Criterion’s upcoming June releases!

These are the upcoming titles for January from The Criterion Collection. The films include André Gregory & Wallace Shawn: 3 Films , A MASTER BUILDER, MY DINNER WITH ANDRÉ, THE FISHER KING, VALERIE AND HER WEEKS OF WONDERS, and FIVE EASY PIECES.


andre gregory wallae shawn coverAndré Gregory & Wallace Shawn: 3 Films

Releases on June 16th, 2015

When André Gregory and Wallace Shawn—theater directors, writers, actors, and longtime friends—sat down for a stimulating meal in 1981’s MY DINNER WITH ANDRÉ, they not only ended up with one of cinema’s unlikeliest iconic scenarios, but launched a film collaboration that would continue to pay creative dividends for decades. The subsequent projects they made together for the screen—1994’s VANYA ON 42ND STREET, a passionate read-through of Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, and 2014’s striking Henrik Ibsen interpretation A MASTER BUILDER—are penetrating works that exist on the edge of theater and film, and that both emerged out of many years of rehearsals with loyal troupes of actors. Gregory and Shawn’s unique contributions to the cinematic landscape are shape-shifting, challenging, and entertaining works about the process of creation.


the master builder criterion coverA MASTER BUILDER

Releases on June 16th, 2015

Jonathan Demme

United States
127 minutes

Spine #762


Twenty years after their brilliant cinema-theater experiment VANYA ON 42ND STREET, Wallace Shawn and André Gregory reunited to produce another idiosyncratic big-screen version of a classic play; this time Henrik Ibsen’s Bygmester Solness (Master Builder Solness). Brought pristinely to the screen by Jonathan Demme, this is a compellingly abstract reimagining; it features Shawn (who also wrote the adaptation) as a visionary but tyrannical middle-aged architect haunted by figures from his past; most acutely an attractive, vivacious young woman (the breathtaking newcomer Lisa Joyce) who has appeared on his doorstep. Also featuring standout supporting performances from Julie Hagerty, Larry Pine, and Gregory, A MASTER BUILDER, like VANYA, is the result of many years of rehearsals, a living, breathing, constantly shifting work that unites theater, film, and dream.


-High-definition digital master, supervised by director of photography Declan Quinn, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray

-New interview with director Jonathan Demme, director and star André Gregory, and screenwriter and actor Wallace Shawn, conducted by film critic David Edelstein

-New conversation between actors Julie Hagerty and Lisa Joyce

-New program featuring Gregory, Shawn, and their friend the author Fran Lebowitz in conversation


PLUS: An essay by film critic Michael Sragow

New cover by Riccardo Vecchio


My Dinner with André cover

Releases on June 16th, 2015

United States
110 minutes

Spine #479



In Louis Malle’s captivating and philosophical MY DINNER WITH ANDRÉ, actor and playwright Wallace Shawn sits down with friend and theater director André Gregory at an Upper West Side restaurant, and the two proceed into an alternately whimsical and despairing confessional on love, death, money, and all the superstition in-between. Playing variations on their own New York–honed personas, Shawn and Gregory, who also wrote the screenplay, dive in with introspective, intellectual gusto, and Malle captures it all with a delicate, artful detachment. A fascinating freeze-frame of cosmopolitan culture, MY DINNER WITH ANDRÉ remains a unique work in cinema history.

-High-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray

-Interview from 2009 with actors and cowriters André Gregory and Wallace Shawn, conducted by their friend the filmmaker Noah Baumbach

-“My Dinner with Louis,” a 1982 episode of the BBC program ARENA in which Shawn interviews director Louis Malle

PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Amy Taubin and the prefaces written by Gregory and Shawn for the 1981 publication of the film’s screenplay

-New cover by Neil Kellerhouse


the bridge criterionTHE BRIDGE

Releases on June 23rd, 2015

103 minutes

Spine #763




The astonishing THE BRIDGE by Bernhard Wicki was the first major anti-war film to come out of Germany after World War II, as well as the nation’s first postwar film to be widely shown internationally, even securing an Oscar nomination. Set near the end of the war, it follows a group of teenage boys in a small town as they contend with everyday matters like school, girls, and parents, before enlisting as soldiers and being forced to defend their home turf in a confused, terrifying battle. This expressively shot, emotionally bruising drama dared to humanize young German soldiers at a historically tender moment, and proved influential for the coming generation of New German Cinema auteurs.

