Thy Broad Domain: Essential Works of the NFB

The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents Thy Broad Domain: Essential Works of the NFB.

criterion logoFor 75 years, the National Film Board of Canada has been a pioneer in film art, producing and distributing more than 13,000 films and winning more than 5,000 awards. The NFB’s collection represents some of film history’s greatest and most influential works of social documentary, auteur animation, experimental film, web series, and interactive productions. Across an endless of variety of filmmaking techniques, these inventive works represent domestic and international concerns from a distinctly Canadian perspective and provide a cinematic influence still felt today. This collector’s set brings together some of the NFB’s most celebrated films since its establishment under the watchful eye of famed British documentarian John Grierson to its present day innovations in digital media.

Disc Features:

  • New digital restorations, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks on the Blu-ray
  • New introductions and audio commentaries to the films by critic Leonard Maltin, documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, director Guy Maddin, scholars Mick Broderick and Rodney Hill, physician and activist Dr. Helen Caldicott, music scholar Paul Sanden, comedians Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara, and others
  • New and archival interview programs featuring filmmakers including Kaj Pindal, Ishu Patel, Cynthia Scott, Terre Nash, Cordell Barker, and Katerina Cizek
  • New and archival documentaries on the making of these films, including Alter Egos, Laurence Green’s hour-long documentary on the making of Chris Landreth’s Ryan
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a foreword by Government Film Commissioner Claude Joli-Coeur and essays by film scholars Gary Evans, André Loiselle, Gene Walz, and Zoë Druick

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Lenny (Bob Fosse, 1974)

The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents Lenny.

criterion logoBob Fosse’s first non-musical film confirmed his cinematic talents, creating a grim biopic of controversial stand-up comedian Lenny Bruce that is both heavily romanticized and harshly unsentimental.  Dustin Hoffman stars in this relentless depiction of Bruce’s battle with the Establishment authorities that condemned his stage act as obscene and the comedian’s downward spiral from countercultural vanguard to junkie burnout.  Supported by a Cannes-winning performance by Valerie Perrine as Bruce’s stripper wife, Bruce Surtees’ rich black and white cinematography, and Julian Barry’s adaptation of his own Broadway play, Fosse’s Lenny was a commercial and critical success that garnered six Academy Award nominations and eulogized the career of one of America’s great champions of free speech.

Disc Features:

  • New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Scene-specific audio commentary featuring editor Alan Heim and Lenny Bruce’s daughter, Kitty Bruce
  • New interviews with Dustin Hoffman, Valerie Perrine, Stanley Beck, Alan Heim, and Fosse biographer Sam Wasson
  • Lenny Bruce: Swear to Tell the Truth, Robert B. Weide’s 1998 documentary featuring narration by Robert De Niro
  • Video appreciation by comedian Marc Maron
  • New interview with Stand-Up! record label owner Dan Schlissel and lawyer Bart Torvi on Bruce legacy in comedy and obscenity law
  • Theatrical trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by filmmaker Damon Maulucci and Dick Schaap’s tribute to Bruce for Playboy Magazine.

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Underground (Emir Kusturica, 1995)

The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents Underground.

criterion logoEmir Kusturica’s epic masterpiece recounts the demise of his native Yugoslavia through the metaphorical relationship of Blacky and Marko over fifty years.  The pair booze and brawl their way through World War II, enhancing their reputations as communist guerrilla fighters and black marketeers until Marko tricks Blacky and others into hiding in his cellar where they manufacture weapons for twenty years under the false understanding that the war continues.  This raucous and tragicomic parable won Kusturica the Palme d’Or at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival and inspired a flurry of controversy that resulted in the filmmaker’s temporary retirement from the cinema.  Included here is Kusturica’s stunning, savage, and hilarious theatrical release and his five-hour television version, Once Upon a Time There Was a Country.

