Criterion have been busy so far in 2021 with some excellent Blu-ray releases including an older film from Academy Award winner Bong Joon Ho who struck gold in 2020 with Parasite. Korean cinema is finally getting the attention it deserves from American movie fans and there’s no question that Bong Joon Ho has created a lot of fans with both Parasite, The Host, and Mother.
We’re only speculating, but a future Criterion Blu-ray release of Minari has to be in the works for 2022.
Another really interesting film for April is the long-awaited release of Anthony Mann’s The Furies starring Barbara Stanwyck and Walter Huston. The film absolutely bombed at the box office but Stanwyck’s performance makes this a really intense and interesting western. There is a dark psychological underbelly to the film that resonates today.
Criterion has some interesting titles including Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and Merrily We Go to Hell for May. If your marriage is on shaky ground — you may want to skip the Dorothy Arzner classic and focus more on Mr. Hand, Jeff Spicoli, and Phoebe Cates.
Memories of Murder
In his breakthrough second feature, based on a notorious serial-killer case, Bong Joon Ho explodes the conventions of the detective story with thrillingly subversive, genre-defying results.
Special Features: Three audio commentaries featuring Bong, cast members, and scholar Tony Rayns; new interviews with Bong and filmmaker Guillermo del Toro; deleted scenes; a short film by Bong; and more.
Olivier Assayas’s live-wire international breakthrough stars a magnetic Maggie Cheung as a version of herself: a Hong Kong action-movie star who arrives in Paris to play the latex-clad lead in a remake of the classic silent crime serial Les vampires.
Special Features: Interviews with Assayas, Cheung, and actor Nathalie Richard; an episode of Les vampires; an address on the state of cinema in 2020 by Assayas; and more.
History Is Made at Night
Given a palpable erotic charge by the chemistry between Charles Boyer and Jean Arthur, this delirious romantic vision passes through a dizzying array of tonal shifts, smoothly guided by director Frank Borzage’s unwavering allegiance to the power of love.
Special Features: A conversation between Borzage biographer Hervé Dumont and film historian Peter Cowie, an interview with critic Farran Smith Nehme, and more.
With Masculin féminin, the iconoclastic Jean-Luc Godard introduced the world to “the children of Marx and Coca-Cola,” through a gang of restless youths engaged in hopeless love affairs with music, revolution, and one another.
Special Features: Interviews with Godard, actor Chantal Goya, cinematogapher Willy Kurant, and filmmaker Jean-Pierre Gorin; a conversation between critics Freddy Buache and Dominique Païni; and more.
Barbara Stanwyck and Walter Huston are at their fierce finest in master Hollywood craftsman Anthony Mann’s crackling western melodrama, an often-overlooked treasure of American filmmaking.
Special Features: A new interview with critic Imogen Sara Smith, audio commentary featuring critic Jim Kitses, interviews with Mann and Huston, and more.