The distributor has revealed its upcoming slate of September releases, including Alfred Hitchcock's Rebecca.
In an early announcement to retailers, Criterion is preparing Rebecca, Festival, Certain Women, David Lynch: The Art Life, Othello, and The Piano Teacher for Blu-ray throughout the month of September.
Rebecca (September 5) - Romance becomes psychodrama in Alfred Hitchcock’s elegantly crafted Rebecca, his first foray into Hollywood filmmaking. A dreamlike adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s 1938 novel, the film stars the enchanting Joan Fontaine as a young woman who believes she has found her heart’s desire when she marries the dashing aristocratic widower Maxim de Winter (played with cunning vulnerability by Laurence Olivier). But upon moving to Manderley—her groom’s baroque ancestral mansion—she soon learns that his deceased wife haunts not only the home but the temperamental, brooding Maxim as well. The start of Hitchcock’s legendary collaboration with producer David O. Selznick, this elegiac gothic vision, captured in stunning black and white by George Barnes, took home the Academy Awards for best picture and best cinematography.
-Audio commentary from 1990 featuring film scholar Leonard J. Leff
-Isolated music and effects track
-New conversation between film critic and author Molly Haskell and scholar Patricia White
-New interview with special effects historian Craig Barron on the visual effects in Rebecca
-Documentary from 2007 on the making of Rebecca
-Screen, hair, makeup, and costume tests including actors Joan Fontaine, Anne Baxter, Vivien Leigh, Margaret Sullavan, and Loretta Young
-Casting gallery annotated by director Alfred Hitchcock and producer David O. Selznick
-Television interviews with Hitchcock and Fontaine from 1973 and 1980
-Audio interviews from 1986 with actor Judith Anderson and Fontaine
-Three radio adaptations of Rebecca, from 1938, 1941, and 1950, including Orson Welles’s version for the Mercury Theatre
-Theatrical rerelease trailer
Festival (September 12) - Before Woodstock and Monterey Pop, there was Festival. From 1963 to 1966, Murray Lerner visited the annual Newport Folk Festival to document a thriving, idealistic musical movement as it reached its peak as a popular phenomenon. Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Howlin’ Wolf, Johnny Cash, the Staples Singers, Pete Seeger, Son House, and Peter, Paul and Mary were just a few of the legends who shared the stage at Newport, treating audiences to a range of folk music that encompassed the genre’s roots in blues, country, and gospel as well as its newer flirtations with rock ’n’ roll. Shooting in gorgeous black and white, Lerner juxtaposes performances with snapshot interviews with artists and their fans, weaving footage from four years of the festival into an intimate record of a pivotal time in music—and in American culture at large.
-When We Played Newport, a new program featuring archival interviews with Lerner, music festival producer George Wein, and musicians Joan Baez, Judy Collins, Buffy Saint---Marie, Pete Seeger, and Peter Yarrow
-Editing “Festival,” a new program featuring Lerner, associate editor Alan Heim, and assistant editor Gordon Quinn
-Selection of complete outtake performances, including Clarence Ashley, Horton Barker, Johnny Cash, John Lee Hooker, and Odetta
-PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Amanda Petrusich and artist bios by folk music expert Mary Katherine Aldin
Certain Women (September 19) - The expanses of the American Northwest take center stage in this intimately observed triptych from Kelly Reichardt. Adapted from three short stories by Maile Meloy and unfolding in self-contained but interlocking episodes, Certain Women navigates the subtle shifts in personal desire and social expectation that unsettle the circumscribed lives of its characters: a lawyer (Laura Dern) forced to subdue a troubled client; a woman (Michelle Williams) whose plans to construct her dream home reveal fissures in her marriage; and a night-school teacher (Kristen Stewart) who forms a tenuous bond with a lonely ranch hand (Lily Gladstone), whose unguardedness and deep attachment to the land deliver an unexpected jolt of emotional immediacy. With unassuming craft, Reichardt captures the rhythms of daily life in small-town Montana through these fine-grained portraits of women trapped within the landscape’s wide-open spaces.
-New interviews with the film’s cast and crew, including Reichardt and executive producer Todd Haynes
-New interview with Maile Meloy, author of the stories on which the film is based
-PLUS: An essay by critic Ella Taylor
David Lynch: The Art Life (September 26) - A rare glimpse into the mind of one of cinema’s most enigmatic visionaries, David Lynch: The Art Life offers an absorbing portrait of the artist, as well as an intimate encounter with the man himself. From the privacy of his home and painting studio in the Hollywood Hills, a candid Lynch conjures people and places from his past, from his boyhood in Idaho and Virginia to his experiences at art school in Boston and Philadelphia to the beginnings of his filmmaking career in Los Angeles—in stories that unfold like scenes from his movies. This remarkable documentary by directors Jon Nguyen, Rick Barnes, and Olivia Neergaard-Holm reveals the story behind Lynch’s early years as a painter and director drawn to the phantasmagoric, while also illuminating his enduring commitment to what he calls the “the art life”: “You drink coffee, you smoke cigarettes, and you paint, and that’s it.”
-New interview with codirector Jon Nguyen
-PLUS: A new essay by critic Dennis Lim
Othello (September 26) - Gloriously cinematic despite being made on a tiny budget, Orson Welles’s Othello is a testament to the filmmaker’s stubborn willingness to pursue his vision to the ends of the earth. Unmatched in his passionate identification with Shakespeare’s imagination, Welles brings his inventive visual approach to this enduring tragedy of jealousy, bigotry, and rage, and also gives a towering performance as the Moor of Venice, alongside Suzanne Cloutier as his innocent wife, Desdemona, and Micheál MacLiammóir as the scheming Iago. Shot over the course of three years in Morocco, Venice, Tuscany, and Rome and plagued by many logistical problems, this fiercely independent film joins Macbeth and Chimes at Midnight in making the case for Welles as the cinema’s most audacious interpreter of the Bard.
-Audio commentary from 1995 featuring filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich and Orson Welles scholar Myron Meisel
-Return to Glennascaul, a 1953 short film made by MacLiammóir and actor Hilton Edwards during a hiatus from shooting Othello
-New interview with Welles biographer Simon Callow
-Souvenirs d’“Othello,” a 1995 documentary about actor Suzanne Cloutier by François Girard
-New interview with scholar François Thomas on the two versions
-New interview with Ayanna Thompson, author of Passing Strange: Shakespeare, Race, and Contemporary America
-Interview from 2014 with scholar Joseph McBride
-PLUS: An essay by film critic Geoffrey O’Brien
The Piano Teacher (September 26) - Academy Award–winning Austrian director Michael Haneke shifted his focus from the social to the psychological for this riveting study of female sexuality and the dynamics of control, an adaptation of a controversial 1983 novel by Elfriede Jelinek. Haneke finds his match in Isabelle Huppert, who delivers an icy but quietly seething performance as Erika, a middle-aged piano professor at a Viennese conservatory who lives with her mother, in a claustrophobically codependent relationship. Severely repressed, she satisfies her masochistic urges only voyeuristically until she meets Walter (Benoît Magimel), a young student whose desire for Erika leads to a destructive infatuation that upsets the careful equilibrium of her life. A critical breakthrough for Haneke, The Piano Teacher—which won the Grand Prix as well as dual acting awards for its stars at Cannes—is a formalist masterwork that remains a shocking sensation.
-New interview with Haneke
-New interview with actor Isabelle Huppert
-Selected-scene commentary from 2002 featuring Huppert
-Behind-the-scenes footage of a postsync session for the film featuring Haneke and Huppert
-PLUS: An essay by scholar Moira Weigel
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 September.