Good times and bad from Criterion

Two new titles have been announced for December release from Criterion. A Christmas Story and Gimme Shelter join the collection.

A Christmas Story: In Arnaud Desplechin’s beguiling A Christmas Tale (Un conte de Noël), Catherine Deneuve brings her legendary poise to the role of Junon, matriarch of the troubled Vuillard family, who come together at Christmas after she learns she needs a bone marrow transplant from a blood relative. That simple family reunion setup, however, can’t begin to describe the unpredictable, emotionally volatile experience of this film, an inventive, magical drama that’s equal parts merriment and melancholy. Unrequited childhood loves and blinding grudges, brutal outbursts and sudden slapstick, music, movies, and poetry, A Christmas Tale ties it all together in a marvelously messy package.

The disc comes with a new, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised by director Arnaud Desplechin, L’aimée, Desplechin’s 2007 documentary about the selling of his family home, a new documentary featuring interviews with Desplechin and actors Mathieu Amalric and Catherine Deneuve, trailers and a booklet.

Gimme Shelter: Called “the greatest rock film ever made,” this landmark documentary follows the Rolling Stones on their notorious 1969 U.S. tour. When 300,000 members of the Love Generation collided with a few dozen Hell’s Angels at San Francisco’s Altamont Speedway, direct cinema pioneers David and Albert Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin immortalized on film the bloody slash that transformed a decade’s dreams into disillusionment.

The Blu-ray will contain all the extras from the existing Criterion DVD.

Both discs will arrive on December 1st.

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