While the summer season for movie buffs generally means sitting down with a giant bucket of popcorn and preparing your eyeballs and eardrums to pushed to their human limits and beyond, The Criterion Collection is banking that folks might want a little more substance. Okay, a lot more substance.
The boutique label dropped their slate for June today and standing tall among them is Claude Lanzmann’s epic, nine-hour-plus Holocaust documentary “Shoah.” Remarkable not just for its length, the film is built solely on survivor testimony, utilizing absolutely zero archival footage, but it’s no less powerful in its document of that horrific time. Criterion’s set will be generous as well, including three more of Lanzmann’s films — “A Visitor from the Living” (1999), “Sobibor, October 14, 1943, 4 p.m.” (2001) and “The Karski Report” (2010) — among the extras that will feature interviews, conversations and more.
But if you need pure escape, it doesn’t get much better than silent comedian Harold Lloyd and his seminal “Safety Last!” (aka the one where that guy hangs off the clock). The classic will be coming packed with extras including the shorts “Take a Chance“ (1918), “Young Mr. Jazz” (1919), and “His Royal Slyness” (1920) — when commentaries for these as well as the feature presentation — optional soundtrack options, full length documentary “Harold Lloyd: The Third Genius,” and much more.
Continuing with some escapism is H. G. Wells, producer Alexander Korda, and designer and director William Cameron Menzies‘ “Things To Come.” The 1936 sci-fi film presents a terrifying vision of the future in an ambitious and audacious picture for the time. Extras include a commentary, interviews and more. You can grab the disc or just watch the movie on Hulu Plus.
But if you want to get back to the serious, Czeck filmmaker František Vlácil’s “Marketa Lazarová” should fit the bill. Considered one of the best films the country has ever produced, the tale of the battle between two rival clans is used to explore a variety of social and religious issues. It will come with a handful of interviews to give some bang for the buck.
Lastly, Ingmar Bergman‘s “Wild Strawberries” will go Blu, so save up your pennies guys ‘n gals.