Criterion & Eclipse in the Press

The scuttlebutt on Criterion, Eclipse, and Janus Films. Lists and polls are STRONGLY discouraged.
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dwk
Joined: Sat Jun 12, 2010 6:10 pm

Re: Criterion & Eclipse in the Press

#251 Post by dwk » Sun Aug 23, 2020 5:23 pm

Boosmahn wrote:
Sun Aug 23, 2020 4:42 pm
Also: The Lure.
Oh yeah. I think my point remains, but they have released about half a dozen non-English language films, over the last 15-20 years.

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criterionoop
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 7:46 am

Re: Criterion & Eclipse in the Press

#252 Post by criterionoop » Sun Aug 23, 2020 5:54 pm

The issue that starts to arise from just putting a spine on a film solely because it is directed by an African American Director is that it becomes tokenism. Not every single film directed by/about African Americans is going be a masterpiece. Speaking from my own viewing experiences, not every Mexican movie I’ve seen is a masterpiece, and not every gay movie I’ve seen is worthy of a spine number, so I won’t be banging the drum to have CANTINFLAS (2014) or ANOTHER GAY MOVIE (2006) join the collection.

But where realistically feasible, it would be good for them to release films directed by black filmmakers (not solely by African Americans, but but international black directors As well). If I remember correctly, I believe there was an article stating that Ngozi Onwurah’s WELCOME II THE TERRORDOME was being prepped for the collection (which I had never heard of, but would be interested in viewing).

It was also interesting seeing responses to the New York Times’ follow up asking for names of titles that should join the collection. If MOONLIGHT and GANJA AND HESS are the only titles that most people can cling to, then Criterion isn’t the only one that needs to educate themselves on Black/African/African American cinema.

Bressonaire
Joined: Mon Dec 02, 2013 4:49 pm

Re: Criterion & Eclipse in the Press

#253 Post by Bressonaire » Sun Aug 23, 2020 6:13 pm

Lee employs a satirical sledgehammer because, as a black man, the stakes are much higher for him than for your typical, white political film-maker. Lee has embraced bluntness and didacticism as trademarks of his style (see: characters staring into camera) as a way of emphasizing the importance of his movies' themes. He doesn't play around. His movies have messages, and he is unapologetic about making sure you get that message loud and clear. That's Lee as an artist.
Well, I’ve never heard bluntness and didacticism elevated as tools of an artist, especially a comic one. Even if they are, they ought to be wielded to produce laughter if one is aiming for satire. They go hand-in-hand. Whatever Lee’s race or life experience, Bamboozled doesn’t show the comic sensibility—or artistry—of Howard Hawks or Marcel Pagnol or Charles Burnett, in To Sleep with Anger. You are surely right that no other person but Lee has had his life experiences, but that's true of every director—of every person, in fact. To suggest that his unique experience justifies expanding the wheelhouse of what is considered comedy to include a bone-dead misfire like Bamboozled seems perverse.

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jwd5275
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:26 pm
Location: SF, CA

Re: Criterion & Eclipse in the Press

#254 Post by jwd5275 » Mon Aug 24, 2020 3:56 pm

In an interview this month with The New York Times, the Criterion president, Peter Becker, who owns a minority stake in the company, expressed regret about the lack of Black representation in the collection.
Was this interview ever published or do we only have the excerpts in the article?

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Cash Flagg
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2008 11:15 pm

Re: Criterion & Eclipse in the Press

#255 Post by Cash Flagg » Mon Aug 24, 2020 4:13 pm

criterionoop wrote:
Sun Aug 23, 2020 5:54 pm
If MOONLIGHT and GANJA AND HESS are the only titles that most people can cling to, then Criterion isn’t the only one that needs to educate themselves on Black/African/African American cinema.
And doubtless most of the pearl-clutchers in Twitterland are only familiar with the latter due to the Spike Lee remake. (And are just as likely to be oblivious to its pre-existing Blu-ray from Kino!)

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Luke M
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2007 9:21 pm

Re: Criterion & Eclipse in the Press

#256 Post by Luke M » Mon Aug 24, 2020 4:16 pm

criterionoop wrote:The issue that starts to arise from just putting a spine on a film solely because it is directed by an African American Director is that it becomes tokenism. Not every single film directed by/about African Americans is going be a masterpiece. Speaking from my own viewing experiences, not every Mexican movie I’ve seen is a masterpiece, and not every gay movie I’ve seen is worthy of a spine number, so I won’t be banging the drum to have CANTINFLAS (2014) or ANOTHER GAY MOVIE (2006) join the collection.

