Finally back at it!!! After over two weeks of moving and dealing with all that that entails, I am finally back in the groove and ready to continue blogging. Yesterday, I got to see two Hitchcock classics in 35mm, Rear Window and North by Northwest, and now I am in the mood and ready to go. And what better way to get back in to it then with the Criterion announcements, from last Monday, for the month of November. How much better could it be than with the obvious, magnificent release of Satyajit Ray’s three film masterpiece(s) — The Apu Trilogy. One of the most brilliant portrayals of humanity and growth ever put on celluloid, these three films — Pather Panchali (1955), Aparajito (1956) and Apur Sansar (1959) — are what cinema is and can truly be about. Films about reality, love, pain, emotion. You honestly cannot get much better than this and The Apu Trilogy, which I recently saw here in Austin, will be released on Blu-ray and DVD editions on November 17th in a fantastic box set. This is, without a doubt, the biggest Blu-ray/DVD release of the year!!!
Now, after that, we get a modern master finally added to the collection as Michael Haneke’s Code Unknown (2000) will be released in November. One of the most powerful European, and World filmmakers around, Haneke does not bypass the undercurrent of social upheaval traversing through our world. Code Unknown is one of his strongest films and will be released on both Blu-ray and DVD editions on November 10th. Yes, more Juliette Binoche!!! We also get a new Eclipse series with — “Eclipse Series 44: Julien Duvivier in the Thirties.” This set cherishes one of the little known French masters of early filmmaking with these films — David Golder (1930), Poil de carotte (1932), La tête d’un homme (1933) and Un carnet de bal (1937). I have seen none of these and look forward to diving in to these early French gems. The Julien Duvivier set will be released on DVD on November 3rd.
This is a great month already, and even though this year has been a little, well, let me say, light compared to others, this month and last month have made up for the underwhelming year Criterion has delivered so far, and it only gets better. We get three more great titles to get excited about — In Cold Blood (1967), Don’t Look Back (1967) and an upgrade of Akira Kurosawa’s heartbreaking Ikiru (1952). With In Cold Blood, we get a brilliant, heart pounding take on the murder of a family in Kansas in 1959, based off Truman Capote’s solid book. The film will be released on Blu-ray and DVD editions on November 17th. Don’t Look Back is one of the greatest music documentaries of all time and focuses on Bob Dylan as he switches from acoustic artist to electric master. D.A. Pennebaker’s film will be released on Blu-ray and DVD editions on November 24th. Also on the 24th, we get the only upgrade of the month with Ikiru, a film that only gets better with each viewing. A touching film about humanity and life that is a good bookend with the release of Ray’s films. Ikiru will be released on Blu-ray on November 24th.
A great month from Criterion. I will purchase all of these releases and cannot wait for the editions and supplements of Satyajit Ray’s masterful trilogy!!!!!!
Photo credits by the Criterion Collection.