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Old 02-13-09, 04:43 PM   #1
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May '09 Criterions



Synopsis:

In this acclaimed adaptation of the first novel by legendary Southern writer Flannery O’Connor, John Huston brings to life a world of vivid, poetic American eccentricity. Brad Dourif, in an impassioned performance, is Hazel Motes, who, fresh out of the army, attempts to open the first Church Without Christ in the small town of Taulkinham. Populated with inspired performances that seem to spring right from O’Connor’s pages, Huston’s Wise Blood is an incisive portrait of spirituality and evangelicalism, as well as a faithful, loving evocation of one writer’s vision.

Disc Features

* New, restored high-definition digital transfer
* New interviews with actor Brad Dourif, writer Benedict Fitzgerald, and writer-producer Michael Fitzgerald
* Rare archival audio recording of author Flannery O’Connor reading her short story “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”
* Creativity with Bill Moyers: “John Huston,” a 28-minute television program from 1982 in which the director discusses his life and work
* Theatrical trailer
* PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by author Francine Prose

12 May 2009
DVD
1 Disc
SRP: $39.95




Synopsis

In the 1960s, Japanese filmmakers responded to a stale studio system by looking for new ways to tell stories; Shohei Imamura was one of the leading figures of this new wave. With the three films in this set—Pigs and Battleships, The Insect Woman, and Intentions of Murder—Imamura truly emerged as an auteur, bringing to his national cinema an anthropological eye and a heretofore unseen taste for the irreverent. Claiming his interests lay in “the relationship of the lower part of the human body and the lower part of the social structure,” Imamura dotted the decade with earthy, juicy, idiosyncratic films featuring persevering, willful heroines. His remains a unique cinematic voice.

Collector's set includes:



Pigs and Battleships
Shohei Imamura, 1962

A dazzling, unruly portrait of American–occupied postwar Japan, Pigs and Battleships details, with escalating absurdity, the desperate power struggles between small-time gangsters in the port town of Yokosuka. The film is shot in gorgeously composed, bustling cinemascope.

Disc Features

* New, restored high-definition digital transfers
* Introduction by critic Tony Rayns
* “Imamura, the Free Thinker,” a 1995 episode from the French television series
Cinéastes de notre temps
* New and improved English subtitle translations
* PLUS: A booklet featuring an essays by film critics Audie Bock



The Insect Woman
Shohei Imamura, 1963

Born in a rural farming village in 1918, Tome grows up to survive decades of Japanese social upheaval, as well as abuse and servitude at the hands of various men. Yet Shohei Imamura refuses to make a victim of Tome, instead observing her as a fascinating, pragmatic creature of 20th century Japan.

Disc Features

* New, restored high-definition digital transfer
* Introduction by critic Tony Rayns
* Conversations between Shohei Imamura and critic Tadao Sato
* New and improved English subtitle translations
* PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critics Dennis Lim



Intentions of Murder
Shohei Imamura, 1964

Sadako (Masumi Harukawa), cursed by generations before her and neglected by her common-law husband, falls prey to a brutal home intruder. As a result, rather than become a victim, she forges a path to her own awakening. Intentions of Murder is gripping and audacious.

Disc Features

• New, restored high-definition digital transfer
• Introduction by critic Tony Rayns
• Conversations between Shohei Imamura and critic Tadao Sato
• New and improved English subtitle translations
• PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic James Quandt

19 May 2009
DVD Box Set
3 Discs
SRP: $79.95




Synopsis:

In one of the best performances of his legendary career, Robert Mitchum plays small-time gunrunner Eddie “Fingers” Coyle in Peter Yates’s adaptation of George V. Higgins’s acclaimed novel The Friends of Eddie Coyle. World-weary and living hand to mouth, Coyle works on the sidelines of the seedy Boston underworld just to make ends meet. But when he finds himself facing a second stretch of hard time, he’s forced to weigh loyalty to his criminal colleagues against snitching to stay free. Directed with a sharp eye for its gritty locales and an open heart for its less-than-heroic characters, this is one of the true treasures of 1970s Hollywood filmmaking—a suspenseful crime drama in stark, unforgiving daylight.

Disc Features

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES:

* New, restored high-definition digital transfer, approved by director Peter Yates
* Audio commentary featuring Yates
* Stills gallery
* PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by film critic Kent Jones and a 1973 on-set profile of Robert Mitchum from Rolling Stone

19 May 2009
DVD
1 Disc
SRP: $29.95




Eclipse Series 16:
Alexander Korda's Private Lives

Synopsis:

Though born to modest means in Hungary, Alexander Korda would go on to become one of the most important filmmakers in the history of British cinema. A producer, writer, and director who navigated toward subjects of major historical significance and mythical distinction, Korda made a name for his production company, London Films, with the Oscar-winning The Private Life of Henry VIII. He then continued his populist investigation behind the scenes and in the bedrooms of such figures as Catherine the Great, Don Juan, and Rembrandt. Mixing stately period drama with surprising satire, these films are exemplars of grand 1930s moviemaking.

Collector's set includes:



The Private Life of Henry VIII
Alexander Korda, 1933

Charles Laughton gulps beer and chomps on mutton, in his first of many iconic screen roles, as King Henry VIII, the ultimate anti-husband. Alexander Korda’s first major international success is a raucous, entertaining, even poignant peek into the boudoirs of the infamous king and his six wives.



The Rise of Catherine the Great
Paul Czinner, 1934

A quick-witted and compelling dramatization of the troubled marriage of Catherine II (played by German actress Elisabeth Bergner, in her English-language debut) to Peter III (a randy Douglas Fairbanks Jr.) and her subsequent ascension to the throne as Empress of Russia.



