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Criterion Coming Soon and Discussion Redux

Johnny DuBiel

almost 4 years ago

Rar, how the HELL would ‘Talk to Her’ be lame? It’s his best film. Oh, I get it! It’s his most well known, so therefore its inclusion would be lame. Come on… I understand that we all like it when Criterion introduces the world to a film that’s a little more on the undervalued side, but let’s not act like the inclusion of a film as good as ‘Talk to Her’ would be unwelcome.

Tonda

almost 4 years ago

^ As stated above. Death to obscurity for obscurity sake. All hail Actual Quality.

CineSna​g

almost 4 years ago

I’d say any Almodovar would be a nice inclusion to the collection. My personal favorite of his is All About My Mother, but that’s pretty well-known, so I’ll probably get attacked for mentioning it.

I don’t know what the hint means. I don’t bother to speculate. I just like watching the drama unfold in my inbox.

Love,
Cinesnag

Matt Parks

almost 4 years ago

OK . . . I have prepared my official guess:

Based on what’s already in the collection, I’m guessing this is Francesco Rosi’s Il momento della verità (aka The Moment of Truth) (1965)

AxelUmo​g

almost 4 years ago

It’s clearly Bisontennial Man

NEONBEA​R

almost 4 years ago

it’s obviously bulworth.

Uli Cain, Cinefidel¹³

almost 4 years ago

At first I was excited about Criterion releasing the Three Colors Trilogy, but when I saw was was be included as special, it’s basically the same thing that I already have in the Miramax (a few new interviews, is really all that was added).

If the set was sitting before for maybe $40, I may buy it, but it’s kinda redundant, I’ll wait for films I don’t yet have at all (like Bitter Rice)

Matt Parks

almost 4 years ago

New transfer and new subtitles, too.

RAR

almost 4 years ago

And blu ray

Jirin

almost 4 years ago

Talk To Her is my favorite Almodovar film, but personally I would rather Criterion release films not currently available to me.

But, Talk To Her is probably the best introduction for newbies to Almodovar, so that’s also a good thing.

Mike Spence

almost 4 years ago

Death to obscurity for obscurity sake. All hail Actual Quality.

How the hell do you know what “quality” is when so many films that might be seen as amazing in your’s and the world’s eyes remain obscure. Do you really think the films that have never been available on DVD are in limbo simply because they’re not as good as Talk to Her? Be serious.

AxelUmo​g

almost 4 years ago

Talk to Her is very, very beautiful.

NEONBEA​R

almost 4 years ago

i think in the case of almodovar, he’s almost consistently gotten better with each film. the films he made in the last decade far outshine the two before it. so it just happens to be with him that his most popular are also his best.

Tonda

almost 4 years ago

Mike (and others),
There are plenty of films better AND more obscure than Talk to Her.

When i said “Death to obscurity for obscurity sake” I only mean, A film being obscure alone does not merit any words of praise. In my observation, I see many people slant ratings toward more obscure films to preserve their sense of individuality. Often times more Popular counterparts are clearly better but it’s human nature to want to stand out.

RAR

almost 4 years ago

I agree Tonda:

In reference to Talk to Her, I merely thought it wasn’t that good and feel there are other relatively known films I’d like to see released first on Criterion. I will say as much as there obviously are hidden gems among the many obscure films from different parts of the world, the hard truth, which many may not admit is that many works of art lack recognition simply because they’re not good. That’s not the case with all obscure works of art, but it is for most of it I’d say. With respect to my habits, sure once in a while, I’ll take a chance and watch a film by a filmmaker I’ve never heard of from a country that remains unrecognized, but I prefer not to endlessly plow through and spend most of my film viewing time exploring the vast array of films from say Bangladesh or Southeast Asia in the hopes that I may come up with a gem. Don’t worry, filmmakers like Joe or even Vlacil are not included in this just for the record. I’d rather spend more time watching a Rivette, Ozu, or perhaps Bresson film I haven’t yet seen. Sure, once in a while I’ll check out a random film from Indonesia, but I’m just saying…

HAKKKED LOL

almost 4 years ago

movie nearly impossible to see with no home video release anywhere > non-region 1 release, non-english language and no english subtitles > non-region 1 release in english > vhs only release > out of print dvd > in print crappy looking or non anamorphic bare bones dvd > in print good looking bare bones dvd

availability matters more to me than a criterion version of a movie I can already find easily, which feels a bit redundant. its different than praising obscurity for its own sake. people who like obscure movies would want them to stay obscure I guess.

Ben.

almost 4 years ago

From Facebook:

The title of the film is “Gojira”. I don’t think I need to say much more than that.

