Today The Criterion Collection announced their November line-up, which includes five new releases. I always look forward to what Criterion announces for November because November tends to be one of their strongest months of the year. This one isn’t quite as exciting to me as even some of their most recent months, but I am very anxious for the big November boxset.

The blurbs are from The Criterion Collection’s website (so are the links) — go there to see the details on the supplements.


November 8 2016

Lone Wolf and Cub (1972-1974)
d. various

From The Criterion Collection:

Based on the best-selling manga series, the six intensely kinetic Lone Wolf and Cub films elevated chanbara to bloody, new heights. The shogun’s executioner, Itto Ogami (Tomisaburo Wakayama), takes to wandering the countryside as an assassin—along with his infant son Daigoro (Akihiro Tomikawa) and an infinitely weaponized perambulator—helping those he encounters while seeking vengeance for his murdered wife. Delivering stylish thrills and a body count that defies belief, Lone Wolf and Cub is beloved for its brilliantly choreographed and unbelievably violent action sequences as well as for its tender depiction of the bonds between parent and child.


November 15, 2016

Punch Drunk Love (2002)
d. Paul Thomas Anderson

From The Criterion Collection:

Chaos lurks in every corner of this giddily off-kilter foray into romantic comedy by Paul Thomas Anderson. Struggling to cope with his erratic temper, novelty toilet plunger salesman Barry Egan (Adam Sandler, demonstrating remarkable versatility in his first dramatic role) spends his days collecting frequent-flyer-mile coupons and dodging the insults of his seven sisters. The promise of a new life emerges when Barry inadvertently attracts the affections of a mysterious woman named Lena (Emily Watson), but their budding relationship is threatened when he falls prey to the swindling operator of a phone sex line and her deranged boss (played with maniacal brio by Philip Seymour Hoffman). Fueled by the careening momentum of a baroque-futurist score by Jon Brion, the Cannes-award-winning Punch-Drunk Love channels the spirit of classic Hollywood musicals and the whimsy of Jacques Tati into an idiosyncratic ode to the delirium of new romance.


November 15, 2016

Dreams (1990)
d. Akira Kurosawa

From The Criterion Collection:

Unfolding in a series of mythic vignettes, this late work by Akira Kurosawa brings eight of the beloved director’s own nighttime visions, informed by tales from Japanese folklore, to cinematic life. In a visually sumptuous journey through the master’s unconscious, tales of childlike wonder give way to apocalyptic visions: a young boy stumbles on a fox wedding in a forest; a soldier confronts the ghosts of the war dead; a power-plant meltdown smothers a seaside landscape in radioactive fumes. Interspersed with reflections on the redemptive power of art, including a richly textured tribute to Vincent van Gogh (played by Martin Scorsese), Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams is both a showcase for its maker’s imagination at its most unbridled and a deeply personal lament for a world at the mercy of human ignorance.


November 22, 2016

The Squid and the Whale (2005)
d. Noah Baumbach

From The Criterion Collection:

With excruciating honesty, The Squid and the Whale chronicles the experiences of two young brothers growing up in 1980s Park Slope, Brooklyn, as they navigate the jagged contours of the divorce of their parents, both writers. The acclaimed third feature by Noah Baumbach marked a critical development for the filmmaker as he turned toward an increasingly personal style—a move that garnered him an Academy Award nomination for best original screenplay. Shot in Super 16 mm and featuring a quartet of nuanced, understated performances from Jeff Daniels, Laura Linney, Jesse Eisenberg, and Owen Kline, this comic and poignant drama, peppered with autobiographical elements, deftly captures the heartache and confusion of a fracturing family.


November 22, 2016

One-Eyed Jacks (1961)
d. Marlon Brando

From The Criterion Collection:

A western like no other, One-Eyed Jacks combines the mythological scope of that most American of film genres with the searing naturalism of a performance by Marlon Brando, all suffused with Freudian overtones and male anxiety. In his only directing stint, Brando captures the rugged landscapes of California’s Central Coast and Mexico’s Sonoran Desert in gorgeous widescreen, Technicolor images, and elicits from his fellow actors (including Karl Malden and Pina Pellicer) nuanced improvisational depictions of conflicted characters. Though overwhelmed by its director’s perfectionism and plagued by production setbacks and studio re-editing, One-Eyed Jacks stands as one of Brando’s great achievements, thanks above all to his tortured turn as Rio, a bank robber bent on revenge against his one-time partner in crime, the aptly named Dad Longworth (Malden). Brooding and romantic, Rio marks the last, and perhaps the most tender, of the iconic outsiders Brando imbued with such remarkable intensity throughout his career.

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