-New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
-New interview with writer Gregor Dorfmeister, on whose autobiographical novel the film is based
-New interview with filmmaker Volker Schlöndorff about the film’s impact on German cinema
-Interview from 1989 with director Bernhard Wicki
-Excerpt from a 2007 documentary by Elisabeth Wicki-Endriss, Wicki’s wife, featuring test reel footage from the shoot

PLUS: An essay by film critic Terrence Rafferty

-New cover by Michael Boland


fisher king criterion coverTHE FISHER KING

Releases on June 23rd, 2015

United States
138 minutes

Spine #764



A fairy tale grounded in poignant reality, the magnificent, Manhattan-set THE FISHER KING, by Terry Gilliam, features Jeff Bridges and Robin Williams in two of their most brilliant roles. Bridges plays a former radio shock jock reconstructing his life after a scandal, and Williams is a homeless man on a quest for the Holy Grail—which he believes to be hidden somewhere on the Upper West Side. Unknowingly linked by their pasts, the two men aid each other on a fanciful journey to redemption. This singular American odyssey features a witty script by Richard La Gravenese, evocative cinematography by Roger Pratt, and superb supporting performances by Amanda Plummer and an Oscar-winning Mercedes Ruehl, all harnessed by Gilliam into a humane, funny modern-day myth.


-New, restored 2K digital transfer, approved by director Terry Gilliam, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray

-Audio commentary featuring Gilliam

-New interviews with Gilliam; producer Lynda Obst; screenwriter Richard La Gravenese; and actors Jeff Bridges, Amanda Plummer, and Mercedes Ruehl

-New interviews with artists Keith Greco and Vincent Jefferds on the creation of the film’s Red Knight

-Interview from 2006 with actor Robin Williams

-New video essay featuring Bridges’s on-set photographs

-Deleted scenes, with optional commentary by Gilliam

-Costume tests


PLUS: An essay by critic Bilge Ebiri

New cover by LA2


valerie week of wonders coverVALERIE AND HER WEEK OF WONDERS

Releases on June 30th, 2015

76 minutes

Spine #761



A girl on the verge of womanhood finds herself in a sensual fantasyland of vampires, witchcraft, and other threats in this eerie and mystical movie daydream. VALERIE AND HER WEEK OF WONDERS serves up an endlessly looping, nonlinear fairy tale, set in a quasi-medieval landscape. Ravishingly shot, enchantingly scored, and spilling over with surreal fancies, this enticing phantasmagoria from director Jaromil Jireš is among the most beautiful oddities of the Czechoslovak New Wave.

-New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray

-Three early shorts by director Jaromil Jireš: UNCLE (1959), FOOTPRINTS (1960), and THE HALL OF LOST STEPS (1960)

-New interview with Czechoslovak film scholar Peter Hames

-Interviews from 2006 with actors Jaroslava Schallerová and Jan Klusák

-Alternate 2007 psych-folk soundtrack to the film by the Valerie Project, and a new video piece on the music’s origins

-New English subtitle translation

PLUS: An essay by critic Jana Prikryl

-New cover based on an original poster by Dot Graphics


five easy pieces criterion coverFIVE EASY PIECES

Releases on June 30th, 2015

United States
98 minutes

Spine #546



Following Jack Nicholson’s breakout supporting turn in EASY RIDER, director Bob Rafelson devised a powerful leading role for the new star in the searing character study FIVE EASY PIECES. Nicholson plays the now-iconic cad Bobby Dupea, a shiftless thirtysomething oil rigger and former piano prodigy immune to any sense of responsibility, who returns to his upper-middle-class childhood home, blue-collar girlfriend (Karen Black, in an Oscar-nominated role) in tow, to see his estranged ailing father. Moving in its simplicity and gritty in its textures, FIVE EASY PIECES is a lasting example of early 1970s American alienation.

-New, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised by director of photography László Kovács, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition

-Audio commentary featuring director Bob Rafelson and interior designer Toby Rafelson

-Soul Searching in “Five Easy Pieces,” a 2009 video piece with Rafelson

-BBStory, a 2009 documentary about the legendary film company BBS Productions, with Rafelson; actors Jack Nicholson, Karen Black, and Ellen Burstyn; directors Peter Bogdanovich and Henry Jaglom; and others

-Documentary from 2009 about BBS featuring critic David Thomson and historian Douglas Brinkley

-Audio excerpts from a 1976 AFI interview with Rafelson

-Theatrical trailer and teasers

PLUS: An essay by critic Kent Jones

About the author

MEDIA JOURNALIST | Michael is a fanatic about all both cinema old and new. He collects anything from 1:6 Scale, 1:12 Scale, and vinyl Collectibles plus Slipcovers and Steelbooks. He loves pop culture, writing, reviewing films & collectibles, and journalism. An avid Batman, The Joker and anything comics junkie, he will also chat it up about pretty much anything. Go ahead and ask...