Criterion February Releases Include Dazed and Confused, Romeo and Juliet

A new month means a new set of films being released as part of The Criterion Collection. Today, the line-up for February 2023 was announced, and it has something for everyone, from an iconic Shakespeare adaptation to one of the most influential teen comedies of all time. The slate will also feature a satire of 1980s Hollywood and two separate collections of highly influential French films.

For many years, Franco Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet was the gold standard of Shakespeare film adaptations. The adaptation was able to bring an authenticity to the story not seen before by actually casting teenagers to play the lead role, rather than adults. The casting choice brought a breath of fresh air to the classic story. Similarly, for years the next addition to the collection was the gold standard for teen comedies: Dazed and Confused. If the effortlessly quotable dialogue wasn’t enough to make the film iconic, then all the careers it launched certainly do. Dazed and Confused helped establish writer and director Richard Linklater as a filmmaker to watch, and it featured a cast of Matthew McConaughey, Ben Affleck, Milla Jovovich, and more all early in their careers.


Another film being added to the collection that launched a career is Hollywood Shuffle. The film, which is written by, directed by, and stars Robert Townsend, satirized the typecasting of Black actors in 1980s Hollywood. In his debut as a director and writer, Townsend manages to capture a frustration that still resonates today, while keeping the audience laughing.

RELATED: ‘The Adventures of Baron Munchausen,’ ‘Bergman Island’ & More Coming to Criterion in January

The remaining films slated to join the collection in February are individual collections of French language films. First is the complete Three Colors trilogy from Krzysztof Kieślowski. Each film in the trilogy, Blue, White, and Red, explores a different aspect of the French republic’s motto, “liberty, equality, fraternity”. The trilogy is often seen as one of the most prominent products of the art-house film movement of the ’90s. The other collection is two films by Marguerite Duras, India Song and Baxter, Vera Baxter. Duras began her career as a prominent writer in post-war France before ultimately deciding on a career change and started writing and directing her own films. Her works, specifically the two being added to the collection, are known for their “highly stylized imagery” and “expression of women’s interior worlds”.

Check out the synopsis, bonus features, and release date for each film scheduled to be released this February. You can also visit the Criterion website for more information.

THREE COLORS (February 7)

three colors
Image via The Criterion Collection

This boldly cinematic trio of stories about love and loss, from Krzysztof Kieślowski, was a defining event of the art-house boom of the 1990s. The films are named for the colors of the French flag and stand for the tenets of the French Revolution—liberty, equality, and fraternity—but that hardly begins to explain their enigmatic beauty and rich humanity. Set in Paris, Warsaw, and Geneva, and ranging from tragedy to comedy, Blue, White, and Red (Kieślowski’s final film) examine with artistic clarity a group of ambiguously interconnected people experiencing profound personal disruptions. Marked by intoxicating cinematography and stirring performances by Juliette Binoche, Julie Delpy, Irène Jacob, and Jean-Louis Trintignant, Kieślowski’s Three Colors is a benchmark of contemporary cinema.


  1. New 4K digital restorations, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks
  2. One 4K UHD disc of each film presented in Dolby Vision HDR and one Blu-ray of each film with special features
  3. Three cinema lessons with director Krzysztof Kieślowski
  4. Interviews with cowriter Krzysztof Piesiewicz, composer Zbigniew Preisner, and actors Julie Delpy, Irène Jacob, and Zbigniew Zamachowski
  5. Selected-scene commentary featuring actor Juliette Binoche
  6. Video essays by film critics Annette Insdorf, Tony Rayns, and Dennis Lim
  7. Documentary from 1995 featuring Kieślowski
  8. Three short films by Kieślowski—The Tram (1966), Seven Women of Different Ages (1978), and Talking Heads (1980)—plus the short film The Face (1966), starring Kieślowski
  9. Interview programs on Kieślowski’s life and work, featuring Binoche, Insdorf, Jacob, film critic Geoff Andrew, filmmaker Agnieszka Holland, cinematographer Sławomir Idziak, producer Marin Karmitz, and editor Jacques Witta
  10. Behind-the-scenes programs for White and Red, and a short documentary on Red’s world premiere
  11. Trailers
  12. PLUS: Essays by film critics Colin MacCabe, Nick James, Stuart Klawans, and Georgina Evans; an excerpt from Kieślowski on Kieślowski; and reprinted interviews with cinematographers Idziak, Edward Kłosiński, and Piotr Sobociński


In the devastating first film of Krzysztof Kieślowski’s Three Colors trilogy, Juliette Binoche gives a tour de force performance as Julie, a woman reeling from the tragic death of her husband and young daughter. But Blue is more than just a blistering study of grief; it’s also a tale of liberation, as Julie attempts to free herself from the past while confronting truths about the life of her late husband, a composer. Shot in sapphire tones by Sławomir Idziak, and set to an extraordinary operatic score by Zbigniew Preisner, Blue is an overwhelming sensory experience.

1993 • 98 minutes • Color • 5.1 surround • In French with English subtitles • 1.85:1 aspect ratio


The most playful and also the grittiest of Krzysztof Kieślowski’s Three Colors films follows the adventures of Karol Karol (Zbigniew Zamachowski), a Polish immigrant living in France. The hapless hairdresser opts to leave Paris for his native Warsaw when his wife (Julie Delpy) sues him for divorce (her reason: their marriage was never consummated) and then frames him for arson after setting her own salon ablaze. White, which goes on to chronicle Karol’s elaborate revenge plot, manages to be both a ticklish dark comedy about the economic inequalities of Eastern and Western Europe and a sublime reverie on twisted love.

1994 • 91 minutes • Color • 5.1 surround • In French and Polish with English subtitles • 1.85:1 aspect ratio


Krzysztof Kieślowski closes his Three Colors trilogy in grand fashion, with an incandescent meditation on fate and chance, starring Irène Jacob as a sweet-souled yet somber runway model in Geneva whose life dramatically intersects with that of a bitter retired judge, played by Jean-Louis Trintignant. Meanwhile, just down the street, a seemingly unrelated story of jealousy and betrayal unfolds. Red is an intimate look at forged connections and a splendid final statement from a remarkable filmmaker at the height of his powers.

1994 • 99 minutes • Color • 5.1 surround • In French with English subtitles • 1.85:1 aspect ratio

ROMEO AND JULIET (February 14)

romeo and juliet
Image via The Criterion Collection

One of the great Shakespeare adaptations, this sublime take on the Bard’s immortal romantic tragedy by Franco Zeffirelli breathed new life into the oft-told tale by casting actual teenagers in the title roles. As the young lovers whose affair threatens to inflame the tensions between their feuding families in Renaissance Verona, Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting vividly capture the mix of adolescent ardor and turmoil that fuels their destiny-driven liaison. A sensory banquet thanks to Nino Rota’s delicate score and the exquisite, Oscar-winning costumes and cinematography, Romeo and Juliet is Shakespeare at its most deeply felt and passionately alive.


  1. New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  2. Excerpt from the 2018 documentary Franco Zeffirelli: Directing from Life
  3. Interviews with actors Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting from 1967 and 2016
  4. Trailer
  5. English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  6. PLUS: An essay by scholar Ramona Wray

1968 • 138 minutes • Color • Monaural • 1.85:1 aspect ratio


dazed and confused
Image via The Criterion Collection

America, 1976. The last day of school. Bongs blaze, bell-bottoms ring, and rock and roll rocks. Among the best teen films ever made, Dazed and Confused eavesdrops on a group of seniors-to-be and incoming freshmen. A launching pad for a number of future stars, the first studio effort by Richard Linklater also features endlessly quotable dialogue and a blasting, stadium-ready soundtrack. Sidestepping nostalgia, Dazed and Confused is less about “the best years of our lives” than the boredom, angst, and excitement of teenagers waiting . . . for something to happen.


