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Preminger, Teshigahara and Reisz & Pinter on Criterion Blu-ray in March

20 December 2019

The Criterion Collection and Sony Pictures Home Entertainmenthave confirmed the titles to be released on Blu-ray in the UK in March 2020.

On 9 March comes Antonio Gaudí. Less a documentary than a visual poem, Hiroshi Teshigahara's film takes viewers on a tour of Gaudí’s truly spectacular architecture, including his massive, still-unfinished masterpiece, the Sagrada Família basilica in Barcelona.

Following on 16 March is Anatomy of a Murder starring James Stewartas a small-town Michigan lawyer who takes on a difficult case.  This is a gripping, envelope-pushing courtroom potboiler, the most popular film from Hollywood provocateur Otto Preminger.

On 30 March arrives The French Lieutenant's Woman,a postmodern masterpiece that had been considered unfilmable. Starring Jeremy Irons and Meryl Streepit's a beguiling, intellectually nimble feat of filmmaking, starring a pair of legendary actors in early leading roles.

 

Antonio Gaudí Blu-ray cover art

ANTONIO GAUDÍ (Japan 1984) | Blu-ray | 9 March 2020

Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí (1852–1926) designed some of the world’s most astonishing buildings, interiors, and parks; Japanese director Hiroshi Teshigahara (Woman in the Dunes) constructed some of the most aesthetically audacious films ever made. In Antonio Gaudítheir artistry melds in a unique, enthralling cinematic experience. Less a documentary than a visual poem, Teshigahara’s film takes viewers on a tour of Gaudí’s truly spectacular architecture, including his massive, still-unfinished masterpiece, the Sagrada Família basilica in Barcelona. With camerawork as bold and sensual as the curves of his subject’s organic structures, Teshigahara immortalizes Gaudí on film.

Special Edition Blu-ray features:

  • High-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • Interview with architect Arata Isozaki from 2008
  • Gaudí, Catalunya, 1959, footage from director Hiroshi Teshigahara’s first trip to Spain
  • Visions of Space: “Antoni Gaudí,” an hour-long documentary from 2003 on the architect’s life and work
  • BBC program on Gaudí by filmmaker Ken Russell
  • Sculptures by Sofu—Vita, a 1963 short film by Teshigahara on the sculpture work of his father, Sofu Teshigahara
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by art historian Dore Ashton, a 1986 reminiscence by Hiroshi Teshigahara, and excerpts from a 1959 conversation between Hiroshi and Sofu Teshigahara on their trip to the West

 

Anatomy of a Murder Blu-ray cover art

ANATOMY OF A MURDER (USA 1959) | Blu-ray | 16 March 2020

A virtuoso James Stewart (Vertigo) plays a small-town Michigan lawyer who takes on a difficult case: that of a young Army lieutenant (The Killing of a Chinese Bookie’s Ben Gazzara) accused of murdering the local tavern owner who he believes raped his wife (Days of Wine and Roses’ Lee Remick). This gripping, envelope-pushing courtroom potboiler, the most popular film from Hollywood provocateur Otto Preminger (Laura), was groundbreaking for the frankness of its discussion of sex – more than anything else, it is a striking depiction of the power of words. With its outstanding supporting cast – including a young George C. Scott (Patton) as a fiery prosecuting attorney and legendary real-life attorney Joseph N. Welch  as the judge – and influential jazz score by Duke Ellington, Anatomy of a Murder is a Hollywood landmark; it was nominated for seven Oscars, including best picture.

Special Edition Blu-ray features:

  • New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • New alternate 5.1 soundtrack, presented in DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray edition
  • New interview with Otto Preminger biographer Foster Hirsch
  • Critic Gary Giddins explores Duke Ellington’s score in a new interview
  • A look at the relationship between graphic designer Saul Bass and Preminger with Bass biographer Pat Kirkham
  • Newsreel footage from the set
  • Excerpts from a 1967 episode of Firing Line, featuring Preminger in discussion with William F. Buckley Jr.
  • Excerpts from the work Anatomy of “Anatomy”: The Making of a Movie 
  • Behind-the-scenes photographs by Life magazine’s Gjon Mili
  • Trailer, featuring on-set footage
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Nick Pinkerton and a 1959 Life magazine article on real-life lawyer Joseph N. Welch, who plays the judge in the film

 

The French Lieutenant's Woman Blu-ray cover art

THE FRENCH LIEUTENANT'S WOMAN (UK 1981) | Blu-ray | 30 March 2020

An astounding array of talent came together for the big-screen adaptation of John Fowles’s novel The French Lieutenant’s Womana postmodern masterpiece that had been considered unfilmable. With an ingenious script by the Nobel Prize–winning playwright Harold Pinter (Betrayal), British New Wave trailblazer Karel Resiz (Saturday Night and Sunday Morning) transforms Fowles’s tale of scandalous romance into an arresting, hugely entertaining movie about cinema. In Pinter’s reimagining, Jeremy Irons (Dead Ringers) and Meryl Streep (Sophie’s Choice) star in parallel narratives, as a Victorian-era gentleman and the social outcast he risks everything to love, and as the contemporary actors cast in those roles and immersed in their own forbidden affair. The French Lieutenant’s Womanshot by the consummate cinematographer Freddie Francis (Glory) and scored by the venerated composer and conductor Carl Davis (Napoleon)is a beguiling, intellectually nimble feat of filmmaking, starring a pair of legendary actors in early leading roles.

Special Edition Blu-ray features:

  • New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New introduction by film scholar Ian Christie
  • New interviews with actors Jeremy Irons and Meryl Streep, editor John Bloom, and composer Carl Davis
  • Episode of The South Bank Show from 1981 featuring director Karel Reisz, novelist John Fowles, and screenwriter Harold Pinter
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by film scholar Lucy Bolton