Fantasy Football - Footballguys Forums
Sign in to follow this  
Bob Magaw

The Criterion Collection

Recommended Posts

if anybody is a fan of the zatoichi series (blind swordsman), criterion is releasing a box set around thanksgiving (barnes and noble in past have had half price sales that weekend)...

it was supposedly the longest running series of its kind in japanese history...

the set is nearly complete, with 27 discs (i think nine blu ray, containing nearly all the original 25-26 movies, and 18 DVDs?)... there was a much later movie, and there may have been one they couldn't rights to (?), not included...

watched the first one on hulu plus last night... i think 10-15 are there, not sure about netflix or youtube...

if people like kurosawa's samurai movies, they might like it... interesting character, guess it would have to be to sustain such a long running series...

i'm guessing this has to be one of the best box set releases in any genre this season (i think it comes out same day as breaking bad set - it is a good time for a release)...

I've been collecting Zatoichi DVDs for years and have sold some of the harder to get films for $50 each on Ebay. IIRC, "Zatoichi's Pilgrimage" has never been previously released in the US.

So yeah, this is awesome news for Zatoichi fans. Buying the complete set used on Ebay right now could cost over $350.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

if anybody is a fan of the zatoichi series (blind swordsman), criterion is releasing a box set around thanksgiving (barnes and noble in past have had half price sales that weekend)...

it was supposedly the longest running series of its kind in japanese history...

the set is nearly complete, with 27 discs (i think nine blu ray, containing nearly all the original 25-26 movies, and 18 DVDs?)... there was a much later movie, and there may have been one they couldn't rights to (?), not included...

watched the first one on hulu plus last night... i think 10-15 are there, not sure about netflix or youtube...

if people like kurosawa's samurai movies, they might like it... interesting character, guess it would have to be to sustain such a long running series...

i'm guessing this has to be one of the best box set releases in any genre this season (i think it comes out same day as breaking bad set - it is a good time for a release)...

I've been collecting Zatoichi DVDs for years and have sold some of the harder to get films for $50 each on Ebay. IIRC, "Zatoichi's Pilgrimage" has never been previously released in the US.

So yeah, this is awesome news for Zatoichi fans. Buying the complete set used on Ebay right now could cost over $350.

i think set is $225, but the traditional thanksgiving weekend 50% off sale by barnes and noble (conveniently going on around release date) would bring it to $112.50 (i remember getting the AK 100 set that way)...

* the details on the set from criterion's site (includes the series sequence)...

http://www.criterion.com/boxsets/1012-zatoichi-the-blind-swordsman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This Sunday, I continue the October "Cops and Bad Guys" series...

Errol Morris's "The Thin Blue Line"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xa2CiiPJt8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=topEFBr3HFY

:thumbup:

i rewatched that recently.

mentioned it in the texas governor thread (about possible wrongful willingham execution)...

what a brilliant documentary, without a doubt one of the best i've ever seen.

i'm not sure if this was his first film, werner herzog told him he would eat a shoe (ala chaplin in gold rush) if he got his first picture made, as motivation, and he kept his word... they had a 30 minute doc about it on TCM...

unrelated, a war genre movie in criterion's catalog, but malick's thin red line is my favorite by malick, with his brilliant debut badlands (eve more than his last movie)...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

massive zatoichi box set release date today (11-26)...

B & N 50% off sale in november, price is $112 (free shipping)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Coming 1-14-14... Thief by Michael Mann with James Caan.

1-21-14... It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (including some never before seen scenes from the original road show edition).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At B & N, all Criterion titles 50% off through cyber Monday.

They have additional coupon/s you can take off of that.

BFRIDAY14 for 30% was working as of last night.

Also, CMONDAY14 for 25%, I was able to use both (on two different items, not on the same one).

The 7 disc blu ray edition of The Complete Jacques Tati went from $125 list to about $45. Free shipping over $25 or $35 (?).

Other new titles this year:

A Hard Day's Night

Scanners

Eraserhead

All That Jazz

La Dolce Vita

* One of the more literate reviews I've read in a while, by my favorite jazz critic, Gary Giddens (he also wrote essays for The Sweet Smell of Success and Lola Montes, and did the commentary track for Kubrick's Paths Of Glory).

La Dolce Vita

http://www.criterion.com/current/posts/3335-la-dolce-vita-tuxedos-at-dawn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

B & N is having a July 50% off sale, just found out today.

Zatoichi Box, 25 films (all titles on BOTH 9 Blu Rays + 18 DVDs) $112.50, may have to pay tax, free shipping.

