Criterion Announces June 2016 Releases

There'll be no June gloom for movie lovers this summer.
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The six offerings from Criterion in June are all new titles to the Collection.  They are Michelangelo Antonioni's Le amiche, Jean Renoir’s La chienne, Alexander Hall’s Here Comes Mr. Jordan, René Laloux’s Fantastic Planet, Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb and Olivier Assayas' Clouds of Sils Maria. Read on to learn more about them.

Le amiche (#817) out Jun 7

cc Le Amiche.jpgThis major early achievement by Michelangelo Antonioni bears the first signs of the cinema-changing style for which he would soon be world-famous. Le amiche (The Girlfriends) is a brilliantly observed, fragmentary depiction of modern bourgeois life, conveyed from the perspective of five Turinese women. As four of the friends try to make sense of the suicide attempt of the fifth, they find themselves examining their own troubled romantic lives. With suggestions of the theme of modern alienation and the fastidious visual abstraction that would define his later masterpieces such as L’avventura, L’eclisse, and Red Desert, Antonioni’s film is a devastating take on doomed love and fraught friendship. The special edition features are:

  • New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New conversation with scholars David Forgacs and Karen Pinkus on the film’s themes
  • New interview with scholar Eugenia Paulicelli on the importance of fashion in Antonioni’s work
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by film scholar Tony Pipolo

La chienne (#818) out Jun 14

cc La Chienne.jpgJean Renoir’s ruthless love triangle tale, his second sound film, is a true precursor to his brilliantly bitter The Rules of the Game,displaying all of the filmmaker’s visual genius and fully imbued with his profound sense of humanity. A hangdog Michel Simon cuts a tragic figure as an unhappily married cashier and amateur painter who becomes so smitten with a prostitute that he refuses to see the obvious: that she and her pimp boyfriend are taking advantage of him. Renoir’s elegant compositions and camera movements carry this twisting and turning narrative—a stinging commentary on class and sexual divides—to an unforgettably ironic conclusion. The special edition features are:

  • New, restored 4K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Introduction to the film by director Jean Renoir from 1967
  • New interview with Renoir scholar Christopher Faulkner
  • New restoration of On purge bébé (1931), Renoir’s first sound film, also starring Michel Simon and never before on Blu-ray or DVD in the U.S.
  • Jean Renoir le patron: “Michel Simon” (1966), a ninety-minute French television program featuring a conversation between Renoir and Simon, moderated by filmmaker Jacques Rivette
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by film scholar and critic Ginette Vincendeau

Here Comes Mr. Jordan (#819) out Jun 14

cc Here Comes Mr Jordan.jpgA sophisticated supernatural Hollywood comedy whose influence continues to be felt, Here Comes Mr. Jordan stars the eminently versatile Robert Montgomery as a working-class boxer and amateur aviator whose plane crashes in a freak accident. He finds himself in heaven but is told, by a wry angel named Mr. Jordan (Claude Rains), that his death was a clerical error, and that he can return to earth by entering the body of a corrupt (and about-to-be-murdered) banker—whose soul could use a transplant. Having inspired a sequel with Rita Hayworth and two remakes (the first starring Warren Beatty and the second Chris Rock), Alexander Hall’s effervescent Here Comes Mr. Jordan is comic perfection. The special edition features are:

  • New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New conversation between critic Michael Sragow and independent filmmaker Michael Schlesinger
  • Audio interview from 1991 in which actor Elizabeth Montgomery discusses her father, actor Robert Montgomery
  • Lux Radio Theatre adaptation of Here Comes Mr. Jordan from 1942 starring Cary Grant, Claude Rains, Evelyn Keyes, and James Gleason
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Farran Smith Nehme

Fantastic Planet (#820) out Jun 21

cc Fantastic Planet.jpgNothing else has ever looked or felt like director René Laloux’s animated marvel Fantastic Planet,a politically minded and visually inventive work of science fiction. The film is set on a distant planet called Ygam, where enslaved humans (Oms) are the playthings of giant blue natives (Draags). After Terr, kept as a pet since infancy, escapes from his gigantic child captor, he is swept up by a band of radical fellow Oms who are resisting the Draags’ oppression and violence. With its eerie, coolly surreal cutout animation by Roland Topor; brilliant psychedelic jazz score by Alain Goraguer; and wondrous creatures and landscapes, this Cannes-awarded 1973 counterculture classic is a perennially compelling statement against conformity and violence. The special edition features are:

  • New, restored 4K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Alternate English-language soundtrack
  • Les escargots (1966), an early short film by director René Laloux and illustrator Roland Topor
  • Laloux sauvage, a 2009 documentary on Laloux
  • Italiques: Roland Topor Special, a 1974 French television program on Topor’s work
  • Archival interviews
  • Trailer
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Michael Brooke

Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (#821) out Jun 28

cc Dr Strangelove.jpgStanley Kubrick’s painfully funny take on Cold War anxiety is without a doubt one of the fiercest satires of human folly ever to come out of Hollywood. The matchless shape-shifter Peter Sellers plays three wildly different roles: Air Force Captain Lionel Mandrake, timidly trying to stop a nuclear attack on the USSR ordered by an unbalanced general (Sterling Hayden); the ineffectual and perpetually dumbfounded President Merkin Muffley, who must deliver the very bad news to the Soviet premier; and the titular Strangelove himself, a wheelchair-bound presidential adviser with a Nazi past. Finding improbable hilarity in nearly every unimaginable scenario, Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb is a genuinely subversive masterpiece that officially announced Kubrick as an unparalleled stylist and pitch-black ironist. The special edition features are:

  • Restored 4K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Alternate 5.1 surround soundtrack
  • New interviews with Stanley Kubrick scholars Mick Broderick and Rodney Hill; archivist Richard Daniels; cinematographer and camera innovator Joe Dunton; camera operator Kelvin Pike; and David George, son of Peter George, on whose novel Red Alert the film is based
  • Excerpts from a 1965 audio interview with Kubrick, conducted by Jeremy Bernstein
  • Four short documentaries from 2000, about the making of the film, the sociopolitical climate of the period, the work of actor Peter Sellers, and the artistry of Kubrick
  • Interviews from 1963 with Sellers and actor George C. Scott
  • Excerpt from a 1980 interview with Sellers from NBC’s Today show
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by scholar David Bromwich and a 1962 article by screenwriter Terry Southern on the making of the film

Clouds of Sils Maria (#822) out Jun 28

This multilayered, immensely entertaining drama from the great contemporary French director Olivier Assayas is a singular look at the intersection of high art and popular culture. The always extraordinary Juliette Binoche is stirring as Maria, a stage and screen icon who is being courted to star in a new production of the play that made her famous—only this time she must assume the role of the older woman. Kristen Stewart matches her punch for punch as her beleaguered assistant, called upon to provide support both professional and emotional for her mercurial boss. And Chloë Grace Moretz is Maria’s arrogant new castmate, a starlet waiting in the wings. An amorphous, soul-searching tale, filled with ethereal images of its Swiss Alps setting, Clouds of Sils Maria brilliantly dramatizes one woman’s reckoning with herself and
the world. The director-approved special edition features are:

  • New 2K digital master, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New interviews with director Olivier Assayas and actors Juliette Binoche and Kristen Stewart
  • Cloud Phenomena of Maloja, a silent 1924 documentary by Arnold Fanck that is seen in the film
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Molly Haskell

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