It’s the middle of the month, which means the good folks over at the Criterion Collection have lifted the veil on a new batch of releases that are set to hit in October. For those purists of the label who have been decrying some of their more contemporary and/or “populist” choices of late, they will have nothing to complain about as this month is all about the oldies.
Kicking things off, Michelangelo Antonioni completists will be pleased that the director’s 1982 film “Identification Of A Woman” is getting a proper release. The minor work in Antonioni’s filmography centers on a film director who is casting a film and gets drawn into relationships with two different women. The film apparently notorious for some explicit sexual content and perhaps also known for Vincent Canby‘s scathing review which caused the film to be dropped by its U.S. distributor. But those looking for extras will be disappointed as this will only contain a booklet with an essay and a reprint of an interview.
Fans of classic cinema have something to look forward to as the pre-code horror flick “Island Of Lost Souls” and the Technicolor epic “The Four Feathers” get booted up in the Collection. The former is an adaptation of “The Island of Dr. Moreau” that stars Charles Laughton and Bela Lugosi — and that should really be enough to get you to track this one down. The film will be presented in its uncut theatrical version with the platter loaded with extras including interviews with Devo founding members Gerald Casale and Mark Mothersbaugh, whose manifesto is rooted in themes from the film; a video conversation with John Landis, Rick Baker and Bob Burns, an audio commentary and more. As for the latter, Zoltán Korda‘s film is considered one of the best adaptations of A.E.W. Mason’s 1902 adventure novel adn this disc will include “A Day at Denham” a short film from 1939 featuring footage of Zoltán Korda on the set of the film.
Japanese horror buffs have a reason to celebrate as Kaneto Shindo‘s “Kuroneko” gets the Criterion razzle dazzle. The 1968 film is set in a village in war-torn medieval Japan, where a malevolent spirit has been ripping out the throats of traveling samurai. This moody, atmospheric film won’t have much in the way of extras but will include an interview with the director.
Finally, Aki Kaurismäki‘s films with the outrageous Siberian band the Leningrad Cowboy‘s have been collected into a Eclipse release. The bare bones set will include “Leningrad Cowboys Go America,” its sequel “Leningrad Cowboys Meet Moses” and the concert film “Total Balalaika Show.” And oh yeah, for you hi-def heads “Salo,” “Dazed And Confused” and “Harakiri” all go Blu in October as well.
Start saving your pennies…