Death, Tragedy And Romance For The Criterion Collection February Slate

With 2022 only  just over 5 weeks away, The Criterion Collection has their sight on what will entertain us, in the second month of the new year. The month  February will deliver death, tragedy and romance from moving documentary, a slice of American culture and Golden age Hollywood romance.

DICK JOHNSON IS DEAD, a playful, profound, and immensely moving docu-fantasia by Kirsten Johnson (Cameraperson) is a valentine to the director’s beloved father, Dick Johnson.

The operatic tragedy WRITTEN IN THE WIND, finds director Douglas Sirk pushing his florid visuals and his critiques of American culture to their subversive extremes.

Golden-age Hollywood’s humanist master Leo McCarey (Make Way for Tomorrow) brings his graceful touch and relaxed naturalism to this sublime romance, LOVE AFFAIR, one of cinema’s most intoxicating tear-wringers.

Remember mark in your diaries for all three films, 21st February 2022!

DICK JOHNSON IS DEAD (2020) DOCUMENTARY, DRAMA

This playful, profound, and immensely moving docu-fantasia by KIRSTEN JOHNSON (Cameraperson) is a valentine to the director’s beloved father, Dick Johnson, made as she has begun to face the reality of losing him to dementia. Using the language of cinema both to defy death and to confront it head-on, Johnson mischievously envisions an array of ways in which the man she loves most in the world might die, staging a series of alternately darkly comic and colorfully imaginative tableaux interwoven with raw vérité footage capturing the pair’s tender but increasingly fragile bond. Tackling taboo questions of aging, mortality, and grief with subversive humour and surprising grace, Dick Johnson Is Dead is ultimately a triumphant celebration of life, and of the gentle, funny, unforgettable man at its centre. Long live Dick Johnson.

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
  • New 2K digital master, approved by director Kirsten Johnson, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New audio commentary featuring Johnson, cowriter and editor Nels Bangerter, and documentary sound recordist Judy Karp
  • New conversation among Johnson and her fellow producers Katy Chevigny and Marilyn Ness and coproducer Maureen A. Ryan
  • New interview with sound designer Pete Horner
  • New programme featuring Johnson in conversation with fellow filmmakers about redefining what a documentary can be
  • Trailer
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • English descriptive audio
  • PLUS: An essay by author So Mayer

USA | 2020 | 89 MINUTES | COLOUR | 1.78:1 | ENGLISH

WRITTEN ON THE WIND (1956) DRAMA

The Technicolor expressionism of DOUGLAS SIRK (All That Heaven Allows) reached a fever pitch with this operatic tragedy, which finds the director pushing his florid visuals and his critiques of American culture to their subversive extremes. Alcoholism, nymphomania, impotence, and deadly jealousy—these are just some of the toxins coursing through a massively wealthy, degenerate Texan oil family. When a sensible secretary (The Big Sleep’s LAUREN BACALL) has the misfortune of marrying the clan’s neurotic scion (To Be or Not to Be’s ROBERT STACK), it drives a wedge between him and his lifelong best friend (Magnificent Obsession’s ROCK HUDSON) that unleashes a maelstrom of psychosexual angst and fury. Featuring an unforgettably debauched, Oscar-winning supporting performance by DOROTHY MALONE (Man of a Thousand Faces) and some of Sirk’s most eye-popping mise-en-scène, Written on the Wind is as perverse a family portrait as has ever been splashed across the screen

SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

  • New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • Acting for Douglas Sirk, a 2008 documentary featuring archival interviews with Sirk; actors Rock Hudson, Robert Stack, and Dorothy Malone; and producer Albert Zugsmith
  • New interview with film scholar Patricia White about the film and melodrama
  • Trailer
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: An essay by filmmaker and critic Blair McClendon

USA | 1956 | 99 MINUTES | COLOUR | 1.85:1 | ENGLISH

LOVE AFFAIR (1939) DRAMA, ROMANCE

Golden-age Hollywood’s humanist master LEO MCCAREY (Make Way for Tomorrow) brings his graceful touch and relaxed naturalism to this sublime romance, one of cinema’s most intoxicating tear-wringers. IRENE DUNNE (The Awful Truth) and CHARLES BOYER (Gaslight) are chic strangers who meet and fall in love aboard an ocean liner bound for New York. Though they are both involved with other people, they make a pact to reconnect six months later at the top of the Empire State Building—until the hand of fate throws their star-crossed affair tragically off course. Swooning passion and gentle comedy coexist in perfect harmony in the exquisitely tender Love Affair (nominated for six Oscars), a story so timeless that it has been remade by multiple filmmakers over the years—including McCarey himself, who updated it as the equally beloved An Affair to Remember.

SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

  • New 4K digital restoration by The Museum of Modern Art and Lobster Films, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New interview with film critic Farran Smith Nehme about the movie’s complicated production history
  • New interview with Serge Bromberg, founder of Lobster Films, about the restoration
  • Two radio adaptations, featuring Irene Dunne, William Powell, and Charles Boyer
  • Two shorts directed by Leo McCarey, both starring silent comedian Charley Chase: Looking for Sally (1925) and Mighty Like a Moose (1926)
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: An essay by author Megan McGurk

USA | 1939 | 88 MINUTES | BLACK & WHITE | 1.37:1 | ENGLISH