The Criterion Collection has announced its Blu-ray slate for May and it looks just like this…
BAND OF OUTSIDERS – May 7th
Four years after Breathless, Jean-Luc Godard reimagined the gangster film even more radically with Band of Outsiders. In it, two restless young men (Sami Frey and Claude Brasseur) enlist the object of both of their fancies (Anna Karina) to help them commit a robbery—in her own home. This audacious and wildly entertaining French New Wave gem is at once sentimental and insouciant, effervescently romantic and melancholy, and it features some of Godard’s most memorable set pieces, including the headlong race through the Louvre and the unshakeably cool Madison dance sequence.
•New digital master of Gaumont’s recent high-definition restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
•Visual glossary of references and wordplay found in Band of Outsiders
•Exclusive interviews with cinematographer Raoul Coutard and actor Anna Karina
•Excerpts from a 1964 interview with director Jean-Luc Godard, including rare behind-the-scenes footage from the film
•Filmmaker Agnès Varda’s 1961 silent comedy Les fiancés du pont Mac Donald, starring Godard and Karina and featuring other members of the Band of Outsiders cast
•Godard’s original theatrical trailer and the 2001 U.S. rerelease trailer
•PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by poet and critic Joshua Clover, Godard’s character descriptions for the film’s 1964 press book, and an interview with the director from the same year
3:10 TO YUMA – May 14th
In this beautifully shot and acted, psychologically complex western, Van Heflin is a mild-mannered cattle rancher who takes on the task of shepherding a captured outlaw, played with cucumber-cool charisma by Glenn Ford, to the train that will take him to prison. This apparently simple plan turns into a nerve-racking cat-and-mouse game that will test each man’s particular brand of honour. Based on a story by Elmore Leonard, 3:10 to Yuma is a thrilling, humane action movie, directed by the supremely talented studio filmmaker Delmer Daves with intense feeling and precision.
•New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
•Alternate 5.1 surround soundtrack, presented in DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray edition
•New interviews with author Elmore Leonard and Glenn Ford’s son and biographer, Peter Ford
•PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Kent Jones
JUBAL – May 14th
A trio of exceptional performances from Glenn Ford, Ernest Borgnine, and Rod Steiger form the centre of Jubal, an overlooked Hollywood treasure from genre master Delmer Daves. In this Shakespearean tale of jealousy and betrayal, Ford is an honourable itinerant cattleman, befriended and hired by Borgnine’s bighearted ranch owner despite his unwillingness to talk about his past. When the new hand becomes the target of the flirtatious attentions of the owner’s bored wife (Valerie French) and is entrusted by the boss with a foreman’s responsibilities, his presence at the ranch starts to rankle his shifty fellow cowhand, played by Steiger. The resulting emotional showdown imparts unparalleled psychology intensity to this western, a vivid melodrama featuring expressive location photography in Technicolor and CinemaScope.
•New high-definition digital restoration, with DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
•PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Kent Jones
MEDIUM COOL – May 21st
It’s 1968, and the whole world is watching. With the U.S. in social upheaval, famed cinematographer Haskell Wexler decided to make a film about what the hell was going on. His debut feature, Medium Cool, plunges us into that moment. With its mix of scripted fiction and seat-of-the-pants documentary technique, this story of the working world and romantic life of a television cameraman (Robert Forster) is a visceral, lasting cinematic snapshot of the era, climaxing with an extended sequence shot right in the middle of the riots surrounding the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. An inventive commentary on the pleasures and dangers of wielding a camera, Medium Cool is as prescient a political film as Hollywood has ever produced.
•New 4K digital restoration, approved by director Haskell Wexler, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
•Two audio commentaries, one featuring Wexler, actor Marianna Hill, and editor Paul Golding, the other featuring historian Paul Cronin
•New interview with Wexler
•Look Out Haskell, It’s Real!, a fifty-five-minute documentary about the making of Medium Cool, produced by Cronin and featuring interviews with Wexler, Golding, actors Verna Bloom, Peter Bonerz, and Robert Forster, Chicago historian Studs Terkel, and others
•Excerpts from Sooner or Later, a documentary by Cronin about Harold Blankenship, who plays the adolescent Harold in the film
•Original theatrical trailer
•PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic and programmer Thomas Beard
LIFE IS SWEET – May 28th
This moving film from Mike Leigh is an intimate, invigorating, and amusing portrait of a working-class family in a suburb just north of London—an irrepressible mum and dad (Alison Steadman and Jim Broadbent) and their night-and-day twins, a bookish good girl and a sneering layabout (Claire Skinner and Jane Horrocks). In it, Leigh and his typically brilliant cast create, with extra¬ordinary sensitivity and craft, a vivid, lived-in story of ordinary existence, in which even modest dreams (such as the father’s desire to open a food truck) carry enormous weight. Perched on the line between humour and melancholy, Life Is Sweet is captivating, and it was Leigh’s first international sensation.
•New high-definition digital restoration, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
•New audio commentary featuring director Mike Leigh
•Audio recording of a 1991 interview with Leigh at the National Film Theatre in London
•PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic David Sterritt