The Criterion Collection has announced its lineup for November 2021, which includes some 4K releases, a first for the collection as far as I know. These UHD releases include Mulholland Drive, Citizen Kane, and Menace II Society. Other November releases include a Once Upon a Time in China box set and La Strada.
Take a look below for more details about each title and be sure to head over to Criterion.com for more information.
With this breakthrough film, Federico Fellini launched both himself and his wife and collaborator Giulietta Masina to international stardom, breaking with the neorealism of his early career in favor of a personal, poetic vision of life as a bittersweet carnival. The infinitely expressive Masina registers both childlike wonder and heartbreaking despair as Gelsomina, loyal companion to the traveling strongman Zampanò (Anthony Quinn, in a toweringly physical performance), whose callousness and brutality gradually wear down her gentle spirit. Winner of the very first Academy Award for Best Foreign-Language Film, La strada possesses the purity and timeless resonance of a fable and remains one of cinema’s most exquisitely moving visions of humanity struggling to survive in the face of life’s cruelties.
BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
• 4K digital restoration, undertaken in collaboration with The Film Foundation and the Cineteca di Bologna, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
• Alternate English-dubbed soundtrack, featuring the voices of Anthony Quinn and Richard Basehart
• Audio commentary from 2003 by Peter Bondanella, author of The Cinema of Federico Fellini
• Introduction from 2003 by filmmaker Martin Scorsese
• Giulietta Masina: The Power of a Smile, a documentary from 2004
• Federico Fellini’s Autobiography, a documentary originally broadcast on Italian television in 2000
• PLUS: An essay by film critic Christina Newland
1954 • 108 MINUTES • BLACK & WHITE • MONAURAL • IN ITALIAN WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES • 1.37:1 ASPECT RATIO
A love story in the city of dreams . . . Blonde Betty Elms (Naomi Watts) has only just arrived in Hollywood to become a movie star when she meets an enigmatic brunette with amnesia (Laura Harring). Meanwhile, as the two set off to solve the second woman’s identity, filmmaker Adam Kesher (Justin Theroux) runs into ominous trouble while casting his latest project. This seductive and scary vision of Los Angeles’s dream factory by David Lynch is one of the true masterpieces of the new millennium, a tale of love, jealousy, and revenge like no other.
DIRECTOR-APPROVED 4K UHD+BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
• New 4K digital restoration, supervised by director David Lynch and director of photography Peter Deming, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack (4K UHD disc only)
• One 4K UHD disc of the film presented in Dolby Vision HDR and one Blu-ray with the film and special features
• Interviews from 2015 with Lynch; Deming; actors Naomi Watts, Justin Theroux, and Laura Harring; composer Angelo Badalamenti; production designer Jack Fisk; and casting director Johanna Ray
• On-set footage
• Deleted scene
• English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
• PLUS: A booklet featuring an interview with Lynch from the 2005 edition of filmmaker and writer Chris Rodley’s book Lynch on Lynch
2001 • 146 MINUTES • COLOR • 5.1 SURROUND • 1.85:1 ASPECT RATIO
2-DISC 4K UHD+BLU-RAY COMBO
ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA: THE COMPLETE FILMS
One of the pinnacles of Hong Kong cinema’s 1990s golden age, the Once Upon a Time in China series set a new standard for martial-arts spectacle and launched action star Jet Li to international fame. It brings to vivid life the colorful world of China in the late nineteenth century, an era of immense cultural and technological change, as Western imperialism clashed with tradition and public order was upended by the threats of foreign espionage and rising nationalism. Against this turbulent backdrop, one man—the real-life martial-arts master, physician, and folk hero Wong Fei-hung—emerges as a noble protector of Chinese values as the country hurtles toward modernity. Conceived by Hong Kong New Wave leader Tsui Hark, this epic cycle is not only a dazzling showcase for some of the most astonishing action set pieces ever committed to film but also a rousing celebration of Chinese identity, history, and culture.
