The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould.
François Girard provides in this unconventional bio-pic a compelling and memorable exploration of Canadian musician Glenn Gould, arguably the 20th Century’s greatest classical pianist. Through thirty-two elegantly constructed vignettes mixing drama, documentary, animation, and avant-garde, Girard reveals glimpses of Gould as performer, recording artist, humorist, outdoorsman, speculator, recluse, and iconoclast. Taken together, Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould offers a prismatic understanding of Gould’s complex genius and his personal struggles without dispelling the enigmatic power of his legend.
February approaches and thanks to Kristina at Speakeasy and Ruth at Silver Screenings, it will once again be maple-flavoured as the O Canada! Blogathon returns for 2017! Thanks as always to Kristina and Ruth for organizing this event and letting MMC! participate!
MMC! will propose a Criterion treatment for François Girard’s fascinating Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould (1993), an unconventional biopic inspired by Bach’s Goldberg Variations and capturing the complexity of its subject through docudrama reenactments, talking head interviews, recitals and broadcasts of Gould’s work, abstract animation, and fourth wall-breaking interactions. Those looking for a refresher on the classical pianist should refer back to MMC!‘s tribute to the National Film Board of Canada and our post on Wolf Koenig and Roman Kroitor’s 1959 documentaries on Gould.
The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents Random Harvest.
From the best-selling novel by James Hilton, author of Goodbye, Mr. Chips and Lost Horizon, comes one of Hollywood’s most sentimental romances and one of 1942’s biggest hits. Ronald Colman stars as Charles Rainier, an amnesiac World War I veteran who falls in love with beautiful music hall performer Paula Ridgeway (Greer Garson) until a sudden accident restores the man’s true identity while erasing from his mind his relationship with Paula. Charles returns to his privileged life to become a successful industrialist but struggles with an unshakeable longing, all while Paula secretly suffers posing as the businessman’s executive assistant. A box-office triumph honored with seven Academy Awards nominations, Random Harvest is a first class melodrama featuring two of the era’s most distinguished performers.
The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents Miracle on 34th Street.
Hired by Macy’s flagship store at Herald Square to be its department store Santa, a jolly, white-whiskered man calling himself Kris Kringle soon has everyone in the Christmas spirit, all except his no-nonsense boss Doris Walker and her skeptical daughter Susan. Kris proves himself a valuable asset to Macy’s until the store psychologist has the kind old man committed to a mental hospital and he becomes the subject of a public trial. With his lawyer Fred Gailey at his side, Kris sets out to prove himself to be the one true Santa Claus, defending himself against Scrooges and skeptics alike. Nominated for the Best Picture Oscar and a winner for Best Original Story, Best Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actor for Edmund Gwenn’s performance as Kringle, Miracle on 34th Street was a summertime hit for 1947 and holiday classic ever after.
- New digital restoration of both the original black and white and the 1985 colorized versions of the film, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
- Audio commentary featuring actress Maureen O’Hara
- AMC Backstory – Miracle on 34th Street, a 22-minute examination of Miracle on 34th Street
- Fox Movietone News: Hollywood Spotlight, a newsreel featuring Edmund Gwenn accepting his Academy Award
- Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade: Floating in History, a featurette reviewing the iconic parade
- “The Miracle on 34th Street,” a 46-minute television production from 1955, made for The 20th Century-Fox Hour of the Stars and starring Thomas Mitchell and Teresa Wright
- Kinescope of the 1959 “Miracle on 34th Street” adaptation for NBC Friday Night Special Presentation
- The 1973 made-for-TV movie of Miracle on 34th Street starring Jane Alexander and Sebastian Cabot
- Lux Radio Theatre adaptations from 1947, 1948, and 1954 featuring Maureen O’Hara, John Payne, and Edmund Gwenn
- Screen Directors Playhouse adaptations from 1949 and 1950 starring Edmund Gwenn
- Promotional short
- Poster Gallery
- PLUS: A new essay by film critic Chuck Stephens and Valentine Davies’ 1947 novella.
The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents Very Happy Alexander.
Alexander is a good-natured farmer in Northern France. His unchanging days of constant toil are directed by La Grande, his ambitious and tyrannical wife who exploits his superhuman strength and endurance with a daily list of back-breaking chores. When Alexander suddenly becomes a widower, he decides to devote his existence to laziness, throwing his small community into turmoil and catching the eye of a work-shy shop girl. Yves Robert’s ode to idleness stars Phillipe Noiret as the mountainous Alexander and Kaly as his faithful dog and finest friend.
- New digital restoration, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
- Yves Robert: The Right to Laziness, Dominque Maillet’s documentary featuring interviews with Marlene Jobert, Pierre Richard, Andre Legrand, Françoise Brion, Jean-Denis Robert, son of director Yves Robert, and others
- New interview with André Rauch on Very Happy Alexander and the refusal to work
- Theatrical trailer
- New English subtitle translation
- PLUS: Booklet featuring a new essay by critic David Cairns and Paul Lafargue’s 1883 essay The Right to Laziness
A HORROR THAT GROWS ON YOU!
After a yacht is damaged in a storm and stranded near a deserted island, its passengers – a psychologist, his student, a wealthy businessman, a famous singer, a popular writer, a sailor, and the boat’s skipper – take refuge on a fungus covered ship marooned on the island’s shore. With food scarce and the ship’s logs warning that the island’s plentiful mushrooms, called “Matango,” are to be avoided, the castaways find their characters tested, leading to private deals, sexual tension, and violence. But when the hunger of the shipwrecked party becomes too great and its members begin eating the forbidden fungus, the true horror of Matango is revealed, transforming the castaways in mind and body into hideous fungal monsters!
Famed Japanese director Ishiro Honda assembles an all-star cast from his previous sci-fi films and monster movies for Matango, featuring performances by Akira Kubo, Kumi Mizuno, Kenji Sahara, Hiroshi Koizumi, and Yoshio Tsuchiya. Captivating hallucinatory sequences, impressive set designs, and fantastically horrifying special effects by the celebrated Eiji Tsuburaya make this colorful B-movie a little known tokusatsu classic. Based on the 1907 story “The Voice in the Night” by William Hope Hodgson, Matango is one of the strangest, most horrific Toho productions to date and is presented here, for the first time, in high-definition presentations of its original Japanese version and its American cut, Attack of the Mushroom People.
- New high definition digital transfer of the Japanese cut of Matango and of the 1965 American version Attack of the Mushroom People edited for TV by American International Television
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard DVD Presentation
- Uncompressed monaural soundtracks on the Blu-ray edition
- Newly translated English subtitles for the Japanese soundtrack
- Optional English SDH subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- Audio commentary by star Akira Kubo
- Interview with SFX cinematographer Teruyoshi Nakano
- Spoken word reading by screenwriter Masami Fukushima
- Vinyl Fungus – Artist Barry Allen Williams on Matango and its collectibles
- “Voice in the Night,” a 1958 episode of Suspicion based on the same source material as Matango
- Theatrical trailer
- Production sketches
- Collector’s booklet featuring a new essay by scholar Richard Pusateri and William Hope Hodgson’s original 1907 story “The Voice in the Night”