The Criterion Collection has officially announced their November line-up, which includes an exceptional assortment of titles from some of cinema's most revered filmmakers.
The three releases teased last week were all confirmed by Monday's announcement. These include a brand new edition of Jean Renoir's 1939 classic The Rules of the Game and Wes Anderson's 1998 coming-of-age comedy Rushmore. Krzysztof Kieślowski's much anticipated Three Colors Trilogy will also be added to the collection with all three films (Blue, White and Red) packaged together in one complete set.
November releases that were not on the radar include Sidney Lumet's timeless courtroom drama 12 Angry Men and a Blu-ray upgrade for Ingmar Bergman's Fanny and Alexander Box Set. This set, which includes both the theatrical and television versions of the intimate period drama, has been slimmed down to three discs from the five included on the DVD version.
All of the titles carry the $39.95 SRP with the exception of Fanny and Alexander ($59.95) and Three Colors ($79.95). Special features and release dates for each title are outlined below.
Three cinema lessons with director Krzysztof Kieślowski
New interviews with composer Zbigniew Preisner, writer Krzysztof Piesiewicz and actors Julie Delpy, Zbigniew Zamachowski and Irène Jacob
Selected-scene commentary for Blue with actress Juliette Binoche
Three new video essays, by film writers Annette Insdorf, Tony Rayns and Dennis Lim
Kieślowski's student short The Tram (1966) and his fellow student's short from the same year The Face, which features Kieślowski in a solo performance
Two short documentaries by Kieślowski: Seven Women of Different Ages (1978) and Talking Heads (1980)
Krzysztof Kieślowski: I'm So-So . . . (1995), a feature-length documentary in which the filmmaker discusses his life and work
Two multi-interview programs, Reflections on Blue and Kieślowski: The Early Years, with film critic Geoff Andrew, Binoche, filmmaker Agnieszka Holland, cinematographer Sławomir Idziak, Insdorf, Jacob and editor Jacques Witta
Interviews with producer Marin Karmitz and Witta
Behind-the-scenes programs for White and Red, and Kieślowski Cannes 1994, a short documentary on Red's world premiere
Original theatrical trailers
New and improved English subtitle translations
Booklet featuring essays by critics Colin MacCabe, Nick James, Stuart Klawans and Georgina Evans, an excerpt from Kieślowski on Kieślowski and reprinted interviews with cinematographers Sławomir Idziak, Edward Klosinski and Piotr Sobocinski
Amazing Line-up!! This calls for another B&N sale on Nov. so we can pick all of them and more!!! Sale or not I will definitely pick Three Colors Trilogy, The Rules of the Game and 12 Angry Men. I'm interested in Fanny and Alexander and Rushmore but I will need a sale for those. Come on B&N!!
WOW. That's all I can say. Best month for announcements in recent memory (IMHO). 12 Angry men is totally unexpected. Will be picking everyone single one in November during the B&N sale. Bring it on baby....
This is the only month I can remember where I want EVERY release. Fanny and Alexander and The 3 Colors Trilogy are holy grails for me, so to have them both in the same month - the month of Barnes and Noble's Criterion sale, no less - is overwhelming
November will be a triumphant month for Criterion titles!!! All -- except one, which I won't mention for fear of being excoriated by its zealous minions! -- are worthy for any cinephile's library! Since I'm not one of those "fortunate sons," I'll probably only have the budget for "Fanny" and "Colors." "12 Angry Men" is quite a stunner, but I wish Lumet's "Prince of The City" was given Criterion's white-glove treatment.... (When are we getting Altman's devastating masterpiece, "Short Cuts"...??? Alas, no doubt there are far too many titles -- and tastes -- to keep us Criterion buffs thoroughly satisfied....) YES, another B&N sale...!!!
As a side-note: During the last B&N 1/2-off sale, I noticed that there were a number of pre-orders that weren't on the sale list (e.g., The Battle of Algiers, which I had to purchase from Amazon -- still with a modest discount). I hope these titles make the 1/2-off cut...!!
@TTC - They did release the "Golden Age of TV" set a year or two ago, from the 80's re-airings on LA PBS (and which probably won't go to Blu for obvious reasons ), but think that didn't include 12AM.
