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.