It's been a long time coming, but the Criterion Collection is finally bringing the greatest film trilogy of all time to Blu-ray in a deluxe box set. Richard Linklater's Before trilogy – which consists of 1995's Before Sunrise, 2004's Before Sunset and 2013's Before Midnight – chronicles the brutally honest relationship of Jesse and Celine as they meet in Vienna one fateful night, reunite in Paris nine years later and struggle to make love last nine years after that in Greece. It's one of the most monumental screen achievements ever conceived and absolutely a pleasure to watch. The box set has long been rumored and finally arrives on February 28. Special features include a conversation with actors Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke and director Richard Linklater, a video essay and the 2016 documentary Dream Is Destiny, about Linklater's 25-year career.
February also sees a long-time-coming disc: Almodovar's Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. The most celebrated Spanish filmmaker of all time surprisingly has no films in the Criterion Collection yet. His breakthrough film – this 1989 comedy – is a great place to start. The remastered film also features a discussion on the film's wide-reaching impact. The same day you'll also be able to pick up Mildred Pierce, Michael Curtiz's film noir adaptation of James Cain's landmark novel. Joan Crawford gives one of her best performances as the titular character, a mother trying to make a better life for herself and her insufferable daughter (Ann Blyth). Rare interviews with Cain, Crawford and Blyth are also included.
If you prefer your films a little more devastating, Criterion's final two offerings will be more up your alley. The Tree of Wooden Clogs won the Palme d'Or at Cannes in 1978, and it's the kind of heartbreaking movie the critics rave about for decades. Set in 19th Century Italy, it's a three-hour epic about a family of poor farmers on the edge of falling apart. For something a little more current, there's also Cameraperson, one of this year's most acclaimed documentaries. Kirsten Johnson shares her images – including daily life in Bosnia, Nigeria and other places around the world – and her craft as a cinematographer, exploring how to properly capture the story that's unfolding.