It's the mid-way point of the month, and Cannes or no Cannes, the Criterion Collection will do their traditional unveiling of their releases for three months down the line. After a banner July line-up, which included Jim Jarmusch, Whit Stillman and Aki Kaurismaki, could the beloved specialty top themselves for August? Well, perhaps not, but there's a few very pleasant surprises in the latest batch of announcements.
Perhaps the biggest news for cinephiles is the Criterion debut of the Dardenne Brothers, hot off their critically acclaimed new film "The Kid With The Bike." The Belgian filmakers haven't yet had a film included in the selection, but that'll change on August 14th, when both 1996's "La promesse" and 1999's "Rosetta" are released. The films will be available on both DVD & Blu-Ray, and contain new interviews, and a conversation between the filmmakers and critic Scott Foundas, as well as the usual trailers and booklets.
Speaking of kids and bikes (kind of...), August 28th sees "Quadrophenia," the coming-of-age drama inspired by The Who's album of the same name, come to the format, again on DVD and Blu-Ray. Franc Roddam's 1979 Brighton-set tale of mods and rockers, which stars Phil Davis, Leslie Ash, Phil Daniels and Sting, along with early appearances from Ray Winstone and Timothy Spall, will be accompanied by a new sound mix supervised by the band, a commentary from Roddam and DoP Brian Tufano, and a selection of interviews. Nice.
Perhaps the most surprising addition, and the one that we're the most giddy about, is the most recent: Andrew Haigh's excellent gay romance "Weekend," one of the very best films of last year. The film, which stars Tom Cullen and Chris New as two British men who share a one night stand, which leads to a weekend of the two dancing around each other, was one of the big hits of SXSW in 2011, but hasn't yet made it to Region 1 home video. Until now, that is; the Criterion release, on both DVD & Blu-Ray, includes a host of exclusive extras, including interviews, a video diary and short films by the director. It'll be available on August 21st.
Also coming out in August are 1928 silent rarity "Lonesome," from director Paul Fejos, in a stacked DVD/Blu-Ray selection with a restored version of the film, two other films from the director, an audio commentary and more, and a DVD box set with three films from novelist Norman Mailer: "Beyond The Law," "Wild 90" and "Maidstone." Extras free, sadly, but they should be a fascinating curio. Both will be out on August 28th, while we're also getting a Blu-Ray release for Wes Anderson's "The Royal Tenenbaums" on August 14th. [Criterion]