Criterion Announces March 2019 Releases

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It's movie madness next March from Criterion with the release of six titles.  They are Ted Wilde's The Kid Brother, Edgar G. Ulmer's Detour, Barbara Loden's Wanda, Robert Zemeckis's I Wanna Hold Your Hand, and Carlos Reygadas's Japón.  Ingmar Bergman’s The Magic Flute is getting a Blu-ray upgrade.  Read on to learn more about them.

The Magic Flute (#71) out Mar 12

This scintillating screen version of Mozart’s beloved opera showcases Ingmar Bergman’s deep knowledge of music and gift for expressing it cinematically. Casting some of Europe’s finest soloists—Josef Köstlinger, Ulrik Cold, Håkan Hagegård, and Birgit Nordin among them—the director lovingly recreated the baroque theater of Sweden’s Drottningholm Palace to stage the story of the prince Tamino and his zestful sidekick Papageno, who are sent on a mission to save a beautiful princess from the clutches of evil. A celebration of love and forgiveness that exhibits a profound appreciation for the artifice and spectacle of the theater, The Magic Fluteis among the most exquisite opera films ever made. The special features are:

  • New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed stereo soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Interview with director Ingmar Bergman recorded in 1974 for Swedish television
  • New interview with film scholar Peter Cowie
  • Tystnad! Tagning! Trollflöjten! (1975), a feature-length documentary produced for Swedish television about the making of the film
  • PLUS: An essay by author Alexander Chee

The Kid Brother (#964) out Mar 12

cc Kid Brother.jpgSilent-comedy legend Harold Lloyd goes west in this irresistible blend of action, romance, and slapstick invention. The bespectacled everyman is at his inimitable best as Harold Hickory, the gentle son of a prominent lawman who lives in the shadow of his rough-and-tumble brothers. When a traveling medicine show rolls into town, it brings with it excitement, the possibility of love, and a chance for Harold to prove his mettle. Deftly balancing Lloyd’s brilliant sight gags and thrilling set pieces—including an epic, knock-down, drag-out fight aboard an abandoned ship—with one of the actor-filmmaker’s most fully realized, root-for-the-underdog narratives, The Kid Brother is a hilarious and heartwarming high-water mark of early screen comedy. The special features are:

  • New 4K digital restoration
  • Orchestral score by composer Carl Davis from 1989
  • Alternate archival organ score performed by Gaylord Carter
  • Audio commentary from 2005 featuring filmmaker and Harold Lloyd archivist Richard Correll, film historian Annette D’Agostino Lloyd, and Harold Lloyd’s granddaughter Suzanne Lloyd
  • Harold’s Leading Ladies, a new conversation between author Cari Beauchamp and Suzanne Lloyd
  • Anatomy of a Gag: Monkeyshoes, a new video essay by critic and filmmaker David Cairns
  • Behind-the-scenes stills gallery curated by Harold Lloyd archivist Richard Simonton Jr.
  • Close to Home, a new video essay on the film’s shooting locations by author John Bengtson
  • Dutch television interview with Lloyd from 1962
  • Featurette from 2005 about Greenacres, Lloyd’s estate, hosted by Suzanne Lloyd
  • Two restored rare early Lloyd shorts: Over the Fence (1917) and That’s Him (1918), with new Wurlitzer theater pipe organ scores and a discussion of their early film formats by archivist Dino Everett
  • New tour of the Wurlitzer organ with composer Nathan Barr and organist Mark Herman
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Carrie Rickey

Wanda (#965) out Mar 19

cc Wanda.jpgWith her first and only film—a hard-luck drama she wrote, directed, and starred in—Barbara Loden turned in a groundbreaking work of American independent cinema, bringing to life a kind of character seldom seen on-screen. Set amid a soot-choked Pennsylvania landscape, and shot in an intensely intimate vérité style, the film takes up with distant and soft-spoken Wanda (Loden), who has left her husband, lost custody of her children, and now finds herself alone, drifting between dingy bars and motels, where she falls prey to a series of callous men—including a bank robber who ropes her into his next criminal scheme. A difficult-to-see masterpiece that has nonetheless exerted an outsize influence on generations of artists and filmmakers, Wanda is a compassionate and wrenching portrait of a woman stranded on society’s margins. The special features are:

  • New 2K digital restoration by the UCLA Film & Television Archive, The Film Foundation, and Gucci, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • I Am Wanda, an hour-long documentary by Katja Raganelli featuring an interview with director Barbara Loden filmed in 1980
  • Audio recording of Loden speaking to students at the American Film Institute in 1971
  • Segment from a 1971 episode of The Dick Cavett Show featuring Loden
  • The Frontier Experience, a short educational film from 1975 about a pioneer woman’s struggle to survive, directed by and starring Loden
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by film critic Amy Taubin

Detour (#966) out Mar 19

cc Detour.jpgFrom Poverty Row came a movie that, perhaps more than any other, epitomizes the dark fatalism at the heart of film noir. As he hitchhikes his way from New York to Los Angeles, a down-on-his-luck nightclub pianist (Tom Neal) finds himself with a dead body on his hands and nowhere to run—a waking nightmare that goes from bad to worse when he picks up the most vicious femme fatale in cinema history, Ann Savage’s snarling, monstrously conniving drifter Vera. Working with no-name stars on a bargain-basement budget, B auteur Edgar G. Ulmer turned threadbare production values and seedy, low-rent atmosphere into indelible pulp poetry. Long unavailable in a format in which its hard-boiled beauty could be fully appreciated, Detour haunts anew in its first major restoration. The special features are:

  • New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Edgar G. Ulmer: The Man Off-Screen, a 2004 documentary featuring interviews with filmmakers Roger Corman, Joe Dante, and Wim Wenders and actor Ann Savage
  • New interview with film scholar Noah Isenberg, author of Edgar G. Ulmer: A Filmmaker at the Margins
  • New program about the restoration of Detour
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by critic and poet Robert Polito

I Wanna Hold Your Hand (#967) out Mar 26

cc I Wanna Hold Your Hand.jpgOn February 9, 1964, the Beatles made their first live appearance on American television on The Ed Sullivan Show, ratcheting up the frenzy of a fanbase whose ecstatic devotion to the band heralded an explosive new wave of youth culture. I Wanna Hold Your Hand looks back to that fateful weekend, following six teenagers, each with their own reasons for wanting to see the Fab Four, from New Jersey to Manhattan on a madcap mission to meet the band and score tickets to the show. With this rollicking first feature, director Robert Zemeckis and cowriter Bob Gale established themselves as a filmmaking team par excellence, adept at mining America’s cultural memory for comedy and adventure with a winning mixture of sweet nostalgia and playful irreverence. The director-approved special features are:

  • New 4K digital restoration, approved by director Robert Zemeckis and cowriter Bob Gale, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New conversation among Zemeckis, Gale, and executive producer Steven Spielberg
  • New interview with actors Nancy Allen and Marc McClure
  • Audio commentary from 2004 featuring Zemeckis and Gale
  • The Lift (1972) and A Field of Honor (1973), two early short films by Zemeckis
  • Trailer and radio spots
  • More!
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Scott Tobias

Japón (#968) out Mar 26

cc Japon.jpgIn this preternaturally assured feature debut by Carlos Reygadas, a man (Alejandro Ferretis) travels from Mexico City to an isolated village to commit suicide; once there, however, he meets a pious elderly woman (Magdalena Flores) whose quiet humanity incites a reawakening of his desires. Recruiting a cast of nonactors and filming in sublime 16 mm CinemaScope, Reygadas explores the harsh beauty of the Mexican countryside with earthy tactility, conjuring a psychic landscape where religion mingles with sex, life coexists with death, and the animal and spiritual sides of human experience become indistinguishable. A work of soaring ambition and startling visual poetry, Japón is an existential journey through uncharted cinematic territory that established the singular voice of its director. The director-approved special features are:

  • New 2K digital restoration, supervised by director Carlos Reygadas, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New conversation between Reygadas and filmmaker Amat Escalante
  • Video diary shot by actor Alejandro Ferretis during the film’s production
  • Maxhumain, a short film directed by Reygadas in 1999
  • Deleted scene
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: A new essay by novelist Valeria Luiselli

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