CineSna​g

almost 4 years ago

FIRST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HAKKKED LOL

over 3 years ago

it wasnt my intention to make the discussion stop cold. I suppose I’m less interested in criterion as an imprimatur of quality rather than a means to see movies I couldnt see if they didnt exist.

Jerome Magajes

over 3 years ago

Can you confirmed in film:

Small Voices (2002)
Deathrow (2000)
and
Condo (2008)

AxelUmo​g

over 3 years ago

I would most definitely rather have a film I already deeply care about get the treatment it deserves, rather than some random film that really has no business in my collection other than the fact that it was previously “unavailable”.

Now don’t get me wrong, unavailable films becoming available is obviously a good thing. My opinion is only that I would rather have the “unavailable” film get a non-criterion release, and an actual classic go criterion… in a perfect world.

Once every single film I love is on criterion blu-ray then sure open the floodgates go nuts, dumpster dive to your hearts content criterion ;)

….It’s not that I’m greedy or anything it’s just… wait no yep that’s it exactly.

Nancarr​ow

over 3 years ago

Yes, let Criterion cater to every budding cinephile that has yet to explore beyond the surface.

Rather, let’s expand the canon, give us underseen and previously unavailable works!

Mike Spence

over 3 years ago

@Axelumog
I have no problem with a “classic” that has been released in a substandard version being restored. I do wonder though, whether some of these films releases are perfectly acceptable and if people just want the little C in the corner of the box for the sake of having it. If you and others can tell me what is so wrong with Warner Bros and other company’s releases, I may take back my assumption but I’m willing to bet that there are far too many people who would be singing the praises of the Criterion release of some so-called classic even if they simply packed in the same old release they already had without restoring it at all. I realize there are experts on this stuff who really do get irked about artifacts and whatever but I’m also sure that some people have zero knowledge about how much better the DVD release of a film could possibly look. There are those who want McCabe and Mrs. Miller to look like 300.

More importantly, I feel that many people would realize how many “classics” exist that they were previously unaware of if only certain films were available. We’re not talking about some old George P. Cosmatos clunker. The films we’re screaming about aren’t unavailable because they were box office duds that were too poorly made to capture a mainstream audience. These films were too independent for their time, or our time. They are films that would go a long way towards fulfilling Criterion’s supposed mission statement and could change a lot of viewers opinion on the so-called canon and on film in general.

Lastly, if you own a film, and supposedly love that film, what exactly are you so upset about missing that a Criterion blu-ray will provide? Our eyes have gotten too greedy for meaningless things. If you love a film already without seeing it in pristine Criterion blu-ray that only goes to show how little you need Criterion blu-ray to appreciate a film. What you really need, is to see some of those films you’ve been missing, even though you didn’t know how much you were missing them.

AxelUmo​g

over 3 years ago

@Mike Spence

“I realize there are experts on this stuff who really do get irked about artifacts and whatever”

In truth I am one of these, quite possibly to a fault! I am very “anal” about things such as this I’ve had much more subtle things than artifacting completely ruin viewings for me in the past. Let’s just say that to me personally, the difference between a “Warner Bros” and a criterion is substantial. And I don’t even partake of bonus feature’s, I’m talking the strict transfer.

In short, It matters to me that many Criterion titles are director approved. It matters to me that someone took the time to find and utilize the best possible “print” available. It matters to me that I can trust the aspect ratio is going to be correct. It matters to me that audio is going to be lovingly crafted. Above all, it matters to me that somebody cared. The people who put out the Lionsgate or the Warner Bros do not necessarily give a shit. With Criterion, you are all but guaranteed that somebody, somewhere, gave a shit.

Maybe these things sound trivial to some but they are quite important to me.

I suppose it comes down to a priority issue. Which is the greater value: Re-watching a film you love and treasure as much as anyone or anything on this earth on glorious criterion blu… Let’s say Kieslowski’s Three Colors: Blue for example…. Or would you rather experience the joy of “discovering a gem”, some presumed under-viewed and under-appreciated film?

I too enjoy this thrill of discovery, finding films like Lucile Hadzihalilovic’s Innocence make watching all the garbage worth it. But If I had to choose for a criterion blu; Innocence, or Blue…. I’d take Blue every time and it is not close.

Good thing Criterion caters to both tastes, no?

Mike Spence

over 3 years ago

Which is the greater value: Re-watching a film you love and treasure as much as anyone or anything on this earth on glorious criterion blu… Let’s say Kieslowski’s Three Colors: Blue for example…. Or would you rather experience the joy of “discovering a gem”, some presumed under-viewed and under-appreciated film?

