Cinema Sentries has teamed up with the Criterion Collection to award two lucky readers Cameraperson on Blu-ray . For those wanting to learn more, the official synopsis reads: A boxing match in Brooklyn; life in postwar Bosnia and Herzegovina; the daily routine of a Nigerian midwife; an intimate family moment at home with the director: Kirsten Johnson weaves these scenes and others into her film Cameraperson, a tapestry of footage captured over her twenty-five-year career as a documentary cinematographer. Through a series of episodic juxtapositions, Johnson explores the relationships between image makers and their subjects, the tension between the objectivity
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A moving glimpse into one filmmaker's personal journey and a thoughtful examination of what it means to train a camera on the world.
See what's in store for May.
May begins with the Criterion Collection giving high-def upgrades to Chantal Akerman's Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles and Yasujiro Ozu's Good Morning. In addition, they are putting out releasing four new titles. They are Orson Welles' Othello, Jacques Audiard's Dheepan, Terry Zwigoff’s Ghost World and Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project No. 2, which includes Insiang, Mysterious Object at Noon, Revenge, Limite, Law of the Border, and Taipei Story. Read on to learn more about them. Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (#484) out May 9 A singular work in film history, Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielman,
A soulful and illuminating document of the human experience.
When it comes to human honesty, there is no better genre of film stronger than the documentary. In a time where special effects, explosions, CGI, and even 3D basically dominate the box office, it is very refreshing to know that some movies would rather deal with reality and what the world is really like. Director Kirsten Johnson's fascinating 2016 film, Cameraperson, shows us what being human truly means to be. In this brilliant snapshot, or series of tableux, Johnson captures in real time, stories of people, places, and things. Whether it is a young boxer in his first match in
What life is about: music, food, movies.
April sees the release of four new titles from the Criterion Collection. They are Wim Wenders' Buena Vista Social Club, George Stevens’ Woman of the Year, Juzo Itami's Tampopo, and Francis Ford Coppola’s Rumble Fish. And on April 11, Jacques Demy's The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and The Young Girls of Rochefort get new stand-alone editions. Read on to learn more about them. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (#716) out Apr 11 An angelically beautiful Catherine Deneuve was launched into stardom by this glorious musical heart-tugger from Jacques Demy. She plays an umbrella-shop owner’s delicate daughter, glowing with first love for a
Laurie Anderson's essay film sees her moving comfortably between abstractions and personal revelations.
Can a film permeated with thoughts on death be playful? Can it be uplifting? Can it be equally cerebral and emotional, its two sides not merely coexisting but helping to inform the other? Can a film in which a person is almost wholly absent tell us innumerable amounts about the filmmaker’s relationship with that figure? In Heart of a Dog, the wondrous second feature film from multidisciplinary artist Laurie Anderson, the answer to all of the above is a resounding "yes." A deeply personal essay film narrated by Anderson in the kind of bemused monotone that features in spoken-word pieces
A look at new additions to the collection.
As Spring comes, so do five movies from Criterion in March with all-new additions to the collection. They are Andrew Haigh's 45 Years, Felipe Cazals' Canoa: A Shameful Memory, John Waters' Multiple Maniacs, Hal Ashby's Being There, and Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow-Up. Read on to learn more about them. 45 Years (#861) out Mar 7 In this exquisitely calibrated film by Andrew Haigh, Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay perform a subtly off-kilter pas de deux as Kate and Geoff, an English couple who, on the eve of an anniversary celebration, find their long marriage shaken by the arrival of a letter
Chanbara film series is aided by the screenwriting of the manga series creator, Kazuo Koike.
As the shogun executioner, Ogami Itto has a comfortable gig until he falls from grace and endures the death of his beloved wife. Facing almost certain death at the hands of his enemies, the dreaded Yagyu clan, he’s forced to flee and gives his toddler son a choice: die at his hand or join him in a life of hardship on the “demon road”. With no home, no money, and no seeming future, the father becomes an assassin for hire and stays on the move, pushing his son around the countryside in a rickety cart from one misadventure to the
Criterion shines a light on a filmmaker not so well-known in the English-speaking world.
Even among dedicated English-speaking cinephiles, the name Luis García Berlanga might not immediately spark a glimmer of recognition. The great Pedro Almodóvar, who ranks Berlanga up there with Luis Buñuel among Spanish filmmakers, offers a few theories why in his brief appreciation on the Criterion Collection’s newly released disc of The Executioner (El Verdugo). One possibility: Berlanga’s films often feature extended scenes of overlapping dialogue — some have likened him to proto-Robert Altman — which can be tricky to subtitle. Whatever the reason, Berlanga’s films have had basically no representation on Region 1/A home video up to this point, so
Ring in the new year with four new titles.
Criterion starts the new year with four titles. Howard Hawks' His Girl Friday, Rainer Werner Fassbinder's Fox and His Friends, Jack Garfein’s Something Wild, and Ousmane Sembène's Black Girl. Read on to learn more about them. His Girl Friday (#849) out Jan 10 One of the fastest, funniest, and most quotable films ever made, His Girl Friday stars Rosalind Russell as reporter Hildy Johnson, a standout among cinema’s powerful women. Hildy is matched in force only by her conniving but charismatic editor and ex-husband, Walter Burns (played by the peerless Cary Grant), who dangles the chance for her to scoop
The Criterion Collection releases the best camp melodrama out there!
America was a bit of a mess in the 1960s, not just on the national stage but at the local cineplex as well. By the time the decade was over, the Hollywood studio system as audiences knew it was dead - killed by a man who could “talk to the animals” of all things. But Hollywood limped to the finish line with the tortured tale of three lovely ladies and their struggles with fame and addiction in Valley of the Dolls. Dolls, as campy then as it is now, receives a shot of respectability this week with its premiere on
Shows like Breaking Bad and The Wire owe much to how Dekalog lets stories play out.
Watching the episodes of Krzysztof Kieslowski's Dekalog reminds me of how few auteurs there are anymore. Part of it is probably the current trends in how movies are made and distributed that make it harder to be an artist with a voice. In many ways, the most creative works are happening on television. FX, HBO, Showtime, AMC, and even Starz are allowing creators the freedom to tell long stories however they please. In 1988, a year before ABC let David Lynch loose with Twin Peaks, Kieslowski told ten hour-long, relatively linked short stories on Polish TV. The episodes predate his
Four new options for you Xmas wish list.
In December, Criterion offers four titles for those who make the "nice" list. Three new titles added to the Collection are Laurie Anderson's Heart of a Dog, John Huston's The Asphalt Jungle, and Federico Fellini's Roma. Luis Buñuel's The Exterminating Angel (El ángel exterminador) gets a high-def upgrade. Read on to learn more about them. The Exterminating Angel (#459) out Dec 6 A group of high-society friends are invited to a mansion for dinner and inexplicably find themselves unable to leave in The Exterminating Angel (El ángel exterminador), a daring masterpiece from Luis Buñuel. Made just one year after his
A wonderful tale of love and loss at the Kabuki theater.
Kiku (Shotaro Hanyagi) is the adopted son of Kabuki royalty in Tokyo. As the presumed heir to this theatrical throne, he is constantly lavished with acclaim. The mouths that herald his praises come with two faces and out of the other, they spit ridicule. Even Kiku’s father-in-law cannot bring himself to tell him how poorly he acts. Late one night, he walks with Otoku (Kakuko Mori), nursemaid to Kiku’s brother's son, who finally tells him the truth - he stinks! Instead of lashing out in anger, Kiku’s is filled with gratitude that someone is finally willing to speak to him
Tony Richardson's tale of the sweet and sour gifts life delivers to us.
A renaissance in British cinema erupted in the 1960s; known as the Free Cinema and instigated by directors Tony Richardson, Lindsay Anderson, and Karel Reisz, British cinema of the era espoused fantasy for gritty realism. These "kitchen sink dramas" dealt with the uncertainty and futility of living poor in England. Richardson's own A Taste of Honey, out today on DVD and Blu via Criterion, depicts these issues with the faintest glimmer of a silver lining. Jo (Rita Tushingham) is a young teen struggling to find some stability with her flight, man-obsessed mother (Dora Bryan). Jo soon falls for a kind
Hiroshi Teshigahara's enigmatic, hypnotic tale of a man trapped is equal parts Twilight Zone and Kafka, and completely absorbing.
Every night, the woman shovels sand from the bottom of a hole, which gets carted up by a rope pulley, and hauled away. She lives at the bottom of a deep pit, and every night the sand builds up. If she leaves off for more than a couple of days, the sand will get everywhere, and eventually the house will collapse, and she will die. Her husband and daughter were killed by the sand. So she digs, each night, for most of the night. She sleeps during the day, nude, sometimes not even under a blanket, since sleeping with the
Harold Lloyd hits a comedy home run in his last silent film.
Not only is "Speedy" the title character played by Harold Lloyd in his last silent film and last appearance as his The Boy/Glasses Character, but it also describes the fast-paced lifestyle that was overtaking New York City at the end of the Roaring '20s. Railroad businessmen want to buy out Pops (Bert Woodruff), the grandfather of Speedy's girlfriend's Jane (Ann Christy), so they can make use of the track on which his horse-drawn streetcar runs. Naturally, it will fall onto to Speedy to save the day. He is a clever fellow, but only seems to put his mind to making
No need to wait for Black Friday.
In November, those looking for Xmas presents for film fans in their inner circle need look no further than this roster. The six films from the Lone Wolf and Cub series are collected in a box set. Also being added to the Collection are Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams, Paul Thomas Anderson's Punch-Drunk Love, Marlon Brando's One-Eyed Jacks, and Noah Baumbach's The Squid and the Whale. Read on to learn more about them. Lone Wolf and Cub Collector's Set out Nov 8 Based on the best-selling manga series, the six intensely kinetic Lone Wolf and Cub films elevated chanbara to bloody, new
The Immortal Story Criterion Collection Blu-ray Review: A Marvel of Deep Emotion and Haunting Spareness
A minimalist, but soulful depiction of lost souls in the 19th century.
We all knew that Orson Welles was mad, but we also knew that he had the ability to make cinematic works of art that transcend any genre. After his legendary 1941 masterpiece, Citizen Kane, he felt that he could do anything, but after he changed film history with Kane, he started to feel the slump of Hollywood. This is definitely no apparent more than when he made 1948's flop, The Lady from Shanghai, that kind of signaled the beginning of the end of his gifts as director/writer/actor extraordinaire. However, he made a comeback, a sort-of experimental one, as he started
Run in a serpentine pattern to get yourself a copy.
While there's a lot of hand-wringing and pearl-clutching that goes on whenever a sequel or remake is announced in Hollywood, it's rather surprising anyone bothers since it's long been a business model, and not just with movies, to try and replicate a success. What's even more surprising is when a winning formula is found that isn't repeated, such as the pairing of Peter Falk and Alan Arkin in Arthur Hiller's The In-Laws (1979), a recent addiction to the Criterion Collection. Rather than the typical clashing of families with different personality types, Andrew Bergman's very funny script turns that idea on
Eight is enough.
Christmas comes early this year from Criterion with eight releases in September. The six titles new to the Collection are Kenji Mizoguchi's The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum, Jacques Tourneur's Cat People, The Coen Brothers' Blood Simple, Mark Robson's Valley of the Dolls, Russ Meyer's Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, and Krzysztof Kieślowski's Dekalog. Carol Reed's Night Train to Munich and the mammoth 25-film set featuring Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman available in a Blu-Ray-only edition are the returning titles. Read on to learn more about them. Night Train to Munich (#523) out Sep 6 Night Train to Munich, from