Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Criterion Collection Titles for June

I always look forward to the upcoming Criterion Collection titles, especially if I get the chance to see some of them streaming on Hulu Plus. Of the five titles for June release, two of them are currently streaming. Here's what's coming our way:

Wild Strawberries (1957) Ingmar Bergman - June 11

I saw this Bergman masterwork for the first time last year and am pleased to see it upgraded to Blu-ray. I enjoyed it quite a bit, but since it's currently streaming on Hulu Plus, I see no reason to buy it just yet. 

Safety Last! (1923) Fred Newmeyer and Sam Taylor - June 18

The cover shot of Harold Lloyd hanging from a clock has been one of cinema's iconic images for nearly a century. In discussions of the great silent comedians, Lloyd has always taken a backseat to Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. Perhaps this release will help bring Lloyd alongside those two greats. Roger Ebert included Safety Last! in one of his volumes of The Great Movies, which makes it a pretty good candidate for a blind buy. Add in three Lloyd short films, and you've got an almost irresistible package. 

Marketa Lazarová (1967) František Vlácil - June 18

I know nothing about this film, other than what the Criterion entry says about it, claiming that it's quite possibly the greatest Czech film ever made. I'm hoping it's available streaming soon. 

Things to Come (1936) William Cameron Menzies - June 18

I'm pretty sure I saw this film as a kid (not on its initial release; I'm not that old.), probably on some rainy Saturday afternoon. I'm also pretty sure I ate it up, as I would've any sf film from my misspent youth, so I'm eager to revisit this one. Hey, what am I waiting for? It's on Hulu Plus right now.... 

Shoah (1985) Claude Lanzmann - June 25

Regardless of the 9-hour running time and the $100 retail price, Lanzmann's Shoah is bound to be a huge seller for Criterion. This documentary of survivors of the Holocaust is regarded as nothing less than a monumental achievement. The film uses no archival footage, but rather focuses on first-hand testimony and interviews with surviving Jews, former Nazis and other witnesses. I've always avoided this film, thinking I should see it, but never felt I was mentally or emotionally prepared for it. Now I have no excuse not to rent it. 

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