  1. New 4K digital restoration of the director’s cut, supervised and approved by director Richard Linklater and cinematographer Lee Daniel, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack
  2. One 4K UHD disc of the film presented in Dolby Vision HDR and one Blu-ray of the film with special features
  3. Audio commentary by Linklater
  4. Making “Dazed,” a documentary by Kahane Cooperman
  5. Rare on-set interviews and behind-the-scenes footage
  6. Footage from the ten-year-anniversary celebration
  7. Audition footage and deleted scenes
  8. Trailer
  9. English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  10. PLUS: Essays by critics Kent Jones, Jim DeRogatis, and Chuck Klosterman; reprinted recollections of the filming from cast and crew; and character profiles from the Dazed and Confused companion book; as well as the original film poster by Frank Kozik

1993 • 102 minutes • Color • 5.1 surround • 1.85:1 aspect ratio


marguerite duras
Image via The Criterion Collection

Marguerite Duras had already established herself as one of the major figures of postwar French literature when she launched an equally fascinating and unclassifiable career in cinema, translating her elliptical, experimental style to the screen through an unprecedented fusion of hypnotic, highly stylized imagery and radically disjunctive sound. Boldly reimagining the possibilities of dialogue, music, silence, and architectural space, the tantalizing, sphinxlike evocations of soul-deep female malaise India Song and Baxter, Vera Baxter embody Duras’s singular multisensory approach, with each opening up new spaces for the expression of women’s interior worlds.


  1. New 2K digital restorations, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks on the Blu-rays
  2. Marguerite as She Was, a 2003 portrait of director Marguerite Duras
  3. Interview from 1977 with Duras
  4. Excerpt from a 1977 documentary on actor Delphine Seyrig
  5. New English subtitle translation
  6. PLUS: An essay by film scholar Ivone Margulies


Marguerite Duras’s most celebrated work is a mesmerizing, almost incantatory experience with few stylistic precedents in the history of cinema. Within the insular walls of a lavish, decaying embassy in 1930s India, the French ambassador’s wife (Delphine Seyrig) staves off ennui through affairs with multiple men—with the overpowering torpor broken only by a startling eruption of madness. Setting her evocatively decadent visuals to a desynchronized chorus of disembodied voices that comment on and counterpoint the action, with India Song Duras creates a haunted-house movie unlike any other.

1975 • 119 minutes • Color • Monaural • In French with English subtitles • 1.37:1 aspect ratio


Marguerite Duras reunited with India Song collaborators Delphine Seyrig and composer Carlos d’Alessio for Baxter, Vera Baxter, a hypnotically unsettling journey into one woman’s existential emptiness. Ensconced in a sprawling rental villa, the world-weary Vera Baxter (Claudine Gabay) receives visits from two women, including a mysterious stranger (Seyrig) to whom she recounts a shocking story about her marriage, the way she lives, and the reasons for her malaise. Setting her languid images to d’Alessio’s incongruously breezy, endlessly looping score, Duras fashions a quietly shattering portrait of marriage as a kind of prison.

1977 • 95 minutes • Color • Monaural • In French with English subtitles • 1.66:1 aspect ratio


hollywood shuffle
Image via The Criterion Collection

This debut feature by Robert Townsend is an ingenious guerrilla satire that takes riotous aim at the typecasting of Black actors in 1980s Hollywood. The writer-director-star’s megawatt charisma propels Hollywood Shuffle, the hilarious tale of a struggling actor attempting to break into an industry where the only roles available to Black performers seem to be hustlers, butlers, slaves, and “Eddie Murphy types”—forcing him to choose between selling out and maintaining his self-respect. Lampooning everything from film noir to zombie flicks to Siskel and Ebert, Townsend and cowriter Keenen Ivory Wayans cannily turn the frustrations of the Black artist into a subversively funny pop-culture critique.


  1. New, restored 4K digital transfer, approved by writer-director-actor Robert Townsend, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  2. New audio commentary featuring Townsend
  3. New interviews with actors Rusty Cundieff, Anne-Marie Johnson, and Bobby McGee
  4. Radio program featuring Townsend in conversation with film critic Elvis Mitchell
  5. Trailer
  6. English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  7. PLUS: An essay by critic Aisha Harris

1987 • 81 minutes • Color/Black & White • Monaural • 1.85:1 aspect ratio

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