Friday, July 16, 2010

Criterion Collection: 5 Films In October!

Source: Blu-ray.com

"God, I love the Criterion Collection."

I said it and now so will you when you see what they have in store for you come October! Criterion is releasing not one, not two but FIVE Blu-rays. Hold on to your butts, because this is going to get awesome!

First up on October 12th we will see the Blu-ray release of the 1958 Swedish classic, The Magician. Directed by the legendary auteur Ingmar Bergman The Magician pits a incredulous mid-19th century mesmerist and elixir salesman, Dr. Volger, against a traditional physician, Dr. Vergarus, in a entertaining battle of wits that will have you both laughing and cringing.

Extras for The Magician Include:

  • New visual essay by Bergman scholar Peter Cowie
  • Brief 1967 video interview with director Ingmar Bergman about the film
  • Rare English-language audio interview with Bergman, conducted by filmmakers Olivier Assayas and Stig Bj√∂rkman
  • A booklet featuring an essay by critic Geoff Andrew, a reprinted essay by Assayas, and an excerpt from Bergman's autobiography
  • Images: My Life in Film

October 12th will also see the release of director Wes Anderson's The Darjeeling Limited. This film stars Owen Wilson, Adrian Brody and Jason Schwartzman as three estranged brothers who set off on a journey to rediscover themselves, and when they are left stranded in the desert with nothing but each other and a bunch of random junk the real journey begins.

No official cover art yet, stay posted!

Extras for The Darjeeling Limited Include:

  • Anderson's short film Hotel Chevalier (Which ended up as part one of The Darjeeling Limited), starring Natalie Portman, with commentary by Anderson
  • Audio commentary featuring Anderson and cowriters Jason Schwartzman and Roman Coppola
  • Behind-the-scenes documentary by Barry Braverman
  • Anderson and filmmaker James Ivory discussing the film's music
  • Anderson's American Express commercial
  • On-set footage shot by Coppola and actor Waris Ahluwalia
  • Audition footage, deleted and alternate scenes, and stills galleries
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • A booklet featuring an essay by critic Richard Brody and original illustrations by Eric Anderson

A week later on October 19th some very awesome happens. My favorite film of all time finally gets the Blu-ray transfer it deserves! That's right Akira Kurosawa's 1954 essential classic Seven Samurai is coming to glorious Blu-ray. Retold, homaged and often copied Seven Samurai is easily one of the most influential films to ever come out of Japanese cinema, or just cinema in general!

The story of course revolves around a ragtag band of seven noble samurai who take it upon themselves to help poor farmers defend their lives and livelihoods from an army of marauding bandits.

Extras for Seven Samurai include:

  • Two audio commentaries: 1) Film scholars David Desser, Joan Mellen, Stephen Prince, Tony Rayns, and Donald Richie 2) Japanese film expert Michael Jeck
  • A 50-minute documentary on the making of Seven Samurai
  • Akira Kurosawa: It Is Wonderful to Create
  • My Life in Cinema, a two-hour video conversation between Akira Kurosawa and Nagisa Oshima produced by the Directors Guild of Japan
  • Seven Samurai: Origins and Influences, a new documentary looking at the samurai traditions and films that impacted Kurosawa's masterpiece
  • Theatrical trailers and teaser
  • Gallery of rare posters and behind-the scenes and production stills
  • A booklet featuring essays by Peter Cowie, Philip Kemp, Peggy Chiao, Alain Silver, Kenneth Turan, Stuart Galbraith, Arthur Penn, and Sidney Lumet and an interview with Toshiro Mifune

As if that were not enough October 26th will see the release of another, albeit very different, Japanase film. This time it is the 1977 comedy horror House, directed by Nobuhiko Obayashi this movie has everything we know and love about Japan: A bevy of schoolgirls, check. Possessed house, check. Gratuitous death scenes, check. Nudity, you bet your ass!

Extras for House include:

  • Constructing a House: a new video piece featuring interviews with director Nobuhiko Obayashi, story scenarist and daughter of the director Chigumi Obayashi, and screenwriter
  • Chiho Katsura Emotion, a 1966 experimental film by Obayashi
  • New video appreciation by director Ti West (House of the Devil)
  • Theatrical trailer
  • An essay by Chuck Stephens

How about some Kubrick for the fifth and final October Criterion Blu-ray release? You got it as also on October 26th the 1957 Stanley Kubrick war/crime/drama Paths of Glory gets a Blu-ray. Starring Kirk "Spartacus" Douglas one of three men selected by incompetent generals as scapegoats for a failed WWI suicide mission. If they are proven guilty the firing squad awaits them, but to defend them against the generals will take nothing short of divine intervention.

Also no official cover art yet, but we'll keep you posted!

Extras for Paths of Glory Include:

  • New audio commentary by critic Gary Giddins
  • Television interview from 1979 with star Kirk Douglas
  • New video interviews with Kubrick's longtime executive producer Jan Harlan,Paths of Glory producer James B. Harris, and actress Christiane Kubrick
  • Excerpt from a French television program about real-life World War I executions similar to the events dramatized in Paths of Glory
  • Theatrical trailer
  • An essay by Kubrick scholar James Naremore

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