Regular readers of this blog will know that Criterion Collection DVDs have been a big part of my movie-watching experience in recent times - they've helped me rediscover old favourites as well as other films that I wasn't too enthused by when I first saw them years ago (on grainy videocassette prints, most likely). Most of all, they've shown me that DVD packaging (which, as I define it, includes the quality of the print transfer, the look of the menu and the cover artwork, and the supplements on the disc) can be nearly as important as the quality of the the actual film.
And so, today's a special day for me: it's the first time, after years of buying these DVDs from Palika Bazaar, that I'm holding original, legitimately purchased Criterions in my hand. A loud burble and whiffle of thanks to my longtime blog-friend Tipu for facilitating this. The backstory is that a few weeks ago, in the comments of this post, Tipu gently chastised me for buying pirated DVDs (and boasting about it), and then offered to help me part-redeem my soul by purchasing Criterion originals for me at the 50 percent discount Barnes & Noble was offering. So I went through the list and selected a few, and now here they are, gleaming in their covers.
Just for the record, these are the titles I've bought:
- The Exterminating Angel (Luis Bunuel)
- The Earrings of Madame De... (Max Ophuls)
- The Sword of Doom (Kinachi Okamoto)
- The Lady Eve (Preston Sturges)
- Make Way for Tomorrow (Leo McCarey)
- Army of Shadows (Jean-Pierre Melville)
- A Woman Under the Influence (John Cassavetes)
- White Dog (Samuel Fuller)
- The Spirit of the Beehive (Victor Erice)
- The Naked City (Jules Dassin)
The only films I haven't seen on this list are the last three, but I plan a viewing marathon of all 10 titles sometime in the coming days. Blogging may be scant during that time, though the sabbatical may also be interrupted by one-line posts that are nothing more than incoherent whoops of joy.