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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... 

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... 

Psycho Beach Party: Blu-Ray

August 20, 2015

 Psycho Beach Party: Blu-Ray

Surf’s up all you hep cats and hep kitties! Psycho Beach Party (2001) is a crazy movie that parodies and celebrates those kitschy beach party movies of the 1960s and sci-fi films of the 1950s. The prelude sets the tone of the movie perfectly. Chicklet... 

The Friends of Eddie Coyle: Criterion Collection

April 27, 2015

 The Friends of Eddie Coyle: Criterion Collection

The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973) is one of those forgotten films from the 1970s. It’s a melancholic story of small-time criminals working on the fringes of Boston’s underworld. It’s not exactly the kind of feel-good story that lights up the box... 

Insomnia: Criterion Collection

August 12, 2014

 Insomnia: Criterion Collection

In retrospect, films like Smilla’s Sense of Snow (1997) and Insomnia (1997) anticipated the recent fascination with Scandinavian thrillers. While the former dealt with a protagonist uncovering the nefarious machinations of a powerful corporation under... 

Pickpocket: Criterion Collection

August 11, 2014

 Pickpocket: Criterion Collection

Robert Bresson’s Pickpocket (1959) is about Michel (LaSalle), a man compelled to steal from others. He works the streets, subways and train stations of Paris taking money from unsuspecting victims with his nimble fingers. He wears a plain, non-descript... 

Rififi: Criterion Collection

February 4, 2014

 Rififi: Criterion Collection

Blacklisted by Hollywood during the 1950s, American director Jules Dassin went to France and made Rififi (1955), considered by critics to be one of the greatest heist films ever made. It also became part of a thriving French film noir movement that included... 

Thief: Criterion Collection

January 30, 2014

 Thief: Criterion Collection

The best thieves in the United States operated independent crews working high-line jobs from the 1940s to the 1970s. Most of them came out of Chicago, in particular, a neighborhood known as the Patch. Meeting these people would prove vital to the creation... 

Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion: Criterion Collection

January 23, 2014

 Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion: Criterion Collection

Filmmaker Elio Petri cut his teeth on Italian arthouse cinema, but with Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion (1970) he did the unthinkable by making a radical political film within the mainstream Italian film industry. It was an audacious move that... 

Badlands: Criterion Collection

March 21, 2013

 Badlands: Criterion Collection

Badlands (1973) was an auspicious debut from Terrence Malick. Based loosely on the real-life killing spree of Charles Starkweather and his girlfriend Caril Ann Fugate in 1958, Malick made his film independently and for little money. The end result is... 

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