Criterion Announces February 2015 Releases

Here are some options for your film-loving valentine.
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In February, Criterion offers six new releases. Four are by directors who see an increase of their work added to the Collection.  Those titles are Jean-Luc Godard's Every Man for Himself, Nicholas Roeg's Don't Look Now, Jean Renoir's A Day in the Country, and Federico Fellini’s Fellini Satyricon. Criterion also adds an animated film to their roster with Martin Rosen's Watership Down.  Also scheduled is the high-definition digital restoration of Yasujiro Ozu's An Autumn Afternoon.   

Every Man for Himself (#744) out Feb 3 in Blu-ray & DVD Editions

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After a decade in the wilds of avant-garde and early video experimentation, Jean-Luc Godard returned to commercial cinema with this work of social commentary, star-driven and narrative while remaining defiantly intellectual and visually cutting-edge. Every Man for Himself, featuring a script by Jean-Claude Carrière and Anne-Marie Miéville, looks at the sexual and professional lives of three people—a television producer (Jacques Dutronc), his ex-girlfriend (Nathalie Baye), and a prostitute (Isabelle Huppert)—to create a meditative story about work, relationships, and the notion of freedom. Made twenty years into his career, the film was, according to Godard, a second debut. The special edition features are:

  • New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Le scénario (1979), a short video created by director Jean-Luc Godard to secure financing forEvery Man for Himself
  • New video essay by critic Colin MacCabe
  • New interviews with actor Isabelle Huppert and producer Marin Karmitz
  • Archival interviews with actor Nathalie Baye, cinema­tographers Renato Berta and William Lubtchansky, and composer Gabriel Yared
  • Two back-to-back 1980 appearances by Godard on The Dick Cavett Show
  • Godard 1980, a short film by Jon Jost, Donald Ranvaud, and Peter Wollen, featuring Godard
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Amy Taubin

 Don't Look Now (#745) out Feb 10 in Blu-ray & DVD Editions 

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Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie mesmerize as a married couple on an extended trip to Venice following a family tragedy. While in that elegantly decaying city, they have a series of inexplicable, terrifying, and increasingly dangerous experiences. A masterpiece from Nicolas Roeg, Don’t Look Now,adapted from a story by Daphne du Maurier, is a brilliantly disturbing tale of the supernatural, as renowned for its innovative editing and haunting cinematography as its explicit eroticism and unforgettable denouement, one of the great endings in horror history. The director-approved special edition features are:

  • New 4K digital restoration, approved by director Nicolas Roeg, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New conversation between the film’s editor, Graeme Clifford, and film writer Bobbie O’Steen
  • “Don’t Look Now,” Looking Back, a short 2002 documentary featuring Roeg, Clifford, and cinematographer Anthony Richmond
  • Death in Venice, a 2006 interview with composer Pino Donaggio
  • Something Interesting, a new documentary on the writing and making of the film, featuring interviews with Richmond, actors Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland, and coscreenwriter Allan Scott
  • Nicolas Roeg: The Enigma of Film, a new documentary on Roeg’s style, featuring interviews with filmmakers Danny Boyle and Steven Soderbergh
  • Q&A with Roeg at London’s Ciné Lumière from 2003
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by film critic David Thompson

 A Day in the Country (#746) out Feb 10 in Blu-ray & DVD Editions 

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This bittersweet work from Jean Renoir, based on a story by Guy de Maupassant, is a tenderly comic idyll about a city family’s picnic in the French countryside and the romancing of the mother and grown daughter by two local men. Conceived as part of a larger project that was never completed, shot in 1936, and released ten years later, the warmly humanist vignette A Day in the Country ranks among Renoir’s most lyrical films, with a love for nature imbuing its every beautiful frame. The special edition features are:

  • New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Introduction by director Jean Renoir from 1962
  • New interview with Renoir scholar Christopher Faulkner about the film’s production
  • New video essay by Faulkner on Renoir’s methodsUn tournage à la campagne, an 89-minute 1994 compilation of outtakes from the film
  • Interview with producer Pierre Braunberger from 1979
  • Screen tests
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by film scholar Gilberto Perez

An Autumn Afternoon (#446) out Feb 17 in Blu-ray & DVD Editions 

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The final film from Yasujiro Ozu was also his last masterpiece, a gently heartbreaking story about a man’s dignifed resignation to life’s shifting currents and society’s modernization. Though widower Shuhei (frequent Ozu leading man Chishu Ryu) has been living comfortably for years with his grown daughter, a series of events leads him to accept and encourage her marriage and departure from their home. As elegantly composed and achingly tender as any of the Japanese master’s films, An Autumn Afternoon is one of cinema’s fondest farewells. The special edition features are:

  • New, 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary featuring film scholar David Bordwell, author of Ozu and the Poetics of Cinema
  • Excerpts from Yasujiro Ozu and “The Taste of Sake," a 1978 French television program, featuring critics Michel Ciment and Georges Perec, that looks back on Ozu’s career
  • Trailer
  • New English subtitle translationPLUS: Essays by critic Geoff Andrew and scholar Donald Richie

Fellini Satyricon (#747) out Feb 24 in Blu-ray & DVD Editions 

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Federico Fellini’s career achieved new levels of eccentricity and brilliance with this remarkable, controversial, extremely loose adaptation of Petronius’s classical Roman satire, written during the reign of Nero. An episodic barrage of sexual licentiousness, godless violence, and eye-catching grotesquerie, Fellini Satyricon follows the exploits of two pansexual young men—the handsome scholar Encolpius and his vulgar, insatiably lusty friend Ascyltus—as they move through a landscape of free-form pagan excess. Creating apparent chaos with exquisite control, Fellini constructs a weird old world that feels like science fiction. The special edition features are:

  • New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary featuring an adaptation of Eileen Lanouette Hughes’s memoir On the Set of “Fellini Satyricon”: A Behind-the-Scenes Diary
  • Ciao, Federico!, Gideon Bachmann’s hour-long documentary shot on the set of Fellini Satyricon
  • Archival interviews with director Federico Fellini
  • New interview with cinematographer Giuseppe Rotunno
  • New documentary about Fellini’s adaptation of Petronius’s work, featuring interviews with classicists Luca Canali, a consultant on the film, and Joanna Paul
  • New interview with photographer Mary Ellen Mark about her experiences on the set and her iconic photographs of Fellini and his film
  • Felliniana, a presentation of Fellini Satyricon ephemera from the collection of Don Young
  • Trailer
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by film critic Michael Wood

Watership Down (#748) out Feb 24 in Blu-ray & DVD Editions 

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With this passion project, screenwriter-producer-director Martin Rosen brilliantly achieved what was thought difficult, if not impossible: a faithful big-screen adaptation of Richard Adams’s classic British dystopian novel about a community of rabbits seeking safety and happiness after their warren comes under terrible threat. With its naturalistic hand-drawn animation, dreamily expressionistic touches, gorgeously bucolic background design, and elegant voice work from such superb English actors as John Hurt, Ralph Richardson, Richard Briers, and Denholm Elliott, Watership Down is an emotionally arresting, dark-toned allegory about freedom amid political turmoil. The special edition features are:

  • New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed stereo soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New interview with director Martin Rosen
  • New appreciation of the film by director Guillermo del Toro
  • Picture-in-picture storyboard for the entire film (Blu-ray); four film-to-storyboard scene comparisons (DVD)Defining a Style, a 2008 featurette about the film’s aesthetic
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by comic book writer Gerard Jones

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