Children of Men (Alfonso Cuaron, 2006)

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

criterion logoNo children.  No future.  No hope.  In the year 2027, eighteen years since the last baby was born, disillusioned Theo Faron (Clive Owen) becomes an unlikely champion of the human race when he is asked by his former lover Julian (Julianne Moore) to escort a young pregnant woman out of Britain as quickly as possible.  In a thrilling race against time, Theo will risk everything to deliver the miracle the whole world has been waiting for.  Employing stunningly long takes filmed by the great Emmanuel Lubezki, Alfonso Cuarón’s Children of Men presents a politically charged, near-future dystopia that is all too recognizable from the present day.

Disc Features:

  • New, restored 2K digital film transfer, supervised by cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki and approved by director Alfonso Cuarón, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • A new piece on the making of Children of Men, featuring new interviews with actors Clive Owen, Julianne Moore, Michael Caine, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Clare-Hope Ashitey, co-writer Timothy J. Sexton, Cuarón, and Lubezki
  • The Possibility of Hope, Cuarón’s 27-minute documentary on the issues and theories behind Children of Men
  • Comments by Slavoj Zizek, an extended interview on the film and its adaptation from P. D. James’s novel
  • Theo and Julian, interviews with Clive Owen and Julianne on the development of their characters
  • Under Attack, a behind-the-scenes look at shooting the film’s complicated action sequences
  • Futuristic Design, a review of Children of Men‘s outstanding art direction and world-building
  • Visual Effects: Creating the Baby, an examination of the film’s digital effects
  • A new video piece with scholar James Udden on Children of Men and the long take
  • Quietus “You Decide When” commercial
  • Deleted scenes
  • Gallery of production photos, posters, and promotional art
  • Trailers and TV spots
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring extensive production design artwork, Zizek’s essay “The Clash of Civilizations at the End of History,” and a new essay by film critic Charles Taylor

Continue reading

Underground (Emir Kusturica, 1995)

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

criterion logoEmir Kusturica’s epic masterpiece recounts the demise of his native Yugoslavia through the metaphorical relationship of Blacky and Marko over fifty years.  The pair booze and brawl their way through World War II, enhancing their reputations as communist guerrilla fighters and black marketeers until Marko tricks Blacky and others into hiding in his cellar where they manufacture weapons for twenty years under the false understanding that the war continues.  This raucous and tragicomic parable won Kusturica the Palme d’Or at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival and inspired a flurry of controversy that resulted in the filmmaker’s temporary retirement from the cinema.  Included here is Kusturica’s stunning, savage, and hilarious theatrical release and his five-hour television version, Once Upon a Time There Was a Country.

Disc Features:

  • New 4K digital restoration of the theatrical version, approved by director Emir Kusturica, with 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Once Upon a Time There Was a Country, the 5-hour mini-series cut of Underground for Serbian television
  • New interview with Kusturica on his influences, the film, its reception, and its legacy
  • Journalist Tommaso Di Francesco on Underground
  • Shooting Days: Emir Kusturica Directs Underground, Aleksandar Manic’s 73-minute documentary on the making of Underground
  • Underground at Cannes, footage from the post-screening party at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival
  • Guernica, Kusturica’s 1978 short film
  • Interviews with cast and crew
  • Behind the scenes footage
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by film scholar Sean Homer and production photos

Continue reading

Invasion (Hugo Santiago, 1969)

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

criterion logoIn 1957, a small group of middle-aged men fight a clandestine battle against forces quietly invading and taking control of their city, Aquilea.  Enigmatic in its story-telling, Hugo Santiago’s once-lost film obscures the motivations of either side, leaving only a series of moves and counter-moves that evokes past dictatorial oppression and those still to come.  With stark, spare cinematography by Ricardo Aronovich, a lively and unnerving score by Edgardo Canton, and a screenplay written by Santiago with Argentine literary titans Jorge Luis Borges and Adolfo Bioy Casares, Invasion is a tense and timeless portrait of resistance and an unheralded classic of international art house cinema and Latin American filmmaking.

Disc Features:

  • New, digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Audio commentary by Richard Peña, program director of New York’s Film Society of Lincoln Center
  • New interview with Hugo Santiago
  • Los Contrabandistas (1967) and Los Taitas (1968), two short films by Santiago
  • The Others (1974), Santiago’s follow-up feature to Invasion, also co-written with Jorge Luis Borges and Adolfo Bioy Casares
  • Profile of a Writer: Jorge Luis Borges, an 80-minute documentary on the writer including dramatized sequences from his stories and interviews with Borges in the author’s home
  • Bioy, a 38-minute interview with the author
  • PLUS:  A booklet featuring a new essay by Argentinian film scholar Maria de los Angeles Sanz

