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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... 

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,... 

The New World: Criterion Collection

July 28, 2016

 The New World: Criterion Collection

After completing The Thin Red Line (1998), filmmaker Terrence Malick began working on a film about Che Guevara and his failed revolution in Bolivia (that was eventually made by Steven Soderbergh) but after financing fell through he was offered The New... 

Clouds of Sils Maria: Criterion Collection

June 29, 2016

 Clouds of Sils Maria: Criterion Collection

In international cinema, Juliette Binoche is acting royalty. The veteran actress has worked with the likes of Jean-Luc Godard, Philip Kaufman, Anthony Minghella, and Krzysztof Kieslowski among others. She is a brave actress with an incredible range, which... 

I Knew Her Well: Criterion Collection

April 25, 2016

 I Knew Her Well: Criterion Collection

Antonio Pietrangeli’s I Knew Her Well (1965) was part of the exciting boom of Italian cinema in the 1960s that reflected a period of economic prosperity where poor farmers found themselves becoming wealthier and more urban. Whereas most of these films... 

The Hateful Eight

March 30, 2016

 The Hateful Eight

It’s safe to say that at this point in his career, you know what you’re going to get with a Quentin Tarantino film – lots of incredibly well-written dialogue spouted by a colorful cast of characters who only stop talking when sudden, bloody violence... 

Inside Llewyn Davis: Criterion Collection

February 18, 2016

 Inside Llewyn Davis: Criterion Collection

Every time I watch Inside Llewyn Davis (2013), I’m reminded of the Bob Dylan song, “It Ain’t Me, Babe” and how the lyrics pertain to the film’s titular character. Set in 1961, it is the Coen brothers’ bittersweet love letter to folk music.... 

Downhill Racer: Criterion Collection

November 24, 2015

 Downhill Racer: Criterion Collection

There are few good sports films that aren’t riddled with clichés and there are even fewer good films about skiing. Downhill Racer (1969) is one of those rare exceptions. Based on Oakley Hill’s 1963 novel, The Downhill Racers, Paramount Pictures optioned... 

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