SIX-BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION COLLECTOR’S SET FEATURES
• 4K digital restorations of Once Upon a Time in China and Once Upon a Time in China II and III, and new 2K digital restorations of Once Upon a Time in China IV and V, all presented with their original Cantonese theatrical-release sound mixes in uncompressed monaural or stereo
• Alternate stereo Cantonese soundtracks for Once Upon a Time in China and Once Upon a Time in China II, featuring the original theatrical sound effects, and monaural Cantonese soundtrack for Once Upon a Time in China III
• Once Upon a Time in China and America (1997) in a 2K digital transfer, featuring 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio and monaural Cantonese soundtracks, along with a stereo Mandarin track with the voice of actor Jet Li
• New interviews with director Tsui Hark, Film Workshop cofounder Nansun Shi, editor Marco Mak, and critic Tony Rayns
• Excerpts from audio interviews with Li conducted in 2004 and ’05
• Deleted scenes from Once Upon a Time in China III
• Documentary from 2004 about the real-life martial-arts hero Wong Fei-hung
• From Spikes to Spindles, a 1976 documentary about New York City’s Chinatown featuring uncredited work by Tsui
• Excerpts from a 2019 master class given by martial-arts choreographer Yuen Wo-ping
• Archival interviews featuring Tsui and actors John Wakefield, Donnie Yen, and Yen Shi-kwan
• Behind-the-scenes footage for Once Upon a Time in China and Once Upon a Time in China and America
• Making-of program from 1997 on Once Upon a Time in China and America
• New English subtitle translations
• PLUS: An essay on the films by critic Maggie Lee and an essay on the cinematic depictions of Wong by novelist Grady Hendrix
ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA
Writer-producer-director Tsui Hark’s sprawling vision of a changing nineteenth-century China begins with this riotously entertaining epic, a blockbuster hit that cemented Jet Li’s status as the greatest martial-arts superstar of his generation. Li displays his stunning, fast-yet-fluid fighting style as the legendary martial-arts teacher and doctor Wong Fei-hung, who, with a band of loyal disciples, battles a host of nefarious forces—foreign and local alike—threatening Chinese sovereignty as British and American imperialists encroach upon the Mainland. Once Upon a Time in China’s breathtaking blend of kung fu, comedy, romance, and melodrama climaxes in a whirlwind guns vs. fists finale that is also a thrilling affirmation of Chinese cultural identity.
1991 • 134 MINUTES • COLOR • MONAURAL • IN CANTONESE WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES • 2.39:1 ASPECT RATIO
ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA II
Having chronicled the social upheaval wrought by Western influence in the opening chapter of the Once Upon a Time in China series, Tsui Hark turned his attention to the perils of unchecked nationalism in his sensational follow-up, the rare sequel to equal the dizzying highs of the original. Jet Li returns to the role of Wong Fei-hung, who here takes on the diabolical White Lotus Sect, a virulently xenophobic cult whose anti-foreigner sentiments unleash a wave of destructive violence. Fellow martial-arts icon Donnie Yen dazzles in a star-making turn as Wong’s nemesis, who faces off with the hero in a battle royal that showcases the kinetic brilliance of revered Hong Kong action choreographer Yuen Wo-ping.
1992 • 112 MINUTES • COLOR • MONAURAL • IN CANTONESE WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES • 2.39:1 ASPECT RATIO
ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA III
Jet Li’s third outing as the storied martial-arts hero Wong Fei-hung in the Once Upon a Time in China films is an exhilarating celebration of Chinese culture peppered with a dash of international espionage. This time around, Wong travels to Beijing, where he finds himself drawn into the intrigue surrounding an epic lion-dance competition, spars with a Russian rival for the affections of his beloved Thirteenth Aunt (Rosamund Kwan), and fights to foil a foreign plot to assassinate the real-life Chinese diplomat Li Hongzhang. The eye-popping lion-dance set pieces—which combine vibrantly colored, fire-breathing pageantry with martial-arts mayhem—rank among the most visually spectacular achievements of the series.
1993 • 112 MINUTES • COLOR • STEREO • IN CANTONESE AND MANDARIN WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES • 2.39:1 ASPECT RATIO
ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA IV
Though it picks up the narrative thread where the previous installment left off, Once Upon a Time in China IV introduces a new director, action choreographer Yuen Bun, and star, Vincent Zhao, who takes over the role of Wong Fei-hung from Jet Li. Once again, foreign skulduggery and a violent nationalist group—in the form of the fierce women warriors known as the Red Lantern Sect—swirl around a magnificent lion-dance competition, with Wong caught in the fray. Toning down the comedic and romantic elements of the first three films in favor of almost wall-to-wall kung-fu action, the fourth entry is the leanest and meanest of the series, highlighted by a gravity-defying fight atop a field of collapsing, domino-like planks.
1993 • 101 MINUTES • COLOR • MONAURAL • IN CANTONESE WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES • 2.39:1 ASPECT RATIO
ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA V
Tsui Hark returned to the director’s chair for the rollicking comedic adventure Once Upon a Time in China V, in which the indomitable hero Wong Fei-hung (Vincent Zhao) tangles with a band of ruthless, finger-removing pirates who are exploiting the political chaos created by the invasion of foreigners in order to terrorize the Chinese coast. The fist-and-foot kung-fu set pieces—including a showstopping, gold-hued melee set in a warehouse of pirate treasure—are plentiful, but Tsui ups the ante by introducing acrobatic gunplay to the proceedings, infusing this furiously entertaining crowd-pleaser with a bracing jolt of John Woo–style bullet ballet mayhem.
