The month of August is here, and there are a number of remarkable Criterion Collection DVDs and Blu-rays hitting shelves this month. There is something here for all film lovers, from classic golden age movies to independent cinema hits to a newer movie from 2011. Here is a look at what cinema lovers have to look forward to from the world’s most prestigious DVD distributor.
“The Royal Tenenbaums”
Wes Anderson has made a lot of brilliant independent films over his career, but few are as impressive as “The Royal Tenenbaums.” He gets an all-star cast in this effort as he tells the story of a patriarch of a family who returns home, pretending to have a terminal disease, in order to reconcile a family that he destroyed through his negligence. Gene Hackman, Danny Glover, Anjelica Huston, Ben Stiller, Bill Murray, Gwyneth Paltrow, Owen Wilson and Luke Wilson star in the movie.
The Criterion edition includes audio commentary by Anderson, photos from Albert Maysles, interviews and behind-the-scenes footage, outtakes, murals and paintings, still photographs, book and magazine covers, storyboards and a Studio 360 radio segment.
“The Royal Tenenbaums” hits shelves on August 14.
Released in 1999, “Rosetta” is a Belgian film by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne following a young woman trying to hold down a job so she can help support herself as well as her alcoholic mother. The movie screened in competition at Cannes, winning the Palme d’Or, as well as earning the Best Actress award for Émilie Dequenne. The Criterion release only includes a conversation between film critic Scott Foundas and filmmakers Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne and the trailer.
“Rosetts” hits shelves on August 14.
A second film by the Dardenne brothers is “La Promesse,” their breakthrough feature film about a teenager who learns the problems associated with his father’s exploitation of illegal alien workers. When one of his workers dies, the father tries to cover up the death. Meanwhile, his son does everything he can in order to help the family of the deceased worker. America’s National Society of Film Critics awarded it the Best Foreign Film of 1997. The special features here are the same as with “Rosetta.”
“La Promesse” hits shelves on August 14.
The newest movie of the month, “Weekend” is a 2011 film from British director Andrew Haigh. The film tells the story of a one-night stand, between two men, which turns into a weekend of sex and intimate discussions. The movie is comparable to “Before Sunrise” for the gay community. The Criterion DVD and Blu-ray features interviews, onset video footage, audition scenes, a video essay, two short films by Haigh (“Cahuenga Blvd” (2003), “Five Miles Out” (2009)) and the trailer.
“Weekend” hits shelves on August 21.
“Quadrophenia” is the classic rock opera featuring The Who from 1979. The movie features a teenager, dissatisfied with his life, who hangs out with his gang member friends, all leading to a riot in Brighton. The story is enjoyable, but the music is phenomenal. The Criterion includes commentary with director Franc Roddam and Tufano, interviews, a 1979 episode of the BBC series “Talking Pictures,” a segment from a 1964 episode of the French news program “Sept jours du monde,” and “Seize millions de jeunes: ‘Mods,'” featuring early footage of The Who.
“Quadrophenia” hits shelves on August 28.
Paul Fejos directed “Lonesome” in 1928 and Criterion brings it to home video with this restored version. The movie is almost silent (three dialogue scenes), set in New York City with a tinted color visual palette. While the movie has made the festival circuit for years, this is its first time on home video. The Criterion Collection edition includes commentary by film historian Richard Koszarski, 1929 short silent film, “The Last Performance,” a reconstructed sound version of “Broadway,” Fejos’s 1929 musical and a 1963 visual essay produced by Paul Falkenberg.
“Lonesome” hits shelves on August 28.