Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Here's a hint. Below, another:
At last, one of my very favorite movies--a marked distinction from my mere favorite movies--arrives in the western world (well, the west western world) thanks to Criterion. I'm speaking, of course, of Last Year at Marienbad, of which friends, roommates, and countrymen should prepare for marathons.
I have yet to crack anything but the first part of the film on this DVD set, which looks stunning, but I'm eager to explore the interviews with Alain Resnais.
But that's only half of the answer. I am also the proud owner of another new Criterion, Science is Fiction: 23 Films by Jean Painleve. And then some. This three-discer is extraordinary in all things but packaging, which is cramped. It's worth it, of course, for the eight silent Painleve shorts scored by Yo La Tengo, which amount to a glorious atmospheric trance. I haven't gotten around to Disc 3 yet, featuring a documentary about Painleve, but the centerpieces of the set--the Painleve films themselves--are appropriately wondrous.
More to come, I expect, as I devour these sets. People tend to complain about Criterion's diminishing output, as if a boutique DVD label could be remotely recession-proof, but these two sets have elicited tremendous gratitude from at least one film fan.