August 2013 Announcements

The most cherished work from French master Max Ophuls, The Earrings of Madame de . . . is a profoundly emotional, cinematographically adventurous tale of deceptive opulence and tragic romance. When an aristocratic woman known only as Madame de . . . (Danielle Darrieux) sells a pair of earrings given to her by her husband (Charles Boyer) in order to pay some debtd, she sets off a chain reaction of financial and carnal consequences that can end only in despair. Ophuls’s adaptation of Louise de Vilmorin’s incisive fin de siècle novel employs to ravishing effect the elegant and precise camera work for which the director is so justly renowned. Spine #445

  • New, restored high-definition digital film transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Audio commentary featuring film scholars Susan White and Gaylyn Studlar
  • Introduction by filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson
  • Interviews with director Max Ophuls’s collaborators Alan Jessua, Marc Frédérix, and Annette Wademant
  • Visual essay by film scholar Tag Gallagher
  • Interview with writer Louise de Vilmorin about Ophuls’s adaptation of her novel
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Molly Haskell, an excerpt from costume designer Georges Annenkov’s 1962 book Max Ophuls, and Vilmorin’s 1951 source novel, Madame de

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December 2011 Announcements

Criterion announced their light December schedule yesterday. 3 Blu-Ray upgrades and one new to the collection. Design for Living is the new one, so it doesn’t look like we will be getting #600 in 2011 after all. The other 3 upgrades are all definitely worth your money. Check out the full details below.

SYNOPSIS: Gary Cooper, Fredric March, and Miriam Hopkins play a trio of Americans in Paris who enter into a very adult “gentleman’s” agree­ment, in this continental pre-Code comedy freely adapted by Ben Hecht from a play by Noël Coward, and directed by Ernst Lubitsch. A risqué relationship comedy and a witty take on creative pursuits, it concerns a commercial artist (Hopkins) unable—or unwilling—to choose between the equally dashing painter (Cooper) and playwright (March) she meets on a train en route to the City of Light. Design for Living is Lubitsch at his most adroit, an entertainment at once debonair and racy, featuring three stars at the height of their allure.

DISC FEATURES

New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
“The Clerk,” starring Charles Laughton—director Ernst Lubitsch’s segment of the 1932 film If I Had a Million, which he made just before Design for Living
Selected-scene commentary by film professor William Paul
Play of the Week: A Choice of Coward, a 1964 British television production of the play Design for Living, introduced on camera by playwright Noël Coward
New interview with film scholar and screenwriter Joseph McBride on Lubitsch and Ben Hecht’s screen adaptation of the Coward play
PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Kim Morgan

[blockquote]SYNOPSIS: In Alfred Hitchcock’s most quick-witted and devilish comic thriller, the beautiful Margaret Lockwood, traveling across Europe by train, meets a charming old spinster (Dame May Whitty), who them seems to disappear into thin air. The younger woman turns investigator and finds herself drawn into a complex web of mystery and high adventure. Also starring Michael Redgrave, The Lady Vanishes remains one of the great filmmaker’s purest delights.

DISC FEATURES

High-definition digital restoration
Audio commentary by film historian Bruce Eder
Crook’s Tour, a 1941 feature-length adventure film starring Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne as Charters and Caldicott, their beloved characters from The Lady Vanishes
Excerpts from François Truffaut’s legendary 1962 audio interview with director Alfred Hitchcock
Mystery Train, a video essay about Hitchcock and The Lady Vanishes by Hitchcock scholar Leonard Leff
Stills gallery of behind-the-scenes photos and promotional art
PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by critic Geoffrey O’Brien and Hitchcock scholar Charles Barr[/blockquote]

SYNOPSIS: In this jazzy gangster film, reformed killer Phoenix Tetsu’s attempt to go straight is squashed when his former cohorts call him back to Tokyo to help battle a rival gang. This onslaught of stylized violence and trippy colors got director Seijun Suzuki in trouble with Nikkatsu studio heads, who were put off by his anything-goes, in-your-face aesthetic, equal parts Russ Meyer, Samuel Fuller, and Nagisa Oshima. Tokyo Drifter is a delirious highlight of the brilliantly excessive Japanese cinema of the sixties.

DISC FEATURES

New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
Video piece featuring new interviews with director Seijun Suzuki and assistant director Masami Kuzuu
Interview with Suzuki from 1997
Original theatrical trailer
New and improved English subtitle translation
PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Howard Hampton

SYNOPSIS: When Japanese New Wave bad boy Seijun Suzuki delivered this brutal, hilarious, and visually inspired masterpiece to the executives at his studio, he was promptly fired. Branded to Kill tells the ecstatically bent story of a yakuza assassin (chipmunk-cheeked superstar Joe Shishido) with a fetish for sniffing boiled rice who botches a job and ends up a target himself. This is Suzuki at his most extreme—the flabbergasting pinnacle of his sixties pop-art aesthetic.

DISC FEATURES

New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
Video piece featuring new interviews with director Seijun Suzuki and assistant director Masami Kuzuu
Interview with Suzuki from 1997
New interview with actor Joe Shishido
Original theatrical trailer
New and improved English subtitle translation
PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic and historian Tony Rayns, author of Branded to Thrill: The Delirious Cinema of Suzuki Seijun, and a state­ment by the film’s art director, Sukezo Kawahara