Criterion Collection has added a list of films — a mix of classics, indies and contemporaries — that are scheduled for a May release. With the John Wayne and Montgomery western “Red River” as a special highlight, Criterion also revealed the following films that makeup their lineup (Descriptions provided by Criterion Collection).
“Ace in the Hole” (1951)
Director: Billy Wilder
Billy Wilder’s “Ace in the Hole” is one of the most scathing indictments of American culture ever produced by a Hollywood filmmaker. Kirk Douglas (“Spartacus”) gives the fiercest performance of his career as Chuck Tatum, an amoral newspaper reporter who washes up in dead-end Albuquerque, happens upon the scoop of a lifetime, and will do anything to keep getting the lurid headlines. Wilder’s follow-up to “Sunset Boulevard” is an even darker vision, a no-holds-barred exposé of the American media’s appetite for sensation that has gotten only more relevant with time.
Special Features to look forward to: dual-format Blu-ray and DVD edition, audio commentary by film scholar Neil Sinyard, video afterward by filmmaker Spike Lee, Interview with actor Kirk Douglas from 1984
Director: Stuart Cooper
Seamlessly interweaving archival war footage and a fictional narrative, this immersive account by Stuart Cooper of one twenty-year-old’s journey from basic training to the front lines of D-day brings to life all the terrors and isolation of war with jolting authenticity. “Overlord,” impressionistically shot by Stanley Kubrick’s longtime cinematographer John Alcott, is both a document of World War II and a dreamlike meditation on human smallness in a large, incomprehensible machine.
Special Features to look forward to: Blu-ray edition, audio commentary featuring Cooper and actor Brian Stirner, “A Test of Violence”, Cooper’s 1969 short film about the Spanish artist Juan Genovés, excerpts from the journals of two D-day soldiers, read by Stirner
“Like Someone in Love” (2013)
Director: Abbas Kiarostami
Abbas Kiarostami has spent his incomparable movie career exploring the tiny spaces that separate illusion from reality and the simulated from the authentic. At first blush, his extraordinary, sly “Like Someone in Love“, which finds the Iranian director in Tokyo, may appear to be among his most straightforward films. Yet with this simple story of the growing bond between a young part-time call girl and a grandfatherly client, Kiarostami has constructed an enigmatic but crystalline investigation of affection and desire as complex as his masterful “Close-up” and “Certified Copy” in its engagement with the workings of the mercurial human heart.
Special Features to look forward to: dual-format Blu-ray/DVD edition & Stand Alone DVD edition, forty-five-minute documentary on the making of the film, new English subtitle translation, a booklet featuring an essay by film scholar and critic Nico Baumbach
“The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou” (2004)
Director: Wes Anderson
Internationally famous oceanographer Steve Zissou (Bill Murray) and his crew—Team Zissou—set sail on an expedition to hunt down the mysterious, elusive, possibly nonexistent Jaguar Shark that killed Zissou’s partner during the documentary filming of their latest adventure. They are joined on their voyage by a young airline copilot (Owen Wilson); a pregnant journalist (Cate Blanchett); and Zissou’s estranged wife, Eleanor (Anjelica Huston). Wes Anderson (“Rushmore”) has assembled an all-star cast that also includes Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Michael Gambon, Noah Taylor, Seu Jorge, and Bud Cort for this wildly original adventure comedy.
Special Features to look forward to: Blu-ray edition, new, restored digital transfer, approved by director Wes Anderson, with DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack, commentary by Anderson and cowriter Noah Baumbach, new interviews with actors Bill Murray, Willem Dafoe, and Jeff Goldblum
“Red River” (1948)
Director: Howard Hawks
No matter what genre he worked in, Howard Hawks (“His Girl Friday”) played by his own rules, and never was this more evident than in his first western, the rowdy and whip-smart “Red River”. In it, John Wayne (“Stagecoach”) found one of his greatest roles as an embittered, tyrannical Texas rancher whose tensions with his independent-minded adopted son, played by Montgomery Clift (“From Here to Eternity”) in a breakout performance, reach epic proportions during a cattle drive to Missouri, which is based on a real-life late nineteenth-century expedition. Yet Hawks is less interested in historical accuracy than in tweaking the codes of masculinity that propel the myths of the American West. The unerringly macho Wayne and the neurotic, boyish Clift make for an improbably perfect pair, held aloft by a quick-witted, multilayered screenplay and Hawks’s formidable direction.
Special Features to look forward to: dual-format Blu-ray/ DVD edition, 2K restoration of the longer version, new interview with filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich about the two versions, new interview with western scholar Lee Clark Mitchell about western genre literature