The Lost One (Peter Lorre, 1951)

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

criterion logoIn Peter Lorre’s only directorial effort, German scientist Dr. Karl Rothe murders his fiancée for betraying him and disclosing his research to enemy nations.  Instead of being punished, Rothe’s crime is covered up by Nazi authorities, leaving the doctor gripped by a compulsion to kill.  With the end of World War II, Rothe finds work at a refugee camp under an assumed name, but his past catches up with him when a fellow scientist and former Nazi agent arrives looking for sanctuary of his own.  Co-written and starring Lorre as well, The Lost One was rejected by audiences upon its release but has since become a masterpiece of post-WWII German cinema, an intensely haunting and fatalistic film that interrogates the psychological cruelty that enabled the war and the individual and collective guilt that followed.

Disc Features:

  • New 4K digital restoration, undertaken by the German Film Institute, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary by Lorre biographer Stephen D. Youngkin
  • Peter Lorre – The Double Face, Harun Farocki’s 1984 documentary
  • Displaced Person: Peter Lorre, Robert Fischer’s 2007 documentary
  • Interview with German film historian Christoph Fuchs
  • Theatrical trailer
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by Lorre scholar Sarah Thomas, excerpts of Lorre’s own work script, biographical character sketches, documents on the film’s rating, and Bertolt Brecht’s poem to Lorre, “To the Actor P.L. in Exile;” and a new paperback edition of Lorre’s original novel “The Lost One,” unreleased in Germany until 1996 and available in North America here for the first time

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The Game Trilogy (Toru Murakawa, 1978-1979)

JAPAN’S COOLEST HITMAN FINALLY ARRIVES IN THE WEST!

AV_Inferno_DVD_.inddTôru Murakawa’s Game Trilogy stars Yûsaku Matsuda (Black Rain) in the role that made him the Japanese king of cool.

Matsuda stars as the indomitable hitman Shohei Narumi, a deadly freelance assassin steeped in outsider appeal.  In The Most Dangerous Game, Narumi is hired to tip the scales in a murderous corporate rivalry, but is forced to watch his own back while protecting the alluring girlfriend of a gangster.  Narumi is enlisted into a gang conflict and is then betrayed in The Killing Game, endangering not just his life but the lives of his friend and of two beautiful women who know Narumi from a previous hit.  In The Execution Game, Narumi is strong-armed into killing another assassin and becomes embroiled in a complex web of mysterious organizations and hidden identities.

The Game Trilogy features Matsuda’s über-cool persona, typified by his lean frame, stylish clothes, and aggressive indifference and supported by beautiful women, desperate action, and the jazzy score of celebrated composer Yuji Ohno, making these action-thrillers a trifecta in funky, macho resolve.

Special Features:

  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation of all 3 films in The Game Trilogy, available in the English speaking world for the first time
  • Original Mono audio (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-rays)
  • New English subtitle translation of all 3 films
  • New interviews with director Tôru Murakawa, actor-singer Ichirô Araki, and actresses Kaori Takeda and Yutaka Nakajima
  • Soul Red, Osamu Minorikawa’s 2-hour documentary on Yûsaku Matsuda featuring interviews with Andy Garcia and Tadanobu Asano
  • Original trailers for all 3 films
  • Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the films by Japanese cinema expert Tom Mes

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A Fugitive from the Past (Tomu Uchida, 1965)

The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents A Fugitive from the Past.

criterion logoTomu Uchida’s allegorical crime epic stands among the masterworks of Japanese cinema and represents the apex of the director’s prestigious career.  A deadly robbery committed during a massive typhoon and a criminal’s flight from the law culminates with a murder 10 years later and a revived police investigation.  Set in 1947 during Japan’s harsh social conditions and the post-war economic miracle that arrived a decade after, Uchida’s film explores Japan’s traumatic past and the karmic penance that refuses to be denied despite newfound prosperity and good intentions.  Mixing the police procedural subgenre, the fugitive-on-the-run plot, and emotional melodrama with mesmerizing, high-grain cinematography and solarized images, A Fugitive from the Past is Uchida’s tragically noir-infused magnum opus.

