I don’t have the largest collection of Criterion films, but it is large enough to make me feel guilty about not watching all of the films on my shelves.
This page follows my goal to watch and review every Criterion Collection film I own. I start from #1, Seven Samurai, and go from there.
10 most recent reviews
In the Mood for Love shows a different side of itself each time it is watched. It will likely show its visual side first, as the bodily movements of Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung produce some of the most sensual shots in cinema. When you return to the film again, its beauty is not lost … Continue reading #147 In the Mood for Love. Dir., Wong Kar Wai
My upbringing affects my perspective on Hitchcock’s films. He was likely the only film director my parents would name in a conversation about cinema. When they talked about films, they recounted plot more than anything else, and sometimes an actor could be named; but that would be the extent of crediting cast and crew. Michael … Continue reading #137 Notorious. Dir., Alfred Hitchcock
The shooting of Black Narcissus at Pinewood Studios, London, England is partly what makes the film so beautiful. For the audience to believe that St. Faith, the new school and hospital for a small Indian village, is situated high up in the Himalayas, giant matte paintings created an illusion that green valleys were thousands of … Continue reading #93 Black Narcissus. Dirs., Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger
Kwaidan is comprised of four Japanese ghost stories, each inspired by one of the stories in Lafcadio Hearn’s 1904 anthology, Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things. At the time of filming, Kobayashi’s Kwaidan was the most expensive Japanese film ever produced. Its high cost of production is up on the screen. As the film … Continue reading #90 Kwaidan. Dir., Masaki Kobayashi
An expanding DVD market and digital streaming made the Criterion Collection edition of Life of Brian superfluous. I purchased the CC copy of Life of Brian before a cheaper copy was available; and, even if there was one somewhere out there, I could not imagine how, as I held a sixty dollar DVD in my … Continue reading #61 Monty Python’s Life of Brian. Dir., Terry Jones
A DVD copy of Sanjuro was gifted to me. If I had purchased a hard copy myself, I definitely would never have skipped buying Yojimbo, the first in the pair of films about Sanjuro, the ronin who names himself “30 years old”. Sanjuro is a film for the those–investors and samurai fans alike–who wanted more … Continue reading #53 Sanjuro. Dir., Akira Kurosawa
“Change your outlook …” . This prescription is given to Badii by the Azeri taxidermist. Of the three passengers Badii picks up to solicit help in his plan for suicide, the taxidermist is the most vocal in his disagreement of Badii’s intentions. In sharp contrast to the young soldier, whose nervousness from Badii’s appeals made … Continue reading #45, Taste of Cherry. Dir., Abbas Kiarostami
Andrei Rublev is a beautiful study of an artist’s relationship with his/her social circumstances. With patient camera movement and long takes, Tarkovsky presents Rublev, the 15th-century Russian icon painter, as someone who is internally split between a desire to paint in ignorance of social turmoil and a curiosity to get as close as he can … Continue reading #34, Andrei Rublev. Dir., Andrei Tarkovsky
Seven Samurai was not the first criterion in my collection, but it probably should have been. When I first watched this film–a loan from my library–I started to see my ignorance of cinema history clearly, without bias or defensiveness. If it had taken me this long to see Seven Samurai, there must be so many … Continue reading #1, Seven Samurai. Dir., Akira Kurosawa