* If you have Hulu Plus, the first 18 titles are avail. streaming, though not the last seven films in the series.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the idea was that the more commercial offerings could help finance the more artistic releases. A lot of them sold out when they came out on DVD, have long been OOP and can fetch high prices on EBAY (I think Hard Boiled, for example, not to compare that to a Michael Bay film :) ), and possibly due to lapsed rights, won't see Blu Ray releases on Criterion.

Most of mine are foreign films (Kurosawa, etc.), but also have cult titles like Eraserhead (Lynch's Mulholland Drive coming out in October), Videodrome and Scanners by Cronenberg, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would buy that just for the Michael Bay gag reel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thought the B & N 50% off sale was for July, but still on, not sure how long.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The first 20 Zatoichi films (minus 16-18?). I'm on the fourth, good stuff. The fifth (On The Road) reportedly one of the best in the series.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3e4cFpjoLfg&list=PLlwGZ3vI0nA7p1G03HDyKuOAiiiy84olA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Other than newer titles, lot of these seem to be about 50% off at Amazon ($40 list for $20-$22, $50 list for $28), which typically is offered a few times a year like B & N much of November leading up to Black Friday and occasional Criterion flash sales for a few days.

Criterion Collection site

https://www.criterion.com/

Some recently released titles include Ikiru, Kwaidan and Mulholland Drive. Recently announced titles include Bicycle Thieves and Frankenheimer's The Manchurian Candidate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Criterion is legendary for their restoration of archival world cinema classics (Kurosawa, Bergman, Fellini, Bunuel, Tarkovsky, Powell and Pressburger, etc.). The below link includes an embedded 7 minute video on why the Apu Trilogy by Indian master Satyajit Ray was the most challenging (due to the condition of the negatives, so damaged by fire they were initially assessed as completely unuseable and a total loss, than miraculously stored for decades and not thrown out) and ambitious restoration project Criterion has ever undergone - saying a lot, given their track record. A glimpse at the herculean task this involved.

https://www.criterion.com/current/posts/3834-the-sacred-act-of-saving-the-apu-trilogy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On a Wim Wenders kick.

Rewatched The State of Things, one of those movies that has a movie inside the movie. Those that like Wenders would probably like it, those that don't, probably wouldn't. :) The understated synth score is sparse and minimalist but haunting (sort of, in a different way, like John Carpenter's The Thing). Before he used Robby Muller as DP, he used the cinematographer for some of Cocteau's films, with some very nice B & W work. This was made during down time from difficulties with the American Zoetrope production of Hammett.

On deck:

Rewatch Wings Of Desire and Paris, Texas (both on Criterion), I like the former more, but both have qualities that recommend them. Fart jokes not one of them. Funny, when Wings is introspective, a lot is going on, as the angels are telepathic and can hear the incessant internal monologues people have. When Paris is introspective, it becomes a mystery to discover how and why Harry Dean Stanton initially is in a state of shock and uncommunicative state.

Also American Friend (coming to Criterion soon), which co-stars Dennis Hopper. One of the more plot-driven, suspenseful Wenders movies. Reportedly Hopper and the German co-star (Bruno Ganz, the central angel of the two shown in WOD) didn't get along on set, until they had an epic bar brawl and bonded (not as good a story as Hetzog allegedly pulling a gun and threatening to kill Klaus Kinski when he tried to walk off the Amazon location shoot of Fitzcarraldo, which may have been related on the feature length making of doc, Burden of Dreams - or when he boiled and ate a shoe after challenging Erroll Morris to finish his first documentary, which he succeeded in).

Alice in the Cities is I think the first of his so called "road trio", avail this week free at Hulu.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lady Snowblood double feature playing free on Hulu this week (coming out on Blu-ray in Jan), heavily influenced Tarantino's Kill Bill, especially part 1.

* Always something by Criterion playing free on Hulu on a weekly basis, just check Crierion's site under the Current section (sub-section - What's Happening on Hulu).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Top 50 Criterion list (albeit a few years old, so missing some potential titles released in the intervening time)

http://www.film.com/movies/50-best-criterion-collection-dvds

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Few noteworthy Blu-ray titles just announced for June:

Dr. Strangelove (third in the collection by Kubrick, following The Killing and Paths of Glory) 

https://www.criterion.com/films/28822-dr-strangelove-or-how-i-learned-to-stop-worrying-and-love-the-bomb

Fantastic Planet (third animated feature in the collection, after Fantastic Mr. Fox and Watership Down), long awaited psychedelic classic, kind of a mash up of Alice in Wonderland (surreal backgrounds and characters), Yellow Submarine (primitive flat animation style) and Brave New World in outer space (dystopian future society).  

