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View Full Version : October Criterions


PopcornTreeCt
07-16-07, 04:05 PM
Under the Volcano (1984) --John Huston
http://www.criterion.com/content/images/full_boxshot/410_box_348x490.jpg

Under the Volcano follows the final day in the life of self-destructive British consul Geoffrey Firmin (Albert Finney, in an Oscar-nominated tour de force) on the eve of World War II. Withering from alcoholism, Firmin stumbles through a small Mexican village amidst the Day of the Dead fiesta, attempting to reconnect with his estranged wife (Jacqueline Bisset) but only further alienating himself. John Huston's ambitious tackling of Malcolm Lowry's towering "unadaptable" novel gave the incomparable Finney one of his grandest roles and was the legendary The Treasure of the Sierra Madre director's triumphant return to filmmaking in Mexico.

SPECIAL EDITION DOUBLE-DISC SET FEATURES

-New, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised by film editor Roberto Silvi
-Audio commentary featuring executive producer Michael Fitzgerald and producers Wieland Schulz-Keil and Moritz Borman
-Theatrical trailers
-New video interview with Jacqueline Bisset
-New audio interview with screenwriter Guy Gallo
-1984 audio interview with John Huston conducted by French film critic Michel Ciment
-Notes from "Under the Volcano" (1984), a 59-minute documentary by Gary Conklin shot on the set during the film's production, featuring interviews with Huston, cast, and crew
-Volcano: An Inquiry into the Life and Death of Malcolm Lowry (1976), filmmaker Donald Brittain's 99-minute, Academy Award–nominated documentary, narrated by Richard Burton, examining the connections between Under the Volcano author Malcolm Lowry's life and that of his novel's main character
-PLUS: A new essay by film critic Christian Viviani
-More!

Breathless (1959) --Jean-Luc Godard
http://www.criterion.com/content/images/full_boxshot/408_box_348x490.jpg

There was before Breathless, and there was after Breathless. With its lack of polish, surplus of attitude, crackling personalities of rising stars Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg, and anything-goes crime narrative, Jean-Luc Godard's debut fashioned a simultaneous homage to and critique of the American film genres that influenced and rocked him as a film writer for Cahiers du cinema. Jazzy, free-form, and sexy, Breathless (A bout de souffle) helped launch the French new wave and ensured cinema would never be the same.

SPECIAL EDITION DOUBLE-DISC SET FEATURES

-New, restored high-definition digital transfer, approved by director of photography Raoul Coutard
-Archival interviews with director Jean-Luc Godard, and actors Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg, and Jean-Pierre Melville
-New video interviews with Coutard, assistant director Pierre Rissient, and filmmaker D. A. Pennebaker
-New video essays: filmmaker and critic Mark Rappaport's "Jean Seberg" and critic Jonathan Rosenbaum's "Breathless as Film Criticism"
-Chambre 12, Hotel de suede, an eighty-minute French documentary about the making of Breathless, with members of the cast and crew
-Charlotte et son Jules, a 1959 short film by Godard, starring Belmondo
-French theatrical trailer
-New and improved English subtitle translation
-PLUS: A booklet featuring writings from Godard, film historian Dudley Andrew, Francois Truffaut's original film treatment, and Godard's scenario

Mala Noche (1985) --Gus Van Sant
http://www.criterion.com/content/images/full_boxshot/407_box_348x490.jpg

With its low budget and lush black-and-white imagery, Gus Van Sant's debut feature Mala Noche heralded an idiosyncratic, provocative new voice in American independent film. Set in Van Sant's hometown of Portland, Oregon, the film evokes a world of transient workers, dead-end day-shifters, and bars and seedy apartments bathed in a profound nighttime, as it follows a romantic deadbeat with a wayward crush on a handsome Mexican immigrant. Mala Noche was an important prelude to the New Queer Cinema of the nineties and is a fascinating time capsule from a time and place that continues to haunt its director's work.

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

-New, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised and approved by director Gus Van Sant
-New interview with Van Sant
-Walt Curtis, the Peckerneck Poet: a documentary about the author of the book Mala Noche, directed by animator and friend Bill Plympton
-Storyboard gallery
-Original trailer edited by Van Sant
-PLUS: A new essay by film critic Dennis Lim

Days of Heaven (1978) --Terrence Malick
http://www.criterion.com/content/images/full_boxshot/409_box_348x490.jpg

One-of-a-kind filmmaker-philosopher Terrence Malick has created some of the most visually arresting movies of the twentieth century, and his glorious period tragedy Days of Heaven, featuring Oscar-winning cinematography by Nestor Almendros, stands out among them. In 1910, a Chicago steel worker (Richard Gere) accidentally kills his supervisor and flees to the Texas panhandle with his girlfriend (Brooke Adams) and little sister (Linda Manz) to work harvesting wheat in the fields of a stoic farmer (Sam Shepard). A love triangle, a swarm of locusts, a hellish fire—Malick captures it all with dreamlike authenticity, creating at once a timeless American idyll and a gritty evocation of turn-of-the-century labor.

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

-New, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised and approved by director Terrence Malick, editor Billy Weber, and camera operator John Bailey
-New Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack
-Audio commentary featuring Weber, art director Jack Fisk, costume designer Patricia Norris, and casting director Dianne Crittenden
-New video interviews with cinematographers Haskell Wexler and Bailey
-PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by critic Adrian Martin and director of photography Nestor Almendros
-More!

jmj713
07-16-07, 04:12 PM
Breathless is a must.

Matthew Ackerly
07-16-07, 04:18 PM
What a month... Booyah!

pjflyer
07-16-07, 04:22 PM
4 for 4!

NoirFan
07-16-07, 04:26 PM
Bummer the commentary from the previous Breathless isn't included. Looks good otherwise.

Chucky
07-16-07, 04:38 PM
Can't say I'm a huge fan of the Breathless cover art, but otherwise, thumbs up.

bluetoast
07-16-07, 04:59 PM
When was the LD for Breathless issued? I didn't even know Criterion had released this movie before. Might have to pick up the DVD...

The Bus
07-16-07, 05:01 PM
Cripes, that's a lot of great stuff coming out.

Why the hell isn't Janus releasing in hi-def yet? All of these came from HD transfers.

cupcake jesus
07-16-07, 05:13 PM
Under the Volcano sounds like a great movie - anyone here seen it? Count me in for the Days of Heaven upgrade.

cheers,

-the Jesus

Cosmic Bus
07-16-07, 05:15 PM
Will be buying Days of Heaven, and probably renting Under the Volcano.

marty888
07-16-07, 05:35 PM
BREATHLESS, DAYS OF HEAVEN and MALA NOCHE are absolute musts for me.

I remember seeing Under The Volcano at the time of its release, and finding it quite tedious - so I'll try this as a rental or on cable to see if my reaction is different this time through.

CSM126
07-16-07, 05:38 PM
Cripes, that's a lot of great stuff coming out.

Why the hell isn't Janus releasing in hi-def yet? All of these came from HD transfers.

Because HD-DVD/Bluray is a really really small market and they couldn't afford to limit their customer base that much by making the switch over. And releasing in SD and HD at the same time would be extra expenses they wouldn't make a large enough profit on to justify it. They're just a boutique label and they don't have the funds like the big studios that are currently releasing in hi-def. They can't afford a cut in profits.

If/when HD-DVD/Bluray hit a wider market and overtake SD DVD, I'm sure Criterion will make the switch. Making the hi-def transfers now will just save them the time later.

conscience
07-16-07, 05:40 PM
I cannot wait for Under the Volcano. Been anticipating this ever since there was word Criterion was releasing it. I read the book quite some time ago and can't wait to see the film version.

AGameWithStones
07-16-07, 06:44 PM
I'm a bit dissapointed that their Breathless release isn't including Mark Rappaport's own 'documentary' film, From the Journals of Jean Seberg. Though I suppose it might be worthy of its own release...?

This is one of their better months to be sure...Journals or not, Breathless is one long overdue Criterion.

Zen Peckinpah
07-16-07, 06:51 PM
Days of Heaven is mine, maybe Breathless as well. Criterion is starting to go all out with stuff it looks like.

I've wanted to see Under the Volcano for a very long time because of how much I loved Albert Finney in Miller's Crossing, and now I will!

But please, Universal, license Lost Highway soon to Criterion, I beg you.

NoirFan
07-16-07, 06:54 PM
Anyone know anything about the series of Scorsese short films Criterion is supposedly releasing at some point? There was a quick blurb about it on the Wikipedia Criterion page.

BuckNaked2k
07-16-07, 06:54 PM
Which one is spine #400?

MTRodaba2468
07-16-07, 06:56 PM
I'd definitely pick up Days Of Heaven, and I'm interested in Under The Volcano and Mala Noche as well.

PopcornTreeCt
07-16-07, 07:04 PM
Which one is spine #400?

Jim Jarmusch's 'Stranger than Paradise'

CSM126
07-16-07, 07:04 PM
Which one is spine #400?

400 is Stranger Than Paradise, announced last month.

BuckNaked2k
07-16-07, 07:23 PM
400 is Stranger Than Paradise, announced last month.I thought they were holding 400 for Breathless?

CSM126
07-16-07, 07:33 PM
I thought they were holding 400 for Breathless?

Nope. I think that may have just been a cute little rumor.

Cronenbergfan71
07-16-07, 09:42 PM
Criterion is certainly going to be getting a lot of my money the next few months. I'll definitely be buying Breathless, Under the Volcano and Days of Heaven come October.

JiM T
07-16-07, 09:53 PM
Very impressive, Criterion! I'll be taking "Breathless" and "Days of Heaven" for sure. haven't seen "Under the Volcano", but John Huston + Criterion may just equal a blind buy.

Geofferson
07-16-07, 10:11 PM
Wow - what a great month for Criterion. :up:

wergo
07-16-07, 10:29 PM
When was the LD for Breathless issued? I didn't even know Criterion had released this movie before. Might have to pick up the DVD...


1992 - spine # 153, catalog # CC1269L, with no extras (and a photo from the film as the front cover). Odd that both use the English 'Breathless' title instead of 'A Bout De Souffle', no?

Kerborus
07-16-07, 10:50 PM
Wow, I'm breathless after reading this. Yuk, yuk. Can't wait for them all.

Arpeggi
07-16-07, 10:59 PM
2007 has been a banner year for Criterion.

yeldarb367
07-16-07, 11:53 PM
Wow. I'm in for all four.

slop101
07-17-07, 09:54 AM
I'm in for all of them except the VanSant one - I'm not a fan of his, and that cover makes it look like kiddie porn...

Mabuse
07-17-07, 10:33 AM
What's interesting to me is that a few years ago a couple of Criterion employees jumped ship and started their own company, FlexFilms or something like that. FlexFilm's spine #1 was Mala Noche. Criterion releasing this must be a way to say "up yours" to the defectors.

Al_Tahoe
07-17-07, 11:26 AM
I'm in for Breathless and Days of Heaven. Too bad that Breathless coverart is hideous.

wendersfan
07-17-07, 01:08 PM
I like the <b>Breathless</b> cover art. :shrug:

I'll probably buy all four, with <b>Breathless</b> being my first ever 'triple dip.'

AGameWithStones
07-17-07, 01:26 PM
I'm up for all five releases this month, now. The fifth being Eclipse Series 6: Carlos Saura's Flamenco Trilogy (http://www.criterion.com/eclipse/eclipse_6.asp).

"One of Spanish cinema’s great auteurs, Carlos Saura brought international audiences closer to the art of his country’s dance than any other filmmaker, before or since. In his Flamenco Trilogy—Blood Wedding, Carmen, and El amor brujo—Saura merged his passion for music with his exploration of national identity. All starring and choreographed by legendary dancer Antonio Gades, the films feature thrilling physicality and electrifying cinematography and editing—colorful paeans to bodies in motion as well as to cinema itself."

Ambassador
07-17-07, 01:28 PM
Under the Volcano sounds like a great movie - anyone here seen it?

Under the Volcano is a great movie. It's a textbook example of how to adapt an almost unfilmable novel, and it helps to prove that Huston was possibly the finest cinematic interpreter of great novels (Maltese Falcon, Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Red Badge of Courage, Man Who Would Be King, The Dead, etc.). Finney's performance is also one of the best of the 1980s.

