Monday, October 20, 2008

Criterion Watch, October '08

One reason I enjoy doing Criterion Watch is because of the sheer diversity of the films. Now that the great majority of canonical classics have made it to DVD, the folks at Criterion are now doing something just as vital, if somewhat less marketable- they’re finding less-universally-acclaimed titles that are worthy of being ranked beside the big-name masterpieces. This month’s crop is no exception, with an indie-film landmark, an old-school melodramas, and numerous films from by an Italian master sharing the spotlight.

We begin with this one, which I haven’t seen in ages. I remember being moved by the sheer breadth of the story Nava and collaborator Anna Thomas tell here, although it remains to be seen whether the film has aged well. (also coming to Blu-Ray)

This is probably the best known of Douglas Sirk’s movies that I haven’t seen, the release of which was hinted at a few months back. As they did previously with The Lower Depths and The Killers, Criterion is including both versions of the film for our enjoyment, which should prove interesting.

The final titles on this slate come from Criterion’s previously-promised influx of Rossellini titles. I’m not sure why the awkwardly-titled The Taking of Power by Louis XIV isn’t included in the Eclipse set- perhaps because Louis Quatorze came after the Enlightenment?- but regardless of the reasoning, I’ll be glad to catch up with Rossellini, a filmmaker I admire but have yet to fully embrace. Perhaps his approach to historical drama can change this.

Finally, here’s the clue for this month:

I hate to admit it, but it took me a while to get this. Maybe I was reading too much into it, as is my way, but this would almost certainly have to be The Wages of Fear, considering it’s one of the thirteen titles that made the original roll call of Blu-Rays. I don’t have a Blu-Ray player, but still- pretty cool.

1 comment:

Rob said...

Did anyone notice that the cover for the upcoming Criterion release of Fuller's White Dog got changed. Previously it had a snarling white dog, now it features a nice white dog. What gives? The snarling cover was so much more impactful!