Criterion Details December 2017 Blu-ray Titles

Posted Mon Sep 18, 2017 at 10:45 AM PDT by
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The distributor has revealed its upcoming slate of December releases, including Alexander Payne's Election.

In an early announcement to retailers, Criterion is preparing 100 Years of Olympic FilmsGeneral Idi Amin Dada: A Self-PortraitMonterey Pop (Remastered)The Complete Monterey Pop Festival (Remastered), and Election for Blu-ray throughout the month of December.

100 Years of Olympic Films (December 5) - Spanning fifty-three movies and forty-one editions of the Olympic Summer and Winter Games, this one-of-a-kind collection assembles, for the first time, a century’s worth of Olympic films—the culmination of a monumental, award-winning archival project encompassing dozens of new restorations by the International Olympic Committee. These documentaries cast a cinematic eye on some of the most iconic moments in the history of modern sports, spotlighting athletes who embody the Olympic motto of “Faster, Higher, Stronger”: Jesse Owens shattering sprinting world records on the track in 1936 Berlin, Jean Claude-Killy dominating the slopes of Grenoble in 1968, Joan Benoit breaking away to win the first-ever women’s marathon on the streets of Los Angeles in 1984. In addition to the work of Bud Greenspan, the man behind an impressive ten Olympic features, this stirring collective chronicle of triumph and defeat includes such landmarks of the documentary form as Leni Riefenstahl’s Olympia and Kon Ichikawa’s Tokyo Olympiad, along with lesser-known but captivating contributions by major directors like Claude Lelouch, Carlos Saura, and Miloš Forman. It also serves as a fascinating window onto the formal development of cinema itself, as well as the technological progress that has enabled the viewer, over the years, to get ever closer to the action. Traversing continents and decades, and reflecting as well the social, cultural, and political changes that have shaped our recent history, this remarkable marathon of films offers nothing less than a panorama of a hundred years of human endeavor.

- 53 newly restored films from 41 editions of the Olympic Games, presented together for the first time
- Landmark 4K restorations of Olympia, Tokyo Olympiad, and Visions of Eight, among other titles
- New scores for the silent films, composed by Maud Nelissen, Donald Sosin, and Frido ter Beek
- A lavishly illustrated, 216-page hardcover book, featuring notes on the films by cinema historian Peter Cowie; a foreword by Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee; a short history of the restoration project by restoration producer Adrian Wood; and hundreds of photographs from a century of Olympic Games

 

General Idi Amin Dada: A Self-Portrait (December 12) - In 1974, Barbet Schroeder went to Uganda to make a film about Idi Amin, the country’s ruthless, charismatic dictator. Three years into a murderous regime that would be responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Ugandans, Amin prepared a triumphal greeting for the filmmakers, staging rallies, military maneuvers, and cheery displays of national pride, and envisioning the film as an official portrait to adorn his cult of personality. Schroeder, however, had other ideas, emerging with a disquieting, caustically funny brief against Amin, in which the dictator’s own endless stream of testimony—charming, menacing, and nonsensical by turns—serves as the most damning evidence. A revelatory tug-of-war between subject and filmmaker, General Idi Amin Dada: A Self-Portrait is a landmark in the art of documentary and an appalling study of egotism in power.

- New interview with Schroeder
- New interview with journalist and author Andrew Rice about Idi Amin’s regime
- PLUS: An essay by critic J. Hoberman

 

Monterey Pop (December 12) - On a beautiful June weekend in 1967, at the beginning of the Summer of Love, the first and only Monterey International Pop Festival roared forward, capturing a decade’s spirit and ushering in a new era of rock and roll. Monterey featured career-making performances by Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Otis Redding, but they were just a few performers in a wildly diverse lineup that included Simon and Garfunkel, the Mamas and the Papas, the Who, the Byrds, Hugh Masekela, and the extraordinary Ravi Shankar. With his characteristic vérité style—and a camera crew that included the likes of Albert Maysles and Richard Leacock—D. A. Pennebaker captured it all, immortalizing moments that have become legend: Pete Townshend smashing his guitar, Jimi Hendrix burning his, Mama Cass being blown away by Janis Joplin’s performance. The Criterion Collection is proud to present this timeless document of a landmark event.

