Why are so many of the recent criterion releases unavailable on netflix? Many that have come out within the past few months or so are nowhere to be found. Also, do you think netflix, which is a business, worries about the needs and desires of the rare cinephile when most people rent mainstream fare?
No Charade Blu ray
No Night of the Hunter blu ray
No Paths of Glory Blu ray
No Videodrome blu ray
No Colossal Youth
No Red Shoes Blu Ray
No Black Narcissus Blu Ray
I could go on
Netflix has been surprisingly gun-shy in committing whole-heartedly to Blu, at least as far as “art films” are concerned. But they’ll get there; they’re a prescient company. And do I think they pay attention to non-mainstream cinephiles? Absolutely. Look at the availability of obscure world and indie features. Despite my occasional disappointment—"No “Alice in the Cities,” damn!—Netflix has played a significant part in my cultural life for the last few years.
Oh same here Z., but I’ve just been a bit troubled by the fact that they’ve been slow to carry certain new criterion releases lately.
Well worth the purchase (although Santa Claus brought it for me)…the extras on each are great…it’s important to me to FINALLY see A SAFE PLACE & DRIVE, HE SAID.
I don’t think they’re slow in just the “art film” realm. They just recently got the blu-ray of Seven available, and it has been out in stores since September.
Oh, and the BBS set is the best $56.30 I’ve spent on a set in a long time.
“I really need Five Easy Pieces and King of Marvin Gardens but not sure the others are keepers (although I’ve been curious about Drive, He Said for a while). I wish 5EP and KMG were sold separately.”
not a fan of Last Picture Show then?
I wouldn’t mind seeing a new transfer for F.E.P and K.O.M.G.
$56.30? Damn, that’s a good price. Oh wait, I’m assuming that’s not Blu-Ray. But, if so, do share your secret.
Z. Bart wrote:
““Head” and “A Safe Place” are also idiosyncratically brilliant. The collection’s worth the price.”
Head is good fun but I’m not sure I’d want to own it. Is A Safe Place a Harry Jaglom film for people who have always hated Harry Jaglom films? (you know without the pointless self-indulgent narcissistic drivel). I’ve also been meaning to revisit The Last Picture Show. I wasn’t impressed by it the only time I’ve seen it.
^^i’ve never seen one Jaglom film, but to me the set is worth the price for new transfers of Last Picture Show, Easy Rider, King Of Marvin Gardens and Five Easy Pieces, esp since i picked it up at a reduced price.
Ari: “Head is good fun”—okay, but it’s also darkly subversive and self-sabotaging. As it undercuts the media construct of The Monkees through a newly revitalized (and seemingly suiciodal) notion of the band, the film carves out a wonderfully new path for American culture. I admire Jaglom, especially this one, with its dreamy repetitions and hallucinatory indeterminacies.
@Ari The blu set was $62 or so on Barnes & Nobles site up until New Years. This coupled with a 15% coupon brought it to $56.30 including tax.
Thanks for the tips. I’ll keep my eyes peeled this summer. Looking to land myself the Early Bergman and Early Kurosawa Eclipse boxsets sometime, and that sounds like the perfect opportunity. One director sets are far more comfortable for me than boxes like the BBS.
As a side note my life will never be complete without the Brazil 3 disc set. Hopefully this July I’ll find happiness :)
Finally diving into the BBS Box Set that I purchased earlier this year. Starting with HEAD. I guess it’s true, as Z. Bart says, that it’s one of the gutsiest pieces of self-sabotage in the history of popular culture. The weirdness isn’t as fun to watch a second time around though – the “what the fuck” aspect of it wears thin. But its self-referentiality was way ahead of the curve.
Also RIP Bert Schneider. Just saw the news.
Pay tribute by watching your BBS collection.
I concur, Ari.
Considering that HEAD is one of the unexpectedly best movies I stumbled upon this year, maybe my xmas bonus will go in part towards this…any company who starts off producing The Monkees and finishes off with HEARTS AND MINDS is okay in my book.
I didn’t know Schneider also produced Days of Heaven before retiring from Hollywood. I also hadn’t realized Bob Rafelson produced The Mother and the Whore!
The story of winning the Hearts and Minds Oscar is priceless. But seems to have had a long sad decline:
From the LA Times:
“By the late ‘90s, he was a sad case. I’d see him at parties, toting a plastic baggie full of pharmaceuticals of all stripes and sizes, hanging out with women who weren’t even born when “Easy Rider” was taking the town by storm.
