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Criterion Reveals July Blu-ray Slate

Posted April 15, 2010 11:21 AM by Juan Calonge

CriterionThe Criterion Collection has announced three films for release on Blu-ray. On July 20, the studio will release two Technicolor classics directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger: Black Narcissus (1947) and The Red Shoes (1948). One week later, it will release the 2007 film The Secret of the Grain (La graine et le mulet), directed by Abdellatif Kechiche, and winner of four César awards, including best picture and director.

Special features are as follows:

Black Narcissus
  • Video introduction by French filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier
  • Audio commentary featuring the late director Michael Powell and filmmaker Martin Scorsese
  • The Audacious Adventurer, a 2006 video piece in which Tavernier discusses Black Narcissus and Powell
  • Profile of "Black Narcissus" (2000), a 25-minute documentary
  • Painting with Light, a twenty-seven-minute documentary about Jack Cardiff's Oscar-winning cinematography on Black Narcissus
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Kent Jones
The Red Shoes
  • Audio commentary by film historian Ian Christie, featuring interviews with stars Marius Goring and Moira Shearer, cinematographer Jack Cardiff, composer Brian Easdale, and filmmaker Martin Scorsese
  • Introductory restoration demonstration with Scorsese
  • Profile of "The Red Shoes" (2000), a 25-minute documentary
  • Video interview with Thelma Schoonmaker Powell, Michael Powell's widow
  • Gallery from Scorsese's collection of The Red Shoes memorabilia
  • The "Red Shoes" Sketches, an animated film made from Hein Heckroth's painted storyboards
  • Readings by actor Jeremy Irons of excerpts from Powell and Pressburger's novelization of The Red Shoes and the original Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale
  • Theatrical trailer
  • A booklet featuring an essay by Ian Christie


The Secret of the Grain
  • New video interview with Kechiche
  • Sueur, Kechiche's captivating extended version of the film's climactic belly dancing sequence, featuring a new introduction by the director
  • New video interview with film scholar Ludovic Cortade
  • Excerpt from a 20 heures télévision interview with Kechiche and actress Hafsia Herzi
  • Video interviews with Herzi, actress Bouraouïa Marzouk, and the film's musicians
  • Theatrical trailer
  • A booklet featuring a new essay by film critic Wesley Morris



Source: Blu-ray.com | Permalink | United States [Country settings]

News comments (46 comments)



deadhatetheliving
  Apr 15, 2010
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Where is The Blob, Equinox, and Videodrome??

BluBonnet
  Apr 15, 2010
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Awesome selections! Those of us who'd considered getting the region-locked UK blu-ray of THE RED SHOES can now simply wait until July - I'm sure the transfer will be amazing.

bboisvert
  Apr 15, 2010
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Getting Black Narcissus, definitely. Great movie.

LOL @ Equinox comment. Hey, I love that DVD set as much as the next guy... but do you really see that as an early HD candidate? Really!?
discking
  Apr 15, 2010
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>Those of us who'd considered getting the region-locked UK blu-ray of THE RED SHOES can now simply wait until July - I'm sure the transfer will be amazing.

---

Those of us who bought the UK Region B releases months ago can only laugh at the prices Crit will now charge for the same thing in the US. I am sure the transfers will be identical.

Watched and enjoyed these films on BD months ago, although I have since been suffering serious self esteem and self worth issues due to the films being in ordinary non Crit BD cases and not radiating prestige whenever I look at them... Still, if paying xtra makes you feel good, and your reflection glows in the mirror when you think about yourself owning Criterion, go for it...

rmainhammer
  Apr 15, 2010
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Anything by Powell and Pressburger are going to be stunning on Blu. I hope Colonel Blimp isn't too far away.

The Chosen One
  Apr 15, 2010
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Criterion gotta be the company with the best overal selection of quality (movies).

rezpekt
  Apr 15, 2010
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discking, the UK release of "Black Narcissus" has pretty poor transfer/encode and lossy audio, few bonus features. "Red Shoes" is better but again, few bonus features. Criterions will be better.

BluBonnet
  Apr 15, 2010
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discking, for what I saved by not buying an extra region-free blu-ray player, I am more than happy to pay for the Criterion versions.

wilky61
  Apr 15, 2010
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First "An American in Paris" and now "The Red Shoes"
Glad to see some of the more vividly colored classics coming to BR so quickly!

Seretur
  Apr 15, 2010
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Two Powell & Pressburgers in one month!

Absolutely amazing. And I love the cover art for both.

I'm so happy, I'll definitely add "Secret of the Grain" to the cart. Pitty we missed out on the Ozus this time around, of course...
thetoyaddict
  Apr 15, 2010
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discking is trying to make himself feel better but deep down inside, is upset because he now has to double-dip on the Criterion versions.
Sanjuro
  Apr 15, 2010
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SO happy for The Red Shoes and Black Narcissus. It's kind of sad that I'm looking to them as a killer 21st b-day present. I need some sort of life.

