The Best from Criterion in 2010

Maybe you hadn’t noticed, but I pay an awful lot of attention to what Criterion releases, announces, and teases each month. Here’s a rundown of the best things they released in 2010, including my favorite extras.

Criterion Teases PALE FLOWER (1964) for Future Release

Criterion sent their monthly newsletter out today, which means another one of their “wacky drawings” that hints at an upcoming title. This one is a simple pun: the below image is a “pail” of “flour”, hence PALE FLOWER. Read on to find out why you should care about this badass Japanese gangster movie from the 60’s.

Discs in a Box: Criterion’s America Lost & Found (The BBS Story)

Criterion’s big box set release of the year hits the street tomorrow (Nov. 23rd), and it’s a tightly-packed journey through a particularly important period in American cinema. Everyone has heard of the big-name movies found here (EASY RIDER, FIVE EASY PIECES, THE LAST PICTURE SHOW, and THE KING OF MARVIN GARDENS), but lesser-known pictures like HEAD (featuring The Monkees), DRIVE, HE SAID (Jack Nicholson’s directorial debut), and Henry Jaglom’s debut A SAFE PLACE (which co-stars Orson Welles) are all equally important parts of the story behind them all.

Criterion Classic: MODERN TIMES (1936) Blu-ray Review

Last year, Criterion picked up the rights to the entire surviving filmography of Charlie Chaplin.  The first release in what’ll be a long-running series is my favorite Chaplin film by far, MODERN TIMES.  It’s one of the top Criterion releases of the year, and that truly makes it one of the best of the best.  It hits the street on November 16th (next Tuesday), so yes, that means that it will qualify for Barnes & Noble’s currently-going 50% off Criterion sale.

Criterion: HOUSE (1977) Blu-ray Review

In his Fantastic Fest 2009 intro to the film, Alamo Drafthouse programmer Zack Carlson told everyone that Nobuhiko Obayashi’s HOUSE would rock their world so hard that it would bend reality enough to reverse their gender. He was absolutely correct.

2 of 2 pages