The Criterion Collection has announced what they’ll be releasing in April 2021. I cannot wait! In December I went through all of Bong Joon Ho’s filmography except for the one Criterion just announced, Memories of Murder, which I planned to watch this weekend and will now have to figure out if I just wait a few months for the superior Blu-ray. I’m thrilled that we are also getting work from Borzage and Assayas, and the two Blu-ray upgrades are very welcome. The coming of spring is not the only reason to look forward to April!

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


April 13, 2021

History Is Made at Night (1937)
d. Frank Borzage

From The Criterion Collection:

Suffused with intoxicating romanticism, History Is Made at Night is a sublime paean to love from Frank Borzage, classic Hollywood’s supreme poet of carnal and spiritual desire. On the run through Europe from her wealthy, cruelly possessive husband, an American (Jean Arthur) is thrown together by fate with a suave stranger (Charles Boyer)—and soon the two are bound in a consuming, seemingly impossible affair that stretches across continents and brings them to the very edge of catastrophe. Lent a palpable erotic charge by the chemistry between its leads, this delirious vision of lovers beset by the world passes through a dizzying array of tonal shifts—from melodrama to romantic comedy to noir to disaster thriller—smoothly guided by Borzage’s unwavering allegiance to the power of love.


April 20, 2021

Memories of Murder (2003)
d. Bong Joon Ho

From The Criterion Collection:

In his breakthrough second feature, Bong Joon Ho explodes the conventions of the policier with thrillingly subversive, genre-defying results. Based on the true story of a string of serial killings that rocked a rural community in the 1980s, Memories of Murder stars New Korean Cinema icon Song Kang Ho as the local officer who reluctantly joins forces with a seasoned Seoul detective (Kim Sang Kyung) to investigate the crimes—leading each man on a wrenching, yearslong odyssey of failure and frustration that will drive him to the existential edge. Combining a gripping procedural with a vivid social portrait of the everyday absurdity of life under military rule, Bong fashions a haunting journey into ever-deepening darkness that begins as a black-comic satire and ends as a soul-shattering encounter with the abyss.


April 20, 2021

The Furies (1950)
d. Anthony Mann

From The Criterion Collection:

Barbara Stanwyck and Walter Huston are at their fierce finest in this crackling western melodrama by master Hollywood craftsman Anthony Mann. In 1870s New Mexico Territory, megalomaniacal widowed ranch owner T. C. Jeffords (Huston, in his final role) butts heads with his firebrand of a daughter, Vance (Stanwyck), over her dowry, choice of husband, and, finally, ownership of the land itself. Sophisticated in its view of frontier settlement and ablaze with searing domestic drama, The Furies is an often-overlooked treasure of American filmmaking, boasting Oscar–nominated cinematography and vivid supporting turns from Judith Anderson, Wendell Corey, and Gilbert Roland.


April 27, 2021

Irma Vep (1996)
d. Olivier Assayas

From The Criterion Collection:

The live-wire international breakthrough of Olivier Assayas stars a magnetic Maggie Cheung as a version of herself: a Hong Kong action-movie star who arrives in Paris to play the latex-clad lead in a remake of Louis Feuillade’s classic silent crime serial Les vampires. What she finds is a behind-the-scenes tangle of barely controlled chaos as egos clash, romantic attractions simmer, and an obsessive director (a cannily cast Jean-Pierre Léaud) drives himself to the brink to realize his vision. Blending blasts of silent cinema, martial-arts flicks, and the music of Sonic Youth and Luna into a hallucinatory swirl of postmodern cool, Assayas composes a witty critique of the nineties French film industry and the eternal tension between art and commercial entertainment.


April 27, 2021

Masculin fémenin (1966)
d. Jean-Luc Godard

From The Criterion Collection:

With Masculin féminin, the ruthless stylist and iconoclast Jean-Luc Godard introduces the world to “the children of Marx and Coca-Cola,” through a gang of restless youths engaged in hopeless love affairs with music, revolution, and one another. French New Wave icon Jean-Pierre Léaud stars as Paul, an idealistic would-be intellectual struggling to forge a relationship with the adorable pop star Madeleine (real-life yé-yé girl Chantal Goya). Through their tempestuous affair, Godard fashions a candid and wildly funny free-form examination of youth culture in pulsating 1960s Paris, mixing satire and tragedy as only Godard can.

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