Criterion in June

Criterion have announced three titles for release on 22nd June 2004 including the previously delayed The Lower Depths as a two-disc/film set...

A Woman is a Woman - $29.95 - With A Woman is a Woman (Une Femme est une femme), compulsively innovative director Jean-Luc Godard presents “a neorealist musical, that is, a contradiction in terms.” Featuring French superstars Anna Karina, Jean-Paul Belmondo, and Jean-Claude Brialy at their peak of adorability, A Woman is a Woman is a sly, playful tribute to—and interrogation of—the American musical comedy, showcasing Godard’s signature wit and intellectual acumen. The film tells the story of exotic dancer Angéla (Karina) as she attempts to have a child with her unwilling lover Émile (Brialy). In the process, she finds herself torn between him and his best friend Alfred (Belmondo). A dizzying compendium of color, humor, and the music of renowned composer Michel Legrand, A Woman is a Woman finds the young Godard at his warmest and most accessible, reveling in and scrutinizing the mechanics of his great obsession—the cinema.

  • New digital transfer, supervised by director of photography Raoul Coutard, with restored image and sound and enhanced for widescreen televisions
  • Charlotte et Véronique ou Tous les garçons s’appellent Patrick (All Boys Are Called Patrick, 1957), an early short film by director Jean-Luc Godard
  • Qui ëtes-vous Anna Karina?; excerpts from a 1966 French television interview with Karina, Brialy, and Serge Gainsbourg
  • Collection of A Woman Is a Woman posters from around the world
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • New essay by film critic J. Hoberman, author of The Dream Life: Movies, Media, and the Mythology of the Sixties
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • More!
Mamma Roma - $39.95 - Anna Magnani is Mamma Roma, a middle-aged prostitute who attempts to extricate herself from her sordid past for the sake of her son. Filmed in the great tradition of Italian neorealism, Mamma Roma offers an unflinching look at the struggle for survival in postwar Italy, and highlights director Pier Paolo Pasolini’s lifelong fascination with the marginalized and dispossessed. Though banned upon its release in Italy for obscenity, today Mamma Roma is considered a classic: a glimpse at a country’s most controversial director in the process of finding his style and a powerhouse performance by one of cinema’s greatest actresses.
  • New high-definition digital transfer, with restored image and sound
  • Three new interviews about director Pier Paolo Pasolini: Bernardo Bertolucci, an assistant to Pasolini on his early films; Tonino Delli Colli, cinematographer on eleven of Pasolini’s fourteen films; and Enzo Siciliano, author of Pasolini: A Biography
  • Pier Paolo Pasolini (1955), a 55-minute documentary by filmmaker Ivo Barnabò Micheli covering the career of the controversial artist
  • La ricotta (1963), a 35-minute film by Pasolini about a director who sets out to make a film about the Passion of Jesus
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • Poster gallery
  • Essay by novelist and cultural critic Gary Indiana
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • More!
The Lower Depths (Special Edition Double-Disc Boxed Set) - $39.95 - The Criterion Collection is proud to present dramatically different interpretations of Maxim Gorky’s classic play by two of cinema’s greatest masters:

Director Akira Kurosawa’s transformation of Maxim Gorky’s classic proletarian play, The Lower Depths, demonstrates another side of the acclaimed filmmakers’ remarkable versatility. In contrast to his usual broad canvas and kinesthetic filmmaking style, here he explores the possibilities of the stage, finding intimacy in his examination of a group of destitutes set, ironically, within Japan’s prosperous Edo period. Starring an ensemble cast that includes Toshiro Mifune, Isuzu Yamada, and Minoru Chiaki, this adaptation is a Buddhist meditation on the human condition and a poignant yet comic investigation of one of Kurosawa’s favorite themes—the conflict between illusion and reality.

Made in the 1930s, amidst the rise of Hitler in Germany and the Popular Front in France, Jean Renoir had need to take license with Maxim Gorky’s source material for The Lower Depths. Aware that the plight of Gorky’s desperates might sit uneasily in a country on the edge of war, Renoir never lets his derelicts reach quite the depths, offering them—like in so many of his other films—the possibility of hope. Marking the first time the director would work with Jean Gabin (Grand Illusion) and featuring the great Louis Jouvet (Quai des Orfèvres, Carnival in Flanders), The Lower Depths demonstrates one of cinema’s greatest directors transforming a classic play into his own terms for a distinct time.
  • New high-definition digital transfers of both films, with restored image and sound
  • Audio commentary on Kurosawa's The Lower Depths featuring Japanese-film expert Donald Richie (A Hundred Years of Japanese Cinema)
  • A documentary on the making of Kurosawa's The Lower Depths, part of the Toho Masterworks series Akira Kurosawa: It is Wonderful to Create
  • Introduction to Jean Renoir's The Lower Depths by the director
  • Original theatrical trailer of Kurosawa's The Lower Depths
  • New essay by Keiko McDonald (From Book to Screen: Modern Japanese Literature in Films) and Thomas Rimer (A Reader’s Guide to Japanese Literature) for the Kurosawa film; new essay by film scholar Alexander Sesonske, author of Jean Renoir: The French Films 1924-1939, for the Renoir
  • New and improved subtitle translations

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