Criterion Collection Announces December Lineup

HOLY CRAP. That’s the only thing coming to mind over Criterion’s December lineup. The LONG awaited Blu-Ray treatment of Criterion’s Brazil is finally here. Fans of the film were teased months ago with a crappy bare bones standard release from Universal, wondering when and if Criterion would get their hands on a proper release. It’s here! Complete with the “Love Conquers All” version of the film, and everything else from the old 3-Disc DVD release from Criterion. It’s also very exciting to see Christopher Nolan’s first film Following finally released not just on Blu-Ray for the first time ever, but to be given the Criterion treatment, including an audio commentary from Nolan himself, a special feature that Nolan does not usually do.  Throw in the stunning Qatsi Trilogy and you’ve got yourself a stew goin’!

René Clément’s Purple Noon
December 4th 

Alain Delon was at his most impossibly beautiful when Purple Noon (Plein soleil) was released and made him an instant star. This ripe, colorful adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s vicious novel The Talented Mr. Ripley,directed by the versatile René Clément, stars Delon as Tom Ripley, a duplicitous American charmer in Rome on a mission to bring his privileged, devil-may-care acquaintance Philippe Greenleaf (Maurice Ronet) back to the United States; what initially seems to be a carefree tale of friendship soon morphs into a thrilling saga of seduction, identity theft, and murder. Featuring gorgeous on-location photography in coastal Italy, Purple Noon is crafted with a light touch that allows it to be suspenseful and erotic at once, while giving Delon the role of a lifetime.

  • New digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • New video interview with René Clément scholar Denitza Bantcheva
  • Archival interviews with actor Alain Delon and novelist Patricia Highsmith, on whose book The Talented Mr. Ripley the film was based
  • Original English-language trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Geoffrey O’Brien and a reprinted interview with Clément

Terry Gilliam’s Brazil
December 4th

In the dystopic masterpiece Brazil, Jonathan Pryce plays a daydreaming everyman who finds himself caught in the soul-crushing gears of a nightmarish bureaucracy. This cautionary tale by Terry Gilliam, one of the great films of the 1980s, now ranks alongside antitotalitarian works by the likes of George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, and Kurt Vonnegut Jr. And in terms of set design, cinematography, music, and effects, Brazil, a nonstop dazzler, stands alone.

  • Restored high-definition digital transfer of Terry Gilliam’s 142-minute director’s cut, supervised by Gilliam, with DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 surround soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Audio commentary by Terry Gilliam
  • What Is “Brazil”?, a thirty-minute on-set documentary by Rob Hedden
  • The Battle of “Brazil”: A Video History, a sixty-minute documentary by author and film writer Jack Mathews about the controversy surrounding the film’s release
  • The “Love Conquers All” version of Brazil, a ninety-four-minute cut of the film produced by the studio in an attempt to make it more commercial, with commentary by Brazil expert David Morgan
  • The Production Notebook, a collection of supplements featuring a trove of Brazil-iana from Gilliam’s personal collection: a short documentary on the screenplay, featuring interviews with screenwriters Gilliam, Charles McKeown, and Tom Stoppard; Gilliam’s storyboards for unfilmed dream sequences, animated and narrated by Morgan; visual essays on the film’s production design and special effects; a visual essay on Brazil’s costumes, narrated by costume designer James Acheson; and interviews with Gilliam and composer Michael Kamen on the score
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by Jack Matthews on the DVD edition and a booklet featuring an essay by film critic David Sterritt on the Blu-ray edition

Godfrey Reggio’s The Qatsi Trilogy
December 11th

A singular artist and activist, Godfrey Reggio is best known for his galvanizing trio of films The Qatsi Trilogy. Astonishingly photographed, and featuring unforgettable, cascading scores by Philip Glass, these are immersive sensory experiences that meditate on the havoc humankind’s fascination with technology has wreaked on our world. From 1983’s Koyaanisqatsi (the title is a Hopi word that means “life out of balance”) to 1988’s Powaqqatsi (“life in transformation) to 2002’s Naqoyqatsi (“life as war”), Reggio takes us on an edifying journey from the ancient to the contemporary, from nature to industry and back again, all the while keeping our eyes wide with wonder.

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfers of all three films, approved by director Godfrey Reggio, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks on the Blu-ray editions
  • Essence of Life, an interview program with Reggio and composer Philip Glass on Koyaanisqatsi
  • New interview with cinematographer Ron Fricke about Koyaanisqatsi
  • Early forty-minute demo version of Koyaanisqatsi with a scratch soundtrack by Allen Ginsberg, along with a new introduction by Reggio
  • New interview with Reggio about Koyaanisqatsi’s original visual concept, with behind-the-scenes footage
  • Impact of Progress, an interview program with Reggio and Glass on their collaboration
  • Inspiration and Ideas, an interview with Reggio about his greatest influences and teachers
  • Anima Mundi (1992), Reggio’s twenty-eight-minute montage of images of over seventy animal species, scored by Glass
  • Video afterword by Reggio on the trilogy
  • The Making of “Naqoyqatsi,” a brief documentary featuring interviews with the production crew
  • Panel discussion on Naqoyqatsi from 2003, with Reggio, Glass, editor Jon Kane, and music critic John Rockwell
  • Music of “Naqoyqatsi,” an interview with Glass and cellist Yo-Yo Ma
  • Television spots and an interview with Reggio relating to his 1970s multimedia privacy campaign in New Mexico
  • Trailers
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring essays on the trilogy by film scholar Scott MacDonald, Rockwell, and author and environmentalist Bill McKibben

Christopher Nolan’s Following
December 11th

Before he became a sensation with the twisty revenge story Memento,Christopher Nolan fashioned this low-budget, black-and-white, 16 mm neonoir with comparable precision and cunning. Supplying irrefutable evidence of Nolan’s directorial bravura, Following is the fragmented tale of an unemployed young writer who trails strangers through London, hoping that they will provide inspiration for his first novel. He gets more than he bargained for with one of his unwitting subjects, who leads him down a dark, criminal path. With gritty aesthetics and a made-on-the-fly vibe (many shots were simply stolen on the streets, unbeknownst to passersby), Following is a mind-bending psychological journey that shows the remarkable beginnings of one of today’s most acclaimed filmmakers.

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised by director Christopher Nolan, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the
    Blu-ray edition
  • New 5.1 surround sound mix by sound editor Gary Rizzo, presented in DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray edition
  • Audio commentary by Nolan
  • New interview with Nolan
  • Chronological rendering of the story
  • Side-by-side comparison of three scenes in the film with the shooting script
  • Doodlebug (1997), a three-minute film by Nolan, starring Jeremy Theobald
  • Trailers
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic and programmer Scott Foundas

By Richard Pepper

About Richard

Richard is an awesome dude, maybe the most awesome ever? He writes for Lost In Reviews, owns lots of blu-rays, spends his free time obsessing over the works of Trent Reznor, and is a cat lover.

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