By Ian Floodgate
The first home media release that I want to focus on for this month was one of the first films to be released on video on demand back in March when cinemas had shuttered due to the lockdown. The film focuses on a small fictional village in Brazil where disturbing events begin to occur, including the disappearance of the village from online maps and the dampening of phone signal. Bacurau (dir. Kleber Mendonça Filho) premiered at Cannes last year but likely fell under the radar due to the success of other highly acclaimed international films like Portrait of a Lady on Fire and Best Picture winner Parasite. Those who have seen Bacurau praise it for its genre-blurring execution and sociopolitical message. There are clear inspirations from the horror films of John Carpenter and Westerns which mix excellently. If you have not seen Bacurau yet, I recommend giving it a watch and buying it on Blu-ray. Bacurau will be available on Blu-ray July 14.
Criterion, as always, has many films and boxsets worth purchasing, and this month one such boxset is Bruce Lee: His Greatest Hits. I’m sure many Bruce Lee fans will already own box sets of his films, but this brings some of his most notable films altogether in 4K. The Big Boss, Fist of Fury, and The Way of the Dragon are all part of this collection. The boxset also includes a special-edition and rarely-seen version of Enter the Dragon. It also contains the Game of Death along with its 1981 sequel, and many documentaries and interviews. You can purchase the new Bruce Lee: His Greatest Hits from July 14.
Criterion is also releasing a 4K restoration of Abbas Kiarostami‘s Taste of Cherry this month. The film follows Mr Badii (Homayoun Ershadi) as he drives around the hilly outskirts of Tehran looking for someone who will dispose of his body after he commits suicide. Kiarostami has presented audiences with some unique and intriguing stories, and Taste of Cherry is a definite example of this. As Mr Badii engages in conversation with the individuals he meets, they express different views of mortality. Filmed in a desolate but yet picturesque landscape, a new restoration of the film is likely to heighten the colour scheme and drama. Taste of Cherry will be available to purchase from Criterion on July 21.
Finally, Criterion is releasing another film that saw acclaim only a few months ago, and that is Noah Baumbach‘s Marriage Story. The multi Oscar-nominated drama follows Charlie (Adam Driver) and Nicole Barber (Scarlett Johansson) who are going through a coast-to-coast divorce. The film gives a frank account of the difficulties in divorce proceedings and what hardships this can cause a family. Driver and Johansson both deliver excellent performances along with Laura Dern, who won an Academy Award for her role as Nora Fanshaw, Nicole’s lawyer. I’m sure many cinephiles have been anxiously awaiting a home media release of the film and now they can in 4K. Criterion will release Marriage Story on July 21.
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