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Satyajit Ray's 'The Music Room, Todd Solondz's 'Life During Wartime' & More Go Criterion In July

by Kevin Jagernauth
April 15, 2011 10:04 AM
9 Comments
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'Tiny Furniture' Gets A 3 Disc Boxset Featuring A 6 Hour Director's Cut...Just Kidding



It's mid-month so you know what that means...a new announcement from The Criterion Collection about what they've got around the corner. Start saving yer pennies, kiddies.

The big highlight of the July releases is easily Satyajit Ray's "The Music Room." The Indian director has largely gone unseen in this country thanks to complicated rights issues and we hope this is just the first of more releases (Apu Trilogy please!). Anyway, the film follows a fallen aristocrat who shambles around his gigantic home, pining for the years gone by. As usual, the set is loaded with extras, perhaps most significantly, it features the 1984 docuementary "Satyajit Ray" that gives an overview of the director's career and features clips from his films. This is pretty much a must-have for any fan of world cinema and more exposure on this director is a great thing.


While Criterion recently called Abbas Kiarostami's "Certified Copy" -- somewhat bizarrely -- a "minor" film not deserving of an entry in the collection, have they actually watched Todd Solondz's quasi-"Happiness" sequel "Life During Wartime"? It's ain't all that and a bag of potato chips. Oh sure, it's kind of clever and intermittently funny, but not the director's finest work by any stretch. Anyway Solondz will get his first entry in the collection with the film that revisits, tweaks and updates the characters from his breakout hit with a bunch of features including a video Q&A with the director answering fan questions and a documentary on the making of the movie.

While we're used to Jean-Pierre Melville's impeccably cool crime pics, the Criterion Collection will show off a different side of the helmer with "Leon Morin, Priest." The sexually charged film stars Jean-Paul Belmondo as the titular character, the object of lust of all the women in Nazi-occupied village in France who is drawn to a widow already engaging in her own battle against her faith and her desires. We need a drink. This one is coming lean and mean with only a few extras to speak of including archived interviews with the director and star.

A few titles in the collection get the BluRay upgrade in July as well, including Jean Cocteau's gorgeous "Beauty and the Beast," Akira Kurosawa's phenomenal and crackling thriller "High and Low" and Mike Leigh's grim and gritty "Naked."

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9 Comments

  • bob | May 6, 2011 10:49 AMReply

    Life during Wartime was ridiculous. Who the f___ wants to watch a documentary about the making of that stupid movie.

  • Edward Davis | April 18, 2011 7:21 AMReply

    God, that new Naked cover is AWFUL. Kurosawa's “High and Low” threatens to be his greatest non-samurai picture for me. Hell, might be his best period (though SS and Rashomon sort of get special exclusion outside of it they are such pillars).

  • loudrockmusic | April 16, 2011 6:56 AMReply

    Jean-Paul is looking too fine on that cover. Also, that Naked cover is terrible. What was wrong with the old one?

  • Christopher Bell | April 16, 2011 4:35 AMReply

    jimmie there's no way that anyone could possibly respect that opinion.

  • Ken | April 16, 2011 4:13 AMReply

    That naked cover is an abomination. The old cover was excellent

  • jimmiescoffee | April 15, 2011 12:20 PMReply

    i dont get it. 'tiny furntiture' joke? i thought that film was excellent. 'life during wartime' on the other hand was a piece of shit.

  • Matt | April 15, 2011 11:35 AMReply

    Where's Carlos dammit!?

  • Gatz | April 15, 2011 11:33 AMReply

    And I thought "Tiny Furniture" _was_ 6 hours...sure felt like it!

  • James Delvesco | April 15, 2011 10:41 AMReply

    Saw that tiny furniture was getting a 6 hour cut and just about flipped a shit. "They'll get that but not the 5 hour workprint of the thin red line?!?!?!"

    Ya'll got me.

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