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Criterion has announced their releases for the month of August. Each film will be available on both DVD and Blu-ray. The Eclipse Series 39 set will only be availabe on DVD.

The Earrings of Madame de . . .


Quote: Release Date: 6 August 2013
SRP: $39.95

Synopsis: The most cherished work from French master Max Ophuls, The Earrings of Madame de . . . is a profoundly emotional, cinematographically adventurous tale of deceptive opulence and tragic romance. When an aristocratic woman known only as Madame de (the extraordinary Danielle Darrieux) sells a pair of earrings given to her by her husband (Charles Boyer) in order to pay a debt, she sets off a chain reaction of financial and carnal consequences that can end only in despair. Ophuls’s adaptation of Louise de Vilmorin’s incisive fin de siècle novel employs the elegant and precise camera work for which the director is so justly renowned, to ravishing effect.

Disc Features
-New, restored high-definition digital film transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
-Audio commentary featuring film scholars Susan White and Gaylyn Studlar
-Introduction by filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson
-Interviews with director Max Ophuls’s collaborators Alan Jessua, Marc Frédérix, and Annette Wademant
-Visual essay by film scholar Tag Gallagher
-Archival interview with novelist Louise de Vilmorin on Ophuls’s adaptation of her story
-A booklet featuring an essay by critic Molly Haskell, an excerpt from costume designer Georges Annenkov’s 1962 book Max Ophuls, and the 1951 source novel by Vilmorin, Madame de

Criterion August Releases

Seconds


Quote: Release Date: 13 August 2013
SRP: $39.95

Synopsis: Rock Hudson is a revelation in this sinister, science-fiction-inflected dispatch from the fractured 1960s. Seconds, directed by John Frankenheimer, concerns a middle-aged businessman dissatisfied with his suburban existence, who elects to undergo a strange and elaborate procedure that will grant him a new life. Starting over in America, however, is not as easy as it sounds. This paranoiac symphony of canted camera angles (courtesy of famed cinematographer James Wong Howe), fragmented editing, and layered sound design is a remarkably risk-taking Hollywood film that ranks high on the list of its legendary director’s major achievements.

Disc Features
-New 4K digital film restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
-Audio commentary featuring director John Frankenheimer
-Actor Alec Baldwin on Frankenheimer and Seconds
-New program on the making of Seconds, featuring interviews with Evans Frankenheimer, the director’s widow, and actor Salome Jens
-Interview with Frankenheimer from 1971
-New visual essay by film scholars R. Barton Palmer and Murray Pomerance
-An essay by critic David Sterritt

Criterion August Releases

The Big City


Quote: Release Date: 20 August 2013
SRP: $39.95

Synopsis: The Big City (Mahanagar), set in mid-1950s Calcutta and directed by the great Satyajit Ray, follows the personal triumphs and frustrations of Arati (Madhabi Mukherjee), who decides, despite the initial protests of her bank-clerk husband, to take a job to help support their family. With remarkable sensitivity and attention to the details of everyday working-class life, Ray gradually builds a powerful human drama that is at once a hopeful morality tale and a commentary on the identity of the contemporary Indian woman.

Disc Features
-New 2K digital film restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
-New interview with actor Madhabi Mukherjee
- Satyajit Ray and the Modern Woman, a new interview program featuring Ray historian Suranjan Ganguly
-The Coward (1965), a feature film directed by Ray that also addresses modern female identity and stars Mukherjee and Soumitra Chatterjee
-New English subtitle translation
-A booklet featuring an essay by scholar Chandak Sengoopta and an interview with Ray from the 1980s by his biographer Andrew Robinson

Criterion August Releases

Charulata


Quote: Release Date: 20 August 2013
SRP: $39.95

Synopsis: This film about a woman’s artistic and romantic yearning by Satyajit Ray is set in late nineteenth-century, pre-independence India. It takes place in the gracious home of a liberal-minded, workaholic newspaper editor and his lonely, stifled wife, Charulata (Madhabi Mukherjee), whose exquisitely composed features mask a burning creativity. When her husband’s poet cousin comes to stay with them, Charulata finds herself both inspired by him to pursue her own writing and dangerously drawn to him physically. Based on a novella by the great Rabindranath Tagore, Charulata is a work of subtle textures, a delicate tale of a marriage in jeopardy and a woman taking the first steps toward establishing her own voice.

Disc Features
-New 2K digital film restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
-New interview program with actors Madhabi Mukherjee and Soumitra Chatterjee
- Adapting Tagore, a new interview program featuring Indian film scholar Moinak Biswas and Bengali literature historian Supriya Chaudhuri
-Archival audio interview with director Satyajit Ray by film historian Gideon Bachmann
-New English subtitle translation
-A booklet featuring an essay by critic Philip Kemp and a 1980s interview with Ray by his biographer Andrew Robinson

Criterion August Releases

To Be or Not to Be


Quote: Release Date: 27 August 2013
SRP: $39.95

Synopsis: As nervy as it is hilarious, this screwball masterpiece from Ernst Lubitsch stars Jack Benny and, in her final screen appearance, Carole Lombard as husband-and-wife thespians in Nazi-occupied Warsaw who become caught up in a dangerous spy plot. To Be or Not to Be is a Hollywood film of the boldest black humor, which went into production soon after the U.S. entered World War II. Lubitsch manages to brilliantly balance political satire, romance, slapstick, and urgent wartime suspense in a comic high-wire act that has never been equaled.

Disc Features
-New, restored 2K digital film transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
-New audio commentary featuring film historian David Kalat
- Lubitsch le patron, a 2010 French documentary on director Ernst Lubitsch’s career
-Two episodes of The Screen Guild Theater, a radio anthology series: Variety (1940), starring Jack Benny, Claudette Colbert, and Lubitsch, and To Be or Not to Be (1942), an adaptation of the film, starring William Powell, Diana Lewis, and Sig Ruman
-Trailer
-A booklet featuring an essay by critic Geoffrey O’Brien
-More!

Criterion August Releases

Eclipse Series 39: Early Fassbinder


Quote: Release Date: 27 August 2013
SRP: $69.95

Synopsis: From the very beginning of his incandescent career, the New German Cinema enfant terrible Rainer Werner Fassbinder refused to play by the rules. His politically charged, experimental first films, made at an astonishingly rapid rate between 1969 and 1971, were influenced by the work of the antiteater, an avant-garde stage troupe that he had helped found in Munich. Collected here are five of those fascinating and confrontational works; whether a self-conscious meditation on American crime movies, a scathing indictment of xenophobia in contemporary Germany, or an off-the-wall look at the dysfunctional relationships on film sets, each is a startling glimpse into the mind of a twentysomething man who would become one of cinema’s most madly prolific artists.

Collector's Set Includes
- Love is Colder Than Death (1969)
- Katzelmacher (1969)
- Gods of the Plague (1969)
- The American Soldier (1970)
- Beware of a Holy Whore (1971)

Criterion August Releases

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