Summer is around the corner which means that with the cold weather a distant memory, people are going to want to spend their time outside in the sun and warmth while it lasts. Which likely means less time sitting at home watching movies. So perhaps with that in mind, The Criterion Collection is keeping it easy on the new titles for July, but they do have one new offering, a box set and healthy handful of Blu-Ray reboots.
Kicking things off, Aki Kaurismaki's delightful, humane, charming and utterly moving "Le Havre" is getting the wacky C stamp along with some pretty gorgeous artwork. The film about one man's attempt to help a young illegal immigrant from Africa find passage to England was one of the best films from 2011, a touching observation on the power of community and human connection. The film arrives with a decent set of extras including interviews with the cast, video of the Cannes press conference and more. Either way, if you missed it, this should be on your list.
The only other brand new title is a boxset, with Criterion packaging up three films by Jean Grémillon, a lesser known contemporary of folks like Henri-Georges Clouzot, Marcel Carné and Jean Renoir. The filmmaker directed over fifty movies in a wide range of genres, and these will give viewers a glimpse at two romantic dramas -- "Remorques" and "Le Ciel Est A Vous" -- and one tragicomedy, "Lumiere D'Ete." As this will be in the Eclipse line, there are no extras.
Finally, some pretty great films get some hi-def upgrades. Robby Muller's gorgeous cinematography in Jim Jarmusch's fantastic "Down By Law" will look even better in Blu, in the dusted off release which will port over all the extras from the DVD version. It is a sad and beautiful world. Whit Stillmans's "Metropolitan" and "Last Days Of Disco" also go Blu, again with all the extras you know and love. And if you want to know how we really feel about those films, check out our retrospective of his work here.