Like many I am the proud possessor of several Criterion Collection DVD’s. I was quite prepared to pay over the odds for the beautiful package design and extras.
Who could argue with a label that included such classics as ‘Peeping Tom’, ‘Days of Heaven’ and ‘Breathless’ in its back catalogue? Indeed if someone said classic cinema, Criterion is one word that would immediately spring to mind.
Then things went a bit pear shaped.
They started releasing films that were made a couple of years ago like ‘Benjamin Button’ and even last year like ‘Carlos’.
Now don’t get me wrong, both films are good, serviceable contemporary fare…but classics? Films that will stand the test of time? How could we possibly know? Maybe the people at Criterion possess a time machine that allows them to see that ‘Benjamin Button’ will be the ‘Citizen Kane’ of its era but failing that I think including them just cheapens ‘the brand’.
Also it seems like a sales play, now that everyone has the back catalogue of French New Wave and Italian Neo-realism that they started off doing.
Even worse, because their DVD are so well packaged its going to encourage me to spend money I haven’t got on contemporary films as well as old ones. Maybe that C stands for something else other than Criterion…