The Criterion Collection Announces December 2021 Releases
After a big November release slate, in which Criterion announced they will be releasing some titles in 4K UHD, we have a quiet December with three releases . . . though they are releasing one of my favorite films in 4K! Watching The Red Shoes in 4K around Christmas? Yes!
The blurbs are from The Criterion Collection’s website (so are the links) — go there to see the details on the supplements.
Adapted by Kemp Powers from his acclaimed play, the feature directorial debut of Academy Award–winning actor Regina King puts viewers in a room with four icons at the forefront of Black American culture as they carouse, clash, bare their souls, and grapple with their places within the sweeping change of the civil rights movement. February 25, 1964, has gone down in history as the day that the brash young boxer Muhammad Ali (then known as Cassius Clay) defeated Sonny Liston, but what happened after the fight was perhaps even more incredible: Ali, civil rights leader Malcolm X, NFL great Jim Brown, and “King of Soul” Sam Cooke all came together at a Miami motel. Electric with big ideas and activist spirit, One Night in Miami . . . plunges us into the midst of an intimate, ongoing conversation—and a defining moment in American history.
With this tender and clear-eyed coming-of-age odyssey, the renowned photographer turned filmmaker Gordon Parks not only became the first Black American director to make a Hollywood studio film, he also served as writer, producer, and composer, resulting in a deeply personal artistic achievement. Based on Parks’s own semi-autobiographical novel, The Learning Tree follows the journey of Newt Winger (Kyle Johnson), a teenage descendant of Exodusters growing up in rural Kansas in the 1920s, as he experiences the bittersweet flowering of first love, finds his relationship with a close friend tested, and navigates the injustices embedded within a racist legal and educational system. Exquisitely capturing the bucolic splendor of its heartland setting, this landmark film tempers nostalgia with an incisive understanding of the harsh realities, hard-won lessons, and often wrenching moral choices that shape the road to self-determination of the young Black man at its center.
December 14, 2021
The Red Shoes (1948) — 4K d. Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger
The Red Shoes, the singular fantasia from Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, is cinema’s quintessential backstage drama, as well as one of the most glorious Technicolor feasts ever concocted for the screen. Moira Shearer is a rising star ballerina torn between an idealistic composer and a ruthless impresario intent on perfection. Featuring outstanding performances, blazingly beautiful cinematography by Jack Cardiff, Oscar-winning sets and music, and an unforgettable, hallucinatory central dance sequence, this beloved classic, dazzlingly restored, stands as an enthralling tribute to the life of the artist.