In the Midst of Life (Robert Enrico, 1963)

criterion logoThe Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents In the Midst of Life.

Robert Enrico’s triptych of Ambrose Bierce adaptations, “The Mockingbird,” “Chickamauga” and “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge,” is a rarely seen masterpiece of French cinema.  An eerily complex film fashioned through unreliable narrators and subjective experiences, each story oscillates uncertainly between the brutality and bloodshed of the American Civil War and the idyllic, pastoral existence interrupted by combat.  These puzzling works of the macabre were promptly broken into separate films following its initial release, but In the Midst of Life is finally available after 50 years in its original format.

Disc Features:

  • High-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Introduction by filmmaker Steven Spielberg
  • Complete 1959 Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”
  • Complete 1964 The Twilight Zone episode presenting Enrico’s La rivière du hibou
  • Radio dramatizations of “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” for Escape and Suspense, featuring starring performances by Harry Bartell (1947), Victor Jory (1956), Joseph Cotten (1957) and Vincent Price (1959)
  • Dreaming Forward, a new video piece on Bierce’s fantastical literary legacy, featuring interviews with The Sopranos creator David Chase, Lost creator J.J. Abrams and filmmakers Christopher Nolan and Terry Gilliam
  • PLUS:  A booklet featuring essays by scholar Richard J. Hand and Twilight Zone historian Marc Scott Zicree, as well as artist and critic Steve Bissette’s 1988 article for Deep Red magazine

Continue reading