Criterion Announces July 2016 Releases

Here's a cure for the summertime blues.
  |   Comments

The six offerings from Criterion in July are four new titles to the Collection and two upgrades.  The former are Arthur Hiller's The In-laws; Alain Resnais’ Muriel, or The Time of Return; King Hu's A Touch of Zen; and Terrence Malick's The New World.  The latter are Herk Harvey’s Carnival of Souls and a second Resnais title, Night and Fog. Read on to learn more about them.

The In-laws (#823) out Jul 5

cc The Inlaws.jpgPeter Falk and Alan Arkin make for a hilarious dream team in this beloved American sidesplitter. Directed by Arthur Hiller from an ingenious script by Andrew Bergman, The In-Laws may at first seem like a generic meet-the-parents comedy, as Arkin’s mild-mannered dentist suspiciously eyes Falk’s volatile mystery man, whose son is engaged to his daughter. But soon, through a series of events too serpentine and surprising to spoil, the two men are brought together by a dangerous mission that takes them from suburban New Jersey to Honduras. Fueled by elaborate stunt work and the laconic, naturalistic charms of its two stars, The In-Lawsdeserves its status as a madcap classic—and has continued to draw ardent fans in the years since its release. The special edition features are:

  • New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary from 2003 featuring director Arthur Hiller, actors Alan Arkin and Peter Falk, and writer Andrew Bergman
  • New interview with Arkin
  • In Support of “The In-Laws,” a new interview program featuring actors Ed Begley Jr., Nancy Dussault, James Hong, and David Paymer
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by comedy writer Stephen Winer and a 2011 recollection of the making of the film by Hiller

Carnival of Souls (#63) out Jul 12

cc Carnival of Souls.jpgA young woman in a small Kansas town survives a drag race accident, then agrees to take a job as a church organist in Salt Lake City. En route, she becomes haunted by a bizarre apparition that compels her toward an abandoned lakeside pavilion. Made by industrial filmmakers on a modest budget, the eerily effective B-movie classic Carnival of Souls was intended to have “the look of a Bergman and the feel of a Cocteau”—and, with its strikingly used locations and spooky organ score, it succeeds. Herk Harvey’s macabre masterpiece gained a cult following on late-night television and continues to inspire filmmakers today. The special edition features are:

  • New, restored 4K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Selected-scene audio commentary featuring director Herk Harvey and screenwriter John Clifford
  • New interview with comedian and writer Dana Gould
  • New video essay by film critic David Cairns
  • The Movie That Wouldn’t Die!, a documentary on the 1989 reunion of the film’s cast and crew
  • The Carnival Tour, a 2000 update on the film’s locations
  • Excerpts from movies made by the Centron Corporation, an industrial film company based in Lawrence, Kansas, that once employed Harvey and Clifford
  • Deleted scenes
  • Outtakes, accompanied by Gene Moore’s organ score
  • History of the Saltair Resort in Salt Lake City, where key scenes in the film were shot
  • Trailer
  • More!
  • PLUS: An essay by writer and programmer Kier-La Janisse

Night and Fog (#197) out Jul 19

cc Night and Fog.jpgTen years after the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps, filmmaker Alain Resnais documented the abandoned grounds of Auschwitz and Majdanek in Night and Fog (Nuit et brouillard), one of the first cinematic reflections on the Holocaust. Juxtaposing the stillness of the abandoned camps’ empty buildings with haunting wartime footage, Resnais investigates the cyclical nature of humanity’s violence against humanity, and presents the devastating suggestion that such horrors could occur again. The special edition features are:

  • New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Excerpt from a 1994 audio interview with director Alain Resnais
  • New interview with documentary filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer
  • Face aux fantômes, a 99-minute 2009 documentary featuring historian Sylvie Lindeperg that explores the French memory of the Holocaust and the controversy surrounding the film’s release
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by film scholar Colin MacCabe