https://www.criterion.com/films/28636-fantastic-planet

Trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgCxCZNkQ9E

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

https://www.criterion.com/

New Releases: Bicycle Thieves, The Manchurian Candidate, Easy Rider and The Player

Coming Soon: McCabe & Mrs. Miller, Fantastic Planet, Dr. Strangelove, Wim Wenders The Road Trilogy, The New World (Malick) and Chimes At Midnight (Welles)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Wenders Road Trilogy has been excellent, animated classic Fantastic Planet out today, Dr. Strangelove next Tuesday. The Coen brothers important first film Blood Simple (VERY mature noir, their style was seemingly already fully formed, like a young Kurosawa or Kubrick) just announced for September.

Fantastic Planet trailer and Criterion page

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgCxCZNkQ9E 

https://www.criterion.com/films/28636-fantastic-planet

Blood Simple trailer and Criterion page

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vI0ov8zzfQA

https://www.criterion.com/films/28852-blood-simple

DEPTH IN A DECADE OF DISTRACTION: The Twenty Best Films by David N. Meyer (not a Criterion essay per se, but touches on a few Criterion films in passing), a 2009 article on the top 20 films of the decade by my favorite film critic. He has written several books on film (the not quite accurately titled The 100 Best Films to Rent You've Never Heard Of: Hidden Treasures, Neglected Classics, and Hits From By-Gone Eras and the outstanding noir survey A Girl And A Gun: The Complete Guide to Film Noir on Video), as well as a couple music biographies - including maybe the definitive one on Gram Parsons, Twenty Thousand Roads: The Ballad of Gram Parsons and His Cosmic American Music. Meyer also teaches film and provided a commentary for the Criterion film Two-Lane Blacktop (the American road film genre being a specialty of his).

Maybe NSFW image leads article     

http://www.brooklynrail.org/2009/12/film/depth-in-a-decade-of-distraction-the-twenty-best-films

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Still one of my favorites of theirs, it had a kind of manic energy, spontaneity and unpredictability (like the similarly early Raising Arizona) that seemingly wasn't as present in some later films that, while slicker and more polished, were also at times more calculated and mannered - though No Country an example of outstanding later work.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

50% off B & N sale through 8/1.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Among new titles announced, coming 10-11-16 is the Trilogía de Guillermo del Toro - Cronos, The Devil's Backbone and Pan's Labyrinth (including a standalone edition of just the latter). 

https://www.criterion.com/boxsets/1209-trilogia-de-guillermo-del-toro

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I should really pull the trigger on The Great Dictator.

Just found Foreign Correspondent for $20 at Half Price Books the other day.

Edited by Andy Dufresne

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, who the hell read all that #### on the first page?  Paragraphs down?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Andy Dufresne said:

I should really pull the trigger on The Great Dictator.

Just found Foreign Correspondent for $20 at Half Price Books the other day.

Page 2 a lot more TL/DR-friendly (even for me :)).

I have The Gold Rush, City Lights (one of Kubrick's favorites?), Modern Times and The Great Dictator on Blu-ray, all classics. Middle two among the greatest movies ever made, imo, first also a masterpiece, probably watched the last least. It does have an interesting doc on Chaplin and Hitler*. Also have a non-Criterion DVD collection with The Kid and Monsieur Verdoux, also may have Limelight - all available on Criterion, as well as streaming on Hulu Plus and digitally at iTunes (though latter probably absent the great supplements).  

https://www.criterion.com/people/117889-charles-chaplin 

All Criterion titles half price at B & N through 8-1. 

* The Tramp and the Dictator doc in four parts (VIDEO about 1 hour)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5GdyePoCcw

** Criterion released some (pre-Hollywood British productions) vintage black and white tiles by Hitchcock in a Blu-ray box set a while back, or sold separately, with other titles including The Lady Vanishes, The 39 Steps (great misdirectional title) and the original The Man Who Knew Too Much - though I do prefer the bigger budgeted Jimmy Stewart version in the latter case.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

TCM is another frequent source of Criterion films. When Criterion released Satijat Ray's Apu Trilogy, it also premiered on TCM. BTW, I just watched the first of the three films, and it was excellent. I had seen one or two others by Ray, but this stood out more, and I can see why he is oft-cited as a giant in world cinema in general (with Kurosawa, Bergman, Fellini, Bunuel, Tarkovsky, etc.), and towering figure in India specifically. Has to be one of the greatest cinematic debuts ever. On the bonus plan, Ravi Shankar provided the score.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Bob Magaw said:

TCM is another frequent source of Criterion films. When Criterion released Satijat Ray's Apu Trilogy, it also premiered on TCM. BTW, I just watched the first of the three films, and it was excellent. I had seen one or two others by Ray, but this stood out more, and I can see why he is oft-cited as a giant in world cinema in general (with Kurosawa, Bergman, Fellini, Bunuel, Tarkovsky, etc.), and towering figure in India specifically. Has to be one of the greatest cinematic debuts ever. On the bonus plan, Ravi Shankar provided the score.

