Masters Of Cinema Quarter Two 2012 Schedule

It seems like only yesterday that we were praising the announcements made at the Masters Of Cinema’s Spring 2012 event. Alas this afternoon marked the boutique home video label’s declaration of intent for this years second quarter, with an eclectic bunch of flicks making an appearance. The unlikely pairing of Alfred Hitchcock and Kenji Mizoguchi kick off the second quarter of 2012 for Eureka’s Masters Of Cinema imprint, with seven films from the two directors across three releases. Elsewhere there is a Billy Wilder Double Indemnity led Double-Bill, and a veritable Charles Laughton fest in May. Also, head to the bottom of this article for an amazing competition courtesy of the guys at Eureka. 

Before we round up todays announced titles lets take a moment to recognise what will no doubt shoot straight to the head of many a cinephile’s most anticipated list. While not announcing the disc itself, the team at MoC revealed this afternoon that they had acquired the UK rights to Carl Th. Dreyer’s The Passion Of Joan Of Arc. Thus far unreleased on DVD or Blu-ray in the UK, the classic Dreyer silent film joins the likes of Vampyr and Michael (although OOP) in the MoC collection, with the mere thought of Rudolph Maté’s beautiful cinematography in 1080p almost enough to render one frothing at the mouth (and if the brief snippets of the film featured in the Criterion Jean-Luc Godard’s Vivre Sa Vie are anything to go with then we’re certainly in for a treat; TPOJOA certainly cleans up nicely). Roll on 2013, and here’s hoping a couple of other Dreyer titles join it. 

Lifeboat – 2012 is certainly shaping up to be the year of Alfred Hitchcock. Not only are the Hitchcock 9 due to make their bow, but there is a very real chance that Hitch’s Vertigo could be named the Greatest Film Of All Time™  in the upcoming Sight & Sound decade poll. The Masters Of Cinema welcome Hitchcock in to the collection with a timely reissue of his wartime films, in a package headed up by his early Fox collaboration, Lifeboat. A wonderful little tale of “What If?” that predated The Twilight Zone by almost two decades, the Hitchcock film ably portrays the directors use of space and wit to create a tale of suspense quite like no other, essentially drawing up the blueprint for the single-location shoot in the process. Lifeboat is accompanied by a pair of wartime shorts, Bon Voyage and Aventure Malgache

Special Features:

  • New high-definition master, officially licensed from Twentieth Century Fox
  • New high-definition transfers of Hitchcock’s little-seen French-language 1944 wartime films, Bon voyage (26 minutes) and Aventure malgache (31 minutes) officially licensed from the British Film Institute
  • Optional English subtitles on all three films
  • 20-minute documentary on the making of Lifeboat
  • 12-minute excerpt from the legendary 1962 audio interviews between Hitchcock and François Truffaut, discussing Lifeboat and the wartime shorts
  • PLUS: A 36-page booklet featuring archival imagery alongside new writing by critics Bill Krohn, Arthur Mas, and Martial Pisani

Lifeboat is released on Dual-Format on April 23rd.

Ugetsu Monogatari – Kenji Mizoguchi’s masterpiece makes its first appearance in high definition anywhere in the world thanks to this upgrade of an existing Masters Of Cinema DVD title. Accompanied by Oyū-sama, the package replicates the existing DVD, albeit with a brand-new HD transfer for Ugetsu Monogatari. We’ve written extensively on the film in the past, check out this essay if you’d like to know more about the film.

Special Features:

  • Newly restored high-definition transfer of Ugetsu Monogatari
  • Mizoguchi’s Oyū-sama (also in 1080p on the Blu-ray)
  • Optional English subtitles on both features
  • Tony Rayns video discussions of Ugetsu Monogatari [9:00] and Oyū-sama [13:00]
  • Original Japanese and Spanish theatrical trailers for Ugetsu Monogatari
  • Ugetsu Monogatari restoration demonstration
  • Illustrated booklet featuring rare archival imagery and award-winning translations of the 18th century Ueda Akinari stories adapted in Ugetsu Monogatari

Ugetsu Monogatari is released on Dual-Format on April 23rd.

Sanshō Dayū and Gion Bayashi – The second Mizoguchi package is headed by Sanshō Dayū, our favourite of the directors films. While the extras package remains the same as the existing MoC DVD release, the film itself is presented in a new transfer.

