The Criterion Collection’s March 2017 announcements are certainly getting folks excited. I’m likely going against the grain in saying that I’m most interested in Canoa: A Shameful Memory (Felipe Cazals, 1976) than heavy-hitters like Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow-Up (1966) or Hal Ashby’s Being There (1979), but the film that has long been on my “need to watch” list as a potential MMC! title and I’m very happy to see more Mexican cinema in the Collection. With that said, the prospect of a forthcoming Criterion edition of Marcel Pagnol’s Marseille Trilogy is even more interesting, with new restorations of Marius (1931), Fanny (1932), and César (1936) undertaken by Janus Films serving as prelude to a box set bearing a wacky “C.” Quelle surprise!
The expansion of the Arrow Academy line to the US and Canada in March 2017 bodes well for spine numbered, cineaste tastes and badly for already strained wallets. Enjoy this “Sizzle Reel” promoting releases for Elio Petri’s Property is No Longer a Theft (1973), Luchino Visconti’s Ludwig (1972), Walerian Borowczyk’s Story of Sin (1975), Giuseppe Tornatore’s Cinema Paradiso (1988), and Tim Grabham and Jasper Sharp’s The Creeping Garden (2014), plus some teases for future titles. (I wonder if I’m going to regret shelling out for the earlier UK set Kiju Yoshida: Love + Anarchism?)
MMC! is already on the record as being a fan of Masaaki Yuasa, so naturally I’m very happy to see him return to feature-length filmmaking. Yoru wa mijikashi arukeyo otome (or Night is Short, Walk on Girl) is a romance-fantasy story based on a 2006 novel that has already been adapted into a manga series and a stage play. Here’s hoping we’ll get to see it on this side of the Pacific!
A feature-length movie about Finnish fetish artist and homoerotic illustrator Touko Laaksonen (better known as “Tom of Finland”) might come as a surprise to many, but Dome Karukosken’s aptly titled Tom of Finland has arrived dressed in prestige bio-pic finery. The film seems to split time between Touko’s service as an anti-aircraft officer during WWII and Tom’s later career drawing muscled-up men straining the seams of their clinging clothes. You may want to wait until you get home to google “Tom of Finland” though.
And MMC! would of course be remiss if it omitted the recent trailer for Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049. The idea of a Blade Runner sequel has long inspired enthusiasm and anxiety, but this first look should certainly assuage many fears over the project. Locking in Blade Runner‘s aesthetic is arguably the most fundamental component to creating a successful sequel to Ridley Scott’s original film and, in doing so, 2049 looks very promising. Villeneuve’s stock continues to rise and it will be interesting to see where he goes from here.