Criterion Blu-ray in December: Clement, Gilliam, Reggio, Nolan
Posted September 17, 2012 06:35 PM by Webmaster
The Criterion Collection has announced four titles for Blu-ray release in December. On December 4th, the studio will release Purple Noon (René Clement, 1960) and Brazil (Terry Gilliam, 1985). A week later, on December 11th, it will release The Qatsi Trilogy (Godfrey Reggio, 1983-2002) and Following
(Christopher Nolan, 1998).
Technical specs and special features include:
Plein soleil a.k.a Purple Noon
Alain Delon was at his most impossibly beautiful when Purple Noon was released and made him an instant star. This ripe, colorful adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's vicious novel The Talented Mr. Ripley, directed by the versatile René Clément, stars Delon as Tom Ripley, a duplicitous American charmer in Rome on a mission to bring his privileged, devil-may-care acquaintance Philippe Greenleaf (Maurice Ronet) back to the United States; what initially seems to be a carefree tale of friendship soon morphs into a thrilling saga of seduction, identity theft, and murder. Featuring gorgeous on-location photography in coastal Italy, Purple Noon is crafted with a light touch that allows it to be suspenseful and erotic at once, while giving Delon the role of a lifetime.
New digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
New video interview with René Clément scholar Denitza Bantcheva
Archival interviews with actor Alain Delon and novelist Patricia Highsmith, on whose book The Talented Mr. Ripley the film was based
Original English-language trailer
PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Geoffrey O'Brien and a reprinted interview with Clément
In the dystopic masterpiece Brazil, Jonathan Pryce plays a daydreaming everyman who finds himself caught in the soul-crushing gears of a nightmarish bureaucracy. This cautionary tale by Terry Gilliam, one of the great films of the 1980s, now ranks alongside antitotalitarian works by the likes of George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, and Kurt Vonnegut Jr. And in terms of set design, cinematography, music, and effects, Brazil, a nonstop dazzler, stands alone.
Restored high-definition digital transfer of Terry Gilliam's 142-minute director's cut, supervised by Gilliam, with DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 surround soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
Audio commentary by Terry Gilliam
What Is "Brazil"?, a thirty-minute on-set documentary by Rob Hedden
The Battle of "Brazil": A Video History, a sixty-minute documentary by author and film writer Jack Mathews about the controversy surrounding the film's release
The "Love Conquers All" version of Brazil, a ninety-four-minute cut of the film produced by the studio in an attempt to make it more commercial, with commentary by Brazil expert David Morgan
The Production Notebook, a collection of supplements featuring a trove of Brazil-iana from Gilliam's personal collection: a short documentary on the screenplay, featuring interviews with screenwriters Gilliam, Charles McKeown, and Tom Stoppard; Gilliam's storyboards for unfilmed dream sequences, animated and narrated by Morgan; visual essays on the film's production design and special effects; a visual essay on Brazil's costumes, narrated by costume designer James Acheson; and interviews with Gilliam and composer Michael Kamen on the score
PLUS: An essay by Jack Matthews on the DVD edition and a booklet featuring an essay by film critic David Sterritt on the Blu-ray edition
The Qatsi Trilogy
Godfrey Reggio's Koyaanisqatsi is an astonishing collage; the film shuttles the viewer from one jaw-dropping vision to the next, moving from images of untouched nature to others depicting human beings' increasing reliance on technology.
Five years after Godfrey Reggio stunned audiences with Koyaanisqatsi, he joined forces again with composer Philip Glass and other collaborators for a second chapter. Here, Reggio turns his sights on third world nations in the southern hemisphere.
With a variety of cinematic techniques, including slow motion, time-lapse, and computer-generated imagery, the film tells of a world that has completely transitioned from a natural environment to a human-made one.
New, restored high-definition digital transfers of all three films, approved by director Godfrey Reggio, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks on the Blu-ray editions
Essence of Life, an interview program with Reggio and composer Philip Glass on Koyaanisqatsi
New interview with cinematographer Ron Fricke about Koyaanisqatsi
Early forty-minute demo version of Koyaanisqatsi with a scratch soundtrack by Allen Ginsberg, along with a new introduction by Reggio
New interview with Reggio about Koyaanisqatsi's original visual concept, with behind-the-scenes footage
Impact of Progress, an interview program with Reggio and Glass on their collaboration
Inspiration and Ideas, an interview with Reggio about his greatest influences and teachers
Anima Mundi (1992), Reggio's twenty-eight-minute montage of images of over seventy animal species, scored by Glass
Video afterword by Reggio on the trilogy
The Making of "Naqoyqatsi," a brief documentary featuring interviews with the production crew
Panel discussion on Naqoyqatsi from 2003, with Reggio, Glass, editor Jon Kane, and music critic John Rockwell
Music of "Naqoyqatsi," an interview with Glass and cellist Yo-Yo Ma
Television spots and an interview with Reggio relating to his 1970s multimedia privacy campaign in New Mexico
PLUS: A booklet featuring essays on the trilogy by film scholar Scott MacDonald, Rockwell, and author and environmentalist Bill McKibben
Before he became a sensation with the twisty revenge story Memento, Christopher Nolan fashioned this low-budget, black-and-white, 16 mm neonoir with comparable precision and cunning. Supplying irrefutable evidence of Nolan's directorial bravura, Following is the fragmented tale of an unemployed young writer who trails strangers through London, hoping that they will provide inspiration for his first novel. He gets more than he bargained for with one of his unwitting subjects, who leads him down a dark, criminal path. With gritty aesthetics and a made-on-the-fly vibe (many shots were simply stolen on the streets, unbeknownst to passersby), Following is a mind-bending psychological journey that shows the remarkable beginnings of one of today's most acclaimed filmmakers.
New, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised by director Christopher Nolan, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
New 5.1 surround sound mix by sound editor Gary Rizzo, presented in DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray edition
Audio commentary by Nolan
New interview with Nolan
Chronological rendering of the story
Side-by-side comparison of three scenes in the film with the shooting script
Doodlebug (1997), a three-minute film by Nolan, starring Jeremy Theobald
PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic and programmer Scott Foundas
Following has been my most wanted Criterion release for a while. Also intrigued to buy Brazil (it's 2 Blu-ray discs, so the extras are bound to be great) and the Qatsi trilogy (never seen any of them, but I'm familiar with Philip Glass's score, which is great).
I gotta say, even when I had an old VHS of this movie, it still looked gorgeous: it's one of those gorgeously-saturated films. So the idea of a restoration on Blu, in 1080p, with that same exquisite color palette??? That is AMAZING.
The Qatsi Trilogy got a huge "MINE!" from me, a la the sea gulls in Finding Nemo. That's such a great idea for a release, I've been dying to see Koyaanisqatsi restored and in high def for years. Awesome lineup!
BRAZIL! FINALLY! As I mentioned on their Facebook page, their previous November announcement of Rashomon got me excited, but Brazil is the one I've waited for forever. I held out on buying the 3-disc DVD hoping that a blu-ray update would show up. Aside from this, I've been very curious to check out Following. Aside from his remake of Insomnia, it's the only Nolan film I've yet to see.
Brazil on Blu. Oh my Holy Goodness on a bike! AND the Qatsi Trilogy on Blu. Plus Following on Blu. All from Criterion. All remastered with DTS-HD MA. Even if it was just the Criterion releases this year, 2012 has been, hands down, the best BD release year to date! Wow, I'm going to be broke this December!
BRAZIL finally on Blu! Well worth the fanboy raves unlike...cough...the game...cough.... This will be triple dip for me as i still have my Brazil Laserdisc box(autographed), and both DVDs anamorphic and 3 disc(non anamorphic) from criterion! Truly a masterpiece! Now Criterion please Bring us Blu's Time Bandits and Fisher King which i still own my laserdisc of also!
Great releases. I'm sorry to say this but I have to it's been another year that Criterion hinted Y Tu Mama Tambien will be getting a release and still nothing hopefully it finally gets released next year anyways I'm in for Following and Purple Noon
I am confused though are there two different essays for each edition? Does that mean we have to buy both editions to get the two essays? I think the included essays help make their editions even better.
There has been a lot of contention regarding what the aspect ratio of Koyaanisqatsi should be. Some say it's widescreen while some vehemantly think it should be full screen. The MGM DVD is 1.85:1. But the IRE DVD, now OOP, commissioned by Godfrey Reggio himself, was in full screen 1.33:1. The Criterion edition, apparently with Reggio's participation, will be 1.85:1. All this leads to a whole lot of confusion...
Qatsi Trilogy? And to think we were all excited about Brazil two days ago! Let's launch this rocket!
(Three-and-a-half-ilogy, actually, if you count getting "Anima Mundi" on the bonus features.)
I remember actually buying one of those Kickback charity DVD-R's for $100, just to help Reggio pay his legal bills, get out of the hole and finish filming Naqoyqatsi...That was back when we thought we'd literally never see the original on SD DVD.
Brazil and Following for me!!! A bit sand the features on the Following disc are so light, but I guess that's the way Nolan wishes it... ever noticed how few documentaries exist on the making of his films? Odd. At least he's quite gifted at directing and telling stories.
Time Bandits is better than Brazil, but Gilliam's best is The Fisher King. I'd love to see Criterion do that one. But then it's actually an entertaining movie with a coherent narrative so it's probably too mundane and bourgeois for Criterion fans. Yes, more Cronenberg, Stillman, maybe some Baumbach. :-/
Definitely getting The Qatsi Trilogy. It should look mind-blowing.
I would love to see them release the following next year:
The Red Balloon
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
Mon Oncle d'Amérique
Valerie and Her Week of Wonders
... and hopefully even films like...
Well that will be the 4th (and hopefully last) version of Brazil I purchase; I think that's my record of multi-dipping. Great news about Qatsi Trilogy, and a really reasonable price for a Criterion title in any format, not to mention a box set.
Criterion is the highest power in the realm of Blu-ray. I hope they release all of Paul Thomas Anderson films, that would be beyond amazing. I'm looking forward to Steve Zissou, Badlands, Chasing Amy, Short Cuts and Silence of the Lambs.