Criterion Collection Announces December Blu-ray Releases

criterion collectionThe Criterion Collection just announced the titles for its upcoming December slate of blu-ray releases... and it is a good one.

Some of the titles on the schedule have been rumored to be coming for some time, such as Samuel Fuller's Forty Guns which stars Barbara Stanwyck, but there is a fair share of total surprises certain to raise the excitement level of blu-ray collectors.

The biggie on the list is the aforementioned Forty Guns that comes with a new 4K restoration, an interview with Fuller's widow and daughter, plus a full-length documentary, more interviews, and other features.

Also worth mentioning is the inclusion of Ingmar Bergman's 1953 circus thriller Sawdust and Tinsel which gets a new 2K restoration, an audio commentary by Bergman, plus critic essays and new cover art.

 

Here's the complete list of titles for The Criterion Collection's December release:

Forty Guns - Blu-rayForty Guns (1957)

Director: Samuel Fuller

Release date: December 11, 2018

Synopsis: Hollywood legend Barbara Stanwyck saddled up with writer-director Samuel Fuller for the pulp maestro's most audacious western, a boldly feminist spin on the genre that pivots effortlessly between ribald humor, visceral action, and disarming tenderness. High-riding rancher Jessica Drummond (Stanwyck) commands a forty-strong posse of cowboys, ruling Cochise County, Arizona, without challenge. When U.S. marshal Griff Bonnell (Barry Sullivan) and his brothers arrive in town with a warrant for one of her hired guns, Jessica begins to fall for the lawman even as he chips away at her authority. With astonishing black-and-white CinemaScope photography, hard-boiled dialogue laced with double entendres, and a fiery performance by Stanwyck at her most imperious, Forty Guns is a virtuoso display of Fuller's sharpshooting talents.

Special Features and Technical Specifications: 

  • New 4k Restoration
  • New interview with director Samuel Fuller's widow, Christa Lang-Fuller, and daughter, Samantha Fuller
  • A Fuller Life (2013), a feature-length documentary by Samantha Fuller about her father, featuring admirers and collaborators Wim Wenders, William Friedkin, Mark Hamill, James Franco, Monte Hellman, Jennifer Beals, Bill Duke, Constance Towers, and others
  • New interview with critic Imogen Sara Smith, author of In Lonely Places: Film Noir Beyond the City
  • Stills gallery
  • Essay by film scholar Lisa Dombrowski and excerpts from Fuller's 2002 autobiography, A Third Face: My Tale of Writing, Fighting, and Filmmaking

A Dry White Season - Blu-rayA Dry White Season (1989)

Director: Euzhan Palcy

Release date: December 11, 2018

Synopsis: With this bracing drama, made at the climax of the anti-apartheid movement, director Euzhan Palcy issued a devastating indictment of South Africa’s racist government—and made history in the process, becoming the first black woman to direct a Hollywood studio film. White schoolteacher Ben Du Toit (Donald Sutherland) lives in Johannesburg and remains blissfully incurious about the lives of his black countrymen until a wave of brutal repression comes crashing down on his gardener (Winston Ntshona), bringing Du Toit face-to-face with harsh political realities. Based on a celebrated novel by André Brink and rooted in the first-hand research the Martinican Palcy did in South Africa into the way black people lived under apartheid, A Dry White Season is unflinching in its depiction of violence and its chronicling of injustice, making for a galvanizing tribute to those willing to sacrifice everything to fight oppression.

Features and Technical Specifications:

  • New 4k restoration
  • New interview with director Euzhan Palcy by film critic Scott Foundas
  • Five Scenes, a new program featuring Palcy
  • Interview from 1989 with actor Donald Sutherland
  • Excerpt from a 1995 interview Palcy conducted with Nelson Mandela
  • Footage of Palcy receiving the highest distinction for foreign dignitaries at the 2017 South African National Orders awards
  • Essay by filmmaker and scholar Jyoti Mistry

 


panique - Blu-rayPanique(1946)

Director: Julien Duvivier

Release Date: December 18, 2018

Synopsis: Proud, eccentric, and antisocial, Monsieur Hire (Michel Simon) has always kept to himself. But after a woman turns up dead in the Paris suburb where he lives, he feels drawn to a pretty young newcomer to town (Viviane Romance), discovers that his neighbors are only too ready to be suspicious of him, and is framed for the murder. Based on a novel by Georges Simenon, Julien Duvivier’s first film after his return to France from Hollywood finds the acclaimed poetic realist applying his consummate craft to darker, moodier ends. Propelled by its two deeply nuanced lead performances, the tensely noirish Panique exposes the dangers of the knives-out mob mentality, delivering as well a pointed allegory of the behavior of Duvivier’s countrymen during the war.

Special Features and Technical Specs:

  • New 2k Restoration
  • The Art of Subtitling, a new short documentary by Bruce Goldstein, founder and copresident of Rialto Pictures, about the history of subtitles
  • New interview with author Pierre Simenon, the son of novelist Georges Simenon
  • Conversation from 2015 between critics Guillemette Odicino and Eric Libiot about director Julien Duvivier and the film's production history
  • Rialto Pictures rerelease trailer
  • New English subtitle translation by Duvivier expert Lenny BorgerEssays by film scholar James Quandt and Borger

Sawdust and Tinsel - Blu-raySawbust and Tinsel

Synopsis: Ingmar Bergman presents the battle of the sexes as a ramshackle, grotesque carnival of humiliation in Sawdust and Tinsel, one of the master’s most vivid early works and his first of many collaborations with the great cinematographer Sven Nykvist. The story of the charged relationship between a turn-of-the-twentieth-century circus owner (Åke Grönberg) and his younger mistress (Harriet Andersson), a horseback rider in the traveling show, the film features dreamlike detours and twisted psychosexual power plays, making for a piercingly brilliant depiction of physical and spiritual degradation.

Special Features and Technical Specifications:

  • New 2K restoration
  • Audio commentary by Ingmar Bergman scholar Peter Cowie
  • Introduction by Bergman from 2003
  • Essay by critic John Simon and (DVD only) an appreciation by filmmaker Catherine BreillatNew cover by Sarah Habib

About Criterion Collection: Since 1984, the Criterion Collection has been dedicated to publishing important classic and contemporary films from around the world in editions that offer the highest technical quality and award-winning, original supplements. No matter the medium—from laserdisc to DVD and Blu-ray to FilmStruck, the streaming service developed in collaboration with Turner Classic Movies—Criterion has maintained its pioneering commitment to presenting each film as its maker would want it seen, in state-of-the-art restorations with special features designed to encourage repeated watching and deepen the viewer’s appreciation of the art of film.

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