Filming Othello & More in October

From The Criterion Collection

Rejoice, Welles-fans,

The Criterion Collection announced their October releases today, and while there are some big titles (including a much-needed 4K digital restoration of a Kubrick film), the biggest news was one of the “Special Features” included as an extra.  The delayed release of Orson Welles’ Othello (1952) will now include the video debut of Filming Othello (1979), an essay-documentary that was Welles’ last completed film.

Here is the complete Criterion October line-up in order of release date.  All titles will be available on both Blu-ray and DVD:


Vampyr (1932)

STREET DATE: OCTOBER 3.

Synopsis: With Vampyr, Danish filmmaker Carl Theodor Dreyer channeled his genius for creating mesmerizing atmosphere and austere, unsettling imagery into the horror genre. The result—a chilling film about a student of the occult who encounters supernatural haunts and local evildoers in a village outside Paris—is nearly unclassifiable. A host of stunning camera and editing tricks and densely layered sounds creates a mood of dreamlike terror. With its roiling fogs, ominous scythes, and foreboding echoes, Vampyr is one of cinema’s greatest nightmares.

Special Features and Technical Specs:

  • High-definition digital transfer of the original German version of the film, from the 1998 restoration by Martin Koerber and the Cineteca di Bologna, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Alternate version with English text
  • Audio commentary featuring film scholar Tony Rayns
  • Carl Th. Dreyer, a 1966 documentary by Jørgen Roos chronicling Dreyer’s career
  • Video essay by scholar Casper Tybjerg on Dreyer’s influences in creating Vampyr
  • Radio broadcast from 1958 of Dreyer reading an essay about filmmakin
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by critics Mark Le Fanu and Kim Newman, a piece by Koerber on the restoration, and a 1964 interview with producer and actor Nicolas de Gunzburg
  • AND: A book featuring Dreyer and Christen Jul’s original screenplay and Sheridan Le Fanu’s 1872 story “Carmilla,” a source for the film


Othello (1952)

STREET DATE: OCTOBER 10.

Synopsis: Gloriously cinematic despite its tiny budget, Orson Welles’s Othello is a testament to the filmmaker’s stubborn willingness to pursue his vision to the ends of the earth. Unmatched in his passionate identification with Shakespeare’s imagination, Welles brings his inventive visual approach to this enduring tragedy of jealousy, bigotry, and rage, and gives a towering performance as the Moor of Venice, alongside Suzanne Cloutier as the innocent Desdemona, and Micheál MacLiammóir as the scheming Iago. Shot over the course of three years in Italy and Morocco and plagued by logistical problems, this fiercely independent film joins Macbeth and Chimes at Midnight in making the case for Welles as the cinema’s most audacious interpreter of the Bard.

Special Features and Technical Specs:

  • NEW, restored 4K digital transfers of two versions of the film, the 1952 European one and the 1955 U.S. and UK one, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks on the Blu-ray
  • NEW interview with Welles biographer Simon Callow
  • Filming “Othello,” Welles’s last completed film, a 1979 essay-documentary
  • NEW interview with scholar François Thomas on the two versions
  • NEW interview with Ayanna Thompson, author of Passing Strange: Shakespeare, Race, and Contemporary America
  • Audio commentary from 1995 featuring filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich and Orson Welles scholar Myron Meisel
  • Return to Glennascaul, a 1953 short film made by actors Micheál MacLiammóir and Hilton Edwards during a hiatus from shooting Othello
  • Souvenirs d'”Othello,” a 1995 documentary about actor Suzanne Cloutier by François Girard
  • Interview from 2014 with scholar Joseph McBride
  • Optional English SDH subtitles
  • PLUS: An essay by film critic Geoffrey O’Brien


The Lure (2015)

STREET DATE: OCTOBER 10.

Synopsis: This genre-defying horror-musical mash-up—the bold debut of Polish director Agnieszka Smoczyńska—follows a pair of carnivorous mermaid sisters drawn ashore to explore life on land in an alternate 1980s Poland. Their tantalizing siren songs and otherworldly auras make them overnight sensations as nightclub singers in the half-glam, half-decrepit world of Smoczyńska’s imagining. The director gives fierce teeth to her viscerally sensual, darkly feminist twist on Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid,” in which the girls’ bond is tested and their survival threatened after one sister falls for a human. A coming-of-age fairy tale with a catchy synth-fueled soundtrack, outrageous song-and-dance numbers, and lavishly grimy sets, The Lure explores its themes of emerging female sexuality, exploitation, and the compromises of adulthood with savage energy and originality.

