Sunday, March 6, 2011


I am hereby officially begging (I am on bended knee as I type this post, a rather uncomfortable position), yes, begging the Criterion Collection to acquire and release the following films on DVD. Some of them are currently unavailable in the U.S. in any form.
  • Providence (1977), directed by Alain Resnais. An award-winning film by a leading director and starring John Geilgud in a critically-acclaimed performance. This is the only major Resnais film unavailable on DVD, and it seems like a natural for Criterion.
  • Face to Face (1976), directed by Ingmar Bergman. We live in a world where Porky's is available on DVD, but two of Bergman's major works are not. Surely the apocalypse is near...
  • From the Life of the Marionettes (1980), directed by Ingmar Bergman. Only available in the US in overpriced VHS format. (Porky's, on the other hand, can be purchased at any WalMart...)
  • The Decameron (1971), directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini. The first film in Pasolini's 'Trilogy of Life.' This is available on DVD from MGM, but as one of Pasolini's most beautiful films it deserves the full Criterion treatment.
  • The Canterbury Tales (1972), directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini. The second film in Pasolini's 'Trilogy of Life.' It can be watched in streaming video from Netflix, but is unavailable on DVD.
  • A Thousand and One Nights/Arabian Nights (1974), directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini. Third film in the 'Trilogy of Life.' Likewise viewable from Netflix but not on DVD. Criterion should consider a box-set release of the Trilogy of Life. It would be a wonderful complement to their impressive DVD of Pasolini's Salo, a film the director made as a kind of 'answer' or 'antidote' to the trilogy.
  • Chimes at Midnight (1965), directed by Orson Welles. A great actor and greater director directs himself in the role he was genetically engineered to play, Falstaff. The labyrinthine legal tangles of the Welles estate have kept this major film out of circulation for many years. If the problems are ever resolved, I'd love to see a Criterion disc with a commentary track featuring Jeanne Moreau.
  • The Compleat Guy Maddin. Criterion did a wonderful job with Maddin's Brand Upon The Brain! I'd like to see them do likewise with his entire body of work. Maddin, a Canadian surrealist (yes, that phrase is redundant), is my candidate for North America's greatest contemporary filmmaker. If you don't know his work, go to Netflix and check him out. Once you've seen a Maddin flick, David Lynch will look very corporate to you.
UPDATE: Wonderful news: Criterion has announced that they will be releasing the three Pasolini films on my list (the Trilogy of Life) on Nov.13, 2012. Sometimes it pays to beg.


gakyi said...

"Face to Face" is available in DVD in the US because i have rented it and watched it recently -- not criterion

BRIAN OARD said...

Yes, "Face to Face" was released on DVD in August 2011, a few months after I wrote this post.