June seems so far away, but here we are talking about the films that are going to join the Criterion Collection that month. And what a group of films we have. There are only two “new” titles being added, with four additional titles receiving an upgrade to blu-ray. Of course, for many, the real excitement comes from the release of the much-anticipated “A Hard Day’s Night” (1964). Any way you look at it, June is going to be a lot of fun! Here are the upcoming Criterion Collection titles for June 2014:
Being Released June 10th, 2014:
- “All That Heaven Allows” (1955): Director Douglas Sirk is the king of the melodrama, but never was his work more glorious than in this romantic tale of a widow (perfectly played by Jane Wyman) who falls in love with her younger, socially unacceptable gardener (portrayed by the marvelous Rock Hudson). With great acting and directing, and a beautiful visual experience thanks to cinematographer Russell Metty, “All That Heaven Allows” is a realistic and monumentally important American film that captures a time in this country that few other films achieved during the 1950’s.
- “L’eclisse” (1962): Finishing off Michelangelo Antonioni’s trilogy that started with “L’Avventura” (1960) and “La Notte” (1961) is this film about a young woman (Monica Vitti), who after breaking up with her older boyfriend, begins a relationship with a young stockbroker. It is a beautiful film that has gloriously used Rome as its setting, and the result is a powerful and unforgettable experience that only becomes more intoxicating with additional viewings. Now all we need is the “L’Avventura” blu-ray upgrade!
Being Released June 17th, 2014:
- “Judex” (1963): This French film from director Georges Franju is based on the pulp hero, Judex. The movie involves a plot where Judex tries to convince a crooked banker to repay the customers that he has treated poorly. Part crime film, part hero-comic, “Judex” is a welcomed addition to the Criterion Collection (and my collection as well).
- “Hearts and Minds” (1974): Well, not every film can be fun and games, and the blu-ray upgrade for this documentary certainly is proof. Directed by Peter Davis, this film is about America’s involvement in Vietnam. “Hearts and Minds” is one of the most critically acclaimed documentaries of its (or all) time, and with bonus features that include two hours of new deleted scenes, the overall experience is sure to be more powerful than ever.
- “Picnic at Hanging Rock” (1975): From director Peter Weir comes this drama film about a group of girls who after journeying to an island, suddenly disappear. This is probably one of the most critically acclaimed Australian films of all time and has been part of the Criterion Collection for quite some time (spine #29). Part mystery, part social drama, “Picnic at Hanging Rock” is a film that seems to get better with age, and the remastered blu-ray upgrade will be more than appreciated by the film’s fans.
Being Released June 24th, 2014:
- “A Hard Day’s Night” (1964): Last, but definitely not least, we have The Fab Four making their Criterion Collection debut with this much-anticipated musical film. The plot? Who cares- it’s The Beatles! With a 4K digital restoration, and enough bonus features to last an entire day, John, Paul, George, and Ringo are going to be a welcomed addition to many movie libraries come June.
Well, that’s all for this month. What will you be watching?