Criterion Announces June 2008 DVDs

     March 17, 2008

Criterion has just announced their June 2008 titles and I’ve got the cover art and info below. While I’ve seen a lot of movies and know a decent amount of film history, I’ve actually not seen any of the titles arriving this month. Therefore I’ll let what Criterion sent me do the talking…

From personal to political, violence, its motivations and consequences, unites all the titles Criterion presents this June. From the fascinating interior landscapes of Japan’s most famous author Yukio Mishima (depicted in both Paul Schrader’s breathtaking biopic and Mishima’s own, long-lost short film, Patriotism) to vengeful fighting over the land itself, both on the American frontier (Anthony Mann’s western melodrama The Furies) and in the Balkans (Milcho Manchevski’s modern classic Before the Rain), all of this month’s films look at the human cost of bloodshed. And Criterion is thrilled to introduce many new directors to the collection, from Claude Sautet to Schrader to Manchevski to the extraordinary Mann, whose The Furies is the first western to enter the collection.

And with that, here’s the front and back covers with the info I was provided.


Street date: 6/17/08

SRP: $39.95

Paul Schrader’s visually stunning, structurally audacious collage-like portrait of acclaimed Japanese author and playwright Yuko Mishima (played by Ken Ogata) investigates the inner turmoil and contradictions of a man who attempted an impossible harmony between self, art, and society. Taking place on Mishima’s last day, when he famously committed public seppuku (ritual suicide), the film is punctuated by extended flashbacks to the writer’s life as well as gloriously stylized evocations of his fictional works. With its rich cinematography by John Bailey, exquisite sets and costumes by Eiko Ishioka, and unforgettable, highly influential score by Philip Glass, Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters is a sincere tribute to its subject and a bold, investigative work of art in its own right.

Directed by Paul Schrader (American Gigolo, Affliction, Auto Focus)
Music by Philip Glass (Koyaanisqatsi, The Hours, Notes on a Scandal)
Cinematography by John Bailey (Cat People, The Big Chill, Groundhog Day)
Starring Ken Ogata (Vengeance Is Mine, Ballad of Narayama)

New, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised and approved by director Paul Schrader and cinematographer John Bailey
New audio commentary featuring Schrader and producer Alan Poul
The Strange Case of Yukio Mishima, a 55-minute BBC documentary about the author
New interviews with Donald Richie and John Nathan, collaborators and friends of Yukio Mishima
New interviews with Bailey, producers Tom Luddy and Mata Yamamoto, composer Philip Glass, and production designer Eiko Ishioka
A new audio interview with coscreenwriter Chieko Schrader
A video interview excerpt featuring Mishima talking about writing
Theatrical trailer
New and improved English subtitle translation
PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by critic Kevin Jackson and a piece on the film’s censorship in Japan


SRP: $29.95
Street date: 6/17/08

Playwright and novelist Yukio Mishima predicted his own suicide with this ravishing short feature, his only foray into filmmaking (codirected with Domoto Masaki), yet made with the expressiveness and confidence of a true cinema artist. All prints of Patriotism (Yukoku), which depicts the seppuku (ritual suicide) of a naval officer, were destroyed after Mishima’s death in 1970, though the negative was saved, and the film resurfaced thirty-five years later. New viewers will be stunned at the depth and clarity of Mishima’s vision, as well as his graphic depictions of sex and death. The film is presented here with a choice of Japanese or English intertitles.

Written and directed by Yukio Mishima (“The Temple of the Golden Pavilion,” “Kyoto’s House”)

New, restored high-definition digital transfer of the Japanese and English versions, with optional Japanese or English intertitles
A 45-minute audio recording of Yukio Mishima speaking to the Foreign
Correspondents’ Association of Japan
A 45-minute making-of documentary, featuring crew from the film’s production
Interview excerpts featuring Mishima discussing war and death
New and improved English subtitle translation
PLUS: A new essay by renowned critic and historian Tony Rayns, Mishima’s original novella, and Mishima’s extensive notes on the film’s production


SRP: $29.95
Street date: 6/17/08

Though sentenced to death, in absentia, in France, former gangland chief Abel Davos (Lino Ventura) sneaks back to Paris with his children after hiding out in Milan for nearly a decade. Accompanied by appointed guardian Eric Stark (Jean-Paul Belmondo, in his first release after Breathless) and beset by backstabbing former friends, Abel begins a journey through the postwar Parisian underworld that’s both throat grabbing and soul searching. A character study of a career criminal at the end of his rope, this rugged noir from Claude Sautet (Un coeur en hiver) is a thrilling highlight of sixties French cinema.

