The Criterion Collection has announced its releases for May 2019. It’s a month for domestic terror, subtle and not so subtle, with provocative films from Michael Haneke and David Lynch. Yikes! There are also two films by two of our great female filmmakers. What a great month!

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


May 7, 2019

The Heiress (1949)
d. William Wyler

From The Criterion Collection:

Directed with a keen sense of ambiguity by William Wyler, this film based on a hit stage adaptation of Henry James’s Washington Square pivots on a question of motive. When shy, fragile Catherine Sloper (Olivia de Havilland, in a heartbreaking, Oscar-winning turn), the daughter of a wealthy New York doctor, begins to receive calls from the handsome spendthrift Morris Townsend (Montgomery Clift), she becomes possessed by the promise of romance. Are his smoldering professions of love sincere, as she believes they are? Or is Catherine’s calculating father (Ralph Richardson) correct in judging Morris a venal fortune seeker? A graceful drawing-room drama boasting Academy Award–winning costume design by Edith Head, The Heiress is also a piercing character study riven by emotional uncertainty and lacerating cruelty, in a triumph of classic Hollywood filmmaking at its most psychologically nuanced.


May 14, 2019

Funny Games (1997)
d. Michael Haneke

From The Criterion Collection:

Michael Haneke’s most notorious provocation, Funny Games spares no detail in its depiction of the agony of a bourgeois family held captive at their vacation home by a pair of white-gloved young men. In a series of escalating “games,” the sadistic duo subject their victims to unspeakable physical and psychological torture over the course of a night. A home-invasion thriller in which the genre’s threat of bloodshed is made stomach-churningly real, the film ratchets up shocks even as its executioners interrupt the action to address the audience, drawing queasy attention to the way that cinema milks pleasure from pain and stokes our appetite for atrocity. With this controversial treatise on violence and entertainment, Haneke issued a summation of his cinematic philosophy, implicating his audience in a spectacle of unbearable cruelty.


May 14, 2019

House of Games (1987)
d. David Mamet

From The Criterion Collection:

The Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright and screenwriter David Mamet sat in the director’s chair for the first time for this sly, merciless thriller. Lindsay Crouse stars as a best-selling author and therapist who wants to help a client by making restitution for the money he owes to a gambler. After she meets the attractive cardsharp (Joe Mantegna), her own compulsions take hold as he lures her into his world of high-stakes deception. Packed with razor-sharp dialogue delivered with even-keeled precision by a cast of Mamet regulars, House of Games is as psychologically acute as it is full of twists and turns, a rich character study told with the cold calculation of a career con artist targeting his next mark.


May 21, 2019

Let the Sunshine In (2017)
d. Claire Denis

From The Criterion Collection:

Two luminaries of French cinema, Claire Denis and Juliette Binoche, unite for the first time in this piercing look at the elusive nature of true love, and the extent to which we are willing to betray ourselves in its pursuit. In a richly layered performance, Binoche plays Isabelle, a successful painter in Paris whose apparent independence belies what she desires most: real romantic fulfillment. Isabelle reveals deep wells of yearning, vulnerability, and resilience as she tumbles into relationships with all the wrong men. Shot in burnished tones by Denis’s longtime collaborator Agnès Godard and featuring a mischievous appearance by Gérard Depardieu, Let the Sunshine In finds bleak humor in a cutting truth: we are all, no matter our age, fools for love.


May 28, 2019

One Sings, the Other Doesn’t (1977)
d. Agnès Varda

From The Criterion Collection:

In the early 1960s in Paris, two young women become friends. Pomme is an aspiring singer. Suzanne is a pregnant country girl unable to support a third child. Pomme lends Suzanne the money for an illegal abortion, but a sudden tragedy soon separates them. Over a decade later, they reunite at a demonstration and pledge to keep in touch via postcard, as each of their lives is irrevocably changed by the women’s liberation movement. A buoyant hymn to sisterly solidarity rooted in the hard-won victories of a generation of women, One Sings, the Other Doesn’t is one of Agnès Varda’s warmest and most politically trenchant films, a feminist musical for the ages.


May 28, 2019

Blue Velvet (1986)
d. David Lynch

From The Criterion Collection:

Home from college, Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle MacLachlan) makes an unsettling discovery: a severed human ear, lying in a field. In the mystery that follows, by turns terrifying and darkly funny, David Lynch burrows deep beneath the picturesque surfaces of small-town life. Driven to investigate, Jeffrey finds himself drawing closer to his fellow amateur sleuth, Sandy Williams (Laura Dern), as well as their prime suspect, lounge singer Dorothy Vallens (Isabella Rossellini)—and facing the fury of Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper), a psychopath who will stop at nothing to keep Dorothy in his grasp. With intense performances and hauntingly powerful scenes and images, Blue Velvet is an unforgettable vision of innocence lost, and one of the most influential American films of the past few decades.

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By |2019-02-15T17:52:48-04:00February 15th, 2019|Categories: News|0 Comments

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