The Criterion Collection has announced five new titles to debut on Blu-Ray in February: The Parallax View (1974), Mandabi (1968), Man Push Cart (2005), Chop Shop (2007) and Smooth Talk (1985). These represent two tales of working class life from neorealist Rahmin Bahrani, a Senegalese tale of greed and dysfunction, a coming-of-age tale featuring Laura Dern’s breakout performance and one of the great 70s conspiracy thrillers. Details on these films can be found below:

The Parallax View

Street Date: February 9, 2021

Synopsis: Perhaps no director tapped into the pervasive sense of dread and mistrust that defined the 1970s more effectively than Alan J. Pakula, who, in the second installment of his celebrated Paranoia Trilogy, offers a chilling vision of America in the wake of the assassinations of the Kennedys and Martin Luther King Jr. and about to be shocked by Watergate. Three years after witnessing the murder of a leading senator atop Seattle’s Space Needle, reporter Joseph Frady (Warren Beatty) begins digging into the mysterious circumstances surrounding the killing—and stumbles into a labyrinthine conspiracy far more sinister than he could have imagined. The Parallax View’s coolly stylized, shadow-etched compositions by acclaimed cinematographer Gordon Willis give visual expression to a mood that begins as an anxious whisper and ends as a scream into the void.

Eneba Many GEOs

BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

  • New, restored 4K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New introduction by filmmaker Alex Cox
  • Interviews with director Alan J. Pakula from 1974 and 1995
  • New program on cinematographer Gordon Willis featuring an interview with Willis from 2004
  • New interview with Jon Boorstin, assistant to Pakula on The Parallax View
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Nathan Heller and a 1974 interview with Pakula

 

Mandabi

Street Date: February 16, 2021

Synopsis: This second feature by Ousmane Sembène was the first movie ever made in the Wolof language—a major step toward the realization of the trailblazing Senegalese filmmaker’s dream of creating a cinema by, about, and for Africans. After jobless Ibrahima Dieng receives a money order for 25,000 francs from a nephew who works in Paris, news of his windfall quickly spreads among his neighbors, who flock to him for loans even as he finds his attempts to cash the order stymied in a maze of bureaucracy, and new troubles rain down on his head. One of Sembène’s most coruscatingly funny and indignant films, Mandabi—an adaptation of a novella by the director himself—is a bitterly ironic depiction of a society scarred by colonialism and plagued by corruption, greed, and poverty.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES

  • New 4K restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Introduction by film scholar Aboubakar Sanogo
  • Conversation from 2020 with author and screenwriter Boubacar Boris Diop and sociologist and feminist activist Marie Angélique Savané
  • Praise Song, a new program about director Ousmane Sembène featuring outtakes from the 2015 documentary Sembène! of interviews with author and activist Angela Davis, musician Youssou N’Dour, filmmaker and scholar Manthia Diawara, and many others
  • Tauw, a 1970 short film by Sembène
  • New English subtitle translation by Sembène biographer Samba Gadjigo
  • PLUS: An essay by critic and scholar Tiana Reid and excerpts from a 1969 interview with Sembène

 

Street Date: February 23, 2021

Synopsis: A modest miracle of twenty-first-century neorealism, the acclaimed debut feature by Ramin Bahrani speaks quietly but profoundly to the experiences of those living on the margins of the American dream. Back in his home country of Pakistan, Ahmad (Ahmad Razvi, elements of whose own life story were woven into the script) was a famous rock star. Now a widower separated from his son and adrift in New York, he works long hours selling coffee and bagels from a midtown Manhattan food cart, engaged in a Sisyphean search for human connection and a sense of purpose that seems perpetually just out of reach. A rare immigrant’s-eye view of a post-9/11 city suffused with subtle paranoia and xenophobia, Man Push Cart gives at once empathetic and clear-eyed expression to the everyday drama of human endurance.

 

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

  • High-definition digital master, supervised and approved by director Ramin Bahrani, with uncompressed stereo soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary from 2005 featuring Bahrani, director of photography Michael Simmonds, assistant director Nicholas Elliott, and actor Ahmad Razvi
  • New conversation among Bahrani, Elliott, and Razvi on the making of the film
  • New conversation between Bahrani and scholar Hamid Dabashi on the origins of the film and Bahrani’s cinematic influences
  • Backgammon, a 1998 short film by Bahrani
  • Trailer
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Bilge Ebiri

 

Chop Shop

Street Date: February 23, 2021

Synopsis: For his acclaimed follow-up to Man Push Cart, Ramin Bahrani once again turned his camera on a slice of New York City rarely seen on-screen: Willets Point, Queens, an industrial sliver of automotive-repair shops that remains perpetually at risk of being redeveloped off the map. It’s within this precarious ecosystem that twelve-year-old Ale (Alejandro Polanco) must grow up fast, hustling in the neighborhood chop shops to build a more stable life for himself and his sister (Isamar Gonzales) even as their tenuous circumstances force each to compete with other struggling people and make desperate decisions. A deeply human story of a fierce but fragile sibling bond being tested by hardscrabble reality, Chop Shop tempers its sobering authenticity with flights of lyricism and hope.

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

  • High-definition digital master, supervised and approved by director Ramin Bahrani, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary from 2006 featuring Bahrani, director of photography Michael Simmonds, and actor Alejandro Polanco
  • New program featuring a conversation among Bahrani, Polanco, actor Ahmad Razvi, and assistant director Nicholas Elliott about the making of the film
  • New conversation between Bahrani and writer and scholar Suketu Mehta on the immigrant experience in New York City and on film
  • Rehearsal footage from 2006 featuring Polanco and actors Isamar Gonzales and Carlos Zapata
  • Trailer
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: An essay by novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen

 

Smooth Talk

Street Date: February 23, 2021

Synopsis: Suspended between carefree youth and the harsh realities of the adult world, a teenage girl experiences an unsettling awakening in this haunting vision of innocence lost. Based on the celebrated short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” by Joyce Carol Oates, the narrative debut from Joyce Chopra features a revelatory breakout performance by Laura Dern as Connie, the fifteen-year-old black sheep of her family whose summertime idyll of beach trips, mall hangouts, and innocent flirtations is shattered by an encounter with a mysterious stranger (a memorably menacing Treat Williams). Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, Smooth Talk captures the thrill and terror of adolescent sexual exploration as it transforms the conventions of a coming-of-age story into something altogether more troubling and profound.

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

  • New, restored 4K digital transfer, supervised by director Joyce Chopra, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Conversation among Chopra, author Joyce Carol Oates, and actor Laura Dern from the 2020 New York Film Festival, moderated by TCM host Alicia Malone
  • New interview with Chopra
  • New interview with production designer David Wasco
  • KPFK Pacifica Radio interview with Chopra from 1985
  • Joyce at 34 (1972), Girls at 12 (1975), and Clorae and Albie (1976), three short films by Chopra
  • Audio reading of the 1966 Life magazine article “The Pied Piper of Tucson,” which inspired the short story by Oates
  • Trailers
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: An essay by poet and memoirist Honor Moore, a 1986 New York Times article by Oates about the adaptation, and Oates’s 1966 short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”
  • More!
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