Criterion Blu-ray titles!

Josh Steinberg

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I’d love a good copy of The Trial, I don’t think I’ve ever seen it looking anywhere close to decent, which is how I’ve managed to never see the full thing.
 
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titch

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Out of curiosity, what type of movies do you prefer that Criterion releases?
For me, since I have purchased every single blu-ray that Criterion has released, the fun is the discovery of seeing films I've never heard of, or ever considered watching. I find it tremendously stimulating to constantly be exposed to uncharted waters. My only real gripe, is that Criterion has decided not to release 4K discs and is currently releasing titles that already have superior transfers on 4K disc (Crash, The Elephant Man, Parasite). This is very expensive for collectors (you lucky guys over the in States have no idea what a Criterion title costs, by the time it has been shipped to Norway, at vast expense, and had a 25% import duty slapped on it). Also, there certainly is a limit as to how much double-dipping is warranted. We all have finite space in our houses for physical media.
 

Robert Crawford

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Out of curiosity, what type of movies do you prefer that Criterion releases?
Because other people have answered a question I meant for one specific person , let me rephrase my question.:)

Ed Lachmann, out of curiosity, what type of movies do you prefer that Criterion releases on to Blu-ray?
 

Ronald Epstein

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For me, since I have purchased every single blu-ray that Criterion has released, the fun is the discovery of seeing films I've never heard of, or ever considered watching. I find it tremendously stimulating to constantly be exposed to uncharted waters. My only real gripe, is that Criterion has decided not to release 4K discs and is currently releasing titles that already have superior transfers on 4K disc (Crash, The Elephant Man, Parasite). This is very expensive for collectors (you lucky guys over the in States have no idea what a Criterion title costs, by the time it has been shipped to Norway, at vast expense, and had a 25% import duty slapped on it). Also, there certainly is a limit as to how much double-dipping is warranted. We all have finite space in our houses for physical media.
Kevin, I am reading this correctly? You have purchased every single Blu-ray Criterion has released?!
 

titch

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Kevin, I am reading this correctly? You have purchased every single Blu-ray Criterion has released?!
You are reading correctly, Ron! I have purchased every single blu-ray title they have released. The good, the bad and the ugly! I did a quick count now and found 846 titles (I count the box sets as one title), I think the number of feature length films number approximately 1040. Obviously this does create some unnecessary double-dipping for completion's sake (I would never have purchased Leave Her To Heaven and some other duplicate titles, if Criterion hadn't released them, as I already have them on equal or superior formats). I also repurchase key films, which Criterion released earlier, but that now are presented with new 4K scans (Walkabout, Don't Look Now, The Third Man, Tokyo Story), because I love watching films projected in the best possible quality. I keep individual Criterion titles, if they are subsequently released in large box sets (the Bergmans, the Vardas, the upcoming Fellinis), because I like the individual essays and cover art. (I'm currently holding on to Pierrot le Fou, to check and see if the cover and essay are more or less identical to the first release).

The collection isn't perfect - Criterion have rightly been criticised in a recent op-ed in the New York Times about the lack of diversity regarding black directors, something that the Criterion's longtime president and creative lead, Peter Becker acknowledged and promised to rectify in the future. But having the complete collection means the opportunity of seeing work from over 460 directors from nearly 50 countries. For a film lover, it doesn't get any better. The collection is really proving its worth during the current crisis, where there are virtually no interesting new film releases at the cinema.

As I said previously, I have only one real gripe with Criterion now, and that is their refusal to start releasing 4K discs. Even just one, as a test. I feel that if Arrow can release a 4K disc of Crash, then I feel it is high time Criterion did the same.

IMG_2385.jpg
 

titch

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So, Kevin- are you sure you have enough entertainment to last a couple of weeks?;)
:) When I'm working up in the far north of Norway, and only have streaming services available, I really notice how very poor the selection of classic films is on Netflix, HBO, Amazon and iTunes. We don't have the Criterion Channel available in Norway, I reckon the closest we get is Mubi. I admit, I have the same problem as everyone else: I buy too many films and don't have enough time to see them all. I've been waiting for the heralded end of physical media for years, but the opposite is happening, with an increased rate of classic films, with superb restored masters, being released every year! We are extremely fortunate - this really is the golden age of home theatre.

