I think it’s safe to assume that we all love what Criterion is putting out these days, especially those deemed worthy to receive a high definition release on Blu-ray. It’s a given that we also love spreading the good word of Criterion, being that we went so far as to start a podcast and website, to keep the discussion of quality home video releases alive and well.
We also love using our Disc 2 episodes to feature other DVD’s and Blu-ray’s that we find exceptional, and over the past year there have certainly been a lot to talk about.
The fine folks over at Home Media Magazine have unveiled their annual HD Awards, and they want you to weigh in on the best Blu-ray releases from the past year. While I’m sure we’d all like to see that list completely full of discs from the Criterion Collection, we only have two representatives to vote for.
In the “Best Catalog Blu-ray,” Wim Wender’s Wings of Desire has been nominated amongst: Audition, Dr. Strangelove, Gone With the Wind: 70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition, and The Wizard of Oz: 70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition.
The supplemental features that were included in the Wings of Desire release:
- New, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised and approved by director Wim Wenders (with DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition)
- Audio commentary featuring Wenders and actor Peter Falk
- The Angels Among Us (2003), a documentary featuring interviews with Wenders, Falk, actors Bruno Ganz and Otto Sander, writer Peter Handke, and composer JÃ¼rgen Knieper
- ‘Wim Wenders Berlin Jan. 87,’ an episode of the French television program Cinéma cinémas, including on-set footage
- Interview with director of photography Henri Alekan
- Deleted scenes and outtakes
- Excerpts from the films Alekan la lumiÃ¨re (1985) and Remembrance: Film for Curt Bois (1982)
- Notes and photos by art directors Heidi LÃ¼di and Toni LÃ¼di
- New and improved English subtitle translation
- PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Michael Atkinson and writings by Handke and Wenders
In the “Best Nonfiction Blu-ray” David Maysles, Albert Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin – Gimme Shelter is going up against: Food Inc., National Parks: A Ken Burns Film, World Series Champions 2009: New York Yankees, and Yellowstone: Battle for Life.
The special features included with the Gimme Shelter Blu-ray:
- New high-definition digital transfer of the uncensored thirtieth-anniversary version (with exclusive Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 surround sound mixes, and DTS-HD Master Audio surround and stereo mixes on the Blu-ray)
- Audio commentary featuring directors Albert Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin and collaborator Stanley Goldstein
- Performances by the Rolling Stones at Madison Square Garden in 1969, including ‘Oh Carol’ and ‘Prodigal Son,” plus backstage outtakes and footage of the band mixing ‘Little Queenie”
- Audio excerpts from KSAN Radio’s Altamont wrap-up, recorded December 7, 1969, with introductions by then DJ Stefan Ponek
- Altamont stills gallery, featuring the work of renowned photographers Bill Owens and Beth Sunflower
- Original and rerelease theatrical trailers
- PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by film critic Amy Taubin, music writer Stanley Booth, Jagger’s former assistant Georgia Bergman, music writer Michael Lydon, ex-Oakland Hell’s Angels chapter head Sonny Barger, and film critic Godfrey Cheshire (NOTE: Barger’s piece does not appear on the Blu-ray edition)
Be sure to head over to the ballot by July 30th, and let your voice be heard.