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John Frankenheimer and Vittorio De Sica are Coming to Criterion Collection This March

John Frankenheimer and Vittorio De Sica are Coming to Criterion Collection This March

READ MORE: The Coen Brothers (Finally) Join the Criterion Collection This January

The Criterion Collection continues to fill out its 2016 slate with a new announcement touting the March additions, which include classic films by John Frankenheimer, Vittorio De Sica and Jacques Rivette. Les Blank’s Leon Russell documentary “A Poem is a Naked Person” is also joining the collection after hitting theaters over the summer for the first time in 40 years, though the opportunity to own “Bicycle Thieves” on Blu-ray for the very first time is unquestionably the standout purchase of the bunch.

Check out all of the titles hitting Criterion below, with synopses and special addition information provided by the collection.

“Paris Belongs to Us” 
One of the original critics turned filmmakers who helped jump-start the French New Wave, Jacques Rivette began shooting his debut feature in 1957, well before that cinema revolution officially kicked off with “The 400 Blows” and “Breathless.” Ultimately released in 1961, the rich and mysterious “Paris Belongs to Us” offers some of the radical flavor that would define the movement, with a particularly Rivettian twist. The film follows a young literature student (Betty Schneider) who befriends the members of a loose-knit group of twentysomethings in Paris, united by the apparent suicide of an acquaintance.
Special features include a new English subtitle translation and Rivette’s 1956 short film “Le coup du berger.”

“The Manchurian Candidate”
The name John Frankenheimer became forever synonymous with heart-in-the-throat filmmaking when this quintessential sixties political thriller was released. Set in the early fifties, this razor-sharp adaptation of the novel by Richard Condon concerns the decorated U.S. Army sergeant Raymond Shaw (Laurence Harvey), who as a prisoner during the Korean War is brainwashed into being a sleeper assassin in a Communist conspiracy, and a fellow POW (Frank Sinatra) who slowly uncovers the sinister plot. In an unforgettable, Oscar-nominated performance, Angela Lansbury plays Raymond’s villainous mother, the controlling wife of a witch-hunting anti-Communist senator with his eyes on the White House.
Special features include audio commentary featuring Frankenheimer, an interview with Lansbury and a new piece featuring Errol Morris discussing his appreciation for the movie.

“A Brighter Summer Day”
Among the most praised and sought-after titles in all contemporary film, this singular masterpiece of Taiwanese cinema, directed by Edward Yang, finally comes to home video in the United States. Set in the early sixties in Taiwan, “A Brighter Summer Day” is based on the true story of a crime that rocked the nation. A film of both sprawling scope and tender intimacy, this novelistic, patiently observed epic centers on the gradual, inexorable fall of a young teenager (Chen Chang) from innocence to juvenile delinquency, and is set against a simmering backdrop of restless youth, rock and roll, and political turmoil.
Special features include an interview with Chang and the 2002 New Taiwan Cinema movement documentary “Our Time, Our Story.”

“A Poem is A Naked Person”

Les Blank considered this free-form feature documentary about beloved singer-songwriter Leon Russell, filmed between 1972 and 1974, to be one of his greatest accomplishments. Yet it has not been released until now. Hired by Russell to film him at his recording studio in northeast Oklahoma, Blank ended up constructing a unique, intimate portrait of a musician and his environment. Made up of mesmerizing scenes of Russell and his band performing, both in concert and in the studio, as well as off-the-cuff moments behind the scenes, this singular film—which also features performances by Willie Nelson and George Jones—has attained legendary status over the years. Special features interviews with Harrod Blank, musician Leon Russell, assistant editor Maureen Gosling and artist Jim Franklin.

“Bicycle Thieves”
Hailed around the world as one of the greatest movies ever made, the Academy Award–winning “Bicycle Thieves,” directed by Vittorio De Sica, defined an era in cinema. In poverty-stricken postwar Rome, a man is on his first day of a new job that offers hope of salvation for his desperate family when his bicycle, which he needs for work, is stolen. With his young son in tow, he sets off to track down the thief. Simple in construction and profoundly rich in human insight, “Bicycle Thieves” embodies the greatest strengths of the Italian neorealist movement: emotional clarity, social rectitude, and brutal honesty. Special features include a 4K digital restoration and “Working with De Sica,” a collection of interviews with screenwriter Suso Cecchi d’Amico, actor Enzo Staiola and film scholar Callisto Cosulich.

READ MORE: What We Learned from Watching (Almost) the Entire Criterion Collection

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