Top contributor
Penthouse
  Apr 15, 2010
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I guess I can eBay my UK Black Narcissus. Would love to hear the commentary on this one. Also, maybe the best cover art for Criterion Blu-ray.

Top contributor
knifethrower
  Apr 15, 2010
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@Sanjuro, nonsense I just turned 21 as well, got myself the Wizard of Oz 3-disc and the Japanese BD of Trainspotting, cinema is a magical thing and if you share it with friends and loved ones it can greatly enhance ones life (at least thats what I think).

X400
  Apr 15, 2010
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wow these are some nice covers by Criterion

im sure my mom will love these films, remember watching them with her as a kid and even enjoying it ^^

cinema_forever19
  Apr 15, 2010
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I completely agree with knifethrower. Cinema is one of the great things to be held forever and ever (and it's of course better and more memorable on blu)! There's nothing like coming home from whatever you do in the world and just sit down with family and have a nice high-definition movie experience! I'm 19 and I'm buying almost nothing but Blu-rays and I expect to keep on doing it!

I'll definitely buy The Red Shoes and Black Narcissus.

Criterion, and I say this with a great deal of passion, keep up the amazing work!

Top contributor
DetroitSportsFan
  Apr 15, 2010
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Bring on the Chaplin films.

Top reviewer
nathanp
  Apr 15, 2010
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Gotta love it, The Red Shoes and Black Narcissus at the same time! Thank you very much Criterion!

eChopper
  Apr 15, 2010
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LOVE that Narcissus cover!!
discking
  Apr 15, 2010
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I'm hoping they are $50 each and never go on sale...
ehtamgnie
  Apr 15, 2010
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As Criterion releases more films on BD, it looks like they're also punching it up on the artwork which is great to see. I agree with the comments on the cover art so far.

I have Black Narcissus on DVD and can't wait to see it on Blu-Ray!
glitterlust81
  Apr 15, 2010
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I have always loved Black Narcissus, even with the muddy transfer that had been available for ages, and cannot wait to see how Criterion treats it on Blu! Excellent choice!

ShellOilJunior
  Apr 15, 2010
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3 for 3!

Outstanding month

yojoeski
  Apr 15, 2010
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Every time I see that Criterion is announcing more blu's, I hope to see more Kurosawa films on the slate. Especially Seven Samurai so I can't help but be disappointed once again.

jonnoble27
  Apr 15, 2010
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great adds! hey has anyone ever wondered why the release of monty python and the holy grail is taking so long...criterion maybe? just a thought.

ShellOilJunior
  Apr 15, 2010
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jonnoble27,

I've heard Flying Circus is in the pipeline....

Skorpius
  Apr 15, 2010
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Is Secret of the Grain about superior Blu-ray transfers? LOL.
Dwigt
  Apr 15, 2010
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Amazing to see that "La Graine et Le Mulet" (The Secret of the Grain) gets a Blu-ray release in the US.

Along with Jacques Tati's "Play Time" and Max Ophüls' "Lola Montès", it's the third French movie that doesn't get a domestic Blu-ray release but enters the Criterion Collection.

I'm happy to have picked a multi-region Oppo player...

EricJ
  Apr 15, 2010
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"great adds! hey has anyone ever wondered why the release of monty python and the holy grail is taking so long...criterion maybe? just a thought."

Nnnnno. (That one's now one of Sony's old warhorse staples, and it'll be out When, Not If.)
A similar answer would also apply to the guy asking about Videodrome, but that one's more "if".

And although I usually prefer "Vintage movie posters" covers, gotta say the Narcissus and Red Shoes covers are an improvement--
But gotta agree with the patient Kurosawa crowd...They've dipped Seven Samurai every other way by now, we thought it would be the FIRST one out after Bergman.
Rob555
  Apr 15, 2010
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Ah yes i will get all of these Classics. I remember How much Director Martin Scorsese raving about the on how much the Black Narcissus and the Red Shoes changed his life as a kid and how Beautiful the Technicolor was.
Thanks Criterion for releasing these classic films on BLU-RAY in your hands I know these transfers
will be Amazing.

joenostalgia23
  Apr 15, 2010
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Wow Red Shoes AND Black Narcissus. Definitely need those and I should give Grains a rent since everything Criterion puts out is great.
Mann9
  Apr 15, 2010
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Finally I can get a good nights sleep..I have Black Narcissus from UK on blu-ray and it is beyond amazing..one can see the woven fabric, thread by thread in the nun's outg fits..wonderful!

tru blu
  Apr 15, 2010
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Love the work Criterion does. Simply stunning. The art work is beautiful also.

RIKANA
  Apr 15, 2010
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Looks good:) Hoping the next anounment will have Seven Samurai:3

RI
mw66
  Apr 15, 2010
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Hey discking, you want some cheese with that whine?