At least the kinescopes to most of the Great Live TV Classics are still around.
Reading the comments on the CC FB page is a riot. I'm amazed at how many people think it's a waste to re-issue the first 100-150 titles on BR. Comparing the original Seven Samurai dvd release to the blu-ray is about as close as I'll come to experiencing what it's like to be blind and then see a rainbow dancing around an open field with woodland critters and the babes of cinema.
I kept putting off watching Fanny & Alexander on dvd, because I knew it was going to come out on blu sooner rather than later. Glad it's going to be real soon now. All in all great set of titles, though I'd much rather have had something previously unreleased get put on the blu-ray slate. Kind of disappointing to see the same stuff released over and over again while some really great stuff never seems to make its way out of storage.
At least it looks like the box sets will be out prior to or during the next B&N sale. And Rules Of The Game too.
It looks like they've gone above and beyond for 3 Colors. The fact that they're including Kieslowski: I'm So So is unbelievable. I'm so excited, I would pay full price for this set. The Miramax DVDs all have Insdorf commentary, though, so I probably won't ditch them just yet. Now if they'd just remaster the Decalogue.
Incredible month of releases. I will be picking them all up eventually.
Hopefully they'll all qualify for the November B&N sale. I was thinking about last year though, and the BBS set came out on Nov. 23, which was right after the sale ended. So 12 Angry Men and Rushmore (which come out Nov. 22) might not be included. Here's to hoping they will be though!
Just when I thought Criterion announced the best months of releases so far, the studio goes and outdoes itself with this incredible November slate, which, for me, includes three must-have-on-day-one sets, with the remaining two being sure-bets for a little later on.
The Rules of the Game and Rushmore were both hinted at and expected for the November announcement. Though I've never seen either, they're my two blind-buy sure-bets for the month. The former seems as if it would be an excellent film (I really appreciate the premise, which remains relevant today, especially given everything that's going on with the economy and class). The latter is considered one of Wes Anderson's best, and I like Anderson's work very much in general, so I feel confident in picking it up (probably along with Bottle Rocket). Like many others, I do hope Criterion upgrades to blu, in the near future, its edition of Anderson's The Royal Tennenbaums.
As for the three must-have-immediately sets, The Three Colors Trilogy was hinted and expected for November as well. Though this would be, for me, mostly a blind buy, it's another set I'm sure I'll love. I'll place it on the shelf next to The Double Life of Veronique. Moreover, this gives me hope that we'll also soon see a blu-ray release of Kieslowski's magnificent ten-part epic known as The Decalogue, part of which I was privileged to see in a theater years ago. It would be terrific if Criterion could gain the rights to distribute that on blu.
But on to the two big surprises for me (which are also must-have-now sets): Fanny & Alexander, which fascinated me when I first rented it a few years ago and have wanted it in my collection ever since. I expected the studio to upgrade it to blu at some point -- but didn't realize it would happen this November (though it makes perfect sense, given that its story is set around the holidays). I assume Criterion will continue its steady upgrading of Bergman's films; perhaps Wild Strawberries or Scenes from a Marriage will soon follow? Actually, I sincerely expect a Bergman box set from Criterion within the next year or two.
And, the biggest surprise of all, 12 Angry Men. I already have MGM's DVD of the Sidney Lumet classic (one of many classics the legendary director left us) and I'll be happy to upgrade it to Criterion blu on November 22nd. This ongoing arrangement that Criterion has with MGM is truly fruitful, a winning recipe: Take films from one of the strongest film libraries in the world and have one of the best studios publish them and you get the best home video editions possible of films like 12 Angry Men, Sweet Smell of Success, The Night of the Hunter, Kiss Me Deadly, Paths of Glory, The Killing and Killer's Kiss. I hope Criterion and MGM work together to bring us Lumet's The Pawnbroker on Criterion blu. (I agree with an earlier poster that I would love to see Prince of the City brought to blu, but also his long list of other memorable films, including Serpico, Running on Empty, Fail-Safe, Murder on the Orient Express, Daniel, Long Day's Journey into Night, Family Business, The Hill, Night Falls on Manhattan, Find Me Guilty, The Offence, The Sea Gull, The Fugitive Kind, All the King's Men, Rashomon, Equus, The Anderson Tapes, Critical Care, Q&A and The Verdict. The associated studios -- and nearly all the majors are associated with a few Lumet films -- should work to bring this substantial body of work to blu-ray with high-quality presentations and extras.)
