Why is a forthcoming DVD of Michelangelo Antonioni‘s Il Grido (’58) only available in England? Why isn’t it coming out here through Criterion? This is Antonioni’s first landmark film — his first world-class depiction of characters trapped and semi-narcotized by a sense of their alienation and rootlessness.

“When sugar refinery worker Aldo (Steve Cochran) is jilted by his mistress, Irma (Alida Valli), he takes to the road. With daughter in tow, Aldo wanders the Po River delta, seeking temporary but always illusory respite with a series of lovers, who only serve to remind him of Irma. Unable to find a new life, Aldo’s haunted past gives way to a fateful finale.

“With a script conceived by Antonioni, exquisite cinematography (including a signature concern with desolate vistas), and a plaintive score by renowned composer Giovanni Fusco, the award-winning Il Grido — it took the Golden Leopard at Locarno — is an early key work in the director’s much-celebrated oeuvre.

“The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Il Grido for home viewing in the UK for the very first time. New high-definition transfer of the film in its original aspect ratio. Newly translated optional English subtitles. Original 1957 Italian theatrical trailer. Previously unseen deleted footage. A 56-page booklet featuring a color reproduction of the original Italian poster. Archival publicity stills. An essay by William Arrowsmith called ‘Antonioni: The Poet of Images.’ Writing and interviews from Michelangelo Antonioni.”