Today The Criterion Collection announced what they’ll be releasing in October. It’s exciting to see them getting the rights back to release Pierrot le fou, another film that went out of print years ago, and interesting that they didn’t just re-release the old Blu-ray — this is a new restoration and gets a new cover. Also getting the Criterion treatment is this past year’s Best Picture winner, Parasite (which I love); here it’s getting a stacked two-disc Blu-ray release that includes two versions of the film: one the original color release and the other Bong’s black-and-white release. Often in October we get a few horror films, but maybe this year we’ve had enough horror in real time — quite a bit of it conveyed in Parasite, actually, so maybe that’s the horror film. Anyway, I’m also excited for the other titles, so without further ado.

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


October 6, 2020

Pierrot le fou (1965)
d. Jean-Luc Godard

From The Criterion Collection:

Dissatisfied in marriage and life, Ferdinand (Jean-Paul Belmondo) takes to the road with the babysitter, his ex-lover Marianne Renoir (Anna Karina), and leaves the bourgeois world behind. Yet this is no normal road trip: the tenth feature in six years by genius auteur Jean-Luc Godard is a stylish mash-up of anticonsumerist satire, au courant politics, and comic-book aesthetics, as well as a violent, zigzag tale of, as Godard called them, “the last romantic couple.” With blissful color imagery by cinematographer Raoul Coutard and Belmondo and Karina at their most animated, Pierrot le fou is one of the high points of the French New Wave, and was Godard’s last frolic before he moved ever further into radical cinema.


October 13, 2020

Claudine (1974)
d. John Berry

From The Criterion Collection:

Diahann Carroll is radiant in an unforgettable, Oscar-nominated performance as Claudine, a strong-willed single mother, raising six kids in Harlem, whose budding relationship with a gregarious garbage collector (an equally fantastic James Earl Jones) is stressed by the difficulty of getting by in an oppressive system. As directed by the formerly blacklisted leftist filmmaker John Berry, this romantic comedy with a social conscience deftly balances warm humor with a serious look at the myriad issues—from cycles of poverty to the indignities of the welfare system—that shape its characters’ realities. The result is an empathetic chronicle of both Black working-class struggle and Black joy, a bittersweet, bighearted celebration of family and community set to a sunny soul soundtrack composed by Curtis Mayfield and performed by Gladys Knight & the Pips.


October 20, 2020

The Gunfighter (1950)
d. Henry King

From The Criterion Collection:

A key forerunner of the new breed of dark, brooding westerns that would cast a shadow over America’s frontier folklore, this subversive psychological saga sounds a death knell for the myth of the outlaw hero. In one of his most morally complex roles, Gregory Peck stars as Jimmy Ringo, an infamous gunslinger looking to hang up his holsters and start a new life, but whose reputation draws him inexorably into a cycle of violence and revenge from which he cannot escape. Directed with taut efficiency by the versatile studio-era craftsman Henry King, and shot in striking deep-focus style by master cinematographer Arthur C. Miller, The Gunfighter forgoes rough-and-tumble action in favor of an elegiac exploration of guilt and regret that speaks to the anxious soul of postwar America.


October 20, 2020

The Hit (1984)
d. Stephen Frears

From The Criterion Collection:

Terence Stamp is Willie, a gangster’s henchman turned “supergrass” (informer) trying to live in peaceful hiding in a remote Spanish village. Sun-dappled bliss turns to nerve-racking suspense, however, when two hit men—played by a soulless John Hurt and a youthful, loose-cannon Tim Roth—come calling to bring Willie back for execution. This stylish early gem from Stephen Frears boasts terrific hard-boiled performances from a roster of England’s best actors, music by Eric Clapton and virtuoso flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucía, and ravishing photography of its desolate Spanish locations—a splendid backdrop for a rather sordid story.


October 27, 2020

Parasite (2019)
d. Bong Joon Ho

From The Criterion Collection:

A zeitgeist-defining sensation that distilled a global reckoning over class inequality into a tour de force of pop-cinema subversion, Bong Joon Ho’s genre-scrambling black-comic thriller confirms his status as one of the world’s foremost filmmakers. Two families in Seoul—one barely scraping by in a dank semibasement in a low-lying neighborhood, the other living in luxury in a modern architectural marvel overlooking the city—find themselves on a collision course that will lay bare the dark contradictions of capitalism with shocking ferocity. A bravura showcase for its director’s meticulously constructed set pieces, bolstered by a brilliant ensemble cast and stunning production design, Parasite cemented the New Korean Cinema as a full-fledged international force when it swept almost every major prize from Cannes to the Academy Awards, where it made history as the first non-English-language film to win the Oscar for best picture.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Mookse and the Gripes on Patreon!