I’m currently updating this post with trailers and clips, so if it looks incomplete, just hit refresh. (This is what happens when you try to cover this stuff while working a day job)
I love these months when Criterion decides to not tease us on their Facebook page. Although we knew almost all of these were coming (apart from Les Visiteurs Du Soir), these new release announcements never lose their appeal.
Earlier this year we learned via the New York Times that Criterion was planning on releasing their updated edition of Marcel Carne’s Children Of Paradise in September, and here it is! I haven’t had the opportunity to check out the restored edition that Janus Films is currently touring, but the restoration clips online have been incredible.
Marcel Carné // Spine #141 // September 18th
Poetic realism reaches sublime heights with Children of Paradise (Les enfants du paradis), the ineffably witty tale of a woman loved by four different men. Deftly entwining theater, literature, music, and design, director Marcel Carné and screenwriter Jacques Prévert resurrect the tumultuous world of nineteenth-century Paris, teeming with hucksters and aristocrats, thieves and courtesans, pimps and seers.
- New high-definition digital transfer from Pathé’s 2011 restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
- Audio commentaries by film scholars Brian Stonehill and Charles Affron
- Video introduction by director Terry Gilliam
- Once Upon a Time: ‘Children of Paradise,’/ a 2010 documentary on the making of the film
- New visual essay on the design of Children of Paradise by film writer Paul Ryan
- The Birth of ‘Children of Paradise,’ a 1967 German documentary that visits Nice, where the film was partially shot, and features interviews with cast members Arletty, Jean-Louis Barrault, Pierre Brasseur; production designer Alexandre Trauner; and others
- Restoration demonstration
- U.S. trailer
- New English subtitle translation
- PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film scholar Dudley Andrew and excerpts from a 1990 interview with director Marcel Carné
Vittorio Di Sica // Spine # 201 // September 4th
This neorealist masterpiece by Vittorio De Sica follows the daily life of an elderly pensioner as he struggles to make ends meet during Italy’s postwar economic recovery. Alone except for his dog, Flike, Umberto is determined to maintain his dignity in a city where human kindness seems to have been swallowed up by the forces of modernization. His simple quest to satisfy his most fundamental needs’”food, shelter, companionship’”makes for one of the most heartbreaking stories ever filmed, and an essential classic of world cinema.
- New high-definition digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
- That’s Life: Vittorio De Sica, a fifty-five-minute documentary made for Italian television in 2001
- Video interview with actress Maria Pia Casilio from 2003
- PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Stuart Klawans and reprinted recollections by De Sica and Carlo Battisti, who plays Umberto D.
Marcel Carne // Spine #626 // September 18th
A work of poetry and dark humor, Les visiteurs du soir is a lyrical medieval fantasy from the great French director Marcel Carné. Two strangers (Arletty and Alain Cuny), dressed as minstrels, arrive at a castle in advance of court festivities’”and it is revealed that they are actually emissaries of the devil himself, dispatched to spread heartbreak and suffering. Their plans, however, are thwarted by an unexpected intrusion: human love. Often interpreted as an allegory for the Nazi occupation of France, during which it was made, Les visiteurs du soir‘”wittily written by Jacques Prévert and Pierre Laroche, and elegantly designed by Alexandre Trauner and shot by Roger Hubert’”is a moving and whimsical tale of love conquering all.
- New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
- L’aventure des ‘Visiteurs du soir,’ a documentary on the making of the film
- New English subtitle translation
- PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Michael Atkinson
David Fincher // Spine # 627 // September 25th
Enormously wealthy and emotionally remote investment banker Nicholas Van Orton (Michael Douglas) receives a strange gift from his ne’er-do-well younger brother (Sean Penn) on his forty-eighth birthday: a voucher for a game that, if he agrees to play it, will change his life. Thus begins a trip down a rabbit hole that is puzzling, terrifying, and exhilarating for Nicholas and viewer alike. This multilayered, noirish descent into one man’s personal hell is also a surreal, metacinematic journey that, two years after the phenomenon Se7en, further demonstrated that director David Fincher was one of Hollywood’s true contemporary visionaries.
DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION:
- New, restored digital transfer, supervised by director David Fincher and director of photography Harris Savides, with original theatrical 5.1 surround theatrical soundtrack, in DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray edition
- Alternate 5.1 surround mix optimized for home theater viewing, supervised by sound designer Ren Klyce and Fincher, in DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray edition
- Audio commentary by Fincher, Savides, actor Michael Douglas, screenwriters John Brancato and Michael Ferris, digital animation supervisor Richard ‘Dr.’ Baily, production designer Jeffrey Beecroft, visual effects supervisor Kevin Haug, and visual effects producer Robyn D’Arcy
- An hour’s worth of exclusive behind-the-scenes footage and film-to-storyboard comparisons for four of the film’s major set pieces, with commentary
- Alternate ending
- Trailer and teaser trailer, with commentary
- PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic David Sterritt
Paul Bartel // Spine # 625 // September 25th
A sleeper hit of the early 1980s, Eating Raoul is a bawdy, gleefully amoral tale of conspicuous consumption. Warhol superstar Mary Woronov and cult legend Paul Bartel (who also directed) portray a prudish married couple feeling put upon by the swingers who live in their apartment building; one night, by accident, they discover a way to simultaneously realize their dream of opening a little restaurant and rid themselves of the ‘perverts’ down the hall. A mix of hilarious, anything-goes slapstick and biting satire of me-generation self-indulgence, Eating Raoul marks the end of the sexual revolution with a thwack.
- New, restored digital transfer, supervised by director of photography Gary Thietges, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
- Audio commentary featuring screenwriter Richard Blackburn, art director Robert Schulenberg, and editor Alan Toomayan
- The Secret Cinema (1968) and Naughty Nurse (1969), two short films by director Paul Bartel
- Cooking Up ‘Raoul,’ a new documentary about the making of the film, featuring interviews with stars Mary Woronov, Robert Beltran, and Edie McClurg
- Gag reel of outtakes from the film
- Archival interview with Bartel and Woronov
- PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic David Ehrenstein