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Ulmer, Scorsese and Bresson on UK Blu-ray from Criterion in April

22 January 2019

The Criterion Collection and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment have confirmed the titles to be released on Blu-ray in the UK in April 2019.

On 1st April comes Detour, Edgar G. Ulmer’s legendary B-movie, the quintessence of film noir, newly restored and on Blu-ray for the first time.

Martin Scorsese's towering achievement The Latest Temptation of Christ arrives on 22nd April. Though it initially engendered enormous controversy, the film can now be viewed as the remarkable, profoundly personal work of faith that it is.

Au Hasard Balthazar follows on 29th April. Bresson achieves the pinnacle of his art in this tale of a gentle creature’s journey through a cruel world.

 

Detour Blu-ray cover art

Detour (1945) | Blu-ray | 1 April 2019

Edgar G. Ulmer’s legendary B movie, the quintessence of film noir, newly restored and on Blu-ray for the first time.

From Poverty Row came a movie that, perhaps more than any other, epitomizes the dark fatalism at the heart of film noir. As he hitchhikes his way from New York to Los Angeles, a down-on-his-luck nightclub pianist (Tom Neal) finds himself with a dead body on his hands and nowhere to run—a waking nightmare that goes from bad to worse when he picks up the most vicious femme fatale in cinema history, Ann Savage’s snarling, monstrously conniving drifter Vera.

Working with no-name stars on a bargain basement budget, B auteur Edgar G. Ulmer (The Black Cat, Ruthless) turned threadbare production values and seedy, low-rent atmosphere into indelible pulp poetry. Long unavailable in a format in which its hard-boiled beauty could be fully appreciated, Detour haunts anew in its first major restoration.

Special Edition features:

  • New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • Edgar G. Ulmer: The Man Off-Screen, a 2004 documentary featuring interviews with filmmakers Roger Corman, Joe Dante, and Wim Wenders and actor Ann Savage
  • New interview with film scholar Noah Isenberg, author of Edgar G. Ulmer: A Filmmaker at the Margins
  • New programme about the restoration of Detour
  • PLUS: An essay by critic and poet Robert Polito

 

The Last Temptation of Christ Blu-ray cover art

The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) | Blu-ray | 22 April 2019

Though it initially engendered enormous controversy, the film can now be viewed as the remarkable, profoundly personal work of faith that it is. This fifteen-year labour of love by Martin Scorsese, an adaptation of Nikos Kazantzakis’s landmark novel that imagines an alternate fate for Jesus Christ, features outstanding performances by Willem Dafoe, Barbara Hershey, Harvey Keitel, Harry Dean Stanton and David Bowie; bold cinematography by the great Michael Ballhaus; and a transcendent score by Peter Gabriel.

Director-approved Special Edition features:

  • Restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised and approved by cinematographer Michael Ballhaus and editor Thelma Schoonmaker, with a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack by supervising sound editor Skip Lievsay
  • Audio commentary featuring director Martin Scorsese, actor Willem Dafoe, and writers Paul Schrader and Jay Cocks
  • Galleries of production stills, research materials, and costume designs
  • Location production footage shot by Scorsese
  • Interview with composer Peter Gabriel, with a stills gallery of traditional instruments used in the score
  • PLUS: An essay by film critic David Ehrenstein.

 

Au hasard Balthazar Blu-ray cover art

Au hasard Balthazar | Blu-ray | 29 April 2019

Robert Bresson achieves the pinnacle of his art in the tale of a gentle creature’s journey through a cruel world.

A profound masterpiece from one of the most revered filmmakers in the history of cinema, Au hasard Balthazar, directed by Robert Bresson (Pickpocket), follows the donkey Balthazar as he is passed from owner to owner, some kind and some cruel but all with motivations outside of his understanding. Balthazar, whose life parallels that of his first keeper, Marie, is truly a beast of burden, suffering the sins of humankind. But despite his powerlessness, he accepts his fate nobly. Through Bresson’s unconventional approach to composition, sound, and narrative, this simple story becomes a moving parable about purity and transcendence.

Special Edition features:

  • New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • Interview from 2005 with film scholar Donald Richie
  • “Un metteur en ordre: Robert Bresson,” a 1966 French television programme about the film, featuring Bresson, filmmakers Jean-Luc Godard and Louis Malle, and members of Balthazar’s cast and crew
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • Plus: An essay by film scholar James Quandt