Continue reading

Bloody Sunday (Paul Greengrass, 2002)

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

criterion logoWith breathtaking verisimilitude and startling immediacy, Bloody Sunday re-creates Northern Ireland’s most controversial contemporary tragedy.  Director Paul Greengrass presents the events of January 30, 1972, in convincing verité fashion, based on Don Mullan’s influential account Eyewitness Bloody Sunday.  Civil rights leader and Member of Parliament Ivan Cooper (James Nesbitt) leads a tense march through Derry’s Catholic “bogside” community protesting the British practice of internment without trial.  He watches in horror when his peaceful march splinters and unarmed protesters are gunned down by British paramilitary soldiers.  Told from the perspectives of both the civil rights movement and the military authorities, Bloody Sunday commemorates the 30th anniversary of the massacre at Derry and offers a cathartic statement on its long contested history.

Disc Features:

  • New, restored 2K digital film transfer, supervised by director Paul Greengrass, with 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Audio commentary featuring writer/director Paul Greengrass and actor James Nesbitt
  • Audio commentary featuring co-producer Don Mullan, author of Eyewitness Bloody Sunday
  • History Retold, interviews with cast and crew
  • Ivan Cooper Remembers, interview with Ivan Cooper and James Nesbitt on location in Derry, Northern Ireland
  • Q&A session at London’s Curzon Cinema, with Paul Greengrass and James Nesbitt
  • New interviews with Irish rock band U2 and producer Steve Lillywhite on Bloody Sunday, the Troubles in Northern Ireland, and the song “Sunday Bloody Sunday”
  • Inside Story Special: Remember Bloody Sunday, a 1992 BBC 50-minute documentary special on Bloody Sunday
  • Blood Sunday – A Derry Diary, Margo Harkin’s 85-minute documentary following the course of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry from the perspective of the victims’ families
  • Theatrical trailer
  • PLUS:  A booklet featuring new essays by actor James Nesbitt and film scholar Duncan Greenlaw

Continue reading

Black Mirror (Charlie Brooker, 2011/2013)

“Beg.  Borrow.  Steal.  It doesn’t matter what you do, but find a way to watch Black Mirror.” – Andy Greenwald, GRANTLAND.

Drafthouse Films LogoCharlie Brooker’s Black Mirror gazes into the depths of our dormant device screens and finds the dark side of life and technology staring back.  A worthy heir to The Twilight Zone, Brooker’s six twisted tales of techno-paranoia, separated into two seasons, examines everything from viral videos and TV talent contests to artificial intelligence, media pervasiveness, and total memory, and, in doing so, explores how digital culture may aggravate our moral failings and human frailties.  Imagined by its creator as “the way we might be living in 10 minutes’ time if we’re clumsy,” Black Mirror is sometimes funny, often unsettling, and always intelligently conceived, revealing that no smart device is smart enough to save us from ourselves.

Special Features:

No More Edition – Package Includes:

  • Black Mirror Seasons 1 and 2 on Blu-ray or Standard DVD featuring over 5 hours of bonus material
  • High Quality 720p Digital Download Available on Street Date
  • 27″ x 40″ Posters for Seasons 1 and 2
  • Digital Download of the Collected Scripts with foreword by Charlie Brooker
  • White Bear T-shirt

Continue reading

The War of the Stars: A New Hope Grindhoused (George Lucas/The Man Behind the Mask, 1977/2010)

The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents The War of the Stars: A New Hope Grindhoused.

criterion logoA poor orphan working on his uncle’s moisture farm on the remote desert planet Tatooine, Luke Skywalker dreams of becoming a starship pilot like his friend Biggs Darklighter, but when Luke discovers a hidden message for an old hermit, he becomes embroiled in a quest of galactic scale.  Trained in the arcane ways of a lost order of knights by the reclusive Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke, with the help of a robotic duo and a pair of greedy space pirates, must save a princess from the clutches of the maniacal Darth Vader and destroy an evil Empire’s planet-sized weapon, the Death Star.  The War of the Stars: A New Hope Grindhoused roughs up George Lucas’ sci-fi classic, using an original 16mm print, unused footage, fearsome digital effects, and other surprising additions to recast it in the spirit of 1970s exploitation cinema.

Disc Features:

  • High-definition digital master, with DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Interactive lexicon cataloging incorporated material
  • Interview with George Lucas
  • Audio commentary by faneditor The Man Behind the Mask
  • Roundtable discussion with Robot Chicken co-founder Seth Green, Robot Chicken: Star Wars cowriter Breckin Meyer, actor and faneditor Topher Grace, Slash Film writer Peter Sciretta, and Fanboys director Kyle Newman
  • Fanmixed, a new interview with legal scholar Lawrence Lessig on fanediting, copyright, and piracy

Continue reading