It's not for all tastes, however. As Marty points out, it's rather slow-moving, especially in comparison to Huston's earlier movies. But I think it's a powerful masterpiece from the late period of a major American artist. (Huston was pushing 80 when he made it, and still had two more films to go.)

bunkaroo
07-17-07, 02:06 PM
Been meaning to see Days of Heaven for a long time. I'll definitely wait for this one for the new transfer.

Cosmic Bus
07-17-07, 10:00 PM
The Saura Eclipse set sounds really interesting! I'm probably going to blind-buy that one (along with his Cria Cuervos). :)

Sparrow
07-17-07, 10:41 PM
Why, oh why did I open this thread? ;) Breathless and Days of Heaven are MUST OWNS for me, with rentals of the Van Sant and Huston films.

That Eclipse Series 5 set sounds very interesting....I'll have to check it out.

I absolutely love collecting and being able to select such movies from my shelves on a movie night.

tofferman
07-17-07, 11:37 PM
Breathless is probably a purchase for me and Days of Heaven a rental. I'm unfamiliar with the other two however.

mikelowry
07-18-07, 12:58 AM
Impressive batch for October. Breathless is a must buy for me! Are these single or 2 disc releases?

Al_Tahoe
07-18-07, 03:22 AM
Impressive batch for October. Breathless is a must buy for me! Are these single or 2 disc releases?Under the Volcano and Breathless are 2-Disc. Mala Noche and Days of Heaven are 1-Disc.

The Bus
07-18-07, 08:20 AM
Because HD-DVD/Bluray is a really really small market and they couldn't afford to limit their customer base that much by making the switch over. And releasing in SD and HD at the same time would be extra expenses they wouldn't make a large enough profit on to justify it. They're just a boutique label and they don't have the funds like the big studios that are currently releasing in hi-def. They can't afford a cut in profits.

If/when HD-DVD/Bluray hit a wider market and overtake SD DVD, I'm sure Criterion will make the switch. Making the hi-def transfers now will just save them the time later.

This makes sense, but I can bet that most people who own HD DVD and BD (at least stand-alone players) are probably more likely to be Criterion customers. Certainly something like Breathless should be one of their new releases.

Here's hoping the market expands soon. :)

PopcornTreeCt
07-25-07, 06:37 PM
Days of Heaven artwork added.

Zen Peckinpah
07-26-07, 09:47 AM
Days of Heaven artwork added.

Wow. A must have. Not only does this cancel out the need for that ugly-ass reprinted cover, but it's totally what their edition of the movie should look like. And I normally don't like period pieces or Richard Gere movies, but that is the one glowing exception. Terrence Malick is indeed a genius, especially if he can make Richard Gere watchable. Well, it was mainly the cinematography and Ennio Morricone's score, but...

Geofferson
07-26-07, 09:49 AM
Days of Heaven artwork added.
Beautiful. :up:

BambooLounge
07-26-07, 09:58 AM
I'm in for Breathless and Days of Heaven. Too bad that Breathless coverart is hideous.

Same here. About the Breathless cover art: Why the hell is the director's name larger than the title of the film? That is probably the most pretentious presentation I have ever seen. Without a doubt those living under a rock who pass this by in Best Buy will assume the title of the film is "Godard...Breathless" at first glance if they even bother to read it. Unless they are fluent in Hebrew at which case reading from right to left would be natural and they would read the proper title: Breathless: A film by Jean-Luc GODARD

Richard Malloy
07-26-07, 10:24 AM
Who cares about those living under a rock? Anyone familiar with Godard knows that his name is often privileged over that of the film, on one sheets and DVD covers, and those unfamiliar with Godard might not mistake this release for that Richard Gere flick.

