What A Year

I don’t know if you are familiar with The Criterion Collection. Its is a “continuing series of important classic and contemporary films on DVD” Its really about the quality and the special features.  Most of the latter films are mastered in HD and are available in anamorphic widescreen.  Its a rigorous process involving taking the original prints and cleaning them up.  Sourcing these original prints is absolutely insane sometimes, many no longer are available.  You really have to own one to appreciate the care that goes into the production.  I have been collecting these films since 1999 when i first purchased Brazil (spine no. 51) and i haven’t stopped yet. But this year has been especially fruitful for me as a collector because a few important titles i love have been released.  It began with Days Of Heaven (spine no. 409), a breathtaking flim by director Terrence Malick. Then followed Two-Lane Blacktop (spine no. 414) by Monte Hellman, a film that was out of print for years which stars the Beach Boys’ Dennis Wilson and James Tayor in their only ever acting roles.  Last month they dropped Mishima: A Life In Four Chapters (spine no. 432) another visually stunning film, directed by Paul Schrader (screenwriter of Taxi Driver).  This film was important for me because it was the first film that i rented when i became a member of TLA Video and dove into the world of independent and foreign cinema.  I remember spending hours discussing the modern set designs by Eiko Ishioka (who recently was creative director for the opening ceremonies to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing) with my good friend Jack and they’re correlation to the theories of ‘modernization of Japan’ by the films subject Yukio Mishima.  I couldn’t ask for more from the folks at The Criterion Collection.  Well i guess i don’t have to.  I just noticed on their site that they plan to release the first Wes Anderson film Bottle Rocket (spine no. 450) in November.  I revel in the fact that DVD’s in my regular collection that are begging to be produced into a high quality release loaded with special features are being taken under the wing of The Criterion CollectionBottle Rocket might be my most beloved Wes Anderson film.  After the release of Rushmore and prior to the release of The Darjeeling Limited, Janus Films (owners of The Criterion Collection) had exclusive right to releasing The Royal Tenenbaums and The Life Aquatic.  I only hope that they can continue to produce such great DVD (and soon Blu-Ray discs) for years to come.  I have a few suggestions though.  Ed Wood by Tim Burton, Badlands by Terrence Malick, The Long Goodbye and McCabe And Mrs. Miller by Robert Altman, and finally Kundun by Martin Scorsese.


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Published in: on 16 August, 2008 at 8:53 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. Your film snobbery is impressive – even surpassing that of the film nerds with whom i went to school. were you smoking a pipe when you wrote this? you should have been.

    And: woo bottle rocket!

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