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September Criterion Releases Include Lynch's 'Eraserhead,' Polanski's 'Macbeth' & Horror Classic 'The Innocents'

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by Oliver Lyttelton
June 16, 2014 6:14 PM
10 Comments
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It's the middle of the month, and we know what that means. Well, for us, it means realizing we have $70 to last us until payday, but for the more frugal cinephiles among you, it means that it's time for Criterion to announce what they've got coming up three months down the line. And once more, there are some treats in store.

Kicking things off, and certainly the headliner, is David Lynch's seminal 1977 first feature "Eraserhead," the first of the director's features to make the collection. The film will be displayed on a new 4K digital restoration, along with new restorations of six Lynch shorts (1966's "Six Figures Getting Sick," 1968's 'The Alphabet," 1970's "The Grandmother," 1974's "The Amputee Part 1 and 2," and 1996's "Premonitions Following An Evil Deed," plus interviews and a 2001 documentary by Lynch called "Eraserhead Stories." So yeah, pretty much a must buy when it lands on September 16th. 

Unlike Lynch, Polanski's a regular in the Collection, but his 1971 take on "Macbeth" will be hitting just in time for the upcoming Michael Fassbender/Marion Cotillard take on Shakespeare's classic. Again with a 4k restoration, it'll be accompanied by both a 1971 documentary, and a brand new one about the making of the film, plus an essay by critic Terence Rafferty. That hits 23rd of September.

The same day also brings Jack Clayton's superb ghost story "The Innocents." A 1961 version of Henry James' "The Turn Of The Screw," a favorite of Martin Scorsese, gets the 4k restoration, an audio commentary from historian Christopher Frayling, a new interview about the cinematography by Freddie Francis, and archive interviews with other crew members. The film's not as well known in the States as in the UK, but it's absolutely brilliant, and as definitive as the earlier two pictures.

Finally, the month closes out with Serge Bourgignon's "Sundays And Cybele." Not necessarily as sexy as some of the others, the film, which won the foreign-language Oscar in 1962, is somewhat overshadowed now, but could get a boost in its reputation. The release gets a 2k restoration, new interviews with the director and actress Patricia Gozzi, and "La sourire," the 1960 short that won Bourguignon the Palme D'Or. That lands on September 30th, the same day that Fassbinder's "Ali: Fear Eats The Soul" gets an overdue upgrade to blu.

Speaking of, it was announced last week that Criterion will no longer be doing dual-format releases — supposedly, a surprisingly small number of customers have made the upgrade to Blu, and the experiment didn't pay off. What do you think about the decision? Are you pleased, or unhappy? Talk it out below in the comments.

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10 Comments

  • Andrew | July 12, 2014 11:21 PMReply

    If you haven't upgraded to Blu Ray you are missing out on Criterion. I thought the idea of dual format was so people that hadn't made the upgrade could by the dual and once they upgraded they had the darn blu ray too.

  • Gerard Kennelly | June 17, 2014 11:22 AMReply

    first criterion i ever bought........... NAKED

    last one i bought .............BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOUR

  • Bitemelo | June 17, 2014 1:52 AMReply

    Excited for eraserhead!

    When it comes to blu ray, I'll by an fx driven film like gravity on a blu ray disk but a story driven film like amour I just need standard. Standard DVDs still look great on a blu ray player.

  • Jean | June 16, 2014 11:38 PMReply

    Criterion Blu-Rays should come with a digital version of the film so I can watch my Kobayashi films on my iPad.

  • James | June 16, 2014 8:32 PMReply

    I'm pleased! The Blu-Ray/DVD combo sets came in awkwardly designed big cardboard packages that that were thicker, deeper and taller than Blu-Ray cases. Some of them are positively gigantic, like the Picnic at Hanging Rock one, the size of old VHS boxes. The DVDs also got easily scratched, as they slid into overlapping slots instead of just snapping in. One of the two DVDs for Tess (discs I didn't even want) arrived scratched, meaning it will be more difficult to resell. I couldn't be happier to see them abandon the combo format concept.

  • JOHN | June 16, 2014 7:06 PMReply

    What cinephile buys DVD anymore?

  • jimmiescoffee | June 16, 2014 7:00 PMReply

    great titles.

    as far as dualformat goes. people aren't upgrading to blu? blu ray players are like $40 for a low end player and are backwards dvd compatible. so whats the hold up? for blu ray criterion customers its a bad thing because the dvd was a throw in and didn't raise the price. oh well.

  • Nate | June 16, 2014 6:55 PMReply

    Blows my mind that people who buy Criterions with any sort of regularity don't have bluray players. Bluray players have been at mass market prices for a few years now and why wouldn't film buffs make the upgrade? Those criterion transfers are beautiful on bluray. I guess it doesn't effect me too much as I'll just go on buying the blurays but it's a little disappointing bluray hasn't become more popular and accepted as it's currently the best way to watch movies outside of a theater.

  • James | June 17, 2014 12:15 AM

    Someone on another board suggested that part of the problem may be that libraries like to buy a lot of these classic films, and they never made the transition to Blu-Ray, so they still want all these titles on DVD. I say fine, as long as they're not these dual-format behemoths. My God, look at how many discs the new Jacques Demy set is going to have. Insane. Half of them are just coasters for anyone who buys them, regardless of which format they want.

  • braff | June 16, 2014 9:31 PM

    I know -- you can buy a top-of-the-line BD player at Costco for $80.

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