Criterion in June
Lockdown isn't going to stop Criterion from releasing their upcoming feature-packed June Blu-rays.
The trailblazing independent auteur JOHN CASSAVETES (Opening Night) pushes his raw, uncompromising emotional realism to its limit in this unflinching portrait of masculinity in crisis. Cassavetes joins BEN GAZZARA (Anatomy of a Murder) and PETER FALK (Mikey and Nicky)—both of whom would become key collaborators of the director’s—playing a trio of middle-aged Long Island family men who, following the sudden death of their best friend, channel their grief into an epic, multiday bender that takes them from Manhattan to London in a desperate, debauched quest to feel alive. By turns painfully funny and woundingly perceptive, this self-described “comedy about life, death, and freedom” stands as perhaps the most fearless, harrowingly honest deconstruction of American manhood ever committed to film.
- New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
- Audio commentary from 2009 featuring critic Marshall Fine
- New interviews with producer Al Ruban and actor Jenny Runacre
- New video essay featuring audio recordings of John Cassavetes in his own words exploring the actor director’s spirited approach to acting
- The Story of “Husbands”—A Tribute to John Cassavetes (2009), a half-hour program featuring Ruban, actor Ben Gazzara, and cinematographer Victor J. Kemper
- Episode of The Dick Cavett Show from 1970 featuring Cassavetes, Gazzara, and actor Peter Falk
- PLUS: An essay by filmmaker Andrew Bujalski
Dance, Girl, Dance
DOROTHY ARZNER (Christopher Strong), the sole woman to work as a director in the Hollywood studio system of the 1930s and early ’40s, brings a subversive feminist sensibility to this juicily entertaining backstage melodrama. A behind-the footlights look at friendship, jealousy, and ambition in the ruthless world of show business, Dance, Girl, Dance follows the intertwining fates of two chorus girls: a starry-eyed dancer (The Quiet Man’s MAUREEN O’HARA) who dreams of making it as a ballerina and the brassy gold digger (a scene-stealing LUCILLE BALL) who becomes her rival both on the stage and in love. The rare Hollywood film of the era to deal seriously with issues of female artistic struggle and self-actualization, Arzner’s film is a rich, fascinating statement from an auteur decades ahead of her time.
- New, restored 4K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
- New introduction by critic B. Ruby Rich
- New selected-scene commentary featuring film historian Cari Beauchamp
- PLUS: An essay by critic Sheila O’Malley
This compilation of five early short films by MARTIN SCORSESE (Taxi Driver) offers a fascinating window onto his artistic development. Spanning the years from Scorsese’s time at NYU in the mid-1960s to the late ’70s, when he was emerging as one of the era’s most electrifying talents, Scorsese Shorts centers on the intimate home movie Italianamerican—a loving snapshot of the director’s parents—and American Boy, a freewheeling portrait of a larger-than-life raconteur. Also included are The Big Shave, a daringly visceral response to America’s involvement in Vietnam, and the bracing student films What’s a Nice Girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This? and It’s Not Just You, Murray! Touching on many of Scorsese’s key themes— Italian American identity, family, his beloved New York City—these are hilarious, candid, and illuminating works from the preeminent American filmmaker of our time.
- New 4K digital restorations of all five films, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks
- New conversation between director Martin Scorsese and film critic Farran Smith Nehme
- New discussion among filmmakers Ari Aster and Josh and Benny Safdie
- PLUS: An essay by film critic Bilge Ebiri and various materials from Scorsese’s archive
Dance, Girl, Dance (1940)
Dir: dorothy arzner, Roy Del Ruth | Cast: Louis Hayward, Lucille Ball, Maureen O'Hara, Virginia Field | Writers: Frank Davis (screen play), Tess Slesinger (screen play), Vicki Baum (story)