Monday, June 17, 2013

My Answer to the Latest Criticwire Survey: Favorite Criterion Essays

I can only choose 1? The great thing about Criterion is that they go all out for their releases – even in this day of age when Blu-Ray survives as a niche market, and DVDs are low rent only. One of the best features is that practically every release contains an great essay on the film – and they’re all available online as well. In all honesty, if I’m ever looking for a review of a film that Criterion has released, the website is my first stop.

What are my favorites? Here’s just a few – Amy Taubin on Chungking Express, Michael Dare of Coup de Torchon, Roger Ebert on Do the Right Thing (although I’m not sure if this counts, because I believe it is a reprint), Armond White on George Washington (proving that once in a while, he can be great), Bertrand Tavernier on Make Way for Tomorrow, Matt Zoller Seitz on Man Bites Dog and Michael Wood on Viridiana.

My favorite essayist that Criterion frequently taps though is Kent Jones. His two favorites of mine are The Royal Tenenbaums and especially The Friends of Eddie Coyle where he makes the case for this largely forgotten masterpiece by Peter Yates starring Robert Mitchum.

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