Special Features:

  • Newly restored high-definition transfer of Sanshō Dayū
  • Mizoguchi’s Gion Bayashi (also in 1080p on the Blu-ray)
  • Optional English subtitles on both features
  • Tony Rayns video discussion of Sanshō Dayū [29:00] and Gion Bayashi [11:00]
  • Original Japanese theatrical trailer for Sanshō Dayū and original Japanese theatrical teaser for Gion Bayashi
  • Before-and-after Sanshō Dayū restoration demonstration
  • Illustrated booklet featuring rare archival imagery and a full reprint of the 1915 Mori Ōgai story adapted in Sanshō Dayū

Sanshō Dayū is released on Dual-Format on April 23rd.

Island Of Lost Souls – May marks a pair of Charles Laugton led works, both of which were announced during the previous Masters Of Cinema line-up event. Erle Kenton’s Island Of Lost Souls has been bumped up from a “mere” standard definition DVD to a Dual-Format edition, which is fantastic news.  

Special Features:

  • New high-definition restoration of the uncut theatrical version, officially licensed from Universal Pictures
  • Newly created SDH subtitles on the feature for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Uncompressed original monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • An exclusive video piece in which horror critic and historian Jonathan Rigby discusses the film and its source novel
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • More extras to be announced nearer the release date
  • A lavish booklet featuring rare production imagery, and more!

Island Of Lost Souls is released on Dual-Format on May 28th. 

The Ruggles Of Red Gap – The second Laughton title of May, this time with a film directed by Leo McCarey, the man behind the collection’s beautiful ode to love and time, Make Way For Tomorrow. While we’ve never seen Ruggles Of Red Gap, it promises a wholly different experience to the previous McCarey film, with this comedy of errors potentially something quite different to anything else in the MoC series thus far.

Special Features:

  • Beautiful new high-definition master, officially licensed from Universal Pictures
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired
  • Optional music and effects track
  • Ruggles on the Radio: three adaptations made for radio broadcast, all featuring Charles Laughton and Charlie Ruggles in a reprisal of their famous roles
  • Laughton reciting Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, originally released as a 78-rpm record in 1937.
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring rare archival imagery, and more!

The Ruggles Of Red Gap is released on Dual-Format on May 28th.

Double Indemnity – While April might belong to Hitch, June is Billy Wilder’s. A pair of the director’s finest are released on Blu-ray only, as part of MoC’s agreement with Universal Pictures.Following in the wake of their fantastic treatment of Touch Of Evil the Masters Of Cinema team turn their attention to another seminal film noir from the Universal stable. Quite possibly Billy Wilder’s most formidable hour, Double Indemnity features a legendary triptych of performances from Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, and Edward G. Robinson, with the release headlined by a brand new exclusively restoration by The Masters of Cinema Series.

Special Features:

  • Exclusive new high-definition restoration, officially licensed from Universal Pictures
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hearing-impaired
  • 1950 Lux Radio Theater adaptation starring Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck
  • The original theatrical trailer
  • More extras to be announced nearer the release date!
  • PLUS: A 36-page booklet featuring rare articles, images, and more!

Double Indemnity will be released exclusively on Blu-ray June 25th. 

The Lost WeekendA second Billy Wilder picture, and our personal favourite. Wilder’s 1945 film won the Best Picture Oscar the following year, and features one of *the* all-time great central performances from Ray Millard. Wilder and Millard were dually rewarded for their work too, making this descent in to alcoholic despair one of the great tomes on addiction in the American Cinema. As with their release of Double Indemnity, this marks the first time that The Lost Weekend will be available on Blu-ray anywhere in the world.

Special Features:

  • New high-definition master, officially licensed from Universal Pictures
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired
  • Exclusive new video introduction by director Alex Cox
  • The 1946 Screen Guild Theater radio adaptation of The Lost Weekend – starring Ray Milland, Jane Wyman, and Frankie Faylen
  • The original theatrical trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring rare archival imagery, and more!

The Lost Weekend will be released exclusively on Blu-ray June 25th. 

Competition

The kind folk at Eureka have given us one copy of each of this months releases of Two-Lane Blacktop, Le Silence De La Mer and Punishment Park to give away. For a chance to win simply answer the following question, stipulating which title you would like. 

Q. Le Silence De La Mer is based on the novel by whom?

Answers to adam@hopelies.com by the end of Sunday please. 

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3 Comments

Add yours →

  1. I hate MOC, they are costing me a fortune keeping up with their release schedule. Some great films in this treasure trove of riches. Mizoguchi tops the list but always have time for Hitchcock and Joan of Arc should be sensational.

    2011 was strong year, a couple of weak BR releases in my opinion but the above is a stunning lineup.

  2. Richard Kish 01/02/2012 — 1:39 am

    Very excited about these near future releases! Thanks for the great write up Adam! 🙂

  3. Carl Copeland 05/02/2012 — 12:13 pm

    A nice blend of classic cinema being released, along with some new releases for me that I’m looking forward to watching for the first time. Good stuff.

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