The clocks maybe changing this weekend. For The Criterion Collection January 2020 slate, it’s all about Satire, Romance And Resilience.
Things will start on 6 January comes with BEING THERE. An hilarious, deeply melancholy satire starring Peter Sellers in one of his most finely tuned performances.
Following week on 13 January, HOLIDAY stars Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant. In an delectable slice of 1930s romantic-comedy.
at the end of the month on 27 January SANSHO THE BAILIFF arrives. This classic Japanese story has become one of cinema’s greatest masterpieces, a monumental, empathetic expression of human resilience in the face of evil.
BEING THERE | 6TH JANUARY
In one of his most finely tuned performances, PETER SELLERS (The Pink Panther) plays the pure-hearted Chance, a gardener forced out of moneyed seclusion and into the urban wilds of Washington, D.C., after the death of his employer. Shocked to discover that the real world doesn’t respond to the click of a remote, Chance stumbles haplessly into celebrity after being taken under the wing of a tycoon (Oscar winner MELVYN DOUGLAS), who mistakes his new protégé’s mumbling about horticulture for sagacious pronouncements on life and politics, and whose wife (The Apartment’s SHIRLEY MACLAINE) targets Chance as the object of her desire. Adapted from a novel by JERZY KOSINSKI, this hilarious, deeply melancholy satire marks the culmination a remarkable string of films by HAL ASHBY (Harold and Maude) in the 1970s, and serves as a carefully modulated examination of the ideals, anxieties, and media-fuelled delusions that shaped American culture during that decade.
SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
New, restored 4K digital transfer, supervised by cinematographer Caleb Deschanel, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
New documentary on the making of the film, featuring interviews with members of the production team
Excerpts from a 1980 American Film Institute seminar with director Hal Ashby
Author Jerzy Kosinksi in a 1979 appearance on The Dick Cavett Show
Appearances from 1980 by actor Peter Sellers on NBC’s Today and The Don Lane Show
Promo reel featuring Sellers and Ashby
Trailer and TV spots
Deleted scene, outtakes, and an alternate ending
PLUS: An essay by critic Mark Harris
USA | 1979 | 130 MINUTES | COLOUR | 1.85:1 | ENGLISH
HOLIDAY | 13 JANUARY
Two years before stars KATHARINE HEPBURN (The African Queen) and CARY GRANT (North by Northwest) and director GEORGE CUKOR (My Fair Lady) would collaborate on The Philadelphia Story, they brought their timeless talents to this delectable slice of 1930s romantic-comedy perfection, the second film adaptation of a hit 1928 play by PHILIP BARRY. Grant is at his charismatic best as the acrobatically inclined free spirit who, following a whirlwind engagement, literally tumbles into the lives of his fiancée’s aristocratic family—setting up a clash of values with her staid father while firing the rebellious imagination of her brash, black-sheep sister (Hepburn). With a sparkling surface and an undercurrent of melancholy, Holiday is an enchanting ode to nonconformists and pie-in-the-sky dreamers everywhere, as well as a thoughtful reflection on what it truly means to live well.
SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
Holiday (1930), a previous adaptation of Philip Barry’s play, directed by Edward H. Griffith
New conversation between filmmaker and distributor Michael Schlesinger and film critic Michael Sragow
Audio excerpts from an American Film Institute oral history with director George Cukor, recorded in 1970 and ’71
PLUS: An essay by critic Dana Stevens
USA | 1938 | 95 MINUTES | BLACK AND WHITE | 1.37:1 | ENGLISH
SANSHO THE BAILIFF | 27 JANUARY
When an idealistic governor disobeys the reigning feudal lord, he is cast into exile, his wife and children left to fend for themselves and eventually separated by vicious slave traders. Under the dazzling direction of KENJI MIZOGUCHI (Ugetsu), this classic Japanese story became one of cinema’s greatest masterpieces, a monumental, empathetic expression of human resilience in the face of evil.
SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES:
Restored high-definition digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
Audio commentary by Japanese-literature professor Jeffrey Angles
Video interviews with critic Tadao Sato, assistant director Tokuzo Tanaka, and legendary actress Kyoko Kagawa, on the making of the film and its lasting importance
PLUS: A book featuring an essay by film writer Mark Le Fanu and two versions of the story on which the film was based: Ogai Mori’s 1915 “Sansho Dayu” and a written form of an earlier oral variation
JAPAN | 1954 | 124 MINUTES | BLACK AND WHITE | 1.33:1 | IN JAPANESE WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES