Criterion Announces December 2016 Releases

Four new options for you Xmas wish list.
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In December, Criterion offers four titles for those who make the "nice" listThree new titles added to the Collection are Laurie Anderson's Heart of a Dog, John Huston's The Asphalt Jungle, and Federico Fellini's Roma.  Luis Buñuel's The Exterminating Angel (El ángel exterminador) gets a high-def upgradeRead on to learn more about them.

The Exterminating Angel (#459) out Dec 6

cc exterminating angel.jpgA group of high-society friends are invited to a mansion for dinner and inexplicably find themselves unable to leave in The Exterminating Angel (El ángel exterminador), a daring masterpiece from Luis Buñuel. Made just one year after his international sensation Viridiana,this film, full of eerie, comic absurdity, furthers Buñuel’s wicked takedown of the rituals and dependencies of the frivolous upper classes. The special edition features are:

  • Restored high-definition digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • The Last Script: Remembering Luis Buñuel, a 2008 documentary featuring writer Jean-Claude Carrière and filmmaker Juan Luis Buñuel
  • Interviews with actor Silvia Pinal and filmmaker Arturo Ripstein from 2006
  • Trailer
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film scholar Marsha Kinder and an interview with director Luis Buñuel from the 1970s

Heart of a Dog (#846) out Dec 6

cc Heart of a Dog.jpgHeart of a Dog marks the first feature film by multimedia artist Laurie Anderson in over thirty years. A cinematic tone poem that flows from a sustained meditation on death and other forms of absence, the film seamlessly weaves together thoughts on Tibetan Buddhism, reincarnation, the modern surveillance state, and the artistic lives of dogs, with an elegy for the filmmaker’s beloved rat terrier, Lolabelle, at its heart. Narrated by Anderson with her characteristic wry wit, and featuring a plaintive, free-form score by the filmmaker, the tender and provocative Heart of a Dog continues Anderson’s five-decade career of imbuing the everyday with a sense of dreamlike wonder. The director-approved special edition features are:

  • High-definition digital master, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New conversation between director Laurie Anderson and coproducer Jake Perlin
  • Footage of Anderson’s 2016 Concert for Dogs
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by film critic Glenn Kenny

The Asphalt Jungle (#847) out Dec 13

cc Asphalt Jungle.jpgIn a smog-choked city somewhere in the American Midwest, an aging criminal mastermind, newly released from prison, hatches a plan for a million-dollar jewel heist and draws a wealthy lawyer and a cherry-picked trio of outlaws into his carefully devised but inevitably doomed scheme. Anchored by an abundance of nuanced performances from a gifted ensemble—including a tight-jawed Sterling Hayden and a sultry Marilyn Monroe in her breakout role—this gritty crime classic by John Huston climaxes in a meticulously detailed anatomy of a robbery that has reverberated through the genre ever since. An uncommonly naturalistic view of a seamy underworld, The Asphalt Jungle painstakingly depicts the calm professionalism and toughness of its gangster heroes while evincing a remarkable depth of compassion for their all-too-human fragility, and it showcases a master filmmaker at the height of his powers. The special edition features are:

  • New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary from 2004 by film historian Drew Casper, featuring recordings of actor James Whitmore
  • New interviews with film noir historian Eddie Muller and cinematographer John Bailey
  • Archival footage of writer-director John Huston discussing the film
  • Pharos of Chaos, a 1983 documentary about actor Sterling Hayden
  • Episode of the television program City Lights from 1979 featuring John Huston
  • Audio excerpts of archival interviews with Huston
  • Excerpts from footage of the 1983 AFI Lifetime Achievement Award ceremony honoring Huston, featuring actor Sam Jaffe and the filmmaker
  • Trailer
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Geoffrey O’Brien
  • More!

Roma (#848) out Dec 13

cc Roma.jpgTravelogue, memoir, and outrageous cinematic spectacle converge in this kaleidoscopic valentine to the Eternal City, composed by one of its most iconic inhabitants. Leisurely one moment and breathless the next, this urban fantasia by Federico Fellini interweaves recollections of the director’s young adulthood in the era of Mussolini with an impressionistic portrait of contemporary Rome, where he and his film crew are gathering footage of the bustling cityscape. The material delights of sex, food, nightlife, and one hallucinatory ecclesiastical fashion show are shot through with glimmers of a monumental past: the Colosseum encircled by traffic, ancient frescoes unearthed in a subway tunnel, a pigeon-befouled statue of Caesar. With a head-spinning mix of documentary immediacy and extravagant artifice, Roma penetrates the myth and mystique of Italy’s storied capital, a city Fellini called “the most wonderful movie set in the world.” The special edition features are:

  • New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary featuring Frank Burke, author of Fellini’s Films
  • Deleted scenes
  • New interview with filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino on the lasting influence of director Federico Fellini
  • New interview with Italian poet and Fellini friend Valerio Magrelli
  • Images from the Felliniana archive of collector Don Young
  • Trailer
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by film scholar David Forgacs

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