Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > DVD Discussions > DVD Talk
Reload this Page >

Criterion Collection: Where to start?

DVD Talk Talk about DVDs and Movies on DVD including Covers and Cases

Criterion Collection: Where to start?

Old 07-11-04, 02:34 PM
  #1  
DVD Talk Special Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 1,052
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Criterion Collection: Where to start?

hey folks, I've began collecting some criterion dvds and I was curious as to which ones are the most recommended. I'm not too familiar with many foreign directors and movies so I figured Criterion dvds are a great way to start. Which ones should I pick up? Here's a list of what I have already

Traffic
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Rushmore
Rashomon
The Rock
Robocop
Chasing Amy
Stray Dog
Red Beard

What essentials am I missing?
Old 07-11-04, 02:42 PM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 336
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I don't know if these two would be considered essential, but check out seven samurai and ikiru, great stuff.

Z
Old 07-11-04, 02:45 PM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 628
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I don't know if I'd call it "essential", but The Royal Tenenbaums is pretty cheap and would probably appeal to you if you liked Rushmore.

The most impressive Criterion I've seen is Brazil; its only real flaw (aside from the price tag) is that it's non-anamorphic. Straw Dogs would be my next pick, especially since it's out-of-print but (for now) relatively easy to find.
Old 07-11-04, 02:45 PM
  #4  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,331
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Night and Fog
Old 07-11-04, 03:10 PM
  #5  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: North east England UK
Posts: 1,689
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Criterion Collection: Where to start?

Spine #1

Seriously though, it would be hard for me to recommend any of the films in the collection without knowing what you particularly like.....they can be expensive blind buys for someone not knowing exactly what to expect...having said that you very often get what you pay for, as on the whole the presentation is first rate.

My own particular favourites are :-

by Brakhage - just having any kind of work represented by the late great Stan Brakhage on the DVD format is a real treat.

The Fassbinder BRD Trilogy

The Complete Monterey Pop Festival
Old 07-11-04, 03:19 PM
  #6  
DVD Talk Special Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 1,052
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Rich, You're perfectly right, these can be pretty expensive blind buys. I was just hoping I could narrow the search a bit. Maybe it would help if I listed what I planned to get and what I'm missing from that list. These appear to be the most popular among collectors.

Hitchcock Box Set
Kurosawa Box Set
8 1/2
Straw Dogs
Do The Right Thing
Spartacus
400 Blows *This I really want
Seventh Seal

Spine # 1 is Grand Illusion. What's that about?
Old 07-11-04, 03:21 PM
  #7  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Formerly known as "brizz"/kck
Posts: 23,425
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
your best bet is to go here: http://www.criterionco.com/asp/

and just start reading.....there are usually long essays accompanying each title that will pique your interest for more movies than you can hope to afford

also visit and register at http://www.criterionforum.org/forum/

they have discussions for every title in the collection that will also help you to decide where to turn next.....but be forewarned, your wishlist is about to get very very expensive
Old 07-11-04, 04:12 PM
  #8  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Sessa17's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: NJ, the place where smiles go to die
Posts: 7,393
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
My suggestion would be to sign up to Netflix & start renting.

A lot of people here are going to throw out names like Fassbinder, Fellini, Godard etc etc. You provided a list & yuo are clearly not to into the more bizarre, off-beat foreign cinema, you are a more mainstream guy.

Don't buy Crierions just for the sake of buying them (like most here seem to do), buy them b/c you enjoy the movies. You have a couple of Kurosawa, so that seems like a pretty obvious place to start, especially since there is a good Kurosawa selection on DVD. Although it's odd to have you first few Kurosawa movies & none of them being the Samurai classics. If they float your boat go for the Samurai Trilogy.
Old 07-11-04, 04:40 PM
  #9  
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,705
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Life of Brian Criterion Collection, it's highly reccomend, it has a beautiful transfer and alots of extras.
Old 07-11-04, 04:44 PM
  #10  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: under your desk
Posts: 310
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally posted by Sessa17
My suggestion would be to sign up to Netflix & start renting.

A lot of people here are going to throw out names like Fassbinder, Fellini, Godard etc etc. You provided a list & yuo are clearly not to into the more bizarre, off-beat foreign cinema, you are a more mainstream guy.

