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Bob Magaw

The Criterion Collection

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How to Get the Most Out of the Criterion Collection Before It Leaves Hulu (I thought CC left Hulu as of 11/1, but it is actually 11/11, so 10 more days - I have an Apple TV mark 2, which the new TCM/Criterion joint venture FilmStruck is apparently NOT backwards compatible with, bummer)   

http://www.vulture.com/2016/10/last-minute-criterion-collection-hulu-guide.html

After five years on Hulu Plus, the Criterion Collection will jump ship from the streaming service on November 11. The impeccably curated selection of films will be moving to FilmStruck, a new joint venture with Turner Classic Movies that promises themed programming, bonus features, and other attempts to justify yet another monthly subscription fee. Now that the Criterion Collection's days on Hulu are numbered, the prospect of catching up on all those movies may seem too overwhelming to even attempt. Luckily, Vulture is here to help.

From now until November 11, here is one essential Criterion viewing per day, with plenty of suggestions for further exploration. Hulu only hosts a fraction of the total Criterion Collection, and this is not an attempt to list the 17 best films on the service — that would be madness. Instead, we're giving you an eclectic buffet of options, to demonstrate just how vast and magnificent this selection is, and how much will be lost once it becomes another walled garden. (A note: Criterion may be phasing out some of these films earlier than expected, so keep an eye on the calendar and shuffle this order around if there’s something you’re absolutely dying to see.)

Get ready to dive in.

October 25: Black Orpheus (1959) 
Start your journey with one of the most purely entertaining films in the entire collection. A bossa nova reimagining of the myth of Orpheus set during Rio’s Carnaval, Marcel Camus’s colorful, pulsating epic puts an incredibly attractive cast on a journey to the underworld. Though made by an outsider, and criticized over the years (including by Barack Obama) for exoticizing Brazilian favelas, it’s hard not to see in Black Orpheus a genuine love for the people and the mythology of its setting.

Further Viewing: Other rip-roaring adventures await those brave enough to find them. The Thief of Bagdad, one of the first true special-effects blockbusters, and Stagecoach, the film that essentially invented the Western as we know it, aren’t just film-history curiosities, they’re tremendous fun in their own right.

October 26: Cléo From 5 to 7 (1962)
A vain young pop singer awaits a medical diagnosis. What follows is 90 minutes of a real-time stroll through Paris's Left Bank, as both Cléo and the various people she meets on the streets feel their lives infused with a newfound sense of urgency and meaning. Agnès Varda made a lot of formal innovations with her French New Wave drama, paving the way for feminist film theory and the cinematography of Birdman, but her grandest invention was simply to show her city anew, through the eyes of a woman who needed a personal crisis to appreciate its beauty. 

Further Viewing: The collection offers six other Varda favorites, including La Pointe Courte, Vagabond, and The Young Girls of Rochefort

October 27: The Seventh Seal (1957)
For those with only a passing familiarity with his work, Ingmar Bergman’s name may conjure up images of moribund Swedish chamber dramas. Even with a massive quantity of Bergman movies to choose from, the best place for a newbie to start is this Crusades-set fantasy epic, which features that famous chess match between Max von Sydow and Death. That indelible cinematic image is the string that links the entire film, as Sydow’s knight attempts to escort a group of innocents to safety while outwitting the fate that’s coming for all of them anyway. It culminates in a tragic and profound visual metaphor for coming to terms with mortality. In other words, pure Bergman. 

Further Viewing: Where to start with this insane library of Bergman greats? Can I convince you to watch all five hours of his magic-realist generational fantasia Fanny and Alexander? Or even just the three-hour version, still a life-changing piece of art in its own right? If not, Wild Strawberries, Persona, and Cries and Whispers would make one whopper of a triple feature.

October 28: Cronos (1993)
The breadth and depth of Hulu’s Criterion selection extends to horror films as well, including Guillermo del Toro’s supernatural creepfest, an early work that sets the tone for the filmmaker’s future genre experiments. The drum-tight plot concerns an elderly antiques-shop owner who discovers an ancient scarab device that grants the user eternal life — but claims its price tenfold in blood. Marvel at the skin-peeling makeup, the brilliant pacing, and the affecting performances by Federico Luppi and Ron Perlman, helping to elevate a B-movie premise to something haunting and otherworldly. 

Further Viewing: David Cronenberg has your taste for the grotesque covered. Two of his selections, the head-exploding sci-fi number Scanners and the bloody family film The Brood, are available for your sick pleasure. 

October 29: Eraserhead (1977)
David Lynch's surrealist masterpiece is about one of the most elemental of horrors: impending parenthood. Amid the industrial clanging on the soundtrack, our poofy-haired hero (Jack Nance) discovers he and his girlfriend have produced a strange, infantlike creature (“They’re not sure if it is a baby!”), whose utterly alien presence seems to threaten both him and us in some wordless, elemental manner. The mind trip that follows refuses to give us a solid ground of normalcy to cling to, and by the end we may find we most closely identify with the mysterious Girl in the Radiator, who sings softly about some faraway heaven no one in this film will ever see.

Further Viewing: Hulu also offers a large selection of David Lynch’s early short films, some of which he made during production of Eraserhead.

