In last month's Criterion Watch, I commented on the announcement of the upcoming releases A Christmas Tale and Gomorrah by saying, "these are both IFC Films releases, as is Che, which the newsletter hinted at a while back, so that makes me think that maybe Criterion has struck a deal with IFC to release some of their recent stuff on DVD for the benefit of those who would prefer not to set foot inside a Lackluster Video." Sometimes, it feels good to be right.
According to ScreenDaily,
"IFC Films has signed a deal with The Criterion Collection licensing the prestige DVD label sell-through home entertainment rights for select IFC titles.
Under the terms of the deal, Criterion acquires the rights to distribute select IFC Films’ titles on DVD in the US and will release sell-through special editions of each film."
Not to toot my own horn, but I also predicted such titles as The Secret of the Grain and Hunger. The article also states that Criterion will be pressing some older titles such as Y tu mama tambien (guess I'll have to double-dip that one) and Following along with the newer stuff.
I'd say this is good news for both of the companies, with Criterion getting some solid recent titles and IFC getting some more DVD clout. The only drawback I can see is that Criterion will need to make the DVDs extra special- plenty of features, etc.- or else sales could suffer due to people recording the movies when they play on-demand. Then again, this being Criterion, it shouldn't be too big a deal.
And since Criterion is all about making deals, they should try to go ahead and snap up some other distributors' catalogs. I can think of a few now-defunct companies I'd like to see better-represented on DVD in general and as part of Criterion in particular. As I've mentioned before, there are some greats lying in wait in the old USA Films catalog, and I can see plenty of potential in Lot 47 Films (The War Zone, The Fast Runner, Trouble Every Day) as well. And if Criterion can find it in their hearts to snap up some old Miramax Zoë rereleases (Belle de Jour, Young Girls of Rochefort, Les Amants du Pont-Neuf), that would be awesome. After all, it's not like Disney is doing anything with 'em.