Saturday, April 04, 2009

The Curious Case of the Criterion Collection

I'm sorry I haven't had time to post anything more substantial lately—stay tuned...—but for now, can anyone explain why or how this is happening? And they're usually so discerning. Best to emphasize the delightful news that Criterion is soon to bring us a forever-in-coming DVD of John Huston's Wise Blood and whole box sets of hard-to-find Kordas and (even better!) Imamuras, and thus ignore the unfortunate dignifying of Fincher's tech-happy and supplement-friendly white elephant.



Blogger Joseph "Jon" Lanthier said...

Indeed, I complain quite cantankerously about the same thing here. To your credit, you keep the language clean.

Not a great move, but it's decidedly less shameless than having Michael Bay in the collection (I still shudder when I hear folks mention "The Rock" as an example of THE Criterion to those instances it's probably the ONLY one they own). And, as I point out, t'will only provide more funds for their superlative work, so s'ok by me, basically.

5:12 PM, April 04, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

:( Their choices are odd sometimes.. Ah well. What are we to do?

I just finished O'Connor's Wise Blood. I thought it was incredible. Are you a fan of her work?

8:55 PM, April 04, 2009  
Blogger NicksFlickPicks said...

@Joseph/Jon: You're probably right on the money (literally) with this call.

@David: Not only am I a fan, I teach Wise Blood in my American lit survey, which I'm just kicking off right now, As I Lay Dying-style. I wish the WB DVD were premiering in time to use it in my course, but sadly, no. And my entreaties to the Criterion Co. for an advanced copy came to nothing. What ever happened to taking pity on our teachers?

9:56 PM, April 04, 2009  
Anonymous Dr. S said...

I get the sense from you that if they were taking pity on the teachers, they'd be releasing a different slate of DVDs altogether...

10:51 AM, April 05, 2009  
Blogger Michael Shetina said...

"Still, at the end of the day it will generate considerable moola for Criterion, who will then convert that cash into the much-needed foreign and indie releases we hold so dear, with superior transfers and transcendent extras."

Right on! If it provides them with the funds to get my beloved Shanghai Express on DVD, I'm all for Ben Button.

- Michael Shetina

8:21 PM, April 06, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It doesn't help you get the Criterion Disc early, but The Movie Channel (which is part of the Showtime tier on cable and satellite systems) is showing Wise Blood this month. I know it shows today (even in HD at one point), and I believe it shows next week as well.

As for Benjamin Button, I didn't hate it like a lot of people did. I thought it was fairly intriguing, more interesting to think about than watch, with a lot of good sequences and a lot of crap ones. (Also, it was fun seeing someone my sister photographed at a wedding onscreen in a big, honest-to-God Oscar-bait movie.) It's not the type of film that would seem like it would be a really good addition to the Criterion Collection, although of 2008 films, only Hunger seems like a good candidate to me. (Maybe Boy A also. I would say Gran Torino, which I loved, but I don't really need anything beyond the film itself with top-notch audio and video, and Warner always delivers on that front.)

But as has been mentioned before, if it helps them dig through the Paramount vault, then it'll be worth it. I'd bet that with a Paramount relationship, Criterion can release Bergman's Face to Face.

10:39 AM, April 07, 2009  
Blogger Guy Lodge said...

Ha, I knew this would get a rise out of you! You've been missed lately, by the way.

On another note, I was interested to see your very generous grade for "Gomorrah" ... from your description of your ill-fated first attempt to view the film in London, I wasn't anticipating that much enthusiasm.

4:39 AM, April 11, 2009  
Anonymous Alex said...


I think it's overly critical to say that whoever owns Criterion's edition of "The Rock" doesn't own any other films from them. They probably also have Michael Bay's "Armageddon" :)

5:15 AM, April 12, 2009  
Blogger JKlorfein said...

Proof that anything Kent Jones likes TURNS TO GOLD.

11:21 AM, April 17, 2009  

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