In May, Criterion has Men in Hats, Snacks, and Protests


If you're a cinephile then you don't mark the coming and going of months by birthdays, holidays, or any of that nonsense, you go by the monthly slate of new releases from the Criterion Collection as they push on in their mission to preserve classic and modern films deemed artistically and culturally deserving of preservation for future generations. For May 2013, Criterion unleashes upon Blu-ray two westerns by Delmer Daves (3:10 to Yuma, Jubal), Haskell Wexler's Medium Cool, Mike Leigh's Life is Sweet, and Jean-Luc Godard's Band of Outsiders. For the full details on each of these Blu-ray releases, just keep reading.

May 7th

band_outsiders_bluBand of Outsiders

Four years after Breathless, Jean-Luc Godard reimagined the gangster film even more radically with Band of Outsiders. In it, two restless young men (Sweet Movie’s Sami Frey and Eyes Without a Face’s Claude Brasseur) enlist the object of both of their fancies (Pierrot le fou’s Anna Karina) to help them commit a robbery—in her own home. This audacious and wildly entertaining French New Wave gem is at once sentimental and insouciant, effervescently romantic and melancholy, and it features some of Godard’s most memorable set pieces, including the headlong race through the Louvre and the unshakeably cool Madison dance sequence.

1964 • 95 minutes • Black & White • Monaural • In French with English subtitles • 1.33:1 aspect ratio

• New digital master of Gaumont’s recent high-definition restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
• Visual glossary of references and wordplay found in Band of Outsiders
• Exclusive interviews with cinematographer Raoul Coutard and actor Anna Karina
• Excerpts from a 1964 interview with director Jean-Luc Godard, including rare behind-the-scenes footage from the film
• Filmmaker Agnès Varda’s 1961 silent comedy Les fiancés du pont Mac Donald, starring Godard and Karina and featuring other members of theBand
of Outsiders
• Godard’s original theatrical trailer and the 2001 U.S. rerelease trailer
• PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by poet and critic Joshua Clover, Godard’s character descriptions for the film’s 1964 press book, and an interview with the director from the same year

SRP - $39.95

May 14th


A trio of exceptional performances from Glenn Ford (3:10 to Yuma), Ernest Borgnine (Marty), and Rod Steiger (On the Waterfront) form the center of Jubal, an overlooked Hollywood treasure from genre master Delmer Daves (3:10 to Yuma). In this Shakespearean tale of jealousy and betrayal, Ford is an honorable itinerant cattleman, befriended and hired by Borgnine’s bighearted ranch owner despite his unwillingness to talk about his past. When the new hand becomes the target of the flirtatious attentions of the owner’s bored wife (Valerie French) and is entrusted by the boss with a foreman’s responsibilities, his presence at the ranch starts to rankle his shifty fellow cowhand, played by Steiger. The resulting emotional showdown
imparts unparalleled psychology intensity to this western, a vivid melodrama featuring expressive location photography in Technicolor and CinemaScope.

1956 • 100 minutes • Color • Stereo • 2.35:1 aspect ratio

• New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed stereo soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
• PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Kent Jones

SRP - $29.95

310yuma_blu3:10 to Yuma

In this beautifully shot and acted, psychologically complex western, Van Heflin (Shane) is a mild-mannered cattle rancher who takes on the task of shepherding a captured outlaw, played with cucumber-cool charisma by Glenn Ford (The Big Heat), to the train that will take him to prison. This apparently simple plan turns into a nerve-racking cat-and-mouse game that will test each man’s particular brand of honor. Based on a story by Elmore Leonard (Get Shorty), 3:10 to Yuma is a thrilling, humane action movie, directed by the supremely talented studio filmmaker Delmer Daves (Jubal) with intense feeling and precision.

1957 • 92 minutes • Black & White • Monaural • 1.85:1 aspect ratio

• New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
• Alternate 5.1 surround soundtrack, presented in DTS-HD Master Audio on the
Blu-ray edition
• New interviews with author Elmore Leonard and Glenn Ford’s son and biographer, Peter Ford
• PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Kent Jones

SRP - $39.95

May 21st

medium_cool_bluMedium Cool

It’s 1968, and the whole world is watching. With the U.S. in social upheaval, famed cinematographer Haskell Wexler (Days of Heaven) decided to make a film about what the hell was going on. His debut feature, Medium Cool, plunges us into that moment. With its mix of scripted fiction and seat-of-the-pants documentary technique, this story of the working world and romantic life of a television cameraman (Jackie Brown’s Robert Forster) is a visceral, lasting cinematic snapshot of the era, climaxing with an extended sequence shot right in the middle of the riots surrounding the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. An inventive commentary on the pleasures and dangers of wielding a camera, Medium Cool is as prescient a political film as Hollywood has ever produced.

1969 • 110 minutes • Color • Monaural • 1.85:1 aspect ratio

• New 4K digital restoration, approved by director Haskell Wexler, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
• Two audio commentaries, one featuring Wexler, actor Marianna Hill, and editor Paul Golding, the other featuring historian Paul Cronin
• New interview with Wexler
Look Out Haskell, It’s Real!, a fifty-five-minute documentary about the making of Medium Cool, produced by Cronin and featuring interviews with Wexler, Golding, actors Verna Bloom, Peter Bonerz, and Robert Forster, Chicago historian Studs Terkel, and others
• Excerpts from Sooner or Later, a documentary by Cronin about Harold Blankenship, who plays the adolescent Harold in the film
• Original theatrical trailer
• PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic and programmer Thomas Beard

SRP - $39.95

lifesweet_bluLife is Sweet

This moving film from Mike Leigh (Topsy-Turvy) is an intimate, invigorating, and amusing portrait of a working-class family in a suburb just north of London—an irrepressible mum and dad (Alison Steadman and Jim Broadbent) and their night-and-day twins, a bookish good girl and a sneering layabout (Claire Skinner and Jane Horrocks). In it, Leigh and his typically brilliant cast create, with extra­ordinary sensitivity and craft, a vivid, lived-in story of ordinary existence, in which even modest dreams (such as the father’s desire to open a food truck) carry enormous weight. Perched on the line between humor and melancholy, Life Is Sweetis captivating, and it was Leigh’s first international sensation.

1990 • 103 minutes • Color • 2.0 surround • 1.85:1 aspect ratio

• New high-definition digital restoration, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
• New audio commentary featuring director Mike Leigh
• Audio recording of a 1991 interview with Leigh at the National Film Theatre in London
• More!
• PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic David Sterritt

SRP - $39.95

Lex Walker • Editor

He's a TV junkie with a penchant for watching the same movie six times in one sitting. If you really want to understand him you need to have grown up on Sgt. Bilko, Alien, Jurassic Park and Five Easy Pieces playing in an infinite loop. Recommend something to him - he'll watch it.


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