#68: The Criterion Collection

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Cinephiles drool over it and directors dream of making it… to the one, the only, Criterion Collection! Join Timmie and Ryan as they dissect this highly esteemed expert of video presentation and pioneer of bonus features, provide some worthwhile Criterion recommendations, and discover just what the Criterion Criteria is…

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I. Intro 

A. Always Gets Attention This Time of Year

  • Thanks Mike Bruno!

B.  Whatever Happened to the Cryanterion Collection?

C.  Life Lessons

D.  What We Thought Criterion Collection Was...

II. What Is It Actually? [00:08:51]

A.  Not A Government Agency

  • It’s a privately held video distribution company

B.  The Criterion Collection on The Criterion Collection:

“Since 1984, the Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films, has been dedicated to gathering the greatest films from around the world and publishing them in editions that offer the highest technical quality and award-winning, original supplements. Over the years, as we moved from laserdisc to DVD, Blu-ray disc, and online streaming, we’ve seen a lot of things change, but one thing has remained constant: our commitment to publishing the defining moments of cinema for a wider and wider audience.”

III. Why Do They Matter to Cinephiles? [00:11:05]

A. They Digitize Films Never Scanned to 2K or 4K, Are Rare, Out of Print, or Hard to Find

B. Represent the Present Standard of High Quality Home Video Releases

  • Put a lot of thought into their craft
    • Restoring old films based on Director’s wishes
    • High quality film transfers with rigorous standards
    • Pioneered the correct aspect ratio presentation

C.  Special Features

D.  Makes Most People Think of the Masters of Cinema

E.  Film School In A Box

IV. Criterion Criteria [00:25:36]

A.  How Does Criterion Decide?

From their site FAQ section:

“We aim to reflect the breadth of filmed expression. We try not to be restrictive or snobby about what kinds of films are appropriate. An auteur classic, a Hollywood blockbuster or an independent B horror film has to be taken on its own terms. All we ask is that each film in the collection be an exemplary film of its kind. Of course we can’t just pick movies and put them out. The process of getting the rights to release a film can take years. Even if we want a film, we can’t work on it unless the film’s owners grant us the rights.”

Ryan’s Official, Unofficial List:

  • The original film elements exist in decent quality or in special cases are saved and restored to good quality
  • The rights are obtainable to release on DVD/Blu Ray
  • The classic or contemporary films are important

B.  The Word, “Important” is… Subjective

C.  It’s Still a Business

V. Our Random Criterion Picks [00:43:05]

A. Selections

    1. Persona (1966) – Ingmar Bergman
    2. Smiles of a Summer Night – (1955) Ingmar Bergman
    3. A Married Couple – (1969) Allan King
    4. A Brief History of Time (1991) – Errol Morris
    5. Closeup (1990) – Abbas Kiarostami
    6. God’s Country (1985) – Louis Malle

B. Favorites

1. Ryan: Closeup

2. Timmie: A Married Couple

VI. Mini Segments [01:01:53]

A. NJAM Sees It: Trainwreck (2015)

VII. Conclusions [01:04:34]

A. More Related Links

Original Music

The music found in this episode was written and performed by the talented Jesse James.

Audio Editing

This show was edited by Ryan Jacobi.

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