Today The Criterion Collection announced their March 2017 line-up. No upgrades again, but, again, they make up for that with a few releases that we’ve been hoping for for a long time.

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


March 7, 2017

45 Years (2015)
d. Andrew Haigh

From The Criterion Collection:

In this exquisitely calibrated film by Andrew Haigh, Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay perform a subtly off-kilter pas de deux as Kate and Geoff, an English couple who, on the eve of an anniversary celebration, find their long marriage shaken by the arrival of a letter to Geoff that unceremoniously collapses his past into their shared present. Haigh carries the tradition of British realist cinema to artful new heights in 45 Years, weaving the momentous into the mundane as the pair go about their daily lives, while the evocatively flat, wintry Norfolk landscape frames their struggle to maintain an increasingly untenable status quo. Loosely adapting a short story by David Constantine, Haigh shifts the focus from the slightly erratic Geoff to Kate, eliciting a remarkable, nuanced portrayal by Rampling of a woman’s gradual metamorphosis from unflappable wife to woman undone.


March 14, 2017

Canoa: A Shameful Memory (1976)
d. Felipe Cazals

From The Criterion Collection:

One of Mexico’s most highly regarded works of political cinema for the audaciousness of its attack on the Catholic Church, Canoa: A Shameful Memory reimagines a real-life massacre that occurred in 1968, eight years before the film’s release, when a group of urban university employees on a hiking trip were viciously attacked by residents of the isolated village of San Miguel de Canoa, who mistook them for communist revolutionaries. Intercutting depictions of the days in the workers’ lives leading up to their journey and footage from a fictional documentary about the village and the autocratic priest who governs it with the scenes of the atrocity itself, director Felipe Cazals (Las inocentes) creates a terrifying sense of menace, capped by a gruesome denouement. Adopting a gritty newsreel style, Canoa is a daring historical document and a visceral expression of horror.


March 21, 2017

Multiple Maniacs (1970)
d. John Waters

From The Criterion Collection:

The gloriously grotesque second feature directed by John Waters is replete with all manner of depravity, from robbery to murder to one of cinema’s most memorably blasphemous moments. Made on a shoestring budget in Waters’ native Baltimore, with the filmmaker taking on nearly every technical task, this gleeful mockery of the peace-and-love ethos of its era features the Cavalcade of Perversion, a traveling show mounted by a troupe of misfits whose shocking proclivities are topped only by those of their leader: the glammer-than-glam, larger-than-life Divine, out for blood after discovering her lover’s affair. Starring Waters’ beloved regular cast the Dreamlanders (including David Lochary, Mary Vivian Pearce, Mink Stole, Susan Lowe, George Figgs, and Cookie Mueller), Multiple Maniacs is an anarchic masterwork from an artist who has doggedly tested the limits of good taste for decades.


March 21, 2017

Being There (1979)
d. Hal Ashby

From The Criterion Collection:

In one of his most finely tuned performances, Peter Sellers plays the pure-hearted Chance, a gardener forced out of moneyed seclusion and into the urban wilds of Washington, D.C., after the death of his employer. Shocked to discover that the real world doesn’t respond to the click of a remote, Chance stumbles haplessly into celebrity after being taken under the wing of a tycoon (Oscar winner Melvyn Douglas), who mistakes his new protégé’s mumbling about horticulture for sagacious pronouncements on life and politics, and whose wife targets Chance as the object of her desire. Adapted from a novel by Jerzy Kosinski, this hilarious, deeply melancholy satire marks the culmination a remarkable string of films by Hal Ashby in the 1970s, and serves as a carefully modulated examination of the ideals, anxieties, and media-fueled delusions that shaped American culture during that decade.


March 28, 2017

Blow-Up (1966)
d. Michelangelo Antonioni

From The Criterion Collection:

In 1966, Michelangelo Antonioni transplanted his existentialist ennui to the streets of swinging London for this international sensation, the Italian filmmaker’s English-language debut. A countercultural masterpiece about the act of seeing and the art of image making, Blow-Up takes the form of a psychological mystery, starring David Hemmings as a fashion photographer who unknowingly captures a death on film after following two lovers in a park. Antonioni’s meticulous aesthetic control and intoxicating color palette breathe life into every frame, and the jazzy sounds of Herbie Hancock, a beautifully evasive performance by Vanessa Redgrave, and a cameo by the Yardbirds make the film a transporting time capsule from a bygone era. Blow?Up is a seductive immersion into creative passion, and a brilliant film by one of cinema’s greatest artists.

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