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

Criterion Challenge List Thread - September 2009

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

Criterion Challenge List Thread - September 2009

Old 08-31-09, 12:31 PM
Challenge Guru & Comic Nerd
Thread Starter
Trevor's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: spiritually, Minnesota
Posts: 36,891
Received 684 Likes on 459 Posts
Criterion Challenge List Thread - September 2009

DVDTalk's First Annual Criterion Challenge List Thread- September 2009

This thread is for listing what you watch. If you want to discuss something, you can do it here, but generally, it would be best to leave the discussion to the discussion thread, and leave this as lists only.

The Rules: there are none

This Challenge is more of an anti-Challenge, as there are no rules pretty much. And there is no number goal, no prizes, no winners, no losers. Counting is not necessary, but feel free to format your lists any way you want, including counting titles or even minutes if you are so inclined. Reviews and comments in your list are highly encouraged.

The only "rules" are to watch Criterion stuff, list them here in any format you want, and discuss it all with the rest of us in the discussion thread.

All the above is a rough draft, changes pending.

Can anyone think of any good date-specific films? Like anything Labor Day oriented? Or 9/11?

Just a reminder that everyone is encouraged to join DVDTalk's Criterion Film Club, which has a weekly movie for in-depth discussion.

This week's film is F for Fake, thread here.

And it's never too late to discuss the week two film, George Washington, here, or the week one film, Empire of Passion, here.

Also, many people put their checklists in spoiler tags, to allow easier browsing of the list thread by others.

Also, if you are planning to reveal key plots points/endings in your mini reviews, you should put them in spoiler tags. Spoiler tags work like this:

[ spoiler] Remove the spaces to really hide something, like this
Han shot first.
[ /spoiler]

Last edited by Trevor; 09-01-09 at 09:33 AM.
Old 08-31-09, 12:31 PM
Challenge Guru & Comic Nerd
Thread Starter
Trevor's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: spiritually, Minnesota
Posts: 36,891
Received 684 Likes on 459 Posts
Re: Criterion Challenge List Thread - September 2009

Optional Checklist

The checklist is completely optional. It is just a "fun" inclusion to give one a sense of accomplishment, or a guide on what to watch next.

Watch one film from every decade covered by Criterion.
--- 1920 - (insert film title here)
--- 1930 -
--- 1940 -
--- 1950 -
--- 1960 -
--- 1970 -
--- 1980 -
--- 1990 -
--- 2000 -

Watch films in at least five languages.
--- First language, (insert language), (insert title).
--- Second language, (insert language), (insert title).
--- Third language, (insert language), (insert title).
--- Fourth language, (insert language), (insert title).
--- Fifth language, (insert language), (insert title).

Watch something from spine number range:
--- 001-050 -
--- 051-100 -
--- 101-150 -
--- 151-200 -
--- 201-250 -
--- 251-300 -
--- 301-350 -
--- 351-400 -
--- 401-450 -
--- 451-500 -
--- an Eclipse title -
--- a laser disc only Criterion from this list -

Watch a film from the following genres:
--- Comedy
--- Drama
--- Horror
--- Science Fiction
--- Action / Adventure
--- Musical
--- Epic / Historical
--- Mystery / Thriller
--- War / Western
--- Documentary

--- Watch a film which won an Academy Award -
--- Watch a film with commentary -
--- Watch a short -
--- Watch a Criterion disc completely. Every part of it. -

(One film could fill multiple items. Example: Silence of the Lambs would qualify for a decade, language, spine number range, genre, Academy Award, and possibly more.)
(Change "---" to "-X-" or some similar mark when you have completed that line item.)

Last edited by Trevor; 09-03-09 at 07:51 PM.
Old 08-31-09, 12:32 PM
Challenge Guru & Comic Nerd
Thread Starter
Trevor's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: spiritually, Minnesota
Posts: 36,891
Received 684 Likes on 459 Posts
Re: Criterion Challenge List Thread - September 2009

Trevor's 2009 Criterion Challenge Journal

Tuesday, September 1st

F for Fake (1973) - I'm very ashamed to say that I had never watched an Orson Welles film until now. Seriously, not even Citizen Kane. I'll save my comments on this film for the Criterion Film Club Week #3 thread here.

Orson Welles: The One-Man Band (1995) -

Almost True: The Noble Art of Forgery (1997) -

Citizen Kane (1941) -

The American Experience: The Battle Over Citizen Kane (1996) - 7/10 - Nice documentary on the non-Criterion 2 disc DVD edition.

Wednesday, September 2nd

Mr. Arkadin (1955) - Corinth version -

Mr. Arkadin (1955) - Confidential Report version -

Mr. Arkadin (1955) - Comprehensive version -

Thursday, September 3rd

The Third Man (1949) - blu-ray -

Friday, September 4th

Shadowing the Third Man (2004) - blu-ray - 7/10 -

Saturday, September 5th

Sunday, September 6th

Started The Ruling Class (1972) - DVD - 8/10 -

Monday, September 7th

Finished The Ruling Class (1972) - DVD - 8/10 -

Tuesday, September 8th

For All Mankind (1989) - blu-ray -

For All Mankind (1989) - blu-ray - Watched again with commentary.

White Mane (1953)

Wednesday, September 16th

Taste of Cherry (1997)

Do the Right Thing (1989)

Thursday, September 17th

The Love Parade (1929)

Friday, September 18th

Monte Carlo (1930)

Monday, September 21st

The Smiling Lieutenant (1931)

Tuesday, September 22nd

Rififi (1955) - Wonderful noir, may make my top 20 of all-time.

Wednesday, September 23rd

One Hour With You (1932)

Robinson Crusoe on Mars (1964)

Ratcatcher (1999)

Simon of the Desert (1965)

49th Parallel (1941)

Onibaba (1964)

Thursday, September 24th

The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou (2004)

optional Checklist spoilered below

Watch one film from every decade covered by Criterion.
-X- 1920 - The Love Parade
-X- 1930 - Monte Carlo
-X- 1940 - The Third Man
-X- 1950 - Mr. Arkadin
-X- 1960 - Robinson Crusoe on Mars
-X- 1970 - F for Fake
-X- 1980 - For All Mankind
-X- 1990 - Ratcatcher
-X- 2000 - Shadowing the Third Man

Watch films in at least five languages.
-X- First language, English, F for Fake.
-X- Second language, Spanish, Simon of the Desert.
-X- Third language, Farsi, Taste of Cherry.
-X- Fourth language, French, Rififi.
-X- Fifth language, Japanese, Onibaba.
-X- Sixth language, Cockney, Ratcatcher.

Watch something from spine number range:
-X- 001-050 - Taste of Cherry
-X- 051-100 - The Third Man
-X- 101-150 - The Ruling Class
-X- 151-200 - Ratcatcher
-X- 201-250 - Onibaba
-X- 251-300 - F for Fake
-X- 301-350 - Mr. Arkadin
-X- 351-400 - 49th Parallel
-X- 401-450 - Robinson Crusoe on Mars
-X- 451-500 - Simon of the Desert
-X- an Eclipse title - Lubitsch Musicals
-X- a laser disc only Criterion from this list - Citizen Kane

Watch a film from the following genres:
-X- Comedy - several
-X- Drama - Ratcatcher
-X- Horror - Onibaba
-X- Science Fiction - Robinson Crusoe on Mars
-X- Action / Adventure - The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou (2004)
-X- Musical - four Lubitsch musicals
-X- Epic / Historical - Simon of the Desert
-X- Mystery / Thriller - Mr. Arkadin
-X- War / Western - 49th Parallel
-X- Documentary - F for Fake

-X- Watch a film which won an Academy Award - The Third Man
-X- Watch a film with commentary - F for Fake
-X- Watch a short - Small Deaths
-X- Watch a Criterion disc completely. Every part of it. - F for Fake

Last edited by Trevor; 09-23-09 at 10:41 PM.
Old 08-31-09, 12:43 PM
Giles's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Washington DC
Posts: 33,630
Received 17 Likes on 13 Posts
Re: Criterion Challenge List Thread - September 2009


Sept. 1:

- 'Sydney Lumet on Ran' [12min]
- Tatsuya Nakadai interview
- Image: Kurosawa’s Continuity [35min]
- Trailer 1 [2min] / 2 [1min.43s] / 3 [3min.10s] / 4 [3min]

[Booklet: 'Apocalypse Song' by Michael Wilmington / 'Interview with Akira Kurosawa on Ran' by Kiyoshi Watanabe (Positif - October 1985 issue) / 'Interview with Toru Takemitsu' by Max Tessier (La revue du cinema - September 1985 issue)]

- George Lucas Introduction [8min]
- Trailer [3min.46s]

- Trailer [3min.32s]

- A Message from Akiru Kurosawa: For Beautiful Movies (2000) [81min]
- Trailer

Sept. 2:

- Lucas, Coppola, and Kurosawa [19min]
- Image: Kurosawa’s Continuity [41min]
- Suntory Whiskey commercials [(3) 30sec / (2) 1min]

[Booklet: 'Kagemusha: From Painting to Film Pageantry' by Peter Grilli / 'Talking with the Director' by Tony Rayns (Sight & Sound - Summer '81 issue] / 'Biographical Sketches' by Donald Richie]

- 'The Battle of Brazil: A Video History' [58min]

Sept. 3:

- Film with commentary [Bluray]

[Booklet: 'Fantastic Voyage' by Terrence Rafferty / 'A Trip to the Moon' by Al Reinert]

Sept. 5:

- Film viewing
- Charlotte et Véronique ou Tous les garçons s’appellent Patrick (All the Boys Are Called Patrick) (1959) [21min]
- Trailer [2min.31sec]
- Audio recording [34min.10sec]

[Booklet: 'A Woman is a Woman' by J. Hoberman / 'A Movie is A Movie' by Michele Manceaux (L'Express - Jan. 12 1961 & July 27, 1961)]

Sept. 8:

- Film viewing [Bluray]

- Film viewing with Tony Rayns commentary track [Bluray]
- US Trailer

[Booklet: 'Some Notes on Oshima and Pornography' by Donald Richie / 'Nagisa Oshima 'on In the Realm of the Sense' (edited form - Image Forum article)]

Sept. 9:

HELP!: (originally appeared on Criterion Laserdisc)
- Film viewing

SWITCHBLADE SISTERS: (originally appeared on Criterion Laserdisc)
- Film viewing

Sept. 10:

- Film with commentary
- Pierre L'Homme: Revisitng A Masterpiece
- Restoration
- Le Journal de la Resistance [34min]

[Booklet: 'Out of the Shadows' by Amy Taubin / 'Melville's French Resistance' by Robert O. Paxton / 'Melville on Melville: Army of Shadows' interview by Rui Nogueira]

Sept. 11:

- Film with commentary
- Scrapbook
- Trailer

- Film viewing
- Screen specific director commentary track
- Deleted scene

Sept. 12:

- Screen specific director commentary track
- Director introduction
- The Battle for “I Am Curious—Yellow”
- video interview with legendary publisher Barney Rosset and attorney Edward de Grazia
- Excerpts from the transcripts of the trial for 'I Am Curious—Yellow' [Text]

Sept. 14:

- Film viewing with commentary: John Woo, producer Terence Chang, filmmaker Roger Avary, and critic Dave Kehr

- Bergman Island [Bluray]

- "Life as It Is" (History of Italian Neorealism in Cinema) [40min]
- "Cesare Zavattini" TV documentary

Sept. 15:

- Factory (1970)
- Hospital (1976)
- Railway Station (1980)
- The Musicians (1958)

Sept. 16:

- Film viewing (188min version) [Bluray]

- Film viewing [Bluray]

BLADE RUNNER: (originally appeared on Criterion Laserdisc)
- Film viewing [International cut] [Bluray]

AKIRA: (originally appeared on Criterion Laserdisc)
- Film viewing [Bluray]

Sept. 18:

- Film viewing [Bluray]

ZULU: (originally appeared on Criterion Laserdisc)
- Film viewing [Bluray]

- Film viewing [Bluray]

Sept. 19:

- 'I Don't Just Want You To Love Me: The Filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder' [96min] ☼
- 'Life Stores' Fassbinder interview by Pter W. Jansen [48min] ☼
- Trailers: Veronika Voss [3.13sec] / Lola [3.16sec] / The Marriage of Maria Braun [3.27sec] ☼

Sept. 21:

- Film viewing [Bluray]

Sept. 22:

DR. NO: (originally appeared on Criterion Laserdisc)
- Film viewing [Bluray]

Sept. 23:

- Film viewing [Bluray]


= First Time Viewing

Last edited by Giles; 09-23-09 at 02:37 PM.
Old 08-31-09, 12:43 PM
DVD Talk Special Edition
chase3001's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 1,686
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Re: Criterion Challenge List Thread - September 2009

My space
Old 08-31-09, 12:49 PM
DVD Talk Gold Edition
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Hawkeye Country
Posts: 2,496
Received 3 Likes on 3 Posts
Re: Criterion Challenge List Thread - September 2009

Attention: There may be minor spoilers in my comments.

September 2nd:
This is Spinal Tap cast commentary [1984] new! imdb Criterion DVD
"Well, this piece is called 'Lick My Love Pump'."
- What a great commentary. The "in-character" commentary on the non-Criterion release is funny, but more of a novelty. Listening to Harry Shearer, Michael McKean, and Christopher Guest talk about the movie as themselves was truly a treat. They did a wonderful job talking about the history of Spinal Tap, how the movie was made, and their experience since the movie was out.

Spartacus [1960] new! imdb HDNet Movies
"I am not an animal!"
- The first thing that struck me was the amazing opening credits. Surprise surprise, Saul Bass did them. I think I could watch a DVD of all of his opening credits. This is the first movie (I think) that I have seen with Laurence Olivier. He had an incredible aura around him, just fantastic. The music really stood out and enhanced the emotional subtext of the movie. One moment that was quite poignant for for me was when the couple was burying their child when the slave army was on it's initial march. I also have to talk about Peter Ustinov a bit. This is a bit embarrassing, but the only thing I have seen him in before was Logan's Run, and his character in that movie is...umm...interesting and at first it was a bit hard to get over that, but I got over it quick. A wonderful performance by Mr. Ustinov.

September 3rd:
This is Spinal Tap crew commentary [1984] new! imdb Criterion DVD
"These go to eleven."
- Another great commentary. This time we have director Rob Reiner, producer Karen Murphy, and Editors Robert Leighton and Kent Beyda. They talked a lot about the 4.5 - 5.5 hour cuts that existed when they first tried to edit the film. I know a lot of those scenes are in the deleted scenes section on the DVD, but I would like to try and find that sometime.

The Third Man [1949] new! imdb Criterion Blu-Ray
"There isn't enough for two laughs."
- I don't really want to give too much of the story away in this post, but I must say that this was an excellent movie. I first saw Joseph Cotten only a year ago in Shadow of a Doubt and he was great. Another great performance here. In fact, the whole cast was top notch, I can't think of one person in the whole movie who wasn't perfect in their role. I'm still trying to figure out if the "askew" angles in some of the scenes in the movie had significance or not. Nonetheless, the cinematography was outstanding. I'm not sure when dolly work became the norm, but there wasn't a whole lot of dolly work, but you can really sense the attention to the composition of every scene. The music has to be one of the most unique "scores" I've ever experienced in a movie. I think the whole score was done with a zither and was truly a unique experience. Final thought, the ending was perfect and I can't imagine it being any other way... check out the trivia on the IMDB page for a suggested alternate ending(!)

September 4th:
Naked Lunch [1991] new! imdb Criterion DVD
"Exterminate all rational thought"
- ??? I think that pretty much sums up my experience watching this movie. I love Cronenberg, and the acting was fantastic, but I still have absolutely no clue what the heck I watched. Hopefully the commentary gives me a little more insight into this frustrating movie viewing experience.

Spartacus commentary [1960] new! imdb Criterion DVD
"I am Spartacus!"
- This commentary features Kirk Douglas, Peter Ustinov, novelist Howard Fast, producer Edward Lewis, restoration Expert Robert A. Harris, and designer Saul Bass. The thing that really struck me is how honest and open Howard Fast is. He was basically fired from writing the screenplay because it wasn't going to be done in time. He points out a lot of the differences between his book and the screenplay and is quick to both praise and criticize those scenes. The most interesting thing he said so far is he didn't think how Kirk Douglas played Spartacus was anything like what the character should have been! Peter Ustinov's comments were wonderful and went deeper than I would have expected. In fact, everyone on this track was truly top-notch. One of the best commentaries I've ever heard.

September 5th:
The 39 Steps [1935] new! imdb Criterion DVD
"Am I right sir?!?"
- I wish I would watch more Hitchcock on my own than having to find an excuse like this challenge to watch more. This is an excellent movie. I really enjoyed Robert Donat as Hannay. He was very believable in his character and you really rooted for him the whole time. The only thing that was kind of frustrating was that there was a lot of noise on the soundtrack and that, combined with the British accents, forced me to turn on captions for about half of the movie.

Beastie Boys Video Anthology [2000] new! Criterion DVD
# Hey Ladies - "Get, get funky"
# Shake Your Rump - "Like Sam the butcher bringing Alice the meat"
# Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun - "I'm gonna die harder like my kid Bruce Willis"

September 6th:
Beastie Boys Video Anthology [2000] new! Criterion DVD
# Shadrach - "I'm madder than Mad's Alfred E. Newman"
# So What'cha Want - "I get so funny with the money that you flaunt"
# Gratitude - "What's gone wrong in your system?"
# Something's got to give
# Pass the Mic - "Oh, let's rock this joint in the old school way"
# Sabotage - "Because I feel disgrace because you're all in my face"
# Root down - "A flow master of disaster with a sound that's gone"
# Sure Shot - "Like Ma Bell, I've got the ill communications"
# Holy Snappers
# Intergalactic - "Like a pinch on the neck from Mr. Spock"
# Body Movin' - "Let me get some action from the back section"

The Lady Vanishes [1938] new! imdb Criterion DVD
"Look, someone upstairs is playing musical chairs with an elephant."
- Another great early Hitchcock. My experience with movies from this era is quite limited, so I was really on the edge of my seat for most of this movie trying to figure out what was going on with Miss Froy. It all really came together at the end. One thing I've noticed with this movie and some other from this time period is that the denouement of the story is always quite short, sometimes just a couple minutes right at the end of the movie. I think it is somewhat refreshing from the movies now. Not to say that one is better than the other, but it's always a bit surprising when Bam! it's the end of the movie.

Rebecca [1940] new! imdb Criterion DVD
"Oh, you've moved her brush, haven't you?"
- Fantastic film. Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine are simply perfect in their roles. Judith Anderson turns in a superb creepy performance as Mrs. Danvers (Mrs? I find that hard to believe...) The quote I posted gave me the creeps and reminded me of Misery. Of course it should have been the other way around, but we won't go there. As I watch the movies from this era in the "mystery" genre, I consistently find myself enthralled in the story. I know there is going to be a twist or something unexpected. It is quite nice that I am not figuring out the twist in these movies. I try not to think about that too much as I love a surprise and it's nice that my tendency to over-analyze has not impeded my revelation and enjoyment of these films.

September 7th:
Spartacus supplements [1960] new! imdb Criterion DVD
# Workprint comments by screenwriter Dalton Trumbo - Probably one of the best "commentaries" I have ever heard. I put "commentaries" in quotations because it was an actor who was reading Trumbo's comments to the workprint version of the movie. If anyone wants to get a real view into the mind and thoughts of a screenwriter, this is what you must listen to. He holds absolutely nothing back in his comments, and I mean nothing. He does praise certain parts of the movie that he thought was done well, but typically focuses on the things that he feels do not work or things that were changed from his script that were detrimental to the movie. One thing that truly stood out at me was a very very harsh criticism of Tony Curtis. He basically stated that he was a terrible terrible actor, he is a terrible actor, and will always be a terrible actor. Other than that one personal attack, I can't say that I necessarily disagree with anything else that he stated. A lot of it was little nits, but there were some major items that are worth further study/thought. Highly recommend.

Beastie Boys Video Anthology [2000] new! Criterion DVD
# Three MCs and One DJ - "My beats is sick like malaria"

September 8th:
Beastie Boys Video Anthology [2000] new! Criterion DVD
# Alive - "My beats is sick like malaria"
# Netty's Girl - "Boomin' system up top in the back"
# Band Commentary (disc 1) - They have everyone here, Mike D, Ad Rock, and MCA and they just kind of talk about what is happening in the video. Very little information on the song, how they came up with the idea for the video, etc...
# Directors' Commentary (disc 1) - Significantly better here. I think Spike Jonze is sitting in in most of the commentaries, even though he only worked on a few of them. There is someone in the commentary who keeps asking questions that I would be asking. Not great, but good and a lot more insight into the videos than the band commentary.

The Lady Vanishes supplements [1938] new! imdb Criterion DVD
# Restoration Example - The only special feature, besides the commentary, is a short 3 minute clip showing some of the restoration examples.

Spartacus supplements [1960] new! imdb Criterion DVD
# Restoration Example - Another short, 3 minute clip showing some examples from the restoration. There is a lot of verbal detail in the commentary track, but I would have liked to have seen a 15-20 minute showcase of the restoration techniques to help me understand some of the terminology a little better. Maybe that's on disc 2...

September 9th:
Beastie Boys Video Anthology [2000] new!
# Band Commentary (disc 2) - Once again, very little insight into the videos, just the Boys saying what the see on the screen.
# Directors' Commentary (disc 2) - Much better, as with the first disc. They have some people in the room who are asking good questions. I think Adam Yauch is in the room with them and when he is asked the right questions, he provides some interesting comments.

Solaris [1972] new! imdb Criterion DVD
"By limiting our movement forward, we facilitate moving backwards."
- I had only seen the remake of this movie when it came out in the theaters and I really remembered nothing about the remake, so watching the original "fresh" so to speak was good. I enjoyed this movie, but didn't love it. I found myself confused during some of the movie, especially the 5 minute long scene driving on the freeways. I was thinking to myself "why the hell is he in Japan and what is going to happen?" I thought this was going to build to some key point in the movie, but it was literally just driving. I found out later that it was the director's way of showing a futuristic city, but that was not obvious at all. Another visual mechanism that confused me was the use of black and white. It didn't seem to be associated with any theme in the movie. I found out later that it was used both to denote nighttime (sometimes, not always) as well as one dream sequence. Overall, all the scenes on the space station kept my interest and it was very thought provoking. The ending also confused me quite a bit, but I realize now that it was open to interpretation what it meant/was.

September 10th:
The Lady Vanishes commentary [1938] new! imdb Criterion DVD
- This commentary features film historian Bruce Eder. I'm writing this a week after I listened to this and all I really remember is him calling out Hitchcock movie after Hitchcock movie and comparing it to this movie and scenes from other Hitchcock movies. This bothered me a bit because I haven't seen some of the movies he was mentioning and giving major plot points away. Nonetheless, if anything it was a good historical account of the making and precursor films of Hitchcock.

Naked Lunch commentary [1991] new! imdb Criterion DVD
- Good ole Cronenberg and Peter Weller chime in on this commentary. They are separate commentaries mixed together. As usual, Cronenberg's commentaries are very interesting and revealing. I can't say that this commentary really helped me understand the movie any more than my initial viewing except to note that William H. Burroughs writings for which this movie was based off of (not just "Naked Lunch") is a lot of incoherent ramblings and the movie is somewhat a biographical account of Burroughs life in a very abstract sort of way. Peter Weller is quite knowledgeable and comes off as very in tune with everything about the movie. I will have to see if he has done any other commentaries.

September 11th - 13th:
No movies. Vegas time. Maybe I can have a real life Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas experience. On second thought, that would be very very bad.

September 18th:
Solaris commentary [1972] new! imdb Criterion DVD
"Whenever we show pity, we empty our souls."
- This commentary features Tarkovsky scholars Vida Johnson and Graham Petrie. Although this commentary is fairly dry (i.e. they were obviously reading what they were saying) it was very informative and really helped me understand the movie a lot more. They don't always offer answers, but help the viewer perhaps what Tarkovsky was trying to do to let the viewer decide the meaning for themselves. The most important thing, for me, was they pointed out many of the narrative inconsistencies that confused me during my initial viewing of the movie, which made me feel like I wasn't inept during my viewing. I will definitely watch this movie again in a couple years with a better appreciation.

The Third Man supplements [1949] new! imdb Criterion Blu-Ray
# Documentary - I like Malcolm McDowell as the narrator, but it seems that about half of the documentary is clips from the movie. I would have liked to see more of the two people from the movie that they were following. The projecting of the movie onto the background of the various in Vienna were interesting, but got a little old.

Notorious [1946] new! imdb Criterion DVD
"I want to make it 80 and wipe that grin off your face."
- An absolute masterpiece. I have NEVER seen a movie with more suspense. I was literally on the edge of my seat for nearly the entire movie. The ending was absolutely perfect. Cary Grant was good, not great, but Ingrid Berman was perfect.

Videodrome supplements [1983] new! imdb Criterion DVD
# "Camera" short

September 19th:
The 39 Steps commentary [1935] new! imdb Criterion DVD
- At first I was put off by this woman, but she definitely knows her stuff. There is an egotistic tone to her, but she provides some detailed analysis of the movie. Most of it is technical, which can be ok, but it did get a little repetitive after a bit. Was the cut from the candle in the bedroom really a phallic symbol? Maybe, but why can't a candle just be a candle?

The Killer [1989] imdb DVD
"I always leave one bullet, either for myself or for my enemy."
- This is my first repeat viewing of a title during the challenge. I watched this maybe 4 years ago, and didn't remember it too well. It's really an amazing movie. There are definitely some stylized sequences in the movie, but I'm always a fan of them. I know it's cheesy, but I love the freeze frame and, in my opinion, it was utilized superbly in this movie. The only thing that was a detraction was Danny Lee's ridiculous suits.

September 20th:
Time Bandits [1981] new! imdb DVD
"Oh, Benson... Dear Benson, you are so mercifully free of the ravages of intelligence."
- Interesting movie. In general, I am a fan of Terry Gilliam movies, so I was really looking forward to this one since I had not seen it before. I can't say I was blown away, but I was entertained. I have always liked David Warner and he was good as Evil. I think the funniest moments in the movie were the Shelley Duvall / Michael Palin scenes. Hilarious.

