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Paul Schrader's The Comfort of Strangers on Dual Format in September

5 September 2018

With a sharp–edged screenplay by playwright Harold Pinter, adapting Ian McEwan’s haunting novel, and chillingly directed by Paul Schrader (First Reformed), The Comfort of Strangers leads viewers on a shadowy, dreamlike journey towards the darkest realms of human experience. Later this month the BFI will release it on Blu-ray for the first time in the UK as part of a new Dual Format Edition.

Amongst the special features is a brand new commentary by Paul Schrader, recorded just last month exclusively for the BFI, and cinematographer Dante Spinotti has specially written a piece for the accompanying booklet.

Jaded lovers Mary (Natasha Richardson) and Colin (Rupert Everett – The Happy Prince) attempt to reinvigorate their flagging relationship with a romantic trip to Venice. Soon, though, they find themselves drawn into in a complex web of deceit, passion, perversion and sexual intrigue, subtly spun by mysterious Robert (Christopher Walken), who resides nearby in palatial splendour with his wife Caroline (Helen Mirren).

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the death of Harold Pinter, one of the most important and influential British playwrights of the last century. This release follows BFI Southbank’s two month season – Pinter on Screen: Power, Sex & Politics – which concluded at the end of August.

The Comfort of Strangers

The Comfort of Strangers will be released in the UK as a Dual Format edition (Blu-ray & DVD) on 24 September 2018 by the BFI at a yet to be confirmed RRP.

Special features:

  • Audio commentary by director Paul Schrader, newly recorded for this release
  • Prospectus for a Course Not Given: The Paul Schrader Film Masterclass (1982, 100 mins, audio only): Paul Schrader provides an illuminating precis of the film course he had recently presented in America
  • Paul Schrader Guardian Interview (1993, 85 mins, audio only): the director discusses films and filmmaking with critic Derek Malcolm
  • Venice in War Time (1918, 1 min), The Glass Makers of Murano, Venice (1928, 4 mins), City Lights (1964, 3 mins): fascinating glimpses of Venice in archive film 
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Illustrated booklet with full film credits and new writing by cinematographer Dante Spinotti, film historian Dr Deborah Allison, The Guardian theatre critic Michael Billington, and Little White Lies essayist Paul Fairclough

Here's a short clip: