Welcome to this week’s Coming Soon. This is the column where I talk about some upcoming releases you might not know about. You won’t find information for the upcoming Charlie Wilson’s War release because you should already know its coming. But if there are more eclectic releases coming out or some older re-releases that have just been announced, I might touch on them in this column. However, I don’t consider releases such as the upcoming Blu-Ray of The 6th Day to be important enough to mention here. This week, I’m going to concentrate on Criterions and then mention a few others at the end that I find interesting.
THE CRITERION COLLECTION
Ang Lee originally made his name as a maker of Taiwanese family comedies. After receiving an Oscar nomination for Eat Drink Man Woman (Yin shin an nu) he set his eyes on classic English literature and created one of the most stylish Jane Austen adaptations with Sense and Sensibility. With seven Oscar nominations, Ang Lee focused on the Rick Moody novel, The Ice Storm, a study of sexual and family tensions in 1970s New England. While not as successful as his prior two films, neither critically nor financially, it still remained a strong movie proving that Ang Lee was one of the more versatile and innovative director’s working. The film also had a tremendous cast of both established actors (Kevin Kline, Joan Allen, Sigourney Weaver) and up-and-coming stars (Tobey Maguire, Christina Ricci, Elijah Wood, Katie Holmes). Criterion will release The Ice Storm on March 18 in a nice 2-Disc set. It will include audio commentary with Ang Lee and producer-screenwriter James Schamus, a new documentary featuring interviews with actors Joan Allen, Kevin Kline, Tobey Maguire, Christina Ricci, Sigourney Weaver, and Elijah Wood, a new video interview with novelist Rick Moody, deleted scenes, footage from an event honoring Lee and Schamus at New York’s Museum of the Moving Image, and visual essays featuring interviews with the cinematographer, production designer, and costume designer.
Hiroshi Teshigahara was a Japanese avant-garde filmmaker that was at one time compared to Michelangelo Antonioni and Alan Resnais. With Suna no onna (1964), he was propelled into the international spotlight, as the movie received a nomination for Best Foreign Film and earned Teshigahara a Best Director nomination as well. He would go on to meld genre themes with his next movies, twisting horror, science fiction and thriller into surreal forms, but none of those movies would ever reach the high level that he had set for himself. For the next two decades, Teshigahara concentrated his attention into other endeavors but in 1984 he would direct a documentary over Catalan architect Antonio Gaudi, a man who designed some of the world’s most astonishing buildings, interiors and parks. The documentary is described as a visual poem, taking viewers on a tour of Gaudi’s architecture, including the unfinished masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia cathedral in Barcelona. On March 18, Criterion will release the 2-Disc set Antonio Gaudí. It will include a new video interview with architect Arata Isozaki, Gaudí, Catalunya, 1959, footage from director Hiroshi Teshigahara’s first trip to Spain, Visions of Space: Antonio Gaudí, a one-hour documentary on the architect’s life and work, a BBC program on Gaudí by director Ken Russell, Sculptures by Sofu—Vita, and a short film by Teshigahara on the sculpture of his father, Sofu Teshigahara.
Also Released on March 18
One film that received a number of awards this season was The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. The film adapts the novel of the same name that is a translation of the French memoir Le scaphandre et le papillon by journalist Jean-Dominique Bauby. Bauby, the former editor of the magazine Elle, suffered a stroke at the age of 43 and when he woke up twenty days later, found he had contracted the rare condition called Locked-in Syndrome where he could only blink his left eyelid. He assistant would write his memoirs as Bauby dictated by blinking his eye to each letter of the alphabet as his assistant recited them. He would die ten days after the novel was released in 1997. Director Julian Schnabel would earn an award for Best Director at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival, the Golden Globe for Best Director, the Independent Spirit Award for Best Director and an Academy Award nomination for his work on the film adaptation. Working with cinematographer Janusz Kaminski, he would use very ambitious camera shots to make the audience feel what Bauby does, by using special lenses to create a sense you are viewing things from Bauby’s perspective. Extras will include a commentary with Director Julian Schnabel, A Cinematic Vision featurette, a Charlie Rose Interviews Julian Schnabel feature, and Submerged: A look inside The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. April 29 is the street date.
They are re-releasing the Indiana Jones trilogy. Yea. I have the box set that came out a few years ago and from the look of this one, have no reason to upgrade. Still, people want to see the covers so here they are. I’m not going to waste my time trying to figure out what is new on the discs. They come out on May 13.
Guillermo del Toro produced this so it is something I would assume would interest CHUD readers. I still have people who tell me they love Quentin Tarantino and then mention how much they liked his movie Hostel. I would assume they are trying to get the same knee jerk reaction for this movie, as del Toro’s name is the prominent one on this Juan Antonio Bayona directed film. The movie might deserve the extra publicity that del Toro’s name might bring. It was very successful in Spain where it was the second highest-grossing debut ever for a local movie, the biggest opening of the year, and larger than the worldwide success Pan’s Labyrinth. In the film a woman returns to an orphanage where she had lived as a child with plans of reopening it as a home for sick and disabled children. While there, her adopted a son named Simón who is HIV-positive discovers an imaginary friend. Horror ensues. The Orphanage will be released April 22 and extras will include a When Laura Grew Up: Constucting The Orphanage featurette, a Horror In The Unknown: Makeup Effects featurette, a Tomas’ Secret Room featurette, a still gallery, and more.
MAY 27 JUNE 10