Rebecca commentary [1940] new! imdb Criterion DVD
- Excellent commentary. I really like the guy who did this commentary. I think he wrote a book about Hitchcock and David O Selznek and provides a lot of behind-the-scenes comments about the making of the movie rather than a strictly technical commentary.

Rebecca supplements [1940] new! imdb Criterion DVD
# Joan Fontaine 1986 telephone interview
# Judith Anderson 1986 telephone interview

September 21st:
Rebecca supplements [1940] new! imdb Criterion DVD
#Dreaming of Mandeley
# Picturization of a celebrated novel
# The search for "I"
# "We intended to make Rebecca"
# Locations research
# Screen tests for "I"
# Lighting, makeup, and costume tests

September 22nd:
Rebecca supplements [1940] new! imdb Criterion DVD
# Memos from David O. Selznick
# "A Curious Slanting Hand"
# Wardrobe Stills
# Set Stills
# Deleted Luncheon Scene
# "How did you like the picture?"
# Posters, Ads, etc...
# Re-issue Trailer
# Scenes from the 13th annual Academy Awards
# Hitchcock on Rebecca

Notorious Marian Keane commentary [1946] new! imdb Criterion DVD
- This one by Marian Keane is *ok*. She is way too technical for me. It may be a good commentary for film majors or people who make films, it isn't really that interesting to me. She also did the commentary for The 39 Steps. Once again, very technical and not much behind the scenes stuff, so just alright for me.

Solaris supplements [1972] new! imdb Criterion DVD
# Deleted and alternate scenes
# Natalya Bondarchuk interview -

September 23rd:
Notorious Rudy Behlmer commentary [1946] new! imdb Criterion DVD
- Amazing! Top notch stuff here. A lot of behind the scenes information on the actors, the production, and just the making of the movie in general. He also does do some screen-specific commentary at certain parts so it's not just one-dimensional.

Notorious supplements [1946] new! imdb Criterion DVD
# Lux Radio Theater broadcast - Obviously not nearly as entertaining as the movie, but it was cool that Bergman reprised her role and Joseph Cotton was Devlin. The breaks were hilarious with their "interviews" leading to ads for Lux flakes or other Lux brand items. I had A Christmas Story moment listening to those ads.

September 24th:
Solaris supplements [1972] new! imdb Criterion DVD
# Vadim Yusov interview
# Booklet

Rebecca supplements [1940] new! imdb Criterion DVD
# Mercury Theater Radio Broadcast (1938)

The 39 Steps supplements [1935] new! imdb Criterion DVD
# Booklet

September 25th:
Rebecca supplements [1940] new! imdb Criterion DVD
# Lux Theater Radio Broadcast (1941)
# Lux Theater Radio Broadcast (1950)

Spartacus supplements [1960] new! imdb Criterion DVD
# Booklet

The Lady Vanishes supplements [1938] new! imdb Criterion DVD
# Booklet

Boogie Nights [1997] imdb DVD
Doesn't it scare you? Working with evil forces?
- The first time I have seen this since the theater! I really like this movie and I'm kind of glad I've waited to watch this again. I noticed some seriously long takes, but not in the sense where you notice the long takes. It's almost like Scorsese in Goodfellas type of thing. The casting was absolutely perfect. I can't think of anyone who wasn't perfect for their role. A *possibly* overlooked performance was Alfred Molina as Rahad Jackson towards the end of the movie. He was really only in the movie for 5 minutes, but WHAT a performance. Loved it. Burt Reynolds, what can you say? He was born for this role.

September 26th:
Solaris supplements [1972] new! imdb Criterion DVD
# Mikhail Romadin interview
# Eduard Artemyev interview
# Documentary excerpt

The 39 Steps supplements [1935] new! imdb Criterion DVD
# Lux Radio Theater radio broadcast (1937)

September 27th:
Boogie Nights commentary [1997] imdb DVD
- I'm not sure if this was on the Criterion laserdisc, but this was an awesome commentary. Paul Thomas Anderson really delivers.

September 28th:
The Third Man [1949] new! imdb Criterion Blu-Ray
# Booklet

September 29th:
Notorious supplements [1946] new! imdb Criterion DVD
# Booklet

September 30th:
Rebecca supplements [1940] new! imdb Criterion DVD
# Booklet

DVD - Viewed on a non-Criterion DVD
Criterion DVD - Viewed on a Criterion DVD
Criterion Blu-Ray - Viewed on a Criterion Blu-Ray
Television - Viewed on television
new! - First time viewing
supplements - Supplements on the Criterion title
commentary - Commentary on the Criterion title

Watch one film from every decade covered by Criterion:
--- 1920 -
-X- 1930 - The 39 Steps
-X- 1940 - The Third Man
--- 1950 -
-X- 1960 - Spartacus
-X- 1970 - Solaris
-X- 1980 - This is Spinal Tap
-X- 1990 - Naked Lunch
--- 2000 -

Watch films in at least five languages:
-X- First language - English Spartacus
-X- Second language - Russian Solaris
-X- Third language - Cantonese The Killer
--- Fourth language -
--- Fifth language -

Watch something from spine number range:
-X- 001-050 - This is Spinal Tap (12)
-X- 051-100 - The Third Man (64)
-X- 101-150 - Spartacus (105)
-X- 151-200 - Solaris (164)
-X- 201-250 - Naked Lunch (220)
--- 251-300 -
--- 301-350 -
--- 351-400 -
--- 401-450 -
--- 451-500 -

Watch a film from the following genres:
-X- Comedy - This is Spinal Tap
-X- Drama - Naked Lunch
--- Horror -
-X- Science Fiction - Solaris
-X- Action / Adventure - The Killer
--- Musical -
-X- Epic / Historical - Spartacus
-X- Mystery / Thriller - The Third Man
--- War / Western -
-X- Documentary - Shadowing The Third Man

-X- Watch a film which won an Academy Award - Spartacus
-X- Watch a film with commentary - This is Spinal Tap
-X- Watch a Criterion disc completely. Every part of it. - The Beastie Boys Video Anthology
--- Watch an Eclipse title -
-X- A used-to-be Criterion from the laserdisc list - Boogie Nights
-X- Watch a short - Camera

Special thanks to Beebs for some of the formatting ideas!

Last edited by Numes; 10-01-09 at 09:37 PM.
Old 08-31-09, 01:04 PM
DVD Talk Limited Edition
Ginwen's Avatar
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Kent, WA
Posts: 7,397
Received 24 Likes on 20 Posts
Re: Criterion Challenge List Thread - September 2009

I sort of have in mind to watch some Criterions I've never gotten around to, starting with the oldest and working forward. I don't really like writing about movies I watch much so that will probably die in a hurry.

I'll just use a * for the movies I've never seen before, since it turns out there is a 25 smiley limit.

Sept. 1
M: I thought this movie was great, very suspenseful and engaging and visually striking with some really excellent shots. I have seen it once before, it was at least as good the second time. It holds up very well -- the criminal court reminds of quite a few otter threads. This is one of the movies I think of when people complain about boring Criterions, since it's hard for me to imagine very many people finding this boring. It was the original release so there were no extras other than the booklet (which I did read).

Sept. 2
That Obscure Object of Desire*: Interesting movie, not sure if I liked it or not. I definitely didn't care for the main characters.

Sept. 3
The Seventh Seal*: Good movie, I was surprised it had some humor in it, and I don't want to say more because I wouldn't want to spoil it.

The Red Shoes: Excellent. I like ballet so loved the dance parts, and that there was a fair amount of it. I've seen it before when I was younger my perspective on the 2 main male characters has changed quite a bit over time.

Sept. 4
Beauty and the Beast: I haven't seen it since I was a kid (in the 60's), I thought it was good still, and the castle with all the arms and weird faces on the fireplace was nice and creepy.

The 400 Blows: Good movie, I've seen it once before but didn't really remember it at all.

Antoine and Colette*: I liked this although it made me cringe a bit due to me acting about equally as foolishly in my past as he did in this.

Love on the Run*: I didn't expect much of this but it was pretty enjoyable watching the character from 400 Blows a bit older and just as much of a goofball.

Bed and Board*: I liked this one even though Antoine acted like more of an idiot than usual

Love on the Run*: Ok, although only about half a movie and half clips

Throne of Blood*: Pretty good, pretty weird.

Grand Illusion*: To be honest I think I bought this, without knowing anything about it, because it was spine number 1, it turned out to be a very entertaining movie so I'm glad I did.

Children of Paradise*: Another good movie. I was interested in it mostly due to the circumstances under which it was made, but I thought it was really good, and I think will stick with me.

Rashomon: One of my favorite Kurusawa movies (along with Yojimbo).

Fellini Satyricon*: From the laserdisc list. One of the weirdest and most incoherent movies I've seen (and yes, I have seen Eraserhead), I didn't really like watching it. Some of the imagery I liked, but a lot of it was too grotesque and I didn't like seeing it. I cheated it and looked online to try to make a little more sense of it, it helped a little bit (at least explaining better why it was fairly incoherent narratively speaking).

Ikiru*:I thought this was wonderful, it might be my new favorite Kurosawa movie.

Diva: Another that Criterion released only on laserdisc. I remember there was a lot of hype about this movie--then and now I don't really get it. Entertaining enough though, and funny to see Dominique Pinon as the odd looking guy in the shades.

The Leopard*

Belle de Jour*:Another laserdisc only one. It was weird and the main character behaved in a very strange fashion, but it was pretty good.

Band of Outsiders*

High and Low*

Red Beard*

Stray Dog*

The Lower Depths(Les-Bas-fonds/Renoir)*: I didn't care too much for this it just didn't really hold my interest so I didn't really look forward to watching a second version.

The Lower Depths(Donzoko/Akira Kurosawa)*: As it turned out, I much preferred this version. It was bleaker, but also funnier, it held my interest more, and overall I thought it was a better movie than the Renoir version.

Samurai I-Miyamoto Musashi*: This was very entertaining, I'm glad I don't have to wait years for parts 2 and 3 like Americans did when this first came out.

Samurai II-Duel at Ichijoji Temple*

Samurai III-Duel at Ganryu Island*


Sword of Doom*

Bicycle Thieves*

Youth of the Beast*

Sword of the Beast*:I enjoyed this very much.

Samurai Spy*:I enjoyed this even more.

Samurai Rebellion*:Another good one, a bit touching in parts, and with some pretty funny lines.

Kill*:Probably my least favorite of the four from this set, but these were all really enjoyable movies (and all very different from each other).

The Bad Sleep Well*




Gate of Flesh*

Wages of Fear*: Excellent, one of the most suspenseful movies I've seen.

General Idi Amin Dada (A Self Portrait)*: I thought it would be better. It was still interesting but very strange what a rambling fool Idi Amin came across as.

Juliet of the Spirits*

Variety Lights*

Le Corbeau*: I thought this one was excellent. 2 for 2 for Clouzot.

Port of Shadows*: Nothing special

Quai des Orfèvres*: Still another excellent Clouzot movie. Takes a while to get going but once the detective shows up it's great the rest of the way.


Monterey Pop*

Jimi Plays Monterey/Shake! Otis at Monterey*: Both good. Otis Redding is fucking awesome.

Bottle Rocket: I love this movie

Monterey Pop: The Outtake Performances*

The Last Days of Disco: Still my least favorite Whit Stilman movie, it was just alright.

Blade Runner: Another released on laserdisc by Criterion. Watched without the voiceover, which I've not always liked in the past but I liked this time just fine.

I ran out of unwatched here that I could count in this challenge, so I started watching other stuff to keep up with my one-a-day.


Watch one film from every decade covered by Criterion.
--- 1920 - (insert film title here)
X 1930 - M (1931)
X 1940 - The Red Shoes (1948)
X 1950 - The Seventh Seal (1957)
X 1960 - Love on the Run (1968)
X 1970 - That Obscure Object of Desire (1977)
X 1980 - Diva (1981)
X 1990 - Bottle Rocket (1996)
--- 2000 -

Watch films in at least five languages.
X First language, German, M
X Second language, French, That Obscure Object of Desire
X Third language, Swedish, The Seventh Seal
X Fourth language, English, The Red Shoes
X Fifth language, Japanese, Throne of Blood

Watch something from spine number range:
X 001-050 - M (30)
X 051-100 - Variety Lights (81)
X 101-150 - That Obscure Object of Desire (143)
X 151-200 - Love on the Run (156)
X 201-250 - Ikiru (221)
X 251-300 - Kagemusha (267)
X 301-350 - The Bad Sleep Well (319)
X 351-400 - Bicycle Thieves (374)
X 401-450 - Breathless (408)
X 451-500 - The Last Days of Disco (485)
--- an Eclipse title -
X a laser disc only Criterion from this list - Fellini Satyricon

Watch a film from the following genres:
X Comedy - Bottle Rocket
X Drama - The Seventh Seal
--- Horror
X Science Fiction - Blade Runner
X Action / Adventure - Diva
X Musical - Monterey Pop (not A musical, but it is musical, and as close as I'll probably come this month)
X Epic / Historical - Fellini Satyricon (vaguely Historical)
X Mystery / Thriller - M (as good a genre as any for this)
X War / Western - Grand Illusion
X Documentary - General Idi Amin Dada (A Self Portrait)

X Watch a film which won an Academy Award - The Red Shoes (2)
--- Watch a film with commentary -
X Watch a short -Antoine and Collette
--- Watch a Criterion disc completely. Every part of it. -

Last edited by Ginwen; 09-28-09 at 04:22 PM.
Old 08-31-09, 01:55 PM
DVD Talk Gold Edition
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 2,298
Received 220 Likes on 133 Posts
Re: Criterion Challenge List Thread - September 2009

Sept. 1
Le Corbeau. I read a review of this film that compared Clouzot's direction to Hitchcock, and I could completely see Jimmy Stewart playing Dr. Germain, with Eva Marie-Saint as the married woman and Tippi Hedren as the neurotic chick who fakes illness to get the doctor to visit her. Le Corbeau, (The Raven) uses the Maguffin of poison pen letters to ignite a firestorm of fear and paranoia in a provincial French town. The film was made during the German occupation of France at a collaborationist studio controlled by Goebbels. Despite the stench of collaboration with the Nazi occupation Clouzot's film is clearly meant to be a subversive attack on Nazi tactics.

