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The Before Trilogy: Criterion Collection

April 7, 2017

 The Before Trilogy: Criterion Collection

Few people saw Before Sunrise when it was released in 1995 but those who did really loved it. In its own subtle and unassuming way, Richard Linklater’s film flew in the face of most romantic films at the time. It refused to be dated by obvious, trendy... 

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown: Criterion Collection

March 23, 2017

 Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown: Criterion Collection

Pedro Almodovar’s Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988) reflected a new chapter of Spanish culture, freed from tyranny and now under democratic leadership, which ushered in a new, vibrant youth culture where everything was permitted with... 

Something Wild: Criterion Collection

March 22, 2017

 Something Wild: Criterion Collection

Founded in 1947, the Actors Studio became known as a mecca for Method actors to hone their craft, producing such famous alumni as James Dean, Paul Newman and Marlon Brando. The 1950s and 1960s saw many Hollywood films populated by these actors and a rare... 

The Asphalt Jungle: Criterion Collection

February 16, 2017

 The Asphalt Jungle: Criterion Collection

As a connoisseur of heist films it just doesn’t get any better than The Asphalt Jungle (1950), which also happens to be one of my all-time favorite film noirs. Directed with stylish economy by John Huston, it features atmospheric black and white cinematography... 

The Squid and the Whale: Criterion Collection

January 10, 2017

 The Squid and the Whale: Criterion Collection

In writer/director Noah Baumbach’s career there is a demarcation line as represented by The Squid and the Whale (2005). There are the films he did before it that are more conventional romantic comedies that owe a lot of Woody Allen and the ones that... 

One-Eyed Jacks: Criterion Collection

January 10, 2017

 One-Eyed Jacks: Criterion Collection

Initially, One-Eyed Jacks (1961) was to have Stanley Kubrick directing a screenplay written by Sam Peckinpah and starring Marlon Brando. It was intended by a socially conscious western but when the actor and Kubrick decided to rewrite the script, the... 

Pan’s Labyrinth: Criterion Collection

November 30, 2016

 Pan’s Labyrinth: Criterion Collection

There are two kinds of Guillermo del Toro films – the ones he makes for the Hollywood studios, like Pacific Rim (2013), and the ones he makes independently, like The Devil’s Backbone (2001). Both kinds are personal statements for the filmmaker but... 

Blood Simple: Criterion Collection

November 30, 2016

 Blood Simple: Criterion Collection

After the disastrous experience of making Crimewave (1986) with their friend and fellow filmmaker Sam Raimi, the Coen brothers – Joel and Ethan – parted company with him and decided to make a film on their own. They returned to their hometown and... 

Short Cuts: Criterion Collection

November 17, 2016

 Short Cuts: Criterion Collection

After the critical and commercial success of The Player (1992) put Robert Altman back on the map—within the Hollywood industry—he wisely used his new found (and fleeting) cache to get a personal project of his green-lighted. With Short Cuts (1993),... 

Chimes at Midnight: Criterion Collection

November 17, 2016

 Chimes at Midnight: Criterion Collection

For years, Orson Welles wanted to portray Sir John Falstaff, a recurring character in William Shakespeare’s plays. In 1939, Welles had produced a Broadway stage adaptation of nine Shakespeare plays and revived it in 1960. While neither were successful,... 

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