Criterion For March 2012

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Criterion For March 2012

Postby HGervais » Thu Dec 15, 2011 1:47 pm

#7/A Night to Remember-Roy Ward Baker
On April 14, 1912, just before midnight, the unsinkable Titanic struck an iceberg. In less than three hours, it had plunged to the bottom of the sea, taking with it more than 1,500 of its 2,200 passengers. In his unforgettable rendering of Walter Lord’s book of the same name, A Night to Remember, the acclaimed British director Roy Ward Baker depicts with sensitivity, awe, and a fine sense of tragedy the ship’s final hours. Featuring remarkably restrained performances, A Night to Remember is cinema’s subtlest, finest dramatization of this monumental twentieth-century catastrophe.
New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
Audio commentary by Don Lynch and Ken Marschall, author and illustrator of “Titanic:” An Illustrated History
The Making of “A Night to Remember” (1993), a sixty-minute documentary featuring William MacQuitty’s rare behind-the-scenes footage
Archival interview with Titanic survivor Eva Hart
En natt att minas, a forty-five-minute Swedish documentary from 1962 featuring interviews with Titanic survivors
Trailer
PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Michael Sragow


#70/The Last Temptation of Christ-Martin Scorsese
The Last Temptation of Christ, by Martin Scorsese, is a towering achievement. Though it initially engendered enormous controversy, the film can now be viewed as the remarkable, profoundly personal work of faith that it is. This fifteen-year labor of love, an adaptation of Nikos Kazantzakis’s landmark novel that imagines an alternate fate for Jesus Christ, features outstanding performances by Willem Dafoe, Barbara Hershey, Harvey Keitel, Harry Dean Stanton, and David Bowie; bold cinematography by the great Michael Ballhaus; and a transcendent score by Peter Gabriel.
Restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised and approved by cinematographer Michael Ballhaus and editor Thelma Schoonmaker, with a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack by supervising sound editor Skip Lievsay
Audio commentary featuring director Martin Scorsese, actor Willem Dafoe, and writers Paul Schrader and Jay Cocks
Galleries of production stills, research materials, and costume designs
Location production footage shot by Scorsese
Interview with composer Peter Gabriel, with a stills gallery of traditional instruments used in the score
PLUS: An essay by film critic David Ehrenstein


#601/Letter Never Sent-Mikhail Kalatozov
The great Soviet director Mikhail Kalatozov, known for his virtuosic, emotionally gripping films, perhaps never directed one more visually astonishing than Letter Never Sent. This absorbing tale of exploration and survival concerns four members of a geological expedition who are stranded in the bleak and unforgiving Siberian wilderness while on a mission to find diamonds. Luxuriating in wide-angle beauty and featuring one daring shot after another (the brilliant cinematography is by Kalatozov’s frequent collaborator Sergei Urusevsky), Letter Never Sent is a fascinating piece of cinematic history and a universal adventure of the highest order.
New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
New English subtitle translation
PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film scholar Dina Iordanova

#602/The War Room-D. A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus
The 1992 presidential election was a triumph not only for Bill Clinton but also for the new breed of strategists who guided him to the White House and changed the face of politics in the process. For this thrilling, behind-closed-doors account of that campaign, renowned cinema verité filmmakers D. A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus closely followed the brainstorming and bull sessions of Clinton’s crack team of consultants—especially the folksy James Carville and the preppy George Stephanopoulos, who became media stars in their own right as they injected a youthful spirit and spontaneity into the process of campaigning. Fleet-footed and entertaining,
The War Room is a vivid document of a political moment whose truths (“It’s the economy, stupid!”) still ring in our ears.
New, restored high-definition digital transfer, approved by directors D. A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
Return of the War Room, a 2008 documentary in which advisers James Carville, George Stephanopoulos, and Paul Begala and others reflect on the effect the Clinton war room had on the way campaigns are run
Making “The War Room,” a conversation between the filmmakers about the difficulties of shooting in the campaign’s fast-paced environment
Panel discussion hosted by the William J. Clinton Foundation and featuring Carville, Clinton adviser Vernon Jordan, journalist Ron Brownstein, and surprise guest Bill Clinton
Interview with strategist Stanley Greenberg on the increasing importance of polling
PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by writer Louis Menand

#603/David Lean Directs Noël Coward
Brief Encounter 1945
After a chance meeting on a train platform, a married doctor (Trevor Howard) and a suburban housewife (Celia Johnson) enter into a muted but passionate, ultimately doomed, love affair.
In Which We Serve 1942
In the midst of World War II, the renowned playwright Noël Coward engaged a young film editor named David Lean to help him realize his vision for an action drama about a group of Royal Navy sailors (roles that would be filled by Coward himself, Bernard Miles, and John Mills, among others) fighting
This Happy Breed 1944
David Lean brings to vivid emotional life Noël Coward’s epic chronicle of a working-class family in the London suburbs over the course of two decades.
Blithe Spirit 1945
David Lean’s delightful film version of Noël Coward’s theater sensation stars Rex Harrison as a novelist who cheekily invites a medium to his house to conduct a séance, hoping the experience will inspire a book he’s working on.
New high-definition digital transfers of the BFI National Archive’s 2008 restorations, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks on the Blu-ray editions
Audio commentary on Brief Encounter by film historian Bruce Eder
New interviews with Noël Coward scholar Barry Day on all of the films
Interview with cinematographer-screenwriter-producer Ronald Neame from 2010
Short documentaries from 2000 on the making of In Which We Serve and Brief Encounter
David Lean: A Self Portrait, a 1971 television documentary on Lean’s career
Episode of the British television series The Southbank Show from 1992 on the life and career of Coward
Audio recording of a 1969 conversation between Richard Attenborough and Coward at London’s National Film Theatre
Trailers
PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by Ian Christie, Terrence Rafferty, Farran Nehne, Geoffrey O’Brien, and Kevin Brownlow
"The most dementing of all modern sins: the inability to distinquish excellence from success."-David Hare
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Re: Criterion For March 2012

Postby cdouglas » Thu Dec 15, 2011 1:58 pm

Really excited about The Last Temptation of Christ, as I've been meaning to revisit that movie for a while. It definitely left quite an impact on me the first time I saw it. That David Lean/Noel Coward set looks awesome, too. And I'll finally get around to watching The War Room, which sounds like a fascinating doc.
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