New Criterion Collection Titles for October 2013

Here we are again, gaining a new group of films that, come October, will forever be cemented into The Criterion Collection. Yes, I know I Married a Witch (1942)I’m a bit late this month, and I apologize. These pieces of cinematic history include nine films, six of which are already in the collection and are now getting updated (and much appreciated) blu-ray editions. Also, being the month of Halloween, in which people often look to the scary or mystical for their entertainment, some of these films follow in that general theme, creating both chilling and pleasant journeys into the supernatural. Here is the run-down for October, 2013.

To be released on October 8th, 2013:

    • “I Married a Witch” (1942): I Married a Witch (1942)This lighthearted comedic romp opens in the 1600’s, as a prominent member of the Wooley family has accused a young woman and her father of being witches, and had them burned at the stake. Before they died, leaving their souls trapped beneath a tree, the young witch cursed the Wooley family to forever be unhappy in love- until, of course, a time comes where she can seek her vengeance. Jump to the early 1900’s, where the witch (Veronica Lake) and her father (Cecil Kellaway) are released from their supernatural prison, and return to seek revenge on the Wooley descendant, Wallace (Frederic March). I Married a Witch (1942)Of course things don’t go as planned (for anyone), as she quickly becomes enamored with his suave good looks and endless charm. The result is a romantic comedy that will delight from beginning to end, full of hilarious dialogue. Directed by revolutionary French director Rene Clair (“Le Million”) while working in America during WWII, this is a welcomed addition to The Criterion Collection, with its witty screenplay by Robert Pirosh and Marc Connelly, and a highly amusing and unusual performance from the great Frederic March. This film remains one of the most enjoyable comedies from 1942, and deserves to be placed alongside other films from that year, like “To Be or Not to Be” and “The Palm Beach Story.” This is a “bare-bones” release, as there are limited special features included- bad news for those of us who love to delve into the world of special features; good news for everyone, as it has a reduced price tag.

To be released on October 15th, 2013:

  • “Eyes Without a Face” (1960): Also known as “Les yeux sans visage,” this visionary French horror film from director Georges Franju has slowly crept its way up through the ranks of cinema’s greatest horror films, and along the way has inspired an entire generation of filmmakers rooted in suspense and terror. Eyes Without a Face (1960)The story revolves around a doctor (Pierre Brasseur) who is responsible for the disfigurement of his daughter (Edith Scob) in a car accident, that has resulting in her having to ware a faceless mask. Now, he continuously kidnaps young women, surgically removing their faces and attempting to transplant them onto his daughter. There are plenty of great bonus features included, with this title including Franju’s 1949 documentary, “Blood of Beasts,” about the slaughterhouses of Paris, and a new interview with actress Edith Scob. “Eyes Without a Face” is already part of The Criterion Collection, but now will be coming out on blu-ray. It is also currently available on Hulu.

To be released on October 22rd, 2013:

  • John Cassavetes: Five Film Collection (1959-1977): John Cassavetes was a revolutionary filmmaker. He was one of the pioneers of independent films, with his unprecedented style and unique ability to project the most intense of emotions, with an unconventional, partially documentary approach. Shadows (1959)He wrote, directed, acted, and even sometimes was forced to finance his films. There was very little (possibly nothing) he couldn’t do. This collection of films, features five of his most prolific movies, four of which have been included in the “1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.” The movies featured are as follows: “Shadows” (1959), “Faces” (1968), “A Woman Under the Influence” (1974), “The Killing of a Chinese Bookie” (1976) and “Opening Night” (1977). The list of bonus features included in this set is unbelievably long, but I will mention that there is a 2000 documentary by Charles Kiselyak, entitled “A Constant Forge- The Life and Art of John Cassavetes” included as a sixth disc.

    • “The Uninvited” (1944): The Uninvited (1944)A young man (Ray Milland) and his sister (Ruth Hussey) decide to purchase an impressive, cliff-top estate that has a low price tag. What they weren’t expecting was that the house was haunted. Director Lewis Allen creates a surprisingly serious supernatural thriller with a memorable score by Victor Young, and Academy Award nominated black and white cinematography by Charles B. Lang. This is another “bare-bones” disc with an unusually low (and much appreciated) price.

To be released on October 29th, 2013:

    • ” La Notte” (1961): La Notte (1961)This follow-up film to Michelango Antonioni’s masterfully “L’avventura” (1960), revolves around an unfaithful married couple whose relationship has reached a breaking point. Filmed beautifully on location in Milan, and crafted impeccably by one of cinema’s all time greats, “La Notte” is a true work of art that fits perfectly in Antonioni’s unofficial trilogy, between “L’avventura” and “Eclipse” (1962). This film also features some perfect acting from Marcello Mastroianni, Jeanne Moreau and Monica Vitti in the major roles.

0 thoughts on “New Criterion Collection Titles for October 2013

    • Paul says:

      Glad to see someone else excited by this release. It was such a good deal I couldn’t help myself. I saw that the price already went up some this morning. Too bad.


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