Criterion Classics You Probably Need To Catch Up On (for FREE!)

Don't worry that the Hollywood output this week is a bunch of crap, Hulu has a great collection of Cinema Rarities courtesy of Criterion up that you can watch for free.  We all can't go see The Master multiple times so it's nice to sit at home and get caught on some classics you may have missed.

Robert Bresson’s A Man Escaped, 

Elaine May’s Mikey and Nicky,

Kenji Mizoguchi’s  The Life of Oharu

Wim Wenders' Alice In The Cities

Frank Borzage’s History Is Made at Night, 

Giuseppe de Santis’s Bitter Rice.

Kaneto Shindo’s The Naked Island, 

Bryan Forbes’s Seance on a Wet Afternoon,

Kon Ichikawa’sPrincess from the Moon,

Jaromil Jireš’s Valerie and Her Week of Wonders

Slow Print, Slow Films...

There's been more chatter about The Death Of The Book, than there has been about even The Death Of Film, yet the book has proven to be pretty damn resilant as it morphs into new forms.  We can only hope that film follows suit.  The LA Times had a nice overview on the opportunities that digital offers over print, and vice versa.  It can't help prod you a bit to answer what can be analogous in the film space to some of the innovative solutions both sides of the publishing world that the film biz can mimic and expand upon.

Publishing also shares many of the vulnerabilities that film does, and one quite a bit more so.  As piracy decimated the music biz (with quite a bit of help from an arrogant corporate attitude), electronic publishing is threatened by a similar threat.  Bob Stein, founder of the Criterion Collection, sees a possible salvation in "social reading".  In much the same way that I've discussed the need to harness film's power as a community organizing tool in order to return some value to the theatrical experience.  Similarly, "social viewing" offers an opportunity to take a solitary online experience into something far more social, and thus, ultimately unique, and perhaps lucrative.

There's certainly a lot more to be read, said, and shared on the subject.

Let's Remake The Greatest Movies Of All Time!

Okay, let's let the the great movies be the great movies (at least for now), but who says we can't have fun with their various extensions?  Eddie Burns is on a role.  He's always gotten a great deal of inspiration from the greats.  THE BROTHERS McMULLEN had a bit of Woody Allen -- in Irish drag -- as it's patron saint.  He's found new inspiration and energy from an embrace of DIY and social media, and as much as he's looking forward, he's drawing on the past.  To get us all ready for his new film NICE GUY JOHNNY (opening on all platforms Oct. 26), Eddie has looked at  the greatest movies ever made, but hey he's a busy guy, so he doesn't have time to watch the whole feature and has settled on the trailers. Does this trailer remind you of anything you've seen before? It should, because it is L'Avventura.  Eddie won't leave it there either; he's got more to remake.  This sort of inspired homage, playful and accessible, is a great example of the sort of innovative approaches filmmakers embrace when there is no corporate overlord lurching above.  You can picture that soon, we will be able to see the entire Criterion collection's trailers remade by Indie filmmakers having fun as they seek new ways to aid audiences in discovering their work.  And hey and if it brings a few fans back to the classics as a result of recognizing the originals..., that ain't so bad either.

Here's the trailer for Antonioni's original:

"A New Experience In Motion Picture Eroticism"

They just don't make them like they used to, eh? Watching trailers on the classics, truly makes me want the super power of time travel so I could return to a time when the first impression was devoid of camp. Still though, show this trailer for Antonioni's L'Avventura in the theater today, and I would be at a screening tomorrow. Beautiful and sexy and black and white. What more do you need? One question though, does anyone know what this piece of music is that plays underneath the voiceover? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JriOH3MdS_w

Make The Physical More Beautiful

I just got married.  I am thrilled.  We even got some gifts out of it.  We now have the Bergman Archives next to our Kubrick ones.  These are beautiful books reinforcing my love for great movies.  They make me want to see more great movies.  How can this phenomenon be carried over to other aspects of film culture.

Why does only Criterion make fetish objects out of their video releases?  It seems that this should be a real area of focus for Truly Free Filmmakers.  When I really connect with a film, I want something special that enhances my appreciation for it.  I would love to find some good examples of what filmmakers have done to make the packaging of their video something truly special.
This was also recently focused a bit on in Roger Tinch's 2009 Trend Prediction for the CineVegas blog.