Criterion Titles for April

For me, it's all about The Awful Truth

The Criterion Collection announced its Blu-ray slate for April earlier this week, but as I have been sick, I’m just getting the titles posted now.  The line-up includes one of the greatest romantic comedies ever made, as well as titles by Sophia Coppola and Jim Jarmusch.  There’s also something for fans of the DVD-only Eclipse line.

Here are the full details on the lineup in order of release date from Criterion.com:

 

Eclipse Series 46: Ingrid Bergman’s Swedish Years

STREET DATE: APRIL 10

Synopsis: Ingrid Bergman appeared in ten films in her native Sweden before the age of twenty-five, and while that work tends to be overshadowed by her time in Hollywood, it showcases the actor summoning an impressive depth of emotion to deliver astute, passionate performances. Under the guidance of filmmakers including the prolific studio director Gustaf Molander, Bergman embraced a range of roles and worked with some of the most celebrated actors in the Swedish film industry, including Gösta Ekman, Karin Swanström, Victor Sjöström, and Lars Hanson. Comedies, romances, and thrillers, the six fascinating films collected here—including Intermezzo, the movie that brought Bergman to America—exhibit the precociously assured talent of a young artist with an illustrious international career ahead of her.

  • THE COUNT OF THE OLD TOWN (1935)
    Ingrid Bergman’s first speaking role was in this hugely charming knockabout comedy, filmed on location in the Monk’s Bridge district of Stockholm.
  • DOLLAR (1938)
    Ingrid Bergman excels as the frustrated spouse of a busy industrialist with conservative views about how his wife should behave in public, in this sparkling Swedish take on screwball comedy that touches on dark themes.
  • INTERMEZZO (1936)
    This gorgeous romantic confection, which catalogs a doomed love affair between a married violin virtuoso and a young pianist, is graced by a leading performance by Ingrid Bergman (her first), in a role created especially for her.
  • WALPURGIS NIGHT (1935)
    Lena (Ingrid Bergman) is in love with her married boss, Johan, in this romantic drama that takes Sweden’s declining birth rate as a backdrop and stirred up controversy with its depiction of abortion.
  • A WOMAN’S FACE (1938)
    In this dramatic thriller, Ingrid Bergman takes on an uncharacteristically vicious role as Anna, a bitter, nefarious blackmailer with a disfigured face.
  • JUNE NIGHT (1940)
    Both a grim exposé of sexual politics and a sensual romance, June Night features a remarkably intense performance from Bergman as a woman weighed down by a secret.

 

The Awful Truth (1937)

STREET DATE: APRIL 17

Synopsis: In this Oscar-winning farce, Cary Grant (in the role that first defined the Cary Grant persona) and Irene Dunne exude charm, cunning, and artless affection as an urbane couple who, fed up with each other’s infidelities, resolve to file for divorce. Try as they each might to move on, the mischievous Jerry can’t help but meddle in Lucy’s ill-matched engagement to a corn-fed Oklahoma businessman (Ralph Bellamy), and a mortified Lucy begins to realize that she may be saying goodbye to the only dance partner capable of following her lead. Directed by the versatile Leo McCarey, a master of improvisation and slapstick as well as a keen and sympathetic observer of human folly, The Awful Truth is a warm but unsparing comedy about two people whose flaws only make them more irresistible.

DISC FEATURES:

  • New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New interview with critic Gary Giddins about director Leo McCarey
  • New video essay by film critic David Cairns on actor Cary Grant’s performance
  • Illustrated 1978 audio interview with actor Irene Dunne
  • Lux Radio Theatre adaptation of the film from 1939, starring actor Claudette Colbert and Grant
  • PLUS: An essay by film critic Molly Haskell

 

The Color of Pomegranates (1969)

STREET DATE: APRIL 17

Synopsis: A breathtaking fusion of poetry, ethnography, and cinema, Sergei Parajanov’s masterwork overflows with images and sounds that burn into the memory. In a series of tableaux that blend the tactile with the abstract, The Color of Pomegranates revives the splendors of Armenian culture through the story of the eighteenth-century troubadour Sayat-Nova, charting his intellectual, artistic, and spiritual growth through iconographic compositions rather than traditional narrative. The film’s tapestry of folklore and metaphor departed from the realism that dominated the Soviet cinema of its era, leading authorities to block its distribution, with rare underground screenings presenting it in a restructured form. This edition features the cut closest to Parajanov’s original vision, in a restoration that brings new life to one of cinema’s most enigmatic meditations on art and beauty.

