Counterculture classic Easy Rider heads up a trio of restored movies coming to Blu-ray in May
The Criterion Collection has spilled the beans on what collectors can expect from its second wave of UK Blu-rays. Following on from its intial UK slate of six hi-def platters, the label is giving counterculture blockbuster Easy Rider (1969), classic film noir In a Lonely Place (1950) and Michelangelo Antonioni's masterpiece L'avventura (1960) the deluxe treatment in May.
First out of the gates on May 9 is Easy Rider. The film itself boasts a restored digital transfer, supervised by director of photography Laszlo Kovacs, with a choice of three soundtrack presentations – uncompressed mono, DTS-HD MA 2.0 and DTS-HD MA 5.1. Bonus features take the form of two audio commentaries (one from 2009 featuring Dennis Hopper, the other from 1995 featuring Hopper, Peter Fonda and production manager Paul Lewis); two archival documentaries; TV excerpts from the 1969 Cannes Film Festival; a 2010 interview with BBS Productions co-founder Steve Blauner; theatrical trailers; plus an essay by film critic Matt Zoller Seitz.
In a Lonely Place follows on May 16, with a new 2K digital restoration and uncompressed monoaural soundtrack. Bonus bits take the form of an audio commentary by film scholar Dana Polan; a "slightly condensed" version of the 1975 documentary I'm a Stranger Here Myself about director Nicholas Ray; a new interview with biographer Vincent Curcio about actor Gloria Grahame; a 2002 interview with filmmaker Curtis Hanson; the 1948 radio adaptation of the original Dorothy B. Hughes novel; the trailer; plus an essay by critic Imogen Sara Smith.
Antonioni's L'avventura rounds out the second wave on May 30, with the Blu-ray delivering a new 4K digital restoration partnered with an uncompressed mono soundtrack. Special features take the form of a commentary from film historian Gene Youngblood; select-scene commentary by filmmaker Olivier Assayas; the 58-minute 1966 documentary Antonioni: Documents and Testimonials; Jack Nicholson reading from Antonioni's writings and giving his personal reflections of the director; the trailer; plus an essay by critic Geoffrey Nowell-Smith, along with the statement Antonioni made about the film following its 1960 Cannes premiere.
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