Starting this fall, Criterion will proudly join Janus Films in presenting Janus Contemporaries, a new line of home-video editions of first-run releases, fresh from theaters, following their streaming premieres on the Criterion Channel.
Kicking off with Jerzy Skolimowski’s Cannes Jury Prize winner and Academy Award nominee EO, the 2023 slate of the Janus Contemporaries line will feature Jafar Panahi’s No Bears, Louis Garrel’s The Innocent, Hlynur Pálmason’s Godland, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s Tori and Lokita, and Felix van Groeningen and Charlotte Vandermeersch’s The Eight Mountains.
The Blu-ray and DVD editions will include new interviews with the filmmakers produced by Criterion as part of the Criterion Channel series Meet the Filmmakers, and will retail for $29.95 (Blu-ray) and $24.95 (DVD).
Known for more than sixty-five years as the premier U.S. distributor of international art-house cinema, Janus is home to many of the greatest movies ever made, from such vaunted masters as Chantal Akerman, Michelangelo Antonioni, Ingmar Bergman, Jean Cocteau, the Coen brothers, Federico Fellini, Jean-Luc Godard, Akira Kurosawa, David Lynch, Yasujiro Ozu, Satyajit Ray, Ousmane Sembène, François Truffaut, Melvin Van Peebles, Agnès Varda, Wim Wenders, and Wong Kar Wai. Last year, when Sight and Sound revealed the results of its once-a-decade poll, the critics’ and directors’ lists of the top hundred films of all time each included more than fifty entries from the Janus library.
After premiering many key works by Antonioni, Bergman, and Fellini in the 1960s, Janus largely stepped away from first-run theatrical distribution. Following the release of Kurosawa’s Dodes’ka-den (1970), the company focused on theatrical runs of restored classics from its library until 2009, when it distributed Götz Spielmann’s Revanche.
Over the past decade, Janus has released a steady stream of celebrated art-house hits, including Academy Award winners like Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty and Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Drive My Car, which marked the start of Janus’s landmark partnership with bespoke theatrical specialist Sideshow.
With a more robust first-run lineup than it has had since the 1960s and powerful partnerships with theatrical specialists Sideshow and the Criterion Channel streaming service, Janus is uniquely well positioned to bring the best films from around the world to theaters and homes across North America. The launch of Janus Contemporaries completes that picture.