We’ve kicked off summer’s end and autumn’s bow with five important titles within the Series.
The unsettling and assured American-in-Paris 2012 psychodrama Simon KIller marks filmmaker Antonio Campos’s debut into the Series, the first Blu-ray release of any of his films to date. Starring Brady Corbet (Martha Marcy May Marlene and Melancholia) and Mati Diop (35 Shots of Rum), Campos’s film is an examination of casual brutality, profane sexuality, alienation, and desperation, all cut to a killer soundtrack that underscores the borderline psychotic fervor of Simon’s descent. Blu-ray and DVD editions are available for this packed release: A 1080p presentation on the Blu-ray (progressive presentation on the DVD) of the film in its original 2.40:1 aspect ratio; optional English subtitles (SDH also available); The Last 15 — a 16-minute short film by Antonio Campos from 2006; The Case of the Conscious Camera — a 29-minute interview with Campos on the aesthetics of Simon Killer; a Sundance alumni spotlight consisting of an interview with Campos, Sean Durkin, and Josh Mond; Conversations with Moms — an interview with Campos, Brady Corbet, and their mothers; a selection of behind-the-scenes and rehearsal footage featuring alternate takes; the original theatrical trailer; and a 52-PAGE FULL-COLOUR BOOKLET featuring a new and exclusive essay by critic Karina Longworth; a new interview with Antonio Campos; and alternate poster artwork.
Douglas Sirk’s ménage-à-quatre masterwork The Tarnished Angels soars in our Blu-ray-only edition, all inky shadows and flashbulb whites thrown every expressionist which-way as Rock Hudson, Dorothy Malone, and Robert Stack put life, love, and death on the line one weekend during a Mardi Gras air-show race. Based on the amazing novel Pylon by William Faulkner, this is the best film adaptation ever made of the author’s work, and is accompanied here, in its 1080p HD presentation, with a feature-length audio commentary by film critic Adrian Martin; a video interview with supporting actor William Schallert; a video interview with critic Bill Krohn; a collection of archival interviews with Douglas Sirk, producer Albert Zugsmith and actors Rock Hudson, Robert Stack and Dorothy Malone; the original theatrical trailer; an isolated music & effects track; optional English subtitles for the deaf & hearing impaired on the feature; and a 44-PAGE BOOKLET featuring writing on the film by Luc Moullet, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, and Tag Gallagher; a vintage report from the set at the time of production; interview excerpts with Douglas Sirk and William Faulkner; and rare archival imagery.
Another Sirk offering, for the first-ever time on Blu-ray, is a new edition of our classic release A Time to Love and a Time to Die. Starring the underappreciated John Gavin and Liselotte Pulver as air-raid-crossed lovers, Sirk’s delirious colour ‘Scope masterpiece and penultimate film can best be summarised with these words from the movie’s trailer: “Their pounding hearts drowned out the sound of chaos thundering around them.” Our edition (still available separately on PAL DVD) sports a gorgeous 1080p presentation of the film in its original 2:35:1 CinemaScope aspect ratio; optional English SDH subtitles for the hearing impaired; an optional isolated music & effects track (unique to this new Blu-ray edition); Of Tears and Speed: According to Jean-Luc Godard — a 12-minute, visually annotated recitation of Jean-Luc Godard’s seminal essay on Sirk’s film; a 19-minute video interview with Wesley Strick, screenwriter of Scorsese’s Cape Fear and author of the novel Out There in the Dark, a roman-à-clef based upon Sirk’s life in Hollywood and his relationship with the estranged son who took a starring role in Hitler Youth propaganda; Imitation of Life [Mirage of Life]: A Portrait of Douglas Sirk — a 49-minute film portrait from 1984, directed by Daniel Schmid and photographed by Renato Berta, of Douglas Sirk and his wife Hilda in conversation, and reflecting, from their apartment in Germany, back upon their lives in Hollywood; the original trailer for the film, from the time it retained the provisional title of simply “A Time to Love”; and a 36-PAGE BOOKLET containing the complete text of Jean-Luc Godard’s essay on the film; writings from critic Tag Gallagher on the film and Sirk’s career in general; and an assemblage of notes that includes excerpts from Sirk’s reflections upon the film, remarks upon visual motifs inside the movie, the CinemaScope process used to photograph the picture, and more – plus rare archival imagery.
