For years now, Peter has been the public face of Criterion. It’s great to have my partner fielding the brunt of the questions, sitting on the panels, and speaking poetically for all of us. We’ve been partners now for about a dozen years, and every once and while, I surface to the outside world. Most days start with a phone call between the two of us in which we lay out the day’s agenda. Peter is the editor-in-chief of Criterion; I handle more of the business side of things, but as we say to those we meet, we each know more about the other’s side of the business than we let on.
We discuss lots of things at Criterion. Whether it’s a major question (what titles to release in Criterion, the launch of a second line, when to start releasing DVDs in HD) or a small one (which hot movie to see over the weekend, salty snacks before lunch and sweet after or the other way around, McSteamy or McDreamy, Meredith or Izzy), there’s hardly anything we won’t discuss and debate.
There was probably no issue that we debated longer than the window-boxing of 4:3 films, and Peter will dedicate some more time to this soon. In the midst of the discussion, I brought home Forbidden Games, which I have to admit I had never seen. I wanted to see what it looked like window-boxed and figured I’d watch the first three minutes on several different sets. I started on an RCA 61-inch DLP set, and sure enough there was black all around. It didn’t really bother me—it only took me a couple of minutes to find out that I was hooked. Almost ninety minutes later I got up from the couch and inserted the disc into other players to see what it looked like on other TVs. I guess I realized that I didn’t have an answer to the window-boxing debate, although I’m happy with where we ended up, at least until we’re in an HD and not NTSC world. For me it was all about the movie. I had seen Forbidden Games, and it was great. If you haven’t, watch it. I’m pretty confident you’ll find it wonderful, too.
As for the other questions: Borat, sweet then salty (though now there’s a big push for healthy fruit), and when it comes to Grey’s Anatomy, I’m a big Izzy fan.