If you have a girlfriend/boyfriend/partner who's a cinephile, and you already have your Christmas presents figured out, here are some ideas for Valentine's Day, as Criterion has dropped their February slate and as always, there's lots to discover.
The highlight of the pack is easily Elia Kazan's "On The Waterfront," which will now get the wacky C. And boy, does it ever improve on the currently available "special edition." The extras? First off, the newly restored movie will be coming in three different aspect ratios including a widescreen option for those of you who feel the need to bastardize the original framing of the movie so that it fills your new fangled TV (rant over). There's "Contender," an entire documentary dedicated to Marlon Brando's legendary scene; another documentary on Kazan himself; another documentary on the making of the film; a ridiculous amount of new interviews, commentary, visual essays and more. This one certainly has class.
Meanwhile, the Dardennes contribute another title to Criterion with their beautiful "The Kid With The Bike." There's a half hour doc on the locations of the film, a conversation with the filmmakers, and some interviews rounding this one out.
Japanese cinema buffs will get Keisuke Kinoshita's "The Ballad Of Narayama," the cinematic take on the kabuki folk legend. It's coming bare bones, but just be glad it's coming at all. Meanwhile, Kenji Mizoguchi's "Sansho The Bailiff" gets upgraded to Blu with a handful of extras.
Lastly, Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin's "Chronicle Of A Summer" arrives with a 'making of' documentary and a few more extras about this exploration of the early '60s in France.