The Criterion Collection is “a video-distribution company that sells “important classic and contemporary films” to film aficionados. The Criterion series is noted for helping to standardize the letterbox format for widescreen films, bonus features, and special editions for home video.” – Wikipedia. Here are my 5 Favorite Things about the Criterion Collection.
5. Three Reasons: Every so often they release a short called Three Reasons. It’s three reasons why they think you should watch one of the films in their collection. You can find the complete list of the neat videos here.
4. The Top 10: Ever wonder what some of you’re favorite directors are into? How about actors? A wide range of entertainers from television stars to artists to directors share their top ten favorite films found in the Criterion Collection. Most of them end up being more due to ties, but that just goes to show you the quality and diversity of Criterion. The complete collection of Top Ten’s can be found here.
3. The Special Features: Aside from gag reels or director commentaries, not many people enjoy the special features. I do and the Criterion Collection does not disappoint when it comes to “supplements”. Most of their releases include a second disc of features that are more than you average DVD features. They go beyond deleted scenes and into on-set photo galleries, poster galleries, round table discussions with filmmakers and cast and retrospectives that compliment the behind the scenes commentaries.
2. The Quality: The quality and care that goes into the film and its distribution is incredibly impressive. A vast majority of the Blu-Ray releases are overseen by the cinematographers, photographers, or the directors themselves to make sure the film looks and sounds it’s best. That kind of dedication shows you how serious they are about the films they add to the collection and how much they care about the film lover that watches the film. Many a film has been ruined for me due to a poor transfer or issues with the film that could have easily been fixed during the conversion to disc.
1. The Films: The Criterion collection, as of this post, offers over 650 films that range from silent black and white to Japanese gonzo to modern classics to art house foreign film. It’s that diversity that allows any film lover to fall into the rabbit hole of genres they’ve yet to experience. I fell into that rabbit hole and it introduced me to Jean-Luc Godard, Ingmar Bergman, Akira Kurosawa, Jean Cocteau, Jim Jarmusch, Krzysztof Kieslowski (I swear I’m not making that up), Max Ophuls, Lars von Trier and the list goes on and on and on. Some films/directors I’ve liked, others I haven’t. But it’s being able to experience all those different type that allow me, or any film lover, to build a stronger palette and search for other like-minded films. They even have something they call the “Eclipse Series”. They are box sets that contain films based around a theme or films a director released during a certain time period. So not only does Criterion offer variety, they also offer an indirect history into not necessarily what film is but why film is.
How do you feel about the Criterion Collection?