Criterion Announces September 2015 Releases

A well-rounded collection of films from around the world.
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In September, Autumn comes and so does this batch of six Criterion titles.  New to the collection are Krzysztof Kieślowski's Blind Chance, Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom, Merchant Ivory’s A Room with a View, and two films by Bruce Beresford, Breaker Morant and Mister Johnson.  Also available is a new 2k digital restoration of Leonard Kastle’s The Honeymoon Killers. Read on to learn more about them.

Blind Chance (#772) out Sep 15 in Blu-ray & DVD Editions 

Blind Chance CC.jpgBefore he stunned the cinematic world with the epic The Decalogue and the Three Colors trilogy, the great Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Kieślowski made his first work of metaphysical genius, Blind Chance, a compelling drama about the difficulty of reconciling political ideals with personal happiness. This unforgettable film follows Witek (a magnetic Boguslaw Linda), a medical student with an uncertain future in Communist Poland; Kieślowski dramatizes Witek’s journey as a series of different possibilities, suggesting that chance rules our lives as much as choice. First suppressed and then censored by the Polish government, Blind Chance is here presented in its complete original form. The special edition features are:

  • New 4K digital restoration of the original uncensored film, approved by cinematographer Krzysztof Pakulski, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New interview with Polish film critic Tadeusz Sobolewski
  • Interview with director Agnieszka Holland from 2003
  • Nine sections from the film originally censored by the Central Film Board in Poland
  • PLUS: An essay by film critic Dennis Lim and a 1993 interview about the film with director Krzysztof Kieślowski

Breaker Morant (#773) out Sep 22 in Blu-ray & DVD Editions 

Breaker Morant cc.jpgAt the turn of the twentieth century, three Australian army lieutenants are court-martialed for alleged war crimes committed while fighting in South Africa. With no time to prepare, an Australian major, appointed as defense attorney, must prove they were just following the rules of war and are being made into political pawns by the British imperial command. Director Bruce Beresford garnered international acclaim for this riveting drama set during a dark period in his country’s colonial history, and featuring passionate performances by Edward Woodward, Bryan Brown, and Jack Thompson; rugged cinematography by Donald McAlpine; and an Oscar-nominated script, based on true events. The director-approved special edition features are:

  • New 4K digital restoration, supervised and approved by director Bruce Beresford, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary featuring Beresford from 2004
  • New interviews with Beresford, cinematographer Donald McAlpine, and actor Bryan Brown
  • Interview with actor Edward Woodward from 2004
  • New piece about the Boer War with historian Stephen Miller
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by film scholar Neil Sinyard

Mister Johnson (#774) out Sep 22 in Blu-ray & DVD Editions 

Mister Johnson cc.jpgA decade after he broke through with Breaker Morant, Australian director Bruce Beresford made another acclaimed film about the effects of colonialism on the individual. In a performance that earned him the Berlin Film Festival’s Silver Bear for best actor, Maynard Eziashi plays the title character, a Nigerian villager eager to work as a civil servant for the British authorities, including a sympathetic district officer (Pierce Brosnan), in the hopes that it will benefit him in the future. Instead, his ambition leads to his tragic downfall. Mister Johnson, based on a 1939 novel by Joyce Cary, is a graceful, heartfelt drama about the limits of idealism, affectingly acted and handsomely shot. The director-approved special edition features are:

  • New 4K digital restoration, supervised and approved by director Bruce Beresford, with uncompressed stereo soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New video interviews with Beresford, producer Michael Fitzgerald, and actors Maynard Eziashi and Pierce Brosnan
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by film scholar Neil Sinyard

Moonrise Kingdom (#776) out Sep 22 in Blu-ray & DVD Editions 

Moonrise Kingdom cc.jpgAn island off the New England coast, summer of 1965. Two twelve-year-olds, Sam and Suzy, fall in love, make a secret pact, and run away together into the wilderness. As local authorities try to hunt them down, a violent storm is brewing offshore . . . Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom stars Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward as the young couple on the run, Bruce Willis as Island Police Captain Sharp, Edward Norton as Khaki Scout troop leader Scout Master Ward, and Bill Murray and Frances McDormand as Suzy’s attorney parents, Walt and Laura Bishop. The cast also includes Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, and Bob Balaban. The magical soundtrack features the music of Benjamin Britten. The director-approved special edition features are:

  • Restored 2K digital transfer, supervised by director Wes Anderson, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary featuring Anderson, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Jason Schwartzman, and Roman Coppola
  • Selected-scene storyboard animatics
  • Interviews with cast and crew
  • Exploring the Set of “Moonrise Kingdom,” an original documentary about the film
  • Norton’s home movies from the set
  • Behind-the-scenes, special effects, and test footage
  • Auditions
  • Trailer
  • More!
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Geoffrey O’Brien, plus a map of New Penzance Island and other ephemera

A Room with a View (#775) out Sep 29 in Blu-ray & DVD Editions 

Room with a View cc.jpgMerchant Ivory Productions, led by director James Ivory and producer Ismail Merchant, became a household name with A Room with a View, the first of their extraordinary adaptations of E. M. Forster novels. A cherubic nineteen-year-old Helena Bonham Carter plays Lucy Honeychurch, a young, independent-minded, upper-class Edwardian woman who is trying to sort out her burgeoning romantic feelings, divided between an enigmatic free spirit (Julian Sands) she meets on vacation in Florence and the priggish bookworm (Daniel Day-Lewis) to whom she becomes engaged back in the more corseted Surrey. Funny, sexy, and sophisticated, this gargantuan art-house hit features a sublime supporting cast—including Simon Callow, Judi Dench, Denholm Elliott, Maggie Smith—and remains a touchstone of intelligent romantic cinema. The special edition features are:

  • New 4K digital restoration, supervised by cinematographer Tony Pierce-Roberts, with 2.0 surround Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New interviews with director James Ivory, Pierce-Roberts, costume designer John Bright, and actors Helena Bonham Carter, Simon Callow, and Julian Sands
  • Segment about Merchant Ivory Productions from a 1985 NBC television program
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by film critic Farran Smith Nehme

The Honeymoon Killers (#200) out Sep 29 in Blu-ray & DVD Editions

Honeymoon Killers cc.jpg

Martha Beck (Shirley Stoler) is sullen, overweight, and lonely. Desperate for affection, she joins Aunt Carrie’s Friendship Club and strikes up a correspondence with Ray Fernandez (Tony Lo Bianco), a charismatic smooth talker who could be the man of her dreams—or a degenerate con artist. Based on a shocking true story and filmed in documentary-style black and white by the confident and inspired first-time filmmaker Leonard Kastle, The Honeymoon Killers is a stark portrayal of the desperate lengths to which a lonely heart will go to find true love. The special edition features are:

  • New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New interview program featuring actors Tony Lo Bianco and Marilyn Chris and editor Stan Warnow
  • Interview with writer-director Leonard Kastle from 2003
  • “Dear Martha,” a new video essay by writer Scott Christianson, author of Condemned: Inside the Sing Sing Death House
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Gary Giddins

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