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The Ascent, Charade & The Grand Budapest Hotel from Criterion in February

25 November 2020

The Criterion Collection and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment have confirmed the titles to be released on Blu-ray in the UK in February 2021. The final film from Larisa Shepitko and hailed as one of the finest works of late Soviet cinema, The Ascent is out on 15 February. A glittering emblem of sixties style and macabre wit, Charade starring Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grantis also available from 15 February. Following on 22 February, Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel, gets the Criterion treatment. Anderson brings his dry wit and visual inventiveness to this exquisite caper set amid the old world splendour of Europe between the World Wars.

 

The Ascent Blu-ray cover art

THE ASCENT [VOSKHOZHDENIE] (Russia 1977) | Blu-ray | 15 February 2020

The crowning triumph of a career cut tragically short, the final film from Larisa Shepitko (Wings) won the Golden Bear at the 1977 Berlin Film Festival and went on to be hailed as one of the finest works of late-Soviet cinema. In the darkest days of World War II, two partisans set out for supplies to sustain their beleaguered outfit, braving the blizzard-swept landscape of Nazi-occupied Belarus. When they fall into the hands of German forces and come face-to-face with death, each must choose between martyrdom and betrayal, in a spiritual ordeal that lifts the film’s earthy drama to the plane of religious allegory. With stark, visceral cinematography that pits blinding white snow against pitch-black despair, The Ascent finds poetry and transcendence in the harrowing trials of war.

SPECIAL EDITION BLU-RAY FEATURES:

  • New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • New selected-scene commentary featuring film scholar Daniel Bird
  • New video introduction by Anton Klimov, son of director Larisa Shepitko and filmmaker Elem Klimov
  • New interview with actor Lyudmila Polyakova
  • The Homeland of Electricity, a 1967 short film by Shepitko
  • Larisa, a 1980 short film tribute to his late wife by Klimov
  • Two documentaries from 2012 about Shepitko’s life, work, and relationship with Klimov
  • Program from 1999 featuring an interview with Shepitko
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by poet Fanny Howe

 

Charade Blu-ray cover art

CHARADE (USA 1963) | Blu-ray | 15 February 2020

In this deliciously dark comedic thriller, a trio of crooks relentlessly pursue a young American, played by Audrey Hepburn (Roman Holiday, Breakfast at Tiffany’s), outfitted in gorgeous Givenchy, through Paris in an attempt to recover the fortune her dead husband stole from them. The only person she can trust is a suave, mysterious stranger, played by Cary Grant (Bringing Up Baby, North by Northwest). Director Stanley Donen (On the Town, Singin’ in the Rain, Two for the Road) goes splendidly Hitchcockian for Charadea glittering emblem of sixties style and macabre wit.

SPECIAL EDITION BLU-RAY FEATURES:

  • Restored high-definition digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • Audio commentary featuring director Stanley Donen and screenwriter Peter Stone
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film historian Bruce Eder

 

The Grand Budapest Hotel Blu-ray cover art

THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL (USA 2014) | Blu-ray | 22 February 2020

Wes Anderson (Fantastic Mr. Fox) brings his dry wit and visual inventiveness to this exquisite caper set amid the old-world splendour of Europe between the World Wars. At the opulent Grand Budapest Hotel, the concierge M. Gustave (In Bruges’s Ralph Fiennes) and his young protégé Zero (Dope’s Tony Revolori) forge a steadfast bond as they are swept up in a scheme involving the theft of a priceless Renaissance painting and the battle for an enormous family fortune—while around them, political upheaval consumes the continent. Meticulously designed, The Grand Budapest Hotel is a breathless picaresque and a poignant paean to friendship and the grandeur of a vanished world, performed with panache by an all-star ensemble that includes F. Murray Abraham (Amadeus), Adrien Brody (The Darjeeling Limited), Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird), Willem Dafoe (The Last Temptation of Christ), Jude Law (The Talented Mr. Ripley), Harvey Keitel (Mean Streets), Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park), Mathieu Amalric (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly), Tilda Swinton (We Need to Talk About Kevin), and Bill Murray (The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou).

DIRECTOR APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION BLU-RAY FEATURES:

  • 2K digital transfer, supervised by director Wes Anderson, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack
  • New audio commentary featuring Anderson, filmmaker Roman Coppola, and actor Jeff Goldblum
  • Selected-scene storyboard animatics
  • The Making of “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” a new documentary about the film
  • New interviews with the cast and crew
  • Video essays from 2015 and 2020 by critic Matt Zoller Seitz and film scholar David Bordwell
  • Behind-the-scenes, special-effects, and test footage
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: Two pieces by critic Richard Brody and a double-sided poster and other ephemera