Don't buy Crierions just for the sake of buying them (like most here seem to do), buy them b/c you enjoy the movies. You have a couple of Kurosawa, so that seems like a pretty obvious place to start, especially since there is a good Kurosawa selection on DVD. Although it's odd to have you first few Kurosawa movies & none of them being the Samurai classics. If they float your boat go for the Samurai Trilogy.
Totally agree, for example I rented "By Brakhage", hated it. Netflix a few you think you're interested in and that have been recommended and buy from there, will save you money in the long run.

Cheers
Old 07-11-04, 05:04 PM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Bat Country
Posts: 958
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I would definitely rent before purchasing. I don't know if you're interested in these films just for themselves or because it's a Criterion dvd. Either way, if you're not familiar with the films it's a bit of an investment DVD price-wise so I'd check it out first.

It also helps if you let us know the type of films you like. I recommend René Clair but a lot of people don't get into his films (the ones Criterion has are early talkies in French) Fear and Loathing is great, but I'd check out Time Bandits and Brazil first to get aquinted with Gilliam's style- it's not to everyone's taste (their loss!). I will say I haven't met anyone who dislikes Kurosawa, so his films would be a safe place to start. I could go on and on, but you'll get a lot more recommendations
Old 07-11-04, 05:09 PM
  #12  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: North east England UK
Posts: 1,689
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally posted by billy9215
Totally agree, for example I rented "By Brakhage", hated it.
Absolutely...hence why i would never recommend buying a Criterion without knowing what you are likely to get...and also due to spine #'s, the fact their catalogue isn't mainstream and internet gossip etc...a lot of 'collectors' feel as though they ought to make them part of their collection.
Old 07-11-04, 05:24 PM
  #13  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 782
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
8 1/2

Contempt

Grand Illusion

Notorious

The Rules of the Game
Old 07-11-04, 06:53 PM
  #14  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 558
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally posted by Sessa17

Don't buy Crierions just for the sake of buying them (like most here seem to do), buy them b/c you enjoy the movies. You have a couple of Kurosawa, so that seems like a pretty obvious place to start, especially since there is a good Kurosawa selection on DVD. Although it's odd to have you first few Kurosawa movies & none of them being the Samurai classics. If they float your boat go for the Samurai Trilogy.

What he said.

You mentioned "Do the Right Thing" in one of your other posts... that's an excellent movie that is not as risky of a blind buy as some of those foreign ones. Hopefully you've at least seen one Spike Lee movie to know if you like him/his style. I recommend this one though. Excellent flick, excellent set.
Old 07-11-04, 07:00 PM
  #15  
Inane Thread Master, 2018 TOTY
 
OldBoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Are any of us really anywhere?
Posts: 39,973
Received 60 Likes on 54 Posts
Start with "The Killer" ... best...movie...ever!!!
Old 07-11-04, 07:58 PM
  #16  
DVD Talk Hero
 
PopcornTreeCt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 25,913
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Seven Samurai
The Passion of Joan of Arc
The Seventh Seal
8 1/2
In the Mood for Love
Grand Illusion
Rebecca
Straw Dogs
Andrei Rublev
Ikiru
Do the Right Thing

The lesser known ones:
Ratcatcher
George Washington
Ballad of a Soldier
The Shop on Main Street

That's a good start!
Old 07-11-04, 10:12 PM
  #17  
DVD Talk Special Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 1,052
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
thanks for all the input and recommendations, guys. I'll definitely start with Netflix and rent out many of titles mentioned. I'm definitely more mainstream than I want to be, but I really want to slowly transition into indie and foreign movies. Thanks for cautioning me to acquire titles that I actually want and not just for the sake of owning them. I actually once owned the kurosawa samurai set but returned it because it was sitting there collecting dust. It's seems as though I'm pretty much safe getting anything from Kurosawa, Fellini, Hitchcock, and Gilliam.

Of all the criterions, which is your absolute favorite?
Old 07-11-04, 10:31 PM
  #18  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Sessa17's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: NJ, the place where smiles go to die
Posts: 7,393
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Originally posted by nonametofame

Of all the criterions, which is your absolute favorite?
Band of Outsiders for me. I just love everything about the movie. The attitude, Anna Karina, the best dance sequence ever, not the most loaded Criterion, but the breakdown of all ove Godard's references is great. The film is just genius. Godard is not for everyone, so it's probably worth a rental first.
Old 07-11-04, 11:44 PM
  #19  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1,340
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Favorite: Straw Dogs
Old 07-12-04, 12:33 AM
  #20  
DVD Talk Reviewer
 
pro-bassoonist's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Blu-ray.com
Posts: 10,380
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Where to start?.........your bank account would be your best bet.