- New 16-bit 4K digital restoration of Monterey Pop, supervised by director D. A. Pennebaker, with uncompressed stereo soundtrack on the Blu-ray
- Alternate soundtrack featuring a 5.1 mix by legendary recording engineer Eddie Kramer, presented in DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray
- THE OUTTAKE PERFORMANCES: Two hours of performances not included in Monterey Pop, from the Association, Big Brother and the Holding Company, the Blues Project, the Byrds, Country Joe and the Fish, the Electric Flag, Jefferson Airplane, Al Kooper, the Mamas and the Papas, Laura Nyro, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Simon and Garfunkel, Tiny Tim, and the Who (Blu-ray only)
- Audio commentary by Pennebaker and festival producer Lou Adler
- New interviews with Adler and Pennebaker
- Chiefs (1968), a short film by cameraman Richard Leacock, which played alongside Monterey Popduring its inaugural theatrical run
- Interview from 2002 with Adler and Pennebaker
- Audio interviews with festival producer John Phillips, festival publicist Derek Taylor, and performers Cass Elliot and David Crosby
- Photo-essay by photographer Elaine Mayes
- Monterey International Pop Festival scrapbook
- Trailers and radio spots
- More!
- PLUS: An essay by critic Michael Chaiken

 

The Complete Monterey Pop Festival (December 12) - On a beautiful June weekend in 1967, at the beginning of the Summer of Love, the first and only Monterey International Pop Festival roared forward, capturing a decade’s spirit and ushering in a new era of rock and roll. Monterey featured career-making performances by Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Otis Redding, but they were just a few performers in a wildly diverse lineup that included Simon and Garfunkel, the Mamas and the Papas, the Who, the Byrds, Hugh Masekela, and the extraordinary Ravi Shankar. With his characteristic vérité style—and a camera crew that included the likes of Albert Maysles and Richard Leacock—D. A. Pennebaker captured it all, immortalizing moments that have become legend: Pete Townshend smashing his guitar, Jimi Hendrix burning his, Mama Cass being blown away by Janis Joplin’s performance. The Criterion Collection is proud to present the most comprehensive document of the Monterey International Pop Festival ever produced, featuring the films Monterey Pop, Jimi Plays Monterey, and Shake! Otis at Monterey, along with every available complete performance filmed by Pennebaker and his crew.

- New 16-bit 4K digital restoration of Monterey Pop, supervised by director D. A. Pennebaker, with uncompressed stereo soundtrack
- Restored high-definition digital transfers of Jimi Plays Monterey and Shake! Otis at Monterey with uncompressed stereo soundtracks
- Alternate soundtracks for all three films featuring 5.1 mixes by legendary recording engineer Eddie Kramer, presented in DTS-HD Master Audio
- THE OUTTAKE PERFORMANCES: Two hours of performances not included in Monterey Pop, from the Association, Big Brother and the Holding Company, the Blues Project, the Byrds, Country Joe and the Fish, the Electric Flag, Jefferson Airplane, Al Kooper, the Mamas and the Papas, Laura Nyro, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Simon and Garfunkel, Tiny Tim, and the Who
- Audio commentaries by Pennebaker and festival producer Lou Adler, and music critics and historians Charles Shaar Murray and Peter Guralnick
- New interviews with Adler and Pennebaker
- Chiefs (1968), a short film by cameraman Richard Leacock, which played alongside Monterey Pop during its inaugural theatrical run
- Interviews from 2002 with Adler and Pennebaker and with Phil Walden, Otis Redding’s manager
- Audio interviews with festival producer John Phillips, festival publicist Derek Taylor, and performers Cass Elliot and David Crosby
- Photo-essay by photographer Elaine Mayes
- Monterey International Pop Festival scrapbook
- Trailers and radio spots
- More!
- PLUS: Essays by critics Michael Chaiken, Armond White, David Fricke, Barney Hoskyns, and Michael Lydon

 

Election (December 12) - Perky, overachieving Tracy Flick (Reese Witherspoon) gets on the nerves of history teacher Jim McAllister (Matthew Broderick) to begin with, but after she launches her campaign for high-school president and his personal life starts to fall apart, things spiral out of control. In Alexander Payne’s satire Election, the teacher becomes unhealthily obsessed with cutting his student down to size, covertly backing a spoiler candidate to stop her from steamrolling to victory, and putting in motion a series of dirty tricks and reckless promises with uncanny real-world political parallels. Adapting a then-unpublished novel by Tom Perrotta, Payne grounds the absurdity of his central dynamic in the recognizable—the setting is his hometown of Omaha, and the accomplished cast is rounded out with nonprofessionals—and distills his closely observed take on deeply flawed humanity to its bitter but stealthily sympathetic essence

- Audio commentary from 2008 featuring Payne
- New interview with Payne
- New interview with actor Reese Witherspoon
- The Passion of Martin, Payne’s 1991 UCLA senior thesis film
- TruInside: “Election,” a 2016 documentary featuring on-set footage and interviews with cast and crew
- Omaha local-news reports on the film’s production
- More!
- PLUS: An essay by critic Dana Stevens

 

You can find the latest specs for all of the titles listed above linked from our Blu-ray Release Schedule, where they're indexed throughout December.

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Discs mentioned in this article: (Click for specs and reviews)
100 Years of Olympic Films (Blu-ray)
General Idi Amin Dada: A Self-Portrait (Blu-ray)
Monterey Pop (Remastered) (Blu-ray)
The Complete Monterey Pop Festival (Remastered) (Blu-ray)
Election (Criterion) (Blu-ray)
Tags: Criterion, Disc Announcements (all tags)