April come she will, and for Criterion, that means finally getting Hal Ashby's sophomore film into the collection.
The boutique label has unveiled their slate, and as hinted at in their New Year's teaser "Harold & Maude" has now been given the wacky C. If you haven't seen Hal Ashby's classic cult film, then we're kind of jealous; we'd love to relive the experience of seeing it for the first time. But it has influenced a host of filmmakers and is pretty much a must-see if you consider yourself a movie fan. It centers around a death-obsessed young man (Bud Cort) and his friendship with an eighty (or so)-year-old woman (Ruth Gordon), and that's all we'll say, except that also, the soundtrack by Cat Stevens is one of the greats. The new edition will boast a commentary from Ashby's biographer and the film's producer, an interview with Yusuf Islam and the whole thing will get rounded out with some essays. And that cover rules.
But don't worry obscure/foreign film heads, you will be well served too. Avant-garde filmmaker Hollis Frampton gets collected on "A Hollis Frampton Odyssey" bringing together 24 of his films from 1966-1979. Robert M. Young's inaugural Cannes Camera d'Or-winning "¡Alambrista!" gets a spit-shine, telling the gritty story of a Mexican farmworker who sneaks across the border to California to earn money for his family. This set will be rounded out by Young's short documentary, "Children Of The Field." Keeping with the worker spirit will be "The Organizer" by Mario Monicelli, telling the tale of factory workers in Turin who strike and find an unexpected sympathizer in a professor played Marcello Mastrioanni.
Meanwhile, the Eclipse line will drop "Pearls Of The Czech New Wave," a boxset featuring six films from 1960s Czech cinema. Finally, Yasujiro Ozu's classic "Late Spring" goes hi-def with a Blu upgrade.