The inherent postmodernism and elevation of "text" (literally speaking) are key components of Godard's work. This cover not only expresses that, but is very similar to other Godard artwork - again, one sheets and DVD covers - and bears such an unmistakable resemblance to the French "Histoire(s)" coffret that one wonders how many people in Criterion's art department own that release! See that cover here: http://www.gaumont.fr/DVD/affiche_agrandi.cfm?img=GCT467&id_dvd=219&t=A

Cameron
07-26-07, 11:21 AM
gotta chunk that old breathless dvd

NoirFan
07-26-07, 05:35 PM
gotta chunk that old breathless dvd

I recall there being a decent commentary track on that one.

dyevin
08-16-07, 07:53 PM
bump for a link to the criterion blog and lee kline on working on days of heaven:
link (http://www.criterion.com/blog/2007_08_01_archive.html#6092514835894172533)

slop101
08-16-07, 08:15 PM
I had just finished working in New York with legendary cinematographer John Bailey on Paul Schrader’s film Mishima...Um, so does that mean Cirterion's going to be putting out Mishima?

Cosmic Bus
08-16-07, 08:20 PM
bump for a link to the criterion blog and lee kline on working on days of heaven:
link (http://www.criterion.com/blog/2007_08_01_archive.html#6092514835894172533)

Great read, and the context in which they mention DVD Beaver at the end made me chuckle. :)

Spiral Staircase
08-16-07, 09:10 PM
Um, so does that mean Cirterion's going to be putting out Mishima?

Yes, Criterion confirmed it a little over a month ago in an email response. The blog entry added further confirmation. Warner Brothers no longer controls the rights.

Richard Malloy
09-06-07, 03:43 PM
Great read, and the context in which they mention DVD Beaver at the end made me chuckle. :)
Same here!

(Way to go, Gary - you've got CC anxiously anticipating your comparisons!)

But it is a fascinating read, and I wonder what the consensus will be? I'm not one of the hardcore fans of this film, but I definitely identify that "warm, glowy" look with it. It'll be something to see whether the more natural color timing is preferred. The key sections about the transfer and new color timing are below (but read it all):

Striking Gold (http://www.criterion.com/blog/2007_08_01_archive.html#6092514835894172533)
August 15, 2007

...At first Terry said to simply match the existing transfer because he’d always liked it. I pleaded with him that this new transfer would be the definitive one and that it was really important to have him in the room with us when we color corrected it. He finally agreed, and a date was chosen to do the work in L.A.

...When Terry initially came into the room, we had done a general color correction pass on most of the film, using the old transfer as a guide. Before he arrived, I wasn’t sure how hands-on he was going to be with the color. As soon as he sat down, though, Terry made it clear that the new transfer needed to feel natural and not too “postcardlike.” We weren’t allowed to use words like golden or warm. The natural beauty of the land needed to be represented, since that was what they were going for when shooting. When we first started to take out the gold and the warmth, it was heading toward a really different place from the previous transfer. Not bad, mind you, just different and definitely more natural. I would sometimes joke in the room that such and such a shot was pretty, and then I would say to Terry, “But not too pretty!” We’d all laugh. DVD producer Kim Hendrickson was also with us one afternoon, and when she started to say out loud how pretty it was, we all turned in our chairs to cut her off and simultaneously say, “Shhh!” After three days of Terry, Billy, and John’s expertise, we were finished. It looked beautiful, but boy, was it different. I told Terry that people were really going to be pretty surprised by this new transfer, since it was such a radical departure from before, but he said it was perfect....

BuckNaked2k
10-22-07, 01:09 PM
Did anyone read the review of Breathless (http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/read.php?ID=31076)? It seems Criterion went with a windowboxed presentation on the 1.33 AR to "overcompensate for different monitor sizes". Wonder what that is all about...

hanshotfirst1138
10-22-07, 02:16 PM
Breathless is a must.

Absolutely; a Criterion edition of that film is dream come true, especially since they got it out of the clutches of Fox Lorber.

wergo
10-22-07, 05:09 PM
Absolutely; a Criterion edition of that film is dream come true

Well, dream come true again, as Criterion already released 'Breathless' many years ago on laserdisc. And even that looks much better than the Fox Lorber DVD.

PopcornTreeCt
10-22-07, 05:58 PM
I got Breathless, Days of Heaven, and Under the Volcano this weekend. I'm very impressed with the packaging of Breathless.

tofferman
10-22-07, 06:29 PM
I don't recall seeing Days of Heaven before, but love the way Terrence Malick filmed The New World. Would Days of Heaven be considered a good blind buy?

