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XTRMNTR75's CRITERION ESSENTIALS

by XTRMNTR75

Created 07/05/12

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My name is Matthew Brown. These are a few of my favorite Criterion discs. There are many more that I love, but these are the ones that always immediately come to mind when I think of how much I love The Criterion Collection.

  • My personal favorite of all Bergman's films, this chamber drama is essentially a 90 minute argument (which eventually escalates into severe emotional violence) between an estranged concert pianist and her ignored daughter. Perfect performances by Ingrid Bergman and Liv Ullman, not to mention Bergman's lovely shot composition and the always-gorgeous cinematography by Sven Nykvist.

  • My other Bergman fave, this oppressively disturbing study of a group of sisters gathered for the death of one of their own is the darkest, saddest, most difficult to watch film that also qualifies, somehow, as uplifting. STUNNING photography and use of color.

  • Not yet released by Criterion, this is nevertheless one of my favorite things the collection has ever attached it's logo to. Naturalistic dialogue, charming lead actors who seem as though they're really falling in love and a wonderful sense of melancholy equal a rewarding viewing experience. One of the best films of the last decade.

  • One of the greatest films about America ever made, from a Taiwanese director. Incredible, indelible performances by Kevin Kline, Joan Allen, Sigourney Weaver and Jamey Sheridan as well as possibly the greatest cast of young actors ever assembled--Tobey Maguire, Christina Ricci, Adam Hann-Byrd, David Krumholtz and Katie Holmes. A razor-sharp adaptation of Rick Moody's lacerating novel. The 1970s have rarely seemed so hopeless as in this film, and that's saying something.

  • Possibly the most exquisitely heartbreaking film ever made. Perfect sense of mood, visually lovely. An all-time great by a master. My favorite David Lean film by a mile.

  • This was my favorite Malick film for a long time, until TREE OF LIFE was released. A perfect introduction to the languourous, post-DAYS OF HEAVEN Malick with extended running times, long, unbroken shots of nature and poetry replacing dialogue. Not for everyone, but so very beautiful and unique.

  • Stylized, twisted and lots of fun. 1960s Italian stab at troubled-youth horror.

  • Often regarded as the greatest Canadian film ever made, MON ONCLE ANTOINE is a cold, sometimes oppressively sad snapshot of one holiday season in rural Quebec and the coming-of-age that happens during it. Excellent mood piece.

  • Another hopeless 1970s gem, this one actually filmed (expertly, by Bob Rafelson) during the actual decade. Nicholson's most delicate performance.

  • Early DePalma showcases his soon-to-be-trademark visual style as well as his absurd and somewhat sick sense of humor. Great performances by Margot Kidder and Jennifer Salt.