Today The Criterion Collection announced their August 2017 line-up, with two upgrades, including one title that was once available on Criterion DVD but that has been out of print for years — I love seeing those come back!

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


August 8, 2017

The Breaking Point (1950)
d. Michael Curtiz

From The Criterion Collection:

Michael Curtiz brings a master skipper’s hand to the helm of this thriller, Hollywood’s second crack at Ernest Hemingway’s To Have and Have Not. John Garfield stars as Harry Morgan, an honest charter-boat captain who, facing hard times, takes on dangerous cargo to save his boat, support his family, and preserve his dignity. Left in the lurch by a freeloading passenger, Harry starts to entertain the criminal propositions of a sleazy lawyer (Wallace Ford), as well as the playful come-ons of a cheeky blonde (Patricia Neal), making a series of compromises that stretch his morality—and his marriage—farther than he’ll admit. Hewing closer to Hemingway’s novel than Howard Hawks’s Bogart-Bacall vehicle, The Breaking Point charts a course through daylight noir and working-class tragedy, guided by Curtiz’s effortless visual fluency and a stoic, career-capping performance from Garfield.


August 15, 2017

Meantime (1984)
d. Mike Leigh

From The Criterion Collection:

A slow-burning depiction of economic degradation in Thatcher’s England, Mike Leigh’s Meantime was the culmination of the writer-director’s pioneering work in television and became his breakthrough theatrical release. Unemployment is rampant in London’s working-class East End, where a middle-aged couple and their two sons languish in a claustrophobic public housing flat. As the brothers (Phil Daniels and Tim Roth) grow increasingly disaffected, Leigh punctuates the grinding boredom of their daily existence with tense encounters, including with a priggish aunt (Marion Bailey) who has managed to become middle-class and a blithering skinhead on the verge of psychosis (a scene-stealing Gary Oldman, in his first major role). Informed by Leigh’s now trademark improvisational process and propelled by the lurching rhythms of its Beckett-like dialogue, Meantime is an unrelenting, often blisteringly funny look at life on the dole.


August 15, 2017

Hopscotch (1980)
d. Ronald Neame

From The Criterion Collection:

The inimitable comic team of Walter Matthau and Glenda Jackson star in this nimble tale of international intrigue from master British filmmaker Ronald Neame. Based on Brian Garfield’s best-selling novel, the blithe thriller centers on Miles Kendig (Matthau), a disillusioned retired CIA agent who, with the help of a chic and savvy Viennese widow (Jackson), threatens to publish his memoirs and expose the innermost secrets of every major intelligence agency in the world. Despite being in major hot water with his former colleagues, Kendig refuses to get in line—he’s having too much fun. Set to the sounds of Mozart, this lighthearted sendup of the paranoid dramas of its era is an expertly crafted, singular take on the spy movie.


August 22, 2017

La poison (1951)
d. Sacha Guitry

From The Criterion Collection:

The writer, actor, and director Sacha Guitry emerged from the theater to become one of France’s best-known and most inventive filmmakers, and La poison marked his first collaboration with another titan of the screen, the incomparably expressive Michel Simon. With Guitry’s witty dialogue and fleet pacing, the black comedy is the quintessential depiction of a marriage gone sour: after thirty years together, a village gardener (Simon) and his wife (Germaine Reuver) find themselves contemplating how to do away with each other, with the former even planning how he’ll negotiate his eventual criminal trial. Inspired by Guitry’s own post–World War II tangle with the law—a wrongful charge of collaborationism—La poison is a blithely caustic broadside against the French legal system and a society all too eager to capitalize on others’ misfortunes.


August 22, 2017

Sid & Nancy (1986)
d. Alex Cox

From The Criterion Collection:

With the lacerating love story Sid & Nancy, Alex Cox reimagines the crash-and-burn affair between punk’s most notorious self-destructive poster children: Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious and his girlfriend, Nancy Spungen—brought to visceral life by brilliant performances from Gary Oldman and Chloe Webb. Cox turns his anarchic filmmaking style on the explosive energy of the London punk scene and the degenerate streets of seventies New York, making for an eviscerating depiction of excess and addiction. Through the lens of cinematographer Roger Deakins, the imagery goes from swooning to grimy, and the film’s bleakness is balanced with surreal humor and genuine tenderness, making for an affecting, music-fueled vision of doomed love.

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By | 2017-08-04T16:05:35+00:00 May 16th, 2017|Categories: News|0 Comments

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