We may now be in the ‘business end’ of the Summer, some thoughts may wonder to autumn months. The Criterion Collection and Sony Pictures have your back covered as they announce their October Home Entertainment UK Slate. One that has Fellini and Visconti and a groundbreaking feature to keep us entertained.
Coming first on 18th October is Italy’s most celebrated filmmaker Federico Fellini and his biggest hit film, LA DOLCE VITA.
Followed on 25th October by the groundbreaking feature debut by writer-director Gina Prince-Bythewood, LOVE & BASKETBALL, a film which captures the intoxicating passions, heartbreaking setbacks, and sky-high ambitions that mark a young woman’s journey to the top of her game and to lasting love.
Also on 25th October sees iconoclastic auteur Luchino Visconti’s with his most savagely subversive film THE DAMNED. Heightened performances and Visconti’s luridly expressionistic use of Technicolor conjure a garish world of decaying opulence in which one family’s downfall comes to stand for the moral rot of a nation.
LA DOLCE VITA COMEDY, DRAMA
The biggest hit from the most popular Italian filmmaker of all time, La dolce vita rocketed FEDERICO FELLINI (8½) to international mainstream success—ironically, by offering a damning critique of the culture of stardom. A look at the darkness beneath the seductive lifestyles of Rome’s rich and glamorous, the film follows a notorious celebrity journalist—played by a sublimely cool MARCELLO MASTROIANNI (8½)—during a hectic week spent on the peripheries of the spotlight. This mordant picture was an incisive commentary on the deepening decadence of the European 1960s, and it provided a prescient glimpse of just how gossip- and fame-obsessed our society would become.
SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
- New 4K digital restoration by the Film Foundation, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
- New visual essay by : : kogonada
- New interview with filmmaker Lina Wertmüller, who worked as assistant director on the film
- Scholar David Forgacs discusses the period in Italy’s history when the film was made
- New interview with Italian film journalist Antonello Sarno about the outlandish fashions seen in the film
- Audio interview with actor Marcello Mastroianni from the early 1960s, conducted by film historian Gideon Bachmann
- Felliniana, a presentation of ephemera related to La dolce vita from the collection of Don Young
- PLUS: An essay by critic Gary Giddins
ITALY | 1960 | 174 MINUTES | BLACK & WHITE | 2.35:1 |ITALIAN WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES
LOVE & BASKETBALL DRAMA, ROMANCE
Sparks fly both on and off the court in this groundbreaking feature debut by writer-director GINA PRINCE-BYTHEWOOD (The Old Guard), which elevated the coming-of-age romance by giving honest expression to the challenges female athletes face in a world that doesn’t see them as equal. SANAA LATHAN (Alien vs. Predator) and OMAR EPPS (Higher Learning) make for one of the most iconic screen couples of the 2000s as the basketball-obsessed next-door neighbours who find love over flirtatious pickup games, fall apart under the strain of high-pressure college hoops and families, and drift in and out of each other’s lives as they pursue their twin aspirations of playing professionally. Aided by stellar supporting performances and an eclectic R&B soundtrack, Love & Basketball captures the intoxicating passions, heartbreaking setbacks, and sky-high ambitions that mark a young woman’s journey to the top of her game and to lasting love.
- New 4K digital restoration, supervised by director Gina Prince-Bythewood, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack
- Audio commentary from 2000 featuring PrinceBythewood and actor Sanaa Lathan
- Playing for Your Heart, a new making-of documentary featuring Prince-Bythewood, Lathan, actors Omar Epps and Alfre Woodard, Reggie Rock Bythewood, and basketball adviser Colleen Matsuhara
- Editing “Love & Basketball,” a new program featuring Bythewood and editor Terilyn A. Shropshire
- New conversation on the film’s impact among Prince-Bythewood, founding WNBA player Sheryl Swoopes, and writer-producer-actor Lena Waithe
- Audition tape excerpts and six deleted scenes
- Three short films by Prince-Bythewood: Stitches (1991), Progress (1997), and Bowl of Pork (1997), with a new introduction by Prince-Bythewood
- English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- PLUS: An essay by author Roxane Gay
USA | 2000 | 124 MINUTES | COLOUR | 1.85:1 | ENGLISH
THE DAMNED DRAMA, WAR
The most savagely subversive film by the iconoclastic auteur LUCHINO VISCONTI (The Leopard) employs the mechanics of deliriously stylized melodrama to portray Nazism’s total corruption of the soul. In the wake of Hitler’s ascent to power, the wealthy industrialist von Essenbeck family and their associates—including the scheming social climber Friedrich (The Night Porter’s DIRK BOGARDE), the incestuous matriarch Sophie (Winter Light’s INGRID THULIN), and the perversely cruel heir Martin (The Godfather: Part III’s HELMUT BERGER, memorably donning Dietrich-like drag in his breakthrough role)—descend into a self-destructive spiral of decadence, greed, perversion, and all consuming hatred as they vie for power, over the family business and over one another. The heightened performances and Visconti’s luridly expressionistic use of Technicolor conjure a garish world of decaying opulence in which one family’s downfall comes to stand for the moral rot of a nation.
SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
- New 2K digital restoration by the Cineteca di Bologna and Institut Lumière, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
- Alternate Italian-language soundtrack
- Interview from 1970 with director Luchino Visconti about the file
- Archival interviews with actors Helmut Berger, Ingrid Thulin, and Charlotte Rampling
- Visconti: Man of Two Worlds, a 1969 behind-thescenes documentary
- New interview with scholar Stefano Albertini about the sexual politics of the film
- New English subtitle translation and English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- PLUS: An essay by scholar D. A. Miller
GERMANY | 1969 | 157 MINUTES | COLOUR | 1.85:1 | IN GERMAN WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES