The Servant (Joseph Losey, 1963)

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

criterion logoBritish class distinctions are abused and upended in Joseph Losey’s adaptation of Robin Maugham’s 1963 short novella, where Tony (James Fox), a rich, ineffectual Oxford bachelor, is gradually debased by the insidious influence of his newly hired manservant, Hugo Barrett (Dirk Bogarde).  Despite the suspicions of Tony’s girlfriend Susan (Wendy Craig) and her opposition Hugo’s constant presence, Tony’s servant ingratiates himself to his naïve employer and becomes an indispensable facet of Tony’s lifestyle, all while slowly subjugating his employer through subtle manipulation.  This superb, shadowy study of brooding decadence and corruption features the claustrophic cinematography of Douglas Slocombe, the uneasy jazz score of John Dankworth, and marks the first of three cinematic collaborations between Losey and celebrated playwright and screenwriter Harold Pinter.

Disc Features:

  • New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Introduction by experimental electronic musicians Matmos
  • Interview with actor James Fox by actor-director Richard Ayoade
  • Interviews with actors Wendy Craig and Sarah Miles, producer-director Stephen Woolley, Pinter-associate Harry Burton, and Dirk Bogarde biographer John Coldstream
  • New interview with scholar Amy Sargeant on the design and context of The Servant
  • Audio interview with cinematographer Douglas Slocombe
  • Interview of screenwriter Harold Pinter from the 1965 British television show Tempo
  • Archival interview with Joseph Losey on The Servant
  • Excepts from the 1963 television show Camera Three featuring Losey, filmmaker Adolfas Mekas, New York Film Festival director Amos Vogel, and festival organizer Richard Roud
  • Stills gallery
  • Theatrical trailer
  • PLUS: Booklet with essay by Peter Bradshaw and the 1948 novella by Robin Maugham

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Get Crazy (Allan Arkush, 1983)

IT WAS THE GREATEST ROCK EVENT EVER … UNTIL THE PLACE EXPLODED!

AV_Inferno_DVD_.inddIt is December 31, 1982.  Ring in 1983 at the Saturn Theater’s annual New Year’s Eve concert – featuring the far-out Captain Cloud and the Rainbow Telegraph, the king bluesman himself, King Blues, Nada and her pop bubble gum/New Wave/punk ensemble, rock icon Reggie Wanker, and folk-rock legend Auden!

The Saturn Theater’s New Year’s Eve concert is an institution to its owner, master showman Max Wolfe (Allen Garfield), but when Max has a heart attack hours before the concert and villainous promoter Colin Beverly (Ed Begley Jr.) enlists Max’s nephew Sammy (Miles Chapin) in a plot to ruin the event and have the venue signed over to Beverly, its up to stage manager Neil Allen (Daniel Stern) and visiting former stage manager Willy Loman (Gail Edwards) to ensure the show goes on.  Luckily Allen and Loman can rely on the dedication of their crew, the professionalism of their acts, and the case of pharmaceuticals provided by the spectral Electric Larry to see the concert through.  Boasting musical performances by Lou Reed, Malcolm McDowell, Lee Ving, Bill Henderson, and Lori Eastside, Allan Arkush (Rock ‘n’ Roll High School) presents a hilarious concert movie spoof celebrating sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll as only the 1980s would have it.

Special Features:

  • New high definition digital transfer
  • High definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard DVD Presentation
  • Original Stereo 2.0 and 5.1 Dolby Surround Options
  • Optional English SDH subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Introduction by director, producer and writer Edgar Wright
  • Audio commentary by director Allan Arkush
  • There Will Be No Encores – a new documentary on the making of Get Crazy featuring new interviews with Allan Arkush, Daniel Stern, Malcolm McDowell, Gail Edwards, Allen Garfield, Ed Begley, Jr., Stacey Nelkin, Dan Frischman, Franklyn Ajaye, Robert Picardo, Dick Miller, and Mary Woronov
  • Hot Shots – a new documentary on the music of Get Crazy featuring new interviews with Allan Arkush, Malcolm McDowell, Howard Kaylan, Lee Ving, John Densmore, Lori Eastside, Fabian, and Bobby Sherman
  • Gone Crazy! – director, producer and actor Eli Roth on Get Crazy
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Collector’s booklet featuring new writing by cult film scholar Mike Watt

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99 francs (Jan Kounen, 2007)

“Brilliant, trashy, offbeat.  Exceptional.” – STUDIO.

Drafthouse Films LogoOctave Parango (Jean Dujardin) is the master of his world.  His job: copywriter at the acclaimed ad agency Ross & Witchcraft.  His motto: “Man is a product like any other.”  He has all he desires – drugs, women, luxury – but when Octave ruins a meaningful romance with a beautiful and caring co-worker, he becomes disgusted with himself, his easy-going lifestyle, and the system he helped create, causing him to rebel and sabotage his biggest advertising campaign.  Jean Dejardin (The Connection) tears down the dishonest and hypocritical world of corporate advertising in this blackly comic tale of self-destruction.  Inspired by Frédéric Beigbeder’s best-selling novel, Jan Kounen directs this comedy “bursting with ideas from start to finish!” (Le Parisien).

Special Features:

  • Audio commentary with director Jan Kounen
  • Audio commentary with Kounen, writer Frédéric Beigbeder, and actor Jean Dujardin
  • Making-of featurette
  • Back on the Roof: Behind the Scenes of the Fall
  • Another World: Filming in the Amazon
  • Deleted scenes, with optional commentary
  • Special effects featurette
  • Jan Kounen Podcasts from the set of 99 francs
  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau (director of the absurd) on Legrand advertising, an excerpt of a 2007 debate between Rousseau and Kounen
  • Deleted making-of scenes
  • Capitaine X and Vibroboy, two short films by Kounen
  • A 24 page booklet featuring concept art, production photos, and new interviews with cast and crew

Deluxe Edition – Package Includes:

  • 99 francs on Blu-ray or Standard DVD featuring over 6 hours of bonus material
  • DRM-free Digital Download of the film on 1080p, 720p, and mobile/tablet formats
  • 27″ x 40″ Movie Poster
  • Frédéric Beigbeger’s novel 99 Francs

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The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (Peter Greenaway, 1990)

The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover.

criterion logoTaking aim at the neo-conservative values that dominated Britain through the 1980s, The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover skewers the decadence and small-mindedness of the era with its visually sumptuous, overtly theatrical tale of food, sex, murder, and revenge.  Albert Spica (Michael Gambon) is a gangster and cultural dilettante holding court nightly at a gourmet restaurant before his wife Georgina (Helen Mirren) and his coterie of thugs, unaware that Georgina is carrying on an adulterous affair with a bookish diner one table over.  When Albert discovers the infidelity, his brutal action inspires Georgina to a gastronomic vengeance even more shocking and ghastly that Albert can imagine.  Writer-director Peter Greenaway presents a lavish cinematic feast steeped in the conventions of 16th century British revenge tragedy, inspired by 17th century Dutch painting, and voicing his harsh dissent over the social, political and cultural failures of Thatcherite Britain.

Disc Features:

  • New 4K digital restoration of the film’s original 124 minute version, approved by writer-director Peter Greenaway, with 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Audio commentary by Greenaway
  • The Art of Revenge, a new video piece with Greenaway on the influences of art and theater in The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover
  • New interviews with cast members Helen Mirren, Michael Gambon, Richard Bohringer, and Tim Roth
  • New interview with fashion designer Jean-Paul Gautier on the film’s costumes
  • Hubert Bals Handshake, Greenaway’s 1989 short film
  • “New Possibilities: Cinema is Dead, Long Live Cinema” and “Nine Classic Paintings Revisited,” two 2010 lectures by Greenaway at UC Berkeley
  • Behind the scenes footage
  • Trailers
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring new essays by film scholars Tony Rayns, Douglas Keesey, and Ruth Johnston

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