Criterion Connection - It’s That Time Again!
It’s been a long, long while since I’ve posted one of these, and while I don’t have too much to say, I did want to remind everyone that Barnes & Noble’s 50% Off Criterion Sale is happening right now.
I would definitely hang something like this on my wall!
Me experimenting a bit with some design ideas. Not sure if I’ll pursue this piece but we’ll see.
That’s freaking fantastic!
dear Criterion web store, sell this. please. now. thanks.
A Spanish poster for DU RIFIFI CHEZ LES HOMMES (Jules Dassin, France, 1955).
“The Open Road” Art Print
12” x 12” - Signed and Numbered
$50 - Limited to 50
I know what I’m asking for this Christmas!
CRITERION’S DECEMBER 2011 LINE-UP ANNOUNCED!!!
December is traditionally Criterion’s quietest month of the year, given that they usually go all out in November to ensure that their biggest releases are all on store shelves in time for the holiday shopping season. last December brought us only Guillermo del Toro’s cute but hardly essential first feature CRONOS and a blu-graded edition of VIDEODROME, and it looks like this December is going to be kinda along those lines… pretty much what we were expecting, but not exactly what we were expecting (in that of the widely predicted titles, only a blu-grade release of THE LADY VANISHES was actually announced). so let’s get down to it, shall we?
#592 DESIGN FOR LIVING (dir. Ernst Lubitsch) 1933
“ Gary Cooper, Fredric March, and Miriam Hopkins play a trio of Americans in Paris who enter into a very adult “gentleman’s” agreement, in this continental pre-Code comedy freely adapted by Ben Hecht from a play by Noël Coward…”
the only film new to the Collection this December is an unexpected treat, another dose of Ernst Lubitsch for the mainline after most of my favorite films of his were lumped into an Eclipse box set a few years back. despite the fact that Design for Living is peak-era Lubitsch, this is one of those curious films that has largely escaped mass adoration, and Criterion is doing it a tremendous service by reintroducing it to the world in such grand fashion. selected-scene commentary, a Lubitsch short, and some fetchingly elegant cover art make this look like some tasty icing for the tremendous year Criterion has put together.
#3 THE LADY VANISHES (dir. Alfred Hitchcock) 1938
the first Hitchcock film to which Criterion has given the HD treatment, this is pretty much a direct blu-ray port of the spiffy deluxe DVD set Criterion released fairly recently. this Hitchcock romp is widely considered to be amongst his best but, for me it tends to run out of steam a bit, despite a rivetingly frenzied opening salvo. give me NOTORIOUS (or The Guess Who)! whatever, i’m not quite stupid enough to complain about Hitchcock on blu-ray, and… ya know, at least it’s not SPELLBOUND.
#38-39 BRANDED TO KILL & TOKYO DRIFTER (dir. Seijun Suzuki) 1966-1967
YESSSssssszzzzzzz. Seijun Suzuki’s twin acid-jazz yakuza classics were first released on Criterion DVD over 10 years ago, so these feverish and feverishly beloved gangster yarns were long overdue for an upgrade. in direct defiance of conventional cinema, Suzuki’s violent sagas — equal parts scrambled and stoned — are among the most demented and inventive (was that a Pavement album?) slices of WTF cinema you’re ever likely to encounter, so deliriously true to their own vision that they barely seem aware of how cool they are. the segmented, bebop artwork on the original editions was some of Criterion’s most memorable and stylized, but these new covers are simply among Criterion’s best. the Branded to Kill cover, black and white and pink all over, looks like a drawn-over still from High and Low with a splash of Koreyoshi Kurahara’s nihilistic energy, while the art on Tokyo Drifter gives us Tetsuya Hondo going all Muybridge on us, the pink text and gun-flares nailing the film’s mad neon violence. it doesn’t matter if the transfers are muddied into oblivion (note: they won’t be), you’re gonna need these on your shelf.
Art for Sale: 12 ANGRY MEN (dir. Sidney Lumet) 1957
Artist: Kevin Ang
Lumet’s film is imminently set to join the Criterion Collection, and artist Kevin Ang has delivered a great and fiercely stylized new poster for it just in the nick of time. i stumbled upon this thing via Posterocalypse, which has this to say about it:
“Kevin Ang, an artist I’m not really familiar with, has done a great job capturing the eclectic (and by “eclectic” I mean white male) group of angry jurors, complete with the circumstantial evidence in the forefront. His use of black and white is certainly a nice touch and his depiction of the righteous and reasonable juror number 8 (Henry Fonda) is appropriately inspired.”
ditto! if you dig it, Ang’s poster can be yours for $30 via Kingdom of Nonsense.
CRITERION CORNER GIVEAWAY: SEPTEMBER EDITION
this month’s prize: a dvd or blu-ray (winner’s choice) of CARLOS!!!!
to enter, all you have to do is re-blog this post. that’s it. on monday, i’ll randomly declare a winner from the re-bloggers / re-tweeters, and you’ll receive your dvd or blu-ray at the end of the month directly from Amazon when it’s released.
the same deal is going with RTs of a similar Criterion Corner Tweet, so RT that if you want to double your already not too-shabby odds of winning.
fun? fun. totally shameless… sure, but everybody wins, and - most of all - it helps to ensure that a bunch of people are aggressively spreading the word about how one of the best films of 2010 is due for an imminent Criterion release and that everyone should be getting jaaazzzzzzeeed! so get… doing whatever it is that you feel like you want do in this situation. awesome? awesome.
Just watched Kubrick’s The Killing and was really impressed! Sterling Hayden was born to be a film noir star. In honor of this amazing Criterion release I had to post Connor Willumsen’s amazing artwork.
Then watch Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, the I.T. Crowd, The Mighty Boosh and Submarine.