Criterion Collection September Releases -- OnVideo Guide to Home Video Releases

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Criterion Collection September Releases


September 10

photo La Cage aux Folles BLU-RAY DEBUT and DVD (1978) Renato (Ugo Tognazzi) and Albin (Michel Serrault) -- ­a middle-aged gay couple who are the manager and star performer at a glitzy drag club in St. Tropez -- ­agree to hide their sexual identities, along with their flamboyant personalities and home decor, when the ultraconservative parents of Renato's son's fiancee come for a visit. This elegant comic scenario kicks off a wild and warmhearted farce about the importance of nonconformity and the beauty of being true to oneself. A modest French comedy that became a breakout art-house smash in America, Edouard Molinaro's "La Cage aux Folles" inspired a major Broadway musical and the blockbuster remake "The Birdcage." But with its hilarious performances and ahead-of-its-time social message, there's nothing like the audacious, dazzling original movie. New 2K digital film restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition. Extras: New interview with director Edouard Molinaro; archival footage featuring actor Michel Serrault and Jean Poiret, writer and star of the original stage production of "La Cage aux Folles"; new interview with Laurence Senelick, author of "The Changing Room: Sex, Drag and Theatre"; French and U.S. trailers; a booklet featuring an essay by critic David Ehrenstein. (The Criterion Collection).

The Spy Who Came in From the Cold BLU-RAY DEBUT (1965) The acclaimed, best-selling novel by John le Carre, about a Cold War spy on one final dangerous mission in East Germany, is transmuted by director Martin Ritt into a film every bit as precise and ruthless as the book. Richard Burton is superb as Alec Leamas, whose relationship with a beautiful librarian, played by Claire Bloom, puts his assignment in jeopardy. "The Spy Who Came in From the Cold" is a hard-edged and tragic thriller, suffused with the political and social consciousness that defined Ritt's career. High-definition digital film restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack. Extras: Exclusive, wide-ranging interview with author John le Carre; selected-scene commentary featuring director of photography Oswald Morris; "The Secret Centre: John le Carre," a 2000 BBC documentary on the author's life and work; interview with actor Richard Burton from a 1967 episode of the BBC series "Acting in the '60s," conducted by critic Kenneth Tynan; audio conversation from 1985 between director Martin Ritt and film historian Patrick McGilligan; gallery of set designs; trailer; booklet featuring an essay by critic Michael Sragow. (The Criterion Collection).


September 17

Autumn Sonata BLU-RAY DEBUT and DVD (1978) "Autumn Sonata" was the only collaboration between cinema's two great Bergmans -- ­Ingmar, the iconic director of "The Seventh Seal," and Ingrid, the monumental star of "Casablanca." The grand dame, playing an icy concert pianist, is matched beat for beat in ferocity by the filmmaker's recurring lead Liv Ullmann as her eldest daughter. Over the course of a long, painful night that the two spend together after an extended separation, they finally confront the bitter discord of their relationship. This cathartic pas de deux, evocatively shot in burnished harvest colors by the great Sven Nykvist, ranks among Ingmar Bergman's major dramatic works. New 2K digital film restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition. Extras: Introduction by Ingmar Bergman from 2003; audio commentary featuring Bergman expert Peter Cowie; "The Making of Autumn Sonata," a three-and-a-half-hour program examining every aspect of the production; new interview with Liv Ullmann; a 1981 conversation between Ingrid Bergman and critic John Russell Taylor at the National Film Theatre in London; trailer; a booklet featuring an essay by critic Farran Smith Nehme. (The Criterion Collection).

