By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com May 15, 2013 at 4:47PM
It's that time of the month again: the time when I have to be locked in the padded room of the Playlist offices for fear of what the moon might turn me into. But also, it's time for Criterion to unveil their latest month of releases -- in this case for August. And boy, have they got some treats in store.
Headlining the releases: the Criterion Collection debut of Ernst Lubitsch's solid-gold classic "To Be Or Not To Be." The unfathomably great comedy, starring Jack Benny and Carole Lombard as actors in occupied Warsaw, is hitting on both DVD & Blu-Ray with a new 2K trasnfer, an audio commentary, a French-made documentary on Lubitsch, and two radio episodes. It'll be hitting your doormats on August 27th. Because you've already ordered it, right?
Also big, exciting news, and also new to the Collection, is John Frankenheimer's unsettling sci-fi mindbender "Seconds," starring Rock Hudson, the release will feature a 4K restoration, John Frankenheimer's commentary, a tribute to the film by Alec Baldwin (?!), a new documentary, a visual essay, and an interview with Frankenheimer from 1971. Shut up and take my money, Criterion. It lands on August 13th.
We're also getting two Satyajit Ray pictures to add to the ever-growing number of the Indian master's pictures in the collections: 1963's "The Big City," and 1964's "Charulata." Both films are loaded with extras, with the former even including a bonus feature film, 1965's "The Coward." They're released on August 20th.
The last brand new release comes on August 27th; a box set of early films by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, including "Love Is Colder Than Death," "Katzelmacher," "Gods of the Plague," "The American Soldier," and "Beware Of A Holy Whore." Want to know more about them? Check out our extensive Fassbinder retrospective right here. And finally, Max Ophuls' "The Earrings of Madame de..." gets an overdue upgrade to Blu-Ray, featuring an introduction by Paul Thomas Anderson. Awesome. Order them all over at the Criterion site.