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Dead Man, Black Girl, and Shaft on Criterion Blu-ray in the UK in June

1 April 2022

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

On 13th June comes Dead Man, Jim Jarmusch's first period piece. Jarmusch imagined the nineteenth-century American West as an existential wasteland, delivering a surreal reckoning with the ravages of industrialization, the country's legacy of violence and prejudice, and the natural cycle of life and death.

Following on 27th June is Ousmane Sembène's Black Girl. The film follows a young Senegalese woman who moves to France to work for a wealthy white couple and finds that life in their small apartment becomes a prison, both figuratively and literally.  It's a complex layered critique of the lingering colonialist mind-set of a supposedly postcolonial world. 

Also on 27th June arrives Shaft.  A vivid time capsule of seventies Manhattan in all its gritty glory, the film has inspired sequels and multimedia reboots galore, the original Shaft is studded with indelible elements—from Roundtree's sleek leather fashions to the iconic funk and soul score by Isaac Hayes.

 

Dead Man Blu-ray cover art

DEAD MAN (USA 1995) | Blu-ray | 13 June 2022

With Dead Man, his first period piece, Jim Jarmusch (Down by Law) imagined the nineteenth-century American West as an existential wasteland, delivering a surreal reckoning with the ravages of industrialization, the country's legacy of violence and prejudice, and the natural cycle of life and death. Accountant William Blake (Edward Scissorhands' Johnny Depp) has hardly arrived in the godforsaken outpost of Machine before he's caught in the middle of a fatal lovers' quarrel. Wounded and on the lam, Blake falls under the watch of the outcast Nobody (Powwow Highway's Gary Farmer), a Native American without a tribe, who guides his companion on a spiritual journey, teaching him to dispense poetic justice along the way. Featuring austerely beautiful black-and-white photography by Robby Müller and a live-wire score by Neil Young, Dead Man is a profound and unique revision of the western genre.

DIRECTOR APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES:

  • New 4K digital restoration, supervised and approved by director Jim Jarmusch, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New Q&A in which Jarmusch responds to questions sent in by fans 
  • New readings of William Blake poems by members of the cast, including Mili Avital, Alfred Molina, and Iggy Pop 
  • New selected-scene audio commentary by production designer Robert Ziembicki and sound mixer Drew Kunin 
  • New interview with actor Gary Farmer
  • Deleted scenes
  • Jarmusch’s location scouting photos
  • More!
  • PLUS: Essays by critic Amy Taubin and music journalist Ben Ratliff

 

Black Girl Blu-ray cover art

BLACK GIRL (Senegal 1966) | Blu-ray | 27 June 2022

Ousmane Sembène (Xala, Faat Kiné) was one of the greatest and most groundbreaking filmmakers who ever lived, as well as the most internationally renowned African director of the twentieth century— but his name deserves to be better known in the rest of the world. He made his feature debut in 1966 with the brilliant and stirring Black Girl. Sembène, who was also an acclaimed novelist in his native Senegal, transforms a deceptively simple plot—about a young Senegalese woman who moves to France to work for a wealthy white couple and finds that life in their small apartment becomes a prison, both figuratively and literally—into a complexly layered critique of the lingering colonialist mind-set of a supposedly postcolonial world. Featuring a moving central performance by M'Bissine Thérèse Diop, Black Girl is a harrowing human drama as well as a radical political statement—and one of the essential films of the 1960s.

SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES:

  • New 4K digital restoration, undertaken by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project in collaboration with the Cineteca di Bologna, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • 4K restoration of the short film Borom sarret, director Ousmane Sembène’s acclaimed 1963 debut
  • New interviews with scholars Manthia Diawara and Samba Gadjigo
  • Excerpt from a 1966 broadcast of JT 20h, featuring Sembène accepting the Prix Jean Vigo for Black Girl
  • New interview with actor M’Bissine Thérèse Diop
  • Trailer
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Ashley Clark
  • More!
Read our review of the 2015 BFI Blu-ray release here.

 

Shaft Blu-ray cover art

SHAFT (USA 1971) | Blu-ray | 27 June 2022

While the Black Power movement was reshaping America, trailblazing director Gordon Parks (The Learning Tree) made this groundbreaking blockbuster, which helped launch the blaxploitation era and gave the screen a new kind of badder-than-bad action hero in John Shaft (Embassy’s Richard Roundtree, in a career-defining role), a streetwise New York City private eye who is as tough with criminals as he is tender with his lovers. After Shaft is recruited to rescue the kidnapped daughter of a Harlem mob boss (Amazing Grace’s Moses Gunn) from Italian gangsters, he finds himself in the middle of a rapidly escalating uptown vs. downtown turf war. A vivid time capsule of seventies Manhattan in all its gritty glory that has inspired sequels and multimedia reboots galore, the original Shaft is studded with indelible elements—from Roundtree’s sleek leather fashions to the iconic funk and soul score by Osaac Hayes.

SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES:

  • New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • Alternate uncompressed stereo soundtrack remastered with creative input from Isaac Hayes III
  • Shaft’s Big Score!, the 1972 follow-up to Shaft by director Gordon Parks
  • New documentary on the making of Shaft featuring curator Rhea L. Combs, film scholar Racquel J. Gates, filmmaker Nelson George, and music scholar Shana L. Redmond
  • Behind-the-scenes program featuring Parks, actor Richard Roundtree, and musician Isaac Hayes
  • Archival interviews with Hayes, Parks, and Roundtree 
  • New interview with costume designer Joseph G. Aulisi
  • New program on the Black detective and the legacy of John Shaft, featuring scholar Kinohi Nishikawa and novelist Walter Mosley
  • A Complicated Man: The “Shaft” Legacy (2019)
  • Behind-the-scenes footage from Shaft’s Big Score!
  • Trailers
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: An essay by film scholar Amy Abugo Ongiri