The Criterion Collection has revealed the films that will be released as part of their July lineup, including six films by French New Wave genius Jacques Demy, David Cronenberg’s thriller “Scanners” and the 1983 Best Picture nominee “The Big Chill.”
Check out the full list of films Criterion is releasing in July along with some perks (descriptions provided by The Criterion Collection):
Picnic At Hanging Rock (1975) 2-DVD EDITION
This sensual and striking chronicle of a disappearance and its aftermath put director Peter Weir (“The Truman Show”) on the map and helped usher in a new era of Australian cinema. Set at the turn of the twentieth century, “Picnic at Hanging Rock” concerns a small group of students from an all-female college and a chaperone, who vanish while on a St. Valentine’s Day outing. Less a mystery than a journey into the mystic, as well as an inquiry into issues of class and sexual repression in Australian society, Weir’s gorgeous, disquieting film is a work of poetic horror whose secrets haunt viewers to this day.
Features Include: Extended interview with Weir, new piece on the making of the film, featuring interviews from 2003 with executive producer Patricia Lovell, producers Hal McElroy and Jim McElroy, and cast members and a new introduction by film scholar David Thomson, author of The New Biographical Dictionary of Film
Red River (1948) 2-DVD EDITION
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. The film is based on a novel that dramatizes the real-life late nineteenth-century expeditions along the Chisholm Trail, but 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.
Features Include: New 2K digital restoration of the rarely presented original theatrical release version, the preferred cut of director Howard Hawks, new 2K digital restoration of the longer, prerelease version of “Red River” and new interview with filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich
Pickpocket (1959) DUAL-FORMAT 1-BLU-RAY AND 1-DVD EDITION
This incomparable story of crime and redemption from French master Robert Bresson (“A Man Escaped”) follows Michel, a young pickpocket who spends his days working the streets, subway cars, and train stations of Paris. As his compulsive pursuit of the thrill of stealing grows, however, so does his fear that his luck is about to run out. A cornerstone in the career of this most economical and profoundly spiritual of filmmakers, “Pickpocket” is an elegantly crafted, tautly choreographed study of humanity in all its mischief and grace, the work of a director at the height of his powers.
Features Include: New, 2K digital film restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray, audio commentary by film scholar James Quandt and an introduction by writer-director Paul Schrader
Scanners (1981) DUAL-FORMAT 1-BLU-RAY AND 2-DVD EDITION
With “Scanners“ David Cronenberg (“Videodrome”) plunges us into one of his most terrifying and thrilling sci-fi worlds. After a man with extraordinary — and frighteningly destructive — telepathic abilities is nabbed by agents from a mysterious rogue corporation, he discovers he is far from the only possessor of such strange powers, and that some of the other “scanners” have their minds set on world domination, while others are trying to stop them. A trademark Cronenberg combination of the visceral and the cerebral, this phenomenally gruesome and provocative film about the expanses and limits of the human brain was the Canadian director’s breakout hit in the United States.
Features Include: New, restored 2K digital film transfer, supervised by director David Cronenberg, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray, “The ‘Scanners’ Way”, a new documentary on the film’s special effects and a new interview with actor Michael Ironside
The Essential Jacques Demy 6-BLU-RAY/7-DVD DUAL-FORMAT EDITION
Includes films “Lola” (1961), “Bay of Angels” (1963), “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” (1964), “The Young Girls of Rochefort” (1967), “Donkey Skin” (1970) and “Une chambre en ville” (1982).
Features Include: New 2K digital restorations of all six films, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks on the Blu-rays of Lola and Bay of Angels and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0 surround soundtracks on the Blu-rays of “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg,” “The Young Girls of Rochefort,” “Donkey Skin” and “Une chambre en ville,” four short films by director Jacques Demy: “Les horizons morts” (1951), “Le sabotier du Val de Loire” (1956), “Ars” (1959) and “La luxure” (1962) and a new video conversation with Demy biographer Jean-Pierre Berthomé and costume designer Jacqueline Moreau
Insomnia (1997) DUAL-FORMAT BLU-RAY AND DVD EDITION
In this elegantly unsettling murder mystery, Stellan Skarsgard (“Breaking the Waves”) plays an engimatic Swedish detective with a checkered past who arrives in a small town in northern Norway to investigate the death of a teenage girl. As he digs deeper into the heinous killing, his own demons and the tyrannical midnight sun begin to take a toll. Erik Skjoldbjærg’s chilling procedural anticipated the international hunger for Scandinavian noirs and serial killer fictions, and features one of Skarsgård’s greatest performances.
Features Include: New 4K digital restoration, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray, new conversation between director Erik Skjoldbjærg and actor Stellan Skarsgård and a trailer and TV spot
The Bill Chill (1983) DUAL-FORMAT 1-BLU-RAY AND 2-DVD EDITION
After the shocking suicide of their friend, a group of thirtysomethings reunite for his funeral and end up spending a weekend together, reminiscing about their shared pasts as children of the sixties and confronting the uncertainty of their lives as adults of the eighties. Poignant and warmly humorous in equal measure, this 1983 baby boomer milestone made a star of writer-director Lawrence Kasdan (“Body Heat”) and is perhaps the decade’s defining ensemble film, featuring memorable performances by Tom Berenger (“Platoon”), Glenn Close (“Fatal Attraction”), Jeff Goldblum (“The Fly”), William Hurt (“Broadcast News”), Kevin Kline (“The Ice Storm”), Mary Kay Place (“Being John Malkovich”), Meg Tilly (“Agnes of God”), and JoBeth Williams (“Poltergeist”). And with its playlist of hit songs from the sixties, “The Big Chill” all but invented the consummately curated soundtrack.
Features Include: New, restored 4K digital film transfer, supervised by cinematographer John Bailey and approved by director Lawrence Kasdan, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray, documentary from 1998 on the making of the film and deleted scenes