September 2013 Announcements

Criterion announced their September slate earlier this week. Just now getting around to archiving it for myself.

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 fiancée 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. Spine #671

  • New 2K digital film restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • 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
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic David Ehrenstein
  • More!

The acclaimed, best-selling novel by John le Carré, 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. Spine #452

  • New, high-definition digital film restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • New, exclusive, wide-ranging interview with author John le Carré
  • Selected-scene commentary featuring director of photography Oswald Morris
  • The Secret Center: John le Carré, 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
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Michael Sragow

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 16 mm 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 a hundred 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. Spine #247

  • New, restored high-definition digital film transfer, supervised by director Richard Linklater and director of photo­graphy Lee Daniel, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • 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 16 mm short by Linklater and Daniel
  • Casting tapes featuring select “auditions” from the more-than-100-member cast
  • “The Roadmap,” the working script for Slacker, including fourteen deleted scenes and alternate takes (DVD)
  • Deleted scenes and alternate takes (Blu-ray)
  • Footage from the Slacker tenth-anniversary reunion
  • Early film treatment
  • Home movies
  • Ten-minute trailer for a 2005 documentary about the landmark Austin café Les Amis
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • Stills gallery featuring hundreds of rare behind-the-scenes production and publicity photos (DVDonly)
  • Slacker culture essay by Linklater (DVD only)
  • Information about the Austin Film Society, founded in 1985 by Linklater with Daniel, including early flyers from screenings (DVD only)
  • PLUS: 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

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. Spine #60

  • New 2K digital film restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Introduction by director 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 actor Liv Ullmann
  • A 1981 conversation between actor Ingrid Bergman and critic John Russell Taylor at the National Film Theatre in London
  • Trailer
  • English-dubbed track
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Farran Smith Nehme

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, Europe ’51, and Journey to Italy 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. Spine #672

  • 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
  • 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 actor Ingrid 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 fifty years after the making of Stromboli
  • New interview with critic Adriano Aprà 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 Dagrada 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 Roberto 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
  • New English subtitle translation for Stromboli and Europe ’51
  • PLUS: 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 François Truffaut forCahiers du cinéma; and excerpts from a 1965 interview with Rossellini conducted by Aprà and Maurizio Ponzi for Filmcritica

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