January is usually the worst time for new movies at the multiplex, so in 2015, Criterion is giving you plenty of reasons to stay in and catch up with some films the imprint will release that month that you have missed or flew under your radar. And you’ll have plenty of choices ranging from classic cinema’s finest practitioners to contemporary cinema’s boldest voices.
Leading the way is Rainer Werner Fassbinder‘s “The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant.” One of the German director’s most well known and important films, it’s coming freshly restored, with a bunch of interviews and most intriguingly, “Role Play: Women on Fassbinder,” a 1992 German television documentary.
If you’re not familiar with Preston Sturges, Criterion gives you a great entry point with “The Palm Beach Story.” It’s marks the fourth film from the director to enter the catalogue and it’s a winner. The extras aren’t extreme —some interviews, and a WWII propaganda short written Sturges— but this is a case where the movie alone is worth it. Especially if it’s beautifully restored.
Canadian Guy Maddin can make movies that are both experimental, amusing, and impenetrable, sometimes all at once, and “My Winnipeg” might hit all those marks. Criterion’s rendition will be coming loaded with three short films, cine-essays, a featurette, deleted scenes and more. It’s a pretty good gateway into Maddin’s world.
Kihachi Okamoto‘s samurai flick “The Sword Of Doom” goes from DVD and digital to a high def Blu-ray release. Prepare your eyeballs.
Lastly, Argentian filmmaker Lucrecia Martel joins the Collection with her debut film “La ciénaga.” Don’t despair about the lack of extras, but instead celebrate that Criterion is shining a light on one of the boldest filmmakers out there. Her last feature effort was 2008’s “The Headless Woman,” and until her next film emerges, this is perfect place holder.