I did not realize that.  I really need to add that to my list of channels when I add stuff to the dvr at the beginning of the week.  :thumbup:

Might have to hit B&N this week - sadly, with their prices that 1/2 off is still just slightly less than what you find online all the time.  Been eyeing up a couple possible purchases.  I talked with one of my buddies that still works there, and I guess during the times that B&N doesn't have their 1/2 off, Family Video seems to have them priced very well.  Just checked and they seemed to be about $4-5 less than amazon prices.  For example Dr. Strangelove is $24 and The New World is $31.  ($28 and $35 on Amazon right now)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, I am sure that people get them cooler places, but I know our little library system has quite a few of them - I think 230+ blurays and 600+dvds last I checked their list. 

ETA:  I am a podcast geek, and there a few that I follow that watch a criterion movie a week and talk about them.  I think of the two main ones, one is more going in order, and the other is skipping around. 

Edited by KarmaPolice

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

B & N in recent years offers a 20%-25% e-coupon in the second half of November, IN ADDITION to the 50% off (not sure if on the whole order or one item?). A $100 box set would be "just" $40 or less - I think the second discount off the discounted amount.

I got the Tati set and possibly Zatoichi and big Kurosawa (OOP) boxes this way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the heads up on the B&N sale going on.  I had a couple of gift cards, and I hate buying books full price now, so I headed there this morning for some Criterion action.  Really don't have any in my collection, and am not going to go nuts, but if there is something I don't have on bluray anyway, I might as well go this route.  With the cards and 50% off, I ended up getting The Ice Storm, Mulholland Drive, Days of Heaven, and The Killing for about $35 of my money.  Can't beat that. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, KarmaPolice said:

Thanks for the heads up on the B&N sale going on.  I had a couple of gift cards, and I hate buying books full price now, so I headed there this morning for some Criterion action.  Really don't have any in my collection, and am not going to go nuts, but if there is something I don't have on bluray anyway, I might as well go this route.  With the cards and 50% off, I ended up getting The Ice Storm, Mulholland Drive, Days of Heaven, and The Killing for about $35 of my money.  Can't beat that. 

Cool. Wasn't familiar with the Ang Lee title, would have gotten Mulholland Drive but already had (love Lynch, his second Criterion title, have Eraserhead), have Malick's titles Badlands, Days of Heaven (one of the most beautifully shot films ever, in Canada with natural lighting at so called "magic hour" probable direct inspiration for The Revenant), Thin Red Line and adding The New World which comes out next week before sale ends, and also The Killing, Paths of Glory (great commentary track by the preeminent jazz critic Gary Giddins) and Dr. Strangelove, which just came out a few weeks ago.

Like Andy noted, The Killing is well done for an early work. The non-linear, fractured and looped narrative told from different perspectives (which was how the novel was structured) clear influence on Tarantino movies like Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown and Kill Bill. Technically not his first film (or even second, which may have been another noir, Killer's Kiss, included as a supplement and worth checking out if only to observe his development), it bombed commercially but received some critical praise, and was invaluable in getting their foot in the door to Hollywood - Kirk Douglas admired it, leading directly to his being cast in next project POG, and than next Douglas replacing Director Anthony Mann in the first week of shooting on Spartacus with Kubrick, which received four Oscars, but led to his vowing to never again work on a film in which he didn't have COMPLETE creative control. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will be honest, Bob, I love the passion that you have for what you are posting about, but the huge posts make me go crosseyed.  ;)

Was curious about a few things, maybe you mentioned it somewhere on page 1:

1.  What % of the Criterion movies do you think you have seen?

2.  How many do you own?

3.  What are some that you have run into that are just must-see ones based on the extras, bonus features, and booklets? 

4.  What are some that you have just stumbled on, maybe not many might have seen it, but you would highly recommend?

 