DISC FEATURES:

  • New 4K digital restoration, undertaken by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project in collaboration with the Cineteca di Bologna, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New audio commentary featuring critic Tony Rayns
  • New video essay on the film’s symbols and references, featuring scholar James Steffen
  • New interview with Steffen detailing the production of the film
  • Sergei Parajanov: The Rebel, a 2003 documentary about the filmmaker, featuring him and actor Sofiko Chiaureli
  • The Life of Sayat-Nova, a 1977 documentary about the Armenian poet who inspired The Color of Pomegranates
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by film scholar Ian Christie

 

Dead Man (1995)

STREET DATE: APRIL 24

Synopsis: With Dead Man, his first period piece, Jim Jarmusch imagined the nineteenth-century American West as an existential wasteland, delivering a surreal reckoning with the ravages of industrialization, the country’s legacy of violence and prejudice, and the natural cycle of life and death. Accountant William Blake (Johnny Depp) has hardly arrived in the godforsaken outpost of Machine before he’s caught in the middle of a fatal lovers’ quarrel. Wounded and on the lam, Blake falls under the watch of the outcast Nobody (Gary Farmer), who guides his companion on a spiritual journey, teaching him to dispense poetic justice along the way. Featuring austerely beautiful black-and-white photography by Robby Müller and a live-wire score by Neil Young, Dead Man is a profound and unique revision of the western genre.

DIRECTORAPPROVED SPECIAL EDITION:

  • New 4K digital restoration, supervised and approved by director Jim Jarmusch, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New Q&A in which Jarmusch responds to questions sent in by fans
  • New readings of William Blake poems by members of the cast, including Mili Avital, Alfred Molina, and Iggy Pop
  • New selected-scene audio commentary by production designer Robert Ziembicki and sound mixer Drew Kunin
  • New interview with actor Gary Farmer
  • Deleted scenes
  • Jarmusch’s location scouting photos
  • More!
  • PLUS: Essays by critic Amy Taubin and music journalist Ben Ratliff

 

The Virgin Suicides (1999)

STREET DATE: APRIL 24

Synopsis: With this debut feature, Sofia Coppola announced her singular vision, which explores the aesthetics of femininity while illuminating the interior lives of young women. A faithful adaptation of Jeffrey Eugenides’s popular first novel, The Virgin Suicides conjures the ineffable melancholy of teenage longing and ennui in its story of the suicides of the five Lisbon sisters, stifled by the rules of their overprotective religious parents—as told through the collective memory of a group of boys who yearn to understand what happened. Evoking its 1970s suburban setting through ethereal cinematography by Ed Lachman and an atmospheric score by Air, the film secured a place for its director in the landscape of American independent cinema and has become a coming-of-age touchstone.

DIRECTORAPPROVED SPECIAL EDITION:

  • New, restored 4K digital transfer, supervised by cinematographer Ed Lachman and approved by director Sofia Coppola, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New interviews with Coppola, Lachman, actors Kirsten Dunst and Josh Hartnett, author Jeffrey Eugenides, and writer Tavi Gevinson
  • Making of “The Virgin Suicides,” a 1998 documentary directed by Eleanor Coppola and featuring Sofia Coppola; Eleanor and Francis Ford Coppola; actors Dunst, Hartnett, Scott Glenn, Kathleen Turner, and James Woods; Eugenides; and more
  • Lick the Star, a 1998 short film by Coppola
  • Official music video for Air’s soundtrack song “Playground Love,” directed and shot by Coppola and her brother Roman Coppola
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by novelist Megan Abbott
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  • Kenneth Henderson
    27 January 2018 at 12:50 am

    The Swedish Ingrid Bergman titles were on laserdisc and I have them. They were also later on very early Image Entertainment DVDs(haven’t had an Image DVD for years, where are they?) but did not get them due to cost at the time and a lousy exchange rate for the US dollar in my country then. Pity the Swedish version was not licensed for the recent Blu Ray edition of the Selznick film as an extra. As it is Criterion should have gone to Blu Ray. A Woman’s Face was remade in USA with Joan Crawford for MGM(1941)which was her last MGM film under contract and she moved to Warner Bros for a few films.

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