Having studied everything but film in college, I never would have imagined that landing a job in the DVD industry would help me get more out of fashion magazines. But sitting in the front office at Criterion, seeing every person and package that comes and goes, I’ve had a lot of exposure to people, stories, and films that probably would have remained largely unknown to me otherwise. I’d have to be absolutely insensate not to learn something new every day.
Flipping through the pages of W, Harper’s Bazaar, and Vogue each month, I notice more and more “Criterion people”: a comparison to Edie Beale’s style, a reference to Martha Graham, a one-page bio of Jeanne Moreau, or an in-depth article on Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s influence on fashion. Three years ago, if you had shown me the article I just finished reading, I would have said, “Fass-who?” Now he’s one of my favorite directors. I remember just last year when Abbey went to interview Jeanne Moreau for Elevator to the Gallows, and the only film I knew her from was La femme Nikita.
One of my most cherished Criterion releases, The Man Who Fell to Earth (it brings together science fiction, David Bowie, and a full-length novel—what’s not to love?), was recently featured in the Fashion Rocks supplement included with all the Condé Nast September issues. As my eyes automatically jumped to the Criterion DVD mentions and the quote from Bowie’s commentary, I briefly wondered if I was inadvertently becoming a film geek. But then I just have to see my co-workers’ reactions when I earnestly say that I can’t decide if Rush Hour 3 or Superbad was the best film of 2007 to know that I’ve still got a long way to go.