A Colt Is My Passport, Nikkatsu Noir Eclipse Set : As soon as the credits appeared with the spaghetti western music, I knew where Tarantino had cribbed the atmosphere of Kill Bill. The movie stars Joe Shishido as a yakuza hitman whose plans for escape are frustrated after he kills a gang boss. This movie was a revelation for me. It's a taut, lean 84-minute crime film that is a universe away from the slow pace of Ozu or Kurosawa,and its use of Western themes and instruments on the soundtrack blended perfectly with the action onscreen.

Sept. 2
Pierrot Le Fou. I'm not a Godard fan, although I do admire some of his earlier films. I did not enjoy this film at all, despite the smoldering hotness of Jean-Paul Belmondo. I can see how 60s art house fans would have seen Godard as a visionary who replaced plot and action with mood and atmosphere, but to be honest, I found the petit bourgeois rebellion against society to be tedious and the film's ending mystifying.

Sept. 3
Blood Wedding, Carlos Saura Flamenco Trilogy Eclipse Set. This is not Garcia Lorca's play, but a ballet set in a rehearsal hall, danced to the accompaniment of a flamenco guitar. I picked this up as a blind buy during the July B&N sale, and oh, am I glad I did. I absolutely love this film!

Sept. 4
The 39 Steps. Hitchcock's breakout hit that brought him to the notice of Hollywood, The 39 Steps is a loosely constructed thriller featuring several of Hitchcock's most notorious themes: the wrong man falsely accused of a crime, the ice-cold blonde love interest, and the Maguffin, the putative pretext for the film's action that is really unimportant to the movie.

Sept. 5
The Threepenny Opera (Die Dreigroschenoper). Not my favorite Pabst, and not particularly faithful to the play, but in the current US political climate, it warms my heart to watch such an unabashedly leftist satire of capitalism.

Sept. 6
Close Encounters of the Third Kind. A true Spielberg classic from the era when he made movies to entertain audiences. (These days, not so much). It's on the laserdisc list so it's a kosher choice, and, really, this film is a 70s masterpiece that deserves the Criterion label more than a POS like Armageddon.

The Asphalt Jungle. I'm surprised that Criterion has not yet ported this title over from the laserdisc list. It's not only one of the best noirs ever, but it transcends its genre to approach Shakespearean tragedy. Brilliant film, one of Huston's best.

Sept. 7
The Burmese Harp. A superlatively beautiful antiwar fable

Sept. 8
Fires on the Plain. Japan's record of atrocities committed during WWII against both Allied military and civilians makes it difficult for me to feel empathy for the hardships of Japanese troops at the end of the war, but man, is this film brutal!

Sept. 9
The Ruling Class

Sept. 10
This Is Spinal Tap

Sept. 11
Robocop One of the few Verhoeven films where his satire actually works.

Sept. 12
M is the film that introduced Peter Lorre to the world. It's also a salutary lesson to young filmmakers that less is more; no graphic depiction of child rape could be as awful as the pictures in one 's mind as one sees a ball rolling down the street or a lost kite tangled in wires. What the audience imagines is always more effective than what the director shows.

Sept. 13
Help. Apart from the phenomenal Beatles soundtrack, Help is a hilarious satire on the spy films of the 60s.

Sept. 14
Good Morning. I know a lot of people think Ozu's films are poky little domestic dramas, but his films, IMO, reflect the universality of human behavior. This is one of my favorites, a sweet comedy about two boys who desperately want their parents to buy them a TV, but which also shows the face of a post-war Japan adopting Western customs and behavior.

Sept. 15
Salo--I remember being viscerally disgusted the first tiem I watched Salo, back in the 1980s, but now in the age of torture porn, its impact is much diminished. Still a brilliant piece of filmmaking.

Sept 16.
The Third Man

Sept. 17

Sept. 18

Sept. 19
Time Bandits. I watched this Terry Gilliam classic in the theater back in 1981, and it is still as wonderfully entertaining now as it was then.

Sept. 20
The Long Good Friday. This is much more of a character piece than an action film, and Bob Hoskins's final scene in the car as he is being driven to his doom should have won him the Oscar.

Sept. 25
The Earrings of Madame De. . .. I had never seen this Max Ophuls film and wasn't expecting much from it, but I was surprised by how delightful it was to watch. I will definitely buy this at the next 60-80% sale.

Sept. 26
Dead Ringers. I don't know how I've managed not to see this horrific and terrific film in the past 20 years, but it is a Cronenberg classic. The twin gimmick really grated, but Jeremy Irons's performances are spectacular.


Watch one film from every decade covered by Criterion.
--- 1920 - (insert film title here)
--- 1930 -The 39 Steps
--- 1940 -Le Corbeau
--- 1950 -The Burmese Harp
--- 1960 -A Colt Is My Passport
--- 1970 -The Long Good Friday
--- 1980 -Blood Wedding
--- 1990 -
--- 2000 -

Watch films in at least five languages.
--- First language, (French), (Le Corbeau).
--- Second language, (Japanese), (A Colt Is My Passport).
--- Third language, (Spanish), (Blood Wedding).
--- Fourth language, (German), (The Threepenny Opera).
--- Fifth language, (Italian), (Salo).

Watch something from spine number range:
--- 001-050 -
--- 051-100 -
--- 101-150 -
--- 151-200 -
--- 201-250 -
--- 251-300 -
--- 301-350 -
--- 351-400 -
--- 401-450 -
--- 451-500 -

Watch a film from the following genres:
--- Comedy
--- Drama Le Corbeau
--- Horror Dead Ringers
--- Science Fiction Robocop
--- Action / Adventure A Colt Is My Passport
--- Musical The Threepenny Opera
--- Epic / Historical The Earrings of Madame De..
--- Mystery / Thriller The 39 Steps
--- War / Western Fires on the Plain
--- Documentary

--- Watch a film which won an Academy Award -
--- Watch a film with commentary -The Ruling Class
--- Watch a short -
--- Watch a Criterion disc completely. Every part of it.

Last edited by Gobear; 08-09-12 at 07:42 AM.
Old 08-31-09, 02:29 PM
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
William Fuld's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 1999
Posts: 4,072
Received 135 Likes on 80 Posts
Re: Criterion Challenge List Thread - September 2009

1. Mala Noche (film + supplements)
2. George Washington (film + supplements)
3. Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles

Last edited by William Fuld; 09-11-09 at 02:07 PM.
Old 08-31-09, 02:47 PM
DVD Talk Legend
Chad's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Somewhere Hot Scoville Units: 9,999,999 Zodiac Sign: Capricorn
Posts: 12,284
Received 822 Likes on 323 Posts
Re: Criterion Challenge List Thread - September 2009

  • Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)
  • George Washington (2000)
  • Equinox (1967)
  • Chungking Express (1994) BD
  • Touchez Pas Au Grisbi (1954)
  • Murderous Maids (2000)
  • F for Fake (1973)
  • Bande à part (1964)
  • Billy Liar (1963)
  • Bottle Rocket (1996) BD
  • Au Hasard Balthazar (1966)
  • Mafioso (1962)
  • Rififi (1955)
  • The Seventh Seal (1957) BD
  • The Wages of Fear (1953) BD

= First Time Viewing

Last edited by Chad; 09-30-09 at 10:18 PM.
Old 08-31-09, 03:06 PM
DVD Talk Legend
Mondo Kane's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 11,682
Received 130 Likes on 112 Posts
Re: Criterion Challenge List Thread - September 2009

1. #408-Breathless___Jean-Luc Godard___1960
My first time viewing & 5th-viewed Godard film. What surprised me the most about this was that it actually had a basic outline (Something that I'm not accustomed to seeing compared to his other fragmented works) but this was, by far, the most engaging film I've seen of his since Alphaville (My 1st Godard)
2. "KSAN Radio Interview" (#99-Gimme Shelter___David Maysles, Albert Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin___1970)
Didn't expect to hear Godard's Weekend to get mentioned (Ironically, for this marathon) Sonny Barger's rant is priceless. Great extra.
3. #198-Ali: Fear Eats the Soul___Rainer Werner Fassbinder___1974
My first Fassbinder film and I didn't know what to expect. Glad to say that that I was pleased with this "Blind-viewing". Though I wasn't the biggest fan of the abrupt or inconclusive ending, the film had already won me over with it's blunt sincerity of the characters. Too many films of this kind has to have it's characters hiding their secrets from everyone else for far too long. So it was refreshing, for once, to see a movie where the inner feelings are immediately on display.
4. #214-The Devil and Daniel Webster___ William Dieterle___1941
Before this viewing, all I had previously seen of this movie were the final 20 minutes (Trial scene) and I kicked myself for not being able to see the whole film. Well, this time around, I actually wished I could've seen one of the shorter versions as I felt that the film took a while to get going. I still love the finale a whole lot though....Loved Simone Simone too.
5. #79-W.C. Fields-Six Short Films
Favorites in order:
The Pharmacist (1933)
The Fatal Glass of Beer (1933)
Pool Sharks (1915)
The Dentist (1932)
The Golf Specialist (1930)
The Barber Shop (1933)

