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This is a home for cinephiles and collectors alike. We strive to provide an outlet for insightful, thought-provoking, and above all courteous discussion on the cinema of the world, with a special focus on the Criterion Collection. We invite and encourage you to take a look around, read some articles, set up an account, and jump into some film discussion. See what people are saying about your favorite films from the Criterion Collection, the Eureka Masters of Cinema series, or any other corner of the cinematic globe.

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Articles & Film Reviews

Criterion Designs -- A New Book from Criterion

Since Christmas is coming up and Criterion does have the need to extract money from your wallet a new book from them is coming out November 25, 2014.
This is an impressive book which "gathers highlights from designs commissioned by the Criterion Collection, featuring covers, supplemental art, and never-before-seen sketches and concept art plus a gallery of every Criterion cover since the collection’s first laserdisc in 1984."  Seriously every single cover since the laserdiscs.  I know tholly will wonder if their cassette artwork will be there.  He will just have to purchase his own copy.
Make sure you purchase several books: one for work, bathroom, loved one(s) and your study.  You cannot be a Criterion completest without this.
Preorder here.
Attributes for the Hardcover:
• 306 pages
• 10" x 13"
• 4.5 pounds
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Apr 06 2013 03:00 PM | Izo in Articles & Film Reviews

Roger Ebert was, for myself and countless other young cinephiles and casual film fans around the world, a gateway drug. As a child I was always vaguely aware of the Siskel & Ebert “Two Thumbs Up” rating, having seen it on the front of every VHS cover and blurbed about during every movie commercial. I even distinctly remember the less-prestigious “Thumbs Up!” that a film would receive if the two split the rating and the movie’s producers were grasping at critical straws. As a teenager I became even more aware. I vividly remember making note of when “Ebert & Roeper At the Movies” was on every Saturday in what seemed to be a constantly shifting time slot in Kansas City. My Saturday nights usually ended up at the drive-in, and I needed to know which movies to see, right? Other film review shows came and went – does anyone remember that abysmal Leonard Maltin “Hot or Not” nonsense? – but it seemed like “At the Movies” was always there. Of course neither critic was infallible, but as a reasonably solid guidepost it has yet to be improved upon in television...

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Film Review - Ministry of Fear

Mar 25 2013 08:00 AM | Lawrence in Articles & Film Reviews

Right from the ominous opening music and image of a pendulum slowly swinging back and forth you know that Ministry of Fear isn’t going to be a comedy. Of course it isn’t, it’s a Fritz Lang adaptation of a novel by Graham Greene how could it be anything other than a nourish thriller? And yet despite those credentials Ministry of Fear does have a gloriously dark streak of humour running through it. In that way (and a few others) it’s the most Hitchcockian Fritz Lang film I’ve ever seen, an innocent man on the run, a league of evil wrong doers operating within plain sight of ordinary society, a blonde love interest and of course the all important McGuffin to propel the film ever forwards. It’s all so Hitchcock in fact that you almost keep an eye out for the great man’s cameo. Almost. But I’m getting ahead of myself a bit here, so let’s wind back to that opening pendulum and pick it up from there...

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Alternative Christmas Films - Brazil

Dec 10 2012 11:07 AM | Lawrence in Articles & Film Reviews

We all love Christmas films don't we? Of course we do, from the classics such as It's a Wonderful Life and Scrooge through to the not quite so classic but still enjoyed at this time of year fare like Elf and Scrooged. Now since we couldn't afford to get you all a Christmas present this year (haven't you heard there's a recession on?), we thought we'd write about our favourite alternative Christmas flicks instead...

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Gran Torino as Career Commentary

Nov 01 2012 08:00 AM | Izo in Articles & Film Reviews

From The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly to Unforgiven, Dirty Harry to Blood Work, Clint Eastwood has been an American film icon for nearly 50 years. In the decade after his breakthrough in Sergio Leone’s A Fistful of Dollars, Eastwood would help create two of the most iconic film roles in the history of cinema with Leone’s “The Man With No Name Trilogy” - a misnomer applied by a studio looking for a marketing gimmick - and veteran director Don Siegel’s Dirty Harry, in which he played San Francisco Police Inspector “Dirty Harry” Callahan. Eastwood would never be able to fully shake the image created largely for him in these two film series. Throughout his parallel and intertwining career as a critically and commercially acclaimed film director, he has often taken an unexpected glee in subverting expectations and even coming dangerously close to mocking his own image in films as diverse as the The Outlaw Josie Wales, Bronco Billy, The Bridges of Madison County, and Space Cowboys, among others. What’s fascinating is that interspersed throughout his career as an actor/director, he made films that intentionally played into the reputation that he’d built up in the westerns, war pictures, and cop dramas - including one of the entries of the Dirty Harry series. However, even with all of this sly subversion in Eastwood’s catalogue, he has never made a more scything indictment of his own image than in his 2008 film Gran Torino

