Criterion Starts 2016 Right: INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS, LADY SNOWBLOOD, THE AMERICAN FRIEND, And More

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Criterion Starts 2016 Right: INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS, LADY SNOWBLOOD, THE AMERICAN FRIEND, And More

The Criterion Collection will begin the new year by welcoming the Coen Brothers into the fold.

Inside Llewyn Davis dove into the less glamorous side of the folk music scene, and showcased a sterling performance by Oscar Isaac. The Criterion home video version features an audio commentary by writers Robert Christgau, David Hajdu, and Sean Wilentz. In a new extra Gullermo del Toro sits down with the Coens to talk about their career.

Both Lady Snowblood movies are included in The Complete Lady Snowblood; both are new 2K digital restorations. Wim Wenders' terrific The American Friend will also receive the Criterion treatment. I wrote about the movie here.

January will also see the release of Giuseppe De Santis' neorealist Bitter Rice and Charles Vidor's spectacular Gilda, starring Rita Hayworth. Read on for all the details, straight from the official Criterion announcement.


THE COMPLETE LADY SNOWBLOOD - Blu-ray & DVD Editions
A young woman (Meiko Kaji), trained from childhood as an assassin and hell-bent on revenge for her father's murder and her mother's rape, hacks and slashes her way to gory satisfaction. Rampant with inventive violence and spectacularly choreographed swordplay, Toshiya Fujita's pair of influential cult classics Lady Snowblood and Lady Snowblood: Love Song of Vengeance, set in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Japan, respectively, are bloody, beautiful extravaganzas composed of one elegant widescreen composition after another. The first Lady Snowblood was a major inspiration for Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill saga, and both of Fujita's films remain cornerstones of Asian action cinema.

Lady Snowblood

1973 • 97 minutes • Color • Monaural • In Japanese with English subtitles • 2.35:1 aspect ratio

Lady Snowblood: Love Song of Vengeance

1974 • 89 minutes • Color • Monaural • In Japanese with English subtitles • 2.35:1 aspect ratio

SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
• New 2K digital restorations of both films, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks on the Blu-rays
• New interviews with Kazuo Koike, the writer of the manga on which the films are based, and screenwriter Norio Osada
• Trailers
• New English subtitle translations
• PLUS: An essay by critic Howard Hampton

TITLE: THE COMPLETE LADY SNOWBLOOD (BLU-RAY EDITION)
SRP $39.95
PREBOOK 12/8/15
STREET 1/5/16
CAT. NO. CC2570BD
ISBN 1-68143-095-9
UPC 7-15515-16551-8

TITLE: THE COMPLETE LADY SNOWBLOOD (2-DVD EDITION)
SRP $29.95
PREBOOK 12/8/15
STREET 1/5/16
CAT. NO. CC2571DDVD
ISBN 1-68143-096-7
UPC 7-15515-16561-7

BITTER RICE - Blu-ray & DVD Editions
During planting season in Northern Italy's Po Valley, an earthy rice-field worker (Teorema's seductive Silvana Mangano) falls in with a small-time criminal (Il sorpasso's Vittorio Gassman) who is planning a daring heist of the crop, as well as his femme-fatale-ish girlfriend, played by the Hollywood star Doris Dowling (The Lost Weekend). Both a socially conscious look at the hardships endured by underpaid field workers and a melodrama tinged with sex and violence, this early smash for producer extraordinaire Dino De Laurentiis (Blue Velvet) and director Giuseppe De Santis (Days of Love) is neorealism with a heaping dose of pulp.

1949 • 109 minutes • Black & White • Monaural • In Italian with English subtitles • 1.33:1 aspect ratio

SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
• New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
• Giuseppe de Santis, a 2007 documentary by screenwriter Carlo Lizzani
• Interview with screenwriter Lizzani from 2003
• Trailer
• New English subtitle translation
• PLUS: An essay by critic Pasquale Iannone

TITLE: BITTER RICE (BLU-RAY EDITION)
SRP $29.95
PREBOOK 12/15/15
STREET 1/12/16
CAT. NO. CC2566BD
ISBN 1-68143-091-6
UPC 7-15515-16511-2

TITLE: BITTER RICE (DVD EDITION)
SRP $19.95
PREBOOK 12/15/15
STREET 1/12/16
CAT. NO. CC2567DDVD
ISBN 1-68143-092-4
UPC 7-15515-16521-1

THE AMERICAN FRIEND - Blu-ray & DVD Editions
Wim Wenders (Paris, Texas) pays loving homage to rough-and-tumble Hollywood film noir with The American Friend, a loose adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's novel Ripley's Game. Dennis Hopper (Easy Rider) oozes quirky menace as an amoral American art dealer who entangles a terminally ill German everyman, played by Bruno Ganz (Wings of Desire), in a seedy criminal underworld as revenge for a personal slight--but when the two become embroiled in an ever-deepening murder plot, they form an unlikely bond. Filmed on location in Hamburg and Paris, with some scenes shot in grimy, late-seventies New York City, Wenders's international breakout is a stripped-down crime story that mixes West German and American film flavors, and it features cameos by filmmakers Jean Eustache (The Mother and the Whore), Samuel Fuller (Shock Corridor), and Nicholas Ray (Bigger Than Life).