6. #156-Hearts and Minds___ Peter Davis___1974
Since all war-documentaries tend to be the same to me, I don't have much to say here. But there's a lot of aspects that get covered here and the always strong (Graphic) footage will always leave an impression no matter what.
7. #131-Closely Watched Trains___Jirí Menzel___1966
My first disappointment. The opening 20 minutes-or-so kept my attention, but the film really began to lose me when Milos (The Main character) goes through his crisis. I would've assumed that his re-awakening would have shifted the movie into another gear, but it continued to stay in it's previous mode. The conclusion seemed promising, but was too rushed.
8. ""Cinépanorama" & "Cannes 1959" (#5-The 400 Blows___François Truffaut___1959)
Interesting to know that Truffaut mentions that he was appreciative of Arthur Penn's work....But Penn was still mostly a TV-director by '59. I'm guessing that The Left Handed Gun must've really left an impression!
9. #21-Dead Ringers___David Cronenberg___1988
As other reviewers seem to mention, tremendous performance(s) by Jeremy Irons and an always welcomed specific-tone by Cronenberg, but I was still left expecting more.
10. #226-Onibaba___Kaneto Shindo___1966
Intriguing story that I wish could've gone on a little longer. I was surprised by the frank sexual nature of it, given that it would take a few more years untill imagery like this would be commonplace.
11. #426-The Ice Storm___Ang Lee___1997
Dysfunctional family-life never felt so fresh. This film also comlpetely renewed my interest in checking out more of Lee's work.
Few things I couldn't help but point out:
The resemblence between Christina Ricci and Tobey Maguire as siblings was quite eerie. It was also a bit surreal to hear Maguire (In his Peter Parker voice) talk about Reed Richards!
12. #101-Cries and Whispers___Ingmar Bergman___1972
"Ingmar Bergman: Reflections on Life, Death, and Love"
First viewing and my 4th-viewed Bergman film. The themes seemed to parallel Ice Storm but with obivously different interpretations by their directors. But I ended up perferring both Lee's version and other Bergman-directed films over this. I did, however, really love those red fadeouts (Symbolizing the soul).
13. #137-Notorious___Alfred Hitchcock___1946
I'm not the biggest Cary Grant fan around, but I get amazed at how the Cary Grant that I know never seems to ever show up in this movie. And Ingrid Bergman certainly had no easy task with this material. Not pure perfection, but awful close.
14. #423-Walker___Alex Cox___1987
I can see how the critics could hate this, but even though I can't say that I loved it myself, I still found plenty of joy with it (As I have with every other Cox film I've seen)
15. #4-Amarcord___Federico Fellini___1974
"Fellini’s Homecoming"
Watched w/ audio commentary on. It was kind of frustrating when (On the documentary) all the interviewees wouldn't say why Fellini was always reluctant to revisit Rimini (His hometown) but it only took the commentators an ever-so-brief sentence to provide the answer.
As for the movie itself, it's still a favorite of mine. It could be that I'm partial to Fellini's post-NeoRealistic films, but to be honest, I haven't given more of his earlier works a look. That might change soon (I Vitelloni will be my next Fellini)
16. "Voices of Death" (#13-The Silence of the Lambs___Johnathan Demme___1991)
Needed to put something nice on after reading all this text. Albert Fish's statements, in particularly, got to me.
17. #443-La Ronde___Max Ophuls___1950
I'm a big fan of "Connected-Character" movies like this, but this ended up being a slight mixed bag for me. Good stories in the early going, but the middle stories became long and dull. Thankfully, things got back on track when Jean-Louis Barrault showed up. Chuckled outloud during the "Censored" scene.
18. It’s Impossible to Learn to Plow by Reading Books (1988) (#247-Slacker___Richard Linklater___(1991)
More watchable with the audio commentary on due to Linklater's (Always) pleasing stories for first-time filmmakers.
19. #116-The Hidden Fortress___ Akira Kurosawa___1958
It's been several years since I've last seen this. Wasn't too fond of all the humor the first time around, but I don't know what I must've been thinking as I had a great deal of fun with this upon my 2nd viewing. It was great to re-visit these characters again and, overall, I've immediately developed a better appreciation for it.
20. #273-Thieves’ Highway___Jules Dassin___1949
Probably would've liked the movie a little more if it went by the alternate title of "How ya like them apples?". I'm still open to check out more of Dassin's work (Liked Brute Force quite a bit) but I didn't really see the big deal about this one. What I did like the most about it were those moments between Conte and Cortese.
21. #44-The Red Shoes___Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger___1948
I was expecting another all-out performance-fest (ala Tales of Hoffmann) so I was pleased to see that there was a multi-dimensional tale at (Love triangle to go along with the behind-the-scenes look at ballet life) Though it's not the type of movie I could watch again & again, I was still glad to give something like this a viewing.
22. #43-Lord of the Flies___Peter Brook___1963
Haven't seen the remake in many years, and while I was watching the original, I began to think that the remake was better crafted....But then the original really began to take off in it's 2nd act. Not to mention, a much more beautiful ending to look at.
23. "Carl Th. Dreyer (1966)" (#437-Vampyr___Carl Theodor Dreyer___1932)
Quite brief doc. covering Dreyer's film work. *Wondering if I've got enough time to add Day of Wrath for this challenge*
24. #253-A Woman Under the Influence___John Cassavetes___1974
This is only the 2nd Cassavetes film I've seen (The other being Killing/Bookie) and found this one to be a MASSIVE improvement. Though I wouldn't have mind seeing a little bit of trimming done after the "Six Months Later" caption, I was still blown away by this, nonetheless. Possibly the best film I've seen so far in this marathon.
25. #215-Knife in the Water___Roman Polanski___1962
A slow start, but things really started to heat up when the trio went underneath the deck. And since this type of film gets constantly imitated, I was also especially pleased that this didn't become entirely predictable near the end.
26. #74-Vagabond___Agnès Varda___1985
The interview segments threw me off in the early going (Always freaked out a little when Yolanda would suddenly face the camera and talk) Otherwise, solid film. I wasn't surprised to go to the IMDB boards afterwards and find an explanation on who those freaky tree guys were supposed to be.
27. #59-The Night Porter___Liliana Cavani___1974
Better than I expected, but it's too bad the contemporary scenes had to deal with the flashback sequences. Each one of those flashback scenes was truly mesmerizing.
28. #431-The Thief of Bagdad___Ludwig Berger, Michael Powell and Tim Whelan___1940
The Genie (Or in this case, "The Djinni") was a dick. There. Had to be said.
Anyways, even though the running time was definetly felt along with some lovably dated effects to laugh at, it was great to finally see one of the biggest inspirations for Aladdin.
29. #87-Alexander Nevsky___Sergei Eisenstein___1938
Even though there's an endless amount of sword-swinging between the opposing sides of the climactic battle, there's still hardly a dull moment in a fine film like this. Great mixture between silent sequences and talkie moments.
30. #48-Black Orpheus___Marcel Camus___1959
As much as I appreciate the movie, I swear it seems to feel longer and longer everytime I watch it. And am I wrong for always laughing outloud at the cliff-death scene?
31. #52-Yojimbo___Akira Kurosawa___1961
"It is Wonderful to Create"
An all-time top 10 favorite of mine. Watched w/ audio commentary on. Interesting to hear some insight on the Tokugawa era (History that I'm interested in, but haven't got around to check out more of) and I was surprised that Fistful of Dollars was only briefly mentioned 3 times in the commentary.
I've watched the documentary before, but shame on me for not reminding myself how good and informative it was.
32. #175-Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas___Terry Gilliam___1998
I can't say that this will ever be a great movie, but that doesn't mean I can't watch it over and over again. There really is some fantastic lines throughout the movie that are being spoken, often incomprehensibly, by both Depp & Del Toro that are sure to surprise you (Give the subtitles a look sometime)
This DVD-set also has, undoubtedly, my most favorite Extras-Disc in the entire Criterion Collection.
33. #390-Sweet Movie___Dušan Makavejev___1974
I love watching a movie that has total freedom as much as the next guy, but to fully enjoy the final product is another thing. A couple of stunning visual pieces and a few catchy songs to like, but a strong stomach is still required when the movie reaches it's end.
34. #93-Black Narcissus___Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger___1947
I expected this to be a bore, but it ended up being my most favorite Powell/Pressburger movie. Go figure. I also became an immediate admirer of Kathleen Byron. That devilish grin of hers was the best I've ever seen.
35. #360-Symbiopsychotaxiplasm Take One___William Greaves___1968
Highly revolutionary for it's time...Even though it was never, ever widely seen (Too bad) But it's a good thing it had a short running time. And the inclusion of the homeless painter at the end really helped saving the film from overstaying it's welcome. I might watch the rest of the Bill Greaves documentary tonight.
36. #246-I vitelloni___Federico Fellini___1953
Very good film, but it's evident here that Fellini was still warming up to fully capture the type of hard-hitting gloominess that would appear in his future works like Nights/Cabiria and La Strada.
37. #53-Sanjuro___Akira Kurosawa___1962
I still continue to be confused by the plot and let down by the film's low-energy (Pertaining to both the cinematography and action) but it's still saved by Mifune's hypnotic performance as one of my most favorite title characters ever. As well as a famously, timeless arterial spray.
38. #111-Mon Uncle___Jacques Tati___1958
I wanted to like this more than M. Hulot’s Holiday but....That didn't appear to be the case. Despite the beautiful and flawless colors of the movie, I got the most joy out of this movie by just watching those dogs run around in the bookends.
39. #9-Hard Boiled___John Woo___1992
It doesn't matter how over-the-top this film will always seem to be, Hard Boiled will continue to remain responsible for jump-starting my love for contemporary Asian cinema. And for that, I'll always treasure it.
Very fascinating to know that, after all these years, only after tonight's viewing was that I noticed that Jun Kunimura (Audtion,Kill Bill Vol-1,Ichi The Killer) plays the undercover cop at the teahouse shootout.
40. #33-Nanook of the North___Robert Flaherty___1922
"Flaherty and Film"

Even though there are moments that are staged and an abrupt ending at hand, this still holds up as a fascinating work.
41. #176-The Killers___Robert Siodmak___1946
I haven't heard much about this movie, but was surprised by how well-structured it was (I was expecting something that was more by-the-numbers) Only drawbacks I had was that it began to run out of steam towards the end and some of the lingo threw me off. I thought "Kitty took a powder" meant that she was dead.
42. #11-The Seventh Seal___Ingmar Bergman___1957
Watched this with Peter Cowie's audio commentary. It's a good track and it helped elevate my respect towards the movie. It's just that I still perfer the likes of Virgin Spring and Wild Strawberries over this film.
43. #3-The Lady Vanishes___Alfred Hitchcock___1938
I'm actually surprised this was made in '38, it looked like it was made much earlier. Anyway, another gleeful first-time viewing. I might have to quickly give this another look soon as I thought I ran into a couple of plot-holes, but I still liked what I saw.
44. #339-Yi Yi___Edward Yang___2000
"Everyday Realities"

Aside from a few DVD-player interruptions, the movie didn't feel as long as I had feared for. I was glad to start my introduction to Tawainese Cinema on a good note....But it's too bad the movement now appears to be defunct. BTW, NJ's final line to Sherry definetly struck a chord in me. Something that I could seriously relate to.
45. #231-The Testament of Dr. Mabuse___Fritz Lang___1933
"For Example Fritz Lang"

This was a solid A+ film to me when I first saw it a couple of years ago, but after my recent viewing, I feel that the extra padding of the romance subplot (Along with that extended scene of the burning factory) tends to make the film drag a little. Yet this is still a big favorite of mine. You just can't find many other films that blend mystery/sci-fi-/action/suspense/humor/politics/adventure--And romance--all together like this.
46. #83-The Harder They Come___Perry Henzell___1973
I'm still pissed that I can't find my soundtrack to this Aside from that gripe, I do notice that the film seems to become a little stronger every time I see it. I really love the "Many Rivers To Cross" montage.
47. #174-Band of Outsiders___Jean-Luc Godard___1964
I still liked this one even though it's a slight step-down from my last-viewed Godard film. I keep on hearing that Godard divided many of his fans in his post-70's work. So it sounds like I should quit while I'm ahead.
48. #18-The Naked Kiss___Samuel Fuller___1964
My 12th-viewed Fuller film and first-time viewing. After a fantastic opening (I doubt I'll see a better intro for the rest of this challenge) the movie kinda lost me for awhile, but thankfully, it got back on track during it's last half-hour.
49. #320-Young Mr. Lincoln___John Ford___1939
Didn't expect this evolve into a courtroom drama, but it is "Young" Mr. Lincoln afterall. I wasn't really crazy about this, but at least it was better than the previous Ford movie I saw, My Darling Clementine.
50. #336-Dazed and Confused___Richard Linklater___1993
Watched w/ audio commentary. It took a while, but this movie eventually grew on me and has become a favorite.
I'm also surprised that Linklater doesn't get as much praise as the likes of Kevin Smith & Bruce Campbell when it comes to audio commentaries. His commentary tracks are just as fun and informative (To me) as those mentioned.
51. #173-The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp___Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger___1943
As with a few other movies in this challenge, I got mostly involved in the story during it's late half (In this case, the scenes that took place in the 1930s & 1940s) the slowness of the early going outweighed the neat and fun segments of the movie.
52. #298-Gate of Flesh___Seijun Suzuki___1964
This gave the impression that it was on it's way of becoming something quite unique, but it just didn't seem to go nowhere and stayed shallow. Something tells me this would have been a better film if it was made 10 years later. At least it was good to see Joe Shishido again. Haven't seen him in a movie in many years.
53. #248-Videodrome___David Cronenberg___1983
"Forging The New Flesh"
"Bootleg Video"

It took quite a number of repeated viewings (As I'm sure with most people who have seen this) to fully grasp how compelling this film can be. Forgot how hot Debbie Harry looked as a brunette.
54. #202-Indiscretion of an American Wife___Vittorio De Sica___1953
Quite a nice surprise, given that I only saw the shortened 72-minute version. A good little mixture of American-writing & acting combined with foreign direction and composition. It also helps that I have a soft spot for movies that take place in only one location. I'd love to see De Sica's original, longer version some day.
55. #51-Brazil___Terry Gilliam___1985
"The Battle of Brazil:A Video History"

It's been awhile since I've seen this. Glad to acknowledge that the film still hasn't lost any of it's power. My only gripe is that I perfer the final "Cloudy Background" that the American Theatrical cut has. Even the "Love Conquers All" version has this shot!
56. #302-Harakiri___ Masaki Kobayashi___1962
My intital reactions to this was that "It was slow, but good." It's now apparent that my repeated viewings doesn't let the slowness get in the way now. It's remarkable all the way through. This disc set also has my most favorite booklet (To date) I love the photos in it.
57. #70-The Last Temptation of Christ___Martin Scorsese___1988
I originally had planned to watch this with the commentary on since I've haven't given that a listen in a long time, but I'm just still too drawn to the lines,performances, and the music no matter what. Never even noticed the length of the movie untill today's viewing. Honestly!
58. #36-The Wages of Fear___Henri-Georges Clouzot___1953
This was one of the very first classic, B&W foreign films I ever saw (Scorsese introduced it on Cinemax....Obviously meaning that this was quite some time ago) I never forgot the movie and this morning's viewing was my first since then. As many have proclaimed, this movie still retains it's perfect suspense. Can't wait to add this to the collection one day.
59. #162-Ratcatcher___Lynne Ramsay___1999
Struggling-family/Coming-of-age tales tend to get on my nerves a bit, but this one slightly broke the mold of going the full predictable route. The "Trip to the moon" sequence sure brought a much-needed smile to my face.
60. #235-The Leopard___ Luchino Visconti___1963
Given that my expectations for this were too high, it was inevitable that I was going to be disappointed. This, sadly, turned out to be true. Perhaps I should've just checked out the shortened U.S. version as I felt that many scenes in this extended version just seemed to drag on and on.
61. #29-Picnic at Hanging Rock___Peter Weir___1975
Only saw bits and pieces of this Many years ago. Thank god this challenge came along so I can finally watch this whole thing in it's entirety. Quite worth the wait, I must say. Though the last 20 minutes seem to linger aimlessly, the mystery that occured beforehand was definetly intriguing and well-shot.
62. #455-White Dog___Samuel Fuller___1982
"Recollections by Karl Lewis-Miller"

The film felt stronger on a 2nd viewing despite the bad acting in the early going (Thank god the boyfriend soon vanished from the movie) It's too bad that this movie was initially "Banned" as I'm sure it would've recieved some respect. Great score by Morricone (Should that be a surprise?)
I also loved the "Interview" between Fuller and the dog in the booklet.
63. #318-Forbidden Games___René Clément___1952
Alternate Opening & Ending

A great movie....If the altenate intro & outro was used. I was glad to have seen these additions included in this set. Otherwise, I would have severly been let down by the original ending.
64. #151-Traffic___Steven Soderbergh___2000
The best movie I saw in 2000. 'nuff said.
Interestingly, I first saw For All Mankind about 2 months ago and recognized it's familiar end-credits music. The same piece of music concludes Traffic.

