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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The Last Bridge (Helmut Kautner, 1954)

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

criterion logoHelmut Käutner’s stark, realist World War II drama The Last Bridge is an exceptional anti-war statement and a significant treatise on our shared humanity.  Maria Schell portrays Helga, a German doctor working as a nurse in a line hospital in Yugoslavia who is captured by partisan guerrillas and forced to care for their wounded and protect them from a typhus outbreak.  Torn between her national loyalties and her Hippocratic Oath, Helga struggles in the face of the suffering around her, leading to one of cinema’s most profound and tragic conclusions.  Widely acclaimed at its release, winning the International Jury Prize, a Special Prize for Schell’s performance, and the International Catholic Organization for Cinema and Audiovisual’s prize at the 1954 Cannes Film Festival, The Last Bridge is a poignant articulation of war’s folly and compassion’s value.

Disc Features:

  • New digital master, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Audio commentary by German film scholar Eric Rentschler
  • Maria Schell: Smiling Through Tears, a new 45-minute video on actress Maria Schell
  • Schell’s 1959 appearance on What’s My Line?
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • Plus:  A booklet featuring new essays by film scholars Christoph Huber and Philip Kemp

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On Tour (Mathieu Amalric, 2010)

“A likably rambling survey of ephemeral community, a portrait of the artist as a washed-up family man and pimp, and a quasi-documentary about brassy stage personas.” – Fernando F. Croce, SLANT

Drafthouse Films LogoJoachim, an ostracized former Parisian television producer, returns from America with a New Burlesque strip-tease ensemble to whom he has promised a tour of France culminating in a grand finale in Paris.  Traveling from city to city, the curvaceous showgirls create a community of warmth and hedonism despite the impersonal hotels and little money.  When the venue for the Paris show falls through, Joachim’s grip on the situation and himself weakens, all under the watchful eyes of his performers.  A winner at Cannes and nominated for 7 César awards, Mathieu Amalric’s On Tour captures all the glamor, the stress, the intimacy, and the freedom of the artist’s life on the road.

Special Features:

  • Rodolphe Gonzales’ documentary on the making of On Tour
  • Interviews with cast and crew
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Gary Beeber’s 60-minute documentary on the creation of the new burlesque scene in New York City, Dirty Martini and the New Burlesque
  • 16-page booklet featuring an interview with director/actor Mathieu Amalric and an essay by burlesque historian and performer Jo “Boobs” Weldon

“Pasties and Tassels” Edition – Package Includes:

  • On Tour on Blu-ray or Standard DVD featuring over 2 hours of bonus materials
  • High quality 720p HD Digital Download of the Film
  • Instant Download of the 16-track Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, including 4 by performer and actress Kitten on the Keys
  • 27″ x 40″ Theatrical Poster
  • 1 Pair of Red Sequined Pasties with Tassels

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Taking Off (Milos Forman, 1971)

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

criterion logoMiloš Forman’s first film in the United States is an affectionate satire of the generation gap dividing America in the late 1960s and early ’70s.  In Taking Off, Forman casts his focus specifically on middle class New York, the Tyne family, and the bourgeois mores that divide Larry and Lynn Tyne (Buck Henry and Lynn Carlin) from their runaway daughter Jeannie (Linnea Heacock).  Through the Society for the Parents of Fugitive Children, Larry and Lynn delve into the counterculture in an effort to understand their wayward child and begin to step out of the hegemony of America’s silent majority.  Punctuated by musical sequences, including performances by a young Carly Simon and a still unknown Kathy Bates, Taking Off humorously captures the tensions between a challenged conservative America and the hippie movement already struggling with its own contradictions.

Disc Features:

  • New digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Optional remastered uncompressed stereo soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Clara Kuperberg and Julia Kuperberg’s Miloš Forman: Taking Off in America, an hour-long, 2011 interview with the filmmaker discussing his journey from Czechoslovakia to Hollywood
  • Before Taking Off: Miloš Forman’s Road to America, Robert Fischer’s 30-minute newly edited and illustrated archival interview with Forman on his time in Czechoslovakia and his opportunity to film his first American movie in New York City
  • Two Europeans in New York, a 16 minute interview with co-writer Jean-Claude Carrière
  • New interviews with co-writer John Guare, Buck Henry, Carly Simon, and Kathy Bates
  • I Miss Sonia Henie, Karpo Acimovic-Godina’s 1971 short film made in collaboration with Forman and Buck Henry, as well as Tinto Brass, Mladomir “Puriša” Ðjordjevic, Dušan Makavejev, Paul Morrisey, and Frederick Wiseman
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Photo gallery
  • PLUS:  A booklet of essays by film critics J. Hoberman and Dave Kehr, and writer and documentarian Luc Lagier

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