Slacker BLU-RAY DEBUT (1991) "Slacker," directed by Richard Linklater, presents a day in the life of a loose-knit Austin, Texas, subculture populated by eccentric and overeducated young people. Shooting on 16mm for a mere $3,000, writer-producer-director Linklater and his crew of friends threw out any idea of a traditional plot, choosing instead to create a tapestry of over 100 characters, each as compelling as the last. Slacker is a prescient look at an emerging generation of aggressive nonparticipants, and one of the key films of the American independent film movement of the 1990s. High-definition restored digital film transfer, supervised by director Richard Linklater and director of photography Lee Daniel, featuring 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. Extras: Three audio commentaries, featuring Linklater and members of the cast and crew; "It's Impossible to Learn to Plow by Reading Books" (1988), Linklater's first full-length feature, with commentary by the director; "Woodshock," a 1985 16mm short by Linklater and Daniel; casting tapes featuring select "auditions" from the more-than-100-member cast; footage from the Slacker 10th-anniversary reunion; early film treatment; home movies; 10-minute trailer for a 2005 documentary about the landmark Austin cafe Les Amis; deleted scenes and alternate takes; original theatrical trailer; a booklet featuring essays by author and film­maker John Pierson and Michael Barker, as well as reviews, production notes, and an introduction to "It's Impossible to Learn to Plow by Reading Books" by director Monte Hellman. (The Criterion Collection).


September 24

photo 3 Films By Roberto Rossellini Starring Ingrid Bergman BLU-RAT DEBUT and DVD. In the late 1940s, the incandescent Hollywood star Ingrid Bergman found herself so moved by the revolutionary neorealist films of Roberto Rossellini that she sent the director a letter, introducing herself and offering her talents. The resulting collaboration produced a series of films that are works of both sociopolitical concern and metaphysical melodrama, each starring Bergman as a woman experiencing physical dislocation and psychic torment in postwar Italy. It also famously led to a scandalous affair and eventual marriage between filmmaker and star, and the focus on their personal lives in the press unfortunately overshadowed the extraordinary films they made together. "Stromboli" (1950), "Europe '51" (1952) and "Journey to Italy" (1954) are intensely personal portraits that reveal the director at his most emotional and the glamorous actor at her most anguished, and that capture them and the world around them in transition. New digital film restorations of the English- and Italian-language versions of "Stromboli" and "Europe '51" and the English-language version of "Journey to Italy", with uncompressed monaural soundtracks on the Blu-ray editions. Formats: Five-disc DVD, four-disc Blu-ray. Extras: Archival television introductions by director Roberto Rossellini to all three films; audio commentary for "Journey to Italy" featuring scholar Laura Mulvey; "Rossellini Through His Own Eyes," a 1992 documentary on the filmmaker's approach to cinema, featuring archival interviews with Rossellini and Bergman; new visual essays about Rossellini by scholars Tag Gallagher and James Quandt; "Rossellini Under the Volcano," a 1998 documentary that returns to the island of Stromboli 50 years after the making of Stromboli; new interview with critic Adriano Apra about each of the films; new interview with Fiorella Mariani, Rossellini's niece, featuring home movies shot by Bergman; new interview with film historian Elena Degrada about the different versions of "Europe '51"; new interviews with Isabella Rossellini and Ingrid Rossellini, daughters of Rossellini and Bergman; "Ingrid Bergman Remembered," a 1996 documentary on the actor's life, narrated by her daughter Pia Lindstrom; "My Dad Is 100 Years Old," a 2005 short film, directed by Guy Maddin and starring Isabella Rossellini; "The Chicken," a 1952 short film by Rossellini, starring Bergman; "A Short Visit With the Rossellini Family," a six-minute film shot on Capri while the family was there during the production of "Journey to Italy"; a booklet featuring essays by critics Richard Brody, Fred Camper, Dina Iordanova, and Paul Thomas; letters exchanged by Rossellini and Bergman; "Why I Directed Stromboli," a 1950 article by Rossellini; a 1954 interview with Rossellini conducted by Eric Rohmer and Francois Truffaut for "Cahiers du cinema"; and excerpts from a 1965 interview with Rossellini conducted by Apa and Maurizio Ponzi for "Filmcritica." (The Criterion Collection).