Last edited by Mondo Kane; 09-24-09 at 06:57 PM.
Old 08-31-09, 03:13 PM
DVD Talk Special Edition
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Near the Great Salt Lake
Posts: 1,400
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Criterion Challenge List Thread - September 2009


Akira (Criterion laserdisc, viewed on Blu-ray) - This is my second viewing, and I appreciated it a lot more this time. I really liked the style of the film - the animation is wonderful, and I loved the futuristic setting. The plot, however, seems rather under-developed, especially in the second half, and I lost some interest as a result. Still, a very good film and one I'll watch more in the future. I'll probably also pick up the manga at some point in order to better understand some of the more obscure plot points of the film.

The Element of Crime - I usually really like von Trier's films, but I had rather mixed emotions about this one. It was definitely successful at creating a sort of hypnotic dreamlike state - but, at the same time, the story and characters weren't at all engaging, in my opinion. Which may have been the point, but I still didn't much enjoy the experience.

Last edited by Sondheim; 09-24-09 at 10:58 AM.
Old 08-31-09, 03:19 PM
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
The Man with the Golden Doujinshi's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Mister Peepers
Posts: 7,882
Likes: 0
Received 5 Likes on 5 Posts
Re: Criterion Challenge List Thread - September 2009

Old 08-31-09, 04:00 PM
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
caligulathegod's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Grove City OH
Posts: 3,862
Received 49 Likes on 28 Posts
Re: Criterion Challenge List Thread - September 2009

September 19: Taxi Driver Laserdisc. Watched the film, then the exclusive commentary. Such a shame they never released this on DVD. Anyway, this is from back in the day when commentaries weren't contractual obligations but were actually specifically meant to be informative. This commentary, back when I first heard it, was what helped me to truly appreciate the film. I miss the old days of commentaries that were like this. Extras included storyboards and the first draft script. There was also a music only track.

Last edited by caligulathegod; 09-25-09 at 04:25 PM.
Old 08-31-09, 04:03 PM
DVD Talk Limited Edition
Dimension X's Avatar
Join Date: May 2002
Location: The unknown world of the future
Posts: 5,525
Received 464 Likes on 275 Posts
Re: Criterion Challenge List Thread - September 2009


Hopscotch (1980) - Spine #163 - Watched feature.


Hopscotch (1980) - Spine #163 - Extras - Watched trailers and interviews with Ronald Neame (Director) and Brian Garfield (Writer). The only audio extra on the DVD is an optional TV soundtrack. As I watched the movie yesterday, I rewatched some scenes, switching over to this track to listen to Ned Beatty's "cleaned up" lines.


Rififi (Du Rififi chez les hommes) (1955) - Spine #115 - Finally got around to watching this. The DVD has only been sitting by the TV for about three weeks. Watched the film, the interview with director Jules Dassin, and the theatrical trailer. Then read the production notes and looked at the stills archive. The only audio extra on the DVD is the English dub. I'll pass on that.


Time Bandits (1981) - Spine #354 (Laserdisc) - Decided to end the month by watching my one unwatched Criterion LD. Watched the movie and the "scrapbook," then rewatched the film and listened to the commentary (Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin, John Cleese, David Warner, Craig Warnock).

Last edited by Dimension X; 10-01-09 at 09:18 AM.
Old 08-31-09, 04:27 PM
DVD Talk Legend
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Nightmare Alley
Posts: 17,117
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Re: Criterion Challenge List Thread - September 2009

Heaven Can Wait + extras
Comments: The dialogue has the usual Lubitsch sparkle, and I enjoyed the wicked wit of the opening sequence in Hell, but overall I found the film a bit sentimental, with two (for me typically) uninvolving lead performances from Tierney and Ameche.
Pandora's Box + extras
Comments: Where to begin? An iconic, utterly natural performance from Louise Brooks that ranks among the finest ever. Some of the supporting actors seemed stilted and overly dramatic in contrast, but that may be more of a compliment to her acting than an insult to theirs. She is simply otherworldly, beguiling and magnetic. Barry Price's hefty bio of Brooks is heartily recommended for those whose interest was piqued by Tynan's essay from New Yorker, included in the DVD's booklet.
I Know Where I'm Going! * + extras
Comments: One of P & P's lighter efforts, but filled with much atmosphere, this reminded me somewhat of their earlier work, The Edge of the World.

The Baron of Arizona
Comments: Decidedly minor Fuller, but Price brings his usual hammy enthusiasm to the part of the moustache-twirling villain.
The River + extras
Comments: One of Renoir's best. The (in this case charmingly) amateurish performances only lend the film an air of authenticity. Quite moving, and a visual feast.
My Man Godfrey
Comments: Witty repartee delivered with crack timing, this is comedic perfection. Carole Lombard's untimely death was a real tragedy - she could have been Lucille Ball.
Europa *
Comments: Although the self-consciously "arty" sensibilities are a bit distracting at times, they also can be quite stunning, as with the fusion of color and b & w film stock. I found the plot to be confusing at times, but I was engrossed throughout. Not a film I would have necessarily sought out if not for this challenge, and I'm glad I did.
The Red Shoes
Comments: An absolutely gorgeous film marred somewhat by a less than gorgeous transfer on an early Criterion effort. Hopefully we'll see the HD restoration stateside soon.

Steel Helmet
Repulsion + extras
The Most Dangerous Game
Osaka Elegy
Women of the Night
Sisters of the Geon
Black Narcissus

The Friends of Eddie Coyle
Comments: It was nice to finally see a restored version of this. As a lifelong Bostonian, there are plenty of local landmarks to spot. Mitchum nails the working-class Boston accent perfectly, and it has a typically 70's down-beat ending. "#4, Bobby Orr!"
I Know Where I'm Going! with commentary
The Small Back Room * + extras
Comments: I was a little bit disappointed with this one. The cinematography was wonderful and the performances fine, but I just wasn't drawn into the story or interested in the characters, like I usually am with a P & P production.
The Friends of Eddie Coyle with commentary
Salvatore Guiliano * + extras
The 39 Steps

The Furies
The 400 Blows

The Last Metro *
Comments: I wasn't a fan of this film at all. The relationship between Deneuve and Depardieu is unconvincing, and the whole thing reeks of a glossy, stiff prestige picture. I found it dull and uninvolving.
Jules and Jim
Casque d'or
La Haine

Shoot the Piano Player
High and Low

Wages of Fear
* + extras
The 400 Blows with second commentary
L'avventura + extras
Jules and Jim with second commentary
Bicycle Thieves
A Canterbury Tale * + extras
Floating Weeds
A Story of Floating Weeds

King of Kings *
Kind Hearts and Coronets
with commentary
The End of Summer
El Norte with commentary
Early Spring
The Last Wave

Mamma Roma *
Green for Danger
Grand Illusion
Blast of Silence
+ extras
I Was Born, But...
Pierrot le Fou
The Lost Honor of Katherine Blum
The Devil and Daniel Webster with commentary
The Virgin Spring

Brief Encounter
Night and the City

3 Penny Opera * + extras
Wise Blood *
A Canterbury Tale with commentary
Last Year at Marienbad
General Idi Amin Dada *
Tales of Hoffman
* + extras
Les Enfants Terribles
The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp
+ extras
Tales of Hoffman with commentary
The 49th Parallel + extras
Clean Shaven *

* Denotes initial viewing

Last edited by NoirFan; 09-30-09 at 08:12 PM.
Old 08-31-09, 06:28 PM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Bellefontaine, Ohio
Posts: 5,628
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Criterion Challenge List Thread - September 2009

September 2
Monty Python's "Life of Brian" (Ya know, I really am not a big fan of this. I have the Criterion edition and the newer 2-disk Sony Immaculate Edition of this film but I am not really a big fan of it. There are a few laughs but many of the gags over hammered and used to death. The only Monty Python film I really like is actually the Meaning of Life.) **1/2 Stars out of *****
September 5
Monty Python's "Life of Brian" with Commentary by Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, and Terry Jones (Good commentary.)

September 6
Monty Python's "Life of Brian" with Commentary by John Cleese and Michael Palin (Another Good commentary.)

*ALso I watched the Hour Long Documentary and the entire 2nd Disk of the Sony edition including the 110 minutes reading of the original screenplay and the deleted scenes and radio scenes.

September 9
A Hard Day's Night

Last edited by chris_sc77; 09-09-09 at 10:10 PM.
Old 08-31-09, 06:32 PM
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
Greg MacGuffin's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Formerly known as "Jeffy Pop"/Denver
Posts: 3,038
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Re: Criterion Challenge List Thread - September 2009

September 1

September 2
The White Sheik

September 3

September 4
The Killing

September 5
Army of Shadows

September 6
I Vitelloni
Chungking Express

September 7
Mr. Arkadin - The Comprehensive Version
Murderous Maids

September 8
The Silence of the Lambs

September 9

September 10

September 11

September 12

September 13
Some Like It Hot
Au hasard Balthazar

September 14
Bob le flambeur

September 15

September 16
Band of Outsiders

September 17

September 18

September 19

September 20

September 21

September 22

September 23

September 24

September 25

September 26
Samurai Rebellion

September 27
I Shot Jesse James

September 28
Annie Hall

September 29

September 30
Singin' in the Rain

Last edited by Greg MacGuffin; 10-01-09 at 07:27 AM.
Old 08-31-09, 08:24 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 128
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Re: Criterion Challenge List Thread - September 2009

Brazil(1985) I've always loved this film and never seem to grow tired of it.
*Commentary with Terry Gilliam

In the Realm of the Senses(1976) This was a first-time viewing for me. It's a beautifully shot film and looks amazing on Blu. Usually on a first viewing I try to just enjoy the film for what it is on the surface without overanalyzing; there is a lot to glean from future watches.

Charade(1963) This one is just a lot of fun and I always have a good time watching it.
*Commentary with Stanley Donen and Peter Stone

Time Bandits(1981) This was Gilliam before he really (IMO) hit his stride. This is still a really fun film and I find it to be a very likable film.

The Wages of Fear(1953) An amazingly suspenseful film and the political commentary is hard to miss. Looks amazing.
*Henri-Georges Clouzot: The Enlightened Tyrant

The Exterminating Angel(1962) Watching Bunuel is always an entertaining experience for me. This is such a biting piece of social satire and it's funny to boot.
*The Last Script: Remembering Luis Bunuel
*Interviews with Slyvia Pinal and Arturo Ripstein

Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned...(1963) I'm not sure I can say anything about this amazing film that hasn't been said before so I won't try. It never grows old and still seems so relevant today.
*The Cold War
*No Fighting in the War Room Or: Dr. Strangelove and the Nuclear Threat
*Inside: Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned...

Le Samourai(1967) First-time viewing. Wow, this one has style to spare and is the epitome of cool. This was my first Melville and I certainly want to see more.
*Video interviews with Rui Nogueira and Ginette Vincendeau
*Archival interviews with Melville and actors

The Rules of the Game(1939) First-time viewing. I've owned this film for over a year and kept putting off watching it for some reason. I was really missing out on something great. I loved this one so much more than I ever thought I would.
*Audio commentary read by Peter Bogdanovich
*Selected scene analysis by Christopher Faulkner
*Part one of Jean Renoir, 1993 BBC documentary
*Discussion of the reconstruction and rerelease of the film

Alphaville(1965) Only the second time I've watched this and I enjoyed it more this time around. I love the fact that this future world is completely of its time, mostly because of budget constraints I suppose. It makes for an interesting contrast.

Last Year at Marienbad(1961) What a sumptuously shot film. I was completely engrossed by what I was seeing on my TV screen, as opposed to the first time I watched this several years back on VHS. I think I fell asleep then. It almost has the feel of an elegant horror film to me. One of those times when being a few years older really made a difference.
*New audio interview with Alain Resnais
*New documentary on the making of the film
*Two short documentaries by Resnais

Sword of Doom(1965) I haven't watched this one in a while so I thought I would give it a spin. I really like the sense of impending doom that hangs over the film; it really gives this a different feel.

