The Criterion Collection April 2020 New Releases – Wes Anderson’s extravagant historical caper, the revelatory debut feature from artist and filmmaker Miranda July, a gruesome social satire from Czechoslovak New Wave pioneer Juraj Herz, and an uproarious western starring Marlene Dietrich and James Stewart all join the Collection. Plus: Army of Shadows back in print on Blu-ray and DVD!
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Wes Anderson brings his dry wit and visual inventiveness to this exquisite caper set amid the old-world splendor of Europe between the world wars. At the opulent Grand Budapest Hotel, the concierge M. Gustave (Ralph Fiennes) and his young protégé Zero (Tony Revolori) forge a steadfast bond as they are swept up in a scheme involving the theft of a priceless Renaissance painting and the battle for an enormous family fortune—while around them, political upheaval consumes the continent. Meticulously designed, The Grand Budapest Hotel is a breathless picaresque and a poignant paean to friendship and the grandeur of a vanished world, performed with panache by an all-star ensemble that includes F. Murray Abraham, Adrien Brody, Saoirse Ronan, Willem Dafoe, Jude Law, Harvey Keitel, Jeff Goldblum, Mathieu Amalric, Tilda Swinton, and Bill Murray.
Available Apr 28, 2020
DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
- 2K digital transfer, supervised by director Wes Anderson, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
- New audio commentary featuring Anderson, filmmaker Roman Coppola, critic Kent Jones, and actor Jeff Goldblum
- Selected-scene storyboard animatics
- “The Making of ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel,’” a new documentary about the film
- New interviews with the cast and crew
- Video essays from 2015 and 2020 by critic Matt Zoller Seitz and film scholar David Bordwell
- Behind-the-scenes, special-effects, and test footage
- PLUS: A 2014 essay by critic Richard Brody and a collectible poster, along with (on the Blu-ray) excerpts from an additional 2014 piece by Brody, an 1880 essay on European hotel portiers by Mark Twain, and other ephemera
Me and You and Everyone We Know
With this compassionate, startling comedy that could have come from no other artistic sensibility, the brilliant Miranda July reveals a world both familiar and strange—an original vision of creativity, sexuality, childhood, and loneliness that emerges from a series of braided vignettes around a pair of potential lovers: Richard, a newly single shoe salesman and father of two (John Hawkes), and Christine, a lonely video artist and “Eldercab” driver (July). While they take hesitant steps toward romance, Richard’s sons follow their own curiosity toward their first sexual experiences, online and in real life, venturing into uncharted territories in their attempts to connect with others. Playful and profoundly transgressive, Me and You and Everyone We Know is a poetic look at the tortuous routes we take to intimacy in an isolating world, and the moments of magic and redemption that unite us.
Available Apr 28, 2020
DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
- High-definition digital master, approved by director Miranda July, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
- New documentary featuring a conversation between July and filmmaker Lena Dunham about July’s artistic beginnings and the development of her debut feature
- Open to the World, a new documentary about the 2017 interfaith charity shop and participatory artwork July created in collaboration with Artangel
- July Interviews July: Deauville, 2005, a discovery from July’s archives, newly edited
- Footage from the 2003 Sundance Directors Lab, where July workshopped the film, with commentary by July • The Amateurist (1998) and Nest of Tens (2000), short films by July
- Four films from July’s Joanie 4 Jackie video chain letter, and a documentary about the project
- Deleted scenes
- PLUS: Essays by artist Sara Magenheimer and novelist Lauren Groff
Destry Rides Again
Marlene Dietrich and James Stewart ride high in this superb comedic western, both a boisterous spoof and a shining example of its genre. As the brawling, rough-and-tumble saloon singer Frenchy, Dietrich shed her exotic love-goddess image and launched a triumphant career comeback, while Stewart cemented his amiable everyman persona, in his first of many westerns, with a charming turn as a gun-abhorring deputy sheriff who uses his wits to bring law and order to the frontier town of Bottleneck. A sparkling script, a supporting cast of virtuoso character actors, and rollicking musical numbers—delivered with unmatched bravado by the magnetic Dietrich—come together to create an irresistible, oft-imitated marvel of studio-era craftsmanship.
