"War is hell" is a famous phrase that many films have demonstrated, in sometimes painful or painfully graphic detail. It's not easy to get into the war film, because it opens up some major wounds, especially for veterans who really want to keep the sorrows and trauma of either killing the enemy or witnessing death all around them under the rug. There have been so many films that have shown war at its more horrible and soul-crushing, but arguably no other film in history has done so more frighteningly than Elem Klimov's deeply disturbing 1985 masterwork, Come and See. It's the type of movie that should come with a warning label, because even after one viewing, it's impossible to shake off from your psyche.
The films centers on teenager Flyora (Alexei Kravchenko, whose haunting performance and expressive face will chill you forever), who is very eager to join the Soviet resistance. He definitely gets a lot more than he bargained for when he finds a never-ending nightmare of violence, carnage, and unbelievable bleakness. To say he suffers is truly an understatement as he discovers that war has no mercy, not even on the youngest of souls.
For so long, many of us have been waiting for a proper release of this legendary film, and thankfully, Criterion came to our rescue. Not only does it have a new 2K restoration, but it comes with some amazing supplements, new and old. They include a new interview with legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins; new interview with Klimov's brother and collaborator, German Klimov; Flaming Memory, a three-film documentary series from 1975-77 by filmmaker Viktor Dashuk featuring firsthand accounts of survivors of the genocide in Belorussia during World War II; 2001 interview with Klimov; 2001 interviews with Kravchenko and production designer Viktor Petrov; How "Come and See" Was Filmed, a 1985 short about the making of the film featuring reflections by Klimov, Kravchenko, and screenwriter Ales Adamovich; and the theatrical rerelase trailer. There is also a booklet with new essays by critic Mark Le Fanu and poet Valzhyna Mort. Obviously, despite the film's grim subject matter, this is definitely a must have in any film lover's collection.
Django (Limited Edition): Franco Nero stars as the lone stranger who haunts the West with a coffin filled with revenge. Considered to the most shocking and nasty of the 'Spaghetti Western' genre. Also includes Texas, Adios.
Patty Hearst: The late Natasha Richardson stars in Paul Schrader's interpretation as the infamous newspaper heiress who was kidnapped and brainwashed by the Symbionese Liberation Army in 1974.
Orca: The Killer Whale: a 1977 cult film about a very angry killer whale who seeks retribution against a neurotic hunter (Richard Harris) for accidentally killing his pregnant mate.
Hair (Signature Edition): Director Milos Forman's 1979 adaptation of the famed play about a soldier about to go off to fight in the Vietnam War who stops off at New York City and finds himself immersed with its hippie subculture.