Criterion Announces February 2018 Releases

Film lovers can find plentu of options for Valentine's Day
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February finds Criterion delivering another six titles.  New to the collection are George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead, Satyajit Ray's The Hero, Kon Ichikawa's An Actor’s Revenge and Tony Richardson's Tom Jones. Getting an HD upgrade are Loius Malle's Elevator to the Gallows and Jonathan Demme's The Silence of the Lambs.  Read on to learn more about them.

Elevator to the Gallows (#335) out Feb 6

cc Elevator to the Gallows.jpgFor his feature debut, twenty-four-year-old Louis Malle brought together a mesmerizing performance by Jeanne Moreau, evocative cinematography by Henri Decaë, and a now legendary jazz score by Miles Davis. Taking place over the course of one restless Paris night, Malle’s richly atmospheric crime thriller stars Moreau and Maurice Ronet as star-crossed lovers whose plan to murder her husband (his boss) goes awry, setting off a chain of events that seals their fate. A career touchstone for its director and female star, Elevator to the Gallowswas an astonishing beginning to Malle’s eclectic body of work, and it established Moreau as one of the most captivating actors to ever grace the screen. The special features are:

  • New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Interview from 2005 with actor Jeanne Moreau
  • Archival interviews with Moreau, director Louis Malle, actor Maurice Ronet, and original soundtrack session pianist René Urtreger
  • Footage of Miles Davis and Malle from the soundtrack recording session
  • Program from 2005 about the score featuring jazz trumpeter Jon Faddis and critic Gary Giddins
  • Malle’s student film Crazeologie, featuring Charlie Parker’s song “Crazeology”
  • Trailers
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Terrence Rafferty, an interview with Malle, and a tribute by film producer Vincent Malle

Night of the Living Dead (#910) out Feb 13

cc Night of the Living Dead.jpgShot outside Pittsburgh on a shoestring budget by a band of filmmakers determined to make their mark, Night of the Living Dead, directed by horror master George A. Romero, is one of the great stories of independent cinema: a midnight hit turned box-office smash that became one of the most influential films of all time. A deceptively simple tale of a group of strangers trapped in a farmhouse who find themselves fending off a horde of recently dead, flesh-eating ghouls, Romero’s claustrophobic vision of a late-1960s America literally tearing itself apart rewrote the rules of the horror genre, combined gruesome gore with acute social commentary, and quietly broke ground by casting a black actor (Duane Jones) in its lead role. Stark, haunting, and more relevant than ever, Night of the Living Dead is back, in a new 4K restoration. The special features are:

  • New 4K digital restoration, supervised by director George A. Romero, coscreenwriter John A. Russo, sound engineer Gary R. Streiner, and producer Russell W. Streiner
  • New restoration of the monaural soundtrack, supervised by Romero and Gary R. Streiner, and presented uncompressed on the Blu-ray
  • Night of Anubis, a never-before-presented work-print edit of the film
  • New program featuring filmmakers Frank Darabont, Guillermo del Toro, and Robert Rodriguez
  • Never-before-seen 16 mm dailies reel
  • New piece featuring Russo about the commercial and industrial-film production company where key Night of the Living Dead filmmakers got their start
  • Two audio commentaries from 1994, featuring Romero, Russo, producer Karl Hardman, actor
    Judith O’Dea, and more
  • Archival interviews with Romero and actors Duane Jones and Judith Ridley
  • New programs about the editing, the score, and directing ghouls
  • New interviews with Gary R. Streiner and Russel W. Streiner
  • Trailer, radio spots, and TV spots
  • More!
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Stuart Klawans

The Silence of the Lambs (#13) out Feb 13

cc Silence of the Lambs.jpgIn this chilling adaptation of the best-selling novel by Thomas Harris, the astonishingly versatile director Jonathan Demme crafted a taut psychological thriller about an American obsession: serial murder. As Clarice Starling, an FBI trainee who enlists the help of the infamous Hannibal “the Cannibal” Lecter to gain insight into the mind of another killer, Jodie Foster subverts classic gender dynamics and gives one of the most memorable performances of her career. As her foil, Anthony Hopkins is the archetypical antihero—cultured, quick-witted, and savagely murderous—delivering a harrowing portrait of humanity gone terribly wrong. A gripping police procedural and a disquieting immersion into a twisted psyche, The Silence of the Lambs swept the Academy Awards (best picture, best director, best screenplay, best actress, best actor) and remains a cultural touchstone. The special features are:

