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Criterion Coming Soon and Discussion Redux

Tonda

over 2 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 2 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 2 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

JAH

over 2 years ago

Anyone who bashes Warner Bros’ Blu-ray output most likely hasn’t seen any of it. Their transfers of North by Northwest and The Maltese Falcon, for example, holds up against anything Criterion has released.

AxelUmo​g

over 2 years ago

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.

Not saying that at all. All I’m saying is that for me personally, my priority for choosing what goes Criterion (legalities aside) would look something like:

1. Films of supreme quality (regardless of current mainstream “availability”)

2. Films of excellent quality (regardless of current mainstream “availability”)

3. Films of high quality that are not otherwise available.

4. Films of high quality (regardless of current mainstream “availability”)

5. Films of decent quality that are not otherwise available.

Is it a bad thing that Criterion releases stuff like The Four Feathers? No, of course not. Having said that, I would much rather have a film like Talk to Her (or some caliber equivalent) go Criterion over a film like The Four Feathers, almost any day of the week.

Marc G.

over 2 years ago

I think we’ve been discussing this subject before. Criterion also needs to make money, that’s why they release more popular titles.

Mike Spence

over 2 years ago

1. Films of supreme quality (regardless of current mainstream “availability”)

This sounds fair enough, but suppose their are two films of supreme quality they could work on, wouldn’t you rather have them work on the one that was unavailable than the one that is available, especially if their is an excellent version available from a different company?

@Marc. G.
Of course, it’s a business, we’re just talking about the level of excitement expressed by film fans here on the forum. Now, I’m not trying to say people shouldn’t be excited to have their favorite films get “the criterion treatment,” just trying to raise awareness of other films they might be equally or more excited about which have been ignored in the surveys.

Robert W Peabody III

over 2 years ago

Mike
Have you have ever looked at the CC business model? All the talk of supreme quality is utterly ridiculous.
They release films based on market segment penetration of prior releases. Quality is not the only determinate of how CC chooses films to be released, it is how they market films.
i.e. films are related to each other by market and obviously the cost of licensing vs expected revenue.

Mike Spence

over 2 years ago

Agreed, Robert,

Robert W Peabody III

over 2 years ago

Give up then!
The brand is a gateway – assailing the gateway is not productive.
Bring write-ups of the superior films to the thread – make them think.

Mike Spence

over 2 years ago

Um, give up what? My only point was that having already released films get the Criterion treatment or the blu treatment isn’t as important as getting unreleased films from any company. I stand by that.

Robert W Peabody III

over 2 years ago

Sure, but they aren’t listening, are they?
You need a way to break the cycle they are in i.e. move them from the herd consciousness of the status brand to an individual consciousness.

Mike Spence

over 2 years ago

Good point.

ruby stevens

over 2 years ago

good luck with that :)

Zach A

over 2 years ago

I am conflicted on this topic because I love both quality transfers of my current favorites but I also love discovering new gems. One example I would use though to lean toward the unreleased films is one of my favorite filmmakers. When Criterion announced Wings of Desire and Paris, Texas on bluray I was obviously excited. But I already had moderately acceptable copies of these on DVD. Then I had to buy a region free player and order from outside the united states to get Alice in the cities and Kings of the Road, which both may be even more adored by myself now than those other greats that I had already owned on DVD. Criterion just added Alice in the cities to hulu which I am stoked about, but in hindsight I wish they had released it and kings of the road in the first place. But this is only one example of course.

Matt Parks

over 2 years ago

Criterion is as Criterion does.

Nathan M...

over 2 years ago

Alice in the Cities is on Hulu Plus? Thanks for the tip-off. I’ve been wanting to see that one for a long while now.

Ben.

over 2 years ago

Some people don’t have the opportunity or the resources to go an see films at retrospectives or at Cinemas. Funny thing is that I also can’t afford to put every film I want to see on my hard drive. The only chance I will ever get to see a quality version of Solaris is from Criterion. Does everyone assume that we all have the same type of access to same types of films?

I have to travel well over ninety miles to see anything reasonable and I can’t afford to do that every time a Tree of Life comes out. My trip to find Tarkovsky films at my local Hastings may be the only significant film event I have in months. I actually had to place Solaris on special order to receive a copy because the store didn’t carry it. I wish people would stop judging people’s reasoning for doing things all the time as it is starting to become a tad abrasive.