Available Apr 28, 2020
- New 4K digital restoration by Universal Pictures in collaboration with The Film Foundation, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
- New interview with critic Imogen Sara Smith
- New interview with Donald Dewey, author of James Stewart: A Biography
- Illustrated audio excerpts from a 1973 oral-history interview with director George Marshall conducted by the American Film Institute
- Lux Radio Theatre adaptation of the film from 1945, featuring actors James Stewart and Joan Blondell
- PLUS: An essay by critic Farran Smith Nehme
Czechoslovak New Wave iconoclast Juraj Herz’s terrifying, darkly comic vision of the horrors of totalitarian ideologies stars a supremely chilling Rudolf Hrušínský as the pathologically morbid Karel Kopfrkingl, a crematorium manager in 1930s Prague who believes fervently that death offers the only true relief from human suffering. When he is recruited by the Nazis, Kopfrkingl’s increasingly deranged worldview drives him to formulate his own shocking final solution. Blending the blackest of gallows humor with disorienting expressionistic flourishes—queasy point-of-view shots, distorting lenses, jarring quick cuts—the controversial, long-banned masterpiece The Cremator is one of cinema’s most trenchant and disturbing portraits of the banality of evil.
This restoration of The Cremator was made possible by a donation from Mrs. Milada Kučerová and Mr. Eduard Kučera and was realized by Karlovy Vary IFF at the studios of UPP and Soundsquare, in cooperation with the Národní filmový archiv in Prague and the Czech Film Fund.
Available Apr 21, 2020
- New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
- High-definition digital transfer of The Junk Shop, director Juraj Herz’s 1965 debut short film
- Short documentary from 2011 featuring Herz visiting filming locations and recalling the production of The Cremator
- New interview with film programmer Irena Kovarova about the style of the film
- Documentary from 2017 about composer Zdeněk Liška featuring Herz, filmmakers Jan Švankmajer and the Quay Brothers, and others
- Interview with actor Rudolf Hrušínský from 1993
- New English subtitle translation
- PLUS: An essay by film scholar Jonathan Owen
Army of Shadows
The most personal film by the underworld poet Jean-Pierre Melville, who had participated in the French Resistance himself, this tragic masterpiece, based on a novel by Joseph Kessel, recounts the struggles and sacrifices of those who fought in the Resistance. Lino Ventura, Paul Meurisse, Jean-Pierre Cassel, and the incomparable Simone Signoret star as intrepid underground fighters who must grapple with their conception of honor in their battle against Hitler’s regime. Long under-appreciated in France and unseen in the United States, the atmospheric and gripping thriller Army of Shadows is now widely recognized as the summit of Melville’s career, channeling the exquisite minimalism of his gangster films to create an unsparing tale of defiance in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.
Available Apr 7, 2020
- High-definition digital restoration, supervised by director of photography Pierre Lhomme, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
- Alternate 2.0 surround soundtrack, presented in DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray
- Audio commentary from 2006 featuring film scholar Ginette Vincendeau
- Interviews from 2007 with Lhomme and editor Françoise Bonnot
- On-set footage and excerpts from archival interviews with director Jean-Pierre Melville, cast members, author Joseph Kessel, and real-life Resistance fighters
- Jean-Pierre Melville et “L’armée des ombres” (2005), a short program on the director and his film
- Le journal de la Résistance (1944), a rare short documentary shot on the front lines during the final days of the German occupation of France
- Restoration demonstration by Lhomme
- PLUS: An essay by critic Amy Taubin, along with (for the Blu-ray) a piece by historian Robert O. Paxton and excerpts from Rui Nogueira’s Melville on Melville