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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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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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Criterion Announcements - May 2013

Feb 16 2013 09:00 AM | Lawrence in Criterion Collection News

In May 2013 we can look forward to two westerns from Delmer Daves, 3:10 to Yuma (1957) and Jubal (1956). Add to that a pair of modern (for Criterion) classics in Medium Cool (1969) and Life Is Sweet (1990) and you have a fantastically eclectic month of releases. Jean-Luc Godard's Band Of Outsiders (1964) is the catalogue title chosen for a Blu makeover this month.

As always everything is available on Blu too.

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Criterion Announcements - April 2013

Jan 18 2013 09:00 AM | Duke Togo in Criterion Collection News

For April 2013 we have two Blu-only reissues, both very apt adaptations, the first being Shakespeare's Richard III (1955) by Lawrence Olivier, and the second being William S. Burroughs' Naked Lunch (1991) by David Cronenberg. New spines include the gorgeous Gate of Hell (1953) directed by Teinosuke Kinugasa, the cult phenomenon Repo Man by Alex Cox, and a box of unappreciated comedies from Pierre Etaix (The Suitor 1963, Yoyo 1965, As Long As You've Got Your Health 1966, Le Grande Amour 1969, and Land of Milk and Honey 1971). Last but certainly not least, we see Masaki Kobayashi return to the Collection in Eclipse Series 38: Masaki Kobayashi Against The System, featuring The Thick-Walled Room (1956), I Will Buy You (1956), Black River (1956), and The Inheritance (1962).

A very strong month!

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Criterion Announcements - March 2013

Dec 19 2012 12:53 PM | Lawrence in Criterion Collection News

March 2013 could possibly be the greatest month ever for Criterion releases. Badlands (1973) finally gets a spine number after being on the Criterion fanboy wishlist for years. The same goes for Robert Bresson's A Man Escaped (1956) which is long overdue the Criterion treatment. It's also time for another Chaplin - Monsieur Vedoux (1947), and finally we get another film from Fritz Lang, in the guise of his Graham Greene adaptation - Ministry of Fear (1944). And as if that wasn't enough there's Blu-ray upgrades of both The Blob (1958) and The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943) with Blimp receiving gorgeous new artwork.

Of course they're all on Blu-ray as well as creaky old DVD.

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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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Criterion Announcements - February 2013

Nov 16 2012 03:12 PM | Lawrence in Criterion Collection News

Well it looks like 2013 is going to be just as solid a year for Criterion as the last few have been. Criterion keep on mixing their output, so we get a stone cold classic with On the Waterfront (1954) and a classic in waiting - The Kid With a Bike (2011). Criterion finally release another film by Keisuke Kinoshita - The Ballad of Narayama (1958), but the most intriguing of this months announcements has to Chronicle of a Summer (1961), which sounds utterly fantastic. This months Blu upgrade is Kenji Mizoguchi's masterpiece Sansho the Bailiff (1954).

As is usual for Criterion now, all of these titles are available on DVD & Blu-ray.

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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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Criterion Announcements - January 2013

Oct 15 2012 05:00 PM | Duke Togo in Criterion Collection News

Criterion releases for January 2013 have been announced! First we have Volker Schlöndorff's The Tin Drum (1979) reissued on DVD/BD, featuring the newly restored extended 'complete' cut of the film. Also there are new Blu-ray additions to the existing releases of Andrei Tarkovsky's Ivan's Childhood (1962) and Monte Hellman's Two-Lane Blacktop (1971). To round out the month, two brand new DVD/BD spines, The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934) directed by Alfred Hitchcock, and Pina (2011), Wim Wenders' 3D dance collaboration with Pina Bausch.

A solid month to start off the year!

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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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