Don’t ever think I don’t want to see unreleased films available just because I buy a Mike Leigh film on Blu-Ray. I want to see the Angelopoulos’, the Crazy Quilts and all the other gems just as much as all of you do.

Joks

over 2 years ago

“Mike
Have you have ever looked at the CC business model? All the talk of supreme quality is utterly ridiculous.
They release films based on market segment penetration of prior releases. Quality is not the only determinate of how CC chooses films to be released, it is how they market films.
i.e. films are related to each other by market and obviously the cost of licensing vs expected revenue.”

True, but for every guaranteed seller like Rules Of The Game or Fanny and Alexander they release Phantom Carriage and Kuroneko. both well known films in cinephile circles to be sure, but not the most obvious choices for a business, which is why i’m not sure that Criterion fit into that whole current model of maximising profits for its own sake.

They want to make money, sure, but if it was just about money they wouldn’t mix and match.

It’s about quality, as well as money, and the desire to find a middle ground between the two often results in somewhat conservative choices.

BEN: that’s right, we don’t all have equal access, and some of us don’t care to watch crappy transfers of a film just to say we have seen it.

Mike Spence

over 2 years ago

I wish people would stop judging people’s reasoning for doing things all the time as it is starting to become a tad abrasive.

I do the same thing to myself all the time. It can get annoying, I agree. I hate it when people assume from my favorites or whatever that I only like certain films because they are obscure. Unfortunately, when you read statements or concerns you don’t understand it’s human nature to try to figure out where they may be coming from and whether that place has validity for you. If it was enough for me to say “well, we’re all just different,” I wouldn’t be me. I’m just raising questions.

AxelUmo​g

over 2 years ago

As an aside, I’d punch my own grandma for a shot at Mike Leigh’s Secrets & Lies On Criterion Blu.

“I am conflicted on this topic because I love both quality transfers of my current favorites but I also love discovering new gems.”

I think we can all agree both of these are pretty sweet. It’s kind of like asking which is better, your favorite shirt of all time or that really cool shirt you just bought.

This sounds fair enough, but suppose their are two films of supreme quality they could work on, wouldn’t you rather have them work on the one that was unavailable than the one that is available, especially if their is an excellent version available from a different company.

If there were two films of identical “quality” on the potential list, having the tiebreak be the availability sounds reasonable.

I fully support and encourage anyone who is all about being the champion of the “little guys” (Lesser known, unavailable, ect.) I just wish it didn’t have to be Criterion, because there are a TON of “gems” out there already discovered that really need a lot of help, transferically speaking.

Robert W Peabody III

over 2 years ago

The image quality has many impressive attributes showing impressive depth and excellent grayscale. This is only single-layered but this almost 50-year old film appears quite grand in 1080P. Perhaps a little glossy, minor waxiness and not an abundance of grain textures.

Oh man, a glossy waxiness…I guess I’ll skip BFI’s Blu-ray and wait for Criterion’s version of Prima della rivoluzione.

Jack

over 2 years ago

Criterion is like a box of chocolates.

Drunken Father Figure of Old

over 2 years ago

New releases in 2 days! Any predictions? I’m harboring the (unlikely) hope that it’ll be the qatsi trilogy… or, of course, some Rivette.

Matt Parks

over 2 years ago

“Oh man, a glossy waxiness”

At least it’s not a waxy glossiness. LOL.

Re: predictions. What about some of the titles hinted in the boat cartoon from the beginning of the year that haven’t be official announced yet? Wild Strawberries. Sunday Bloody Sunday. Y Tu Mama Tambien, Bitter Rice.

Drunken Father Figure of Old

over 2 years ago

:( oh yeah… I guess they’re gonna announce those now if they’re actually releasing them this year… maybe the hint was just for ones they’re gonna announce this year rather than actually release.

Matt Parks

over 2 years ago

Rivette would be great, definitely. Right up there for me with Edward Yang’s A Brighter Summer Day.

Drunken Father Figure of Old

over 2 years ago

Does anybody have any tidbits or hints to add about the rumored criterion release for Koyaanisqatsi? I read the rumor at Criterion Cast a while ago, but can’t really find much more than that except for a Criterion Forum thread from 2004… I wonder if it’s even still happening.

Matt Parks

over 2 years ago

They teased a frame from The Lady Vanishes on Facebook today.