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So, Criterion’s June Releases Are Pretty Great

Criterion Collection has announced their June Blu-ray and DVD releases. If I had to use one word to describe them I think I’d go with fantastic. Yeah, fantastic sounds about right.

LA CHIENNE – – Blu–Ray & DVD Editions
Jean Renoir’s ruthless love triangle tale, his second sound film, is a true precursor to his brilliantly bitter The Rules of the Game, displaying all of the filmmaker’s visual genius and fully imbued with his profound sense of humanity. A hangdog Michel Simon (Boudu Saved from Drowning) cuts a tragic figure as an unhappily married cashier and amateur painter who becomes so smitten with a prostitute that he refuses to see the obvious: that she and her pimp boyfriend are taking advantage of him. Renoir’s elegant compositions and camera movements carry this twisting and turning narrative—a stinging commentary on class and sexual divides—to an unforgettably ironic conclusion.

SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
New, restored 4K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
• Introduction to the film by director Jean Renoir from 1967
• New interview with Renoir scholar Christopher Faulkner
• New restoration of On purge bébé (1931), Renoir’s first sound film, also starring Michel Simon and never before on Blu-ray or DVD in the U.S.
• Jean Renoir le patron: “Michel Simon” (1966), a ninety-minute French television program featuring a conversation between Renoir and Simon, moderated by filmmaker Jacques Rivette
• New English subtitle translation
• PLUS: An essay by film scholar and critic Ginette Vincendeau

1931 • 96 minutes • Black & White • Monaural • In French with English subtitles • 1.19:1 aspect ratio

BLU-RAY EDITION
SRP $39.95
STREET 6/14/16

2-DVD EDITION
SRP $29.95
STREET 6/14/16

HERE COMES MR. JORDAN– Blu–Ray & DVD Editions
A sophisticated supernatural Hollywood comedy whose influence continues to be felt, Here Comes Mr. Jordan stars the eminently versatile Robert Montgomery (Mr. and Mrs. Smith) as a working-class boxer and amateur aviator whose plane crashes in a freak accident. He finds himself in heaven but is told, by a wry angel named Mr. Jordan (Casablanca’s Claude Rains), that his death was a clerical error, and that he can return to earth by entering the body of a corrupt (and about-to-be-murdered) banker—whose soul could use a transplant. Having inspired a sequel with Rita Hayworth and two remakes (the first starring Warren Beatty and the second Chris Rock), Alexander Hall’s effervescent Here Comes Mr. Jordan is comic perfection.

SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
• New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
• New conversation between critic Michael Sragow and independent filmmaker Michael Schlesinger
• Audio interview from 1991 in which actor Elizabeth Montgomery discusses her father, actor Robert Montgomery
• Lux Radio Theatre adaptation of Here Comes Mr. Jordan from 1942 starring Cary Grant, Claude Rains, Evelyn Keyes, and James Gleason
• Trailer
• PLUS: An essay by critic Farran Smith Nehme

1941 • 94 minutes • Black & White • Monaural • 1.33:1 aspect ratio

BLU-RAY EDITION
SRP $39.95
STREET 6/14/16

DVD EDITION
SRP $29.95
STREET 6/14/16

FANTASTIC PLANET– Blu–Ray & DVD Editions
Nothing else has ever looked or felt like director René Laloux’s animated marvel Fantastic Planet, a politically minded and visually inventive work of science fiction. The film is set on a distant planet called Ygam, where enslaved humans (Oms) are the playthings of giant blue natives (Draags). After Terr, kept as a pet since infancy, escapes from his gigantic child captor, he is swept up by a band of radical fellow Oms who are resisting the Draags’ oppression and violence. With its eerie, coolly surreal cutout animation by Roland Topor; brilliant psychedelic jazz score by Alain Goraguer; and wondrous creatures and landscapes, this Cannes-awarded 1973 counterculture classic is a perennially compelling statement against conformity and violence.

SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
• New, restored 4K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
• Alternate English-language soundtrack
• Les escargots (1966), an early short film by director René Laloux and illustrator Roland Topor
• Laloux sauvage, a 2009 documentary on Laloux
• Italiques: Roland Topor Special, a 1974 French television program on Topor’s work
• Archival interviews
• Trailer
• New English subtitle translation
• PLUS: An essay by critic Michael Brooke

1973 • 72 minutes • Color • Monaural • In French with English subtitles • 1.66:1 aspect ratio

BLU-RAY EDITION
SRP $39.95
STREET 6/21/16

DVD EDITION
SRP $29.95
STREET 6/21/16

DR. STRANGELOVE, OR: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB– Blu–Ray & DVD Editions
Stanley Kubrick’s painfully funny take on Cold War anxiety is without a doubt one of the fiercest satires of human folly ever to come out of Hollywood. The matchless shape-shifter Peter Sellers (The Pink Panther) plays three wildly different roles: Air Force Captain Lionel Mandrake, timidly trying to stop a nuclear attack on the USSR ordered by an unbalanced general (The Killing’s Sterling Hayden); the ineffectual and perpetually dumbfounded President Merkin Muffley, who must deliver the very bad news to the Soviet premier; and the titular Strangelove himself, a wheelchair-bound presidential adviser with a Nazi past. Finding improbable hilarity in nearly every unimaginable scenario, Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb is a genuinely subversive masterpiece that officially announced Kubrick as an unparalleled stylist and pitch-black ironist.

SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
• Restored 4K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
• Alternate 5.1 surround soundtrack
• New interviews with Stanley Kubrick scholars Mick Broderick and Rodney Hill; archivist Richard Daniels; cinematographer and camera innovator Joe Dunton; camera operator Kelvin Pike; and David George, son of Peter George, on whose novel Red Alert the film is based
• Excerpts from a 1965 audio interview with Kubrick, conducted by Jeremy Bernstein
• Four short documentaries from 2000, about the making of the film, the sociopolitical climate of the period, the work of actor Peter Sellers, and the artistry of Kubrick
• Interviews from 1963 with Sellers and actor George C. Scott
• Excerpt from a 1980 interview with Sellers from NBC’s Today show
• Trailer
• PLUS: An essay by scholar David Bromwich and a 1962 article by screenwriter Terry Southern on the making of the film

1964 • 95 minutes • Black & White • Monaural • 1.66:1 aspect ratio

BLU-RAY EDITION
SRP $39.95
STREET 6/28/16

2-DVD EDITION
SRP $29.95
STREET 6/28/16

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