Watching my collection of Criterion Collection films

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

#235. The Leopard. Dir., Luchino Visconti

Let’s begin with the ending of Visconti’s The Leopard. Having attended a ball that went all night and into the early hours of the next morning, Don Fabrizio Corbera, the Prince of Salina, refuses a carriage ride back to his estate. He decided he would walk home alone. This ending is not the ending of…

#198. Ali: Fear Eats the Soul. Dir., Rainer Werner Fassbinder

As a visual medium, cinema has its own pathways for an audience to recognize the tragedy of a society forbidding the love between people. A film’s script can make the tragedy explicit through the dialogue of approving or disapproving characters, but the visual nature of a film opens multiple opportunities for the couple to communicate…

#196. Hiroshima mon amour. Dir., Alain Resnais

A Klee painting named “Angelus Novus” shows an angel looking as though he is about to move away from something he is fixedly contemplating. His eyes are staring, his mouth is open, his wings are spread. This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive…

#175. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Dir., Terry Gilliam

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a frenetic 90s film that grew the star power of Johnny Depp and revitalized the myth of a young Hunter S. Thompson, who first became famous in the 60s and 70s for living the philosophy of Gonzo journalism on assignments for Rolling Stone. I believe Fear and Loathing…

#157. General Idi Amin Dada: A Self-Portrait. Dir., Barbet Schroeder

Barbet Schroeder’s documentary is filled with scene after scene of Idi Amin rambling. During one of them he claims that he once ran one hundred meters in 9.8 seconds. If true, Amin would have set the men’s sprinting record decades before this time was officially recorded by Maurice Greene in 1999. Compared to Idi Amin’s…

#147. In the Mood for Love. Dir., Wong Kar Wai

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…

#137. Notorious. Dir., Alfred Hitchcock

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…

#93. Black Narcissus. Dirs., Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger

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…

#90. Kwaidan. Dir., Masaki Kobayashi

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…

#61. Monty Python’s Life of Brian. Dir., Terry Jones

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…

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