Muriel, or The Time of Return (#824) out Jul 19

cc Muriel or.jpgAlain Resnais’ Muriel, or The Time of Return, the director’s follow-up to Last Year at Marienbad, is as radical a reflection on the nature of time and memory as its predecessor. The always luminous Delphine Seyrig stars as an antique shop owner and widow in Boulogne-sur-Mer, whose past comes back to haunt her when a former lover reenters her life. Meanwhile, her stepson is tormented by his own ghosts, related to his service in France’s recently ended war in Algeria. Featuring a multilayered script by Jean Cayrol, and inventively edited to evoke its middle-class characters’ political and personal realities, the fragmented, emotionally powerful Murielreminds viewers that the past is always present. The special edition features are:

  • New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Excerpt from the 1980 documentary Une approche d’Alain Resnais, révolutionnaire discret
  • Excerpt from a 1969 interview with actor Delphine Seyrig
  • Interview with composer Hans Werner Henze from 1963
  • New interview with film scholar François Thomas, author of L’atelier d’Alain Resnais
  • Trailer
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by film scholar James Quandt

A Touch of Zen (#825) out Jul 19

cc A Touch of Zen.jpg“Visionary” barely begins to describe this masterpiece of Chinese cinema and martial arts moviemaking. A Touch of Zen by King Hu depicts the journey of Yang (Hsu Feng), a fugitive noblewoman who seeks refuge in a remote, and allegedly haunted, village. The sanctuary she finds with a shy scholar and two aides in disguise is shattered when a nefarious swordsman uncovers her identity, pitting the four against legions of blade-wielding opponents. At once a wuxia film, the tale of a spiritual quest, and a study in human nature, A Touch of Zen is an unparalleled work in Hu’s formidable career and an epic of the highest order, characterized by breathtaking action choreography, stunning widescreen landscapes, and innovative editing. The special edition features are:

  • New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Documentary from 2012 about director King Hu
  • New interviews with actors Hsu Feng and Shih Chun
  • New interview with filmmaker Ang Lee
  • New interview with film scholar Tony Rayns
  • Trailer
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by film scholar David Bordwell and notes by Hu from a 1975 Cannes Film Festival press kit

The New World (#826) out Jul 26

cc The New World.jpgThis singular vision of early seventeenth-century America from Terrence Malick is a work of astounding elemental beauty, a poetic meditation on nature, violence, love, and civilization. It reimagines the apocryphal story of the meeting of British explorer John Smith (Colin Farrell) and Powhatan native Pocahontas (Q’orianka Kilcher, in a revelatory performance) as a romantic idyll between spiritual equals, then follows Pocahontas through her marriage to John Rolfe (Christian Bale) and her life in England. With art director Jack Fisk’s raw re-creation of the Jamestown colony, Emmanuel Lubezki’s marvelous, naturally lit cinematography, and James Horner’s soaring musical score, The New Worldis a film of uncommon power and technical splendor, one that shows Malick at the height of his visual and philosophical powers. The director-approved special edition features are:

  • New 4K digital restoration of the 172-minute extended cut of the film, supervised by cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki and director Terrence Malick and featuring material not released in theaters, with both theatrical and near-field 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks on the Blu-ray
  • High-definition digital transfers of the 150-minute first cut and the 135-minute theatrical cut of the film, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks on the Blu-rays
  • New interviews with actors Colin Farrel and Q’orianka Kilcher
  • New program about the making of the film, featuring interviews with producer Sarah Green, production designer Jack Fisk, and costume designer Jacqueline West
  • Making “The New World,” a documentary shot during the production of the film in 2004, directed and edited by Austin Jack Lynch
    *New program about the process of cutting The New World and its various versions, featuring interviews with editors Hank Corwin, Saar Klein, and Mark Yoshikawa
  • Trailers
  • PLUS: A book featuring an essay by film scholar Tom Gunning, a 2006 interview with Lubezki from American Cinematographer, and a selection of materials that inspired the production

Follow Us