Criterion - doing us all proud

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jon Robertson, Apr 20, 2002.

  1. Jon Robertson

    Jon Robertson Screenwriter

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    It seems to me that since about the start of last year, Criterion really hit a stride which they have yet to fall out of. They’re bringing out tons of the absolute all-time-great classics that film buffs have been pining for since the format’s beginning in versions I can’t see being bettered in any way for years and years, as well as more recent titles in truly sumptuous style – George Washington, Traffic, In The Mood for Love – as well as diving into the vaults and pulling back up some absolutely wonderful forgotten gems such as Le Trou, The Ruling Class and Grey Gardens.
    And, from the looks of things, with new deals with Wellspring (still the best DVD news I’ve heard for months) and Kino, things are just going to get better and better.
    And still no-one does special editions better than Criterion. For example, the upcoming disc of Traffic features two editing demonstrations – one devoted solely to dialogue – as well as three separate commentaries detailing the creative side (writer/director), the economic side (the three producers) and the factual side (the advisors). This is what we call in-depth supplementing, not some EPK 5-minute crap. THIS is what is meant by the term "film-school in a box".
    The three short films on George Washington add no end of fascinating perspective on the finished film, and the coolness of things such as the 35-year-old BBC documentary on Josef von Sternberg on The Scarlet Empress or Preston Sturges reading his own poetry on Sullivan’s Travels never fails to amaze me.
    Plus every one of their transfers have been, with the possible exceptions of the non-anamorphic HandMade/Anchor Bay titles, pretty incredible over the last 12 months.
    A round of applause for them, I think. Criterion are really putting out astonishing, some might say essential, editions on a monthly basis, better than ever before.
     
  2. David Brashear

    David Brashear Stunt Coordinator

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    I fully agree. At a time when more and more studios are turning to pan and scan, it's good to know that we still have criterion - a company that actually cares about movies and would never put out a movie that wasn't in its original aspect ratio.
     
  3. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    8 1/2 and Notorious are my first two Criterion DVD's...they're perfect.

    8 1/2 looks stunning, as does Notorious. The sound is great and in the correct sound channel format (1.0).

    I'm extremely pleased with the supplements, too. The Lux Radio adaptation on Notorious is great and I love the two commentaries.

    Criterion is a very movie-buff friendly DVD producer (along with WB, Paramount, Film Preservation Associates/David Shepard, and Universal, IMO) that really presents films like they should be.
     
  4. Jon Robertson

    Jon Robertson Screenwriter

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    What, for me, separates Criterion from the other studios is that their supplements educate about the film-making process and film history in general rather than offer interesting-but-useless trivia from the set.

    Occasionally, there are DVDs that are made in the true Criterion spirit - Moulin Rouge, Snow White - but sadly these are few and far between.
     
  5. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    Many things seem to separate the Criterions from those of other distributers, but I agree with Jon that the extras are exemplary. Two great examples would be The Passion of Joan of Arc and The Seventh Seal. The supplements give amazing insight. It's almost like taking a university film course on the pieces. Now, if they could just do some films like It Happened One Night and Once Upon a Time in the West (still as far as I know unreleased on DVD whatsoever), they would have at least this one immediate buyer.
     
  6. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    Oh and for Patrick, you should check out The Third Man. Not only is it a wonderful print, but it also has a Lux radio adaptation of The Third Man as well as an Orson Welles episode of The Lives of Harry Lime.
     
  7. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Cinematographer

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  8. Jon Robertson

    Jon Robertson Screenwriter

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    The Tin Drum has been confirmed by Kino's president. I presume it won't be their only encounter.
     
  9. Mark_vdH

    Mark_vdH Screenwriter

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  10. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

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    They're good. Very good. I wish they did something else though. I don't know, sell furniture or something. That way, they can subsidize the cost of making their DVD's so they can be cheaper for us. [​IMG]
     

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