This weekend, I'm inviting some of my oldest friends round for dinner. We are going to watch the Italianamerican short on Scorcese Shorts and make his mother's legendary meatball sauce. After that, we'll obviously have to watch Goodfellas.
 

titch

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Nice picture, Kevin! Love it!

They don't seem to be in alphabetical order. Do you have them in numerical order on the shelves? Or, maybe by director?
Mike - you touched a raw nerve! I've been thinking of starting a thread for a while about how best to curate the Criterion Collection. I have about 5000 blu-rays and 4K discs and I have decided to group all films, excepting the Criterion Collection, by genre (comedy, cartoon, documentary, drama, horror, black & white, non-english speaking etc), with separate shelves for some favourite directors (Scorsese, Coen brothers, Spielberg, Hitchcock, Welles, etc). This works remarkably well for me - I can usually find a particular film within a minute.

But the Criterion Collection stands on its own. Sorting by spine number is useless, of course. I have grouped the French, Italian, Scandinavian and Japanese films in the collection together and I also try to put films by the same director together. But it is getting out of hand. I recently accidentally purchased The Story Of Temple Drake twice, because I confused it with Dance, Girl Dance! I used to have all my laserdiscs sorted alphabetically, but I only had around 1500 of those. Also, I usually find a film to watch, based on my mood, or whoever is coming round.

There are some pretty organised and methodical folks here - I'd be very interested to hear how you organise the Criterion Collection!
 
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Ed Lachmann

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Ed Lachmann, out of curiosity, what type of movies do you prefer that Criterion releases on to Blu-ray?
Well, now that they have the WB connection, how about any of these...Greed, The Wind, The Crowd, The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg, Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (the Brownlow restorations with the Carl Davis/Robert Israel scores) or anything like them, maybe an upgrade of Pandora's Box. Obviously, I mainly buy classics and love silents. Maybe more "modern" ones like America America, Night of the Iguana, the Mankiewicz Julius Caesar, Man Who Came to Dinner, Butterfield 8, Captains Courageous, The Great Ziegfeld, Baby Doll, Mister Skeffington and many more WB titles. Seems to me the Archive sends "the big ones" over to Criterion these days.
 

bujaki

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Kevin, I am reading this correctly? You have purchased every single Blu-ray Criterion has released?!
I have purchased every single Criterion title since their DVD days (spine #1, etc.). When they switched to BDs, so did I and continued buying their releases. When they upgraded their DVDs to BDs, so did I. I'm waiting for the next Criterion flash sale or B&N 50% off sale to update my collection.
But yes, I even have the recalled issues, such as spine #1 recalled by Toho and reissued with the same UPC number but without the offending content. That's The Seven Samurai DVD. I have both copies. I also have the recalled copies of Eraserhead and Dressed to Kill. I do try to be thorough.
It's called an Obsession with Criterion.
 

Jim*Tod

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A few days ago I re-watched the Criterion Blu Ray of DAYS OF HEAVEN, largely due to Linda Manz's recent death. It looked OK but I think they need to do an upgrade on it. I wonder what the chances are of that or if it would be possible for a UHD of it. Any thoughts?
 

AnthonyClarke

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Hi Kevin -- am very envious of your Criterion collection!
Here in Australia, when it's sweltering summer and the temperature moves over 40 Celsius, I often remember Norway, one of the friendliest countries (the people I mean) on the globe. It's years since I was there, and I remember especially wonderful afternoons I spent sheltering from the snow in the Oslo Town Hall, which in those days held a fabulous collection of Munch paintings, including my favourite, The Sick Child', which has probably by now been moved to the Munch Museum. There was a wonderful very long movie on the life of Munch, made by Peter Watkins, which should be in Criterion!
 

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