The Criterion Collection announced their new releases for the month of November. The physical media company offers new exclusive issues for select films each month, curating a specific list of new and old films widely considered to be amongst the medium’s best. November is no different as they have a wide array of Blu-ray and 4k discs available for pre-order.
And November coincides with a lucrative Barnes & Noble sale that usually takes place around this time. Each year, it seems they have at least one hotly anticipated release to headline the event, but this year it feels like every new addition might be the prized one.
Personally, I might legitimately be picking up each of the restorations. There are some auteur picks that I haven’t seen in a while that I can’t wait to get my hands on, as well as a box set of movies I’ve never seen before. A lot to look forward to!
Here are The Criterion Collection’s November releases:
Jackie Chan: Emergence of a Superstar
Per The Criterion Collection: Originally tapped as a potential successor to Bruce Lee, Hong Kong martial-arts phenom Jackie Chan soon established his own unique screen persona, blending goofball slapstick and bone-crunching kung fu into intricate feats of supercharged athleticism. Tracing his rise from breakout star to full-fledged auteur, these six unabashedly silly, unstoppably entertaining early-career highlights find Chan refining the lovably mischievous image that would make him a global icon, while also assuming greater creative control over his projects—first as his own martial-arts choreographer, and later as a writer-director who set a thrilling new standard for daredevil action comedy.
Jackie Chan: Emergence of a Superstar includes:
- Half of a Loaf of Kung Fu (1978)
- Spiritual Kung Fu (1978)
- The Fearless Hyena (1979)
- Fearless Hyena II (1983)
- The Young Master (1980)
Jackie Chan: Emergence of a Superstar releases November 7, 2023 and can be pre-ordered here.
The Last Picture Show
Per The Criterion Collection: One of the key films of the American seventies cinema renaissance, The Last Picture Show is set in the early fifties, in the loneliest Texas nowheresville to ever dust up a movie screen. This aching portrait of a dying West, adapted from Larry McMurtry’s novel, focuses on the daily shuffles of three futureless teens—enigmatic Sonny (Timothy Bottoms), wayward jock Duane (Jeff Bridges), and desperate-to-be-adored rich girl Jacy (Cybill Shepherd)—and the aging lost souls who bump up against them in the night like drifting tumbleweeds, including Cloris Leachman’s lonely housewife and Ben Johnson’s grizzled movie-house proprietor. Featuring evocative black-and-white imagery and profoundly felt performances, this hushed depiction of crumbling American values remains the pivotal work in the career of invaluable film historian and director Peter Bogdanovich.
The Last Picture Show releases November 14, 2023 and can be pre-ordered here.
Days of Heaven
Per The Criterion Collection: One-of-a-kind filmmaker-philosopher Terrence Malick has created some of the most visually arresting films of the twentieth century, and his glorious period tragedy Days of Heaven, featuring Oscar-winning cinematography by Nestor Almendros, stands out among them. In 1910, a Chicago steelworker (Richard Gere) accidentally kills his supervisor, and flees with his girlfriend (Brooke Adams) and his little sister (Linda Manz) to the Texas panhandle, where they find work harvesting wheat in the fields of a stoic farmer (Sam Shepard). A love triangle, a swarm of locusts, a hellish fire—Malick captures it all with dreamlike authenticity, creating a timeless American idyll that is also a gritty evocation of turn-of-the-century labor.
Days of Heaven releases November 14, 2023 and can be pre-ordered here.
Per The Criterion Collection: Martin Scorsese emerged as a generation-defining filmmaker with this gritty portrait of 1970s New York City, one of the most influential works of American independent cinema. Set in the insular Little Italy neighborhood of Scorsese’s youth, Mean Streets follows guilt-ridden small-time ringleader Charlie (Harvey Keitel) as he deals with the debts owed by his dangerously volatile best pal, Johnny Boy (Robert De Niro), and pressure from his headstrong girlfriend, Teresa (Amy Robinson). As their intertwined lives spiral out of control, Scorsese showcases his precocious mastery of film style—evident in everything from his propulsive editing rhythms to the lovingly curated soundtrack—to create an electrifying vision of sin and redemption.
Mean Streets releases November 21, 2023 and can be pre-ordered here.
Per The Criterion Collection: Claude Chabrol’s forty-ninth feature stands as the crowning achievement of his prolific career—a coolly riveting study of class dynamics, the psychology of crime, and the sordid secrets lurking beneath the veneer of everyday life. A fascinatingly enigmatic, César Award–winning Isabelle Huppert is the chaotic yin to Sandrine Bonnaire’s tightly coiled yang. They are, respectively, a small-town postal worker and a maid to a wealthy family, a pair of outsiders who form a mysterious alliance that gradually, almost imperceptibly, goes haywire. With a master’s control of sound, editing, and suspense, Chabrol constructs a tour de force of sustained tension that delivers each brilliant shock with ice-pick precision.
La cérémonie releases November 21, 2023 and can be pre-ordered here.
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