October 30: Eyes Without a Face (1960)
That mask. That mask! Even if you know nothing else about Eyes Without a Face, you likely know its mask, the one hiding a young woman’s horrible disfigurement from the world. As the woman glides, ghostlike, through her father’s mansion, the daddy proves himself a movie villain for the ages, tearing through victims in an attempt to make his daughter whole again. Yes, people’s faces are getting torn off, but there’s real soul here, lurking deep in that piercing stare.

Further Viewing: Diabolique, the grisly tale of a crime of passion gone wrong, will scratch your French-horror itch even more.

October 31: House (1977) 
This is the one to put on at the Halloween party, once all your guests are all inebriated. If you haven’t yet been introduced to Nobuhiko Obayashi’s mind-melting horror flick, know that it’s the kind of film midnight movies were made for: As a posse of seven girls settles in for a weekend at a creepy mansion in the woods, they meet a series of fates that aren't quite scary so much as they are totally insane. A flesh-eating piano, a cat that spews blood, a dashing hero who turns into a pile of bananas — it's enough to make you gasp, laugh, and glance over at your friends to confirm you all just saw the same thing. If those descriptions didn’t it make clear, the Saturday-morning-cartoon special effects will confirm that House isn’t concerned with taking itself seriously; only with giving you the ride of your life.

Further Viewing: If you’re looking for more horror that errs on What?!? over Boo!, check out the ’80s-era cannibal comedy Eating Raoul and the pre–American Horror Story sideshow Carnival of Souls.

November 1: Ashes + Diamonds (1958)
Andrzej Wajda, who died in October, was one of those impossibly prolific filmmakers whose work spanned generations, cultures, and historical epochs. He began his career in the 1950s, making WWII dramas in Stalinist Poland, cranking out thrilling battles and human dilemmas all underneath the thumb of Soviet censors. Ashes + Diamonds is Wajda in peak form, telling the story of former soldiers who become hired assassins and find their loyalties split between family, party, and morality. Heavily influenced by the stylish freedom of American trailblazers like Citizen Kane, the film confirms its maker’s place in history.

Further Viewing: Hulu’s library has only a small sampling of Wajda’s seven-decade career, but you can delve more into his war films with Kanal and A Generation, or skip ahead to his globalist period with Danton, shot in France with Gérard Depardieu.

November 2: Touki Bouki (1973)
Hulu’s Criterion selection has slim pickings from black filmmakers, and you’d be foolish to overlook Djibril Diop Mambéty’s punk odyssey about two small-time Senegalese grifters trying to scrape together enough money to flee to Paris. The comic set-pieces are rich in postcolonial satire (the couple attempts to steal a chest of funds for a “Charles de Gaulle memorial”), and the editing style is so abstract it’s practically pointillist. Waves crash on the shore, a bike plows through fields up close, and a fresh breed of pan-African cinema is born. 

Further Viewing: If Touki Bouki seems an odd stand-in for African cinema, Symbiopsychotaxiplasm Take One, William Greaves’s wackadoo counterculture experiment, is an odder (but equally worthwhile) representation of stateside black film.

November 3: A Short Film About Killing (1988)
The anniversary of a death is a peculiar time to celebrate a life, but in the case of Krzysztof Kieślowski, whose work often grapples with the idea of the individual in uncertain times, it feels oddly appropriate. For the 20th anniversary of Kieślowski’s death, take in the most celebrated installment of his epic ten-film Dekalog sequence: a brutal two-act parable of a man who commits a senseless act of violence and is immediately, mercilessly, executed by the state. Washed-out colors and a sense of exaggerated reality permeate every frame of this uncompromising film. 

Further Viewing: Hulu also offers Kieślowski's entire “Three Colors” trilogy; his magisterial The Double Life of Veronique; and more of his Polish films, including Camera Buff, a delightful account of a factory worker who falls in love with filmmaking. 

November 4: Grey Gardens (1975)
Big and Little Edie Beale, relatives of Jackie Onassis, spent their days entertaining each other in their crumbling East Hampton mansion, reminiscing about the good old days even as the very roof over their heads crumbled around them. For its perfect rendering of character and setting, and capturing of indelible moments (Little Edie, in her distinctive bobby-pinned “costumes,” emptying a bag of bread in the attic for the raccoons), Grey Gardens is one of the most memorable, and widely imitated, documentaries ever made. You can't take your eyes off it.

Further Viewing: Directors Albert and David Maysles are roundly considered some of the greatest documentary filmmakers in the history of the medium. The collection also offers two more must-sees from their career: the Altamont chronicle Gimme Shelter and one of the finest cinematic depictions of American commerce, Salesman.

November 5: The Great Dictator (1940)
Of all the Charlie Chaplin greats in the Collection, the most politically urgent (for obvious reasons) is his bold and anarchic Third Reich satire, in which Chaplin plays both a grotesque, power-mad dictator and a Jewish barber who swaps places with him. There’s a certain poetic justice to Chaplin’s depiction of an all-powerful despot as a small-minded, thin-skinned clown incapable of performing even the most basic tasks.

Further Viewing: So many of the Chaplin selections here are essential viewing, not just for their comedy but also their sheer filmmaking prowess: Modern Times, The Gold Rush, City Lights, The KidYou can follow Chaplin’s line of influence all the way to Jacques Tati and his beloved cinematic contraption Playtime. 

