Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Listology # 18: Top 10 Criterions

Yes, yes, yes. I know I haven't done the Top 10 of  past years in a while. I'll get around to continuing that eventually. I just thought this would be a very relevant Top 10 because Barnes & Noble are having their semi-annual 50% off Criterion Collection sale. It's like a holiday for film lovers. If there's anyone out there thinking of purchasing some titles from their collection, here's what I think are the 10 best. Now, the qualifications are the quality of the discs (picture, sound and extras) AND the quality of the film in conjunction with one another. These are based on films that I own, just take note of that!

I've already praised this film in this blog before but I'm gonna praise it again. The Criterion disc is where I first experienced this film. It may not be as good as seeing it in the big screen but still, Criterion did a great job at bringing this classic to pristine life. 

This samurai classic from Akira Kurosawa is one of the first films that made me love and appreciate world cinema. Despite its over-3 hours running time, it is never boring and every time I see it, it's always an exciting, wonderful experience. Criterion's disc is jam-packed with delicious extras making an already classic film into an even better DVD/Blu-ray experience.

Now, despite the fact that I'm not the biggest fan of Bed and Board and Love on the Run is one of Francois Truffaut's weakest films (I mean, it's essentially a clip movie!), the inclusion of all the other films on the saga of Antoine Doinel more than merits its inclusion here. Of course, The 400 Blows is a classic but Antoine & Collette and Stolen Kisses are both great, great films. It also has a lot of extras including one of Truffaut's early films, Les Mistons.

You get a lot for this three-disc edition of Terry Gilliam's controversial classic film, including a very lengthy documentary on the battle for the cut of Brazil and of course the butchered version of the film. You do not only get a great film, you also get a really awesome look into behind-the-scenes machinations of the movie industry. 


The other discs on this list are either not yet available on Criterion Blu-Ray OR I would contend that buying it on Blu-ray is somewhat optional. However, Black Narcissus is one of those discs which I very highly recommend that you purchase on Blu-ray. Jack Cardiff's stunning cinematography is brought to life with this transfer. It is one of the most beautiful films ever made. 

If you're a film buff or at least moderately well-versed in film, this movie needs no introduction. That being said, a film enthusiast's film collection is not complete without this film in it. The Criterion edition (DVD or Blu-ray) is the pride and joy of any serious DVD collector. 

This film does not have a Criterion Blu-ray release (yet) but damn it, it ought to have. This is one of the few Criterion discs I own which I would upgrade to Blu-ray in a heartbeat due to Christopher Doyle's drop-dead  gorgeous cinematography. I have spoken about this film before and it's one of the most beautiful, heartbreaking love stories ever captured on celluloid. 

This disc, both the DVD and the Blu-ray, is out of print and therefore a little bit hard to find and quite expensive. I got it just in the nick of time. The Third Man is of course an undisputed classic film. There is another non-Criterion edition out there but it's not quite as good extras and cover art-wise. 

Jean Vigo is a filmmaker who made only 2 shorts, 1 short feature and 1 feature-length film in his entire career before tragically dying at the age of 30. But still, his films are so groundbreaking and ahead-of-its time that every one of them is considered a must-see. Criterion released all of them in one disc set. So this set pretty much can make you an expert on his life and career with the films and its numerous extras and commentaries. 


I believe I already talked about this film before. It's a film that was never released on video and DVD and only been shown in TCM/AMC a few times since its initial release but it's often regarded as one of the greatest films ever made by a lot of critics (Orson Welles was quoted in saying, this film is so sad, it could make a stone cry). Criterion has thankfully released this film and a wider audience was able to see just how fantastic this film is. This disc has the least number of extras included but the film itself is so damn good, it warrants inclusion.

There they are. My Criterion Top 10 based on my collection. If you wanna check them out, they're here: (http://www.criterion.com/my_criterion/20012-malcolm1980/collection). I actually heartily recommend buying any one of them but these are the ones that I think stand out the most. Happy shopping! 


YeamieWaffles said...

Great idea for a post man. Eventually you're going to run out of years in your countdowns anyway so it's fine for you to take it a little slowly now anyway.

Mark said...

I've actually only heard of a few of these. When something is done to get a movie out to the wider world, then I can easily stand behind it.

Bersercules said...

I just finished watching The Seven Samurai last night! And your not wrong! Its always a great watch! And is always interesting! I've now seen it three times and it just gets better!

city said...

thanks for sharing.