Criterion Announces November 2014 Releases

Get your Xmas shopping for the movie fan in your life done a month early.
  |   Comments

In November, the Criterion Collection offers a new restoration of Michelangelo Antonioni's L’avventura. Debuting in the collection are two westerns by Monte Hellman The Shooting / Ride in the Whirlwind, two classic comedies in Frank Capra's It Happened One Night and Sydney Pollack's Tootsie and a collection of 14 documentaries in Les Blank: Always For Pleasure.

The Shooting / Ride in the Whirlwind (#734/735) out Nov 14 in Blu-ray & DVD Editions

shooting_ride the wild wind.jpg

In the mid-sixties, the maverick American director Monte Hellman conceived of two westerns at the same time. Dreamlike and gritty by turns, the two films would prove their maker’s adeptness at brilliantly deconstructing genre. As shot back-to-back for famed producer Roger Corman, they feature overlapping casts and crews, including Jack Nicholson in two of his meatiest early roles. The films—The Shooting, about a motley assortment of loners following a mysterious wanted man through a desolate frontier, and Ride in the Whirlwind, about a group of cowhands pursued by vigilantes for crimes they did not commit—are rigorous, artful, and wholly unconventional journeys into the American West. The special edition features are:

  • New 4K digital restorations of both films, supervised by director Monte Hellman, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentaries on both films, featuring Hellman and film historians Bill Krohn and Blake Lucas
  • New interviews with actors John Hackett, B. J. Merholz, Millie Perkins, and Harry Dean Stanton, assistant director Gary Kurtz, and chief wrangler Calvin Johnson, all in conversation with Hellman
  • New conversation between actor Will Hutchins and film programmer Jake Perlin
  • New video essay on actor Warren Oates by critic Kim Morgan
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Michael Atkinson
  • More!

It Happened One Night (#736) out Nov 18 in Blu-ray & DVD Editions

It happened one night.jpg

Opposites attract with magnetic force in this romantic road-trip delight from Frank Capra, about a spoiled runaway socialite (Claudette Colbert) and a roguish man-of-the-people reporter (Clark Gable) who is determined to get the scoop on her scandalous disappearance. The first film to accomplish the very rare feat of sweeping all five major Oscar categories (best picture, best actor, best actress, best director, and best screenplay), It Happened One Night is among the most gracefully constructed and edited films of the early sound era, packed with clever situations and gags that have entered the Hollywood comedy pantheon. Featuring two actors at the top of their game, sparking with a chemistry that has never been bettered, this is the birth of the screwball comedy. The special edition features are:

  • New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New conversation between critics Molly Haskell and Phillip Lopate Frank Capra’s American Dream, a 1997 feature-length documentary
  • Director Frank Capra’s first film, the 1922 silent short The Ballad of Fisher’s Boarding House
  • American Film Institute tribute to Capra from 1982
  • Trailer 
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Farran Smith Nehme
  • More!

L'avventura (#98) out Nov 25 in Blu-ray & DVD Editions 

l-avventura.jpg

Michelangelo Antonioni invented a new film grammar with this masterwork. An iconic piece of challenging 1960s cinema and a gripping narrative in its own right, L’avventura concerns the enigmatic disappearance of a young woman during a yachting trip off the coast of Sicily, and the search taken up by her disaffected lover (Gabriele Ferzetti) and best friend (Monica Vitti, in her breakout role). Antonioni’s controversial international sensation is a gorgeously shot tale of modern ennui and spiritual isolation. The special edition features are:

  • New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary featuring film historian Gene Youngblood
  • Selected-scene commentary by filmmaker Olivier Assayas
  • Antonioni: Documents and Testimonials, a fifty-eight-minute 1966 documentary by Gianfranco Mingozzi
  • Writings by director Michelangelo Antonioni, read by actor Jack Nicholson, plus Nicholson’s personal recollections of the director
  • New English subtitle translation
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Geoffrey Nowell-Smith, along with the statement Antonioni made about the film and the letter that circulated in support of it after its 1960 Cannes premiere

 Les Blank: Always For Pleasure (#737) out Nov 25 in Blu-ray & DVD Editions

Les Blank Always For Pleasure.jpg

Films Include The Blues Accordin’ to Lightnin’ Hopkins (1968); God Respects Us When We Work, but Loves Us When We Dance (1968); Spend It All (1971); A Well Spent Life (1971); Dry Wood (1973); Hot Pepper (1973); Always for Pleasure (1978); Garlic Is as Good as Ten Mothers (1980); Sprout Wings and Fly (1983); In Heaven There Is No Beer? (1984); Gap-Toothed Women (1987); Yum, Yum, Yum (1990); The Maestro: King of the Cowboy Artists (1994); Sworn to the Drum (1995) The special edition features are:

  • New 2K digital restorations of all fourteen films, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks on the Blu-rays
  • Excerpt from Les Blank: A Quiet Revelation, an upcoming documentary by Gina Leibrecht
  • New interviews with director Les Blank’s sons, Harrod and Beau; Blank documentary subject Gerald Gaxiola (a.k.a. the Maestro); filmmakers Skip Gerson, Maureen Gosling, Taylor Hackford, Tom Luddy, and Chris Simon; and chef and author Alice Waters
  • Blank’s short films Lightnin’ Les (1968), Mr. Charlie, Your Rollin’ Mill Is Burnin’ Down (1968), The Sun’s Gonna Shine (1968), More Fess (1978), Julie: Old Time Tales of the Blue Ridge (1991), My Old Fiddle: A Visit with Tommy Jarrell in the Blue Ridge (1995), and The Maestro Rides Again(2005)
  • PLUS: An essay by film scholar Andrew Horton

 Tootsie (#738) out Nov 25 in Blu-ray & DVD Editions

Tootsie.jpg

In Tootsie, the character Michael Dorsey lands the role of a lifetime—as does the actor playing him, Dustin Hoffman. This multilayered comedy from director Sydney Pollack follows the increasingly elaborate deception of a down-on-his-luck New York actor who disguises himself as a woman to get a coveted soap opera gig; while his female persona skyrockets to fame, he finds himself learning to be a better man. Hoffman’s ball-busting yet disarmingly sweet Dorothy Michaels is a sensational comic creation, given support by a stellar cast including Dabney Coleman, Charles Durning, Teri Garr, George Gaynes, Bill Murray, and, in her first Oscar-winning role, Jessica Lange. Imbued with poignant drama, Tootsie is a funny and cutting film from an American moment defined by shifting social and sexual identities.

  • New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary featuring director Sydney Pollack, taken from Criterion’s 1991 laserdisc edition of the film
  • New interview with comedy writer Phil Rosenthal
  • Interview with Dorothy Michaels by film critic Gene Shalit, from the film’s production
  • Making of “Tootsie,” a 1982 documentary directed by Rocky Lang
  • A Better Man: The Making of “Tootsie,” a 2007 documentary directed by Charles Kiselyak and featuring interviews with Pollack; actors Dabney Coleman, Teri Garr, Hoffman, and Jessica Lange; and writers Larry Gelbart and Murray Schisgal
  • Screen and wardrobe test footage of Hoffman
  • Deleted scenes and trailers
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Michael Sragow

Tell us which one are you most interested in and why in the comments.

Follow Us