November 6: La Collectionneuse (1967)
When Lena Dunham makes movies about privileged young people, she gets accused of shallowness and narcissism; when Éric Rohmer did it 50 years ago, he won worldwide acclaim. Remind yourself there’s nothing wrong with breezy angst by watching this sun-drenched story of a beautiful young “collector” of men, and the sad, shallow dudes who fall to pieces once they enter her orbit.

Further Viewing: Aimless romantics, Rohmer is here for you. Several of his features and shorts are available, including My Night at Maud’s, Claire’s Knee, and Love in the Afternoon.

November 7: Yojimbo (1961)
Few things in the movies are more pleasurable than a samurai tale, and you could hole up for weeks just watching Criterion movies in which armored Japanese dudes duel. If you just want a taste of what the genre has to offer, enjoy Yojimbo, in which a charismatic sellsword stumbles upon a village of warring clans and cunningly plays them off each other. Akira Kurosawa’s film is nihilistic about human conflict, but it's also sly enough to make us root for its antihero, who dispatches his adversaries in some of the most thrilling fight sequences you're liable to come across. 

Further Viewing: Just trying to take in all of Kurosawa’s work is an impossible task. Seven Samurai is waiting to wash the recent Magnificent Seven remake out of your brain, but you can also go for Throne of Blood, Ikiru, Rashomon, The Hidden Fortress — there's literally no bad choice.

November 8: The War Room (1993)
As the 2016 election reaches its climax, why not return to the faraway time of 1992, when staying “on-message” was considered a virtue, and when appeals to racial resentment were slightly more subtle. Directors D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus got an unprecedented level of access to Bill Clinton's presidential campaign, shadowing strategists James Carville and George Stephanopoulos as they set out to make their boss palatable to the average voter, even as scandals and missteps forced them to constantly think on their feet.

Further Viewing: Can’t get enough documentaries? Les Blank has you covered; Hulu has seven of his films, including the Werner Herzog meltdown chronicle Burden of Dreams.

November 9: A Woman Under the Influence (1974)
John Cassavetes’s name seems to be everywhere these days, as the influence of his ultra-low-budget, heavily improvised domestic drama can be felt in every corner of the American indie scene. His epic of mental illness and marital malaise stars Gena Rowlands as a bipolar housewife who cracks under the stress of keeping her family together — and once we get to know her abusive yet terrifyingly needy husband (Peter Fonda), it’s easy to see how her illness emerged. Scene after scene unfolds with an operatic timbre, with the family's forced conversations and cartoonishly strict code of conduct producing a sad parody of domesticity that refuses to right itself. 

Further Viewing: Cassavetes’s Shadows offers a slightly more manageable taste of the director (it’s an hour shorter). If you want more melodrama, one logical next step would be Rainer Werner Fassbinder, whose Ali: Fear Eats the Soul presents a doomed cross-cultural, cross-generational romance.

November 10: Taste of Cherry (1997)
End your Criterion tour with an unorthodox choice: a recent selection that uses modernity as a (literal) vehicle for musings on the nature of life and purpose. Abbas Kiarostami’s Cannes winner is a simple story of a man driving through Tehran, coaxing strangers into his car to ask a very specific favor. His motivation is less important than the conversations he elicits from his companions, deeply personal arguments about death and life. Why would anyone choose to die when there’s so much of the world to see? That simple question casts a spell over Kiarostami’s Tehran, where it always seems to be hovering just around the magic hour, and the film's revelations are left for you to decode long after the sun sets.

Further Viewing: Two more Kiarostami films, Close-up and Where Is My Friend’s House?, encourage active participation from their audience, a “lean-forward” viewing style that reminds you that watching movies is supposed to be stimulating. And because they’re less than three decades old, finishing with them will give you a sense of elation about the present and future of film. Thanks for the taste of cherry, Criterion on Hulu. 

* A Guide To The Best Criterion Collection Movies On Hulu

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

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B & N annual 50% off November sale has begun as expected. Typically in the past they have offered a 20% (30%?) off coupon you can stack on top of the 50% off (in the case of the below, I forget if off of the original $100 or already discounted $50, which would make the total either $30 or $40, respectively). 

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/b/50-off-the-criterion-collection/_/N-2dy8

This looks good and just came out two weeks ago.

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

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9 hours ago, Bob Magaw said:

B & N annual 50% off November sale has begun as expected. Typically in the past they have offered a 20% (30%?) off coupon you can stack on top of the 50% off (in the case of the below, I forget if off of the original $100 or already discounted $50, which would make the total either $30 or $40, respectively). 

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/b/50-off-the-criterion-collection/_/N-2dy8

This looks good and just came out two weeks ago.

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

Where does one get their hands on one of these?

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Barnes and Noble (either on line or I think in store).

That is for the 50% off on CC (later in the month they typically offer another on line discount of 20% off which can be stacked, but pretty sure off the DISCOUNTED amount - but some risk newer titles sell out).

Missed the bolded part of the question, but as noted, later in the month (second half, last week?), I'll post it here when I see it. If you google Barnes and Noble and coupon, around the third hit is groupon, and they have typically had a 15% off one item discount in recent days. Any total of $25 post-discount gets free shipping.

