Criterion Announces September 2020 Releases

What titles will you be adding to your collection?
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The Criterion Collection expands in September with nine new titles. They are Claire Denis' Beau Travail, Francesco Rosi’s Christ Stopped at Eboli, David Lynch's The Elephant Man, and six films as part of Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project No. 3. Also two films are given high-definition upgrades: Jules Dassin’s The Naked City and Brute Force. Read on to learn more about them.

The Naked City (#380) out Sept 8

“There are eight million stories in the Naked City,” as the narrator immortally states at the close of this breathtakingly vivid film—and this is one of them. Master noir craftsman Jules Dassin and newspaperman-cum-producer Mark Hellinger’s dazzling police procedural, The Naked City, was shot entirely on location in New York. Influenced as much by Italian neorealism as it is by American crime fiction, this double Academy Award winner remains a benchmark for naturalism in noir, living and breathing in the promises and perils of the Big Apple, from its lowest depths to its highest skyscrapers. The special features are:

  • On the Blu-ray: New 4K digital restoration by TLEFilms FIlm Restoration & Preservation Services, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • On the DVD: Restored high-definition digital transfer
  • Audio commentary from 1996 featuring screenwriter Malvin Wald
  • Interview from 2006 with film scholar Dana Polan
  • Interview from 2006 with author James Sanders (Celluloid Skyline) on the film’s New York locations
  • Footage of director Jules Dassin from a 2004 appearance at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art
  • Stills gallery
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: An essay by author and critic Luc Sante and production notes from producer Mark Hellinger to Dassin

Brute Force (#383) out Sept 8

cc Brute Force.jpgAs hard-hitting as its title, Brute Force was the first of Jules Dassin’s forays into the crime genre, a prison melodrama that takes a critical look at American society as well. Burt Lancaster is the timeworn Joe Collins, who, along with his fellow inmates, lives under the heavy thumb of the sadistic, power-tripping guard Captain Munsey (a riveting Hume Cronyn). Only Collins’s dreams of escape keep him going, but how can he possibly bust out of Munsey’s chains? Matter-of-fact and ferocious, Brute Force builds to an explosive climax that shows the lengths men will go to when fighting for their freedom. The special features are:

  • On the Blu-ray: New 4K digital restoration by TLEFilms FIlm Restoration & Preservation Services, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • On the DVD: New, restored high-definition digital transfer
  • Audio commentary from 2007 featuring film-noir specialists Alain Silver and James Ursini
  • Interview from 2007 with Paul Mason, editor of Captured by the Media: Prison Discourse in Popular Culture
  • Program from 2017 on Brute Force’s array of acting styles featuring film scholar David Bordwell (Blu-ray only)
  • Trailer
  • Stills gallery
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: An essay by film critic Michael Atkinson, a 1947 profile of producer Mark Hellinger, and rare correspondence between Hellinger and Production Code administrator Joseph Breen over the film’s content

Beau travail (#1042) out Sept 15

cc Beau Travail.jpgWith her ravishingly sensual take on Herman Melville’s Billy Budd, Sailor, Claire Denis firmly established herself as one of the great visual tone poets of our time. Amid the azure waters and sunbaked desert landscapes of Djibouti, a French Foreign Legion sergeant (Denis Lavant) sows the seeds of his own ruin as his obsession with a striking young recruit (Grégoire Colin) plays out to the thunderous, operatic strains of Benjamin Britten. Denis and cinematographer Agnès Godard fold military and masculine codes of honor, colonialism’s legacy, destructive jealousy, and repressed desire into shimmering, hypnotic images that ultimately explode in one of the most startling and unforgettable endings in all of modern cinema. The director-approved special features are:

  • New 4K digital restoration, supervised by director of photography Agnès Godard and approved by director Claire Denis, with uncompressed stereo soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New conversation between Denis and filmmaker Barry Jenkins
  • New selected scene commentary with Godard
  • New interviews with actors Denis Lavant and Grégoire Colin
  • New video essay by film scholar Judith Mayne
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Girish Shambu

Christ Stopped at Eboli (#1043) out Sept 22

cc Christ Stopped at Eboli.jpgAn elegy of exile and an epic immersion into the world of rural Italy during the Mussolini years, Francesco Rosi’s sublime adaptation of the memoirs of the painter, physician, and political activist Carlo Levi brings a monument of twentieth-century autobiography to the screen with quiet grace and solemn beauty. Banished to a desolate southern town for his anti-Fascist views, the worldly Levi (Gian Maria Volontè) discovers an Italy he never knew existed, a place where ancient folkways and superstitions still hold sway and that gradually transforms his understanding of both himself and his country. Presented for the first time on home video in its original full-length, four-part cut, Christ Stopped at Eboli ruminates profoundly on the political and philosophical rifts within Italian society—between north and south, tradition and modernity, fascism and freedom—and the essential humanity that transcends all. The special features are:

  • New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New introduction by translator and author Michael F. Moore
  • Documentary from 1978 on Italian political cinema, featuring director Francesco Rosi and actor Gian Maria Volontè
  • Excerpt from a 1974 documentary featuring Rosi and author Carlo Levi
  • Excerpt from Marco Spagnoli’s short 2014 documentary Unico, in which Rosi discusses Volontè
  • Trailer
  • New English subtitle translation by Moore
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by scholar Alexander Stille and a 1979 director’s statement by Rosi

Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project No. 3 (#1044, #1045-50) out Sept 29

cc Scorsese's World Cinema Project No 3.jpgEstablished by Martin Scorsese in 2007, the World Cinema Project has maintained a fierce commitment to preserving and presenting masterpieces from around the globe, with a growing roster of more than three dozen restorations that have introduced moviegoers to often-overlooked areas of cinema history. Presenting passionate stories of revolution, identity, agency, forgiveness, and exclusion, this collector’s set gathers six of those important works, from Brazil (Pixote), Cuba (Lucía), Indonesia (After the Curfew), Iran (Downpour), Mauritania (Soleil Ô), and Mexico (Dos monjes). Each title is a pathbreaking contribution to the art form and a window onto a filmmaking tradition that international audiences previously had limited opportunities to experience.

The Elephant Man (#1051) out Sept 29

cc The Elephant Man.jpgWith this poignant second feature, David Lynch brought his atmospheric visual and sonic palette to a notorious true story set in Victorian England. When the London surgeon Frederick Treves (Anthony Hopkins) meets the freak-show performer John Merrick (John Hurt), who has severe skeletal and soft tissue deformities, he assumes that he must be intellectually disabled as well. As the two men spend more time together, though, Merrick reveals the intelligence, gentle nature, and profound sense of dignity that lie beneath his shocking appearance, and he and Treves develop a friendship. Shot in gorgeous black and white and boasting a stellar supporting cast that includes Anne Bancroft, John Gielgud, and Wendy Hiller, The Elephant Man was nominated for eight Academy Awards, cementing Lynch’s reputation as one of American cinema’s most visionary talents. The director-approved special features are:

  • New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed stereo soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Director David Lynch and critic Kristine McKenna reading from Room to Dream, a 2018 book they coauthored
  • Archival interviews with Lynch, actor John Hurt, producers Mel Brooks and Jonathan Sanger, director of photography Freddie Francis, stills photographer Frank Connor, and makeup artist Christopher Tucker
  • Audio recording from 1981 of an interview and Q&A with Lynch at the American Film Institute
  • The Terrible Elephant Man Revealed, a 2001 documentary about the film
  • Trailer and radio spots
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • More!
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring excerpts from an interview with Lynch from the 2005 edition of filmmaker and writer Chris Rodley’s book Lynch on Lynch, and an 1886 letter to the editor of the London Times concerning Joseph Merrick, the “elephant man,” by Francis Culling Carr Gomm, chairman of the London Hospital at the time

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