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Why no Lynch on Criterion?

Christi​an Depken

over 3 years ago

The man is considered one of the most important American directors of all time, and he doesn’t have a single film on Criterion. Why? Rights?

Uli Cain, Cinefidel¹³

over 3 years ago

I think there was talk about one of his films being released through Criterion and it was being negotiated, but then info got leaked and Lynch ended the talks.

From Peter Becker, President of The Criterion Collection in a 1999 interview: “The biggest disappointment for all of us right now is Eraserhead, which is a title that we never announced. We were in year-long conversations with David Lynch. And it’s one of these things where David Lynch is a very particular person. He has very peculiar ideas about how he wants to do things. And he doesn’t want to be rushed to make up his mind. And he wants to do what he wants to do, in the way that he wants to do it. He doesn’t want his privacy infringed, and he doesn’t want to be reading about himself. We were in very protective conversations with him about Eraserhead that were all positive, over a long period of time. Suddenly, there’s a rumor on the web that we were actually doing it, and had announced it. At some point, I even saw street dates posted for it. You know, this is something that never even made it on to our actual production load. It had been, at one point, penciled into a schedule — if we could finish up negotiations in time. But that’s as close as it ever come. We had certainly never announced anything about it. That’s upsetting.”

Here’s the complete interview

Matt Parks

over 3 years ago

Partly, yes. The ones that don’t belong to major studios (Eraserhead and the shorts) have been released by Lynch himself . . . along with the coffee, web content, etc. He’s his own cottage industry.

yo

over 3 years ago

Besides the Eraserhead and INLAND EMPIRE DVD’s it seems as though his other film releases lack heavily in special feature content and that is disheartening. If Criterion can’t get the rights, the studio’s should really consider re-releasing his movies with some special features and goodies on the DVD instead of just the film like most of them are.

Mike Spence

over 3 years ago

if any of the incredible films that aren’t available on DVD (or even VHS in some cases) came out in a bare-bones set from any company I’d be ecstatic. The only reason I’d want it to be Criterion is because none of the filmmakers who made those films have any literature or anything about their work available either. Lynch has excellent DVDs available and has countless books and a few documentaries about him and his work out there.

Why not just make your own Criterion?

Maud's Son

over 3 years ago

Lynch is getting into the religious evangelism game now. I guess his films will start to have a lot bigger budgets. Maybe he can start his own Criterion with all those believers dollar bills. Maybe God is a good guy to ask for your unfunded film project.

Aflwydd

over 3 years ago

I forgot how hard it is to find Lynch DVDs these days …

Polaris​DiB

over 3 years ago

Lynch has hit a bullseye most people can only dream of, creating a personal fame for himself off of a very recognizable style completely under his control as an independent, while being known enough to be able to get projects together as well as release movies on his own without needing to lean on other distributors. I’ve seen his movies as having become more available since he started releasing them on his own than previously. Truthfully, he doesn’t “need” a Criterion release, people seek out his stuff on their own and he chooses the presentation, the packaging, and the special features.

Criterion could use Lynch more than Lynch could use Criterion, but nevertheless as the articles show, the lack of collaboration there wasn’t for want of trying. What’ll be more interesting is what happens to Lynch’s work post-mortem. Until then I’m pretty sure he can support his own distribution for as long as he likes. Actually, I’m surprised more famous independents don’t do the same at this point, really.

—PolarisDiB

Matt Parks

over 3 years ago

-Criterion could use Lynch more than Lynch could use Criterion-

Well put.

dope fiend willy

over 3 years ago

I’m not so sure about that.

His movies are becoming more and more low-budget affairs. He could use some good press by re-releasing one of his good movies.

nofil

over 3 years ago

Mulholland Drive is now available on Criterion – blueray to boot.

Matt Parks

over 3 years ago

On Criterion? . . . there’s the Studiocanal Collection Region B BD.

Drew Clouse

almost 2 years ago

Eraserhead is currently on Hulu as a part of the Criterion Collection, so I would assume there will be a DVD in the future.

Drunken Father Figure of Old

almost 2 years ago

^ I don’t know… there are a ton of movies on Criterion’s hulu that I kind of doubt will ever get a physical release.

I’m of two minds about this whole Eraserhead business. On one hand, the dvd (the production of which was supervised by a perfectionist David Lynch) has great picture and great extras, but, on the other hand, blu raaaaaaaay! But, then again, I would still rather have them release a box set of all those Shinoda films they’ve got streaming before Eraserhead.

Mervyn Marshal​l

almost 2 years ago

I have the recently released box-set of 6 of his films (Eraserhead, Dune, Blue Velvet, Wild at Heart, Twin Peaks and Lost Highway) but they kinda dropped the ball on the video and audio quality. Eraserhead was good, as was Wild at Heard and Blue Velvet, but the others were crap. I also have the Studio Canal Blu of Mulholland Drive and the release of Inland Empire, they look beast though.

keldon

almost 2 years ago

eraserhead is on criterion’s hulu? holy fuck, theres no way this isn’t going to be a stacked Blu-Ray. Really hope Criterion can wrestle away Lost Highway and Mulholland Drive from Universal (they have licensed universal stuff before) and put out a non shitty version of those. I too had high hopes for the recent Region B set but it apparently sucks.