Criterion Announces October 2021 Releases

The Criterion Collection has six treats coming in October. New titles are Raoul Walsh’s High Sierra, Jack Arnold’s The Incredible Shrinking Man, Josh and Benny Safdie’s Uncut Gems, and Satyajit Ray’s Devi. In addition, Kaneto Shindo’s Onibaba and Lynne Ramsay’s Ratcatcher are getting high-definition upgrades. Read on to learn more about them.

Onibaba (#226) out Oct 5

Deep in the windswept marshes of war-torn medieval Japan, an impoverished older woman and her daughter-in-law murder lost samurai and sell their belongings for the most meager of sustenance. When a bedraggled neighbor returns from battle, lust, jealousy, and rage threaten to destroy the trio’s tenuous existence, before an ominous, ill-gotten demon mask seals their horrifying fate. Driven by primal emotions, dark eroticism, a frenzied score by Hikaru Hayashi, and stunning images both lyrical and macabre, the chilling folktale Onibaba by Kaneto Shindo conjures a nightmarish vision of humankind’s deepest desires and impulses. The Special Features are:

  • On the Blu-ray: Restored high-definition transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • On the DVD: High-definition digital transfer, with restored image and sound and enhanced for widescreen televisions
  • Audio commentary from 2001 featuring director Kaneto Shindo and actors Kei Sato and Jitsuko Yoshimura (Blu-ray only)
  • Interview from 2003 with Shindo
  • On-location footage shot by Sato
  • Trailer
  • Stills gallery featuring production sketches and promotional art (DVD only)
  • Filmmaker’s statement from writer/director Kaneto Shindo
  • English subtitle translation
  • Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition (DVD only)
  • PLUS: An essay by film critic Elena Lazic (Blu-ray only), a 2001 director’s statement by Shindo, and a version of the Buddhist fable that inspired the film

High Sierra (#1099) out Oct 12

Marking the moment when the gritty gangster sagas of the 1930s began giving way to the romantic fatalism of 1940s film noir, High Sierra also contains the star-making performance of Humphrey Bogart, who, alongside top-billed Ida Lupino, proved his leading-man mettle with his tough yet tender turn as Roy Earle. A career criminal plagued by his checkered past, Earle longs for a simpler life, but after getting sprung on parole, he falls in with a band of thieves for one last heist in the Sierra Nevada. Directed with characteristic punch by Raoul Walsh—who makes the most of the vertiginous mountain location—Roy and Lupino’s Marie, a fellow outcast also desperate to escape her past, hurtle inexorably toward an unforgettable cliffside climax and a rendezvous with destiny. The Special Features are:

  • New, restored 4K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Colorado Territory, director Raoul Walsh’s 1949 western remake of High Sierra
  • New conversation on Walsh between film programmer Dave Kehr and critic Farran Smith Nehme
  • The True Adventures of Raoul Walsh, a 2019 documentary by Marilyn Ann Moss
  • Curtains for Roy Earle, a 2003 featurette on the making of High Sierra
  • Bogart: Here’s Looking at You, Kid, a 1997 documentary aired on The South Bank Show
  • New interview with film and media historian Miriam J. Petty about actor Willie Best
  • New video essay featuring excerpts from a 1976 American Film Institute interview with High Sierra novelist and coscreenwriter W. R. Burnett
  • Radio adaptation of High Sierra from 1944
  • Trailers
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Imogen Sara Smith

The Incredible Shrinking Man (#1100) out Oct 19

Existentialism goes pop in this benchmark of atomic-age science fiction, a superlative adaptation of a novel by the legendary Richard Matheson that has awed and unnerved generations of viewers with the question, What is humanity’s place amid the infinity of the universe? Six months after being exposed to a mysterious radiation cloud, suburban everyman Scott Carey (Grant Williams) finds himself becoming smaller . . . and smaller . . . and smaller—until he’s left to fend for himself in a world in which ordinary cats, mousetraps, and spiders pose a mortal threat, all while grappling with a diminishing sense of himself. Directed by the prolific creature-feature impresario Jack Arnold with ingenious optical effects and a transcendent metaphysical ending, The Incredible Shrinking Man gazes with wonder and trepidation into the unknowable vastness of the cosmic void. The Special Features are:

