The Criterion Collection announces September slate

Joshua Brunsting

by: Joshua Brunsting
June 15th, 2011

It’s the middle of the month, so you know what that means, it’s time for the monthly Christmas-like reveal of the September release slate for the Criterion Collection.

First up, we have two new Blu-ray upgrades that are quite an interesting pairing.  On September 13 Criterion will be releasing a new Blu-ray upgrade of Lasse Hallstrom’s beloved gem of a film, MY LIFE AS A DOG.  The film will come with a new transfer (of course), an interview with Hallstrom (who has since gone on to be best known for films like the absolutely dreadful DEAR JOHN), a trailer, reflections by Kurt Vonnegut, and a 52 minute film from Hallstrom, SHALL WE GO TO YOUR PLACE OR EACH GO HOME ALONE?

On the same day, the collection will be upgrading Robert Altman’s beloved 3 WOMEN, which itself will be an exact copy of the DVD version.  One of Altman’s best films, the relatively small release will come with a commentary, stills gallery, and a trailer.  Now, while it is a smaller release, Altman’s film is an absolute masterpiece, a film that, like it’s director, seems to be glanced over when talking about cinema from the 1970s.

Now, while those are both exciting, it’s the quartet of new releases that gets this writer the most jazzed.

September will see the release of two Claude Chabrol films, and as a fan of the French New Wave, and particularly the likes of Godard and Chabrol, these are far and away two of my most intriguing releases.  First up, we have  a new release of LE BEAU SERGE, Chabrol’s debut, a look into one man’s return home.  It stars Criterion favorite Jean-Claude Brialy, and will feature a commentary, a clip from a 1969 TV episode, a documentary and a trailer.  This will be joined by LES COUSINS.  An equally wonderful film, the film is best described as SERGE, but with Biraly and co-star Gerard Blain taking on reverse roles.  It’s a masterful one-two punch, and a perfect duo to join the Collection. The two have the same features.

Finally, the Criterion Collection will be releasing two films spanning different eras of filmmaking, the first of which is Victor Sjostrom’s masterpiece, THE PHANTOM CARRIAGE.  A black and white silent, the film comes to us from Sjostrom, one of the most influential names on the life of iconic auteur Ingmar Bergman, and has been given its just due.  Coming with two different scores, a commentary, and an interview with Bergman, a visual essay on the Bergman/Sjostrom connection, this is one of the month’s biggest and most dense releases.

That said, it’s not quite as dense as their release of the beloved Olivier Assayas epic, CARLOS.  The film has been rumored to join the collection for some time now, and the 339 minute epic will come in both DVD  and Blu-ray editions (thankfully for the same $50 price tag). The film tells the story of Carlos the Jackal, infamous international terrorist who was given a career defining performance by actor Edgar Ramirez. This release comes with interviews, a documentary, and a trailer, as well as a booklet with essays and biographies.

Personally, all of these releases are must-own, but what ones are you most interested in?

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