Knife + Heart (Yann Gonzalez, 2018) – Ithaca Fantastik 2018

The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents Knife + Heart.

In the neon glow of 1979 Paris, Anne (Vanessa Paradis) makes her living producing low-budget gay pornography and struggles with the heartbreaking rejection of her longtime lover and current film editor Loïs (Kate Moran). She aims to inspire Loïs back into loving her with increasingly ambitious productions, even using the murders of her actors by a leather clad killer as inspiration, but as the killings continue and her troupe becomes increasingly cautious, Anne assumes the role of amateur sleuth investigating the secret of the mysterious figure that stalks her company. Deftly blending Parisian porn silliness and Italian slasher conventions with a pulsing score by electronic music group M83 and a perfect period production design, Knife + Heart is an affectionately queer tribute to cinema’s body genres and to love in its many forms.

Disc Features:

  • 4K digital master, approved by director Yann Gonzalez and director of photography Simon Beaufils, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Two audio commentaries, one featuring Gonzalez and actors Vanessa Paradis, Kate Moran, and Nicolas Maury, and the other featuring Gonzalez, Beaufils, co-writer Cristiano Mangione, and production designer Sidney Dubois
  • New interview on the film’s soundtrack with Yann Gonzalez and his brother Anthony Gonzalez
  • New interview with historical advisor Hervé Joseph Lebrun on the 1970s Parisian porn scene
  • Mondo Homo: A Study of Gay French Porn in the ’70s, Lebrun’s 2009 feature-length documentary
  • Trailer
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by Anthony Nocera

Continue reading

Advertisements

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

Continue reading

Hedwig and the Angry Inch (John Cameron Mitchell, 2001)

The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

criterion logoAdapted from the critically acclaimed off-Broadway hit, John Cameron Mitchell’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch tells the story of an “internationally ignored” rock singer and her search for stardom and love.  Born an East German boy named Hansel, Hedwig marries an American G.I. to get over the Berlin Wall to freedom and suffers a botched sex-change operation in the process that leaves her with just a one-inch mound of flesh.  Finding herself high, dry, and divorced in a Kansas trailer park, Hedwig pushes on to form a rock band and encounters a lover/protegé in Tommy Gnosis, a young Christian army brat who eventually leaves her, stealing her songs to become a huge rock star.  Left to stalk Tommy’s stadium tour with her group, the Angry Inch, Hedwig crisscrosses America intent on exposing Gnosis and claiming her rightful position in the pantheon of rock icons.

Disc Features:

  • New, restored 2K digital transfer, supervised by director John Cameron Mitchell and cinematographer Frank G. DeMarco, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Audio commentary featuring Mitchell and DeMarco
  • Deleted scenes with optional commentary
  • Whether You Like It or Not: The Story of Hedwig, a feature-length documentary on the musical and the film
  • I am Hedwig, new interviews on with Mitchell, Neil Patrick Harris, Andrew Rannells, Michael C. Hall, Darren Criss, and Taye Diggs, the stars of Hedwig‘s Broadway productions
  • Follow My Voice: With the Music of Hedwig, Katherine Linton’s documentary on the lives of four students attending the Harvey Milk School for LGBTQ youth and the recording of Wig in a Box, a tribute album raising funds for the institute operating the school
  • Anatomy of a Scene, a making of featurette on the adaptation of the musical at the Sundance Institute
  • New video appreciation by critic Kim Morgan
  • Theatrical trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Stephanie Zacharek

Continue reading

Psycho (Gus Van Sant, 1998)

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

criterion logoFew films have been as maligned and misunderstood as Gus Van Sant’s near shot-for-shot remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 masterpiece, however Van Sant’s retelling is a bold effort to restore Psycho to its filmic roots and a brash statement on authorship, Hollywood entertainment, and the changing nature of cinema.  It is an unlikeliest of movies – a $60-million dollar, studio-funded, nationally-released, avant-garde film.  Gathering around him an impressive cast and crew including Anne Heche, Vince Vaughn, Julianne Moore, Viggo Mortensen, William H. Macy, Philip Baker Hall, Robert Forster, cinematographer Christopher Doyle, title designer Pablo Ferro, original Psycho screenwriter Joseph Stefano, and composers Danny Elfman, Steve Bartek, and Wayne Horvitz, Van Sant takes on one of cinema’s great masterpieces and offers an unsettling opportunity to see Psycho for the first time once again.

Disc Features:

  • New 4K digital restoration approved by director Gus Van Sant and cinematographer Christopher Doyle, with 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Audio commentary with Van Sant and actors Anne Heche and Vince Vaughn
  • New interviews with Van Sant, and actors Heche, Vaughn, Julianne Moore, Viggo Mortenson, William H. Macy, Philip Baker Hall, and Robert Forster
  • Psycho Paths, a 30-minute documentary on the making of Van Sant’s Psycho
  • Psycho Shampoo, Van Sant’s 1979 parody commercial appropriating Psycho‘s famous shower scene
  • Punk Rock Psycho, a new interview with Van Sant and Mortenson on their considered follow-up remake of Psycho relocated to a punk rock setting
  • Psychos, Steven Soderbergh’s feature-length mash-up of Hitchcock’s 1960 Psycho and Van Sant’s 1998 Psycho, with introduction by Soderbergh
  • Theatrical trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by film scholars Stephen Jay Schneider, Donato Totaro, and Mark Carpenter

Continue reading

[Safe] (Todd Haynes, 1995)

The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents [Safe].

criterion logoJulianne Moore is riveting in her first leading role as Carol White, a suburban housewife who begins exhibiting the symptoms of environmental illness.  Timid and uncertain, White finds her body rejecting the socially and chemically induced artificiality of her San Fernando Valley life.  When traditional medicine is unable to provide support and treatment to Carol’s diminishing health, she seeks assistance at Wrenwood, a new age facility devoted to treating immunity system deficiencies with its own set of rules and definitions.  Todd Haynes’ [Safe] presents with Kubrickian detachment a dark and fearsome critique of consumer society and contemporary gender roles, as well as allegorical insight on gay existence in straight culture, particularly in the post-AIDS era.  Mysterious, unforgiving, and devastating, [Safe] inverts the feel-good, “disease-of-the-week” TV movie format to become one of the great classics of 1990s cinema.

Disc Features:

  • New, restored digital transfer, supervised by director Todd Hanyes, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Audio commentary with Haynes, star Julianne Moore, and producer Christine Vachon
  • White [Mater]ial, a new video piece by Amber Jacobs and Catherine Grant
  • Trailers
  • PLUS:  A booklet featuring new essays by film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum and urban theorist Mike Davis and Alison Maclean’s 1995 interview with Todd Haynes.

Continue reading