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Criterion announces July slate: Boatloads of Blu-grades and a great Eclipse set

Joshua Brunsting

April 16th, 2012

Every so often, when  dealing with a company as great as Criterion, you’ll get the occasional month where the pickings are relatively slim, or it appears as though they are going back to the proverbial well.  However, their well is so damn fantastic, that such a month may be the best month you’ll see in a while.  That’s July for you.

First up, Criterion will be Blu-grading the hell out of their collection, including the trio of Jim Jarmusch’s DOWN BY LAW, and a pair of Whit Stillman films, THE LAST DAYS OF DISCO and METROPOLITAN.  Personally, I’m most excited about the two Stillman films, since he is one of my favorite filmmakers working today.  These are two films unlike any you’ll see from directors of his ilk (be it the Wes Andersons or the Noah Baumbachs), and while I do truly like the Jarmusch film, it’s not my favorite of the director’s canon.  All three are going to look absolutely superb in HD, and they are welcome upgrades coming at a perfect time during the year.

And then there is the sole new release in Criterion proper, the brilliant Aki Kaurismaki film, LE HAVRE.  I had the chance to see this absolute gem at Cannes last year, and have been anticipating it’s release on Criterion since Janus nabbed up the rights following the festival last year. The release is a tad bit light, mainly featuring a series of interviews from television and Cannes as well as a performance of the band that is featured in the film.  However, it’s such a damn good film, that one can’t help but truly wait for this sucker. Check out my review from Cannes here.

Finally, this month’s Eclipse series release, “Jean Gremillion During The Occupation.”

Now, while I’m not all that familiar with Gremillion as a filmmaker, that’s what is always the best about these Eclipse releases.  The best of them give the public an all encompassing look into the life and work of a filmmaker, be it a big name like Kurosawa or a small one, like Gremillion.  Featured here are REMORQUES, LUMIERE D’ETE and LE CIEL EST A VOUS, all three of which I actually have yet to see, but can’t wait to check them out.  I’m a huge fan of what these Eclipse sets stand for and do, and this is going to be one that I can’t wait to check out.

What are you most excited for? Here is the full list of impending Criterion releases.

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