Posted Mon Feb 22, 2016 at 12:00 PM PST by Steven Cohen
The distributor has revealed its upcoming slate of May releases, including Robert Altman's 'The Player' and Nicholas Ray's 'In a Lonely Place.'
In an early announcement to retailers, Criterion is preparing 'Easy Rider,' 'In a Lonely Place,' 'The Naked Island,' 'The Player,' and 'Wim Wenders: The Road Trilogy' for Blu-ray throughout the month of May.
'Easy Rider' (May 3) - This is the definitive counterculture blockbuster. The down-and-dirty directorial debut of former clean-cut teen star Dennis Hopper, Easy Riderheralded the arrival of a new voice in film, one pitched angrily against the mainstream. After the film’s cross-country journey—with its radical, New Wave–style editing, outsider-rock soundtrack, revelatory performance by a young Jack Nicholson, and explosive ending—the American road trip would never be the same.
The Blu-ray will feature 1080p video, an English LPCM Mono soundtrack, 2.0 DTS-HD MA soundtrack, and 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack. Supplements will include: Two audio commentaries, one from 2009, featuring actor-director-writer Dennis Hopper, and the other from 1995, featuring Hopper, actor-writer Peter Fonda, and production manager Paul Lewis; Born to Be Wild (1995) and “Easy Rider”: Shaking the Cage (1999), documentaries about the making and history of the film; Television excerpts showing Hopper and Fonda at the Cannes Film Festival in 1969; Interview from 2010 with BBS Productions cofounder Steve Blauner; Theatrical trailers; and An essay by film critic Matt Zoller Seitz.
'In a Lonely Place' (May 10) - When a gifted but washed-up screenwriter with a hair-trigger temper—Humphrey Bogart, in a revelatory, vulnerable performance—becomes the prime suspect in a brutal Tinseltown murder, the only person who can supply an alibi for him is a seductive neighbor (Gloria Grahame) with her own troubled past. The emotionally charged In a Lonely Place, freely adapted from a Dorothy B. Hughes thriller, is a brilliant, turbulent mix of suspenseful noir and devastating melodrama, fueled by powerhouse performances. An uncompromising tale of two people desperate to love yet struggling with their demons and each other, this is one of the greatest films of the 1950s, and a benchmark in the career of the classic Hollywood auteur Nicholas Ray.
The Blu-ray will feature 1080p video, an uncompressed English mono soundtrack, and supplements will include: New audio commentary featuring film scholar Dana Polan; I’m a Stranger Here Myself, a 1975 documentary about director Nicholas Ray, slightly condensed for this release; New interview with biographer Vincent Curcio about actor Gloria Grahame; Piece from 2002 featuring filmmaker Curtis Hanson; Radio adaptation from 1948 of the original Dorothy B. Hughes novel, broadcast on the program Suspense; Trailer; PLUS: An essay by critic Imogen Sara Smith.
'The Naked Island' (May 17) - Director Kaneto Shindo’s documentary-like, dialogue-free portrayal of daily struggle is a work of stunning visual beauty and invention. The international breakthrough for one of Japan’s most innovative filmmakers—who went on to make such other marvelous movies as Onibaba and Kuroneko—The Naked Island follows a family whose home is on a tiny, remote island off the coast of Japan. They must row a great distance to another shore, collect water from a well in buckets, and row back to their island—a nearly backbreaking task essential for the survival of these people and their land. Featuring a phenomenal modernist score by Hikaru Hayashi, this is a truly hypnotic experience, with a rhythm unlike that of any other film.
The Blu-ray will feature 1080p video, a Japanese LPCM mono soundtrack, and supplements will include: Video introduction by director Kaneto Shindo, recorded for a 2011 retrospective of his work; Audio commentary recorded in 2000, featuring Shindo and composer Hikaru Hayashi; New appreciation of the film by actor Benicio Del Toro; New interview with film scholar Akira Mizuta Lippit; Trailer; PLUS: An essay by film scholar Haden Guest.
'The Player' (May 24) - A Hollywood studio executive with a shaky moral compass (Tim Robbins) finds himself caught up in a criminal situation that would fit right into one of his movie projects, in this biting industry satire from Robert Altman. Mixing elements of film noir with sly insider comedy, The Player, based on a novel by Michael Tolkin, functions as both a nifty stylish murder story and a commentary on its own making, and it is stocked with a heroic supporting cast (Peter Gallagher, Whoopi Goldberg, Greta Scacchi, Dean Stockwell, Fred Ward) and an astonishing lineup of star cameos that make for a remarkable Hollywood who’s who. This complexly woven grand entertainment (which kicks off with one of American cinema’s most audacious and acclaimed opening shots) was the film that marked Altman’s triumphant commercial comeback in the early 1990s.
The Blu-ray will feature 1080p video, an English DTS-HD MA 2.0 surround soundtrack, and supplements will include: Audio commentary from 1992 featuring director Robert Altman, writer Michael Tolkin, and cinematographer Jean Lépine; Interview with Altman from 1992; New interviews with Tolkin and production designer Stephen Altman; Cannes Film Festival press conference from 1992 with cast and crew; "The Player" at LACMA, a short documentary about the shooting of the film’s fund-raiser scene; Map to the Stars, a gallery dedicated to the cameo appearances in the film; Deleted scenes and outtakes; The film’s opening shot, with alternate commentaries by Altman, Lépine, and Tolkin; Trailers; More; PLUS: An essay by author Sam Wasson.
'Wim Wenders: The Road Trilogy' (May 31) - In the 1970s, Wim Wenders was among the first true international breakthrough artists of the revolutionary New German Cinema, a filmmaker whose fascination with the physical landscapes and emotional contours of the open road proved to be universal. In the middle of that decade, Wenders embarked on a three-film journey that took him from the wide roads of Germany to the endless highways of the United States and back again. Starring Rüdiger Vogler as the director’s alter ego, Alice in the Cities, Wrong Move, and Kings of the Road are dramas of emotional transformation that follow their characters’ searches for themselves, all rendered with uncommon soulfulness and visual poetry.
The Blu-ray will feature 1080p video, an uncompressed German mono soundtrack on 'Alice in the Cities,' and DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtracks on 'Wrong Move' and 'Kings of the Road.' Supplements will include: Audio commentaries for all three films, featuring Wenders and actors Rüdiger Vogler and Yella Rottländer on Alice in the Cities, and featuring Wenders on Wrong Move and Kings of the Road; New interview with Wenders, directed and conducted by filmmaker Michael Almereyda; New interviews with Vogler, Kreuzer, Rottländer, and actor Hanns Zischler; Outtakes and Super 8 home movies; Restoring Time, a 2015 short about the restoration work done by the Wim Wenders Foundation; Same Player Shoots Again (1967) and Silver City Revisited (1968), two newly restored early short films by Wenders; More!; PLUS: A book featuring essays on the films by filmmaker Allison Anders, author James Robison, and critic Nick Roddick.
Suggested list price for each single-disc Blu-ray is $39.95. Suggested list price for the 3-Disc 'Wim Wenders: The Road Trilogy' is $99.95.
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 May.
The latest news on all things 4K Ultra HD, blu-ray and Gear.