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FilmStruck announces free 14 day trial 

http://www.filmstruck.com/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=criterion_list&utm_medium=email

Not avail. on all devices (or models - not backwards compatible with any iterations of Apple TV before current mark 4). Is avail on Amazon fireTV, 4th gen AppleTV coming Nov, chromecast Dec and Roku Jan.

http://www.filmstruck.com/devices 

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On ‎11‎/‎2‎/‎2016 at 5:26 AM, KarmaPolice said:

Where does one get their hands on one of these?

[[This coupon not stackable on Criterion 50% off sale like previous years, I'll continue to look and will pass along if it returns]]

BNNOV125 = 15% off entire order* (free shipping on orders $50+ before discount).

Ends (not sure if it includes?) 11/9/16.

* My recollection is (if you have the patience) an even better coupon of 20% or more in the last week or two of November - possibly around Black Friday to end of month?

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Was passing by, so stopped in for a couple impulse buys.  Ended up getting The Thin Red Line, Pan's Labyrinth, and Paths of Glory. 

Got busy again and fell behind on my watching, but did watch Certified Copy the other night.  Really was a great movie.  Hard to describe, but I would say it reminded me a lot of Before Sunrise.  However, it's more complex, twisty, and just begs to be watched again.  It was really fascinating, and I have been thinking about it since I watched it.  I almost bought that one today as well, but held off.  Also for being a "simple" movie, there were a lot of interesting things going on in the shots.  Just the way he used mirrors, dialogue slightly out of scene, and camera movements had me engrossed as well.  I will definitely check out his other films, and like Bob said before, I think Close-Up is universally praised, so that will probably be the next one watched. 

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Great choices all. Paths of Glory and The Thin Red Line might be the two best anti-war films ever.

When Kubrick announced he wanted to do Full Metal Jacket based on the below novel, his producer asked why, since he had already done a war movie, but he noted Paths was really an anti-war film. If you ever listen to the commentary tracks, it was done by Gary Giddins, probably the preeminent jazz critic in the US (and maybe the world, as well).    

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Short-Timers  

The Thin Red Line was written by a former soldier, James Jones, his novel Return To Forever was earlier made into a film (nominated for 13 Oscars, won eight).    

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Jones_(author) 

Malick shot an insane amount of film (million feet? he likes to let his films coalesce and take shape in post-production). It took something like two years between at least three editors to bring to completion. Per wiki, Scorcese ranked it the second best movie overall of the '90s, and called it the best contemporary war film he's seen (no doubt it is categorized as a war film more often than anti-war, probably similar to Paths Of Glory? :)). I agree. It is an ensemble cast, and many actors were left on the editing floor. Jim Caviezel was not originally intended for the central role, but I take it his charisma and rightness roared off the dailies screen. Powerful non-symphonic score by Hans Zimmer. In maybe an unprecedented case (I don't think this was the norm for either), Zimmer stayed with Malick for an extended period, not sure about a year, but definitely months. Like Leone reportedly did with Morricone's operatic-type leitmotifs for The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, Malick would play part of the score composed early in pre-production to get the cast into the mood on set.  

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31 minutes ago, Bob Magaw said:

Great choices all. Paths of Glory and The Thin Red Line might be the two best anti-war films ever.

When Kubrick announced he wanted to do Full Metal Jacket based on the below novel, his producer asked why, since he had already done a war movie, but he noted Paths was really an anti-war film. If you ever listen to the commentary tracks, it was done by Gary Giddins, probably the preeminent jazz critic in the US (and maybe the world, as well).    

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Short-Timers  

The Thin Red Line was written by a former soldier, James Jones, his novel Return To Forever was earlier made into a film (nominated for 13 Oscars, won eight).    

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Jones_(author) 

Malick shot an insane amount of film (million feet? he likes to let his films coalesce and take shape in post-production). It took something like two years between at least three editors to bring to completion. Per wiki, Scorcese ranked it the second best movie overall of the '90s, and called it the best contemporary war film he's seen (no doubt it is categorized as a war film more often than anti-war, probably similar to Paths Of Glory? :)). I agree. It is an ensemble cast, and many actors were left on the editing floor. Jim Caviezel was not originally intended for the central role, but I take it his charisma and rightness roared off the dailies screen. Powerful non-symphonic score by Hans Zimmer. In maybe an unprecedented case (I don't think this was the norm for either), Zimmer stayed with Malick for an extended period, not sure about a year, but definitely months. Like Leone reportedly did with Morricone's operatic-type leitmotifs for The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, Malick would play part of the score composed early in pre-production to get the cast into the mood on set.  

I love a few Malick's - Thin Red Line, Days of Heaven, and Tree of Life.  Don't remember much of New World, but get the feeling that I didn't like it much.  Did you like that one, and have you seen Knight of Cups yet?

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4 hours ago, KarmaPolice said:

I love a few Malick's - Thin Red Line, Days of Heaven, and Tree of Life.  Don't remember much of New World, but get the feeling that I didn't like it much.  Did you like that one, and have you seen Knight of Cups yet?

