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Dan Withrow's Top 10 Criterion

by Dan_Withrow

Created 07/05/12

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Criterion has given me the opportunity to look at world cinema in a way I never imagined. A true list of great Criterion titles is simply all of them, but here are the ones that have made the biggest difference for me.

  • Truffaut set the bar high for his fellow New Wavers with one of the greatest coming of age stories captured on celluloid. Brilliant all the way through, especially the magnificent performance from young Mr. Leaud. A truly remarkable film that has changed my life for the best.

  • One of the more emotional viewing experiences of my life. The images stick with you long after the final frame.Dreyer captures a rare gem in Falconetti's performance, perhaps the most honest ever captured on screen.

  • It's rare to see a film of this caliber and tackle such a heavy issue as child murderers AND do this all in Germany pre WWII. Lang's bold feature M would go on to influence it's fair share of crime dramas for years to come (and influence this reviewer immensely).

  • I have seen my fair share of "cool," movies, but there is nothing like Melville's Le Samourai. From the flat brimmed fedora to the slick looking trench coat, this movie oozes with coolness. Each bit of dialogue is strategically placed so nothing is wasted.

  • The first time I watched it. I didn't get it. I thought it was bad editing. Today I can't get enough of it. It's funny how in a span of a year or two I did a complete 360 on this film. It has a sort of charisma unlike any other film from the French New Wave. It speaks to me on many different levels.

  • I watched this thinking it would be a fun movie with some references to Star Wars. Boy was I wrong. Kurosawa blew me away with this Samurai classic. Mifune's screen presence is unmatched. He completely dominates the screen.

  • The first few Buñuel films I watched I had a hard time getting into, but then I found this. One of the best comedies to come out of Europe. The images are timeless. Having watched it several times since that first viewing, it gets better with age.

  • Ozu makes the most ordinary and common images seem like works of art. His balance of dialogue, action, and meditation is unparalleled. Tokyo Story is the crowning achievement to a career that is full of brilliant work.

  • There has never been a movie better that blends physical comedy with art direction better than Mon oncle (only Playtime comes close). Tati goes above and beyond the call of duty in achieving his comic payoffs. The gags are relentless and the sets are unbelievable.

  • This was one of the first Criterion's I ever watched. I couldn't take my eyes off the screen.The story was so bizarre but the storytelling was absolutely original. I was hooked all the way through the explosive finale.

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