The Third Man(1949) Love, love, love this one. Certainly the best I've ever seen it look. Glad I picked this up on Blu. It was like seeing it for the first time.
*Two audio commentaries
*Shadowing "The Third Man"

The Passion of Joan of Arc(1928) I watched it for the first time with Voices of Light.
*Audio essay by Casper Tybjerg
*A history of the many versions, with clips

Peeping Tom(1960) First-time viewing. I liked this one a great deal and wished I hadn't taken so long to see it. I can certainly understand why it shocked people when it first came out, even though it seems somewhat tame now.
*A Very British Psycho

*A British Horror Film
*1964 French television documentary filmed on the set

White Dog(1982)
*New video interviews with producer Jon Davison, co-writer Curtis Hanson and Christa Lang-Fuller

That Obscure Object of Desire(1977)
*Video interview with screenwriter Jean-Claude Carriere
*Excerpts from La Femme et le Pantin

The Double Life of Veronique(1991)
*Audio commentary by Annette Insdorf
*Railway Station

8 1/2(1963)
*Audio essay with Gideon Bachmann and Antonio Manda
*Fellini: A Director's Notebook
*Nino Rota: Between Cinema and Concert

*Audio commentary with Tony Rayns
*Carl Th. Dreyer, a documentary chronicling Dreyer's career

*Archival interviews with Godard, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg and Jean-Pierre Melville
*Chambre 12, Hotel de Suede
*Charlotte et son Jules

The Bakery Girl of Monceau
*Short film Presentation
*Moral Tales, Filmic Issues

Suzanne's Career
*Short film Nadja in Paris

My Night at Mauds
*Episode of the French television show Telecinema

Masculin Feminin
*Video interviews with Chantal Goya, Willy Kurant and Godard collaborator Jean-Pierre Gorin from 2005

Pandora's Box
*Audio commentary by Thomas Elsaesser and Mary Ann Doane
*Louise Brooks: Looking for Lulu
*Lulu in Berlin

Last edited by Cronenbergfan71; 09-30-09 at 09:09 PM.
Old 08-31-09, 10:55 PM
Senior Member
CardiffGiant's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 755
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Criterion Challenge List Thread - September 2009

1. Black Narcissus (1947): First Time Viewing: Great story, of course, the overall look and feel of the film are very good. I was also moved by the sound/music throughout the film, which really added to the suspense that grows in the final 20-30 minutes.

2. Wages of Fear (1953): First Time Viewing: Very suspenseful, I felt that all of the actors were successful in remaining "real" throughout. Although the film is of a considerable length, I liked the choices in editing. We don't always find out about the characters' pasts, but we understand they have all had experiences that shape the ones depicted in the film. In addition, I watched this on BD, and the transfer looked excellent.

3. Elevator to the Gallows (1957): First Time ViewingGreat pacing to this film. The soundtrack is one of the best I've heard in a film; the music of Miles Davis provides a backdrop that makes us romanticize Jeanne Moreau's wanderings around Paris.

4. Chasing Amy (1997): Saw this in theaters and I've probably watched it dozens of times, but it's been a while since I watched it. It's interesting to watch it more than 10 years later as the film preserves a certain look (henley shirt, under a flannel, with a khaki jacket) and feel (introspective) that we don't see much of (even from Smith) anymore.

5. Do The Right Thing (1989): Commentary: The commentary for this was very well planned as there are almost no moments in the commentary where the person associated with the film is silent. I always appreciate when the extras go beyond production design (this one certainly mentions it) and into "bigger" ideas within the creation of the film. There was a great deal of time dedicated to Lee's interpretations of his own film (including what he was trying to communicate) and I think that was certainly a welcome addition to the DVD.

6. Ballad of a Soldier (1959): First Time Viewing: Great cinematography. It is amazing how an 88 minute film packed so much power and felt like an epic, 3-hour film. Usually, that would be a put-down, here it is a compliment.

7. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001): I saw this multiple times in the theater. It was funny then and I still find great appreciation for Anderson's ability to create this entirely believable and unbelievable world at the same time. The humorous moments aren't "laugh out loud" moments anymore, but I find a comforting humor and appreciation for the overall craft of the film. Gene Hackman delivers most of my favorite lines in the film as they are often funny and tragic.

8. The Blob (1958): First Time Viewing: I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've seen this version and it'll likely be the last. I know it's a B-movie and I should expect a bad script, bad effects and bad acting, but this was pretty atrocious from start to finish. I was hoping for some mindless fun, but 7 minute conversations about drag racing during an 88 minute film just seems tedious.

9. A Woman is a Woman (1961): First Time Viewing: I thought this film was well done, although it might be my least favorite Godard (I've only seen 4 or 5 of his films). There is something about Godard's innovative style that is consistently attractive. You never know what the next five minutes will be like and that is so refreshing in today's overwhelmingly scripted and safe filmmaking. I loved the allusions to the current production of "Jules et Jim" and Jean-Paul Belmondo saying that he needed to hurry because "Breathless" was coming on TV. It is for moments like that that I appreciate Godard's confident filmmaking. I watched the entire disc and I would recommend the short film, "Charlotte et Véronique ou Tous les garçons s’appellent Patrick." It was a nice surprise on the disc. For the most part, everything else I could have done without. The interview with Anna Karina seemed like it would be great, but it was probably more awkward than anything else. The trailer for the film was borderline annoying and would probably push someone away from seeing the film. Overall, I liked the film and the short, the others I could do without.

10. Bergman Island (2006): First Time Viewing: Ingmar Bergman is my favorite director and this is my first time watching this documentary (from The Seventh Seal BD). The documentary leaves out a great deal of fluff (we only occasionally go into film clips) and focuses on who Ingmar Bergman the man is. The most insightful perspectives, primarily about his own "faith," comes towards the very end. Bergman's honesty, even at the sake of being self-critical, in this documentary is possibly the most interesting element. Also, the transfer looked great and the opening shots were quite beautiful.

11. A Woman Under the Influence (1974): First Time Viewing: My first Cassavetes film and this was deeply disturbing and highly emotional throughout. It was one of the most difficult experiences I have had with a film as the entire film made me cringe. Gena Rowlands delivers an amazing performance.

Watch one film from every decade covered by Criterion.
--- 1920 -
--- 1930 -
-X- 1940 - Black Narcissus (1947)
-X- 1950 - Wages of Fear (1953)
-X- 1960 - A Woman is a Woman (1961)
-X- 1970 - A Woman Under the Influence (1974)
-X- 1980 - Do The Right Thing (1989)
-X- 1990 - Chasing Amy (1997)
-X- 2000 - The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)

Watch films in at least five languages.
-X- First language: English, Black Narcissus
-X- Second language: French, Wages of Fear
-X- Third language: Russian, Ballad of a Soldier
-X- Fourth language: Swedish, Bergman Island
--- Fifth language, (insert language), (insert title).

Watch something from spine number range:
-X- 001-050 - Wages of Fear (#36)
-X- 051-100 - Black Narcissus (#93)
-X- 101-150 - Ballad of a Soldier (#148)
-X- 151-200 - The Royal Tenenbaums (#157)
-X- 201-250 - A Woman is a Woman (#238)
-X- 251-300 - A Woman Under the Influence (#253)
-X- 301-350 - Elevator to the Gallows (#335)
--- 351-400 -
--- 401-450 -
-X- 451-500 - Bergman Island (#477)

Watch a film from the following genres:
-X- Comedy: Chasing Amy
-X- Drama: Black Narcissus
-X- Horror: The Blob
-X- Science Fiction: The Blob
-X- Action / Adventure: Wages of Fear
-X- Musical: A Woman is a Woman (Neorealist Musical)
--- Epic / Historical
-X- Mystery / Thriller: Elevator to the Gallows
-X- War / Western: Ballad of a Soldier
-X- Documentary: Bergman Island

-X- Watch a film which won an Academy Award -Black Narcissus (2)
-X- Watch a film with commentary - Do The Right Thing
-X- Watch a short - Charlotte et Véronique ou Tous les garçons s’appellent Patrick (1957)
-X- Watch a Criterion disc completely. Every part of it. - A Woman is a Woman (1961)

Last edited by CardiffGiant; 09-30-09 at 09:48 PM.
Old 08-31-09, 10:59 PM
DVD Talk Gold Edition
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: los angeles, ca
Posts: 2,854
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Re: Criterion Challenge List Thread - September 2009

where have i been?!

september 26
the harder they come
the harder they come - interview with chris blackwell

september 29

september 30


Optional Checklist

Watch one film from every decade covered by Criterion.
--- 1920 -
--- 1930 -
--- 1940 -
--- 1950 -
--- 1960 -
--- 1970 -
--- 1980 -
--- 1990 -
--- 2000 -

Watch films in at least five languages.
--- First language, (insert language), (insert title).
--- Second language, (insert language), (insert title).
--- Third language, (insert language), (insert title).
--- Fourth language, (insert language), (insert title).
--- Fifth language, (insert language), (insert title).

Watch something from spine number range:
--- 001-050 -
--- 051-100 -
--- 101-150 -
--- 151-200 -
--- 201-250 -
--- 251-300 -
--- 301-350 -
--- 351-400 -
--- 401-450 -
--- 451-500 -
--- an Eclipse title -
--- a laser disc only Criterion from this list -

Watch a film from the following genres:
--- Comedy
--- Drama
--- Horror
--- Science Fiction
--- Action / Adventure
--- Musical
--- Epic / Historical
--- Mystery / Thriller
--- War / Western
--- Documentary

--- Watch a film which won an Academy Award -
--- Watch a film with commentary -
--- Watch a short -
--- Watch a Criterion disc completely. Every part of it. -

Last edited by hindolio; 10-01-09 at 10:57 PM.
Old 08-31-09, 11:32 PM
DVD Talk Gold Edition
MTRodaba2468's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Western Kentucky
Posts: 2,576
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Criterion Challenge List Thread - September 2009

Old 09-01-09, 12:22 AM
DVD Talk Special Edition
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Singapore
Posts: 1,005
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Re: Criterion Challenge List Thread - September 2009

this is the most laid back and enjoyable movie challenge i've ever participated in didn't do much but whatever i did watch, i enjoyed them very much. thanks D for helping me choose...

1. F for Fake - one long practical joke that Welles plays on the unsuspecting audience and I have to say I really enjoyed having the rug pulled out from under me at the end of the 90mins. F for Fake is like Welles making a forgery out of his own masterpiece – nicely done

2. Se7en (originally appeared on Criterion Laserdisc) - From the macabre opening credits (no less due to NIN’s Closer), throughout the dark and gloomy photography and the constant rain on-screen; a sense of impending doom all leading up to the shattering climax that will stay with you long after the movie is over.

3. Pulp Fiction (originally appeared on Criterion Laserdisc) - ever since I saw this, I can't help thinking about Uma whenever I listen to Urge Overkill's 'Girl You'll Be a Woman Soon'

4. Diabolique one of those rare movies whereby even when you already know the ending, each time you watch it again, it never fails to get your attention.

5. Belle de Jour (originally appeared on Criterion Laserdisc) - this movie doesn't have any explicit sex. it doesn't have any gratuitous nudity. but it will be one of the most erotic movies that you will ever see

6. Victim (originally appeared on Criterion Laserdisc) - suspensful drama of blackmail and murder about a group of men who are connected via a sordid secret; they are driven to various acts of desperation as they struggle with their inner demons while maintaining their public lives (or 'lies'as we see it).

7. The Ruling Class - I do not know what to make of this movie as it seems to be strange upon the first viewing. However it has several layers to it and I guess I’ll never be able to fully understand them all because I’m not British

8. The Unbearable Lightness of Being - A beautiful, heartbreaking, bittersweet love story, set in 1968 Prague, just before it was invaded by Russia. Sven Nykvist’s camera makes the city come alive and it becomes a character by itself in the movie.

9. The 400 Blows - Jean-Pierre Léaud, the child actor who plays the character of Antoine Doinel gives a remarkable performance as a juvenile delinquent who lies to his parents, steals from his own family, roams the streets of Paris as a vagrant and warms the hearts of all audiences who watch this truly remarkable movie from Francois Truffaut.

10. Last Tango in Paris (originally appeared on Criterion Laserdisc) - I really don’t fully comprehend this movie upon the first viewing but I do now understand what all the fuss was about when it premiered back in 1972 Brando proves why he is one of the greatest actors of his time with his brutal, animalistic performance here about a man coming to terms with his wife’s death. But what I don’t get is why does the girl allow herself to be subjected to such treatment from a complete stranger?

11. Tootsie (originally appeared on Criterion Laserdisc) This was one of the first movies that I saw Dustin Hoffman in, together with Kramer Vs Kramer and Marathon Man that made me a fan of his work Here, he wasn’t just playing a man impersonating a woman, but he actually created a totally different character out of that woman. Sydney Pollack who directs and plays the role of his agent is really funny too and there’s a great supporting cast in Bill Murray and Jessica Lange.