Michelangelo Antonioni’s finely calibrated narrative of love and marriage among leisure-class intelligentsia living in the shadow of the skyscraper, the A-bomb, and il Boom — La notte [The Night] receives a beautiful Blu-ray upgrade long in the offing. Mastroianni. Moreau. Vitti. — A type-capsule from 1961, it is nevertheless as jolting today as on its first release, when it electrified (and outraged) audiences around the globe, engendering a 50+ year discussion on the sickness of Eros. Although still available on PAL DVD, this new Blu-ray edition reinstitutes the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio, presented in 1080p HD from a new restoration; the original theatrical trailer; optional English subtitles; and a 56-PAGE BOOKLET containing an essay by critic Brad Stevens; the transcript of a lengthy Q&A conducted in 1961 with Antonioni upon the film’s release; and rare archival imagery.
Available on both Blu-ray and DVD, and perhaps the finest treasure in this most recent MoC slate: Maurice Pialat’s 1991 supreme masterpiece: Van Gogh. It’s difficult to count any one of Pialat’s films as his single “best” (and we’ve championed his work in seven separate, now out-of-print DVD editions of other features and shorts), but Van Gogh comes as close as (comes closer than?) any of them. Best simply to repeat ourselves: Van Gogh represents an ambitious and crowning achievement in its portrayal of the master painter’s final weeks of life, almost exactly one-hundred years earlier.Van Gogh, depicted by the remarkable actor/songwriter-singer Jacques Dutronc (Godard’s Sauve qui peut (la vie)), has arrived at Auvers-sur-Oise to come under the care of Dr. Gachet (Gérard Séty) for his nervous agitation. Soon after the arrival of Vincent’s brother Théo (Bernard Le Coq) and his wife, plein air portraiture and conviviality give way to the more crepuscular moods of brothels and cabarets, and the painter’s anguished existence, tossing between money worries and an impassioned relationship with the doctor’s teenage daughter, finally meets its terminal scene. With its loosely factual and wholly inspired treatment of the last period of Van Gogh’s life, Pialat’s film applies an impressionist touch to the biographical picture — indeed, the filmmaker was himself an accomplished painter, and the personal resonance of the subject matter results in an epic, major late work, from one of the giants, one of the most heroic filmmakers, in all of cinema. Our packed edition of the film, newly restored, and available in 1080p on the Blu-ray (and a progressive transfer on the DVD) is accompanied by new optional English subtitles; Pialat’s early 1965 documentary essay film also titled Van Gogh; a 10-minute video interview with Pialat from 1991; a 50-minute video interview with Pialat from 1992; separate video interviews with actors Jacques Dutronc and Bernard Le Coq; director of photography Emmanuel Machuel; and editor Yann Dedet; deleted scenes; the original French theatrical trailer; and a 32-PAGE BOOKLET containing a new and exclusive essay by critic, filmmaker, and performer Sabrina Marques; a new translation of Jean-Luc Godard’s 1991 letter to Pialat upon the film’s initial release; excerpts from a lengthy interview with Pialat about the film; colour reproductions of Pialat’s actual canvasses; and rare archival imagery.
Coming later in October: Our Blu-ray upgrade (and SteelBook Blu-ray) of Fritz Lang’s Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler.; our Blu-ray-only edition of Howard Hawks’s Red River; and our epic eight-film Blu-ray only Late Mizoguchi boxset, which is a limited edition of 2000.
Coming in November and December: Our new restoration of F. W. Murnau’s classic Nosferatu. Eine Symphonie des Grauens.; Federico Fellini’s Il bidone; and (very thrilling), the first volume of our ongoing boxset series Martin Scorsese Presents: World Cinema Project, a Dual Format release that contains the masterpieces Dry Summer by Metin Erksan, Trances by Ahmed El Maanouni, and Revenge by Ermek Shinarbaev, all accompanied by new and exclusive video introductions by Martin Scorsese.
Our Nosferatu restoration is in UK theaters now; Andrew Bujalski’s Computer Chess (which just had its UK premiere at the London Film Festival and has been meeting rave reviews) goes out theatrically in November.