In all my shout-out excitement this weekend, I neglected my main purpose: thanking everyone who voted in our year-end poll! Two films stood atop all others – Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Shoplifters and Paul Schrader’s First Reformed. Naturally, you can expect to see one of those two films as the subject of MMC!‘s next imagined Criterion title. (No spoilers, but it’ll be Shoplifters!)
Now, on to some trailers!
The Criterion Channel is set to launch on April 8 and the Collection has cut together a rousing trailer promoting it. MMC! already has its charter membership, but there’s plenty here that pricks up our ears: The Safdies! Susan Pitt’s Asparagus! The Devils! Local Hero! The Holy Mountain! Hype! “Godzilla and Beyond!” The Channel’s initial line-up has been announced and there’s even more MMC! fan-bait there too: 11 films noir from Columbia, David Lynch’s The Elephant Man, John Woo’s Last Hurrah for Chivalry, Bi Gan’s Kaili Blues, a profile on Charles Burnett, seven films featuring Simone Signoret, AND Alan Parker’s Bugsy Malone! (If the Collection ever released a hard media edition of Bugsy Malone, I swear my face will melt right off!)
Earlier this month, Criterion announced Sergei Bondarchuk’s War and Peace (1966) for a June release, giving MMC! a great reason to post the Janus Films trailer promoting the film’s restoration. This looks absolutely stunning on all counts. Be sure to get a copy of your own so that when a friend or loved one asks this summer, “Hey, what do you want to do for the next seven hours?”, you have a good answer already waiting. (If you don’t have anyone asking that question, I’ll do it!)
The Chattanooga Film Festival has posted its schedule and has slipped in a few extra announcements in the process. A notable addition is the Arbelos restoration of Nietzchka Keene’s The Juniper Tree (1990). The film is loosely based on a fairy tale by The Brothers Grimm and stars Björk as a young woman who flees for safety with her older sister when her mother is burned to death for witchcraft. The pair establish an impromptu family with a man and his resentful young son, however the arrangement is quickly strained by the sister’s burgeoning sorcery. Fans of Carl Theodor Dreyer’s Day of Wrath and Ingmar Bergman’s The Virgin Spring should consider The Juniper Tree required viewing. (So get those tickets booked to Chattanooga!)
I’ve been quite excited to see Love Death + Robots since this Netflix trailer dropped and was happy to binge on all 18 episodes a week or so ago. My immediate takeaway was that I loved the audacity of the trailer (and still love it), but the trailer does seem to hide LD+R‘s periodic tendency to embrace photorealism, unfortunately throwing itself into the uncanny valley and offering little more than video game cut-scenes masquerading as short films. For those that care, MMC! recommends the goofy banter of Three Robots, the Spider-Verse-esque style of The Witness, the deadpan silliness of When the Yogurt Took Over, the steampunk eroto-heroism of Good Hunting, the wacky forking paths of Alternate Histories, and the brilliantly stylish and gently philosophical Zima Blue. (I’ll state without doubt that Zima Blue will hold some spot on my “Best of” List for 2019!)