Pro-B
Old 07-12-04, 12:44 AM
  #21  
DVD Talk Special Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 1,052
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally posted by pro-bassoonist
Where to start?.........your bank account would be your best bet.

Pro-B
Right now, it's the credit card that's getting the action
Old 07-12-04, 12:55 AM
  #22  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 853
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Well here is my thoughts..

My favorite film ever is The Seventh Seal so I would start there..

I recommend also The Royal Tenenbaums since you have Rushmore.

Also a few of my favorites are 8 1/2, Down by Law, Straw Dogs, Ikiru, and The Rules of the Game.. all great films with packed discs. You get your moneys worth and more.
Old 07-12-04, 01:16 AM
  #23  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Dark City
Posts: 4,218
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Definitely get a netflix account and start exploring.

Some of my favorites

Loaded disks:

The Third Man
In the Mood for Love
Do the Right Thing
Straw Dogs
Rebecca
Rules of the Game

Not so Loaded disks.

Black Orpheus
The Red Shoes
Man Bites Dog
Diabolique

Ones I didn't like:

Haxan
Alphaville
Discrete Charm of Burgouasjd;fjas (can't spell)

Lot of good films in the collection.
Old 07-12-04, 01:56 AM
  #24  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Seattle
Posts: 788
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you want a crash course in great foreign cinema à la Criterion, these would be my recommendations (I've limited these pics to foreign directors):

Michelangelo Antonioni: L'Avventura*

Ingmar Bergman: The Seventh Seal*, Wild Strawberries*

Robert Bresson: Diary of a Country Priest

Luis Buñuel: The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie

Marcel Carné: Children of Paradise*

Henri-Georges Clouzot: The Wages of Fear

Jean Cocteau: Beauty and the Beast

Carl Theodor Dreyer: The Passion of Joan of Arc*, Day of Wrath, Ordet*

Sergei Eisenstein: Ivan the Terrible, Parts I & II*, Alexander Nevsky

Rainer Werner Fassbinder: Ali: Fear Eats the Soul, The Marriage of Maria Braun, Veronika Voss (the last two are only available in the box set: Fassbinder's BRD Trilogy)

Federico Fellini: La Strada, The Nights of Cabiria, 8½*

Jean-Luc Godard: Contempt*, Band of Outsiders

Abbas Kiarostami: Taste of Cherry

Akira Kurosawa: The Seven Samurai* (wait for forthcoming re-release), Ikiru

Fritz Lang: M* (wait for re-release)

Jean-Pierre Melville: Le Cercle rouge

Yasujiro Ozu: Tokyo Story*, Floating Weeds/The Story of Floating Weeds

Gillo Pontecorvo: The Battle of Algiers (being released in September)

Jean Renoir: Grand Illusion*, The Rules of the Game*

Alain Resnais: Night and Fog, Hiroshima, mon amour

Andrei Tarkovsky: Andrei Rublev*, Solaris

Jacques Tati: M. Hulot's Holiday, Playtime (wait for re-release)

François Truffaut: The 400 Blows* (only available in the box set: The Adventures of Antoine Doinel)

Luchino Visconti: The Leopard

Wong Kar-wai: In the Mood for Love

* According to the most recent (2002) Sight and Sound poll of critics and directors, these 15 films were voted the greatest currently in the collection (along with Rashomon, which you already own)



If you want to include great English-language directors, I would add the following:

Alfred Hitchcock: Notorious*

Stanley Kubrick: Spartacus

David Lean: Brief Encounter

Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger: Black Narcissus*, The Red Shoes

Carol Reed: The Third Man*

Preston Sturges: The Lady Eve*



Finally: I own about 170 Criterion films. But there are only six that I would rate as "perfect" (both the film and the DVD presentation):

The 400 Blows (Truffaut) [box set]
Children of Paradise (Carné)
Night and Fog (Resnais)
The Passion of Joan of Arc (Dreyer)
The Rules of the Game (Renoir)
Veronika Voss (Fassbinder) [box set]

Four others are very nearly perfect:

Diary of a Country Priest (Bresson)
In the Mood for Love (Wong)
The Seventh Seal (Bergman)
Tokyo Story (Ozu)

But that's just my opinion.
Old 07-12-04, 06:03 AM
  #25  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
speedyray's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Kingston, TN
Posts: 2,309
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Buy only the ones you want. Otherwise you will have a collection critics like and you never watch. Been there, done that, sold them off.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.