COHEN MEDIA GROUP TO RELEASE CLAUDE LANZMANN’S FINAL MASTERPIECE, ‘SHOAH: FOUR SISTERS,’ ON BLU-RAY, DVD & DIGITAL
“It’s impossible to watch the film and not feel transformed”
– Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter
Cohen Media Group today announced that it will release Palme d’Or winner Claude Lanzmann’s final film, SHOAH: FOUR SISTERS, on Blu-ray, DVD and digital platforms on May 7, 2019.
The film, completed shortly before Lanzmann’s death at 92 in July 2018, is the long-awaited follow-up to his monumental Shoah, which shook the world upon its release in 1985 as a profound cinematic memorial to the Holocaust.
In SHOAH: FOUR SISTERS, four Jewish women, survivors of unimaginable Nazi horrors during the Holocaust, tell their individual stories. Each of their testimonies was filmed more than 40 years ago as Lanzmann collected first-hand accounts in preparation for what would become the nine-and-a-half-hour Shoah.
Starting in 1999, Lanzmann made several films that could be considered satellites of SHOAH, comprising interviews conducted in the 1970s that didn’t make it into the final, monumental work. In the last years of the director’s life, he decided to devote a film to each of four women from four different areas of Eastern Europe with four different destinies, each finding herself improbably alive after war’s end: Ruth Elias from Ostravia, Czechoslovakia; Paula Biren from Lodz, Poland; Ada Lichtman from further south in Krakow; and Hannah Marton from Cluj, or Kolozsva´r, in Transylvania, Romania.
Survivors of unimaginable Nazi horrors during the Holocaust, these women tell their individual stories and become crucial witnesses to the barbarism they experienced. Each possesses a vivid intelligence and a commitment to candor that make their accounts of what they suffered both searing and unforgettable.
The four films that make up SHOAH: FOUR SISTERS are titled “The Hippocratic Oath,” “The Merry Flea,” “Noah’s Ark” and “Baluty,” and together they remind audiences of the immense courage it took for these witnesses to return to their painful past as they retell personal tragedies that represent the larger tragedy of the Holocaust.
Writing at RogerEbert.com, Matt Zoller Seitz said, “Moral compromise, or the fear of it, dominates all four stories, along with a powerful (though at times suppressed) sense of survivor’s guilt.” The New Yorker‘s Richard Brody wrote, “Lanzmann’s own work – in its insight, its devotion, and its imaginative sympathy – is itself heroic.” Jordan Mintzer of The Hollywood Reporter said the movie “has the emotional impact and cinematic prowess of great drama.”
Both the two-disc Blu-ray and two-disc DVD of SHOAH: FOUR SISTERS include a new conversation with globally renowned philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy moderated by Deborah Lipstadt at the Streicker Center in New York City.
COHEN FILM COLLECTION TO RELEASE
‘THE GENERAL’ & ‘STEAMBOAT BILL, JR.’
ON BLU-RAY, DVD & DIGITAL
“Four Stars! One of Buster Keaton’s best silent comedies – some say his greatest film”
– Leonard Maltin on “The General”
Charles S. Cohen, Chairman and CEO of Cohen Media Group, today announced that Cohen Film Collection will release the Buster Keaton masterpieces THE GENERAL and STEAMBOAT BILL, JR. together on single-disc Blu-ray and DVD packages, as well as digital platforms, on May 14, 2019.
The films – high points not only of Keaton’s incomparable career but of all silent cinema, and both included on the National Film Registry – are presented in new 4K restorations and feature orchestral scores by Carl Davis (Pride and Prejudice, The World at War).
Many critics and historians consider THE GENERAL (1926) to be the last great comedy of the silent era, and it consistently ranks as one of the finest films of all time on international critics’ polls. It is No. 18 on the American Film Institute’s list of 100 Greatest American Films, and is No. 34 on the latest Sight & Sound critics poll of the Greatest Films of All Time.
Set during the Civil War and based on a true incident, the film is an authentic-looking period piece that brings the scope and realism of Mathew Brady-like images to brilliant life. Keaton portrays engineer Johnnie Gray, rejected by the Confederate Army and thought a coward by his girlfriend (Marion Mack). When a band of Union soldiers penetrate Confederate lines to steal his locomotive, called The General, Johnnie sets off in pursuit. There is no better showcase for Keaton’s trademark physical comedy and deadpan expression that earned him the moniker “The Great Stone Face.”
The renowned critic Raymond Durgnat wrote, “Perhaps THE GENERAL is the most beautiful [film], with its spare, grey photography, its eye for the racy, lunging lines of the great locomotives, with their prow-like cowcatchers, with its beautifully sustained movement.” “The pioneering genius of Buster Keaton’s 1926 silent film … looks even more startling than ever … more or less invented the action movie,” said The Guardian‘s Peter Bradshaw.
In STEAMBOAT BILL, JR. (1928), Buster, as the son of a steamboat captain, falls in love with the daughter of a rival steamboat owner. When a cyclone rages, Buster proves himself a hero by rescuing his love (Marion Byron) and her father from a watery grave. The comedy contains what many consider Keaton’s most memorable – and potentially deadly – film stunt: One side of a house falls on him while he stands in the perfect spot to pass through a window frame unharmed.
“It’s a masterclass in comic timing and deadpan reaction shots, and a reminder that Keaton had few peers when it came to communicating with his eyes and the smallest of gestures,” wrote Phil Concannon of Little White Lies.
Both the Blu-ray and DVD of THE GENERAL/STEAMBOAT BILL, JR. include the featurettes “Reflections on The General” and “Buster Keaton: The Luminary,” as well as trailers for both films.
Street date: May 7, 2019
SRP: $30.99 (Blu-ray), $25.99 (DVD)
Running time: 287 minutes (plus extras)
In French, German, English and Hebrew, with English subtitles
THE GENERAL/ STEAMBOAT BILL JR.
Street date: May 14, 2019
SRP: $30.99 (Blu-ray), $25.99 (DVD)
Running time: 164 minutes (with extras)