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Martin Scorsese's World Cinema Project (Touki Bouki / Redes / A River Called Titas / Dry Summer / Trances / The Housemaid) (Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray + DVD)

3.1 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Established by Martin Scorsese in 2007, the World Cinema Project expands the horizons of moviegoers everywhere. The mission of the WCP is to preserve and present marginalized and infrequently screened films from regions of the world ill equipped to provide funding for major restorations. This collector’s set brings together six superb films from various countries, including Bangladesh/India (A River Called Titas), Mexico (Redes), Morocco (Trances), Senegal (Touki bouki), South Korea (The Housemaid), and Turkey (Dry Summer); each is a cinematic revelation, depicting a culture not often seen by outsiders.

TOUKI BOUKI With a stunning mix of the surreal and the naturalistic, Djibril Diop Mambéty paints a vivid, fractured portrait of Senegal in the early 1970s. In this French New Wave–influenced fantasy-drama, two young lovers long to leave Dakar for the glamour and comforts of Europe, but their escape plan is beset by complications both concrete and mystical. Marked by dazzling imagery and music, the alternately manic and meditative Touki bouki is widely admired as one of the most important African films ever made. 1973
  • 89 minutes
  • Color
  • Monaural
  • In Wolof with English subtitles
  • 1.37:1 aspect ratio


REDES Early in his career, the Austrian-born, future Oscar winner Fred Zinnemann (From Here to Eternity) codirected with Emilio Gómez Muriel the politically and emotionally searing Redes. In this vivid, documentary-like dramatization of the daily grind of men struggling to make a living by fishing on the Gulf of Mexico (mostly played by real-life fishermen), one worker’s terrible loss instigates a political awakening among him and his fellow laborers. A singular coming together of stunning talents, Redes, commissioned by a progressive Mexican government, was gorgeously shot and cowritten by the legendary photographer Paul Strand. 1936
  • 59 minutes
  • Black & White
  • Monaural
  • In Spanish with English subtitles
  • 1.33:1 aspect ratio


A RIVER CALLED TITAS The Bengali filmmaker Ritwik Ghatak’s stunningly beautiful, elegiac saga concerns the tumultuous lives of people in fishing villages along the banks of the Titas River in pre-Partition East Bengal. Focusing on the tragic intertwining fates of a series of fascinating characters, in particular the indomitable widow Basanti, Ghatak tells the poignant story of an entire community’s vanishing way of life. Made soon after Bangladesh became an independent nation, the elliptical, stylized, painterly A River Called Titas is a grand epic from a director who has had a devoted following for decades. 1973
  • 156 minutes
  • Black & White
  • Monaural
  • In Bengali with English subtitles
  • 1.37:1 aspect ratio


DRY SUMMER Winner of the prestigious Golden Bear at the 1964 Berlin International Film Festival, Metin Erksan’s wallop of a melodrama concerns the machinations of an unrepentantly selfish tobacco farmer who builds a dam to prevent water from flowing downhill to nourish his neighbors’ crops. Alongside this tale of soul-devouring competition is one of overheated desire, as a love triangle develops between the farmer, his more decent brother, and the beautiful villager the latter takes as his bride, resulting in a Cain and Abel–like struggle. A benchmark of Turkish cinema, this is a visceral, innovatively shot and vibrantly acted depiction of the horrors of greed. 1964
  • 90 minutes
  • Black & White
  • Monaural
  • In Turkish with English subtitles
  • 1.33:1 aspect ratio


TRANCES The beloved Moroccan band Nass El Ghiwane is the dynamic subject of this captivating musical documentary. Storytellers through song, some with a background in political theater, the band’s members became an international sensation (Western rock critics have often referred to them as “the Rolling Stones of North Africa”), thanks to their political lyrics and sublime, fully acoustic sound, which draws on the Moroccan trance music tradition. Both a concert movie and a free-form audiovisual experiment, Ahmed El Maânouni’s Trances is cinematic poetry. 1981
  • 88 minutes
  • Color
  • Monaural
  • In Arabic with English subtitles
  • 1.66:1 aspect ratio


THE HOUSEMAID A torrent of intimate obsession, revenge, and betrayal is unleashed under one roof in this venomous melodrama from South Korean master Kim Ki-young. Immensely popular in its home country when it was released, The Housemaid is the thrilling, at times jaw-dropping story of the devastating effect an unstable housemaid has on the domestic cocoon of a bourgeois, morally dubious music teacher, his devoted wife, and their precocious young children. Grim and taut yet perched on the border of the absurd, Kim’s film is an engrossing tale of class warfare and familial disintegration that has been hugely influential on the new generation of South Korean directors. 1960
  • 108 minutes
  • Black & White
  • Monaural
  • In Korean with English subtitles
  • 1.66:1 aspect ratio