It just seems so daunting to go through these as there are so many and a lot are obscure (at least to me).  Usually what I do is just grab random ones at the Madison library when I get there and see how it goes.  This topic inspired me last night before I went to bed to look through the criterion's website and write down ones that interested me.  I thought I would have a list of 40-50 but ended up with more like 150.  Grabbed more than I will be able to watch while I was at the library today (9), but was in a rush and figured I could narrow down when I got home.  I ended up with one from each decade oddly enough. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, and are you saying you haven't seen The Ice Storm?  All these threads about best years/favorite years for movies, one of mine would be '97 and Ice Storm is a huge reason.  With that, Boogie Nights, The Sweet Hereafter, and Jackie Brown, you have some of my favorite movies ever. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think we tried years ago and it pooped out quickly, but still love the idea of a movie club.  Criterion movies would be a fun one to do...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎7‎/‎22‎/‎2016 at 11:30 AM, KarmaPolice said:

I will be honest, Bob, I love the passion that you have for what you are posting about, but the huge posts make me go crosseyed.  ;)

Was curious about a few things, maybe you mentioned it somewhere on page 1:

1.  What % of the Criterion movies do you think you have seen?

2.  How many do you own?

3.  What are some that you have run into that are just must-see ones based on the extras, bonus features, and booklets? 

4.  What are some that you have just stumbled on, maybe not many might have seen it, but you would highly recommend?

 

It just seems so daunting to go through these as there are so many and a lot are obscure (at least to me).  Usually what I do is just grab random ones at the Madison library when I get there and see how it goes.  This topic inspired me last night before I went to bed to look through the criterion's website and write down ones that interested me.  I thought I would have a list of 40-50 but ended up with more like 150.  Grabbed more than I will be able to watch while I was at the library today (9), but was in a rush and figured I could narrow down when I got home.  I ended up with one from each decade oddly enough. 

I didn't see this before.

BTW, I forgot the cinematographer of Days of Heaven, Nestor Almendros, was also the DP for the Barbet Schroeder films More and Le Vallee (Obscured by Clouds), which I just re-watched, noteworthy to me as Pink Floyd's only full soundtracks - they also contributed to Zabriskie Point. Almendros worked on Imagine: John Lennon, too.

1) Good question, haven't really kept count. The latest titles debuting on Criterion (like Blood Simple and Pan's Labyrinth) have spine/catalog numbers assigned in the 830s. I might have seen something like a quarter of them? I haven't systematically tried to see all of them like a few people with blogs you noted. Hulu has many titles if not all of them, as discussed. I have tried to see many from directors I admire, like Chaplin, Kurosawa, Kubrick, Hitchcock, Roeg, Wenders, Malick, Cronenberg, Gilliam, Melville, etc.

2) Maybe about half the number I've seen.

3) I'll have to think about this and get back to you.

4) Ditto.

Which nine titles did you check out from the library?

* Some lists

Top 25 list (includes special features)

http://www.tasteofcinema.com/2015/25-essential-dvdblu-ray-releases-from-the-criterion-collection/3/

Not crazy about the top 10 list, but useful breakdown by popular directors below.

https://thefilmstage.com/features/our-10-favorite-criterion-collection-releases-and-more-essentials/

Pretty good Hulu guide (albeit small sample)

http://www.techtimes.com/articles/83711/20150911/best-criterion-collection-movies-hulu-guide.htm

   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pretty good top 100 list (I'll try to make some select commentaries here and possibly later)

http://www.flickchart.com/Charts.aspx?franchise=157&perpage=100

Kurosawa 40% of top 10 (Ikiru, Seven Samurai, Yojimbo and Rashomon - High and Low #12)  

City Lights (#2) and Modern Times (#21) are my favorites by Chaplin, The Gold Rush (#30) close and The Great Dictator (#36) also a classic. 

>>>Digression<<< Another distinction worth making is OOP (out of print) or not. When I decided to upgrade from DVD to Blu-ray where possible, a few titles were already OOP. Among my favorites were:

The Third Man (#7 here) by the somewhat forgotten but great director Carol Reed. Outstanding noir, captures the post-WW II atmosphere and mood and maybe the greatest entrance in film history by Orson Welles.

Also, The Man Who Fell To Earth by Nicolas Roeg, which has become one of my favorite science fiction genre films (actually PERIOD, with 2001 and Blade Runner), and who inexplicably failed to crack this list. The horror genre Don't Look Now (see below) about five years ago polled as the top British film of all time - The Third Man was #2. Walkabout also makes some Criterion best of and favorite lists. The first two are imo must sees.   

Don't Look Now: best British film of all time?

Don't Look Now, the 1973 chiller starring Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland, has been named the best British film of all time by a panel of industry experts.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/film-news/8311268/Dont-Look-Now-best-British-film-of-all-time.html   

In addition to the Killing, Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove (just added to the collection) at #4 and Paths of Glory at #13 score very high. The latter has a great commentary track by Gary Giddins, arguably the preeminent jazz critic in the world.

