Criterion Collection Upcoming Releases: Mulholland Dr. And The Brood

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When news of an upcoming Criterion Collection release is announced, the hearts of cineastes beat a little faster. Although the distribution company has become legendary for their impeccable Blu-releases, they’ve been around since the days of VHS tapes. Criterion releases also include impeccable, award-winning special features, including audio commentaries, deleted scenes, documentaries, and much more.

Two upcoming Criterion Collection releases are particularly notable: Mulholland Dr. and The Brood.

Mulholland Dr., which was released in 2001, was the film that reignited my long-dormant love for director David Lynch. Back in the day, I was a huge fan of Lynch’s work, being somewhat obsessed with Blue Velvet, Dune, and the Twin Peaks television series. However, by the time Wild At Heart came out in 1990, I felt Lynch’s work had become a parody of itself and I lost interest. Seeing Mulholland Dr. a few years ago changed all that.

It’s described as “a love story in the city of dreams” and like Blue Velvet did, Mulholland Dr. occupies that liminal space between reality and unreality, a world in which you’re never totally sure what’s happening but the way the story is presented is so beautifully rendered, that you can’t help but keep watching. It’s romantic, eerie, suspenseful, hilarious, scary, and heartbreaking all at once and reveals the genuine star quality of lead actress Naomi Watts.

The upcoming Criterion release of Mulholland Dr., to be released October 27, will provide a new, restored 4K transfer supervised by David Lynch and Peter Deming, the film’s director of photography. It includes interviews with the cast (Naomi Watts, Justin Theroux, and Laura Harring) as well as Lynch and Deming. There are also interviews with legendary composer Angelo Badalamenti, production designer Jack Fisk, and casting director Johanna Ray.

Another release slated to arrive from Criterion is David Cronenberg’s iconic body horror film, The Brood, which will be available on October 13. It stars Art Hindle (Black Christmas), Samantha Eggar (The Collector), and the inimitable Oliver Reed (The Devils), The Brood is my favorite Cronenberg film and presents a sobering and scary examination of trauma, marriage, and motherhood, inspiring decades of “creepy kid films.”

The Brood will be released in a new, restored 2K digital transfer supervised by Cronenberg along with a new documentary about the making of the film and Cronenberg’s early career. The doc includes Samantha Eggar, producer Pierre David, DP Mark Irwin, assistant director John Board, along with special effects makeup legends Rick Baker and Joe Blasco. A newly restored digital transfer of a Cronenberg feature from 1970 called Crimes of the Future is also included along with 2013 interviews with actors Art Hindle and Cindy Hinds. A 1980 appearance by Oliver Reed on The Merv Griffin Show is also included (my personal favorite feature).

As the Criterion Collection states, “Each film is presented uncut, in its original aspect ratio, as its maker intended it to be seen.” Mulholland Dr. and The Brood represent two worthy additions to the Criterion Collection catalog.

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