The Criterion Collection has announced its releases for June 2018, which includes four new titles and one upgrade I’ve been particularly antsy about since I sold my DVD of it a few years ago. I can finally get the film back on my shelf!

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


June 12, 2018

Manila in the Claws of Light (1975)
d. Lino Brocka

Lino Brocka’s Insiang (my review here) is one of my favorite personal discoveries of last year. I’ve heard as much good about this film as well, so this is a must.

From The Criterion Collection:

Lino Brocka broke through to international acclaim with this candid portrait of 1970s Manila, the second film in the director’s turn to more serious-minded filmmaking after building a career on mainstream films he described as “soaps.” A young fisherman from a provincial village arrives in the capital on a quest to track down his girlfriend, who was lured there with the promise of work and hasn’t been heard from since. In the meantime, he takes a low-wage job at a construction site and witnesses life on the streets, where death strikes without warning, corruption and exploitation are commonplace, and protests hint at escalating civil unrest. Mixing visceral, documentary-like realism with the narrative focus of Hollywood noir and melodrama, Manila in the Claws of Lightis a howl of anguish from one of the most celebrated figures in Philippine cinema.


June 19, 2018

El Sur (1983)
d. Victor Erice

Erice’s beautiful film The Spirit of the Beehive is a DVD-only release I’d like to see come out on Blu-ray. When I finished that film I immediately sat down to watch Erice’s El Sur, and I liked it almost as much. I’m very glad to see it finally getting a release!

From The Criterion Collection:

Ten years after making his mark on Spanish cinema with The Spirit of the Beehive, Víctor Erice returned to filmmaking with this adaptation of a novella by Adelaida García Morales, which deepens the director’s fascination with childhood, fantasy, and the legacy of his country’s civil war. In the North of Spain, Estrella grows up captivated by her father, a doctor with mystical powers—and by the enigma of his youth in the South, a near-mythical region whose secrets seem to haunt him more and more as time goes on. Though Erice’s original vision also encompassed a long section set in the South itself, which was never made, El Sur remains an experience of rare perfection and satisfaction, drawing on painterly cinematography by José Luis Alcaine to evoke the enchantments of memory and the inaccessible, inescapable mysteries of the past.


June 19, 2018

Bowling for Columbine (2002)
d. Michael Moore

Criterion teased that they were working on this release before the latest push for gun control in America, so this is not just a convenient release. Of course, given how frequent these tragedies are, this film is perpetually relevant. I’m not the biggest fan of Moore’s rhetorical techniques as he seems to use the very ones he criticizes, but I do think this is an important documentary so I’m glad to see it getting a new release.

From The Criterion Collection:

In the wake of the Columbine High School massacre in 1999, the intrepid documentarian Michael Moore set out to investigate the long, often volatile love affair between Americans and their firearms, uncovering the pervasive culture of fear that keeps the nation locked and loaded. Equipped with a camera and a microphone, Moore follows the trail of bullets from Littleton, Colorado, and Flint, Michigan, all the way to Kmart’s Michigan headquarters and NRA president Charlton Heston’s Beverly Hills mansion, meeting shooting survivors, militia members, mild-mannered Canadians, and musician Marilyn Manson along the way. An unprecedented popular success that helped usher in a new era in documentary filmmaking, the Oscar-winning Bowling for Columbine is a raucous, impassioned, and still tragically relevant journey through the American psyche.


June 26, 2018

Female Trouble (1974)
d. John Waters

I’ve never seen a John Waters film. His fans, whom I respect, have never suggested I do.

From The Criterion Collection:

Glamour has never been more grotesque than in Female Trouble, which injects the Hollywood melodrama with anarchic decadence. Divine, director John Waters’ larger-than-life muse, engulfs the screen with charisma as Dawn Davenport—who progresses from a teenage nightmare hell-bent on getting cha-cha heels for Christmas to a fame monster whose egomaniacal impulses land her in the electric chair—in the ultimate expression of the film’s lurid mantra, “Crime is beauty.” Shot in Baltimore on 16 mm, with a cast drawn from Waters’ beloved troupe of regulars, the Dreamlanders (including Mink Stole, David Lochary, Mary Vivian Pearce, Edith Massey, and Cookie Mueller), this film, the director’s favorite of his work with Divine, comes to life through the tinsel-toned vision of production designer Vincent Peranio and costume designer/makeup artist Van Smith. An endlessly quotable fan favorite, Female Trouble offers up perverse pleasures that never fail to satisfy.


June 26, 2018

The Virgin Spring (1960)
d. Ingmar Bergman

I’ve been waiting for Criterion to upgrade their old DVD of this film for years! I sold my box set Ingmar Bergman: Four Masterworks: Smiles of a Summer Night, The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries, and The Virgin Spring because each of the other three films were available in better editions. I’m so relieved it’s going to be back on my shelf, because it is one of my favorites. It’s also one of the first films I reviewed on The Mookse and the Gripes (see here).

From The Criterion Collection:

Winner of the Academy Award for best foreign-language film, Ingmar Bergman’s The Virgin Spring is a harrowing tale of faith, revenge, and savagery in medieval Sweden. With austere simplicity, the director tells the story of the rape and murder of the virgin Karin, and her father Töre’s ruthless pursuit of vengeance, set in motion after the killers visit the family’s farmhouse. Starring frequent Bergman collaborator and screen icon Max von Sydow, the film is both beautiful and cruel in its depiction of a world teetering between paganism and Christianity.

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By |2018-03-15T16:11:35-04:00March 15th, 2018|Categories: News|0 Comments

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