But where realistically feasible, it would be good for them to release films directed by black filmmakers (not solely by African Americans, but but international black directors As well). If I remember correctly, I believe there was an article stating that Ngozi Onwurah’s WELCOME II THE TERRORDOME was being prepped for the collection (which I had never heard of, but would be interested in viewing).

It was also interesting seeing responses to the New York Times’ follow up asking for names of titles that should join the collection. If MOONLIGHT and GANJA AND HESS are the only titles that most people can cling to, then Criterion isn’t the only one that needs to educate themselves on Black/African/African American cinema.
Not every Wes Anderson movie is a masterpiece but here we are. I honestly think that's the last thing Criterion needs to worry about.

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soundchaser
Leave Her to Beaver
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2016 12:32 am

Re: Criterion & Eclipse in the Press

#257 Post by soundchaser » Fri Aug 28, 2020 11:33 pm

Update: the readers have spoken, and apparently none of them know how to research licensors or previous releases. Anybody who wants to see Daughters of the Dust but hasn’t bought the Cohen release, or Killer of Sheep and the Milestone collection, has no justification for patting themselves on the back here.

ianungstad
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2005 9:20 pm

Re: Criterion & Eclipse in the Press

#258 Post by ianungstad » Sat Aug 29, 2020 1:13 am

Indiewire published the same sort of list earlier this week. 7 out of the 10 films they picked were already available via Kino, Milestone, Olive or Oscilloscope. (Each studio even got a mention in the footnotes) They did list two features that would actually be good suggestions for Criterion to look at; Tongues Untied and Chameleon Street. They also suggested a sort of catch-all short film collection.

At least indiewire tried. That NYT list of suggestions is sad. Almost all big studio titles and a few contemporary Sundance indies. The "honorable mentions" cited fares better.

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hearthesilence
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:22 am
Location: NYC

Re: Criterion & Eclipse in the Press

#259 Post by hearthesilence » Thu Sep 03, 2020 1:23 am

FWIW, Milestone Films just posted this:

In 2019, Milestone co-founders Dennis Doros and Amy Heller spoke at length with New York Times writer Reggie Ugwu for a piece he was working on about “diversity in film preservation.” (The final article was published in late August 2020 and focused mainly on the Criterion Collection.)

After speaking with us, Mr. Ugwu emailed: “I wanted to follow-up on one thing that didn’t occur to me in the moment. We talked about Milestone’s mission to fuck with the canon, and we talked about the work that goes into championing the work of forgotten and underrepresented filmmakers. But I wonder if I could get your thoughts more directly on why the canon needs to be fucked with in the first place. Why do you think it is that canonical film institutions, even those overseen by ostensibly well intentioned people, continue to be dominated by the work of men — especially white European and Asian men — while films by African-Americans and women are overlooked?”

Here is Amy Heller’s full reply from September 2019. She was quoted accurately in the New York Times article, but the complete email may offer some more context.

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PfR73
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2005 6:07 pm

Re: Criterion & Eclipse in the Press

#260 Post by PfR73 » Thu Sep 03, 2020 7:28 pm

One film that Criterion actually could potentially release, and one that I wouldn't mind seeing, which I haven't seen brought up in any of these articles/reader responses is Luce. It's distributed by Neon, which Criterion has licensed from recently, and never got any Blu-ray release at all.


Rupert Pupkin
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2005 9:34 am

Re: Criterion Discussion and Random Speculation Volume 7

#262 Post by Rupert Pupkin » Sat Sep 26, 2020 12:03 am

RSTooley wrote:
Thu Aug 20, 2020 11:38 am
Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song is currenlty with Vinegar Syndrome, so a future release isn't likely for that one. I believe Spike Lee confirmed a future release of She's Gotta Have It recently, did he not?
I have just "seen" a WEB 1080 "surfacing" of "She's Gotta Have It" (it opens with Netflix logo (no Criterion logo) - nice grain, but the color segment looks too saturated (it's not as smoothly restored as "Do The Right Thing"). I sincerely hope that Criterion still have the rights and will upgrade it on blu. I like so much the soundtrack (especially the opening piano number) but Criterion rarely does isolated soundtrack like Twilight Time did.
The last time I saw this great movie was from the Criterion laserdisc transfer. "Do The Right Thing" is stunning now on blu-ray (what an amazing transfer). This is a great movie which deserve a Criterion treatment. Stunning black & white an unexpected Jacques Demy-Like color choreography.
It's odd that Mathieu Kassovitz (influenced by Raging Bull, Taxi Driver...) did "Métisse" which is a kind of story like "She's Gotta Have It" and "La Haine" which became culte; and has its own cult-lines like "pif le chien, etc... tu l'as bien niqué le vent...".... That said, each time I see "Do The Right Thing" the ending still remains unexpected and striking as for the first time I was it in theaters.

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