For the uninformed, the Criterion Collection is a series of high quality DVD/Blu-Ray releases for “important classic and contemporary films.” Criterion releases are generally aimed more at serious cinephiles and are often loaded to the brim with special features, as well as a booklet of essays.
I’ve been meaning to get myself a Criterion release for quite a while now. However, since they are generally twice the cost of mainstream DVDs and I try my best to limit the amount I spend on discs, I haven’t before taken the plunge.
However, the perfect opportunity for me to finally kick my Criterion Collection came last Tuesday when Criterion held a 50% off sale on all their discs. This was a deal that was too good to pass up (and apparently the whole world thought the same thing, since the servers ground to a near-halt during the sale).
Choosing the first film for my collection was something that I considered carefully every time I browsed the discs in stores. After renting the Criterion release of Vittorio De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves for a University essay, I thought that it might make a good start to my collection. I thought the same thing when I later rented the Canadian classic Mon oncle Antoine for another essay. Another possible starting point were the films of Wes Anderson, all of which have Criterion releases. There was also another half dozen films or so I considered, which I put onto my Criterion Wish List.
When it was all said and done, I settled on making my first Criterion film David Cronenberg’s Videodrome. I’ve become quite a fan of Cronenberg over the last few years, especially after I took a course on his films in 2009. As my admiration of Cronenberg grew, I realized that I did not own any of this films. I quickly remedied this a couple years ago when I purchased A History of Vilence as one of early blu-ray purchases.
Videodrome will be the second Cronenberg film I own. It’s definitely one of his most well known films, though I’ve only seen it once so far (at a screening that was introduced by Cronenberg). I definitely look forward to watching it again.
And with that, I declare my Criterion Collection officially begun!