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The Irishman, Girlfriends and Five Easy Pieces from Criterion in November

26 August 2020

The Criterion Collection and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment have announced the titles to be released in the UK November 2020. 30 November sees the release of the highly acclaimed The Irishman on both DVD and Blu-ray. Martin Scorsese’s cinematic mastery is on full display in this sweeping crime saga, which serves as an elegiac summation of his six-decade career. On 16 November Five Easy Pieces arrives. Starring Jack Nicholson in a powerful leading role, this is a searing character study directed by Bab Rafelson. Also on 16 November comes Girlfriends, a film that captures the complexities and contradictions of women’s lives and relationships with wry humour and refreshing frankness.

 

The Irishman Blu-ray cover art

THE IRISHMAN (USA 2019) | Blu-ray & DVD | 30 November 2020

Martin Scorsese’s cinematic mastery is on full display in this sweeping crime saga, which serves as an elegiac summation of his six-decade career. Left behind by the world, former hit man and union truck driver Frank Sheeran (Taxi Driver’s Robert De Niro) looks back from a nursing home on his life’s journey through the ranks of organized crime: from his involvement with Philadelphia mob boss Russell Bufalino (Goodfellas’ Joe Pesci) to his association with Teamsters union head Jimmy Hoffa (The Godfather’s Al Pacino) to the rift that forced him to choose between the two. An intimate story of loyalty and betrayal writ large across the epic canvas of mid-twentieth-century American history, The Irishman (based on the real-life Sheeran’s confessions, as told to writer Charles Brandt for the book I Heard You Paint Houses) is a uniquely reflective late-career triumph that balances its director’s virtuoso set pieces with a profoundly personal rumination on aging, mortality, and the decisions and regrets that shape a life.

DIRECTOR APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES:

  • New 4K digital master, approved by director Martin Scorsese, with Dolby Atmos soundtrack
  • Newly edited roundtable conversation among Scorsese and actors Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci, originally recorded in 2019
  • New documentary about the making of the film featuring Scorsese; the lead actors; producers Emma Tillinger Koskoff, Jane Rosenthal, and Irwin Winkler; director of photography Rodrigo Prieto; and others from the cast and crew
  • New video essay written and narrated by film critic Farran Smith Nehme about The Irishman’s synthesis of Scorsese’s singular formal style
  • The Evolution of Digital De-aging, a 2019 programme on the visual effects created for the film
  • Archival interview excerpts with Frank “the Irishman” Sheeran and International Brotherhood of Teamsters trade union leader Jimmy Hoffa
  • Trailer and teaser
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Geoffrey O’Brien

 

Five Easy Pieces Blu-ray cover art

FIVE EASY PIECES (USA 1970) | Blu-ray | 16 November 2020

Following Jack Nicholson's’s breakout supporting turn in Easy Rider, director Bob Rafelson (The King of Marvin Gardens) devised a powerful leading role for the new star in the searing character study Five Easy PiecesNicholson plays the now iconic cad Bobby Dupea, a shiftless thirtysomething oil rigger and former piano prodigy immune to any sense of responsibility, who returns to his upper-middle-class childhood home, blue-collar girlfriend (Nashville’s Karen Blackin an Oscar-nominated role) in tow, to see his estranged ailing father. Moving in its simplicity and gritty in its textures, Five Easy Pieces is a lasting example of early 1970s American alienation.

SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES:

  • Restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised by director of photography László Kovács, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • Audio commentary featuring director Bob Rafelson and interior designer Toby Rafelson
  • Soul Searching in “Five Easy Pieces,” a 2009 video piece with Rafelson
  • BBStory, a 2009 documentary about the legendary film company BBS Productions, with Rafelson; actors Jack Nicholson, Karen Black, and Ellen Burstyn; directors Peter Bogdanovich and Henry Jaglom; and others
  • Documentary from 2009 about BBS featuring critic David Thomson and historian Douglas Brinkley
  • Audio excerpts from a 1976 AFI interview with Rafelson
  • Theatrical trailer and teasers
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Kent Jones

 

Girlfriends Blu-ray cover art

GIRLFRIENDS (USA 1978) | Blu-ray | 16 November 2020

When her best friend and roommate abruptly moves out to get married, Susan (Thirtysomething’s Melanie Mayron), trying to become a gallery artist while making ends meet as a bar mitzvah photographer on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, finds herself adrift in both life and love. Could a new job be the answer? What about a fling with a married, older rabbi (The Magnificent Seven’s Eli Wallach)? A wonder of American independent filmmaking whose remarkably authentic vision of female relationships has become a touchstone for makers of an entire subgenre of films and television shows about young women trying to make it in the big city, this 1970s New York time capsule from Claudia Weill (It’s My Turn) captures the complexities and contradictions of women’s lives and relationships with wry humor and refreshing frankness.

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES:

  • New, restored 4K digital transfer, supervised by director Claudia Weill and director of photography Fred Murphy, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • New interview with Weill
  • New interview with Weill and actors Melanie Mayron, Christopher Guest, and Bob Balaban
  • New interview with screenwriter Vicki Polon
  • New interview with Weill and writer and director Joey Soloway
  • Joyce at 34, a 1972 short film by Weill and Joyce Chopra
  • Commuters, a 1973 short film by Weill
  • Trailer and teaser
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Geoffrey O’Brien