Special Features

DUAL-FORMAT BLU-RAY AND DVD SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
  • New high-definition digital restorations of all six films, undertaken by the World Cinema Project in collaboration with the Cineteca di Bologna, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks on the Blu-rays
  • New introductions to the films by World Cinema Project founder Martin Scorsese
  • New interview programs featuring filmmakers Abderrahmane Sissako (on Touki bouki), Kumar Shahani (on A River Called Titas), Metin Erksan and Fatih Akın (on Dry Summer), and Bong Joon-ho (on The Housemaid)
  • New visual essay on Redes by filmmaker and critic Kent Jones
  • New interview program on Trances featuring filmmaker Ahmed El Maânouni, producer Izza Génini, and musician Omar Sayed
  • New English subtitle translations
  • Three Blu-rays and six DVDs, with all content available in both formats
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring essays on the films by Charles Ramirez Berg, Bilge Ebiri, Kyung Hyun Kim, Adrian Martin, Richard Porton, and Sally Shafto

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Various
    • Directors: Djibril Diop Mambety, Fred Zinnemann, Emilo Gomez Muriel, Ritwik Ghatak, Metin Erksan
    • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
    • Language: Korean, Arabic, Turkish, Bengali, Spanish
    • Subtitles: English
    • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
    • Number of discs: 9
    • Rated: Unrated
    • Studio: Criterion Collection
    • DVD Release Date: December 10, 2013
    • Run Time: 590 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B00F98FNNM
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,766 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

    Customer Reviews

    Top Customer Reviews

    come on people. i dont get what problems you have with the price of this boxset. you get 6 master pieces of cinema history from CRITERION on bluray and DVD here. retail price = 120$ / 6 movies = 20 bucks each. thats what you pay @ B&N in a criterion sale for a single movie. and now you get these 6 movies for 65$ ... something is really wrong with people if you keep complaining about a price like this.

    and if you hate the DVDs so much, sell them, give it to a friend that has no bluray player... doh.
    Comment 19 of 26 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    My main reason for buying this set was to own "Touki Bouki"(1973 Senegal), which Sight and Sound listed at #93, for greatest films of all time. This film is about a young couple who seek to escape their poverty stricken life by heading for Paris. The set also comes with five other interesting films. My favourite of the later probably being the Kim Ki-Young film, "The Housemaid" (1960 South Korea), which is a drama/horror film. The films all offer something if one is looking for rare films from other cultures. Ahmed Maanouni's film "Trances" (1981 Morocco) is a music documentary about a Moroccan band (Nass El Ghiwane) that became popular in the Arab world in the 1970's/1980's. "Redes"(1936 Mexico) is a film about fishermen who rebel against the wealthy, which was important with its docudrama realism and its influence on Italian neo-realism. "A River Called Titas" 1973 India/ Bangladesh)(158min) was for me the hardest to appreciate given what I saw as weaknesses in acting and a sprawling plot.Two of these films had some strong violent scenes involving animals which some may find hard to watch:"Touki Bouki", which begins early with a scene of a cattle slaughterhouse, along with other later scenes of farm/rural images of chickens or goats being killed before preparation for meals, and "Dry Summer"(1964 Turkey) with similar farm images. All in all the movies in this set have many arresting images that will likely haunt one for many years to come.

    This set comes with short intros for each movie from Martin Scorsese, special features on each film and a 64 page booklet with informative essays about each movie.
    Comment 7 of 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Verified Purchase
    Once more m.Martin Scorsese AND criterion made possible to us to discover 6 greats movies that for some we probably never heard of in magnificent hd masters.
    Comment 3 of 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    I don't understand why they had to group all these unrelated films together. What if I only like one of the films and want to have it in my collection, but not the rest? Why do I need to purchase the whole set?! It just doesn't make sense and it is a waste of resources in my opinion. They have more gems in the WCP collection and hopefully they will be released by Criterion as standalone DVDs and Blu-Rays and not box sets like this one.
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    Below is the description of a Turkish film that, after all is said and done, sounds almost identical to JEAN DE FLORETTE and MANON DU SOURCE. I know that the films were made a few years later, but was DRY SUMMER based on the Pagnol novel? Anyone want to do some detective work for me?

    DRY SUMMER Winner of the prestigious Golden Bear at the 1964 Berlin International Film Festival, Metin Erksan’s wallop of a melodrama concerns the machinations of an unrepentantly selfish tobacco farmer who builds a dam to prevent water from flowing downhill to nourish his neighbors’ crops. Alongside this tale of soul-devouring competition is one of overheated desire, as a love triangle develops between the farmer, his more decent brother, and the beautiful villager the latter takes as his bride, resulting in a Cain and Abel–like struggle. A benchmark of Turkish cinema, this is a visceral, innovatively shot and vibrantly acted depiction of the horrors of greed. 1964
    2 Comments 5 of 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Verified Purchase
    What's not to love. Scorsese is a Master Director. He knows great cinema. The films were awesome. I love Criterion anything!!!
    Comment 2 of 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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