Martin Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ is getting a Blu-ray release on 22nd April, courtesy of The Criterion Collection and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
The same month will see the two firms release Edgar G. Ulmer’s legendary B movie Detour, which comes to Blu-ray for the first time, and Au Hasard Balthazar.
The Last Temptation of Christ
Though it initially engendered enormous controversy, the film can now be viewed as the remarkable, profoundly personal work of faith that it is.
This fifteen-year labour of love, an adaptation of Nikos Kazantzakis’s landmark novel that imagines an alternate fate for Jesus Christ, features outstanding performances by Willem Dafoe, Barbara Hershey, Harvey Keitel, Harry Dean Stanton and David Bowie; bold cinematography by the great Michael Ballhaus; and a transcendent score by Peter Gabriel.
- Restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised and approved by cinematographer Michael Ballhaus and editor Thelma Schoonmaker, with a 5.1 DTS-HD
- Master Audio soundtrack by supervising sound editor Skip Lievsay
- Audio commentary featuring director Martin Scorsese, actor Willem Dafoe, and writers Paul Schrader and Jay Cocks
- Galleries of production stills, research materials, and costume designs
- Location production footage shot by Scorsese
- Interview with composer Peter Gabriel, with a stills gallery of traditional instruments used in the score
- PLUS: An essay by film critic David Ehrenstein.
From Poverty Row came a movie that, perhaps more than any other, epitomises the dark fatalism at the heart of film noir.
As he hitchhikes his way from New York to Los Angeles, a down-on-his-luck nightclub pianist (Tom Neal) finds himself with a dead body on his hands and nowhere to run—a waking nightmare that goes from bad to worse when he picks up the most vicious femme fatale in cinema history, Ann Savage’s snarling, monstrously conniving drifter Vera.
Working with no-name stars on a bargain basement budget, B auteur Edgar G. Ulmer (People on Sunday) turned threadbare production values and seedy, low-rent atmosphere into indelible pulp poetry.
Long unavailable in a format in which its hard-boiled beauty could be fully appreciated, Detour haunts anew in its first major restoration.
- New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
- Edgar G. Ulmer: The Man Off-Screen, a 2004 documentary featuring interviews with filmmakers Roger Corman, Joe Dante, and Wim Wenders and actor Ann Savage
- New interview with film scholar Noah Isenberg, author of Edgar G. Ulmer: A Filmmaker at the Margins
- New programme about the restoration of Detour
- PLUS: An essay by critic and poet Robert Polito
Au Hasard Balthazar
A profound masterpiece from one of the most revered filmmakers in the history of cinema, Au hasard Balthazar, directed by Robert Bresson (Pickpocket), follows the donkey Balthazar as he is passed from owner to owner, some kind and some cruel but all with motivations outside of his understanding.
Balthazar, whose life parallels that of his first keeper, Marie, is truly a beast of burden, suffering the sins of humankind. But despite his powerlessness, he accepts his fate nobly.
Through Bresson’s unconventional approach to composition, sound, and narrative, this simple story becomes a moving parable about purity and transcendence.
- New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
- Interview from 2005 with film scholar Donald Richie
- “Un metteur en ordre: Robert Bresson,” a 1966 French television programme about the film, featuring Bresson, filmmakers Jean-Luc Godard and Louis Malle, and members of Balthazar’s cast and crew
- Original theatrical trailer
- Plus: An essay by film scholar James Quandt