1977 • 127 minutes • Color • 5.1 surround • In English, French, and German with English subtitles • 1.66:1 aspect ratio

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
• New, restored 4K digital transfer, supervised by director Wim Wenders, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
• Audio commentary from 2002 featuring Wenders and actor Dennis Hopper
• New interview with Wenders
• New interview with actor Bruno Ganz
• Deleted scenes with audio commentary by Wenders
• Trailer
• New English subtitle translation
• PLUS: An essay by author Francine Prose

TITLE: THE AMERICAN FRIEND (BLU-RAY EDITION)
SRP $39.95
PREBOOK 12/15/15
STREET 1/12/16
CAT. NO. CC2572BD
ISBN 1-68143-097-5
UPC 7-15515-16571-6

TITLE: THE AMERICAN FRIEND (2-DVD EDITION)
SRP $29.95
PREBOOK 12/15/15
STREET 1/12/16
CAT. NO. CC2573DDVD
ISBN 1-68143-098-3
UPC 7-15515-16581-5

INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS - Blu-ray & DVD Editions
The visionary chroniclers of eccentric Americana Joel and Ethan Coen (Fargo) present one of their greatest creations in Llewyn Davis, a singer barely eking out a living on the peripheries of the flourishing Greenwich Village folk scene of the early sixties. As embodied by Oscar Isaac (Ex Machina), in a revelatory performance, Llewyn (loosely modeled on off-the-radar folk legend Dave Van Ronk) is extraordinarily talented but also irascible, rude, and self-defeating. Our man's circular odyssey through an unforgiving wintry cityscape, evocatively captured by cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel (Amélie), is realized with poignant humor and the occasional surreal touch. Featuring a folk soundtrack curated by T Bone Burnett, Inside Llewyn Davis reminds us that in the Coens' world, history isn't necessarily written by the winners.

2013 • 104 minutes • Color • 5.1 surround • 1.85:1 aspect ratio

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
• New 4K digital transfer, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
• New audio commentary featuring writers Robert Christgau, David Hajdu, and Sean Wilentz
• The First Hundred Feet, the Last Hundred Feet, a new conversation between filmmaker Guillermo del Toro and directors Joel and Ethan Coen about the evolution of their approach, from Blood Simple to Inside Llewyn Davis
• Inside "Inside Llewyn Davis," a forty-five-minute 2013 documentary
• Another Place, Another Time (2014), a 101-minute film documenting an Inside Llewyn Davis tribute concert, featuring Joan Baez, Mumford & Sons, Punch Brothers, Gillian Welch, Jack White, and others
• New piece on the history of "Fare Thee Well (Dink's Song)," featuring music producer T Bone Burnett and the Coens
• New piece about Dave Van Ronk and the Greenwich Village folk scene of the early sixties, featuring music writer and historian Elijah Wald
• Sunday, a short 1961 documentary by Dan Drasin about the riots that took place in Washington Square Park after folk musicians were prevented from gathering and playing there
• Trailers
• PLUS: An essay by film critic Kent Jones

TITLE: INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS (BLU-RAY EDITION)
SRP $39.95
PREBOOK 12/22/15
STREET 1/19/16
CAT. NO. CC2568BD
ISBN 1-68143-093-2
UPC 7-15515-16531-0

TITLE: INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS (2-DVD EDITION)
SRP $29.95
PREBOOK 12/22/15
STREET 1/19/16
CAT. NO. CC2569DDVD
ISBN 1-68143-094-0
UPC 7-15515-16541-9

GILDA - Blu-ray & DVD Editions
"Gilda, are you decent?" Rita Hayworth (The Lady from Shanghai) tosses her hair back and slyly responds, "Me?" in one of the great star entrances in movie history. Gilda, directed by Charles Vidor (Cover Girl), features a sultry Hayworth in her most iconic role, as the much-lusted-after wife of a criminal kingpin (Paths of Glory's George Macready), as well as the former flame of his bitter henchman (3:10 to Yuma's Glenn Ford), and she drives them both mad with desire and jealousy. An ever-shifting battle of the sexes set on a Buenos Aires casino's glittering floor and in its shadowy back rooms, Gilda is among the most sensual of all Hollywood noirs.

1946 • 110 minutes • Black & White • Monaural • 1.33:1 aspect ratio

SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
• New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
• Audio commentary from 2010 by film critic Richard Schickel
• New interview with film noir historian Eddie Muller
• Appreciation of Gilda from 2010 featuring filmmakers Martin Scorsese and Baz Luhrmann
• Rita Hayworth: The Columbia Lady, a 2000 featurette on Hayworth's career as an actor and dancer
• Trailer
• PLUS: An essay by critic Sheila O'Malley

TITLE: GILDA (BLU-RAY EDITION)
SRP $39.95
PREBOOK 12/22/15
STREET 1/19/16
CAT. NO. CC2574BD
ISBN 1-68143-099-1
UPC 7-15515-16591-4

TITLE: GILDA (DVD EDITION)
SRP $29.95
PREBOOK 12/22/15
STREET 1/19/16
CAT. NO. CC2575DDVD
ISBN 1-68143-100-9
UPC 7-15515-16601-0

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Coen BrothersCriterionCriterion CollectionWim WendersEthan CoenJoel CoenOscar IsaacCarey MulliganJustin TimberlakeEthan PhillipsDramaMusicToshiya FujitaKazuo KamimuraKazuo KoikeNorio OsadaMeiko KajiToshio KurosawaMasaaki DaimonMiyoko AkazaActionThrillerGiuseppe De SantisCarlo LizzaniGianni PucciniCorrado AlvaroCarlo MussoIvo PerilliVittorio GassmanDoris DowlingSilvana ManganoRaf Vallone

More about The American Friend (Der amerikanische Freund)

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Pasta_BearOctober 21, 2015 11:51 PM

Finally - Lady Snowblood! Many times I have resisted the urge to buy some crappy DVD version.