"The movie business is macabre. Grotesque.
It is a combination of a football game
and a brothel."
-- Federico Fellini
May 152020
 

This August, Paul Schrader’s seductive thriller The Comfort of Strangers– adapted by Harold Pinter from the novel by Ian McEwan – will join the Criterion Collection in a new 4K restoration. A landmark of poetic realism that went on to influence the French New Wave, Jean Renoir’s Provence-set drama Toni will make its first appearance on Blu-ray and DVD. Also debuting on home video is Chris Hegedus and D. A. Pennebaker’s Town Bloody Hall, an electrifying record of second-wave feminism and its discontents that captures a legendary 1971 debate between Norman Mailer and four prominent female thinkers and activists. Volker Schlöndorff and Margarethe von Trotta’s urgent political thriller The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum will also debut on Blu-ray. Plus, our previously announced fifteen-Blu-ray box set The Complete Films of Agnès Varda will collect the life’s work of an artist who never stopped expanding the notion of what a movie can be.

THE COMFORT OF STRANGERS
Adapting the acclaimed novel by Ian McEwan, playwright and screenwriter Harold Pinter lends his trademark unnerving dialogue and air of creeping menace to this spellbinding study of power, control, and the frighteningly thin line between pleasure and pain. Rupert Everett and Natasha Richardson are the prey, a beautiful British couple working on their relationship while on holiday in Venice; Christopher Walken and Helen Mirren are the hunters who draw them into the sinister web of their opulent, old-world palazzo. What plays out is an unsettling, sadomasochistic seduction imbued with an atmosphere of sumptuous dread by the elegantly gliding tracking shots of cinematographer Dante Spinotti, lush score by Angelo Badalamenti, and carefully controlled direction of Paul Schrader, who choreographs a mesmerizing pas de quatre of sustained erotic and emotional tension.

SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
* New, restored 4K digital transfer, supervised by cinematographer Dante Spinotti, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
* New interviews with Spinotti, director Paul Schrader, actor Christopher Walken, and editor Bill Pankow
* Interviews from 1981 and 2001 with novelist Ian McEwan and actor Natasha Richardson
* Trailers
* English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
* PLUS: An essay by critic Maitland McDonagh

1990 * 104 minutes * Color * Monaural * 1.66:1 aspect ratio

BLU-RAY EDITION
SRP $39.95
PREBOOK 7/21/20
STREET 8/18/20
CAT. NO. CC3179BD
ISBN 978-1-68143-751-4
UPC 7-15515-25031-3

DVD EDITION
SRP $29.95
PREBOOK 7/21/20
STREET 8/18/20
CAT. NO. CC3180DDVD
ISBN 978-1-68143-752-1
UPC 7-15515-25041-2

THE LOST HONOR OF KATHARINA BLUM
When a young woman spends the night with an alleged terrorist, her quiet, ordered life falls into ruins. The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum portrays an anxious era in West Germany amid a crumbling postwar political consensus. Katharina, though apparently innocent, suddenly becomes a suspect, falling prey to a vicious smear campaign by the police and a ruthless tabloid journalist that tests the limits of her dignity and her sanity. Crafting one of the most accessible and direct works of 1970s political filmmaking, Volker Schlöndorff and Margarethe von Trotta deliver a powerful adaptation of Heinrich Böll’s novel, a stinging commentary on state power, individual freedom, and media manipulation that is as relevant today as when it was released.

BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
* New 4K digital restoration, approved by director Volker Schlöndorff and producer Eberhard Junkersdorf, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
* Interview from 2002 with directors Schlöndorff and Margarethe von Trotta
* Interview from 2002 with director of photography Jost Vacano
* Excerpts from a 1977 documentary on author Heinrich Böll
* Trailer
* PLUS: An essay by film critic Amy Taubin

1975 * 106 minutes * Color * Monaural * In German with English subtitles * 1.66:1 aspect ratio

BLU-RAY EDITION
SRP $39.95
PREBOOK 7/7/20
STREET 8/4/20
CAT. NO. CC3174BD
ISBN 978-1-68143-746-0
UPC 7-15515-24981-2

TONI
In 1934, Jean Renoir stepped off the soundstage and headed to the South of France, where he captured vivid human drama amid the bucolic splendor and everyday social rituals of the countryside. Based on a true story and set in a community of immigrants living, working, and loving on the margins of French society, Toni follows the eponymous Italian migrant (Charles Blavette), whose tempestuous affairs with two women-the faithful Marie (Jenny Hélia) and the flirtatious Josefa (Celia Montalván)-unleash a wave of tragedy. Making use of nonprofessional actors, on-location shooting, and the resources of the great Marcel Pagnol’s Provence studio, Renoir crafts a marvel of poetic feeling that became a precursor to Italian neorealism and a favorite of the directors of the French New Wave.

SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
* New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
* Audio commentary from 2006 featuring critics Kent Jones and Phillip Lopate
* Introduction by director Jean Renoir from 1961
* Episode of Cinéastes de notre temps from 1967 on Renoir, directed by Jacques Rivette and featuring a conversation with actor Charles Blavette about the film
* New video essay about the making of Toni by film scholar Christopher Faulkner
* New English subtitle translation
* PLUS: An essay by film scholar Ginette Vincendeau

1935 * 84 minutes * Black & White * Monaural * In French with English subtitles * 1.37:1 aspect ratio

BLU-RAY EDITION
SRP $39.95
PREBOOK 7/28/20
STREET 8/25/20
CAT. NO. CC3177BD
ISBN 978-1-68143-749-1
UPC 7-15515-25011-5

DVD EDITION
SRP $29.95
PREBOOK 7/28/20
STREET 8/25/20
CAT. NO. CC3178DDVD
ISBN 978-1-68143-750-7
UPC 7-15515-25021-4

TOWN BLOODY HALL
On April 30, 1971, a standing-room-only crowd of New York’s intellectual elite packed the city’s Town Hall theater to see Norman Mailer-fresh from the controversy over his essay “The Prisoner of Sex” and the backlash it received from leaders of the women’s movement-tangle with a panel of four prominent female thinkers and activists: Jacqueline Ceballos, Germaine Greer, Jill Johnston, and Diana Trilling. Part intellectual death match, part three-ring circus, the proceedings were captured with crackling, fly-on-the-wall immediacy by the documentary great D. A. Pennebaker and a small crew, with Chris Hegedus later condensing the three-and-a-half-hour affair into this briskly entertaining snapshot of a singular cultural moment. Heady, heated, and hilarious, Town Bloody Hall is a dazzling display of feminist firepower courtesy of some of the most influential figures of the era, with Mailer plainly relishing his role as the pugnacious rabble-rouser and literary lion at the center of it all.

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
* New 2K digital restoration, supervised by director Chris Hegedus, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
* New interview with Hegedus
* Audio commentary from 2004 featuring Hegedus and author Germaine Greer
* Footage from a 2004 celebration of the film, which brought together participants Greer, Jacqueline Ceballos, and Jill Johnston and directors Hegedus and D. A. Pennebaker
* Appearance from 1971 on The Dick Cavett Show by author Norman Mailer, promoting his book The Prisoner of Sex
* Archival interviews with Greer and Mailer
* English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
* PLUS: An essay by film critic Melissa Anderson

1979 * 85 minutes * Color * Monaural * 1.33:1 aspect ratio

BLU-RAY EDITION
SRP $39.95
PREBOOK 7/21/20
STREET 8/18/20
CAT. NO. CC3175BD
ISBN 978-1-68143-747-7
UPC 7-15515-24991-1

DVD EDITION
SRP $29.95
PREBOOK 7/21/20
STREET 8/18/20
CAT. NO. CC3176DDVD
ISBN 978-1-68143-748-4
UPC 7-15515-25001-6

 Posted by on May 15, 2020  Add comments

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