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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The Mattei Affair (Francesco Rosi, 1972)

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

criterion logoIn the 1950s, during Italy’s postwar industrial boom, the head of its state-owned oil company, Enrico Mattei, leveraged a small reserve of methane gas in the Po Valley and challenged the established order for international energy policy until he mysteriously died in a plane crash in 1962.  Francesco Rosi, along with his frequent collaborator and actor of choice, Gian Maria Volonté, presents a portrait of Mattei as a dogged industrialist and an unrelenting force for political action, material security, and self-determination.  The Mattei Affair, winner of the Palme d’Or at the 1972 Cannes Film Festival, is an obliquely non-linear interrogation of the life and death of one of Italy’s most controversial figures and a rumination on the causes and complicities that led the nation into a period of social and political turmoil.

Disc Features:

  • New digital master from the Film Foundation’s 4K restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • New video introduction with Martin Scorsese
  • New video interviews with Francesco Rosi and film critics Tullio Kezich and Michel Ciment
  • Unique – Francesco Rosi on Gian Maria Volonté, Marco Spagnoli’s 30-minute documentary with Rosi on the 20th anniversary of Volonté’s death
  • Video appreciation with filmmaker Alex Cox
  • Restoration demonstration with Scorsese
  • Power & Oil: Enrico Mattei, an hour-long documentary by Fabio Pellarin in 2008
  • Gallery of production art
  • New and improved subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring new essays by film critics Stuart Klawans and Gary Crowdus

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The Hourglass Sanatorium (Wojciech Jerzy Has, 1973)

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

criterion logoWojciech Jerzy Has’s The Hourglass Sanatorium is a phantasmagorical journey through Polish history and the vanishing Jewish culture of Eastern Europe compliments of the Polish Film School’s most eccentric filmmaker.  Józef (Jan Nowicki) travels to a dilapidated hospital where time can be reversed, allowing his dying father to remain in a state where his recovery is once again a possibility.  Left to explore the sanatorium on his own, Józef traverses a dream-like voyage through surreal episodes connected to his childhood in search of transcendent knowledge and personal meaning.  Rejected by authorities as critical of contemporary Poland, evoking images of the Holocaust during a period of anti-Semitic sentiment in the country, and smuggled into the 1973 Cannes Film Festival where it won the Jury Prize, The Hourglass Sanatorium is a bravely hallucinatory mosaic of history, fantasy, and politics conjured from a dozen stories by the “Polish Kafka,” Galician writer Bruno Schulz.

Disc Features:

  • New digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New introduction by filmmaker Martin Scorsese
  • Visual essay by Holocaust scholar Leonard Orr
  • New interview with film director Borys Lankosz on his mentor Wojciech Jerzy Has
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by film critic Rowena Santos Aquino

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Dead of Night (Alberto Cavalcanti, Charles Crichton, Robert Hamer, and Basil Dearden, 1945)

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

criterion logoFive tales of the macabre interwoven by four master directors of British cinema, Dead of Night is the prototypical example of the heritage horror film and cinema’s finest achievement in anthology filmmaking.  Architect Walter Craig arrives at an all-too-familiar country home convinced he’s dreamt of the visit before and that it concludes in a terrible, violent end.  Guests of the home seek to reassure Craig by recounting their own brushes with the supernatural, offering tales of phantoms and madness.  Basil Dearden, Alberto Cavalcanti, Charles Crichton and Robert Hamer combine their efforts to produce this chilling collection of stories, including standout sequences “The Haunted Mirror” and “The Ventriloquist’s Dummy.”  A perfect compliment to a dark and stormy night, Dead of Night‘s haunting visions continue to influence and inspire.

Disc Features:

  • New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Audio commentary anthology by British horror film scholars Peter Hutchings and Tony Williams, Ealing Studios historian Charles Barr, and director Martin Scorsese
  •  A new video piece with genre film writer Tom Weaver on the American cut of Dead of Night
  • Two 1947 radio productions of “Dead of Night,” the audition pilot for Out of This World and the 1947 inaugural episode of CBS Radio’s Escape
  • Gallery of production stills, vintage advertisements, and lobby cards
  • PLUS:  A booklet of essays by BFI contributor Mark Duguid, film critic and historian Philip Kemp, and film historian Bruce Eder

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The Housemaid (Kim Ki-young, 1960)

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

criterion logoKim Ki-Young’s The Housemaid is a true classic of South Korean cinema, a caustic, shocking indictment of consumerism, Westernization, and bourgeois values made in the middle years of the director’s career and establishing themes and styles that became the filmmaker’s trademark in the decades that followed.  When a young housemaid (Ahn Sung-ki) is brought into the family home of music teacher Mr. Kim (Kim Jin-kyu), she quickly seduces its patriarch and sets upon terrorizing the equally unscrupulous family.  Worthy of comparison to Hitchcock and Buñuel, The Housemaid is a stylish, claustrophobic, psychologically complex critique of South Korea’s modernization and as audacious a portrait of domestic dysfunction as committed to film.

Disc Features:

  • New, restored high-definition film transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Introduction by Martin Scorsese, filmmaker and chairman of the World Cinema Foundation
  • Audio commentary by filmmaker Bong Joon-ho
  • Two or Three Things I Know About KIM Ki-young: Directors Talking about KIM Ki-Young, a 2006 documentary featuring interviews with Park Chan-wook, Bong Joon-ho, and Kim Jee-woon on the director’s filmography and influence
  • Trailer gallery of Kim Ki-Young films
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring new essays by World Cinema Foundation artistic director Kent Jones and film critic and historian Jean-Michel Frodon

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