Well, I am not saying everyone needs to explore every obscure film in the vain hopes of finding masterpieces that equal the ones they are already familiar with. I feel this is kind of a waste of time. I think it’s better to try to truly understand the great films you know, rather than trying to see 10,000 new films a year.

However, if Blue was unavailable, wouldn’t you think it’s availability was more important than a rerelease of Red with a better transfer? There are masterpieces that have never been available on DVD, or even VHS and that’s a greater general concern than getting better transfers of films we own. So, Criterion gets no points from me, not that they care, for their new transfers of Close-Up or Crumb, films I like and love respectively, while films I love and which some others would love if Criterion releases them, remain obscure. Also, even if you taught me exactly what bothers you about certain transfers it wouldn’t matter. From what I understand, a Brakhage film will never be experienced on video the way it is on film. When we get the best version we can get there’s not reason to complain about the little things. I realize these things aren’t as little to you as they are to me but certainly you would prefer a shoddy transfer of Blue to a pristine transfer of some movie you hate, correct? More importantly, a director wants his work to be seen, in the best possible version, not to be unseen (with the exception of a Michael Snow, Matthew Barney or Bruce Conner), and I want to see the work.

Now, another difference between our perspectives is that I am very rarely disappointed by an obscure gem because I do enough research and have such specific film viewing goals that i know if a film will be interesting to me on some level before I watch it. I’m not interested in ranking, but there are far too many works that I’m sure could potentially end up in my “top ten” that I cannot see (legally). On a less selfish (though some would say more elitist) level, there are too many young film lovers who look to the “canon” as a guide. Film history will always be screwy, there’s not fixing it. Still, greater availability of important works on DVD or streaming, or whatever, will eventually subtly change the landscape.

Is Rivette’s name last in every French New Wave article because he’s a lesser filmmaker or because of an unacceptable gap in his film’s DVD availability. Is Robert Kramer’s Milestones, which in the most simplistic terms is a multi-character look at where America was at and where it was going, made in 1975, more obscure than Robert Altman’s Nashville from the same year with some of the same superficial concerns because Kramer wasn’t talented enough to warrant attention, or because it was a greater achievement that would never garner the critical support Altman did? I have my own answers but the point is that these and other missing pieces of film history must be filled in, in hard copy, for these discussions of canons and classics to have any meaning, and this is more important than getting Kubrick’s, Kieslowski’s, Cassavetes,’ or any other filmmaker whose work is available, films on Criterion blu.

Joks

over 3 years ago

“So, Criterion gets no points from me, not that they care, for their new transfers of Close-Up or Crumb, films "

true, but in the case of Close Up, the old dvd was poor and wasn’t necessarily easy to get.

Agree with Crumb though.

Tonda

over 3 years ago

I for one am happy with Criterions release slates and their ratio of Popular, Obscure, Vintage and Contemporary Classics. Each month’s lineup seems to have something for every cinephile.

AxelUmo​g

over 3 years ago

@Mike Spence

Well, agree to disagree because for me better the picture better the sound, better the experience. And at the end of the day it’s all about the experience, less about “justice” being served for every lesser known film that somehow never made it to to DVD.

And clearly you don’t value Criterion’s efforts on their transfers all that highly, I wish that someone else would step up to the plate to champion these “unavailable” titles so that Criterion would be free to focus their efforts on those titles that actually deserve their attentions.

Mike Spence

over 3 years ago

And clearly you don’t value Criterion’s efforts on their transfers all that highly, I wish that someone else would step up to the plate to champion these “unavailable” titles so that Criterion would be free to focus their efforts on those titles that actually deserve their attentions.

No, I do value their efforts. I wish the utmost care was put into the releasing of all works of art. Their care is quite commendable. And, they are free to release anything they want. If they release stuff I don’t want or already have it’s not the end of the world, I just don’t buy it.

We will have to agree to disagree. Still, I wish you could tell me how you can be so convinced that films that are currently unavailable do not deserve their attentions. I find it unfathomable that you may be saying that any film that is unavailable is so because it isn’t good enough to be available. Please tell me you aren’t saying that.

The Mother and the Whore. That’s all I’m saying. If Criterion released The Mother and the Whore, a film that is notoriously hard to find, they’d be doing some serious justice in the film world. As it stands, I’m usually pretty pleased with what they release, but it’s films like this, and Yang’s A Brighter Summer Day, Rivette’s Out 1, and many, many, MANY other films out there that have had surprisingly little exposure that should finally see the light of day. I don’t know about you, but the day that Criterion sets out some of those will be the day that my paycheck disappears into their pockets.

Thankfully, though, they do have a few incredibly substantial releases, like Berlin Alexanderplatz, that really shine through.

Savvy