I liked it better the second time more than the first (which is not that uncommon for me). I found it, like all Malick's films, visually stunning. No, I haven't seen Knight of Cups but want to. He had another film in the past few years, too (title escapes me at the moment). Definitely see Badlands if you haven't yet. One of the greatest directorial debuts I can recall (Citizen Kane in a class by itself, but Blood Simple comes to mind), where his poetic narrative interlude style began. Malick is an interesting guy. He was going for a PhD in Philosophy with a thesis on Phenomenology, had a falling out with his adviser, wrote a book (about Heiddeger or Husserl?) than was teaching at MIT, I think, before switching careers from an academic track to film school?

* Most would say Scorcese, Coppola or Spielberg, but Malick might be America's greatest living director.

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I enjoyed The Thin Red Line and Days of Heaven. I thought The New World was okay. Badlands was not good. The Tree of Life was like fresh dog poop with flies on it.

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I actually like dialogue-less films like Koyaanisqatsi, Baraka and Samsara (latter two directed by DP of former - Ron Fricke), but they are quasi-documentaries.

I do wish My Dinner With Andre had more action sequences! :) I think it is in Waiting For Guffman (not Best In Show?) where they have My Dinner With Andre action figures.* Days Of Heaven isn't the most scintillating or compelling film dialogue-wise, but it is one of the most beautifully lensed films ever, IMO. I think Cissy Spacek met her husband on the set of Badlands (Jack Fisk?), he worked on other Malick films like Days Of Heaven. There was like a 20 year gap between that and The Thin Red Line. I think he was the production designer on The Revenant, too?

* https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WwZkbAvBtk

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8 hours ago, Bob Magaw said:

I liked it better the second time more than the first (which is not that uncommon for me). I found it, like all Malick's films, visually stunning. No, I haven't seen Knight of Cups but want to. He had another film in the past few years, too (title escapes me at the moment). Definitely see Badlands if you haven't yet. One of the greatest directorial debuts I can recall (Citizen Kane in a class by itself, but Blood Simple comes to mind), where his poetic narrative interlude style began. Malick is an interesting guy. He was going for a PhD in Philosophy with a thesis on Phenomenology, had a falling out with his adviser, wrote a book (about Heiddeger or Husserl?) than was teaching at MIT, I think, before switching careers from an academic track to film school?

* Most would say Scorcese, Coppola or Spielberg, but Malick might be America's greatest living director.

The one before Knight of Cups was To the Wonder.  I did watch that one, but found it OK at best.  Like you said, sometimes, especially with Malick, it takes me a second viewing to warm up to the movie even more, so I want to give that one another try.  I usually have to be in a specific frame of mind to watch one of his movies as well. 

Despite thinking the last one was OK and not even seeing Knight of Cups yet, I can't help but have a raging film boner for the movie that's completed and due out next year from him - Weightless.  It is basically a who's who of some of my favorite actors today: Gosling, Fassbender, Rooney Mara, Blanchett, Portman, Bale, Del Toro. 

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Phoenix:

Didn't know anything about this one except for the basic idea of the movie.  Thought the pacing was off a little bit, and I understand the complaints of having to suspend disbelief a bit, but I was still overall captivated by this movie.  I thought the acting by the lead was fantastic, and it really nailed the ending.   A lot of interesting themes to chew on about surviving the Holocaust and what tricks our minds and memory will do to forget things we did.  Another one I will be thinking about for a bit, and that is always a good thing. 

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The Minneapolis library rules for Criterion movies...

If I watch Wages of Fear will I even want to watch Friedkin's "Sorcerer"?

Also on tap - The Bridge, Revanche, and Cul-De-Sac

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37 minutes ago, Andy Dufresne said:

If I watch Wages of Fear will I even want to watch Friedkin's "Sorcerer"?

Yes. Great (if harrowing) double feature, though the former more critically acclaimed. IMO, Sorcerer criminally underrated and Friedkin's neglected masterpiece. 

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58 minutes ago, Bob Magaw said:

Yes. Great (if harrowing) double feature, though the former more critically acclaimed. IMO, Sorcerer criminally underrated and Friedkin's neglected masterpiece. 

I don't think I could handle both films back to back.  This month has brought enough existential despair without piling to it.  I like Sorcerer in parts; the framing stories of the four protagonists are very good and the scene on the bridge is memorable.  The production values and soundtrack are superior but I don't think Friedkin brings enough to the party that lifts it above the original.  It's still worth a watch if you haven't seen it before.

I think Bug is Friedkin's neglected (if harrowing) masterpiece. 

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2 hours ago, Andy Dufresne said:

The Minneapolis library rules for Criterion movies...

If I watch Wages of Fear will I even want to watch Friedkin's "Sorcerer"?

Also on tap - The Bridge, Revanche, and Cul-De-Sac

:thumbup:

I just picked up The Bridge at the library today as well. Revanche has been on my radar for a bit too. 

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Lady Snowblood:

OK, am I the only ####### that didn't know that Kill Bill was inspired by this?  Honestly never heard of it until I was shopping at B&N the other day and thought it looked interesting, so I picked it up at the library.  Overall I didn't love it, but really liked the idea of it, and really liked the combining of different styles and shots throughout the movie.  I think I was just a little too distracted the whole time thinking "has QT made an original movie yet?" and picking up on all the things that are basically the same in the two movies.  Remember thinking similar thoughts when I saw The Killing for the first time, but it was more apparent here, as even looks/walks/styles of the main character, chapter titles, using drawings/animation for parts of the backstory, and some shots and camera movement felt almost identical.  Despite being distracted, I did have fun with it, but overall it wasn't quite my cup of tea. 

