The Criterion Collection releases arriving during the month of March, 2014 are quite impressive, especially the release of my favorite Ingmar Bergman film. Another knockout month for the boutique cinema-obsessed group. A little bit of everything this month, so here are the releases.
Since the Criterion Collection signed an agreement with the Harold Lloyd estate, we can expect many of Lloyd's silent comedies to be arriving each year. Last year we got the hilarious Safety Last! (1923) and on March 25 The Freshman (1925) will arrive in dual format. I have only seen Safety Last!, but this film is an instant purchase. Lloyd plays a first year college student who is eager to impress the football team and the girl of his dreams, but just winds up making a fool of himself until he gets redemption at the end. The befuddled anti-hero. What Lloyd, along with Keaton and Chaplin, could do with physical and mental comedy is like nothing else. These are still the comic giants of cinema and if you have not seen any of Lloyd's films get out there and check them out. They are a must.
Criterion will also be releasing a documentary from the well-lauded filmmaker Errol Morris. A Brief History of Time (1991) is the story of Stephen Hawking and how, while losing his ability to speak and move due to a motor neuron disease, his unbelievably impressive mind continues to expand the way we think about space and time. An intellectual beyond any ones wildest dreams. I have never seen this, but will be something I will check out. A fascinating subject about a fascinating man. The film will be released on March 18.
Now, being a film lover that really became obsessed with film due to the burgeoning American Independent Cinema movement of the 90s, I regretfully have not yet seen David Gordon Green's groundbreaking George Washington (2000). A film I have read about and a filmmaker, who I have seen some of his small, wonderful films that cover different aspects of human life, whether comedy or drama or romance, in the South. Green wrote and directed this film about a group of young kids who must confront challenging and difficult choices over a hot summer in the rural South. This was part of the next wave of American Independent Cinema after Tarantino, Linklater and W. Anderson first busted on to the scene in the mid-90s. This is an instant, blind buy for me and will be released on March 11.
The only other release for the month of March will be Paolo Sorrentino's well received The Great Beauty (2013). A film that is an homage to Federico Fellini's masterpiece of masterpieces La Dolce Vita (1960). Sorrentino's film follows journalist Jep Gambardella (Toni Servillo) through his escapades through the beautiful and sumptuous life (nightlife) of Rome. Jep, a man about town and synonymous with all of the important Roman social scenes, begins to take stock of his own life and what/where he is at and going. A film that is another blind buy for me, but with the amazing cinematography I have read about and seen online from dp Luca Bigazzi, I feel this one will not disappoint.It will be released March 25.
And that is it for the month of March. Still waiting for more David Cronenberg and the first releases from David Lynch. Cannot wait to see what they come up with in April. This year has been very enjoyable so far.
Photo credits by The Criterion Collection.