The Criterion Collection Expands Into The UK – Media Reaction

The Guardian has done an interesting article on the news that The Criterion Collection is expanding into the UK.

I had a number of takeaways from the piece – that Criterion’s relationship with Sony was critical to the decision; that the UK market for boutique classics releases is already well served by a number of respected independents; and that there is disappointment that the current plans are only for two or three releases a month after the initial burst. Some of the Below The Line comments were interesting – clearly some people with closer knowledge than we have.

Variety magazine’s take is that Criterion have formed a “Pact” with Sony. It’s a very American word, something that is not heavily used in Europe, in my opinion, as it tends to either military agreements!

Home Cinema Choice’s article confirms that the UK releases will share the same spine numbers as the US originals.

Bride Of Re-Animator

Arrow Films have released a 3 disc limited edition set of Brian Yuzna’s Bride Of Re-Animator as a dual-format edition containing the DVD and blu-ray discs. The big point of interest is that it is a brand new 2K restoration.

On Arrow Video’s Facebook website, it was confirmed that 5000 copies were produced both in the UK and the US. The big attraction of this limited edition set is the third disc which contains the R-rated version.

Bride Of Re-Animator

Rocco And His Brothers

Luchino Visconti’s 1960 masterpiece Rocco And His Brothers has finally come to blu -ray, courtesy of Eureka Entertainment. As it is part of the acclaimed The Masters Of Cinema series, it comes fully-loaded with extra features, most notably the 40 page booklet.

Christopher Bray in The Mail On Sunday loves it, giving it 5 stars and saying “it is one of cinema’s greatest achievements.”

DVDBeaver says that they were blown away by the blu-ray as it looks so impressive.


Gorgeous high-definition 1080p presentation from a new 4K restoration

  • Optional English subtitles
  • Two audio choices; the original Italian, and the French dub
  • “Les coulisses du tournage” – a 2003 French documentary about the film
  • A 1999 interview with Visconti’s cinematographer Giuseppe Rotunno
  • An interview with actress Claudia Cardinale
  • A 2002 interview with actress Annie Giradot
  • “Luchino Visconti” – an hour long documentary about the life and work of Visconti
  • Two vintage newsreels
  • Original Italian trailer
  • Plus: A 40 page booklet featuring:
  • – Writing by Guido Aristarco
  • – An essay written by the director in 1960
  • – A vintage interview with Visconti
  • – Rare archival imagery

Trapped – The Complete Series One

Arrow Films are releasing the complete first series (ie “season”) of the Icelandic television drama Trapped on either a four disc DVD set or a three disc blu ray set as a part of their Nordic Noir collection.

As a ferry carrying 300 passengers from Denmark pulls into an Icelandic town’s small port, heavy snow begins to fall. The ferry can’t leave until the storm passes and the main road into town is impassable. A mutilated and dismembered body washes on the shore, an unidentifiable man murdered only hours ago. The local police chief, Andri Olafssun, whose personal life is in shatters, realises a killer has descended into his town. As word spreads, order disintegrates into chaos as the ferry’s passengers and the town’s residents realise they are all possible suspects and that a killer is trapped among them.

Inspiring Attenborough : Sir David at 90

The BBC has told us that they’ll be recording a show at The London Studios in Waterloo to celebrate Sir David Attenborough’s 90th birthday.

Celebrating his 90th birthday in May 2016, the world’s foremost naturalist, Sir David Attenborough will be talking to Kirsty Young about his life and career – about the inspiring people he’s met, the extraordinary journeys he’s made, and the incredible animal encounters he’ll never forget.

The show will look at key areas of David’s life and work, with a focus on filming the natural world, covering animal behaviour, conservation projects, and advances in technology. Talking to studio guests, and through pre-recorded interviews with experts, David and Kirsty will discuss the latest updates on these areas.

Featuring stunning Natural History archive, the show will celebrate Sir David’s contribution to our understanding of the natural world.

The Last Command

Eureka Entertainment are releasing The Last Command in May as part of their The Masters Of Cinema series. Directed by Josef von Sternberg, and starring Emil Jannings, this is a hugely under-rated film that is in the Timeout Top 100 list.

Special Features:

• High-definition presentation on the Blu-ray
• Original organ score by Gaylord Carter (uncompressed on the Blu-ray)
• New video interview with critic Tony Rayns
• Sternberg Till ’29, a video essay by scholar Tag Gallagher
• A 32-page booklet featuring an excerpt from Von Sternberg’s autobiography Fun in a Chinese Laundry, two original reviews from 1928, a 1929 profile of Jannings, and archival images.

The Criterion Collection expands into the UK

Sight And Sound, the film magazine from the BFI, sent out an email newsletter this week announcing that Criterion are expanding into the UK, something that Criterion Cast have picked up on.

First up on the roster are Toostie, Grey Gardens, Speedy, It Happened One Night, Roman Polanski’s MacBeth, and Only Angels Have Wings. From Amazon, it appears that these are blu ray only titles.

Journey To The Shore

Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Journey To The Shore (Kishibe no tabi) is scheduled for release on 23rd May, courtesy of Eureka Entertainment and their The Masters Of Cinema Series. It’s a dual format edition, which means it contains both DVD and blu ray versions.

To quote Eureka, it’s “a beautifully shot supernatural love story” which confirms Kurosawa’s place as a contemporary auteur.