Every month cinephiles around the world rejoice with the release of a new set of classic and artistically important films on both DVD and Blu-ray by the Criterion Collection. Their limited editions often feature interviews with filmmakers, hard-to-find archival footage, and insight into the film's creation not found anywhere else. This month Criterion Collection has Roman Polanski's beloved Rosemary's Baby, Wong Kar-Wai's In the Mood for Love, Joshua Marston's tale of feuding families in The Forgiveness of Blood, John Schlesinger's follow-up to Midnight Cowboy, the bi-sexual love triangle of Sunday Bloody Sunday, and the next installment of the Eclipse Series featuring three films by Gainsborough Pictures.
For the full details on extras, aspect ratios, and more, read on.
In the Mood for Love
Hong Kong, 1962: Chow Mo-wan (Hero’s Tony Leung Chiu-wai) and Su Li-zhen (Irma Vep’s Maggie Cheung Man-yuk) move into neighboring apartments on the same day. Their encounters are formal and polite—until a discovery about their spouses sparks an intimate bond between them. At once delicately mannered and visually extravagant, In the Mood for Love, directed by Wong Kar-wai (Chungking Express), is a masterful evocation of romantic longing and fleeting moments. With its aching musical soundtrack and its exquisitely abstract cinematography by Christopher Doyle (2046) and Mark Lee Ping-bin (Flight of the Red Balloon), this film has been a major stylistic influence on the past decade of cinema, as well as a milestone in Wong’s redoubtable career.
2000 · 98 minutes · Color · 5.1 Surround · In Cantonese and Shanghainese with English subtitles · 1.66:1 aspect ratio
BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
• High-definition digital restoration, approved by cinematographer Mark Lee Ping-bin, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack
• @ “In the Mood for Love,” director Wong Kar-wai’s documentary on the making of the film
• Deleted scenes, with commentary by Wong
• Hua yang de nian hua (2000), a short film by Wong
• Archival interview with Wong and a “cinema lesson” given by the director at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival
• Toronto International Film Festival press conference from 2000, with stars Maggie Cheung Man-yuk and Tony Leung Chiu-wai
• Two new interviews with critic Tony Rayns, one about the film and the other about the soundtrack
• Trailers and TV spots
• Plus: A booklet featuring an essay by novelist and film critic Steve Erickson and the Liu Yi-chang story that provided thematic inspiration for the film
The Forgiveness of Blood
American director Joshua Marston broke out in 2004 with his jolting, Oscar-nominated Maria Full of Grace,about a young Colombian woman working as a drug mule. In his remarkable follow-up, The Forgiveness of Blood, he turns his camera on another corner of the world: contemporary northern Albania, a place still troubled by the ancient custom of interfamilial blood feuds. From this reality, Marston sculpts a fictional narrative about a teenage brother and sister physically and emotionally trapped in a cycle of violence, a result of their father’s entanglement with a rival clan over a piece of land. The Forgiveness of Blood is a tense and perceptive depiction of a place where tradition and progress have an uneasy coexistence, as well as a dynamic coming-of-age drama.
2011 • 109 minutes • Color • 5.1 surround • In Albanian with English subtitles • 1.85:1 aspect ratio
DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
• New high-definition digital transfer, approved by producer Paul Mezey, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
• Audio commentary featuring director and cowriter Joshua Marston
• Two new video programs: Acting Close to Home, a discussion between Marston and actors Refet Abazi, Tristan Halilaj, and Sindi Laçej, and Truth on the Ground, featuring new and on-set interviews with Mezey, Abazi, Halilaj, and Laçej
• Audition and rehearsal footage
• PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film writer Oscar Moralde
Sunday Bloody Sunday
John Schlesinger followed his Academy Award–winningMidnight Cowboy with this sophisticated and highly personal take on love and sex. Sunday Bloody Sundaydepicts the romantic lives of two Londoners, a middle-aged doctor and a prickly thirtysomething divorcée—played by Oscar winners Peter Finch (Network) and Glenda Jackson (Women in Love)—who are sleeping with the same handsome young artist (Murray Head). A revelation in its day, this may be the 1970s’ most intelligent, multitextured film about the complexities of romantic relationships; it is keenly acted and sensitively directed, from a penetrating screenplay by novelist and critic Penelope Gilliatt.
