I was hoping I’d get the chance to watch the new Criterion release of Lindsay Anderson’s This Sporting Life (1963) this week, but unfortunately I haven’t had the opportunity to. Since I’ve seen the film before and I have great respect for it, I really have no problem recommending the new Criterion disc. It promises to be one of the best DVD releases of the year. I hope to delve deeper into the film in the future after I have a chance to view it again so you can expect to see more posts from me about the British New Wave and British cinema in general in 2008.
In the meantime, if you haven’t had the pleasure of seeing Anderson’s gritty bleak drama yet, I highly recommend This Sporting Life. The film was produced by the talented filmmaker Karel Reisz (Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, Morgan: A Suitable Case for Treatment, etc.) and his influence on the production seems somewhat apparent when you watch the film. This Sporting Life is really a pivotal film in Lindsay Anderson’s directorial career and undoubtedly one of the most important films to come out of the British New Wave. It also features one of Richard Harris‘ finest performances.
The new Criterion DVD boasts a lot of great extras including multiple short films by Lindsay Anderson, audio commentary by Paul Ryan and David Storey, a documentary and interviews with people who knew and worked with the director. Criterion’s two disc DVD presentation of This Sporting Life is currently available from Amazon for $34.99 and the film is also available for rent from online sources like Greencine and Netflix.