Criterion Announces June 2019 Releases

Criterion helps with the June Gloom through this roster of releases.
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Here's what film fans can look for to in June.  New to the collection are George Stevens's Swing Time, two by Bruno Dumont: L’humanité and La vie de Jésus, John Cameron Mitchell's Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and Sergei Bondarchuk’s War and Peace.  Three films released separately from Ingmar Bergman's Cinema, A Film Trilogy by Ingmar Bergman includes Through a Glass Darkly, Winter Light, and The Silence. Read on to learn more about them.

A Film Trilogy by Ingmar Bergman (#208) out Jun 4

In 1960, Swedish director Ingmar Bergman began work on three of his most powerful and representative films, eventually recognized as a trilogy. Already a figure of international acclaim for such masterpieces as The Seventh Seal and The Magician, Bergman turned his back on the expressionism of his fifties work to focus on a series of chamber dramas exploring belief and alienation in the modern age. Collaborating with the distinguished cinematographer Sven Nykvist, and eliciting searing performances from his refined cast of regulars—Harriet Andersson, Gunnar Björnstrand, Gunnel Lindblom, Ingrid Thulin, and Max von Sydow among them—Bergman unleashed Through a Glass Darkly, Winter Light, and The Silence in rapid succession, exposing moviegoers worldwide to a new level of intellectual and emotional intensity. Drawing on Bergman’s own upbringing and ongoing spiritual crises, the films of the trilogy examine the necessity of religion and question the promise of faith. The special features are:

  • On the DVD: High-definition digital transfers of all three films
  • On the Blu-ray: New 2K digital restorations of all three films, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks
  • Introductions to the films by director Ingmar Bergman, recorded in 2003 (Blu-ray only)
  • Observations on each film by film scholar Peter Cowie, recorded in 2003
  • Ingmar Bergman Makes a Movie, a five-part documentary by Vilgot Sjöman made for Swedish television during the production of Winter Light
  • Interview from 2012 with actor Harriet Andersson (Blu-ray only)
  • Audio interview from 1962 with actor Gunnar Björnstrand (Blu-ray only)
  • Illustrated audio interview with cinematographer Sven Nykvist, recorded in 1981 (Blu-ray only)
  • Poster gallery
  • Original U.S. theatrical trailers
  • Alternate English-dubbed soundtracks
  • On the DVD: Essays by film scholars Peter Matthews, Peter Cowie, and Leo Braudy, plus a statement from director Vilgot Sjöman
  • On the Blu-ray: An essay by film scholar Catherine Wheatley and an excerpt from Bergman’s 1987 autobiography, The Magic Lantern

Swing Time (#979) out Jun 11

cc Swing Time.jpgIn this irresistible musical, the legendary dancing duo Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers are at the pinnacle of their art as a feckless gambler and the shrewd dancing instructor in whom he more than meets his match. Director George Stevens laces their romance with humor and clears the floor for the movie’s showstopping dance scenes, in which Astaire and Rogers take seemingly effortless flight in a virtuosic fusion of ballroom and tap styles. Buoyed by beloved songs by Dorothy Fields and Jerome Kern—including the Oscar-winning classic “The Way You Look Tonight”—Swing Time is an exuberant celebration of its stars’ chemistry, grace, and sheer joy in the act of performance. The special features are:

  • New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary from 1986 featuring John Mueller, author of Astaire Dancing: The Musical Films
  • Archival interviews with performers Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers and choreographer Hermes Pan
  • New interview with George Stevens Jr.
  • In Full Swing, a new program on the film’s choreography and soundtrack featuring jazz and film critic Gary Giddins, dance critic Brian Seibert, and Dorothy Fields biographer Deborah Grace Winer
  • New interview with film scholar Mia Mask on the “Bojangles of Harlem” number
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Imogen Sara Smith

La vie de Jésus (#980) out Jun 18

cc La vie de Jesus.jpgWith his stunning debut feature, the risk-taking auteur Bruno Dumont immediately established his reputation as both a spiritual heir to Robert Bresson and an uncompromising iconoclast on the cutting edge of French cinema. Blending unflinching realism with moments of startling, light-filled beauty, La vie de Jésus finds unexpected philosophical richness in the quotidian, small-town existence of Freddy (nonprofessional David Douche in a revelatory, one-off performance), an aimless young man with epilepsy who, in his childlike simplicity, embodies both great tenderness and terrifying brutality. Leaving the film’s cryptic title tantalizingly open to interpretation, Dumont dares viewers to see the divine in a seemingly dead-end world. The director-approved special features are:

  • New 4K digital restoration, approved by director Bruno Dumont, with uncompressed stereo soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New interview with Dumont
  • Conversation between Dumont and critic Philippe Rouyer from 2014
  • Excerpts from two 1997 episodes of the French television program Le cercle de minuit
  • Trailer
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Nicholas Elliott

L’humanité (#981) out Jun 18

cc L’humanite.jpgThe transcendent second feature by Bruno Dumont probes the wonder and horror of the human condition through the story of a profoundly alienated police detective (the indelibly sad-eyed Emmanuel Schotté, winner of an upset best actor prize at Cannes for his first film performance) who, while investigating the murder of a young girl, experiences jolting, epiphanous moments of emotional and physical connection. Demonstrating Dumont’s deftness with nonactors and relentlessly frank depiction of bodies and sexuality, L’humanité is at once an idiosyncratic police procedural and a provocative exploration of the tension between humankind’s capacity for compassion and our base, sometimes barbarous animal instincts. The director-approved special features are:

  • New 4K digital restoration, approved by director Bruno Dumont, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New interview with Dumont
  • Conversation between Dumont and critic Philippe Rouyer from 2014
  • Segment from the French television program Tendences featuring actress Séverine Caneele
  • Segment from a 1999 French television news program featuring Dumont
  • Trailer
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Nicholas Elliott

Hedwig and the Angry Inch (#982) out Jun 25

cc Hedwig and Angry Inch.jpgWith this trailblazing musical, writer-director-star John Cameron Mitchell and composer-lyricist Stephen Trask brought their signature creation from stage to screen for a movie as unclassifiable as its protagonist. Raised a boy in East Berlin, Hedwig (Mitchell) undergoes a traumatic personal transformation in order to emigrate to the U.S., where she reinvents herself as an “internationally ignored” but divinely talented rock diva, characterized by Mitchell as a “beautiful gender of one.” The film tells Hedwig’s life story through her music, an eclectic collection of original punk anthems and power ballads by Trask, matching them with a freewheeling cinematic mosaic of music-video fantasies, animated interludes, and moments of bracing emotional realism. A hard-charging song cycle and a tender character study, Hedwig and the Angry Inch is a tribute to the transcendent power of rock and roll. The director-approved special features are:

  • New 4K digital restoration, supervised by director John Cameron Mitchell and cinematographer Frank DeMarco, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary from 2001 featuring Mitchell and DeMarco
  • New conversation between members of the cast and crew, including Mitchell, DeMarco, composer and lyricist Stephen Trask, hairstylist and makeup artist Michael Potter, animator Emily Hubley, actor Miriam Shor, and visual consultant Miguel Villalobos
  • Whether You Like It or Not: The Story of Hedwig (2003), an eighty-five-minute documentary tracing the development of the project from its beginnings in a New York club to its theatrical premiere at the Sundance Film Festival
  • New conversation between Trask and rock critic David Fricke about the film’s soundtrack
  • From the Archives, a new program exploring Hedwig’s production and legacy through its memorabilia
  • Deleted scenes with commentary by Mitchell and DeMarco
  • Trailer
  • More!
  • PLUS: An essay by Stephanie Zacharek, along with, for the Blu-ray edition, production photos by Potter and costume designer Arianne Phillips, illustrations by Hubley, and excerpts from two of the films inspirations, Plato’s Symposium and The Gospel of Thomas

War and Peace (#974) out Jun 25

cc War and Peace.jpgAt the height of the Cold War, the Soviet film industry set out to prove it could outdo Hollywood with a production that would dazzle the world: a titanic, awe-inspiring adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s classic tome in which the fates of three souls—the blundering, good-hearted Pierre; the heroically tragic Prince Andrei; and the radiant, tempestuous Natasha—collide amid the tumult of the Napoleonic Wars. Employing a cast of thousands and an array of innovative camera techniques, director Sergei Bondarchuk conjures a sweeping vision of grand balls that glitter with rococo beauty and breathtaking battles that overwhelm with their expressionistic power. As a statement of Soviet cinema’s might, War and Peace succeeded wildly, garnering the Academy Award for best foreign-language film and setting a new standard for epic moviemaking. The special features are:

  • New 2K digital restoration, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New interviews with cinematographer Anatoly Petritsky and filmmaker Fedor Bondarchuk, son of Sergei Bondarchuk
  • Two 1966 documentaries about the making of the film
  • Television program from 1967 profiling actor Ludmila Savelyeva, and featuring Sergei Bondarchuk
  • New program with historian Denise J. Youngblood (Bondarchuk’s “War and Peace”: Literary Classic to Soviet Cinematic Epic) detailing the cultural and historical contexts for the film
  • Janus rerelease trailer
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Ella Taylor

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