It seems impossible to already be closing in on the end of the year, but when The Criterion Collection announces their last releases of 2013, that’s when you know we are nearing the end of the calendar. Of course closing the year off with a great selection of new inductees to Criterion’s illustrious vault certainly makes the winter months seem warmer, right? So far in 2013, The Criterion Collection has already given us several brilliant films from some of the world’s finest directors: Ingmar Bergman, Roberto Rossellini, Yasujiro Ozu, Ernest Lubitsch, Max Ophuls, Ang Lee, Guillermo del Toro, Satyajit Ray, Michelangelo Antonioni, Charlie Chaplin, Terrence Malick, John Cassavetes, Fritz Lang, Elia Kazan, Delmer Daves, Robert Bresson, and Alfred Hitchcock, just to name a few!
So what do they have in store for us this December? Here they are:
Being released Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013:
- “Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion” (1970): This Italian film from director Elio Petri revolves around a high-ranking police officer who kills his mistress, and then helps his fellow officers in the investigation. When the evidence clearly points to himself, the other officers go out of their way to fumble the case and keep their fellow officer above the law. This film stars Gian Maria Volonte and Florinda Bolkan, and was the winner of the 1970 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
- “Nashville” (1975): Robert Altman directs this epic drama that was nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award in 1975, and has only grown in both popularity and acclaim since that time. The almost non-existent plot revolves around several different main characters, as their lives converge during a few fateful days in the musical title city. Often considered one of Altman’s very best films, “Nashville” is a welcomed addition to The Criterion Collection, and a must see for all true cinema fans. (The cover art is pretty fantastic as well.)
Being released Tuesday, December 10th, 2013:
- “Grey Gardens” (1976): This documentary film from director Albert Maysles is already in The Criterion Collection, but is, at long last, making its blu-ray debut. The film tells the story of “Big Edie” and “Little Edie”, a mother and daughter who live at the slowly deteriorating Grey Gardens, in near isolation. When the estate become dangerously inhabitable, the powers that be begin to interceded, but because “Big Edie” happens to be the Aunt of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, an attempt is made to help restore the home and grounds to its previous glory.
- “Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project” (1936-1981): In 2007, acclaimed filmmaker (and cinema lover) Martin Scorsese established the “World Cinema Project”, with the goal of restoring rarely seen foreign films, and making them available to the general population. In this exclusive collection, six of the films that they have restored will be bundled together in what promises to be a historic collection. The films included are: “Touki Bouki” (1973), “Redes” (1936), “A River Called Titas” (1973), “Dry Summer” (1964), “Trances” (1981), and “The Housemaid” (1960). Of interesting note (at least to me), “Redes” is a very early experimental film in the career of legendary director Fred Zinnemann, and “The Housemaid”, even with its limited availability in the past, has earned so much acclaim that it has already found its way into the “1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die”.