Directed by Claude Sautet (César and Rosalie, Un coeur en hiver)
Starring Lino Ventura (Touchez pas au grisbi, Elevator to the Gallows, Army of Shadows)
Starring Jean-Paul Belmondo (Breathless, A Woman Is a Woman, Pierrot le fou)
Cinematography by Ghislain Cloquet (The Fire Within, Au hasard Balthazar)
Music by Georges Delerue (Contempt, Jules and Jim, The Two of Us)

New, restored high-definition digital transfer
Excerpts from Claude Sautet ou La magie invisible, a documentary on the director by writers N.T. Binh and Dominique Rabourdin
Archival interview footage featuring actor Lino Ventura discussing his career
Original French and U.S. release trailers
New and improved English subtitle translation
PLUS: New essays by director Bertrand Tavernier and critic N. T. Binh, a reprinted
interview with Sautet, and a tribute by Jean-Pierre Melville

continued on page 2 ——>



SRP: $29.95
Street date: 6/24/08

Barbara Stanwyck and Walter Huston are at their fierce finest in master Hollywood craftsman Anthony Mann’s crackling western melodrama. In 1870s New Mexico Territory, megalomaniacal widowed ranch-owner T. C. Jeffords (Huston, in his final role) butts heads with his daughter, Vance (Stanwyck), a firebrand with serious daddy issues, over her dowry, choice of marriage, and, finally, ownership of the land itself. Both sophisticated in its view of frontier settlement and ablaze with searing domestic drama, The Furies is a hidden treasure of American filmmaking, boasting Oscar–nominated cinematography and vivid supporting turns from Judith Anderson, Wendell Corey, and Gilbert Roland.

Directed by Anthony Mann (T-Men, Winchester ’73, El Cid)
Starring Barbara Stanwyck (Stella Dallas, The Lady Eve, Double Indemnity)
Starring Walter Huston (The Devil and Daniel Webster, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre)
Starring Judith Anderson (Rebecca, The Ten Commandments)
Cinematography by Victor Milner (Trouble in Paradise, Cleopatra, Unfaithfully Yours)


New, restored high-definition digital transfer
Audio commentary featuring film historian Jim Kitses (Horizons West)
A rare, 1931 on-camera interview with Walter Huston, made for the movie theater series Intimate Interviews
New video interview with Nina Mann, daughter of director Anthony Mann
Stills gallery of rare behind-the-scenes photos
Theatrical trailer
PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by critic Robin Wood, a 1957 Cahiers du cinéma interview with Mann, and a new printing of Niven Busch’s original novel


SRP: $39.95
Street date: 6/24/08

The first film made in the newly independent Republic of Macedonia, Milcho Manchevski’s Before the Rain crosscuts the stories of an orthodox Christian monk (Grégoire Colin), a British photo agent (Katrin Cartlidge), and a native Macedonian war photographer (Rade _erbed_ija) to paint a portrait of simmering, entrenched ethnic and religious hatred about to reach its boiling point. Made during the strife of the war-torn Balkan states in the nineties, this gripping triptych of love and violence is also a timeless evocation of the loss of pastoral innocence, and remains one of recent cinema’s most poetic evocations of the futility of war.

Directed by Milcho Manchevski (Dust, Shadows)
Starring Katrin Cartlidge (Breaking the Waves, Naked, Claire Dolan)
Starring Grégoire Colin (Beau travail, The Dreamlife of Angels, Sex Is Comedy)
Starring Rade _erbed_ija (Eyes Wide Shut, Ronin, Mission: Impossible)

New, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised and approved by director Milcho Manchevski
Audio commentary featuring Manchevski and film scholar Annette Insdorf
New video interview with actor Rade _erbed_ija
Manchevski’s award-winning music video for Arrested Development’s “Tennessee”

Stills galleries of Manchevski’s photographs and on-set shots
Theatrical trailer
New and improved English subtitle translation
PLUS: A new essay by film scholar Ian Christie

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