12. Lawrence of Arabia (originally appeared on Criterion Laserdisc) It’s really hard to imagine that this was Peter O’Toole’s first role as a leading man for he is such a natural in this one, exuding style, substance, charisma and confidence as the title character. I personally liked Alec Guinness as Prince Feisal while Omar Sharif and Anthony Quinn have great supporting roles too. And Freddie Young’s cinematography deservedly won the Oscar.

13. Do The Right Thing - compelling viewing... with a title like that, it's funny how so many of the characters on screen are NOT doing the right thing which boils up to the controversial climax... Spike Lee's first was indeed his best, thus far. Malcolm X comes a close 2nd of course

14. The 39 Steps - Plenty of things to like about this one – Robert Donat is so suave as only a Brit can do it; Madeleine Carroll is such a dish - that scene where she's peeling off her stockings by the fire is still so sexxxy even though this movie was made waaay back in 1935! Memorable characters such as the mysterious female agent Smith and the poor farmer's wife who wishes she was somewhere far away from the Scottish Moors makes this one of Alfred Hitchcock's better movies during his early years before Hollywood.

15. The English Patient (originally appeared on Criterion Laserdisc) - I'€™ve not read Michael Ondaatje’s source novel but I understand that it has been faithfully translated to the big screen by Saul Zaentz and Anthony Minghella. I do hope to read the book before I die as I believe it would be better, if not as good as the movie itself. The love between a man and a woman is told beautifully through fine acting by the leads and breathtaking cinematography by John Seale.

16. This Sporting Life - I'€™ve only known Richard Harris as the veteran thespian and I'€™ve never seen him as a young man until I saw this movie. He plays a very unlikeable character; one that is full of anger and insecurities. He desperately wants to love and to be loved in return. He feels that he is misunderstood by those around him and therefore treats most of them with contempt. It is no wonder then that it is among children where he feels most secure and comfortable. Richard Harris gives such a compelling performance; very gritty and realistic and you will wince as you witness a man coming apart...

17. sex, lies and videotape (originally appeared on Criterion Laserdisc) - Though the title may be provocative, the movie does no€™t resort to anything sleazy, explicit or gratuitous. Instead, it'€™s a sensitive and intelligent story about sex, relationships, lies/ liars and a man'€™s secret pet project that changes the lives of the 4 main characters. Stunning debut from Steven Soderbergh - I wish I had discovered this gem back in '€™89 when it appeared.

18. Cries and Whispers - if ever a movie can be described as a beautiful poem, then this would surely be it. 4 women - 3 sisters and their maid - and the love and hatred that consumes them is hauntingly brought to life by Sven Nykvist's camera and Ingmar Bergman's direction. very beautiful... the last scene is very memorable...

Last edited by InnocentBlood; 10-01-09 at 09:48 PM.
Old 09-01-09, 12:37 AM
New Member
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 12
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Criterion Challenge List Thread - September 2009

And here we... go...

Sept. 1st

Feature: Simon of the Desert (spine 460). One of my most recent purchases, I haven't seen this in over a decade. A mix of disappointing and thrilling. The scenes that I remembered (the miracle, the first scene with the devil, the bit with the lamb, and the ending) failed to be as startling as they were obviously meant to be, perhaps through over-familiarity. But everything that I had forgotten and was seeing as if for the first time - the dwarf shepherd, the coffin, the stuff with Simon's mother - was bracing and intriguing. It should be noted that the DVD cover kind of gives away the ending (and the inside of the case has its own surprise when you remove the disc).

Extra: 'Vintage Japanese film ephemera from the collection of John Zorn', from Branded to Kill (#38). A range of film posters (and one album cover) featuring the surgically enhanced cheekbones of the lead actor from Branded to Kill. Several titles in this range have since been released (e.g. A Colt is my Passport). Although I've seen the film several times before, i didn't know about the cheekbone surgery angle until watching this. I'm afraid I'l never be able to NOT notice it now.

Trailer: from How to Get Ahead in Advertising (#120). Much funnier than I remember the trailer being, probably because I wasn't expecting Withnail part 2 this time around.

Sept. 2nd

Extra: 'Michael Bay's gag reel' for Armageddon (#40). Oh god. Take out Billy Bob, and this wouldn't even be recognisable as a gag reel. Lots of swearing though. Swearing is fun.

Trailer: from Picnic at Hanging Rock (#29). Five minutes long, makes it look much more like a horror film. More a summary than a trailer. I liked it, but then I have to, I'm Australian.

Last edited by RodneyOz; 09-03-09 at 08:44 AM.
Old 09-01-09, 08:22 AM
DVD Talk Limited Edition
jdpatri's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 6,745
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Re: Criterion Challenge List Thread - September 2009

September 3rd:
The Ruling Class, #132
Peter O'Toole is just exhausting in the best possible way. I could probably watch this movie five times and still not catch all the back-and-forth banter exchanged during the first hour of the film. Somewhat interesting was the X-rating by the BBFC and the original R-rating bestowed upon in by the MPAA (which are roughly equivalent regarding age-restriction... though the MPAA eventually dropped it's rating to PG). Having done a term paper in college on the history of the modern ratings system and de facto censorship, I found this to be of particular interest. Long story short, Blasphemy is a main criteria of consideration for the BBFC... right next to Sexual Violence, Sadism, "Glamorization of weapons that are both particularly dangerous and not already well-known in Britain," ill treatment of animals or children, details of imitable criminal activity. Interesting tidbits to be had all around since I wasn't really familiar with the BBFC system.

September 6th:
M. Hulot's Holiday, #110
As Terry Jones said in the intro this really was "a beautiful comedy." I'd seen Tati's Playtime a couple times before but this was my first viewing of Holiday. It was like a classical jazz composition of populous swells of vacationers juxtaposed with Tati's physical comedy. I watched the few extras - including the Terry Jones introduction and an older Tati short film directed by Rene Clair called Soigne ton gauche. It was very much a Buster Keaton style comedy with Tati in the role of the unwitting punching bag that learns how to box by reading a book during the sparring match.

September 8th:
The Love Parade from Eclipse Series 8: Lubitsch Musicals
The film boasts the title of first narrative musical. Lubitsch injects his double entendres whenever possible but the limitations of the medium for a sound, let alone the narrative, musical is readily apparent. Static camera relying on the charisma of the actors and the novelty of the musical (with a few slapstick gags thrown in). Overall it was an entertaining Lubitsch frock but Maurice Chevalier is the reason to watch.

September 9th:
Monte Carlo from Eclipse Series 8: Lubitsch Musicals
Dreary. Whatserface from The Love Parade reappears in this pleasant but lackluster Lubitsch musical. Placed in direct comparison to Chevalier the male lead is a slimy bore. Watch if you're a Lubitsch completist. It wasn't a waste of time, but I constantly wished I were watching something else.

September 12th:
George Washington, #152
What a powerful movie. The documentary/cinema verite style filmmaking serves the subject well. Any kind of gloss on this movie considering the location shooting, untrained actors would have put a barrier up between the viewer and the characters/subjects of the film. It is a movie that definitely stays with you... and isn't even truly felt without some retrospection. While I was watching I thought it was a fine little film. Immediately afterward I was struck by the impact of the work as a whole. And this from the guy that would go on to direct Pineapple Express. Unreal.

September 15th:
I Vitelloni, #246
This one felt like an early Fellini in all the best ways. The story was simplistic, but not a bore. I can see why this wasn't a typical Fellini list-topper. Each of the characters had an interesting story -- and if I had a complaint its that the story centered around the cad of the group rather than giving each his due beyond the scattered and fleeting subplot. The resolution was perfect and beautiful -- obviously coming from a very personal experience. I'd forgotten how much Fellini can move me with both his grand and subtle ovetures.

September 19th:
Jigoku, #352
SPOILERS TO FOLLOW Context. Context. I can see why this movie would have created quite a stir in 1960. The scenes of torture and grue were beyond most of what I remember seeing from the U.S. during this time period. I was also shocked to see how much the Japanese version of hell depicted here in Nobuo Nakagawa's film borrowed liberally from Dante's Inferno. I would have assumed that the Japanese mythology would have maintained a far different approach to their theory of the afterlife. Clearly, I have no further study in Far Eastern life after death (at least, none that I remember though I did take a college class that would have covered it briefly) so I have to wonder how much is filmmaker license and how much is direct Eastern spirituality. As far as the film was concerned, I thought Nakagawa made some distinct and sometimes not particularly effecting pacing choices. And while I can get behind the visual experimentation in "Hell" -- really stunning, btw -- the story simply comes to an end 2/3 of the way through and devolves into torture and screaming and the main character calling the name of his unborn daughter as he searches the underworld. I'd give this a conflicted recommendation, though I'm eagerly aniticpating what the extras hold in store.

September 20th:
The Live Aquatic with Steve Zissou, #300
This was a third viewing of perhaps my favorite Wes Anderson film in glorious HD on HDNet. I know it's not a widely appreciated, but I find this movie to be a testament to the joy of movie watching. There's something purely entertaining in its imperfections that rewards me with a little something different after every viewing. In HD, the vibrant colors pop off the screen and really embrace the eccentricities of the set design and color palette. Having watched this very near a Fellini, I can see that perhaps Wes Anderson is kind of a kindred spirit, if much less subtle.

September 21st:
Made in the U.S.A., #481
I'm conflicted on Godard in general. I'm conflicted about this movie. I suppose I'm not a true Godard aficionado, even though I keep coming back because he's an intellectually fascinating filmmaker. It's probably also a giveaway that I'm not a true aficionado because my favorite film of his is A Woman is a Woman rather than the gold standards, ie Breathless. As always I found moments of absolute brilliance, but that was followed by a scene or dialogue sequence that just left me flat. Anna Karina is, as always, a joy to watch -- though in this movie she's relied upon to carry the movie more than usual, which I think results in sort of a mixed bag of tricks.

September 23rd:
Brand Upon the Brain!, #440
Guy Madden is creating some of the most interesting experiments in filmmaking today. I don't think this one's up there with The Saddest Music in the World for example, but it's no less thrilling to see how Madden manipulates the silent film aesthetics to fit a sort of autobiographical story of his childhood. The plot and story is secondary to the exprience.

September 25th:
This Is Spinal Tap, #12
Sometimes, you know, you've just got to watch Spinal Tap. I always pick up on some new sliver of dialogue I hadn't noticed before.

September 25th:
The Beastie Boys Video Anthology, #100
I set up my new A/V Receiver and thought what Criterion DVD might make for an interesting test? The Beastie Boys. The new Pioneer showed marked improvement in bass handling over my old Sony workhorse. It's always a thrill to relive the Beastie's catalog. This time I turned up the bass and let the beat drop. Plus the wife wasn't home to ask me why I had the bass up so high.

September 28th:
Drunken Angel, #413
Thoughts to come.

Watch one film from every decade covered by Criterion.
-x- 1920 - The Love Parade
-x- 1930 - Monte Carlo
-x- 1940 - Drunken Angel
xx- 1950 - M. Hulot's Holiday, I Vitelloni
xx- 1960 - Jigoku, Made in the U.S.A.
-x- 1970 - The Ruling Class
-x- 1980 - This Is Spinal Tap
--- 1990 -
xxx 2000 - George Washington, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Brand Upon the Brain!, The Beastie Boys Video Anthology

Watch films in at least five languages.
-x- First language: English, The Ruling Class
-x- Second language, French, M. Hulot's Holiday
-x- Third language, Italian, I Vitelloni
-x- Fourth language, Japanese, Jigoku
--- Fifth language, (insert language), (insert title).

Watch something from spine number range:
-x- 001-050 - This Is Spinal Tap
-x- 051-100 - The Beastie Boys Video Anthology
xx- 101-150 - The Ruling Class, M. Hulot's Holiday
-x- 151-200 - George Washington
-x- 201-250 - I Vitelloni
-x- 251-300 - The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
--- 301-350 -
-x- 351-400 - Jigoku
-x- 401-450 - Drunken Angel
-x- 451-500 - Made in the U.S.A.
-x- an Eclipse title - Eclipse Series 8: Lubitsch Musicals
-x- a laser disc only Criterion from this list - ...and I didn't even realize it. Silverado was on HDNet repeatedly last month and I DVR'd it to give it a rewatch. I doubt I'd seen this film in fifteen years. I'd forgotten how good corny a lot of it was. This is just one of those fun westerns with a perfect Hollywood cast of stars and supporting characters.

Watch a film from the following genres:
xxx Comedy: The Ruling Class, M. Hulot's Holiday, The Life Aquatic
xxx Drama: George Washington, I Vitelloni, Made in the U.S.A.
-x- Horror: Jigoku
-x- Science Fiction: Brand Upon the Brain!
--- Action / Adventure
xx- Musical: The Love Parade, Monte Carlo
--- Epic / Historical
-x- Mystery / Thriller: Drunken Angel
-x- War / Western: Silverado
--- Documentary

--- Watch a film which won an Academy Award -
--- Watch a film with commentary -
--- Watch a short - Soigne ton gauche on M. Hulot's Holiday
--- Watch a Criterion disc completely. Every part of it - M. Hulot's Holiday: This really isn't much of a feat. I shouldn't even count it really. But I did watch every bit of it so until I can legitimize this category, it'll have to stand.

Last edited by jdpatri; 09-29-09 at 03:28 PM.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Your Privacy Choices -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.