 

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1 hour ago, KarmaPolice said:

Lady Snowblood:

OK, am I the only ####### that didn't know that Kill Bill was inspired by this?  Honestly never heard of it until I was shopping at B&N the other day and thought it looked interesting, so I picked it up at the library.  Overall I didn't love it, but really liked the idea of it, and really liked the combining of different styles and shots throughout the movie.  I think I was just a little too distracted the whole time thinking "has QT made an original movie yet?" and picking up on all the things that are basically the same in the two movies.  Remember thinking similar thoughts when I saw The Killing for the first time, but it was more apparent here, as even looks/walks/styles of the main character, chapter titles, using drawings/animation for parts of the backstory, and some shots and camera movement felt almost identical.  Despite being distracted, I did have fun with it, but overall it wasn't quite my cup of tea. 

 

There was a sequel also made available on Criterion, not sure if you would like it if you didn't the first (unless maybe for studying Tarantino's influences?). 

https://www.criterion.com/boxsets/1154-the-complete-lady-snowblood

* {Not Criterion - A Swedish rape/revenge exploitation film variously titled Thriller - A Cruel Picture, They Call Her One Eye, etc. sounds like a clear influence on Kill Bill Part 1, but it includes graphic violence and sex [[yes, even compared to a Tarantino film]], so may be X rated or unrated. Based on the description, it makes Clockwork Orange sound like Charlotte's Web.}    

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thriller_–_A_Cruel_Picture

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1 hour ago, Bob Magaw said:

There was a sequel also made available on Criterion, not sure if you would like it if you didn't the first (unless maybe for studying Tarantino's influences?). 

https://www.criterion.com/boxsets/1154-the-complete-lady-snowblood

* {Not Criterion - A Swedish rape/revenge exploitation film variously titled Thriller - A Cruel Picture, They Call Her One Eye, etc. sounds like a clear influence on Kill Bill Part 1, but it includes graphic violence and sex [[yes, even compared to a Tarantino film]], so may be X rated or unrated. Based on the description, it makes Clockwork Orange sound like Charlotte's Web.}    

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thriller_–_A_Cruel_Picture

Yeah, it came in a DVD 2pk with the sequel.  I might get around to it in the future (I didn't hate the movie or anything), but just have too many others I want to get to first. 

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1 hour ago, Fariq said:

I liked Sorcerer. Part was filmed in Linden.

After Narcs and Satan, Bad Times

William Friedkin, Before and After the Hits

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/11/movies/homevideo/william-friedkin-before-and-after-the-hits.html?_r=0

"As an exercise in trippy jungle hubris, “Sorcerer” (scored by the German electronic band Tangerine Dream) has affinities to Werner Herzog’s “Aguirre, the Wrath of God” and Mr. Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now.” As an instance of anticorporate directorial megalomania, it anticipates “Heaven’s Gate.” Unlike that Michael Cimino epic western, however, Mr. Friedkin’s would-be magnum opus did not topple a studio. Rather, it cost the director his deal with Universal. Mr. Friedkin still considers “Sorcerer” his best film; the sequence in which the trucks lurch mid-monsoon across a swaying bridge may be the most elaborately orchestrated of his career."

Inside the Forgotten Movie Masterpiece Sorcerer

William Friedkin on its troubled, almost deadly production and restored legacy

http://www.esquire.com/entertainment/movies/a28501/sorcerer-william-friedkin/

Friedkin's Sorcerer: As Good As You've Heard

http://www.villagevoice.com/film/friedkins-sorcerer-as-good-as-youve-heard-6441992

Sorcerer review

http://www.slantmagazine.com/film/review/sorcerer

Vintage '77 trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BDbIzovuos

[It should be pointed out there are a few reasons this bombed at the box office at the time, other than the fact it was unrelentingly bleak. It was released like a week after Star Wars. Oof. Also, the title came from one of the jeeps and had nothing to do with the supernatural, but coming on the heels of Friedkin's The Exorcist, led to confusion as to what it was about and unfortunate associations/expectations with it's predecessor. Hard to believe the director could have been naïve about this at the time, but has claimed he wasn't trying to capitalize on the success of The Exorcist with the title?]  

* I saw Sorcerer in Hollywood as part of the TCM Film Festival (2014 or 2015?). The driving, pulsating, hypnotic Tangerine Dream score was awesome, and the torrential rain and howling wind on the bridge scene was a palpable, tangible, visceral experience. Friedkin gave a speech before the film screened. The only time I recall seeing anything but an initial theatrical run for any film. Probably my overall favorite theatrical experience ever, but it is one of my favorite films - I like Friedkin and Tangerine Dream a lot (I highly recommend seeing a classic movie you like at the theater if you ever get the chance). I don't always remember to note it, but Michael Mann's Thief from the CC was one of the best neo-noirs of the '80s, and also my second favorite Tangerine Dream score after Sorcerer.  

