Today The Criterion Collection announced their December 2017 line-up, which includes four releases. I’m only highlighting the three new ones below, since their major release of 100 Years of Olympic Films: 1912 – 2012 was announced a few weeks ago, and you can read about it here.

This is an interesting slate. Technically, only one is a new addition to the collection, the first one in the list. The other two are upgrades, with one of those being an upgrade of a film already on Blu-ray; folks wondered if the new 4K restoration of Monterey Pop would mean The Criterion Collection would have a release on a new 4K Blu-ray, but that is not the case.

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


December 12, 2017

Election (1999)
d. Alexander Payne

From The Criterion Collection:

Perky, overachieving Tracy Flick (Reese Witherspoon) gets on the nerves of history teacher Jim McAllister (Matthew Broderick) to begin with, but after she launches her campaign for high-school president and his personal life starts to fall apart, things spiral out of control. In Alexander Payne’s satire Election, the teacher becomes unhealthily obsessed with cutting his student down to size, covertly backing a spoiler candidate to stop her from steamrolling to victory, and putting in motion a series of dirty tricks and reckless promises with uncanny real-world political parallels. Adapting a then-unpublished novel by Tom Perrotta, Payne grounds the absurdity of his central dynamic in the recognizable—the setting is his hometown of Omaha, and the accomplished cast is rounded out with nonprofessionals—and distills his closely observed take on deeply flawed humanity to its bitter but stealthily sympathetic essence.


December 12, 2017

The Complete Monterey Pop Festival
Monterey Pop (d. Pennebaker 1968)
Jimi Plays Monterey & Shake! Otis at Monterey (d. Pennebaker and Hegedus, 1986)

From The Criterion Collection:

On a beautiful June weekend in 1967, at the beginning of the Summer of Love, the first and only Monterey International Pop Festival roared forward, capturing a decade’s spirit and ushering in a new era of rock and roll. Monterey featured career-making performances by Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Otis Redding, but they were just a few performers in a wildly diverse lineup that included Simon and Garfunkel, the Mamas and the Papas, the Who, the Byrds, Hugh Masekela, and the extraordinary Ravi Shankar. With his characteristic vérité style—and a camera crew that included the likes of Albert Maysles and Richard Leacock—D. A. Pennebaker captured it all, immortalizing moments that have become legend: Pete Townshend smashing his guitar, Jimi Hendrix burning his, Mama Cass being blown away by Janis Joplin’s performance. The Criterion Collection is proud to present the most comprehensive document of the Monterey International Pop Festival ever produced, featuring the films Monterey Pop, Jimi Plays Monterey, and Shake! Otis at Monterey, along with every available complete performance filmed by Pennebaker and his crew.


December 12, 2017

General Idi Amind Dada: A Self-Portrait (1974)
d. Barbet Schroeder

From The Criterion Collection:

In 1974, Barbet Schroeder went to Uganda to make a film about Idi Amin, the country’s ruthless, charismatic dictator. Three years into a murderous regime that would be responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Ugandans, Amin prepared a triumphal greeting for the filmmakers, staging rallies, military maneuvers, and cheery displays of national pride, and envisioning the film as an official portrait to adorn his cult of personality. Schroeder, however, had other ideas, emerging with a disquieting, caustically funny brief against Amin, in which the dictator’s own endless stream of testimony – charming, menacing, and nonsensical by turns – serves as the most damning evidence. A revelatory tug-of-war between subject and filmmaker, General Idi Amin Dada: A Self-Portrait is a landmark in the art of documentary and an appalling study of egotism in power.

 

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