  • New 4K digital restoration, approved by director of photography Tak Fujimoto, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Alternate 5.1 surround soundtrack, presented in DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary from 1994 featuring director Jonathan Demme, actors Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins, screenwriter Ted Tally, and former FBI agent John Douglas
  • New interview with critic Maitland McDonagh
  • Thirty-five minutes of deleted scenes
  • Interview from 2005 with Demme and Foster
  • Inside the Labyrinth, a 2001 documentary
  • Page to Screen, a 2002 program about the adaptation
  • Scoring “The Silence,” a 2004 interview program featuring composer Howard Shore
  • Understanding the Madness, a 2008 program featuring interviews with retired FBI special agents
  • Original behind-the-scenes featurette
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Amy Taubin along with, in the Blu-ray edition, a new introduction by Foster; an account of the origins of the character Hannibal Lecter by author Thomas Harris; and a 1991 interview with Demme

The Hero (#911) out Feb 20

cc The Hero.jpgIn this psychologically rich character study, written and directed by Satyajit Ray, Bengali film star Uttam Kumar draws on his real-world celebrity to play Arindam Mukherjee, a matinee idol on the brink of his first flop. When Mukherjee boards an overnight train to Delhi to accept an award, a journalist (Sharmila Tagore) approaches him seeking an exclusive interview, which initiates a conversation that sends the actor reeling down a path of self-examination. Seamlessly integrating rueful flashbacks and surreal dream sequences with the quietly revelatory stories of the train’s other passengers, The Hero is a graceful meditation on art, fame, and regret from one of world cinema’s most keenly perceptive filmmakers. The special features are:

  • New, restored 2K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Interview from 2008 with actor Sharmila Tagore
  • New program featuring film scholar Meheli Sen
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by author Pico Iyer and a 1980 tribute to Kumar by Ray

An Actor's Revenge (#912) out Feb 20

cc An Actors Revenge.jpgA uniquely prolific and chameleonic figure of world cinema, Kon Ichikawa delivered a burst of stylistic bravado with this intricate tale of betrayal and retribution. Set in the cloistered world of nineteenth-century kabuki theater, the film charts a female impersonator’s attempts to avenge the deaths of his parents, who were driven to insanity and suicide by a trio of corrupt men. Ichikawa takes the conventions of melodrama and turns them on their head, bringing the hero’s fractured psyche to life in boldly experimental widescreen compositions infused with kaleidoscopic color, pop-art influences, and meticulous choreography. Anchored by a magnificently androgynous performance by Kazuo Hasegawa, reprising a role he had played on-screen three decades earlier, An Actor’s Revenge is an eye-popping examination of how the illusions of art intersect with life. The special features are:

  • New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Rare 1999 Directors Guild of Japan interview with director Kon Ichikawa, conducted by critic and filmmaker Yuki Mori
  • New interview with critic, filmmaker, and festival programmer Tony Rayns
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Michael Sragow

Tom Jones (#909) out Feb 27

cc Tom Jones.jpgIn the early 1960s, at the height of the British New Wave, a movement whose gritty realism they had helped establish, director Tony Richardson and playwright John Osborne set out for more fanciful narrative territory. Tom Jones brings a theatrical flair to Henry Fielding’s canonical eighteenth-century novel, boisterously chronicling the misadventures of the foundling of the title (Albert Finney, in a career-defining turn), whose easy charm seems to lead him astray at every turn from his beloved, the wellborn Sophie Western (Susannah York). This spirited picaresque, evocatively shot in England’s rambling countryside and featuring an extraordinary ensemble cast, went on to become a worldwide sensation, winning the Oscar for best picture on the way to securing its status as a classic of irreverent wit and playful cinematic expression. The special features are:

  • New 4K digital restorations of the original theatrical version of the film and the 1989 director’s cut, both supervised by director of photography Walter Lassally, with uncompressed monaural and stereo soundtracks on the Blu-ray
  • New program on the film’s cinematography featuring a conversation between Lassally and critic Peter Cowie
  • Excerpt from a 1982 episode of The Dick Cavett Show featuring actor Albert Finney
  • New interview with actor Vanessa Redgrave on director Tony Richardson, to whom she was married from 1962 to 1967
  • New interview with film scholar Duncan Petrie on the movie’s impact on British cinema
  • Illustrated archival audio interview with composer John Addison on his Oscar-winning score for the film
  • New interview with the director’s-cut editor, Robert Lambert
  • PLUS: An essay by scholar Neil Sinyard

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