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Thread: Criterion Collection

  1. #196
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    Several of my personal favorites on that list. Chris Marker, Sansho and The Third Man! I've seen them several times and I will be watching them again and again. Very curious about the extras.
    Here's my review of Sweet Movie, truly an anarchic film.

    Sweet Movie (1974)

    Dusan Makavejev, the Belgrade-born director of The Coca-Cola Kid and W.R.:Mysteries of the Organism, directed this satire of totalitarianism and consumerism. An old woman who presides over the Chastity Belt Organization emcees a Miss World Virgin Contest. The winner gets to marry Mr. Kapital and his $50 billion. Priests escort the contestants onto a stage, a doctor performs a vaginal exam on each girl and names Miss Canada the winner. On her wedding bed, she is horrified by Mr. Kapital's gold-dipped penis and traumatized when he urinates on her. The energetic film grows increasingly bizarre and taboo-breaking. A woman performs a strip-tease for a bunch of 10 year-old boys and seduces one of them. Scenes of a gorgeous woman bathing in melted chocolate are intercut with scenes of Russian troops unearthing concentration camp corpses from a mass grave. There's a bizarre rendition of a mariachi song, a refugee from Battleship Potemkin makes an appearance, and the actual members of a French commune enact a gross-out Bacchanalia. Fans of Alejandro Jodorowsky, and Marco Ferreri's La Grande Bouffe must seek it out.

  2. #197
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    There you go. Great review.

    The first time I saw this movie (vhs tape from the Van public library) I didn't know anything about it.

    I got it cuz I liked the title and on the sleeve Jack Nicholson raved about it being one of the greatest films he'd ever seen.

    It knocked me out.

    I just loved the artistic weirdness of it.
    Beautifully perverse film.

    I will definitely be picking this one up.
    (and Makavejev's other new Criterion release, W.R. Mysteries of the Organism).

    I love directors like him.
    Last edited by Johann; 03-28-2007 at 07:31 AM.
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  3. #198
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    I've been waiting all my life to watch W.R. Mysteries of the Organism! (June 2007)
    Already released this year these two personal favorites:
    Bresson's Mouchette
    Mikio Naruse's When A Woman Ascends the Stairs.
    (Naruse is as good as Ozu, Mizoguchi and Kurosawa, Westerners will come to realize this but gradually as his output becomes available).

  4. #199
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    Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley presented a Naruse series last year but I unfortunately was unable to attend.

  5. #200
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    A Naruse series followed by a Mizoguchi one. They know what they're doing at the PFA.

  6. #201
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    W.R. Mysteries of the Organism includes a new essay by our man Jonathan Rosenbaum.

    I notice Criterion has also put out Fires on the Plain, one of my favorite films.

    They just keep outdoing themselves. I LOVE THAT COMPANY
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  7. #202
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    Originally posted by Johann
    WR- Mysteries of the Organism includes a new essay by our man Jonathan Rosenbaum.

    Excerp from Rosenbaum's artcle on W. R:

    "It's surprising how much radical cinema in the late 60s and early 70s was concentrated in East European communist countries. The English, French and American cinemas may have prided themselves on their countercultural fervor, but the Czech Daisies went further in matters of gender and nonnarrative experiment, while the Hungarian Red Psalm was singular in marrying radical form with radical politics. No less revolutionary was WR-Mysteries of the Organism, made by Serbian filmmaker Dusan Makavejev.

    What captured Makavejev's attention was not so much the politics of sexuality as the sexuality of politics_the marriage of Marx and Freud represented by Wilhelm Reich, the Austrian psychoanalyst who proposed the importance of regular orgasms for mental health and ended up as a martyr of both sides of the Cold War."

  8. #203
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    Time to celebrate, oscar:

    Cria Cuervos is now a Criterion Collection release.

    And so is Mamet's House of Games, one Stanley Kubrick's favorite pictures.
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  9. #204
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    Hooray!
    Thanks for the wonderful news Johann.
    I simply can't wait.
    These are the extras:

    New, restored high-definition digital transfer

    Portrait of Carlos Saura, a documentary on the life and career of the Spanish auteur

    New interviews with actresses Geraldine Chaplin and Ana Torrent

    Original theatrical trailer

    New and improved English subtitle translation

    PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by film scholar Paul Julian Smith


    I'm actually glad there's no commentary. It's grand fun to constantly have to figure out in which of three distinct temporal states each scene is taking place, and whether Geraldine Chaplin is playing the adult Ana, Ana's dead mother seen in flashback, or Ana's dead mother as she appears in Ana's dreams. Perhaps the essay will help with the allegorical and symbolic readings of the film that you mentioned on another thread ( meanings that require a bit of knowledge of Spanish politics). Then again, a strictly psychological approach to the story is enough to sustain interest over several viewings. Yes, Cria is that rich.

  10. #205
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    The Criterion SANSHO THE BAILIFF is simply amazing. It's been in my top 10 all-time along with Mizoguchi's Ugetsu since I watched them 25 years ago.
    Dave Kehr said it best in one sentence: "This is one of the greats, and I'm too much in awe of it to say much more than: See it--as often as you can."

    Dvdbeaver on the Criterion release:

    "The Criterion image exceeds expectations. It is again pictureboxed but many of us incorrectly assumed that because Ugetsu came out first that Sansho, frequently cited as a more lauded Mizoguchi favorite, had elements in worse condition. If they were of lesser quality you wouldn't know it by this Criterion DVD."

    The commentary on this dvd doesn't cover Kenji Mizoguchi's career or spends a great deal of time on his filmmaking style (the commentary in Ugetsu's disc does that quite well and interviews with a film critic, Mizoguchi's Assistant Director, and actress Kyoko Kanaga deal with production aspects). The commentary here is provided by Jeffrey Angles, a Japanese-literature professor and it deals almost exclusively with how a medieval tale, part of an oral storytelling tradition, became a book by Ogai Mori in 1915. And then how the book was adapted to create a screenplay, and ultimately how the screenplay was altered in the process of shooting the film. An invaluable resource for anyone interested in Japanese culture and the adaptation of literature into film.

  11. #206
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    Jeffrey Angles is Assistant Professor of Japanese at Western Michigan University

    The details of how Kurosawa's Rashomon is constructed out of two stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa are also very interesting and already well known. I don't know if they're on a DVD though.

  12. #207
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    It is on dvd, courtesy of Japanese cinema specialist Donald Richie.

  13. #208
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  14. #209
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    Awesome oscar.
    I wanna see Sansho on Criterion bad.
    I'll be getting a bunch more Criterion's after the Toronto film fest.

    Check your e-mail buddy!
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  15. #210
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    Some heavy duty releases are coming soon:

    -Berlin Alexanderplatz
    a 7-disc set (941 minutes) The long-awaited release of a classic by Rainer Werner Fassbinder

    -Sawdust and Tinsel
    My favorite Ingmar Bergman film, it has close affinties with Fellini's La Strada

    -Breathless
    Godard's debut Masterpiece from 1959. Still exciting, still fresh, still groundbreaking


    check out the website for more info:

    www.criterionco.com
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

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