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The Criterion Collection announces October slate; Kubrick, Bergman, and demonic house cats

Joshua Brunsting

by: Joshua Brunsting
July 15th, 2010


As we are in the midst of the recently kicked off50% Criterion Collection DVD/Blu-ray sale thanks to Barnes & Noble, the Collection has now announced films which are set to hit store shelves come October. I must say, it’s a massively eclectic bunch.

First off, we get a brand new, Blu-ray version of Akira Kurosawa’s most beloved and respected masterpiece, the classic SEVEN SAMURAI. This was a release that’s been in the works since December, so this doesn’t come as a real shock, but it’s still an amazing release. It’s one of those films that anyone must truly see, and truly fits the bill of being considered one of the greatest films ever put to celluloid. It’s currently available in a brilliant three-disc release, and this one comes with two commentaries, a making of documentary, a video conversation between Akira Kurosawa and master filmmaker Nagisa Oshima (whose MERRY CHRISTMAS MR. LAWRENCE will hit the month before), a documentary on the film’s influences, and trailer and poster galleries. Oh, and of course, a fantastic booklet chock full of essays.

Also getting a release is Ingmar Bergman’s film, THE MAGICIAN. This is one of two releases for October previously available on Criterion laserdisc, and while I haven’t had a chance to see the film, a new Bergman release is always a welcome addition to the collection. The cover art is absolutely stunning, and features a visual essay on the film, an interview with Bergman himself, and a booklet with essays from critic Geoff Andrew and even director Olivier Assayas. This is one of the smaller releases of the month, but hey, you really cannot go wrong with a new Ingmar Bergman film. Far from it.

The other former laser disc getting a re-release is Stanley Kubrick’s PATHS OF GLORY. A massively underappreciated Kubrick film, one that gets lost amongst the 2001s and the CLOCKWORK ORANGEs. This is one of the greatest war films ever made, rivaling even Kubrick’s own FULL METAL JACKET. While I already own this one, it definitely doesn’t have the features, the new transfer, or that always trustworthy “C” up in the corner of the box. This release comes with interviews, a commentary track, and an excerpt from a French TV program which looked at real life executions from WWI.

Finally, rounding out the month’s slate are two films that have been rumored for what seems like millennia now, Wes Anderson’s DARJEELING LIMITED and the long-rumored horror film, HAUSU (a.k.a. HOUSE). Personally, while I’m not a massive fan of DARJEELING, the film does definitely fit the bill as the Collection isn’t shy about their love of Anderson and his work. It’s a fine film, but one that I think I’ll keep with my original copy. 

Now, HAUSU is definitely a different beast, and has what I think may very well be the coolest box art the Collection has seen in a very long time. It comes from director Nobuhiko Obayashi, and comes with an experimental short called EMOTION. It even has a video appreciation from director Ti West, which screams awesome. 

Overall, this going to be an absolute killer month. Save your money now. Check out the trailer for HAUSU just to make the wait even more tough.


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