These are Day 1 buys, absolutely. And I hear Seven Samurai will be later this year. They decided to go back and do an all new HD transfer from scratch.
bseivxx
  Apr 15, 2010
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Im getting all 3, cant wait for August announcements

cerdo24
  Apr 15, 2010
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awesome titles, still not the ones I want....
discking
  Apr 15, 2010
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>mw66: Hey discking, you want some cheese with that whine?

I truly think that the transfers are usually identical on the Crit and the versions sold by other rights holders in Europe. The real issue comes down to the extras. To me, extras are usually a non starter. I have to truly like a film, a lot, and find the production fascinating, to watch even one extra.

The value of the extras to me is maybe an extra dollar or two, at most. To other people, it's a huge deal, and they can't wait to pay an extra ten dollars. I buy the discs to watch the films, not the extras, so the Euro versions on Studio Canal, Optimum, Artificial Eye, TF1 and so forth represent a better value. If those titles are ordered from the UK. If they are ordered from France, at French Euro prices, with the value of the dollar factored in + the excessive Amazon France delivery charges to the US, they represent a form of robbery, much like the $25 club sandwich at a Paris bistro...

So, for people who love extras, refuse to buy a region free player, who truly think the Criterion transfer is different -- it sometimes is but usually is not -- and who don't worry about pricing, The Criterion is the Lexus of Blu-Ray discs, which means it's sort of like a video Toyota in drag...

bboisvert
  Apr 15, 2010
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discking - honest question... what the hell do you care? You've got your region free player, you've got the UK discs, you think the transfers will be identical, and you don't care about extras...

So why 3 comments here? Why do you care? Enjoy your discs and let others enjoy theirs.

99% of BD owners don't import or own region-free players. So... let them enjoy the damn discs. You're talking about a few dollars premium for relatively obscure titles (compared to, say, Avatar or Sherlock Holmes) that have to be licensed. If Criterion were doing a terrible job, I could see complaining... but they've been knocking most blu-rays out of the park. Paying ~$28 online for that is an issue? Give me a break.

(Extras matter to me... always have. So even if the UK discs were cheaper and identical, I'd be upgrading for the commentaries. I like commentaries and it's my money... again, we land in 'why do you care' territory.)
discking
  Apr 16, 2010
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>So why 3 comments here? Why do you care? Enjoy your discs and let others enjoy theirs.

Why does anyone care at all? You have people commenting their rears off about trivia and saying "Yea!!! Day ONE for me" and going on and on about this and that. Why? That's the whole point of a forum. If the only appropriate comment is "You go girl! It's a win-win day one super awesome buy buy buy!" then why even ask for comments at all? Is the rule here that people have to be a chorus of Best Buy salesmen in a perky can-do echo chamber?

ShellOilJunior
  Apr 16, 2010
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Studio Canal a better value? Yikes!
mw66
  Apr 16, 2010
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Discking, if your comments had amounted to anything more substantial than the desire to flop your willy into everyone else's mashed potatoes, you might have a point. It's not as if Criterion needs to defend its extremely solid 20 year track record against some dude on the internet whose only real point is "I have a region free player, and you Criterion buyers are STOOOPID, so NYAH!" If you've got legitimate technical criticisms of one of their releases, fine. Otherwise, who gives a sh*t?
discking
  Apr 16, 2010
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>Discking, if your comments had amounted to anything more substantial than the desire to flop your willy into everyone else's mashed potatoes, you might have a point. It's not as if Criterion needs to defend its extremely solid 20 year track record against some dude on the internet whose only real point is "I have a region free player, and you Criterion buyers are STOOOPID, so NYAH!" If you've got legitimate technical criticisms of one of their releases, fine. Otherwise, who gives a sh*t?

----

Well, that's certainly constructive... ))

Oh dear, we seem to have erred by saying anything not entirely flattering about the popular kids table in the lunch room... Yea!!!!!! Day one purchase for me!!! Give those nay sayers and negative people a good thrashing, beat them to a pulp fiction... dissenters will be shot on sight, IN 3D!!!!!!!!!! Yea!!!!! Nothing but enthusaism form here on out!!!

brainofj72
  Apr 17, 2010
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Oh man, those Powell movies are gonna cost me some dough. But I MUST have them. Thank you, Criterion!

God, those covers make me go weak in the knees!
carver76
  Apr 17, 2010
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The Red Shoes is one of my favorite films, and such a gorgeous piece of art. I can't wait to soak it in on luscious Blu...

jonnoble27
  Apr 21, 2010
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at first i thought this news entry was for criterion july blu-ray sale!
I must say that it is really silly to get all defensive and trolly about blu-ray disc movies. i can understand if this were a sports forum or political or something. but to get all angry at each other over movies is just stoooooopid!


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