Thief - opening scene

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

Finale/credits

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0sJv1CWxAME

The whole movie

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sDNvDRQTag 

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I haven't really checked out the Blu-Rays on the new Del Toro Trilogia set yet, I've already seen all three films several times, but the book is AMAZING, maybe the best I've ever seen in a Criterion set (and that's saying a lot). 

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This is always fun - the 2017 annual teaser cartoon (with interpretation comments)

https://www.criterion.com/current/posts/4370-happy-new-year

Hopeful on Tarkovsky's Stalker and Carpenter's underrated They Live (Miyazaki's anime Spirited Away, Malick's Tree of Life, Coen Bros. Barton Fink and Clockwork Orange also thrown out).  

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On 11/17/2016 at 7:14 PM, Bob Magaw said:

After Narcs and Satan, Bad Times

William Friedkin, Before and After the Hits

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/11/movies/homevideo/william-friedkin-before-and-after-the-hits.html?_r=0

"As an exercise in trippy jungle hubris, “Sorcerer” (scored by the German electronic band Tangerine Dream) has affinities to Werner Herzog’s “Aguirre, the Wrath of God” and Mr. Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now.” As an instance of anticorporate directorial megalomania, it anticipates “Heaven’s Gate.” Unlike that Michael Cimino epic western, however, Mr. Friedkin’s would-be magnum opus did not topple a studio. Rather, it cost the director his deal with Universal. Mr. Friedkin still considers “Sorcerer” his best film; the sequence in which the trucks lurch mid-monsoon across a swaying bridge may be the most elaborately orchestrated of his career."

Inside the Forgotten Movie Masterpiece Sorcerer

William Friedkin on its troubled, almost deadly production and restored legacy

http://www.esquire.com/entertainment/movies/a28501/sorcerer-william-friedkin/

Friedkin's Sorcerer: As Good As You've Heard

http://www.villagevoice.com/film/friedkins-sorcerer-as-good-as-youve-heard-6441992

Sorcerer review

http://www.slantmagazine.com/film/review/sorcerer

Vintage '77 trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BDbIzovuos

[It should be pointed out there are a few reasons this bombed at the box office at the time, other than the fact it was unrelentingly bleak. It was released like a week after Star Wars. Oof. Also, the title came from one of the jeeps and had nothing to do with the supernatural, but coming on the heels of Friedkin's The Exorcist, led to confusion as to what it was about and unfortunate associations/expectations with it's predecessor. Hard to believe the director could have been naïve about this at the time, but has claimed he wasn't trying to capitalize on the success of The Exorcist with the title?]  

* I saw Sorcerer in Hollywood as part of the TCM Film Festival (2014 or 2015?). The driving, pulsating, hypnotic Tangerine Dream score was awesome, and the torrential rain and howling wind on the bridge scene was a palpable, tangible, visceral experience. Friedkin gave a speech before the film screened. The only time I recall seeing anything but an initial theatrical run for any film. Probably my overall favorite theatrical experience ever, but it is one of my favorite films - I like Friedkin and Tangerine Dream a lot (I highly recommend seeing a classic movie you like at the theater if you ever get the chance). I don't always remember to note it, but Michael Mann's Thief from the CC was one of the best neo-noirs of the '80s, and also my second favorite Tangerine Dream score after Sorcerer.  

Thief - opening scene

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

Finale/credits

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0sJv1CWxAME

The whole movie

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sDNvDRQTag 

Love both Sorcerer and Thief. That swinging bridge scene in Sorcerer is so intense. 

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14 minutes ago, BroncoFreak_2K3 said:

Love both Sorcerer and Thief. That swinging bridge scene in Sorcerer is so intense. 

Tangerine Dream the only common denominator I can think of (except of course the bleak subject matter, and great neo-noirs).

Sorcerer based on the Wages of Fear by French director Clouzot (Ebert review), who also did another  thriller/suspense classic, Les Diaboliques - the co-writers also wrote Hitchcock's Vertigo, and adapted the genuinely unsettling and disturbing French horror film Eyes Without A Face by Franju.

http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/the-wages-of-fear-1992

* Bonus Ebert review for Thief

http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/thief-1981

 

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10 minutes ago, Bob Magaw said:

Tangerine Dream the only common denominator I can think of (except of course the bleak subject matter, and great neo-noirs).

Sorcerer based on the French classic by Wages of Fear by Clouzot (Ebert review).

http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/the-wages-of-fear-1992

* Bonus Ebert review for Thief

http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/thief-1981

 

Wages of Fear takes a while to get going, but once it does, it grips you until the end...great film.

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Dammit - how did I miss that the "Before" trilogy came out on Criterion a couple months ago?? This will be my next purchase when I see a 50% sale going on. 

ETA:  Just went to the Criterion website and saw that Ghost World is coming out soon too.  I love that movie as well and will purchase that one too. 

Edited by KarmaPolice

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On 3/1/2017 at 7:33 AM, ConstruxBoy said:

50% off til noon Eastern with code LOVE. 

Just ordered Blood Simple and Thin Red Line. 

Two GREAT movies.