Disc Features:

  • High-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • New video interview with critic Tadao Sato
  • New video essay by critic Tony Rayns
  • Trailer
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring new essay by critic Mark Asch

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Such a Pretty Little Beach (Yves Allegret, 1949)

The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents Such a Pretty Little Beach.

criterion logoPierre, a young and disillusioned man, arrives at a small hotel in a seaside town in northern France.  In the cold, driving rain of the resort’s off-season, he wanders its deserted beach haunted by his past.  His gloomy demeanor raises the suspicions of the hotel’s staff and guests, including an unsavory and mysterious man who arrives shortly after him and who takes a peculiar interest in Pierre.  Yves Allégret’s Such a Pretty Little Beach is a gorgeously melancholic work of film noir aesthetics that evokes the fatalism of French poetic realism, shot by the great cinematographer Henri Alekan and exploring for the first time the dramatic potential of its star Gérard Philipe.

Disc Features:

  • New 2K digital film restoration, with DTS-HD Master dual-mono soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Gérard Philipe: The Beginnings of a Child Prodigy, a video retrospective featuring interviews with French writers and filmmakers including Gérard Bonal, Alain Ferrari, Olivier Barrot, and Francis Huster
  • A 1973 episode of Au cinéma ce soir with interviews of Yves Allégret, Jacques Sigurd, and Jean Servais
  • Short, music-only film from the Gaumont Pathé Archives on the children of the state orphanages
  • Alternate ending
  • Photo gallery
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by French film scholar Susan Hayward

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A Taxing Woman (Juzo Itami, 1987) and A Taxing Woman’s Return (Juzo Itami, 1988)

The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents A Taxing Woman and A Taxing Woman’s Return.

criterion logoRyoko is Japan’s hardest working female tax inspector, a ruthlessly diligent investigator whose only match is Gondo, a “love hotel” owner and master tax evader.  Against a backdrop of stake-outs, searches, and a spectacular raid, this taxing woman and her clever prey test their respective skills of detection and deception, stirring their mutual sexual attraction.  Nobuko Miyamoto and Tsutomu Yamazaki give performances in the best tradition of romantic farce, resulting in a hit film for director Jûzô Itami and a darker, edgier sequel, A Taxing Woman’s Returns, that pits the title character against a religious cult leader and a complex conspiracy involving gangsters, politicians, and a prestigious construction project.

Disc Features:

  • New 2K digital restorations, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Introduction with Nobuko Miyamoto, star of the films and wife of filmmaker Jûzô Itami
  • Masayuki Suo’s 108 and 110 minute documentaries on the making of A Taxing Woman and A Taxing Woman’s Return
  • New interview with Jake Adelstein on the films, the Japanese yakuza, and Japan’s National Tax Agency
  • Theatrical trailers and teasers
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by Jonathan Rosenbaum

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Night of the Demon (Jacques Tourneur, 1957)

The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents Night of the Demon.

criterion logoWhen psychologist John Holden’s colleague, Professor Harrington, is mysteriously and brutally murdered, Holden denies that it is the devilry of satanic cult leader Doctor Julian Karswell, until he becomes the next target of Karswell’s demonic curse!  A cult classic starring Dana Andrews as the unyielding debunker of the paranormal, Peggy Cummins as Harrington’s devoted niece, and Niall McGinnis as the charming master of dark forces, this British horror noir recalls director Jacques Tourneur’s previous work with famed B-horror film producer Val Lewton and stands as the filmmaker’s last great masterpiece.  Presented here in new restored editions are both the original version released in the UK and the truncated American version, re-titled Curse of the Demon.

Disc Features:

  • Includes new digital transfers of both versions of the film: Night of the Demon, the 96-minute British cut, and Curse of the Demon, the 81-minute version released in the United States
  • New video introduction by Martin Scorsese
  • Interview with Peggy Cummins
  • A video essay with film critic Chris Fujiwara
  • Samuel Wigley on the script of Night of the Demon
  • Gallery of production photos and promotional materials
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by film critic Danny Peary and M. R. James’s 1911 source story, “Casting the Runes”

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