GreenVulture
10-22-07, 07:28 PM
I don't recall seeing Days of Heaven before, but love the way Terrence Malick filmed The New World. Would Days of Heaven be considered a good blind buy?
Depends on how heavily pretty imagery weighs on your enjoyment of a movie. Heaven is undeniably gorgeous, and I liked Ennio Morricone's lovely, understated score, but that is really all it has going for it. The acting, story and dialogue are all quite...minimalist (and I'm being generous when I say that).

If you can, rent it or borrow from a friend before you decide to make a purchase.

PatrickMcCart
10-22-07, 07:31 PM
Absolutely; a Criterion edition of that film is dream come true, especially since they got it out of the clutches of Fox Lorber.

http://images.dvdempire.com/gen/movies/1358903bh.jpg

Also has the Genius Entertainment logo on the back, so you can add that to the list of studios they get films from.

jrsl76
10-22-07, 08:22 PM
Heaven is fantastic and totally worth getting. I would say maybe if you hadn't seen any Malick, but since you have and liked it, get Days Of Heaven stat.

hanshotfirst1138
10-22-07, 09:36 PM
Great read, and the context in which they mention DVD Beaver at the end made me chuckle. :)

Yeah, it's great to hear Gary and the gang get a shout-out; from the boys at Criterion, no less!

Depends on how heavily pretty imagery weighs on your enjoyment of a movie. Heaven is undeniably gorgeous, and I liked Ennio Morricone's lovely, understated score, but that is really all it has going for it. The acting, story and dialogue are all quite...minimalist (and I'm being generous when I say that).

If you can, rent it or borrow from a friend before you decide to make a purchase.

I'm told Malick is...um...an acquired taste. I've got him in my Netflix queue, so I suppose that I'll find out soon enough.

domino harvey
10-22-07, 09:37 PM
Did anyone read the review of Breathless (http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/read.php?ID=31076)? It seems Criterion went with a windowboxed presentation on the 1.33 AR to "overcompensate for different monitor sizes". Wonder what that is all about...
All fullscreen Criterion releases for almost two years now have been windowboxed, this is not news.

EEz28
10-22-07, 10:11 PM
All fullscreen Criterion releases for almost two years now have been windowboxed, this is not news.

I've found recently that many here just don't keep up with criterion like those over at .org, so while I want to say something when a comment such as that comes up, or the reason Last Emperor/Salo/Bottle Rocket/Game weren't announced for december/january, I always decide just have a nice laugh to myself and leave it alone.

domino harvey
10-23-07, 12:35 AM
Wait, Criterion's releasing Bottle Rocket?!?!

PopcornTreeCt
10-23-07, 01:34 PM
I don't recall seeing Days of Heaven before, but love the way Terrence Malick filmed The New World. Would Days of Heaven be considered a good blind buy?

It may be blasphemy to some but I think The New World is a lot better than Days of Heaven. The New World has better music, better cinematography, and a better story. I think Malick is a director that will only get better with each movie he creates. If only he would make more.

slop101
10-23-07, 02:28 PM
It may be blasphemy to some but I think The New World is a lot better than Days of Heaven. The New World has better music, better cinematography, and a better story.I agree with this, and would add better characters too. DoH's characters were non-existent.

Superdaddy
10-23-07, 03:01 PM
It may be blasphemy to some but I think The New World is a lot better than Days of Heaven. The New World has better music, better cinematography, and a better story. I think Malick is a director that will only get better with each movie he creates. If only he would make more.

I've got The New World sitting right here, waiting for me to watch it. I haven't had time yet, but I look forward to it eagerly.

About the comment stating that Malick may be an acquired taste: like a lot of things, I think it depends on the individual. If you pretty much only enjoy "popcorn entertainment," you might find him less than thrilling. (Note: This is not a slam on popcorn entertainment, as I like plenty of films that fall into that category).

I am a relative newcomer to his films (knew about them, just never really watched them), and I liked Days of Heaven immediately, on first viewing. I then got a hold of The Thin Red Line and liked it even more than DOH.

I've only seen parts of Badlands, so I won't comment on that one until I get to see it straight through from beginning to end.