Blu-ray Release: Band of Outsiders

Blu-ray Release Date: May 7, 2012
Price: Blu-ray $39.95
Studio: Criterion

Band of Outsiders movie scene

Anna Karina makes it happen in Godard's Band of Outsiders.

Four years after his landmark Breathless, the great Jean-Luc Godard (Weekend)  re-imagined the gangster film even more radically with his 1964 crime drama Band of Outsiders.

In the Nouvelle vague classic, two restless young men (Sweet Movie’s Sami Frey and Eyes Without a Face’s Claude Brasseur) enlist the object of both of their fancies (Pierrot le fou’s Anna Karina) to help them commit a robbery—in her own home. An audacious and wildly entertaining French New Wave gem, Band of Outsiders is at once sentimental and sour, effervescently romantic and melancholy, and it features some of Godard’s most memorable set pieces, including the headlong race through the Louvre and the ultra-cool Madison dance sequence.

Criterion released a DVD edition of Bande à part back in 2003 which is still available. All of the features from the DVD are on the Blu-ray, as well as some new stuff. Here’s what’s included overall:

• New digital master of Gaumont’s recent high-definition restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
• Visual glossary of references and wordplay found in Band of Outsiders
• Exclusive interviews with cinematographer Raoul Coutard and actor Anna Karina
• Excerpts from a 1964 interview with director Jean-Luc Godard, including rare behind-the-scenes footage from the film
• Filmmaker Agnès Varda’s 1961 silent comedy Les fiancés du pont Mac Donald, starring Godard and Karina and featuring other members of the Band
of Outsiders
• Godard’s original theatrical trailer and the 2001 U.S. rerelease trailer
• A booklet featuring an essay by poet and critic Joshua Clover, Godard’s character descriptions for the film’s 1964 press book, and an interview with the director from the same year

Hey, check out a bit of that dance sequence:

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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.