When I once chided him for being a cradle robber, he laughed it off. “So what,” he said. “Doesn’t everybody want to be young again?” It would be easy to say that Schneider “blew it,” as Wyatt tells Billy at the end of “Easy Rider.” But it’s not that simple. In Hollywood, all sorts of people are gifted and self-destructive. Schneider was both. Our obituary says he died of natural causes, but I suspect that’s a polite way of saying that he died from burning the candle at both ends for too long."
Hey hey, my my . . .
Yeah, Schneider and Rafelson were about as good as it gets from that era. I actually just got this a few weeks back and haven’t gotten into it yet.
“Hey hey, my my . . .”
Yeah, Schneider really faded away slowly. I guess becoming a Hollywood caricature (a lecherous, pill-popping old man riding on success from years earlier) shows the unfortunate trajectory of many hippie radicals/counter-culture figures (It’s still pretty cool that Schneider was friends with Abbie Hoffman, Bobby Seale, etc. but unfortunate to see what he became).
Rafelson’s decline has been more artistic. I was reading something that suggested his earlier works’ success had more to do with his wife’s presence. And the subsequent decline in quality post-divorce. Let’s call it the Bogdanovich effect. And Nicholson…. yeah, it’s hard to imagine the mugging celebrity that he is today writing something like Head.
Rafelson only made one truly brilliant film in my opinion, and that was Five Easy Pieces. King Of Marvin Garden is great, but it’s quite flawed imo, whereas F.E.P has no flaws. at least no obvious ones anyway.
Even Bogo made more great films in the 70’s than him.
….becoming a Hollywood caricature (a lecherous, pill-popping old man riding on success from years earlier)
A terrible article – why do we even need to know that crap when he is dead?
It is not like we need to be warned in case we meet him….
“I was reading something that suggested his earlier works’ success had more to do with his wife’s presence.”
It was probably a combination of things—Columbia was half-broke and didn’t know how to sell The King of Marvin Gardens, then BBS was broke and effectively non-existent not long after, his daughter died in an accident, his wife was diagnosed with cancer, he spent a year researching a film that didn’t pan out, by the time that Stay Hungry was in theaters, the whole zeitgeist of the industry had changed, then he and his wife split up . . .
I’m not a Bogo guy, Joks, but I’d take King over anything he ever directed . . . by a large margin.
“A terrible article – why do we even need to know that crap when he is dead?”
Perhaps but a frank portrayal as well. I stumbled on it because I was trying to figure out what happened to him after Days of Heaven. He disappeared completely. Plus it’s the L.A. Times. We expect that kind of insider stuff in it.
Yeah, Rafelson appears to be someone who would have inevitable difficulties in the post-Jaws/Star Wars Hollywood so it’s not too surprising that he didn’t make the transition too well. Yeah, I’d agree with Matt on King of M.G. although I’m going to rewatch Last Picture Show soon (which I wasn’t too impressed with the first time I saw it years ago).
@ Ari Perhaps but a frank portrayal as well.
Yeah, he was born to it and fucked by it. I just feel a twinge of nauseousness after reading the salacious stuff – like I ingested a bit of poison.
KOMG vs TLPS?
Not sure how to do that comparison….
MATT: You really think King is that good eh? interesting. I do like it, and it looks fantastic. also, the opening scene is classic. Probably the greatest Bergman influenced film sequence ever, and the ‘reveal’ adds a whole different perspective to what initially appears to be a confessional. The final scene with the projector is excellent too.
But Last Picture Show and Paper moon are both great films and i prefer them to King.
Five Easy Pieces is probably better than anything Bogo did though.
taste and all hehe.
KING is that good. I rate it only a notch below FIVE EASY PIECES.
I got this box set a couple months ago and have been making my way through all the films. I’ve seen all of them except Head and I can honestly say it’s one of my favorite Criterion releases (second only to maybe Cassavetes). It’s a like a perfectly contained time capsule of a company and an era. For those who think the films should be available separately, I disagree. I think there’s a cohesion to the totality of these films and watching them together makes each individual piece that much stronger. The bonus features are also magnificent (I haven’t listened to the commentaries yet though).
Putting the Criterion box set aside, what do people think of BBS? I admit I didn’t know a lot about the company before I bought this set and it sounds like they really hit the mark at being at the right place at the right time. While not all of their films were gold, a couple of them could be considered some of the best of the time period.
My actual favorite is The King of Marvin Gardens. I know the fan fare usually gets directed towards Five Easy Pieces and no doubt that film is superb. But there’s something about The King of Marvin Gardens that really struck me – the relationship between these two brothers seemed so evocative, so disconnected yet inexplicably connected. Plus the drab Atlantic City location still haunts me.