‘Hoop Dreams’, ‘The Thin Blue Line’, & More Announced as Criterion Collection March 2015 Titles

By @pinkstonaa
‘Hoop Dreams’, ‘The Thin Blue Line’, & More Announced as Criterion Collection March 2015 Titles

This March, our favorite arthouse and world cinema DVD purveyors are highlighting four great documentaries and more underseen classics from great auteurs. The Criterion Collection restores a film from Francois Truffaut’s The Soft Skin, as well as very exciting Blu-ray upgrades of Steve James’ Hoop Dreams and Ingmar Bergman’s Cries and Whispers.

The Soft Skin

Francois Truffaut – Available March 10

The Soft Skin Criterion Collection

It is known that Truffaut was a great student/admirer of Alfred Hitchcock, and his film The Soft Skin is perhaps his closest homage. The tale of infidelity is among Truffaut’s bleakest, most tense films, but stays true to the wildly artistic French New Wave era.

Special Features:

  • New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary by screenwriter Jean-Louis Richard and François Truffaut scholar Serge Toubiana
  • New video essay by filmmaker and critic Kent Jones
  • Interview with Truffaut from 1965 about the film
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Molly Haskell

Ride the Pink Horse

Robert Montgomery – Available March 17

Ride the Pink Horse Criterion Collection

It is always exciting when the Criterion chooses a film you are completely in the dark on, and that’s where I’m at on Ride the Pink Horse (and I’m sure I’m not alone). Released during the height of American cinema’s great film noir period, the film involves a tough-talking GI returned from war and a murderous gangster. The film also involves a cool bit of trivia as supporting actor Thomas Gomez became the first Hispanic actor to receive an Academy Award nomination.

Special Features:

  • New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary featuring film noir historians Alain Silver and James Ursini
  • New interview with Imogen Sara Smith, author of In Lonely Places: Film Noir Beyond the City
  • Lux Radio Theatre adaptation of the film from 1947, featuring Robert Montgomery, Wanda Hendrix, and Thomas Gomez
  • PLUS: An essay by filmmaker and writer Michael Almereyda

The Thin Blue Line

Errol Morris – Available March 24

The Thin Blue Line Criterion Collection

Before there was Serial, there was The Thin Blue Line. Errol Morris’s documentary, chronicling a murder investigation deep in the heart of Texas, is as amazing as it is important. An exhaustive piece of film journalism, its recreations, interviews, Philip Glass score and inquisitive eye blend into an invigorating piece of entertainment.

Special Features:

  • New high-definition digital restoration, supervised by director Errol Morris and producer Mark Lipson, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New interview with Morris
  • New interview with filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer (The Act of Killing)
  • NBC report from 1989 covering Randall Adams’s release from prison
  • PLUS: An essay by film scholar Charles Musser
  • Gates of Heaven/Vernon, Florida

    Errol Morris – Available March 24

    Gates of Heaven/Vernon, Florida Criterion Collection

    The Thin Blue Line wasn’t enough Errol Morris for the Criterion Collection, so they are also releasing a two-film box-set with less known Morris docs. Where The Thin Blue Line shows Morris at his investigative best, Gates of Heaven and Vernon, Florida show his unique view of American society and brilliant ability to tell a story you never knew you were interested in. His tales of California pet cemeteries and the backwoods folk of a small Florida town are thoughtful, funny and just the right amount of odd.

    Special Features:

    • New 2K digital restorations of both films, supervised by director Errol Morris, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks on the Blu-rays
    • New interviews with Morris
    • Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe (1980), a twenty-minute film by Les Blank featuring Herzog fulfilling a bet intended to inspire Morris to complete his first feature
    • Footage of Herzog professing his admiration for Gates of Heaven at the 1980 Telluride Film Festival
    • PLUS: An essay by critic Eric Hynes

    Hoop Dreams

    Steve James – Available March 31

    Hoop Dreams Criterion Collection

    If your first exposure to Steve James was his wonderful portrait of Roger Ebert, Life Itself, do yourself a favor and check out his seminal documentary about inner-city Chicago basketball plays searching for the American dream. Filmed over a five year period and over three hours long, Hoop Dreams is a landmark of American true-life storytelling. Its profiles of two young men and the pressures of success are complex and complete.

    Special Features:

    • New digital restoration, with 4.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
    • Two audio commentaries: one by filmmakers Peter Gilbert, Steve James, and Frederick Marx, and one by the film’s subjects, Arthur Agee and William Gates
    • Life After “Hoop Dreams,” a new documentary catching up with Agee, Gates, and their families
    • Additional scenes
    • Collection of excerpts from Siskel & Ebert tracking the acclaim for Hoop Dreams
    • Original music video for the film’s theme song from 1994
    • Trailers
    • PLUS: Essays by author John Edgar Wideman and filmmaker and critic Robert Greene

    Cries and Whispers

    Ingmar Bergman – Available March 31

    Cries and Whispers Criterion Collection

    Bergman was known for existential dread, and Cries and Whispers may be his most existential dreadful work. Beautifully composed, shot and acted, the film is a deep study of illness and loss. Previously released by Criterion on DVD, this Blu-ray transfer will certainly show off the vivid reds in the film to new heights. A powerful and emotional film, it is a must see for any fan of European art films or Bergman.

    Special Features:

    • New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
    • Introduction by Ingmar Bergman from 2001
    • New interview with actor Harriet Andersson, conducted by film scholar Peter Cowie
    • New video essay on the film’s visuals by filmmaker : : kogonada
    • Behind-the-scenes footage with commentary by Cowie
    • Ingmar Bergman: Reflections on Life, Death, and Love with Erland Josephson (2000), a 52-minute interview with Bergman and his longtime collaborator
    • Trailer
    • New English subtitle translation
    • Optional English-dubbed soundtrack
    • PLUS: An essay by film scholar Emma Wilson
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