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The Criterion Collection

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The Criterion collection is just an independant label that gets the rights to important films and releases them. Several of them are foreign and older, but not exclusively. They have some of the worlds greatest films (not to mention some of the rarest DVDs out there - one of the rarest dvds in the worls is the CC edition of Salo)

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No. I fucking hate Criterion. I used to be able to get the same DVD's at most independent stores around town, but now i cant go anywhere without them being part of "The Criterion Collection" and being 30 bucks more than what i would've originally paid for it.

It's bullshit. It's corporate markup on independent films. The irony hits, but is overwhelmed by my anger.

 

Edit: But to give them a bit of credit, they DO release some films that would be otherwise impossible to see. But they're still corporate pimps taking advantage of a blossoming market.

Edited by static
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You're joking, right?

 

They are one of the ONLY pretty much independent companies that release DVDs. They mostly secure rights (and probably pay out the ass for them too). They spend copious amounts of time ensuring that what you're getting is perfect visually through digital restoration(L'Avventura took 6 months, for example). Then for most of the films they scour the fucking earth looking for any extras they can find (I mean, seriously, extras for films from the 30's?).

 

You're paying for bonuses and quality from a company that doesn't have a huge fanbase (I mean, seriously, what does it cost universal to release Batman Begins at $15-20 when they will sell millions, the film is still brand new so they don't have to do months of digital restoration, and they own the film? The highest selling Criterion is Fear and Loathing that you can get for around $30 at most places and it is not near a million copies sold).

 

Usually, all you have to do is place one of your cheap versions next to a criterion to see a huge difference in quality.

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I haven't purchased any Criterion films, so i can make no claim on the improvement of visual quality. But frankly i couldn't give a shit even if i tried. That goes for any "extras" as well.

As long as a film is presented so that i can watch it without being distracted by its shitty quality, i'm satisfied. I'm not going to shell out 30 bucks more for a film because its picture quality or sound quality has been remastered. My beef isn't that the Criterion collection exists. For those that want to see the exact shade of red in a film they're perfectly welcome to the collection.

 

My problem is that now i cannot go out and buy perfectly decent copies of any Antonioni works for a decent price, because they've been replaced by "The Criterion Collection" which marks me up another 30 bucks for something i could do without.

 

I have yet to see any Criterion film anywhere close to the ballpark of 30 bucks. I've yet to see one below 50. This is also inclusive of more mainstream films like Armageddon.

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I have just realized that I have made the mistake of thinking in U.S. dollars instead of Canadian dollars.

 

Prices for criterions have been coming down for new releases lately.

 

And note that DVDs go out of print. A lot of the Criterion titles you see probably DID go out of print in their respective versions and you wouldn't be able to get them anymore anyway. Furthermore, I'm sure that in a lot of cases you can still get the shitty transfers at lower prices as long as you know where to look.

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I picked up a copy of Samurai 1: Musashi Miyamoto released through the Criterion Collection and I couldn't be happier with it. Mind you, I got it second hand and it only cost me $5. I agree that it sucks how Criterion titles are usually more expensive than other versions of the same movies, but the Criterion copies do look and sound amazing. I could have bought a cheap-o version of Musashi Miyamoto, but I'm sure it wouldn't have been as good as the Criterion version. If you've ever tried to watch a cheap copy of a subtitled movie (any Kurosawa flick or decent Samurai movie) you know how frustrating they can be. You'll kick yourself for not shelling out the extra cash for a decent copy.

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BRINGING THIS THREAD BACK TO LIFE, CALLING ALL FILM NERDS
So this has been my life during the pandemic, I stumbled upon the website from watching youtube videos of famous people talking about their favourite movies in a closet.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_77jFCorT8&t=54s


The movies I've seen within the past year has been some of the best films I've never heard about, I've falling into incredible rabbit-holes with directors/actors/cinematographers and has been inspiring for someone who is working towards making movies.

This is where I recommend everyone start. It's the South Korean movement for artists after decades of oppression, really inspiring stuff! From Park Chan-Woo to Bong Joon-ho, creators of current hits like Snowpiercer & Parasite or cult-classic Oldboy & JSA. A huge group of directors decided to all work together to create art, all while sharing the same actors like Song Kang-ho & Choi Min-sik just to name a few! So there's a fun re-occurrence of characters that makes it feel like you're part of a family by 2 movies in. There's so many talented people that worked their butts off in a smart part of the world and I think alot of these movies will be more known in the coming years.

Other directors to look out for and splurge on:

 

Seinjun Suzuki

Andrei Tarkvosky
Akira Kurosawa
Literally every director in the New Korean Cinema.

There should be a free trial if im not mistaken, but if you love film I honestly recommend giving this a search and finding something to watch.

 

 

https://www.criterionchannel.com/new-korean-cinema

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