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Upcoming Criterion Collection Releases You Should Pre-Order

A Wong Kar Wai box set, French New Wave classic "Céline and Julie Go Boating," and more will all get Criterion Collection releases soon.

Wong Kar-Wai In this May 16, 2007 Chinese director Wong Kar-Wai arrives for the screening of the film "My Blueberry Nights," at the 60th International film festival in Cannes, southern France. Organizers of the Berlin International Film Festival say Chinese director Wong Kar-wai will lead the jury at next year's event in February. Festival director Dieter Kosslick praised the 56-year-old Wong on for the "distinctive signature and the poetry of his worksGermany Berlin Film Festival, Cannes, France

Wong Kar-Wai at Cannes for the 2007 screening of his film “My Blueberry Nights”

Jeff Christensen/AP/REX/Shutterstock

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If shelf space (and, uh, budget) were unlimited, you’d find the walls of many a cinephile’s living room absolutely stacked floor to ceiling with Criterion Collection Blu-rays. (And, to be honest, you can still find that in plenty of homes, shelf space and budget irrelevant.) Allow us to indulge your itch to add to your personal film collection with this list of some of the biggest and best upcoming Criterion Collection releases, including a massive box set of Wong Kar Wai’s films, plus new Blu-ray releases of some favorites.

“World of Wong Kar Wai”

Release Date: March 23

First things first: There’s plenty to admire in this collector’s set of the director’s films, which includes new 4K digital restorations of “Chungking Express,” “Fallen Angels,” “Happy Together,” “In the Mood for Love,” and “2046,” all approved by Wong Kar Wai, and new 4K digital restorations of “As Tears Go By” and “Days of Being Wild” with uncompressed monaural soundtracks. There are also short films, making-of documentaries, a slew of deleted scenes, alternate endings, behind-the-scenes footage, a promo reel, music videos, and trailers, all in deluxe packaging with lavish photography, an essay by critic John Powers, a director’s note, and six collectible art prints.

“Touki bouki”

Release Date: March 9

Djibril Diop Mambéty’s groundbreaking Senegalese fantasy-drama features two disaffected young lovers who dream of escaping to the glamor and comfort of France, but face plenty of obstacles in the way of their plan. The Criterion release includes a restored 2K digital transfer, various interviews (including with Mambéty’s brother and niece, musician Wasis Diop and filmmaker Matt Diop), Mambéty’s 1968 short “Contras’ City,” and more.

“Céline and Julie Go Boating”

Release Date: March 16

One of the most foundational works by French New Wave master Jacques Rivette gets a Criterion release at last: Juliet Berto and Dominique Labourier’s titular pals go on a “time-warping adventure involving a haunted house, psychotropic candy, and a murder-mystery melodrama” in this 1974 comedy. A new 2K digital restoration, interviews with the stars, new English subtitle translation, a 1994 Claire Denis documentary “Jacques Rivette: Le veilleur,” and more are included on the March 16 release.

“Secrets & Lies”

Release Date: March 30

Mike Leigh’s 1996 Palme d’Or-winning film, starring a Black adoptee (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) unexpectedly reunited with her birth mother (Brenda Blethyn), has been praised for its interrogation of race, class, identity, representation, and more. The release includes a new 2K digital restoration supervised by director Mike Leigh and director of photography Dick Pope, new conversations with Leigh and composer Gary Yershon and Jean-Baptiste and film critic Corrina Antrobus, a 1996 interview with Leigh, and more.

“Defending Your Life”

Release Date: March 30

“Acerbic everyman” Albert Brooks writes, directs, and stars in this film about an advertising executive who dies suddenly and must prove that he lived a live of courage so he can proceed in the afterlife as budding relationship with an uninhibited woman (Meryl Streep) helps him feel alive for the first time. The release includes a new 4K digital restoration supervised by Brooks, a new conversation between Brooks and filmmaker Robert Weide, an interview on the afterlife with theologian and critic Donna Bowman, and an essay by filmmaker Ari Aster.

“History Is Made at Night”

Release Date: April 13

Frank Borzage’s love story “revolves around an absurd, but enjoyable plot in which a never-better Jean Authur plays a woman looking to divorce her disturbingly jealous husband, who sends someone to follow and capture her cheating. When Authur is gloriously swept off her feet (the best late night date of food and dancing ever) by a head waiter (Charles Boyer), it sets up a confrontation with the off-his-rocker husband who owns the ship the new couple are escaping to Paris aboard,” wrote IndieWire’s Chris O’Falt in a roundup of 13 indie movies perfect for romantic Valentine’s Day viewing. The 1937 film is getting a release complete with a new, restored 4K digital transfer, a 1940 radio adaptation, a restoration demonstration, conversations with Borzage experts, and even excerpts of a 1958 interview with the director himself.

“The Furies”

Release Date: April 20

This essential woman-led Western from Anthony Mann stars Barbara Stanwyck as the fiery daughter of a widowed ranch owner (Walter Huston) in 1870s New Mexico. Its upcoming Criterion release includes a HD digital restoration, audio commentary tracks, a 1967 interview with Mann, a 1931 on-camera interview with Huston, and more gems.

“Memories of Murder”

Release Date: April 20

Oscar-winning director Bong Joon Ho’s second feature is based on a true story about a rural community’s string of murders in the 1980s, and stars his “Parasite” hero Song Kang Ho as a local officer who reluctantly joins forces with a seasoned Seoul detective (Kim Sang Kyung) to investigate the crimes. The release includes a new 4K digital restoration supervised by cinematographer Kim Hyung Ku and approved by director Bong Joon Ho, two 2009 commentaries featuring Bong and members of the cast and crew, a new interview with the director about the film’s real-life inspiration, deleted scenes with optional commentary, and more.

“Masculin féminin”

Release Date: April 27

The French filmmaker’s 1966 film gets a Blu-ray release (it was previously out on DVD) featuring a new 4K digital restoration approved by cinematographer Willy Kurant, a 1966 interview with actor Chantal Goya, 2004 and 2005 interviews with Goya, Kurant, and Jean-Luc Godard collaborator Jean-Pierre Gorin, and more.

“Irma Vep”

Release Date: April 27

Olivier Assayas is currently collaborating with A24 on a TV version of his 1996 masterpiece about a Hong Kong movie star who heads to France to star in a remake of the Louis Feuillade classic “Les vampires.” But you only have to wait until late April for the director-approved Criterion release, which features a new 2K digital restoration from the original camera negative, a new interview with Assayas, behind-the-scenes interviews and featurettes, and more.

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