Posted Mon Nov 23, 2015 at 12:00 PM PST by Steven Cohen
The distributor has revealed its upcoming slate of February releases, including Mike Nichols' 'The Graduate' and Charlie Chaplin's 'The Kid.'
In an early announcement to retailers, Criterion is preparing 'The Emigrants/The New Land,' 'The Kid,' 'Death by Hanging,' 'The Graduate,' and 'I Knew Her Well' for Blu-ray throughout the month of February.
'The Emigrants/The New Land' (February 9) - This monumental mid-nineteenth-century epic from Jan Troell (Here Is Your Life) charts, over the course of two films, a poor Swedish farming family’s voyage to America and their efforts to put down roots in this beautiful but forbidding new world. Movie legends Max Von Sydow (The Seventh Seal) and Liv Ullmann (Persona) give remarkably authentic performances as Karl-Oskar and Kristina, a couple who meet with one physical and emotional trial after another on their arduous journey. The precise, minute detail with which Troell depicts the couple’s story—which is also the story of countless other people who sought better lives across the Atlantic—is a wonder to behold. Engrossing every step of the way, the duo of The Emigrants and The New Land makes for perhaps the greatest screen drama about the settling of America.
The Blu-ray will feature 1080p video, a Swedish uncompressed mono soundtrack, and supplements will include: New introduction by theater and film critic John Simon; New conversation between film scholar Peter Cowie and director Jan Troell; New interview with actor Liv Ullmann; To Paint with Pictures, a 2005 documentary on the making of the films, featuring archival footage as well as interviews with Troell, Ullmann, producer and coscreenwriter Bengt Forslund, and actor Eddie Axberg; Trailers; PLUS: An essay by critic Terrence Rafferty.
'The Kid' (February 16) - Charlie Chaplin was already an international star when he decided to break out of the short-film format and make his first full-length feature. 'The Kid' doesn’t merely show Chaplin at a turning point, when he proved that he was a serious film director—it remains an expressive masterwork of silent cinema. In it, he stars as his lovable Tramp character, this time raising an orphan (a remarkable young Jackie Coogan) he has rescued from the streets. Chaplin and Coogan make a miraculous pair in this nimble marriage of sentiment and slapstick, a film that is, as its opening title card states, "a picture with a smile—and perhaps, a tear."
The Blu-ray will feature 1080p video, an uncompressed English mono soundtrack, and supplements will include: New audio commentary featuring Chaplin historian Charles Maland; Jackie Coogan: The First Child Star, a new video essay by Chaplin historian Lisa Haven; A Study in Undercranking, a new piece featuring silent-film specialist Ben Model; Interviews with Coogan and actor Lita Grey Chaplin; Excerpted audio interviews with cinematographer Rollie Totheroh and film distributor Mo Rothman; Deleted scenes and titles from the original 1921 version of The Kid; “Charlie” on the Ocean, a 1921 newsreel documenting Chaplin’s first return trip to Europe; Footage of Chaplin conducting his score for The Kid; Nice and Friendly, a 1922 silent short featuring Chaplin and Coogan, presented with a new score by composer Timothy Brock; Trailers; PLUS: An essay by film historian Tom Gunning.
'Death by Hanging' (February 16) - Genius provocateur Nagisa Oshima (In the Realm of the Senses), an influential figure in the Japanese New Wave of the 1960s, made one of his most startling political statements with the compelling pitch-black satire Death by Hanging. In this macabre farce, a Korean man is sentenced to death in Japan but survives his execution, sending the authorities into a panic about what to do next. At once disturbing and oddly amusing, Oshima’s constantly surprising film is a subversive and surreal indictment of both capital punishment and the treatment of Korean immigrants in his country.
The Blu-ray will feature 1080p video, a Japanese uncompressed mono soundtrack, and supplements will include: New interview with critic Tony Rayns; New high-definition digital transfer of director Nagisa Oshima’s 1965 experimental short documentary Diary of Yunbogi; New high-definition digital transfer of director Nagisa Oshima’s 1965 experimental short documentary Diary of Yunbogi; PLUS: An essay by critic Howard Hampton.
'The Graduate' (February 23) - One of the most beloved American films of all time, The Graduate earned Mike Nichols a best director Oscar, brought the music of Simon & Garfunkel to a wider audience, and introduced the world to a young actor named Dustin Hoffman. Benjamin Braddock (Hoffman) has just finished college and is already lost in a sea of confusion and barely contained angst when he becomes sexually involved with the middle-aged mother (Anne Bancroft) of the young woman he’s dating (Katharine Ross). Visually imaginative and impeccably acted, with a clever, endlessly quotable script by Buck Henry (based on the novel by Charles Webb), The Graduate had the kind of cultural impact that comes along only once in a generation.
The Blu-ray will feature 1080p video, an English uncompressed mono soundtrack, an English DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, and supplements will include: Audio commentary from 2007 featuring Nichols in conversation with filmmaker Steven Soderbergh; Audio commentary from 1987 featuring film scholar Howard Suber; New interview with actor Dustin Hoffman; New conversation between producer Lawrence Turman and actor-screenwriter Buck Henry; New interview with film writer and historian Bobbie O’Steen about editor Sam O’Steen’s work on The Graduate; Students of “The Graduate,” a short documentary from 2007 on the film’s influence; "The Graduate" at 25, a 1992 featurette on the making of the film; Interview with Nichols by Barbara Walters, from a 1966 episode of NBC’s Today show; Excerpt from a 1970 appearance by singer-songwriter Paul Simon on The Dick Cavett Show; Screen tests; Trailer; PLUS: An essay by journalist and critic Frank Rich.
'I Knew Her Well' (February 23) - This prismatic portrait of the days and nights of a party girl in sixties Rome is a revelation. On the surface, I Knew Her Well, directed by Antonio Pietrangeli, plays like an inversion of La dolce vita with a woman at its center, following the gorgeous, seemingly liberated Adriana (Divorce Italian Style’s Stefania Sandrelli) as she dallies with a wide variety of men, attends parties, goes to modeling gigs, and circulates among the rich and famous. Despite its often light tone, though, the film is a stealth portrait of a suffocating culture that regularly dehumanizes people, especially women. A seriocomic character study that never strays from its complicated central figure while keeping us at an emotional remove, I Knew Her Well is one of the most overlooked films of the sixties, by turns hilarious, tragic, and altogether jaw-dropping.
The Blu-ray will feature 1080p video, an uncompressed Italian mono soundtrack, and supplements will include: New interview with actor Stefania Sandrelli; New interview with film scholar Luca Barattoni about the career of director Antonio Pietrangeli; Trailer; PLUS: An essay by journalist and author Alexander Stille.
Suggested list price for 'The Emigrants/The New Land' is $49.95. Suggested list price for each of the remaining February Criterion Blu-ray releases is $39.95.
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 February.
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