Coen bros. Blood Simple simply one of the most self-assured debuts in American cinema history. Some directors seem to have an already fully formed, mature style on display in their debut that portends genius (Kurosawa and Kubrick come immediately to mind, not as popular, but I also found Roeg's Walkabout highly promising, and for that matter, Malick's Badlands - all in CC).

Malick's Thin Red Line has become my favorite war genre film, though close with Apocalypse Now and Full Metal Jacket (and what Kubrick called an ANTI-war genre film - Paths of Glory). Malick's Days of Heaven arguably one of the most beautifully shot films ever - with a film championed by Scorcese, Black Narcissus (cinematographer Jack Cardiff a Technicolor legend), by the unusual British shared production/direction/writing credit team of Powell & Pressburger (Scorcese's long time editor was Powell's widow). It airs this Wed. at 7:00 PM on TCM, with several other of their works that day, usually means a birthday homage - A Matter of Life and Death, Hour of Glory, I Know Where I'm Going and A Canterbury Tale. They don't make movies like this anymore. If you didn't know, you would swear Black Narcissus was shot in the Himalayas and not a British sound stage. Some of the most amazing and spectacular matte paintings I've ever seen.

Frankenheimer's The Manchurian Candidate airs on TCM Thurs. 12:15 PM. This has all of a sudden become one of my favorite films, counting the director's commentary track, watched 2-3 X in recent weeks. Came out in the CC just last year. Another CC film I saw on TCM recently, Hearts and Minds, is likely the best Vietnam War doc ever (almost certainly influenced Coppola and Kubrick). BTW, this is also the subject matter of Ken Burns next epic, starting in Sept.

* Upcoming movie watch - Stalker by Tarkovsky in July.

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4 minutes ago, KarmaPolice said:

Isn't there usually a B&N sale in the summer?

They have one in Nov. and late Winter/early Spring, not sure about Summer. Criterion has periodic flash sales but typically 24 hours and easy to miss unless you are on their e-mail list.

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3 hours ago, KarmaPolice said:

Isn't there usually a B&N sale in the summer?

I believe July and November are the two main 50% sales.

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Nice! It looks like it's going on until Aug.7th, so I have a little time to plan which ones I am getting.  I know the Before Trilogy needs to be purchased, but I want to look at what other new ones were released this year. 

ETA:  Thanks for the heads up!

Edited by KarmaPolice

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Has anyone tried out Filmstruck, the streaming Criterion/TCM collab?

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1 minute ago, Ilov80s said:

Has anyone tried out Filmstruck, the streaming Criterion/TCM collab?

I wish, but I can't do the streaming thing.  I have heard decent things though.

I have wanted to do that one and there's another one - mubi.com that I have been interested in since hearing about it. 

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18 minutes ago, KarmaPolice said:

I wish, but I can't do the streaming thing.  I have heard decent things though.

I have wanted to do that one and there's another one - mubi.com that I have been interested in since hearing about it. 

I planned on getting it- a family member even gifted me a check to cover 6 months of it. I feel  bad because I am still so backed on recording things from TCM, Netflix, etc. 

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8 minutes ago, Ilov80s said:

I planned on getting it- a family member even gifted me a check to cover 6 months of it. I feel  bad because I am still so backed on recording things from TCM, Netflix, etc. 

I seem to go from one extreme to the other.  Like you said, it's really hard to keep up with all my lists of stuff I want to see.  I will go on a classic movie or Criterion movie binge for months, take a break, then realize I haven't seen a newer movie in about 6 months then try to catch up on them. Then I am behind on a couple shows, so I do that.  Then repeat the cycle..

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13 minutes ago, KarmaPolice said:

I seem to go from one extreme to the other.  Like you said, it's really hard to keep up with all my lists of stuff I want to see.  I will go on a classic movie or Criterion movie binge for months, take a break, then realize I haven't seen a newer movie in about 6 months then try to catch up on them. Then I am behind on a couple shows, so I do that.  Then repeat the cycle..

Same here. I am way behind on new movies and TV shows. I was in a all TV show, no movie phase for a few years. Then I was just reading, no movies or TV. Now its almost all old movies. 

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13 minutes ago, Ilov80s said:

Same here. I am way behind on new movies and TV shows. I was in a all TV show, no movie phase for a few years. Then I was just reading, no movies or TV. Now its almost all old movies. 

:lol:  Sounds exactly like me.  I think there was a 2 year stretch where I MAYBE watched a handful of movies and it was all Breaking Bad, GoT,  Walking Dead, whatever was on.  Then I went on a huge older movie binge, and just this week I realized how far behind I am on stuff from mid-2015 and on, so I am going to the library to grab a stack from my list and hopefully get a little caught up.  Probably by the time fall and winter roll around it might be back to my Criterion list. 

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28 minutes ago, The Man With No Name said:

50% off now at Barnes & Noble, through August 5

:thumbup:

I will have to see what has come out new this year.  I know Ghost World was one I wanted to grab for the last sale, but didn't get around to it.  

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On 7/11/2017 at 9:24 AM, Ilov80s said:

Has anyone tried out Filmstruck, the streaming Criterion/TCM collab?

Is there a way to do commentaries with it?

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36 minutes ago, Smack Tripper said:

Is there a way to do commentaries with it?

Not sure honestly but I think they have a lot of special features available 

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