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Sam Fuller double & Kiarostami trilogy on Criterion Blu-ray in September

29 June 2019

The Criterion Collection and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment have confirmed the titles to be released on Blu-ray in the UK in September 2019.

On 2 September SShock Corridor is released. The film is now recognized for its far-reaching influence, the great American writer-director-producer Samuel Fuller masterfully charts the uneasy terrain between sanity and dementia.

The Naked Kiss, also out on 2 September, another  Samuel Fuller masterpiece, features radical visual touches, full throttle performances, brilliant cinematography and one bizarrely beautiful musical number.

Following on 23 September is The Koker Trilogy.  Iranian master Abbas Kiarostami’s poetic trilogy of tales that blend reality and fiction.  Poised delicately between fiction and documentary, comedy and tragedy, the lyrical fables exemplify both the gentle humanism and playful sleight of hand that define the director’s sensibility.

 

Shock Corridor Blu-ray cover art

Shock Corridor (USA 1963) | Blu-ray | 2 September 2019

In Shock Corridorthe great American writer-director-producer Samuel Fuller (The Naked Kiss, The Big Red One) masterfully charts the uneasy terrain between sanity and dementia.

Seeking a Pulitzer Prize, reporter Johnny Barrett (Peter Breck) has himself committed to a mental hospital to investigate a murder. As he closes in on the killer, madness closes in on him.

Constance Towers (The Naked Kiss) co-stars as Johnny’s coolheaded stripper girlfriend. With its startling commentary on race in sixties America and daring photography by Stanley Cortez (The Night of the Hunter), Shock Corridor is nowrecognized for its far-reaching influence.

Special Edition Blu-ray features:

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer (with uncompressed monaural soundtrack)
  • New video interview with star Constance Towers by film historian and filmmaker Charles Dennis
  • Excerpts from The Typewriter, the Rifle and the Movie Camera, Adam Simon’s 1996 documentary on director Samuel Fuller
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • PLUS: Illustrations by cartoonist Daniel Clowes (Eightball, Ghost World) and a booklet featuring an essay by critic and poet Robert Polito and excerpts from Fuller’s autobiography, A Third Face: My Tale of Writing, Fighting, and Filmmaking.

 

The Naked Kiss Blu-ray cover art

The Naked Kiss (USA 1964) | Blu-ray | 2 September 2019

The setup is pure pulp: A former prostitute (a crackerjack Constance Towers) relocates to a buttoned-down suburb determined to fit in with mainstream society. But in the strange, hallucinatory territory of writer-director-producer Samuel Fuller, perverse secrets inevitably simmer beneath a seemingly wholesome surface.

Featuring radical visual touches, full throttle performances, brilliant cinematography by Stanley Cortez, and one bizarrely beautiful musical number, The Naked Kiss is among Fuller’s greatest, boldest entertainments.

Special Edition Blu-ray features:

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer (with uncompressed monaural soundtrack)
  • New video interview with star Constance Towers by film historian and filmmaker Charles Dennis
  • Excerpts from a 1983 episode of the BBC’s The South Bank Show dedicated to director Samuel Fuller
  • Interview with Fuller from a 1967 episode of the French television series Cinéastes de notre temps
  • Interview with Fuller from a 1987 episode of the French television series Cinéma cinemas
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • PLUS: Illustrations by cartoonist Daniel Clowes (Eightball, Ghost World) and a booklet featuring an essay by critic and poet Robert Polito and excerpts from Fuller’s autobiography, A Third Face: My Tale of Writing, Fighting, and Filmmaking.

 

The Koker Trilogy Blu-ray cover art

The Koker Trilogy (Abbas Kiarostami 1987-1994) | Blu-ray | 23 September 2019

Abbas Kiarostami (A Taste of Cherry) first came to international attention for this wondrous, slyly self-referential series of films set in the rural northern-Iranian town of Koker. Poised delicately between fiction and documentary, comedy and tragedy, the lyrical fables in The Koker Trilogy exemplify both the gentle humanism and playful sleight of hand that define the director’s sensibility. With each successive film, Kiarostami takes us deeper into the behind-the-scenes “reality” of the film that preceded it, heightening our understanding of the complex network of human relationships that sustain both a movie set and a village. The result is a gradual outward zoom that reveals the cosmic majesty and mystery of ordinary life.

The set includes:

Where is the Friend’s House? (1987)
The first film in Abbas Kiarostami’s sublime, interlacing Koker Trilogy takes a simple premise – a boy searches for the home of his classmate, whose school notebook he has accidentally taken – and transforms it into a miraculous, child’s-eye adventure of the everyday. As our young hero zigzags determinedly across two towns, aided (and sometimes misdirected) by those he encounters, his quest becomes both a revealing portrait of rural Iranian society in all its richness and complexity and a touching parable about the meaning of personal responsibility. Sensitive and profound, Where is the Friend’s House? is shot through with all the beauty, tension, and wonder a single day can contain.

And Life Goes On (1992)
In the aftermath of a 1990 earthquake that left at least thirty thousand dead, Abbas Kiarostami returned to Koker, where his camera surveys not only devastation but also the teeming life in its wake. Blending fiction and reality into a playful, poignant road movie, And Life Goes On follows a film director who, along with his son, makes the trek to the region in hopes of finding out if the young star of Where Is the Friend’s House? is among the survivors, and discovers a resilient community pressing on in the face of tragedy. Finding beauty in the bleakest of circumstances, Kiarostami crafts a quietly majestic ode to the best of the human spirit.

Through the Olive Trees (1994)
Abbas Kiarostami takes metanarrative gamesmanship to masterful new heights in the final instalment of The Koker Trilogy. Unfolding “behind the scenes” of And Life Goes On, this film traces the complications that arise when the romantic misfortune of one of the actors – a young man who pines for the woman cast as his wife, even though, in real life, she will have nothing to do with him – creates turmoil on set and leaves the hapless director caught in the middle. An ineffably lovely, gentle human comedy steeped in the folkways of Iranian village life, Through the Olive Trees peels away layer after layer of artifice as it investigates the elusive, alchemical relationship between cinema and reality.

Special Edition Blu-ray features:

  • New 2K digital restorations of all three films, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks
  • New audio commentary on And Life Goes On featuring Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa and Jonathan Rosenbaum, co-authors of Abbas Kiarostami
  • Abbas Kiarostami: Truths and Dreams, a 1994 documentary
  • New interview with Abbas Kiarostami’s son Ahmad Kiarostami
  • New conversation between Iranian-film scholar Jamsheed Akrami and film critic Godfrey Cheshire
  • Conversation from 2015 between Kiarostami and film-festival programmer Peter Scarlet
  • New English subtitle translations
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Godfrey Cheshire and more!