Posted Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 08:00 AM PDT by Steven Cohen
The distributor has revealed its upcoming slate of November releases, including Frank Capra's 'It Happened One Night' and Michelangelo Antonioni's 'L'avventura.'
In an early announcement to retailers, Criterion is preparing 'The Shooting / Ride in the Whirlwind,' 'It Happened One Night,' 'L'avventura,' 'Les Blank: Always for Pleasure,' and 'Tootsie' for Blu-ray throughout the month of November.
'The Shooting / Ride in the Whirlwind' (November 11) - In the mid-sixties, the maverick American director Monte Hellman conceived of two westerns at the same time. Dreamlike and gritty by turns, the two films would prove their maker's adeptness at brilliantly deconstructing genre. As shot back-to-back for famed producer Roger Corman, they feature overlapping casts and crews, including Jack Nicholson in two of his meatiest early roles. The films—'The Shooting,' about a motley assortment of loners following a mysterious wanted man through a desolate frontier, and 'Ride in the Whirlwind,' about a group of cowhands pursued by vigilantes for crimes they did not commit—are rigorous, artful, and wholly unconventional journeys into the American West.
The Blu-ray will feature 1080p video, an uncompressed mono soundtrack, and supplements will include: Audio commentaries on both films, featuring Hellman and film historians Bill Krohn and Blake Lucas; New interviews with actors John Hackett, B. J. Merholz, Millie Perkins, and Harry Dean Stanton, assistant director Gary Kurtz, and chief wrangler Calvin Johnson, all in conversation with Hellman; New conversation between actor Will Hutchins and film programmer Jake Perlin; New video essay on actor Warren Oates by critic Kim Morgan; PLUS: An essay by critic Michael Atkinson; and More!
'It Happened One Night' (November 18) - Opposites attract with magnetic force in this romantic road-trip delight from Frank Capra, about a spoiled runaway socialite (Claudette Colbert) and a roguish man-of-the-people reporter (Clark Gable) who is determined to get the scoop on her scandalous disappearance. The first film to accomplish the very rare feat of sweeping all five major Oscar categories (best picture, best actor, best actress, best director, and best screenplay), 'It Happened One Night' is among the most gracefully constructed and edited films of the early sound era, packed with clever situations and gags that have entered the Hollywood comedy pantheon. Featuring two actors at the top of their game, sparking with a chemistry that has never been bettered, this is the birth of the screwball comedy.
The Blu-ray will feature 1080p video, an uncompressed mono soundtrack, and supplements will include: New conversation between critics Molly Haskell and Phillip Lopate; Frank Capra’s American Dream, a 1997 feature-length documentary; Director Frank Capra’s first film, the 1922 silent short The Ballad of Fisher’s Boarding House; American Film Institute tribute to Capra from 1982; Trailer; PLUS: An essay by critic Farran Smith Nehme; and More!
'L'avventura' (November 25) - Michelangelo Antonioni invented a new film grammar with this masterwork. An iconic piece of challenging 1960s cinema and a gripping narrative in its own right, 'L’avventura' concerns the enigmatic disappearance of a young woman during a yachting trip off the coast of Sicily, and the search taken up by her disaffected lover (Gabriele Ferzetti) and best friend (Monica Vitti, in her breakout role). Antonioni’s controversial international sensation is a gorgeously shot tale of modern ennui and spiritual isolation.
The Blu-ray will feature 1080p video, a uncompressed Italian mono soundtrack, and supplements will include: Audio commentary featuring film historian Gene Youngblood; Selected-scene commentary by filmmaker Olivier Assayas; Antonioni: Documents and Testimonials, a fifty-eight-minute 1966 documentary by Gianfranco Mingozzi; Writings by director Michelangelo Antonioni, read by actor Jack Nicholson, plus Nicholson’s personal recollections of the director; Trailer; PLUS: An essay by critic Geoffrey Nowell-Smith, along with the statement Antonioni made about the film and the letter that circulated in support of it after its 1960 Cannes premiere.
'Les Blank: Always for Pleasure' (November 25) - An uncompromisingly independent filmmaker, Les Blank made documentaries for nearly fifty years, elegantly disappearing with his camera into cultural spots rarely seen on-screen—mostly on the peripheries of the United States, but also occasionally abroad. Seemingly off-the-cuff yet poetically constructed, these films are humane, sometimes wry, always engaging tributes to musicians, food, and all sorts of regionally specific delights. This collector's set provides a diverse survey of Les Blank's vast output, including the warmly funny 'The Blues Accordin’ to Lightnin’ Hopkins,' about the legendary Texas musician; 'Always for Pleasure,' which captures the vivacious spirit of New Orleans; 'Garlic Is as Good as Ten Mothers,' a hilarious celebration of the pungent, flavorful "stinking rose" of the title; and eleven other unexpected features, plus eight of Blank's short films.
The Blu-ray will feature 1080p video, uncompressed mono soundtracks, and supplements will include: Excerpt from Les Blank: A Quiet Revelation, an upcoming documentary by Gina Leibrecht; New interviews with director Les Blank’s sons, Harrod and Beau; Blank documentary subject Gerald Gaxiola (a.k.a. the Maestro); filmmakers Skip Gerson, Maureen Gosling, Taylor Hackford, Tom Luddy, and Chris Simon; and chef and author Alice Waters; Blank’s short films Lightnin’ Les (1968), Mr. Charlie, Your Rollin’ Mill Is Burnin’ Down (1968), The Sun’s Gonna Shine (1968), More Fess (1978), Julie: Old Time Tales of the Blue Ridge (1991), My Old Fiddle: A Visit with Tommy Jarrell in the Blue Ridge (1995), and The Maestro Rides Again (2005); PLUS: An essay by film scholar Andrew Horton.
'Tootsie' (November 25) - In 'Tootsie,' the character Michael Dorsey lands the role of a lifetime—as does the actor playing him, Dustin Hoffman. This multilayered comedy from director Sydney Pollack follows the increasingly elaborate deception of a down-on-his-luck New York actor who disguises himself as a woman to get a coveted soap opera gig; while his female persona skyrockets to fame, he finds himself learning to be a better man. Hoffman's ball-busting yet disarmingly sweet Dorothy Michaels is a sensational comic creation, given support by a stellar cast including Dabney Coleman, Charles Durning, Teri Garr, George Gaynes, Bill Murray, and, in her first Oscar-winning role, Jessica Lange. Imbued with poignant drama, Tootsie is a funny and cutting film from an American moment defined by shifting social and sexual identities.
The Blu-ray will feature 1080p video, an uncompressed mono soundtrack, and supplements will include: Audio commentary featuring director Sydney Pollack, taken from Criterion’s 1991 laserdisc edition of the film; New interview with comedy writer Phil Rosenthal; Interview with Dorothy Michaels by film critic Gene Shalit, from the film’s production; Making of “Tootsie,” a 1982 documentary directed by Rocky Lang; A Better Man: The Making of “Tootsie,” a 2007 documentary directed by Charles Kiselyak and featuring interviews with Pollack; actors Dabney Coleman, Teri Garr, Hoffman, and Jessica Lange; and writers Larry Gelbart and Murray Schisgal; Screen and wardrobe test footage of Hoffman; Deleted scenes and trailers; PLUS: An essay by critic Michael Sragow.
Suggested list price for each single-disc Blu-ray is $39.95. Suggested list price for the 'Les Blank: Always for Pleasure' 3-disc boxset is $124.95.
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 the month of November.
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