Criterion's January 2017 Blu-ray Titles Now Available for Pre-Order!

Posted Tue Oct 18, 2016 at 01:00 PM PDT by
criterion january

The distributor has revealed its upcoming slate of January releases, including Howard Hawks' 'His Girl Friday.'

In an early announcement to retailers, Criterion is preparing 'His Girl Friday,' 'Something Wild (1961),' 'Fox and His Friends,' and 'Black Girl' for Blu-ray throughout the month of January.

'His Girl Friday' (January 10) - One of the fastest, funniest, and most quotable films ever made, His Girl Friday stars Rosalind Russell as reporter Hildy Johnson, a standout among cinema’s powerful women. Hildy is matched in force only by her conniving but charismatic editor and ex-husband, Walter Burns (played by the peerless Cary Grant), who dangles the chance for her to scoop her fellow newswriters with the story of an impending execution in order to keep her from hopping the train that’s supposed to take her to Albany and a new life as a housewife. When adapting Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur’s smash hit play The Front Page, director Howard Hawks had the inspired idea of turning star reporter Hildy Johnson into a woman, and the result is an immortal mix of hard-boiled newsroom setting with remarriage comedy. Also presented here is a brand-new restoration of the 1931 The Front Page, the famous pre-Code adaptation of the same material, directed by Lewis Milestone.

The Blu-ray will feature 1080p video, an uncompressed English mono soundtrack, and supplements will include: 

- New 2K restoration of Lewis Milestone’s The Front Page (1931), made from a recently discovered print of the director’s preferred version
- New interview with film scholar David Bordwell about His Girl Friday
- Archival interviews with director Howard Hawks
- Featurettes from 1999 about Hawks, actor Rosalind Russell, and the making of His Girl Friday
- Radio adaptation of His Girl Friday from 1940
- New piece about the restoration of The Front Page
- New piece about playwright and screenwriter Ben Hecht
- Radio adaptations of the play The Front Page from 1937 and 1946
- His Girl Friday trailers
- PLUS: A booklet featuring essays on His Girl Friday and The Front Page by film critics Farran Smith Nehme and Michael Sragow

 

'Something Wild (1961)' (January 17) - A complex exploration of the physical and emotional effects of trauma,Something Wild stars Carroll Baker, in a layered performance, as a college student who attempts suicide after a brutal sexual assault but is stopped by a mechanic played by Ralph Meeker—whose kindness, however, soon takes an unsettling turn. Startlingly modern in its frankness and psychological realism, the film represents one of the purest on-screen expressions of the sensibility of the intimate community of artists around New York’s Actors Studio, which transformed American cinema in the mid-twentieth century. With astonishing location and claustrophobic interior photography by Eugene Schüfftan, an opening-title sequence by the inimitable Saul Bass, and a rhythmic score by Aaron Copland, this film by Jack Garfein is a masterwork of independent cinema.

The Blu-ray will feature 1080p video, an uncompressed English mono soundtrack, and supplements will include: 

- New conversation between Garfein and critic Kim Morgan
- New interview with actor Carroll Baker
- New interview with scholar Foster Hirsch on the Actors Studio’s cinematic legacy
- Master Class with Jack Garfein, a 2015 recording of one of the director’s world-famous lectures on acting technique
- PLUS: An essay by critic Sheila O’Malley

 

'Fox and His Friends' (January 17) - A lottery win leads not to financial and emotional freedom but to social captivity in this wildly cynical classic about love and exploitation by Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Casting himself against type, the director plays a suggestible working-class innocent who lets himself be taken advantage of by his bourgeois new boyfriend (Peter Chatel) and his circle of materialistic friends, leading to the kind of resonant misery that only Fassbinder could create. Fox and His Friends is unsparing social commentary, an amusingly pitiless and groundbreaking if controversial depiction of a gay community in 1970s West Germany.

The Blu-ray will feature 1080p video, an uncompressed German mono soundtrack, and supplements will include: 

- New interview with actor Harry Baer
- New interview with filmmaker Ira Sachs
- Excerpt from a 1975 interview with director Rainer Werner Fassbinder
- Excerpts from a 1981 interview with composer Peer Raben
- Trailer
- PLUS: An essay by film critic Michael Koresky

 

'Black Girl' (January 24) - Ousmane Sembène was one of the greatest and most groundbreaking filmmakers who ever lived, as well as the most internationally renowned African director of the twentieth century—but his name deserves to be better known in the rest of the world. He made his feature debut in 1966 with the brilliant and stirring Black Girl. Sembène, who was also an acclaimed novelist in his native Senegal, transforms a deceptively simple plot—about a young Senegalese woman who moves to France to work for a wealthy white couple and finds that life in their small apartment becomes a prison, both figuratively and literally—into a complexly layered critique of the lingering colonialist mind-set of a supposedly postcolonial world. Featuring a moving central performance by M’Bissine Thérèse Diop, Black Girl is a harrowing human drama as well as a radical political statement—and one of the essential films of the 1960s.

The Blu-ray will feature 1080p video, an uncompressed Wolof/French LPCM mono soundtrack, and supplements will include: 

- 4K restoration of the short film Borom sarret, director Ousmane Sembène’s acclaimed 1963 debut
- New interviews with scholars Manthia Diawara and Samba Gadjigo
- Excerpt from a 1966 broadcast of JT 20h, featuring Sembène accepting the Prix Jean Vigo for Black Girl
- New interview with actor M’Bissine Thérèse Diop
- Trailer
- PLUS: An essay by critic Ashley Clark
- More!

 

Suggested list price for 'His Girl Friday' is $49.95. Suggested list price for 'Something Wild (1961),' 'Fox and His Friends,' and 'Black Girl' is $39.95 each. 

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 January.

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Discs mentioned in this article: (Click for specs and reviews)
His Girl Friday (Blu-ray)
Something Wild (1961) (Blu-ray)
Fox and His Friends (Blu-ray)
Black Girl (Blu-ray)
Tags: Criterion, Disc Announcements (all tags)