1971 • 110 minutes • Color • Monaural • 1.66:1 aspect ratio
SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
• New high-definition digital restoration, supervised by director of photography Billy Williams, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
• New video interviews with actor Murray Head, Williams, and production designer Luciana Arrighi
• Illustrated 1975 audio interview with director John Schlesinger
• New interview with writer William J. Mann (Edge of Midnight: The Life of John Schlesinger) about the making of Sunday Bloody Sunday
• New interview with photographer Michael Childers, Schlesinger’s longtime partner
• PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by film critic Terrence Rafferty and cultural historian Ian Buruma, as well as screenwriter Penelope Gilliatt’s 1971 introduction to the film’s screenplay
Terrifying and darkly comic, Rosemary’s Baby marked the Hollywood debut of Roman Polanski (Repulsion). This wildly entertaining nightmare, faithfully adapted from Ira Levin’s best seller, stars a revelatory Mia Farrow (Hannah and Her Sisters)
as a young mother-to-be who grows increasingly suspicious that her overfriendly elderly neighbors, played by Sidney Blackmer (High Society) and an Oscar-winning Ruth Gordon (Harold and Maude), and self-involved husband (actor and filmmaker John Cassavetes) are hatching a satanic plot against her and her baby. In the decades of occult cinema Polanski’s ungodly masterpiece has spawned, it’s never been outdone for sheer psychological terror.
1968 • 136 minutes • Color • Monaural • 1.85:1 aspect ratio
DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
• New high-definition digital restoration, approved by director Roman Polanski, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
• New interviews with Polanski, actor Mia Farrow, and producer Robert Evans
• Komeda, Komeda, a feature-length documentary on the life and work of jazz musician and composer Krzysztof Komeda, who wrote the score for Rosemary’s Baby
• 1997 radio interview with author Ira Levin from Leonard Lopate’s WNYC program New York and Company on the 1967 novel, the sequel, and the film
• PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Ed Park and Levin’s afterword for the 2003 New American Library edition of his novel, in which he discusses its
and the film’s origins
Eclipse Series 36: Three Wicked Melodramas from Gainsborough Pictures
During the 1940s, realism reigned in British cinema—but not at Gainsborough Pictures. The studio, which had been around since the ’20s, found new success with a series of pleasurably preposterous costume melodramas. Audiences ate up these overheated films, which featured a stable of charismatic stars, including James Mason (Lolita), Margaret Lockwood (The Lady Vanishes), Stewart Granger (King Solomon’s Mines), and Phyllis Calvert (Indiscreet). Though its films were immensely profitable in wartime and immediately after, Gainsborough did not outlive the decade. This set brings together a trio of Gainsborough’s most popular films—florid, visceral tales of secret identities, multiple personalities, and romantic betrayals.
Three DVD Box Set Includes:
The Man in Grey
This tale of treachery put both the Gainsborough melodrama and actor James Mason on the map. The star-to-be plays Lord Rohan, a cruel nobleman who marries the naive and sweet-natured Clarissa (Phyllis Calvert) for the sole purpose of producing an heir; meanwhile, Clarissa’s conniving best friend, Hesther (Margaret Lockwood), secretly plots against her for her own nefarious ends. The Man in Grey, directed by Leslie Arliss (The Wicked Lady), was such a box-office success that Gainsborough used it as a template, launching a cycle of increasingly rococo films.
1943 • 116 minutes • Black & White • Monaural • 1.33:1 aspect ratio
Madonna of the Seven Moons
A lurid tale of sex and psychosis, Madonna of the Seven Moons, directed by Arthur Crabtree (Fiend Without a Face), is among the wildest of the Gainsborough melodramas. Set in Italy, it begins as a relatively composed tale about a respectable, convent-raised woman (Phyllis Calvert) who is haunted by the memory of being raped as a teenager. When her grown daughter returns from school, her life begins to crack up in monumentally surprising ways. Stewart Granger also plays a prominent role in this sensational tale.
1945 • 110 minutes • Black & White • Monaural • 1.33:1 aspect ratio
The Wicked Lady
Margaret Lockwood devours the screen as a tightly wound seventeenth-century beauty with loose morals, who steals her best friend’s wealthy fiancé on the eve of their wedding. And that’s only the beginning of this piece of pulp from director Leslie Arliss (The Man in Grey): there are no depths to which this sinful woman won’t sink. James Mason costars, and nearly steals the movie, as a highwayman with whom our antiheroine becomes entangled. This nasty, subversive treat was the most commercially successful of all the Gainsborough melodramas.
1945 • 104 minutes • Black & White • Monaural • 1.33:1 aspect ratio