  • New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New audio commentary featuring genre-film historian Tom Weaver and horror-music expert David Schecter
  • New program on the film’s special effects by effects experts Craig Barron and Ben Burtt
  • New conversation between filmmaker Joe Dante and comedian and writer Dana Gould
  • Auteur on the Campus: Jack Arnold at Universal (Director’s Cut) (2021)
  • Interview from 2016 with Richard Christian Matheson, novelist and screenwriter Richard Matheson’s son
  • Interview with director Jack Arnold from 1983
  • 8 mm home-cinema version from 1957
  • Trailer and teaser narrated by filmmaker Orson Welles
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Geoffrey O’Brien

Ratcatcher (#162) out Oct 19

In her breathtaking and assured debut feature, Lynne Ramsay creates a haunting evocation of a troubled Glasgow childhood. Set during Scotland’s national garbage strike of the mid-1970s, Ratcatcher explores the experiences of a poor adolescent boy as he struggles to reconcile his dreams and his guilt with the abjection that surrounds him. Utilizing beautiful, elusive imagery, candid performances, and unexpected humor, Ramsay deftly contrasts urban decay with a rich interior landscape of hope and perseverance, resulting in a work at once raw and deeply poetic. The Director-Approved Special Features are:

  • On the Blu-ray: New 4K digital restoration, supervised by director Lynne Ramsay and cinematographer Alwin Küchler, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack
  • On the DVD: Digital transfer, enhanced for 16×9 televisions
  • New interview with Ramsay (Blu-ray only)
  • Audio interview from 2020 with Küchler (Blu-ray only)
  • Three award-winning short films by Ramsay: Small Deaths (1995), Kill the Day (1996), and Gasman (1997)
  • Interview with Ramsay from 2002
  • Stills gallery (DVD only)
  • Trailer (Blu-ray only)
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: Essays by film critic Girish Shambu and filmmaker Barry Jenkins (Blu-ray only)

Uncut Gems (#1101) out Oct 26

This jolt of pure cinematic adrenaline affirmed directors Josh and Benny Safdie as heirs to the gritty, heightened realism of Martin Scorsese and John Cassavetes. Adam Sandler delivers an almost maniacally embodied performance as Howard Ratner, a fast-talking New York jeweler in relentless pursuit of the next big score. When he comes into possession of a rare opal, it seems Howard’s ship has finally come in—as long as he can stay one step ahead of a wife (Idina Menzel) who hates him, a mistress (Julia Fox) who can’t quit him, and a frenzy of loan sharks and hit men closing in on him. Wrapping a vivid look at the old-school Jewish world of Manhattan’s Diamond District within a kinetic thriller, Uncut Gems gives us one of the great characters in modern cinema: a tragic hero of competing compulsions on a shoot-the-moon quest to transcend his destiny. The Director-Approved Special Features are:

  • 4K digital transfer, with Dolby Atmos soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary from 2019 featuring writer-directors Josh Safdie and Benny Safdie, writer and editor Ronald Bronstein, and producer Sebastian Bear-McClard
  • New interviews with cinematographer Darius Khondji, costume designer Miyako Bellizzi, and casting director Jennifer Venditti
  • Documentaries from 2019 and 2020 on the making of the film and soundtrack
  • Screen test featuring actors Adam Sandler and Julia Fox
  • Goldman v. Silverman, a 2020 short film by the Safdies, featuring Sandler and Benny Safdie
  • “Question & Answer,” a 2020 short film featuring the Safdies, Sandler, actor Jason Bateman, and comedy writer Megan Amram
  • Deleted and extended scenes, including a full performance of “The Morning” by the Weeknd
  • Trailer
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: An essay by film critic J. Hoberman and, for the Blu-ray, a 2020 discussion of the film by the editorial staff of Jewish Currents magazine

Devi (#1102) out Oct 26

Master filmmaker Satyajit Ray explores the conflict between fanaticism and free will in Devi (The Goddess), issuing a subversively modern challenge to religious orthodoxy and patriarchal power structures. In the waning days of mid-nineteenth-century India’s feudal system, after his son Soumitra Chatterjee) leaves for Kolkata to complete his studies, a wealthy rural landowner (Chhabi Biswas) is seized by the notion that his beloved daughter-in-law (a hauntingly sad-eyed Sharmila Tagore) is the reincarnation of the goddess Kali—a delusion that proves devastating to the young woman and those around her. The opulently stylized compositions and the chiaroscuro lighting by cinematographer Subrata Mitra heighten the entrancing expressionistic intensity of this domestic tragedy, making for an experience that is both sublime and shattering. The Special Features are:

  • New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New program featuring interviews with actors Sharmila Tagore and Soumitra Chatterjee, recorded in 2013
  • New video essay by film scholar Meheli Sen
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by film critic Devika Girish

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