February may be short, but the Blu-ray slate from The Criterion Collection certainly is not – the independent label has just announced six very notable movies for that month. On February 1, it will release The Double Life of Veronique (La double vie de Véronique; Krzysztof Kieślowski, 1991). On February 8, Amarcord (Federico Fellini, 1973) and Still Walking (Aruitemo aruitemo; Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2008) are coming out. Finally, on February 22 Criterion will release three movies: Fish Tank (Andrea Arnold, 2009), Senso (Luchino Visconti, 1954) and Sweet Smell of Success (Alexander Mackendrick, 1957).
The transfer of Fish Tank has been approved by director Andrea Arnold, director of photography Robbie Ryan, and editor Nicolas Chaudeurge. Senso features a new, restored high-definition digital transfer, created in collaboration with the Cineteca di Bologna and Martin Scorsese's Film Foundation, supervised by director of photography Giuseppe Rotunno. The transfer of Still Walking was approved by director Hirokazu Kore-eda and director of photography Yutaka Yamazaki.
Special features include:
Audio commentary by film scholars Peter Brunette and Frank Burke
American release trailer
Fellini's Homecoming: new 45-minute documentary on the complicated relationship between the celebrated director, his hometown, and his past
Video interview with star Magali Noël
Fellini's drawings of characters in the film
"Felliniana," a presentation of ephemera devoted to Amarcord from the collection of Don Young
Audio interviews with Fellini, his friends, and family by Gideon Bachmann
New restoration demonstration
A book featuring a new essay by scholar Sam Rohdie, author of Fellini Lexicon, and the full text of Fellini's 1967 essay, "My Rimini"
The Double Life of Véronique
Audio commentary by Annette Insdorf, author of Double Lives, Second Chances: The Cinema of Krzysztof Kieślowski
Three short documentary films by Kieślowski:
Railway Station (1980)
The Musicians (1958): a short film by Kieślowski's teacher Kazimierz Karabasz
Kieślowski's Dialogue (1991): a documentary featuring a candid interview with Kieślowski and rare behind-the-scenes footage from the set of The Double Life of Véronique
1966-1988: Kieślowski, Polish Filmmaker: a 2005 documentary tracing the filmmaker's work in Poland, from his days as a student through The Double Life of Véronique
A 2005 interview with actress Irène Jacob
New video interviews with cinematographer Slawomir Idziak and composer Zbigniew Preisner
A booklet featuring an essay by Jonathan Romney, and a selection from Kieślowski on Kieślowski
All three of Arnold's short films:
Wasp (2003) (Oscar-winning short)
New video interview with actor Kierston Wareing
Interview with actor Michael Fassbender from 2009
Stills gallery by on-set photographer Holly Horner
Original theatrical trailer
A booklet featuring an essay by film scholar Ian Christie
The Making of Senso: a new documentary featuring Rotunno, assistant director Francesco Rosi, costume designer Piero Tosi, and Caterina D'Amico, daughter of screenwriter Suso Cecchi D'Amico and author of Life and Work of Luchino Visconti
Viva VERDI: a new documentary on Visconti, Senso, and opera featuring Italian film scholar Peter Brunette, Italian historian Stefano Albertini, and author Wayne Koestenbaum
The Wanton Countess: the rarely seen English-language version of the film
Visual essay by film scholar Peter Cowie
Man of Three Worlds: Luchino Visconti: a 1966 BBC special exploring Visconti's parallel masteries of cinema, theater, and opera direction
A booklet featuring an essay by filmmaker and author Mark Rappaport and an excerpt from actor Farley Granger's autobiography, Include Me Out
Making Still Walking
A booklet featuring a new essay by film critic Dennis Lim and recipes for the food prepared in the film
Sweet Smell of Success
New audio commentary by film scholar James Naremore
Mackendrick: The Man Who Walked Away: a 1986 documentary featuring interviews with director Alexander Mackendrick, actor Burt Lancaster, producer James Hill, and more
James Wong Howe: Cinematographer: a 1973 documentary about the Oscar-winning director of photography, featuring lighting tutorials with Howe
New video interview with film critic and historian Neil Gabler (Winchell: Gossip, Power and the Culture of Celebrity) about legendary columnist Walter Winchell, inspiration for the character J. J. Hunsecker
New video interview with filmmaker James Mangold about Mackendrick, his instructor and mentor
Original theatrical trailer
PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Gary Giddins, two short stories by Ernest Lehman featuring the characters from the film, notes about the film by Lehman, and an excerpt from Mackendrick's book On Film-making
Fantastic! I've been waiting for the announcement about Sweet Smell of Success ever since that picture appeared showing what looked to be the Criterion folk working on the transfer. GREAT movie....and expectations of a GREAT transfer!
I blind buy every Criterion title. They are the only company batting 1.000 with their transfers to high def. Nobody else is doing the consistent quality of work Criterion puts forth with each and every release, no matter how small or big.
I have the UK Import of The Double Life of Véronique which is pretty sweet. But I may have to upgrade. It would be nice if Criterion relesed Kieœlowski's Three Colors trilogy. Senso and Amacord are nice unexpected surprises.
I almost did import Fish Tank a few weeks ago, but decided to wait for the Criterion and avoid another double-dip. Veronique just couldn't wait, though, had to have that when it first came out. (It's awsome, btw, the Criterion should be too.) Good month.
Although I already imported the blu, I have absolutely no problem double dipping for Veronique. If only The decalogue and three colors would come out on blu also. Amarcord and still walking will also be definite day one purchases for me
Blessed Criterion. That's all I can say about this announcement in particular. Sweet Smell of Succes on blu-ray from Criterion is worth wholehearted joy by itself. I may be a stuffy Criterion collector, but I'll take that over just about any other broad generalization that can be applied to lovers of film.
The only differences with extras between the AE and Criterion Double Life of Veronique is, as mentioned before, the audio commentary as well as the interviews with the cinematographer and composer. Don't think I'll double dip on that one, barring any huge differences in PQ/AQ.