Bergman is an extremely important director in the history of world cinema (The Seventh Seal #19 and Wild Strawberries #22 were early staples on the art house theater circuit), Persona #15 tops the list here. Giddins also wrote an essay for The Seventh Seal (as well as La Dolce Vita #32 - generally these can all be read at the Criterion site under their respective film/title), and notes that despite saying about a movie you are "supposed to like it" generally being the kiss of death, it isn't warranted in this case, it has held up very well in a timeless sense, and can still hold a mirror up to contemporary times. The same could be said of Wild Strawberries and Persona (and many of his other films).

Scorcese was a champion of the great British shared credit production/direction/writing team of Powell and Pressburger (both produced, former directed and latter wrote), even employing Powell's widow as his editor at times. Red Shoes #16, Black Narcissus #70, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (#63) and Peeping Tom (#82 - while Psycho added to Hitchcock's fame, this prophetic horror genre film effectively destroyed Powell's directorial career) are all noteworthy, though I like the first two best. Some of the best technicolor images ever put on screen.      

Hitchcock has some of his best work on Criterion (though not Vertigo, North by Northwest, Rear Window, Psycho, The Man Who Knew Too Much, The Birds, etc.), albeit my favorite titles are OOP I think. Notorious #18 used to top Sight and Sound's prestigious once a decade international critic poll among his body of work, though Vertigo had the distinction of being voted #1 OVERALL in the latest poll (2012?). Rebecca #40 and Spellbound (Dali painted the dream sequence) are also excellent, as are early pre-Hollywood, British productions The Lady Vanishes (#50) and The 39 Steps (#54), though the latter two examples in which he was still finding his style and way, not yet fully mature and at the latter height of his powers and peak of his form.

8 1/2 (#24) is the first title by Fellini, but should be a lot higher, imo - top 10? He was stuck on his next project and not sure what his film should be about or what direction to take. So he made a movie ABOUT THAT. Good intro by Terry Gilliam (I have his Brazil, which is great in the supplements department but may be OOP, as well as Time Bandits and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas) praising it. Amarcord is another one of my favorites by Fellini, as noted above La Dolce Vita is #32, and Nights of Cabiria (#80) and La Strada (#88) also make the list, I've seen some of these titles score a lot higher in both Criterion and at large polls.   

Le Samourai #25 by Melville is hands down the coolest noir ever, clearly an influence on Jarmusch's Ghost Dog (not in the Criterion Collection, though I have the quirky Down By Law and Mystery Train).

Tokyo Story #27 by Ozu was top 3-5 in the Sight and Sound poll (see below). He is revered by many directors (like Wim Wenders, I have his recently released early Road Trilogy, as well as The American Friend, Paris, Texas and Wings of Desire - another one of my favorite movies), and this is his consensus best work. Ebert also a big fan, I think. Since you asked about supplements and bonus features which Criterion is renowned for, this has a recommended bio doc on Ozu. For many, their knowledge of Japanese directors is exhausted after Kurosawa, but Ozu and Mizoguchi were both also masters and towering figures in world cinema. The latter's mysterious and haunting ghost story Ugetsu made #79, could have been a lot higher and also comes with a nice Mizoguchi bio doc. Sansho the Bailiff is relentlessly bleak (about a well to do family that finds itself on the wrong side of a clan dispute and is sold into slavery), didn't make this list but makes some critics best ever polls - I think Ebert very high on this, as well.

Renoir (related to the Impressionist painter) is an extremely important director, The Rules of the Game #28 and The Grand Illusion #31 score significantly higher on some polls - not just for Criterion, but among the best films ever made. The River is in the collection, beautiful Technicolor, I think the first Western film shot in India (maybe color?) and was an influence on the great Indian director Satijat Ray.

Badlands #29 is Malick's first title, and one of your new titles Days of Heaven comes in at #35. My favorite by him is actually The Thin Red Line (not to be confused with the murder mystery doc The Thin BLUE Line). The New World which just came out is the latest title I added.

This breakdown is already getting TL/DR, so maybe I'll revisit it later.              

As to stumbling on titles, a book by the critic David N. Meyer (The 100 Best Films to Rent You've Never Heard Of: Hidden Treasures, Neglected Classics, and Hits From By-Gone Eras) pointed to a lot of Criterion titles I happened to like, and that led to me exploring more. I found him to be a very articulate and insightful critic and kindred spirit with uncannily similar taste. He also has a Criterion commentary track on the Monte Helman classic existential road flick Two-Lane Blacktop, in the first and only acting roles by James Taylor and late Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson, with the always interesting character actor Warren Oates.  

