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'Round Midnight, The Funeral & Double Indemnity from Criterion in May

5 March 2022

The Criterion Collection and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment have confirmed the titles to be released in the UK on Blu-ray in May 2022.

On 9 May Bertrand Tavernier's 'Round Midnight is released. The film, with its Oscar-winning jazz score, is a bittersweet opus that glows with lived in, soulful authenticity. Following on 30 May, The Funeral, directed by Jūzō Itami, is a fearless satire of the clash between old and new in Japanese society in which nothing, not even the finality of death, is off-limits. Also on 30 May comes Billy Wilder's classic film Double Indemnity, one of the most wickedly perverse stories ever told and the cynical standard by which all noir must be measured.

 

Round Midnight Blu-ray cover art

'ROUND MIDNIGHT (France 1986) | Blu-ray | 9 May 2022

’Round Midnight is a love letter from director Bertrand Tavernier (Coup de torchon) to the heyday of bebop and to the Black American musicians who found refuge in the smoky underground jazz clubs of 1950s Paris. In a miraculous, sui generis fusion of performer and character, legendary saxophonist Dexter Gordon plays Dale Turner, a brilliant New York jazz veteran whose music aches with beauty but whose personal life is ravaged by addiction. Searching for a fresh start, Turner relocates to Paris, where he strikes up an unlikely friendship with a struggling single father and ardent jazz fan (The Intouchables’ François Cluzet) who finds his life transformed as he attempts to help the self-destructive musician. Herbie Hancock's evocative, Oscar-winning score sets the mood for this definitive jazz film, a bittersweet opus that glows with lived in, soulful authenticity.

SPECIAL EDITION BLU-RAY FEATURES:

  • New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed stereo soundtrack
  • Alternate 5.1 surround soundtrack, supervised by composer Herbie Hancock and presented in DTS-HD Master Audio
  • New interview with jazz critic Gary Giddins
  • New conversation with music producer Michael Cuscuna and author Maxine Gordon, widow of musician Dexter Gordon
  • Behind-the-scenes documentary from 19TK[ck]
  • Panel discussion from 2014 featuring director Bertrand Tavernier, Cuscuna, Maxine Gordon, and jazz scholar John Szwed, moderated by jazz critic and broadcaster Mark Ruffin
  • Performance from 1969 of “Fried Bananas” by Dexter Gordon, directed by Teit Jørgensen[ck]
  • Excerpt from the 1996 documentary Dexter Gordon: More Than You Know, by Don McGlynn ck] 
  • New English subtitle translation and English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing  
  • PLUS: An essay by scholar Mark Anthony Neal

 

The Funeral Blu-ray cover art

THE FUNERAL [OSŌSHIKI] (Japan 1984) | Blu-ray | 30 May 2022

It’s death, Japanese style (a titlke by which the film was once shown in thwe UK), in the rollicking and wistful first feature from maverick writer-director Jūzō Itami (Tampopo). In the wake of her father’s sudden passing, a successful actor (Itami’s wife and frequent collaborator, Nobuko Miyamoto) and her lascivious husband (Kagemusha’s Tsutomu Yamazaki) leave Tokyo and return to her family home to oversee a traditional funeral. Over the course of three days of mourning that bring illicit escapades in the woods, a surprisingly materialistic priest (Yasujirõ Ozu regular Chiushū Ryū), and cinema’s most epic sandwich handoff, the tensions between public propriety and private hypocrisy are laid bare. Deftly weaving dark comedy with poignant family drama, The Funeral is a fearless satire of the clash between old and new in Japanese society in which nothing, not even the finality of death, is off-limits.

SPECIAL EDITION BLU-RAY FEATURES:

  • High-definition restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • New interviews with actors Nobuko Miyamoto and Manpei Ikeuchi
  • Creative Marriages: Juzo Itami & Nobuko Miyamoto, a short program produced by the Criterion Channel
  • Commercials for Ichiroku Tart by director Juzo Itami
  • Trailers
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by author Pico Iyer and, for the Blu-ray, excerpts from Itami’s 1985 book Diary of “The Funeral” and from a 2007 remembrance of Itami by actor Tsutomu Yamazaki

 

Double Indemnity Blu-ray cover art

DOUBLE INDEMNITY (USA 1944) | Blu-ray | 30 May 2022

Has dialogue ever been more perfectly hard-boiled? Has a femme fatale ever been as deliciously evil as Babara Stanwyck (The Lady Eve)? And has 1940s Los Angeles ever looked so seductively sordid? Working with cowriter Raymond Chandler, director Billy Wilder (Ace in the Hole) launched himself onto the Hollywood A-list with this paragon of film-noir fatalism from Jame M. Cain’s pulp novel. When slick salesman Walter Neff (The Caine Mutiny’s Fred MacMurray) walks into the swank home of dissatisfied housewife Phyllis Dietrichson (Stanwyck), he intends to sell her insurance, but he winds up becoming entangled with her in a far more sinister way. Featuring scene-stealing supporting work from Wdward G. Robinson and the chiaroscuro of cinematographer John F. Seitz (Sunset Blvd.), Double Indemnity is one of the most wickedly perverse stories ever told and the cynical standard by which all noir must be measured.

SPECIAL EDITION BLU-RAY FEATURES:

  • New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • Audio commentary featuring film critic Richard Schickel
  • New interview with film scholar Noah Isenberg, editor of Billy Wilder on Assignment
  • New conversation between film historians Eddie Muller and Imogen Sara Smith
  • Billy, How Did You Do It?, a 1992 film by Volker Schlöndorff and Gisela Grischow featuring interviews with director Billy Wilder
  • Shadows of Suspense, a 2006 documentary on the making of Double Indemnity
  • Audio excerpts from 1971 and 1972 interviews with cinematographer John F. Seitz
  • Radio adaptations from 1945 and 1950
  • Trailer
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing