The Criterion Collection and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment have today confirmed four new Blu-ray releases for July and August 2018, with one exciting new July title replacing the previously announced A Matter of Life and Death which has now been pulled.
KING OF JAZZ
Directed by John Murray Anderson
Release Date: 9 July 2018
Rediscovered and newly restored in 4K by Universal Pictures, John Murray Anderson‘s pre-code, early Technicolour song-and-dance revue remains one of the most extravagant, eclectic, and technically ambitious Hollywood productions of its time, made during the earliest years of the movie musical.
Starring American bandleader Paul Whiteman and his orchestra – Whiteman then widely celebrated as the King of Jazz – the film draws inspiration from the contemporary Broadway revues and variety shows of the time to present an array of musical numbers from such acts as The Rhythm Boys (Bing Crosby, Harry Barris, and Al Rinker) – all lavishly staged by veteran theatre director Murray Anderson – and linked together with short introductory segments and brief comedy sketches.
Long available only in incomplete form, King of Jazz appears here newly restored to its original glory, offering a fascinating snapshot of the way mainstream American popular culture viewed itself at the dawn of the 1930s.
New 4K digital restoration by Universal Pictures, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
New audio commentary featuring jazz and film critic Gary Giddins, music and cultural critic Gene Seymour, and musician and bandleader Vince Giordano
New introduction by Giddins
New interview with musician and pianist Michael Feinstein
Four new video essays by authors and archivists James Layton and David Pierce on the development and making of King of Jazz
Deleted scenes and alternate opening-title sequence
All Americans, a 1929 short film featuring a version of the “Melting Pot” number that was restaged for the finale of King of Jazz
I Know Everybody and Everybody’s Racket, a 1933 short film featuring Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra
Two Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoons from 1930, featuring music and animation from King of Jazz
F FOR FAKE
Directed by Orson Welles
Release Date: 30 July 2018
United States | 1975 | 88 Minutes | Colour | 1.66:1 | English
Filling with cinematic trickery and deceit, Orson Welles’ charming and inventive free-form documentary is an inspired thesis on the essential duplicity of cinema, cleverly exploring the tenuous line between illusion and truth.
Beginning with portraits of the world-renowned art forger Elmyr de Hory and his equally devious biographer, Clifford Irving, Welles embarks on a dizzying journey that simultaneously exposes and revels in fakery and fakers of all stripes — not forgetting Welles himself.
New, high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
Audio commentary from 2005 by cowriter and star Oja Kodar and director of photography Gary Graver
Introduction from 2005 by filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich
Episode of the talk show Tomorrow from 1975 featuring an extensive interview with Welles (Blu-ray only)
Orson Welles: One-Man Band, a documentary from 1995 about Welles’s unfinished projects
Almost True: The Noble Art of Forgery, a fifty-two-minute documentary from 1997 about art forger Elmyr de Hory
60 Minutes interview from 2000 with Clifford Irving about his Howard Hughes autobiography hoax
Audio recording of Hughes’s 1972 press conference exposing Irving’s hoax
Extended, nine-minute trailer
PLUS: An essay by critic Jonathan Rosenbaum
New cover by Neil Kellerhouse
SEX, LIES AND VIDEOTAPE
Directed by Steven Soderbergh
Release Date: 6 August 2018
United States | 1989 | 100 Minutes | Colour | 1.85:1 | English
A piercingly intelligent look at the complexities of human intimacy and deception in the modern age, twenty-six-year-old director Steven Soderbergh’s provocative and remarkably assured Palme d’Or-Winning debut feature proved a game-changer for American independent cinema, helping pave the way for numerous filmmakers during the thriving independent film scene of the 1990s.
Housewife Ann (Andie MacDowell) feels distant from her lawyer husband, John (Peter Gallagher), who is sleeping with her sister (Laura San Giacomo). When John’s old friend Graham (James Spader) comes to town, Ann is drawn to the soft-spoken outsider, eventually uncovering his startling private obsession: videotaping women as they confess their deepest desires
Director Approved Special Features:
New, restored 4K digital transfer, supervised by director Steven Soderbergh, with 5.1 surround DTS‑HD Master Audio soundtrack
Audio commentary from 1998 featuring director Steven Soderbergh in conversation with filmmaker Neil LaBute
New programme by Soderbergh, featuring responses to questions sent in by fans
Interviews with Soderbergh from 1990 and 1992
New documentary about the making of the film featuring actors Peter Gallagher, Andie MacDowell, and Laura San Giacomo
New conversation with composer Cliff Martinez and supervising sound editor Larry Blake
Deleted scene with commentary by Soderbergh
PLUS: An essay by critic Amy Taubin and excerpts from Soderbergh’s diaries written at the time of the film’s production
Directed by Susan Seidelman
Release Date: 27 August 2018
United States | 1982 | 93 Minutes | Colour | 1.66:1 | English
Susan Seidelman established her distinctive vision of 1980s New York with her bold, striking debut feature, Smithereens, the first American independent film invited to compete for the Palme d’Or at the 1982 Cannes Film Festival.
After escaping her native New Jersey, quintessential punk Wren (Susan Berman) moves to New York City to join what is left of the punk rock subculture, but finding it has now gravitated towards LA she engages in a number of relationships in an attempt to fund her way to the new punk haven.
Shot on 16 mm film that captures the grit and glam of the setting, Smithereens remains an unfaded snapshot of a bygone era, and a brilliant portrait of female identity, desire and self-reinvention.
Director Approved Special Features:
New 2K digital restoration, approved by director Susan Seidelman, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray Audio commentary from 2004 featuring Seidelman
New interviews with Seidelman and actor Susan Berman
And You Act Like One Too (1976) and Yours Truly, Andrea G. Stern (1979), two early shorts by Seidelman, with new introductions by the director
PLUS: An essay by critic Rebecca Bengal