The Criterion Collection and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment are delighted to bring Swing Time and Hedwig to our screens this month

The first July title from Criterion and Sony is SWING TIMEIn this irresistible musical, the legendary dancing duo Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers (Top Hat) are at the pinnacle of their art as a feckless gambler and the shrewd dancing instructor in whom he more than meets his match. Director George Stevens (Womanof the Year) laces their romance with humour and clears the floor for the movie’s showstopping dance scenes, in which Astaire and Rogers take seemingly effortless flight in a virtuosic fusion of ballroom and tap styles. Buoyed by beloved songs by Dorothy Fields and Jerome Kern – including the Oscar-winning classic “The Way You Look Tonight” – Swing Time is an exuberant celebration of its stars’ chemistry, grace and sheer joy in the act of performance

SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack

Audio commentary from 1986 featuring John Mueller, author of Astaire Dancing: The Musical Films

Archival interviews with performers Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers and choreographer Hermes Pan

New interview with George Stevens Jr.

In Full Swing, a new programme on the film’s choreography and soundtrack featuring jazz and film critic Gary Giddins, dance critic Brian Seibert, and Dorothy Fields biographer Deborah Grace Winer

New interview with film scholar Mia Mask on the “Bojangles of Harlem” number

PLUS: An essay by critic Imogen Sara Smith

Followed on 22 July by HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH. With this trailblazing musical, writer–director–star John Cameron Mitchell and composer-lyricist Stephen Trask brought their signature creation from stage to screen for a movie as unclassifiable as its protagonist. Raised a boy in East Berlin, Hedwig (Mitchell) undergoes a traumatic personal transformation in order to emigrate to the U.S., where she reinvents herself as an “internationally ignored” but divinely talented rock diva, characterized by Mitchell as a “beautiful gender of one.” The film tells Hedwig’s life story through her music, an eclectic collection of original punk anthems and power ballads by Trask, matching them with a freewheeling cinematic mosaic of music-video fantasies, animated interludes, and moments of bracing emotional realism. A hard-charging song cycle and a tender character study, Hedwig and the Angry Inch is a tribute to the transcendent power of rock and roll.

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

New 4K digital restoration, supervised by director John Cameron Mitchell and cinematographer Frank DeMarco, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack

Audio commentary from 2001 featuring Mitchell and DeMarco

New conversation between members of the cast and crew, including Mitchell, DeMarco, composer and lyricist Stephen Trask, hairstylist and makeup artist Michael Potter, animator Emily Hubley, actor Miriam Shor, and visual consultant Miguel Villalobos

Whether You Like It or Not: The Story of Hedwig (2003), an 85-minute documentary tracing the development of the project from its beginnings in a New York club to its theatrical premiere at the Sundance Film Festival

New conversation between Trask and rock critic David Fricke about the film’s soundtrack

From the Archives, a new programme exploring Hedwig’s production and legacy through its memorabilia

Deleted scenes with commentary by Mitchell and DeMarco

Trailer

PLUS: An essay by Stephanie Zacharek, along with, production photos by Potter and costume designer Arianne Phillips, illustrations by Hubley, and excerpts from two of the film’s inspirations, Plato’s Symposium and The Gospel of Thomas.

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