The middle of the month is here, which means that once again it is time to argue… I mean discuss what we think about the new additions to the historic Criterion Collection that we will be seeing this coming November. As if these films aren’t great enough on their own, The Criterion Collection will also be adding a new feature for their discs: the “dual format” feature, that will include both DVD and blu-ray copies of the film. But we can talk about that another time; on to the selections.
Being released on Tuesday, November 12th, 2013:
- “City Lights” (1931): It doesn’t get much better than this Charlie Chaplin classic that is FINALLY making its way to blu-ray. This is arguably Chaplin’s greatest film, as he brilliantly mixes his usual array of comic enthusiasm with quite possibly the greatest romance in screen history. And how about that boxing scene, right? “City Lights” has been given a 4K digital film transfer for this release which I am sure is going to look as glorious as possible, and the array of bonus features seems worth while as well. Unfortunately, we do have to wait until November to see this film in its new found glory!
- “Frances Ha” (2013): Being released the same day is another comedy film, this time from one of The Criterion Collection’s favorite active directors, Noah Baumbach. Greta Gerwig stars as a twenty-something year old, living in New York, while trying to find her place amongst those around her. With a style that only Baumbach possesses, and a skill that should be applauded, “Frances Ha” is a delightful and sweet film that is getting some much deserved validation with this release.
Being released on Tuesday, November 19th, 2013:
- “Tokyo Story” (1953): I’m not trying to sound too preachy or anything, but if you haven’t seen- no wait, experienced this exceptional film- wait no longer. This poignant story was inspired in part by Leo McCarey’s 1937 masterpiece, “Make Way for Tomorrow”, and centers on an elderly couple experiencing difficulties adjusting to life in a new era. Masterful director Yasujiro Ozu has many great films to his credit, but there is little denying that “Tokyo Story” is his best, and is also one of the most moving and powerful films of all time. If you don’t believe me, just try to find a bad review for this film. “Tokyo Story” is already part of The Criterion Collection, but is at long last making its blu-ray debut, as well as receiving some new bonus materials.
Being released on Tuesday, November 26th, 2013:
- “Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman” (1962-1973): I’m not going to sit here and pretend to know everything movie related, so I’ll be honest and admit that I have no memory of these films what-so-ever. From what I can gather, these films are based on a character by Ken Shimozawa that is both a blind masseur and a master swordsman. In total, 26 films were made with this character, as well as a brief television show. This set includes the first 25 films in the series. (That is a lot of blind-swordplay!)