As for Criterion...sigh... We can only fathom what December will bring...
I'm really excited about Three Colors and 12 Angry Men. I remember picking up the 5-disc Fanny & Alexander set on a whim several years ago at a Borders and I had so many coupons and in-store credit that it came out to $3. One of my proudest moments as a collector and bargain hunter. Needless to say I was up into the wee hours enraptured by the two versions and supplements. I don't know if I could ever part with my DVD for that story alone.
November looks great but remember, according to the New Year's card http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=5675 (and one's own interpretation) we should still hear about Wild Strawberries, Sunday Bloody Sunday, and Y Tu Mama Tambien in the near future.
12 Angry Men Criterion Blu? Yes please! I honestly have only ever seen one of the other movies being released in November, and to be honest, it didn't resonate with me at all and honestly most of this person's films just come off as pretentious and not good at all to me... But I don't want to troll, and I honestly am super psyched about 12 Angry Men and hope it makes it to the B&N 1/2 off sale so I can pick it up!
I Thought their their october slate was the best line up of the year, but this line up tops it with "Fanny & Alexander" as the jewel in the crown. We had a domestic BD release of "fanny" here in sweden but that was only the theatrical cut and the PQ was lacking(blooming colors, DNR, compression artifacts etc).
Great to see another classic MGM title in the catalogue(12 angry men). Is it realistic to wish for "Carrie" next?
Fanny and Alexander. At last! Absolutely day one for me. It will be hard to part with that beautifully done dvd set with the "ghosts" on the inside cover (perfect touch) but blu is calling me. So many scenes will look just perfect. What a Christmas present!
To "skyofcrack": That's the the tip-off. Unfortunately, I bought it through Amazon. No biggie, as it's worth every penny!
To "nitin": I recently made a negative comment on another Criterion tread announcing the release of "Rules" on Blu-ray, and, boy, you'd've thought I blasphemed The Almighty to a group of born-agains...!!! (Alas, I was partially rescued by another quasi-naysayer, so I guess that makes us 2-1/2...!)
Actually, my "quasi-naysayer" did enjoy the film, but simply didn't think it was one of the greatest ever made, as many seem to feel. So, I suppose this person was more empathetic to my misunderstanding of "Rules." Just wanted to clarify. Just in case....
re : Rules, I think its decent but neither of my two viewings made me think of it as any more than that. Will get it though, since I plan to revisit it again in the future. As far as Renoir goes, I think the best Criterion title is La Bete Humaine. And yes that does mean, I think its better than La Grande Illusion
Fanny and Alexander will be so awesome. I love that it has the trifecta of the tv version the theatrical version and the feature length making of. That and Rushmore are both on my November dinner plate.
Rushmore! Yes. I guess I can replace my Criterion DVD copy. How much longer for The Royal Tenenbaums? I want all my Anderson films on Blu and The Royals would be the last one. I doubt Mr. Fox would ever get a Criterion release or needs one but I love their design and packaging.
P.s. While I'm at it, anyone know if Criterion is planning to give Time Bandits a blu release? I have the current Blu and I'm sure Criterion can do it better justice.
Johnny Neat- You have a blu copy of Life Aquatic?? .. At this rate it'll be winter 2014 before they roll out Tenenbaums. I think it'll be earlier though. I'd be surprised if they skipped over it and went to Aquatic, chronology and popularity! But I prefer Aquatic above all. Might have to wait till 2017 for that. =0
So happy Criterion is behind the release of "12 Angry Men" on Blu Ray; it will be awesome! And, it is being released 3 days after my birthday, so Happy Birthday to me! Henry Fonda is my favorite actor of all time and I am very glad to be adding to my collection of Blus more of his films (along with "The Longest Day" and "Once Upon A Time In The West"). Now we need a Criterion release of "The Grapes Of Wrath" pleeeeeease!