It has been a barren summer for those of us in the UK who keep a keen eye on UK Criterion Collection announcements.
Back in early June, after considerable speculation among the UK blu-ray community, Criterion confirmed that they were parting ways with Sony Picture Home Entertainment as the UK distributor for their Region B releases.
The last one to hit the shelves was Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid.
Criterion said on June 6 they were “taking an extended summer break while we change distributors.”
Meanwhile, those in the United States have been able to gorge themselves, not only on the enviable Barnes & Noble half-price sale throughout July, but also on new releases Thelma & Louise, Medicine for Melancholy and the gorgeous Pasolini 101 boxset (among others).
Well, it appears the new UK distributors may just have inadvertently revealed themselves and also revealed a title heading to UK shelves — thanks in part to the BBFC.
The BBFC’s latest rating is for Martin Scorsese’s 1985 After Hours (given a 15 rating due to strong sex references and violence).
How can we be sure it’s the Criterion release? Well the bonus material is listed at 64 minutes and 55 seconds — precisely as long as the Criterion release in Region A.
And who was listed as the distributor for this release? Spirit Entertainment. (The page has since been updated with that reference removed.)
I’d expect confirmation from them in the next week or so.
Hopefully this means Criterion’s Region B arm will be back up to speed soon — and would some 4K releases hurt?
After Hours is getting the UltraHD treatment in the United States but Sony, perhaps for rights reasons, demurred to do so in the UK.