by Ryan C Jeffrey

Created 07/17/12

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The first Criterion I bought was M, the original DVD release. I was 15, more interested in Kurosawa than girls (that scales tipped in the interim years). Now I'm 27, basically at death's door, a struggling filmmaker with a continued and loyal admiration of Criterion-- my consistent hub for inspiration and discovery.

These are some of my favorite Criterion releases.

  • A rapturously beautiful film, and a suitably gorgeous edition.

  • Inexplicably spellbinding, somehow absurdly complex and mockingly simple at once. The white-on-white cover art is one of my favorite Criterion designs.

  • It's the compositional spontaneity that's inspiring, and the loose quality of theme and story. It's unpredictable in astronomically influential ways.

  • The most magical of all fairy tale films. Exquisitely designed and shot.

  • Could go on and on... the creation of space within frame, Renoir's movements, the intricate nature of the ensemble that's been aped but rarely matched for three quarters of a century. This film earns its street cred, as it were.

  • I often find myself recommending this to people, the pitch is just so easy: "It's Samurai Macbeth." And then I show them the blood soaked cover art. And then they watch it. And then they fall in love. Every time.

  • Probably the greatest comedy ever made. Among the best dialogue of all time, for sure.

  • I'm a sucker for noir, and Dassin's my man, and this is his masterpiece.

  • Strange, that for such a uniquely American genre, two of its masterpieces were made elsewhere. This is an obvous by necessary choice, a truly genius film.

  • A thoughtful, simple dialogue on class and adolescence that is likely to resonate for any generation interested in having a thoughtful, simple dialogue.

  • Big old tie for my three favorite box sets. Blue, White and Red make up one of the most singular trilogies out there, a web of theme and idea and culminates unexpectedly. And a gorgeous collector's item.

  • A small set for a short but impactful career. Possibly my favorite Criterion release (ask me again tomorrow), if only because it is incidentally a full collection of Vigo's all-too-brief canon.

  • I had never heard of Klein or seen any of his film. Criterion, thank you for the introduction. Mr. Freedom was an immediate favorite. The Eclipse Series is brilliant.

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