Some titles he may have highlighted or that I discovered independently later:

Battle of Algiers is shot in an influential quasi-documentary style with many non-actor extras, about the Algerian War of Independence against France and features one of Morricone's best soundtracks, Antonio Gaudi is about the legendary Spanish architect, largely without dialogue and augmented by a spooky, minimalist, electronic, Japanese score, Kind Hearts and Coronets a British Ealing Studios masterpiece and the greatest black comedy ever, Alec Guinness puts Peter Sellers to shame by playing seven roles, who the urbane and charming but aggrieved serial killer Dennis Price needs to bump off to receive a remotely distant inheritance (highest possible recommendation), Night of the Hunter was a one off directorial effort by Charles Laughton (played Quasimodo in The Hunchback Of Notre Dame), with Robert Mitchum as one of the most iconic and terrifying villains in screen history - where he tattooed LOVE and HATE on his knuckles, Le Doulos by Melville (see Le Samourai above) is another one of the greatest noirs I've ever seen, Videodrome and Scanners (awesome score by long time collaborator Howard Shore) by Cronenberg are among my favorites, Eraserhead by David Lynch (cool supplement interviews), Fallen Idol by Carol Reed (The Third Man), Spirit of the Beehives is a neglected but haunting Spanish masterpiece (also looking forward to the far better known Trilogía de Guillermo del Toro coming out in October, with Cronos, The Devil's Backbone and Pan's Labyrinth), Three Films by Hiroshi Teshigahara is a surreal, avant garde set by the director of the Gaudi doc above, the gritty noir Youth of the Beast and the pair of bizarre, surreal takes on the Yakuza genre - Tokyo Drifter and Branded to Kill by Suzuki are recommended, Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and Naked Kiss, and House is impossible to categorize (Scooby Doo meets The Exorcist?) but is over the top comedy/horror and bat #### crazy.        

* Sight and Sound Top 100 Critics Poll - 2012 (most recent)

http://www.bfi.org.uk/films-tv-people/sightandsoundpoll2012/critics

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Bob Magaw said:

Which nine titles did you check out from the library?

 

   

Good question, and I honestly don't remember all of them.  As I said, I am usually have the kids and I am usually in a rush, so I tend to grab way more than I can watch in a week or two.  I am going to try to watch one or two a week and sprinkle in some Criterion into my mix of movies.  Nobody's saying they are the end all be all of good movies, but it's an interesting place to start and you know they are going to look great. 

What I ended up watchingSeconds, The Ballad of Narayama, and Rushmore.  Really really liked those first two, and had never heard of them before scouring the Criterion website.  Rushmore I remember being about the only Anderson movie I liked (haven't seen Tenenbaums), and while I did laugh a little, not sure how much I enjoy it overall anymore. 

What I have at home now:  The Last Days of Disco, In the Mood for Love, Dressed to Kill, and Belle de Jour. 

Like I said, the list that I made was huge, I was surprised how many looked really interesting as I went through their listing of movies.  I have a bunch of blurays on order, as they are more popular and checked out, or the libraries in the system are just ordering them.  Of the long list I wrote down, the library system was only missing about 8-10, so they are doing a great job with them.  (I think they have 600+ titles).  I can't do Hulu (####ty internet), so this is what I have to work with. 

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tokyo Story was heavily influenced by Make Way For Tomorrow (also on Criterion).

Don't Look Now is on Amazon streaming if you can't find/don't want to buy the Criterion disc. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, KarmaPolice said:

Good question, and I honestly don't remember all of them.  As I said, I am usually have the kids and I am usually in a rush, so I tend to grab way more than I can watch in a week or two.  I am going to try to watch one or two a week and sprinkle in some Criterion into my mix of movies.  Nobody's saying they are the end all be all of good movies, but it's an interesting place to start and you know they are going to look great. 

What I ended up watchingSeconds, The Ballad of Narayama, and Rushmore.  Really really liked those first two, and had never heard of them before scouring the Criterion website.  Rushmore I remember being about the only Anderson movie I liked (haven't seen Tenenbaums), and while I did laugh a little, not sure how much I enjoy it overall anymore. 

What I have at home now:  The Last Days of Disco, In the Mood for Love, Dressed to Kill, and Belle de Jour. 

Like I said, the list that I made was huge, I was surprised how many looked really interesting as I went through their listing of movies.  I have a bunch of blurays on order, as they are more popular and checked out, or the libraries in the system are just ordering them.  Of the long list I wrote down, the library system was only missing about 8-10, so they are doing a great job with them.  (I think they have 600+ titles).  I can't do Hulu (####ty internet), so this is what I have to work with. 