The Private Life of Don Juan
Alexander Korda, 1934

Douglas Fairbanks Sr. makes his big-screen swan song with Korda’s deliciously satiric deflation of the Don Juan myth. After having faked his own death and escaped Seville, the aging lothario returns, only to find that he has been forgotten; perhaps Merle Oberon’s beauty can coax him back.



Rembrandt
Alexander Korda, 1936

Charles Laughton once again teams up with Korda for this moving, elegantly shot biopic about the Dutch painter. Beginning when Rembrandt’s reputation was at its height, the film then tracks his quiet descent into loneliness and isolated self-expression.

12 May 2009
DVD Box Set
4 Discs
SRP: $59.95




12 May 2009
Blu-Ray
1 Disc
SRP: $39.95
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Last edited by NoirFan; 02-13-09 at 09:19 PM.
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Old 02-13-09, 04:50 PM   #2
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re: May '09 Criterions

Sorry, thread title should be May '09 Criterions.
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Old 02-13-09, 05:00 PM   #3
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re: May '09 Criterions

friends of eddie coyle!!! yay!
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Old 02-13-09, 05:01 PM   #4
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re: May '09 Criterions

Ran on Blu-Ray? Sold!
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Old 02-13-09, 05:07 PM   #5
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re: May '09 Criterions

Eddie Coyle
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Old 02-13-09, 05:11 PM   #6
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re: May '09 Criterions

I'll take all those, great month
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Old 02-13-09, 05:11 PM   #7
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re: May '09 Criterions

I wanna get Wise Blood. However the $40 price seems too pricey for a 1 disk title with no commentary.
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Old 02-13-09, 05:27 PM   #8
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re: May '09 Criterions

As far as the new releases go, this is the second month in a row they knock 'em right out of the park. Looks like the only thing I'll be passing on is the Kurosawa Blu-ray.
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Old 02-13-09, 05:36 PM   #9
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re: May '09 Criterions

Disappointed not to have a couple more blu-rays (didn't we have two a month for a couple months?), but the titles themselves look great. I'll be picking up Ran, for sure. Possibly some of the others.
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Old 02-13-09, 05:37 PM   #10
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re: May '09 Criterions

Yes, at long last, Insect Woman! I do wish Criterion hadn't felt the need to label the Imamura set with a revisionist title.
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Old 02-13-09, 05:44 PM   #11
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re: May '09 Criterions

Criterion just keeps inching closer and closer to releasing Black Rain. Very excited about the Imamura set -- along with Ran on Blu-ray.
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Old 02-13-09, 06:28 PM   #12
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re: May '09 Criterions

Great news about Ran in blu-ray!
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Old 02-13-09, 08:51 PM   #13
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re: May '09 Criterions

I want all of them, except Ran since I'm not BD yet.
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Old 02-13-09, 09:06 PM   #14
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re: May '09 Criterions

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris_sc77 View Post
I wanna get Wise Blood. However the $40 price seems too pricey for a 1 disk title with no commentary.
I agree. I have no idea why Criterion is charging top-tier price for this disc. I added their May Eclipse offering to the original post.
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Old 02-13-09, 10:35 PM   #15
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re: May '09 Criterions

holy shit Ran in HD
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Old 02-13-09, 10:45 PM   #16
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re: May '09 Criterions

I am interested in The Friends of Eddie Coyle.
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Old 02-14-09, 10:59 AM   #17
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re: May '09 Criterions

Another fantastic month for Criterion.

The Imamura boxset, "Wise Blood", and the Eclipse set are must-buys for me. And I'll rent "The Friends of Eddie Coyle".
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Old 02-14-09, 06:25 PM   #18
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Re: May '09 Criterions

Absolutely ecstatic over 'Wiseblood'!! Sure, I wish it was on BR, but I guess we can't have everything, now, can we?

I'll be picking up 'Ran', of course, too. Sure hope it includes all the features from the 2-DVD edition. Not that's such a hardship to just file the BR and DVD side by side or anything, it's just that I'm rapidly running out of shelf space.
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Old 02-14-09, 07:37 PM   #19
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Re: May '09 Criterions

Eddie Coyle looks interesting!
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Old 02-14-09, 08:27 PM   #20
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Re: May '09 Criterions

The Friends of Eddie Coyle + Wise Blood = much excitement!!

Imamura and Korda sets are maybes. I really like The Private Life of Henry VIII, one of my favorites from the 1930's. But I already own it in an admittedly less-than-great transfer that I can probably live with, and the other titles aren't must haves. I've never seen the Imamuras, but have heard good things about The Insect Woman.
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Old 02-14-09, 10:57 PM   #21
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Re: May '09 Criterions

Now if Criterion could only nail down the rights to Black Rain. Very happy to hear about this little Imamura offering however! Thanks for the head's up.
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Old 02-15-09, 10:18 AM   #22
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Re: May '09 Criterions

The only immediate excitement for me is the Korda Eclipse set - terrific costume dramas!
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Old 02-15-09, 04:37 PM   #23
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Re: May '09 Criterions

I'll grab The Friends of Eddie Coyle ASAP, first Criterion that's gotten me balls-out excited in a year or two.

Will have to check out Wise Blood as a fan of Brad Dourif.
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Old 02-15-09, 10:16 PM   #24
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Re: May '09 Criterions

Quote:
Originally Posted by visitor Q View Post
Now if Criterion could only nail down the rights to Black Rain. Very happy to hear about this little Imamura offering however! Thanks for the head's up.
you mean the 80's michael douglas film?
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Old 02-16-09, 01:36 PM   #25
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Re: May '09 Criterions

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmu878 View Post
you mean the 80's michael douglas film?
No no, not that one. This one:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0097694/

... which is only available in this staggeringly unattractive, long out-of-production disc:

http://www.amazon.com/Black-Rain-Yos...812873&sr=8-24
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