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Horror Month Top Ten - Unrest Meets the Living

Oct 29 2012 08:00 AM | Duke Togo in Articles & Film Reviews

Among all the differing approaches to the afterlife, and all the religions and cultures that ponder such things, there are a few constants that bind them together. From the strange curses, to demonic rage or possession, to unfinished business or even acceptance of death, stories of spirits that cannot rest are driven by a universal sadness, a fear of letting go and of the unknown horrors that await, and that makes them the most relatable of horror sub-genres to the human experience. Some variation of one of these stories could be waiting for each of us, and what better way to mull that over than by turning out the lights and watching a few of my recommendations from this rather broad genre...

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Horror Month Top Ten - Unusual Horror Films

Oct 15 2012 08:00 AM | Izo in Articles & Film Reviews

Sometimes films fall through the cracks, and often there is a very good reason for it. When it comes to horror, I've always found myself attracted to the radically different, and the list below reflects that. You won't find anything about any of these films that isn't a little...off. One of them is a PSA, two are animated efforts, there are even a few classics atypical of their sources. Regardless of the origins of the films below, I hope that my enthusiasm for them inspires you to seek them out. Just keep an open mind...

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Horror Month Top Ten - British Seventies Horror

Oct 08 2012 08:00 AM | Lawrence in Articles & Film Reviews

With Halloween bearing down on us all like Christopher Lee in some very unconvincing fangs, the Criterion Forums staff felt duty bound to each cobble together a top ten list of some of our very favorite horror films. We hope they provide you with some viewing recommendations as they're published throughout the month, and that you enjoy reading them as much as we enjoyed writing them.

We Brits were quite good at knocking out horror films during the 50's and 60's, a period most famously represented by the success of Hammer Studios and it's own particular brand of Gothic horror. However the double whammy of The Exorcist and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre in the early seventies changed all that forever, with both films rapidly becoming the benchmark by which all future horror films would be judged.

Overnight British horror became old fashioned and somewhat quaint, a flash of Ingrid Pitt's assets and some fake blood seemed a bit creaky compared to Leatherface going nuts. But despite Hammer's output dribbling to a halt by the end of the decade, there really was a fantastic array of British horror films made during this period. Personally it's my favourite era for British horror, I think directors, writers and producers were forced to be more creative and take a chance on edgier ideas, instead of churning out yet another Dracula flick (although they did that too). Anyway here's my top ten British horror films of the Seventies. Enjoy...

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A Bluffers Guide to Morricone

Oct 01 2012 08:00 AM | Lawrence in Articles & Film Reviews

This is my bluffers guide around the potential minefield of Ennio Morricone scores. It's meant more as a starter for those that want to dip into the works of Il Maestro but might not have the budget, or the time to wade through the hundreds of albums that are out there just lying around in record stores or on line waiting for you to find them.

This is by no means a definitive list, and I've set myself various criteria for being able to include a score on this list, the major one being I have to actually own the album in question (so no Battle of Algiers soundtrack for instance). I'm not going for compilations, any of Morricone's musical arrangement work for others, or even any of his chamber music. This is just the soundtracks pure and simple. Some you'll agree with, most you probably won't. To come up with a list of just 20 from the amount Ennio has produced has been challenging to say the least. Anyway…

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Film Review - Mothra (1961) Ishirô Honda

Sep 28 2012 08:30 AM | Duke Togo in Articles & Film Reviews

Out of all the films present in Ishirô Honda's kaiju legacy, Mothra (Mosura - 1961) seems to have the most focus on human elements, themes, and characters, and it all started with an intentional shift in focus to the female demographic. This led to positive audience reception across the board, and a rejuvenation of the then stagnating kaiju brands at Toho. Along with the increased presence of comedy elements as well as a little pop-star power, there was also an effort to beef up the writing in the early stages. Commissioned by Toho, Takehiko Fukunaga, Shinichiro Nakamura, and Yoshie Hotta penned a novel of the developing concept titled, 'The Luminous Fairies and Mothra', with each of the three focusing on a separate act. The writers were from more dramatic backgrounds instead of science-fiction, and the end result was also very political, though toned down a bit in that regard in the final screenplay adaptation by Shinichi Sekizawa…

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