 

 

In your top 100 list, I mentioned In the Mood for Love... which is really good. I remember seeing it at the time and feeling like the pacing was sooo slow, I had a harder time appreciating it. wong kar wai's earlier film- Fallen Angels- was one of my top 10 for a long time... I'd have to revisit it to see if it holds up for me. but I remember flat out loving it, and would highly recommend that one (opposite pacing issue- so fast and frenetic, it's sometimes hard to hold on). Chungking express is also fantastic.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, KarmaPolice said:

Good question, and I honestly don't remember all of them.  As I said, I am usually have the kids and I am usually in a rush, so I tend to grab way more than I can watch in a week or two.  I am going to try to watch one or two a week and sprinkle in some Criterion into my mix of movies.  Nobody's saying they are the end all be all of good movies, but it's an interesting place to start and you know they are going to look great. 

What I ended up watchingSeconds, The Ballad of Narayama, and Rushmore.  Really really liked those first two, and had never heard of them before scouring the Criterion website.  Rushmore I remember being about the only Anderson movie I liked (haven't seen Tenenbaums), and while I did laugh a little, not sure how much I enjoy it overall anymore. 

What I have at home now:  The Last Days of Disco, In the Mood for Love, Dressed to Kill, and Belle de Jour. 

Like I said, the list that I made was huge, I was surprised how many looked really interesting as I went through their listing of movies.  I have a bunch of blurays on order, as they are more popular and checked out, or the libraries in the system are just ordering them.  Of the long list I wrote down, the library system was only missing about 8-10, so they are doing a great job with them.  (I think they have 600+ titles).  I can't do Hulu (####ty internet), so this is what I have to work with. 

 

 

I saw Seconds by Frankenheimer and liked it. He also did The Manchurian Candidate (topical now), and Black Friday, based on the underrated and somewhat prophetic terrorist attack-themed breakthrough novel by Thomas Harris, before Red Dragon and the Hannibal Lecter character propelled him to stardom.

You make a good point that there are of course MANY other great films NOT in the Criterion Collection (Citizen Kane, for instance), they can't get the rights to EVERYTHING, but you can usually hang your hat on the fact that they tend to be restorations ranging from the outstanding to spectacular. I want to see Narayama. Watching a lot of Pink Floyd related stuff lately. I forgot Dressed To Kill was in the collection. My favorite De Palma film from Criterion is Blow Out. I hope Body Double makes it. Just watched his early Sisters a few nights ago, which was a real Hitchcock mash up (I mean, more than usual).

The surrealist Bunuel (Belle de Jour*) is a super important director in world cinema. I once bought for like a dollar at a thrift store an annual Ebert collection of reviews (which extended beyond just that year), and in a postscript or epilogue chapter he cited Kurosawa, Hitchcock, Bergman, Fellini, Bunuel and possibly Tarkovsky being in his opinion among the greatest directors of all time. That may have spurred my later deeper interest in them. Exterminating Angel and The Discrete Charm of the Bourgeoisie are recommended.

Bummer about Hulu, but library sounds like an awesome solution.

Please share future discoveries/thoughts and run them by the thread, even if we don't have a dedicated, formal movie discussion thread, we can do so informally.   

* Made top 10 list of a director I admire a lot, Billy Friedkin (French Connection, Exorcist, To Live and Die in LA). He did one of the best commentary tracks I've ever heard for Hitchcock's Vertigo. A few years ago I got a chance to see him introduce his underrated masterpiece Sorcerer at the TCM Film Festival, one of the best times I've ever had at a theater (I almost always see first run movies, with the exception of occasional Midnight Movie circuit films back in the day, like Koyaanisqatsi, Le Vallee Obscured By Clouds, The Jimi Hendrix biopic, etc.).

https://www.criterion.com/explore/185-william-friedkin-s-top-10    

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, El Floppo said:

In your top 100 list, I mentioned In the Mood for Love... which is really good. I remember seeing it at the time and feeling like the pacing was sooo slow, I had a harder time appreciating it. wong kar wai's earlier film- Fallen Angels- was one of my top 10 for a long time... I'd have to revisit it to see if it holds up for me. but I remember flat out loving it, and would highly recommend that one (opposite pacing issue- so fast and frenetic, it's sometimes hard to hold on). Chungking express is also fantastic.

That's why I moved it to the top of the queue, GB.    Chunking Express is on my list, but I believe that is an OOP title.  The library did have a copy, but it looked a little beaten up. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

also... really happy to see bob discovered how to write in paragraphs

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.