Disc Features:

  • New 4K digital restoration of the theatrical version, approved by director Emir Kusturica, with 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Once Upon a Time There Was a Country, the 5-hour mini-series cut of Underground for Serbian television
  • New interview with Kusturica on his influences, the film, its reception, and its legacy
  • Journalist Tommaso Di Francesco on Underground
  • Shooting Days: Emir Kusturica Directs Underground, Aleksandar Manic’s 73-minute documentary on the making of Underground
  • Underground at Cannes, footage from the post-screening party at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival
  • Guernica, Kusturica’s 1978 short film
  • Interviews with cast and crew
  • Behind the scenes footage
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by film scholar Sean Homer and production photos

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The Knack … and How to Get It (Richard Lester, 1965)

The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents The Knack … and How to Get It.

criterion logoEither you have it or you don’t.  Cool and sophisticated Tolen (Ray Brooks) has it with a monopoly on womanizing proven by a long line of conquests, while his naïve and awkward landlord Colin (Michael Crawford) desperately wants a piece of it, but when Colin falls for an innocent country girl (Rita Tushingham), self-assured Tolen quickly makes a play for her.  Fresh from the success of A Hard Day’s Night, Richard Lester applies his frenetic style to the early days of Swinging London and creates this mod masterpiece.  The Knack … and How to Get It breaks through the formulaic conventions of romantic love and the sex comedy and stands as a handsome portrayal of the generation gap and the oncoming sexual revolution, wowing audiences at the 1965 Cannes Film Festival and making it a surprise winner of the Palme d’Or.

Disc Features:

  • New 4K digital restoration, approved by director Richard Lester, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Audio commentary featuring Steven Soderbergh interviewing Lester
  • New interviews with Ray Brooks, Michael Crawford, and Rita Tushingham
  • Downloadable soundtrack by John Barry
  • Birdwatching, interviews with Charlotte Rampling, Jacqueline Bisset, and Jane Birkin, who all made their onscreen debuts in The Knack … and How to Get It
  • Richard Lester’s 1965 documentary on Formula One racing made for Esso
  • New interview with Richard Lester on his advertising work during the mid-1960s, including a collection of his television commercials
  • Theatrical trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by British film scholar Janet Moat

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The Mattei Affair (Francesco Rosi, 1972)

The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents The Mattei Affair.

criterion logoIn the 1950s, during Italy’s postwar industrial boom, the head of its state-owned oil company, Enrico Mattei, leveraged a small reserve of methane gas in the Po Valley and challenged the established order for international energy policy until he mysteriously died in a plane crash in 1962.  Francesco Rosi, along with his frequent collaborator and actor of choice, Gian Maria Volonté, presents a portrait of Mattei as a dogged industrialist and an unrelenting force for political action, material security, and self-determination.  The Mattei Affair, winner of the Palme d’Or at the 1972 Cannes Film Festival, is an obliquely non-linear interrogation of the life and death of one of Italy’s most controversial figures and a rumination on the causes and complicities that led the nation into a period of social and political turmoil.

Disc Features:

  • New digital master from the Film Foundation’s 4K restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • New video introduction with Martin Scorsese
  • New video interviews with Francesco Rosi and film critics Tullio Kezich and Michel Ciment
  • Unique – Francesco Rosi on Gian Maria Volonté, Marco Spagnoli’s 30-minute documentary with Rosi on the 20th anniversary of Volonté’s death
  • Video appreciation with filmmaker Alex Cox
  • Restoration demonstration with Scorsese
  • Power & Oil: Enrico Mattei, an hour-long documentary by Fabio Pellarin in 2008
  • Gallery of production art
  • New and improved subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring new essays by film critics Stuart Klawans and Gary Crowdus

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The Hourglass Sanatorium (Wojciech Jerzy Has, 1973)

The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents The Hourglass Sanatorium.

criterion logoWojciech Jerzy Has’s The Hourglass Sanatorium is a phantasmagorical journey through Polish history and the vanishing Jewish culture of Eastern Europe compliments of the Polish Film School’s most eccentric filmmaker.  Józef (Jan Nowicki) travels to a dilapidated hospital where time can be reversed, allowing his dying father to remain in a state where his recovery is once again a possibility.  Left to explore the sanatorium on his own, Józef traverses a dream-like voyage through surreal episodes connected to his childhood in search of transcendent knowledge and personal meaning.  Rejected by authorities as critical of contemporary Poland, evoking images of the Holocaust during a period of anti-Semitic sentiment in the country, and smuggled into the 1973 Cannes Film Festival where it won the Jury Prize, The Hourglass Sanatorium is a bravely hallucinatory mosaic of history, fantasy, and politics conjured from a dozen stories by the “Polish Kafka,” Galician writer Bruno Schulz.

Disc Features:

  • New digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New introduction by filmmaker Martin Scorsese
  • Visual essay by Holocaust scholar Leonard Orr
  • New interview with film director Borys Lankosz on his mentor Wojciech Jerzy Has
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by film critic Rowena Santos Aquino

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