Criterion in June 2017: Mizoguchi's UGETSU, Pagnol's MARSEILLE TRILOGY, Plus Hitchcock, Ray and Peckinpah

Managing Editor; Dallas, Texas, USA (@peteramartin)
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Come June, the Criterion Collection will be presenting some mighty fine alternatives to the Hollywood blockbuster machine.

It starts with Mizoguchi Kenji's Ugetsu and includes two early works by Alfred Hitchcock (The Lodger) and Nicholas Ray (They Live By Night), as well as Sam Peckinpah's Straw Dogs, which continues to stir controversy. For those with a taste for French cinema, a newly restored version of Marcel Pagnol's Marseille Trilogy arrives on Blu-ray for the first time.

Click through the gallery below to see all the Blu-ray covers and read the official descriptions from Criterion.

Ugetsu

Having refined his craft in the silent era, Kenji Mizoguchi was an elder statesman of Japanese cinema -- fiercely revered by Akira Kurosawa and other younger directors-by the time he made Ugetsu. And with this exquisite ghost story, a fatalistic wartime tragedy derived from stories by Akinari Ueda and Guy de Maupassant, he created a touchstone of his art, his long takes and sweeping camera guiding the viewer through a delirious narrative about two villagers whose pursuit of fame and fortune leads them far astray from their loyal wives. Moving between the terrestrial and the otherworldly, Ugetsu reveals essential truths about the ravages of war, the plight of women, and the pride of men.

1953 * 97 minutes * Black & white * Monaural * In Japanese with English subtitles * 1.37:1 aspect ratio

SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

  • New 4K digital restoration undertaken by The Film Foundation, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray

  • Audio commentary by filmmaker, critic, and festival programmer Tony Rayns

  • Kenji Mizoguchi: The Life of a Film Director (1975), a 150-minute documentary by Kaneto Shindo

  • Two Worlds Intertwined, a 2005 appreciation of Ugetsu by filmmaker Masahiro Shinoda

  • Process and Production, a 2005 interview with Tokuzo Tanaka, first assistant director on Ugetsu

  • Interview from 1992 with cinematographer Kazuo Miyagawa

  • Trailers

  • An essay by film critic Phillip Lopate (Blu-ray and DVD) and three short stories that influenced Mizoguchi in making the film (Blu-ray only)

BLU-RAY EDITION

SRP $39.95

STREET 6/6/17

2-DVD EDITION

SRP $29.95

STREET 6/6/17

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Criterion CollectionMarcel PagnolMizoguchi KenjiNicholas RaySam Peckinpah
william-tucker@mail.ruMarch 17, 2017 8:23 AM

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ManateeAdvocateMarch 17, 2017 1:42 PM

Damn you Criterion!

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JonfromBklynMarch 18, 2017 9:26 AM

haha...i've bought Nashville and now Ugetsu months before the 4K releases. ah well, just an excuse to spend more money on great films.

Peter MartinMarch 18, 2017 1:44 PM

Yup, that's always the challenge for home video buffs; if you wait too long, hoping for a better version, it might go out of print and a better version might never come! As you say, though, if you can, and if it's a great film, I don't mind so much.

ManateeAdvocateMarch 19, 2017 8:21 PM

Bang on.

ManateeAdvocateMarch 19, 2017 8:21 PM

Indeed. Additionally, I never feel remorse by supporting Criterion.

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