The new May releases from the Criterion Collection are loaded with classics from the 70s and a couple of earlier films, but the two most intriguing are from the great director Costa-Gavras. Yes, two wonderful political thrillers: The Confession (1970) and State of Siege (1972), both starring the wonderful European actor Yves Montand. The Confession revolves around a Czechoslovakian dignitary in the 50s, who is captured by Czech Communist’s and interrogated to a terrifying degree. State of Siege delves into the United States’ involvement in South America, mainly Uruguay, and is a political thriller of the highest order. Both of these films were made after the groundbreaking Z (1969) and I am really looking forward to seeing how these look on Blu-ray. The Confession and State of Siege will be released on Blu-ray and DVD editions on May 26th.
The next title I am really excited for, and a film I have yet to see, is Charles Chaplin’s late drama Limelight (1952). Chaplin stars as a down-and-out vaudeville star who is now an alcoholic. He meets a beautiful ballerina who lives below him in his London flat and things begin to change. The film is also the only time Chaplin starred in a film with another early comedy legend — Buster Keaton. Limelight will be released on Blu-ray and DVD editions on May 19th. Criterion is also upgrading, and this is the only upgrade in May, Leo McCarey’s touching, depression-era drama Make Way for Tomorrow (1937). I have read nothing but high praise for this film and need to finally check it out. The film will be released on Blu-ray on May 19th as well.
There will also be two more films from that great decade of the 70s arriving in May. The first is from the German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder, The Merchant of Four Seasons (1971). Criterion already released The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant () earlier this year and I hope with this release there will be more Fassbinder on the way. The film follows a former policeman and war veteran as he tries to make ends meet for himself, and his family, by working as a fruit vendor. The Merchant of Four Seasons will be released on Blu-ray and DVD editions on May 26th. And the last film for the month of May is the Bette Midler starrer The Rose (1979). Directed by Mark Rydell and lensed by Vilmos Zsigmond, Midler stars as a rock-and-roll singer dealing with fame and addiction. I have not seen this one yet. The Rose will be released on Blu-ray and DVD editions on May 19th.
And that is it for the month of May. In all honesty, I cannot wait to revisit the two Costa-Gavras thrillers and finally check out Chaplin’s Limelight. A good month of releases, but I have a feeling June is going to be gigantic. Enjoy!
Photo credits by the Criterion Collection.