It’s the time of year when the list makers do their heavy lifting, looking back over the preceding twelve months and deciding what was best and brightest. We’re happy to report that some of our 2011 releases have been turning up in such rankings. First, Sight & Sound has published its annual roundup of the best DVDs and Blu-rays of the year; participating critics who counted Criterion titles among their selections include Michael Atkinson (The Phantom Carriage, People on Sunday), James Bell (Eclipse Series 26: Silent Naruse, The Phantom Carriage), David Jenkins (The Makioka Sisters), Trevor Johnston (Pale Flower), Mehelli Modi (America Lost and Found: The BBS Story), Jon Robertson (Senso), and Francesco Simeoni (Blow Out). Michael Glitz’s end-of-year list in the Huffington Post is topped by Krzysztof Kieślowski’s Three Colors (“Red itself is one of the greatest films of all time, and this collection has pride of place on my shelf,” he writes). For Culture Mob’s Josh Katz, the clear winner was Andrea Arnold’s Fish Tank (“Hands down, the best film I saw all year,” and “The Blu-ray’s picture is so sharp, it can cut glass”). And in Entertainment Weekly, Chris Nashawaty names Brian De Palma’s Blow Out as the year’s best release, with Sweet Smell of Success in fourth place.
And what would an annual wrap-up be without the folks at DVD Beaver (where Silent Naruse ranked in the DVD list and Three Colors, The Complete Jean Vigo, The Music Room, Island of Lost Souls, Kiss Me Deadly, and Sweet Smell of Success were among the top ten Blu-rays) and DVD Movie Central? At the latter, Criterion releases were named in a slew of categories, handily winning Best Pre-1970 Restoration (The Great Dictator), Best Post-1970 Restoration (Fanny and Alexander), and Best Reissue (The Naked Kiss).
Also, we’re very proud to say that we’ve received a Heritage Award from the National Society of Film Critics for our release The Complete Jean Vigo.