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Need Another Reason To See 'Frances Ha'? The Criterion Collection Adds The Film To Their November Lineup

by Kevin Jagernauth
August 15, 2013 5:51 PM
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It isn't often that The Criterion Collection goes contemporary, and when they do, certain corners of the internet clutch their pearls, and cry in a cinematic rage (remember when Lena Dunham's "Tiny Furniture" dared to be granted a wacky C?). Well, we're sure someone is going to fume that [insert random silent era director] isn't getting a box set instead, but we're pretty pleased that Noah Baumbach's big-hearted, sweet, observant and hilarious "Frances Ha" is coming to the collection.

Noah Baumbach's film is the surprise highlight of the November slate and it's bringing with it some pretty decent extras. Among them are conversations between Baumbach and his pal and filmmaking legend Peter Bogdanovich, and another between the film's star and co-writer Greta Gerwig and actress/filmmaker Sarah Polley. We already laid out our 5 Reasons You Should Go See Noah Baumbach & Greta Gerwig's 'Frances Ha,' so consider this the sixth. It is one of the year's best films, and we're glad the folks at Criterion recognize it too, and have brought another title from the filmmaker into the fold (they also issued his debut "Kicking & Screaming").

Okay, so for those silent film fans, Criterion will serve them in November with Charlie Chaplin's classic "City Lights." If you haven't seen this comedy landmark already, well you have no excuse now, particularly as this comes stuff with a ton of extras including: a 2003 documentary on the film's production, an excerpt from Chaplin’s 1915 short film "The Champion,"a boatload of archival footage, rehearsal material and much, much more. All that, and a crisp new transfer to boot.

Finally, for those of you who like box sets, Criterion has put together the staggering "Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman." The set brings together twenty-five Zatoichi films made between 1962 and 1973 in one place, for the first time. The titles had been available before on DVD, but not like this, with a brand new restorations, spruced up subtitles, a full length documentary to with it all and nice, fancy packaging.

Lastly, Yasujiro Ozu's classic,"The Wolverine"-influencing "Tokyo Story" goes Blu in November as well.

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  • 77ships | August 16, 2013 4:15 AMReply

    The packaging of that Zatoichi boxset is breathtakingly beautiful.

  • Sean | August 15, 2013 11:19 PMReply

    I'm glad Baumbach has another in the collection and I'm looking forward to getting another Ozu with the blu. But I wish criterion would just announce Eraserhead and the Tenant already. Maybe re-release Knife in the Water and some more Kurosawa films on the blu (preferably Red Beard).

  • blake | August 15, 2013 11:05 PMReply

    I wonder if PTA will ever have a movie in Criterion

  • Ray H | August 15, 2013 11:34 PM

    Technically, there's the Criterion Boogie Nights laserdisc.

  • Sean | August 15, 2013 11:16 PM

    Apparently he's working on the Punch Drunk Love blu ray (but for New Line, I guess). So if he were to get a film with the CC logo, it would most likely be Sydney. Fingers crossed he has some mental revalation and decides to get that on the CC and record another commentary.

  • Ted | August 15, 2013 8:12 PMReply

    The only one I'm much interested in is City Lights, but the cover art on some of those Zatoichi blu-rays is awesome.

  • No thanks | August 15, 2013 7:34 PMReply

    This was one of the most disappointing movies I've ever seen. And I love Baumbach.

  • BEF | August 15, 2013 7:14 PMReply

    Ha isn't surprising ... Criterion has a partnership with IFC and most of their contemporary films are IFC released. Ha is worthy, though and Baumbach is closely tied to the C anyway, through his own film(s) and Wes Anderson's.

  • Jeff | August 15, 2013 11:35 PM

    And then there's the fact that they offered a pretty blatant hint at this in their newsletter several months ago. Frances Ha couldn't have been less of a surprise.

    This piece also refers to Frances Ha (which is indeed very good) as the highlight of this slate, which includes two of the towering masterpieces of world cinema in City Lights and Tokyo Story. Silly.

  • James | August 15, 2013 7:19 PM

    Yep, when Criterion started releasing Blu-Rays a couple of years back, seemingly half of them were contemporary films through their deal with IFC Films. Now they release more classic films, but major recent IFC titles still pop up now and then.

  • Evan | August 15, 2013 6:46 PMReply

    Criterion always saves the best for the end of the year. Gotta get City Lights, Zatoichi, and Tokyo Story.

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