1994 • 101 MINUTES • COLOR • MONAURAL • IN CANTONESE WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES • 2.39:1 ASPECT RATIO
In the most dazzling debut feature in cinema history, twenty-five-year-old writer-producer-director-star Orson Welles synthesized the possibilities of sound-era filmmaking into what could be called the first truly modern movie. In telling the story of the meteoric rise and precipitous fall of a William Randolph Hearst–like newspaper magnate named Charles Foster Kane, Welles not only created the definitive portrait of American megalomania, he also unleashed a torrent of stylistic innovations—from the jigsaw-puzzle narrative structure to the stunning deep-focus camera work of Gregg Toland—that have ensured that Citizen Kane remains fresh and galvanizing for every new generation of moviegoers to encounter it.
SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
• New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
• In the 4K UHD edition: One 4K UHD disc of the film presented in Dolby Vision HDR and three Blu-rays with the film and special features
• Three audio commentaries: from 2021 featuring Orson Welles scholars James Naremore and Jonathan Rosenbaum; from 2002 featuring filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich; and from 2002 featuring film critic Roger Ebert
• The Complete “Citizen Kane,” (1991), a rarely seen feature-length BBC documentary
• New interviews with critic Farran Smith Nehme and film scholar Racquel J. Gates
• New video essay by Orson Welles scholar Robert Carringer
• New program on the film’s special effects by film scholars and effects experts Craig Barron and Ben Burtt
• Interviews from 1990 with editor Robert Wise; actor Ruth Warrick; optical-effects designer Linwood Dunn; Bogdanovich; filmmakers Martin Scorsese, Henry Jaglom, Martin Ritt, and Frank Marshall; and cinematographers Allen Daviau, Gary Graver, and Vilmos Zsigmond
• New documentary featuring archival interviews with Welles
• Interviews with actor Joseph Cotten from 1966 and 1975
• The Hearts of Age, a brief silent film made by Welles as a student in 1934
• Television programs from 1979 and 1988 featuring appearances by Welles and Mercury Theatre producer John Houseman
• Program featuring a 1996 interview with actor William Alland on his collaborations with Welles
• Selection of The Mercury Theatre on the Air radio plays featuring many of the actors from Citizen Kane
• English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
• PLUS: Deluxe packaging, including a book with an essay by film critic Bilge Ebiri
1941 • 119 MINUTES • BLACK & WHITE • MONAURAL • 1.37:1 ASPECT RATIO
4-DISC 4K UHD+BLU-RAY COMBO
MENACE II SOCIETY
Directors Albert and Allen Hughes and screenwriter Tyger Williams were barely into their twenties when they sent shock waves through American cinema and hip-hop culture with this fatalistic, unflinching vision of life and death on the streets of Watts, Los Angeles, in the 1990s. There, in the shadow of the riots of 1965 and 1992, young Caine (Tyrin Turner) is growing up under the influence of his ruthless, drug-dealing father (Samuel L. Jackson, in a chilling cameo) and his loose-cannon best friend, O-Dog (Larenz Tate), leading him into a spiral of violent crime from which he is not sure he wants to escape, despite the best efforts of his grandparents and the steadfast Ronnie (Jada Pinkett). Fusing grim realism with a propulsively stylish aesthetic honed through the Hughes brothers’ work on rap videos, Menace II Society is a searing cautionary tale about the devastating human toll of hopelessness.
DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
• New 4K digital restoration of the directors’ cut of the film, supervised by cinematographer Lisa Rinzler and codirector Albert Hughes, with 7.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack
• In the 4K UHD edition: One 4K UHD disc of the film presented in Dolby Vision HDR and one Blu-ray with the film and special features
• Original 2.0 surround soundtrack, presented in DTS-HD Master Audio
• Two audio commentaries from 1993 featuring directors Albert and Allen Hughes
• Gangsta Vision, a 2009 featurette on the making of the film
• New conversation among Albert Hughes, screenwriter Tyger Williams, and film critic Elvis Mitchell
• New conversation among Allen Hughes, actor and filmmaker Bill Duke, and Mitchell
• Interview from 1993 with the directors
• Deleted scenes
• Film-to-storyboard comparison
• English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
• PLUS: An essay by film critic Craig D. Lindsey
1993 • 97 MINUTES • COLOR • 7.1 SURROUND • 1.85:1 ASPECT RATIO
2-DISC 4K UHD+BLU-RAY COMBO