Special Features and Technical Specs:

  • High-definition digital master, supervised by director of photography Kuba Kijowski, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New program about the making of the film, featuring interviews with director Agnieszka Smoczyńska, actors Marta Mazurek and Michalina Olszańska, screenwriter Robert Bolesto, Kijowski, composers Barbara and Zuzanna Wroński, sound designer Marcin Lenarczyk, and choreographer Kaya Kołodziejczyk
  • Deleted scenes
  • Aria Diva (2007) and Viva Maria! (2010), two short films directed by Smoczyńska
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by writer Angela Lovell


Barry Lyndon (1975)

STREET DATE: OCTOBER 17.

Synopsis: Stanley Kubrick bent the conventions of the historical drama to his own will in this dazzling vision of brutal aristocracy, adapted from a novel by William Makepeace Thackeray. In picaresque detail, Barry Lyndon chronicles the adventures of an incorrigible trickster (Ryan O’Neal) whose opportunism takes him from an Irish farm to the battlefields of the Seven Years’ War and the parlors of high society. For the most sumptuously crafted film of his career, Kubrick recreated the decadent surfaces and intricate social codes of the period, evoking the light and texture of eighteenth-century painting with the help of pioneering cinematographic techniques and lavish costume and production design, all of which earned Academy Awards. The result is a masterpiece—a sardonic, devastating portrait of a vanishing world whose opulence conceals the moral vacancy at its heart.

Special Features and Technical Specs:

  • NEW 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Alternate 5.1 surround soundtrack, presented in DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray
  • New documentary featuring cast and crew interviews as well as excerpts from a 1976 audio interview with director Stanley Kubrick
  • New program about the film’s groundbreaking visuals, featuring focus puller Douglas Milsome and gaffer Lou Bogue, as well as excerpts from a 1980 interview with cinematographer John Alcott
  • New program about Academy Award–winning production designer Ken Adam with historian Sir Christopher Frayling
  • New interview with editor Anthony Lawson
  • French television interview from 1976 with Oscar-winning costume designer Ulla-Britt Söderlund
  • New interview with critic Michel Ciment
  • New interview with actor Leon Vitali about the 5.1 surround soundtrack, which he cosupervised
  • New piece analyzing the fine-art-inspired aesthetics of the film with art curator Adam Eaker
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Geoffrey O’Brien and two pieces about the film from the March 1976 issue of American Cinematographer


Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992)

STREET DATE: OCTOBER 17.

Synopsis: In the town of Twin Peaks, everyone has their secrets—but especially Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee). In this prequel to his groundbreaking 1990s television series, David Lynch resurrects the teenager found wrapped in plastic at the beginning of the show, following her through the last week of her life and teasing out the enigmas that surround her murder. Homecoming queen by day and drug-addicted thrill seeker by night, Laura leads a double life that pulls her deeper and deeper into horror as she pieces together the identity of the assailant who has been terrorizing her for years. Nightmarish in its vision of an innocent torn apart by unfathomable forces, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me is nevertheless one of Lynch’s most humane films, aching with compassion for its tortured heroine—a character as enthralling in life as she was in death.

Special Features and Technical Specs:

  • NEW Restored 4K digital transfer, supervised by director David Lynch
  • 7.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray, supervised by Lynch
  • Alternate original 2.0 surround soundtrack, presented in DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray
  • The Missing Pieces, ninety minutes of deleted and alternate takes from the film, assembled by Lynch
  • New interview with actor Sheryl Lee
  • Interviews from 2014 by Lynch with actors Lee, Ray Wise, and Grace Zabriskie
  • More!
  • PLUS: An interview with Lynch from the 2005 edition of filmmaker and writer Chris Rodley’s book Lynch on Lynch


Personal Shopper (2016)

STREET DATE: OCTOBER 24.

Synopsis: With this intimate supernatural drama, the celebrated French filmmaker Olivier Assayas conjures a melancholy ghost story set in the world of haute couture. Starring Kristen Stewart, whose performance in Assayas’s Clouds of Sils Maria made her the first American actor to win a César Award, this evocative character study tells the story of a young American fashion assistant and spiritual medium who is living in Paris and searching for signs of an afterlife following the sudden death of her twin brother. A stirring depiction of grief in the form of a psychological thriller, Personal Shopper—which won Assayas the best director award at Cannes—is a chilling meditation on modern modes of communication and the way we mourn those we love.

Special Features and Technical Specs:

  • 2K digital master, supervised by director of photography Yorick Le Saux and approved by director Olivier Assayas, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New interview with Assayas
  • 2016 festival press conference featuring members of the film’s cast and crew, including actor Kristen Stewart
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Glenn Kenny
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