanne Dielman since it's really tough to watch, but definitely a fascinating film that I look forward to seeing again. The Eclipse box sounds interesting. As far as I'm concerned, Last Days of Disco is the only dud here, and that's only based on my reaction to Metropolitan.


Only 5 out of 17 so far. Roughly 20% of their DVD releases are French, so it's not too surprising.
 

RDarrylR

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Feb 19, 2009
Messages
117
Real Name
Darryl

France makes up about 1% of the population in the world though. I wasn't aware that so many of the films in their collections were French. I guess the French have a corner on classic movies?
 

Marc Colella

Effects Supervisor
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 19, 1999
Messages
2,601

If population mattered, then China and India would have the majority of titles in the collection.

In the world of cinema, France is a major contributor of what Criterion would deem important films.
 

Jeff Ulmer

Producer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 23, 1998
Messages
5,584
Not knocking France at all, but I think it also comes down to ease of licensing and availability of usable elements.
 

Carlo Medina

Executive Producer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 31, 1997
Messages
11,947
Wow, I've been hoping for Last Days of Disco on BD but I never would have dreamed it would have gotten the Criterion treatment!
 

Lew Crippen

Executive Producer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 19, 2002
Messages
12,060
These two are being released in Blu-Ray. The Last Days of Disco (among others) is getting the Criterion treatment but only on DVD.
 

Carlo Medina

Executive Producer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 31, 1997
Messages
11,947
Ugh thanks for raining on my parade guys.

Well it's not a title that is likely to sell through the roof for major studios, but it will hopefully sell enough to be profitable for Criterion, so perhaps Criterion will be able to get/retain the rights to release it on BD.

I haven't bought a regular DVD in so long, but I'll definitely have to pick this one up to support 1) the movie, and 2) Criterion, and hold out hope that they'll eventually put it out on Blu-ray.
 

ManW_TheUncool

Lead Actor
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2001
Messages
6,565
Location
The BK
Real Name
ManW
Originally Posted by Lew Crippen ">[/url]

[/QUOTE]These two are being released in Blu-Ray. [I]The Last Days of Disco[/I] (among others) is getting the [I]Criterion treatment[/I] but only on DVD.
[QUOTE]Originally Posted by [b]Carlo Medina[/b] [url=/forum/thread/287894/criterion-press-release-august-2009-titles-dvd-blu-ray#post_3558965][img]

Ugh thanks for raining on my parade guys.

Well it's not a title that is likely to sell through the roof for major studios, but it will hopefully sell enough to be profitable for Criterion, so perhaps Criterion will be able to get/retain the rights to release it on BD.

I haven't bought a regular DVD in so long, but I'll definitely have to pick this one up to support 1) the movie, and 2) Criterion, and hold out hope that they'll eventually put it out on Blu-ray.
Had forgotten this one was coming out until I saw the recent reviews -- thanks in part to the new HTF layout.

I too wish Criterion (or someone else) had released this one on BD, not just DVD. It's easier for me to justify spending the extra $ on a BD than another DVD. Guess I'll just give this another rent (or two) before it might eventually come out on BD.

_Man_
 

Forum Sponsors

Forum statistics

Threads
344,074
Messages
4,699,434
Members
141,165
Latest member
subanartneha