The Criterion Collection has announced its December 2020 lineup, which includes new Blu-ray releases of Alejandro González Iñárritu‘s Amores Perros, David Cronenberg‘s Crash, Robert Bresson’s Mouchette, and William Greaves‘ Symbiopsychotaxiplasm (takes 1 and 2).
Take a look below for more details about each title and be sure to click over to criterion.com for additional info.
Sending shock waves through the Mexican film industry and the world, this blistering feature debut from Alejandro González Iñárritu brought the director’s electrifying visual style and bravura multistrand storytelling to the screen with the heart-stopping impact of a primal scream. In Mexico City, the lives of three strangers—a young man (Gael García Bernal) mixed up in the gritty underworld of dogfighting, a glamorous woman (Goya Toledo) who seems to have it all, and a mysterious assassin (Emilio Echevarría) who is desperate to reconnect with his estranged daughter—collide in a tragic twist of fate that forever alters their personal journeys. A tour de force of violence and emotion captured in a rush of kinetic handheld camera work, Amores perros is an unforgettable plunge into a world of brutality and aching, interconnected humanity.
DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES• New 4K digital restoration, supervised by director Alejandro González Iñárritu and director of photography Rodrigo Prieto, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray• New interview with Iñárritu and filmmaker Paweł Pawlikowski• New conversation between Iñárritu and actors Adriana Barraza, Vanessa Bauche, and Gael García Bernal• Perros, amores, accidentes, a new documentary on the making of the film featuring behind-the-scenes footage• Rehearsal footage with reflections by Iñárritu• New interview with composer Gustavo Santaolalla• New video essay by film scholar Paul Julian Smith• Music videos for songs from the film’s soundtrack by Control Machete, Café Tacvba, and Julieta Venegas• Trailer• New English subtitle translation• PLUS: Essays by critic Fernanda Solórzano and author Juan Villoro
2000 • 154 minutes • Color • 5.1 surround • In Spanish with English subtitles • 1.85:1 aspect ratio
For this icily erotic fusion of flesh and machine, David Cronenberg adapted J. G. Ballard’s future-shock novel of the 1970s into one of the most singular and provocative films of the 1990s. A traffic collision involving a disaffected commercial producer, James (James Spader), and an enigmatic doctor, Helen (Holly Hunter), brings them, along with James’s wife, Catherine (Deborah Kara Unger, in a sublimely detached performance), together in a crucible of blood and broken glass—and it’s not long before they are all initiated into a kinky, death-obsessed underworld of sadomasochistic car-crash fetishists for whom twisted metal and scar tissue are the ultimate turn-ons. Controversial from the moment it premiered at Cannes—where it won a Special Jury Prize “for originality, for daring, and for audacity”—Crash has since taken its place as a key text of late-twentieth-century cinema, a disturbingly seductive treatise on the relationships between humanity and technology, sex and violence, that is as unsettling as it is mesmerizing.
DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES• New 4K digital restoration supervised by director of photography Peter Suschitzky, and 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray, both approved by director David Cronenberg• Audio commentary from 1997 featuring Cronenberg• Press conference from the 1996 Cannes Film Festival featuring Cronenberg; Suschitzky; author J. G. Ballard; producers Robert Lantos and Jeremy Thomas; and actors Rosanna Arquette, Holly Hunter, Elias Koteas, James Spader, and Deborah Kara Unger• Q&A from 1996 with Cronenberg and Ballard at the National Film Theatre in London• Behind-the-scenes footage and press interviews from 1996• Trailers• English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing• PLUS: An essay by film critic Jessica Kiang
1996 • 100 minutes • Color • 5.1 surround • 1.66:1 aspect ratio
Robert Bresson plumbs great reservoirs of feeling with Mouchette, one of the most searing portraits of human desperation ever put on film. With a dying mother, an absent, alcoholic father, and a baby brother in need of care, the teenage Mouchette seeks solace and respite from her circumstances in the nature of the French countryside and daily routine. Bresson deploys his trademark minimalist style to heartbreaking effect in this essential work of French filmmaking, a hugely empathetic drama that elevates its trapped protagonist into one of the cinema’s most memorable tragic figures.
BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES• New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack• Audio commentary from 2006 by film scholar, critic, and festival programmer Tony Rayns• Au hasard Bresson, a 1967 documentary by Theodor Kotulla, featuring director Robert Bresson on the set of Mouchette• Segment of a 1967 episode of the French television series Cinéma, featuring on-set interviews with Bresson and actors Nadine Nortier and Jean-Claude Guilbert• Original theatrical trailer, cut by Jean-Luc Godard• PLUS: An essay by critic and poet Robert Polito
1967 • 81 minutes • Black & White • Monaural • In French with English subtitles • 1.66:1 aspect ratio
SYMBIOPSYCHOTAXIPLASM: TWO TAKES BY WILLIAM GREAVESIn his one-of-a-kind fiction/documentary hybrid Symbiopsychotaxiplasm Take One, the pioneering William Greaves presides over a beleaguered film crew in New York’s Central Park, leaving them to try to figure out what kind of movie they’re making. A couple enacts a breakup scenario over and over, a documentary crew films a crew filming the crew, locals wander casually into the frame: the project defies easy description. Yet this wildly innovative sixties counterculture landmark remains one of the most tightly focused and insightful movies ever made about making movies, expanded thirty-five years later by its unconventional follow-up, Symbiopsychotaxiplasm Take 2½. The “sequel” sees Take One actors Audrey Henningham and Shannon Baker reunited in a more personal, meta theatrical exploration of the effects of the passage of time on technology, the artistic process, and relationships—real and fabricated.
DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES• High-definition digital transfers of both films with uncompressed monaural soundtracks• Discovering William Greaves, a 2006 documentary on Greaves’s career, featuring Greaves, his wife and coproducer Louise Archambault, actor Ruby Dee, filmmaker St. Clair Bourne, and film scholar Scott MacDonald• Interview from 2006 with actor Steve Buscemi• Trailer• English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing• PLUS: An essay by critic Amy Taubin and production notes by Greaves for Take One
SYMBIOPSYCHOTAXIPLASM TAKE ONE
1968 • 75 minutes • Color • Monaural • 1.33:1 aspect ratio
SYMBIOPSYCHOTAXIPLASM TAKE 2½ 2005 • 99 minutes • Color • Monaural • 1.78:1 aspect ratio