I exhausted Criterion’s samurai flicks entirely too early — ravenously blew through them as if there were no tomorrow. Â I suppose I assumed they’d just keep coming out here and there, but I was surely wrong. Â Now, I spend my days pacing around in hurried circles, scratching at my skin and stopping only to cradle my knees in the corner and rock back and forth, slobbering. Â Feudal Japan withdrawal is the most insatiable demon.
When I saw the cryptic sketch in this month’s Criterion newsletter, I first thought, “wow, that lion kinda looks like me. Â I wonder if he misses samurai flicks, too.” Â Then, I thought, “hey, could this be a hint at a release of Kihachi Okamoto’s AKAGE, also titled RED LION? Â That’s got Toshiro Mifune in it…AS A SAMURAI!” Â Then, I spent about thirty minutes licking my lips and laughing and talking to myself.
After that, though, I right-clicked the image and noticed that the file name was “thinredlion.jpg.” My fantasies of swordplay where thwarted, but my heart remained eager. Â This could mean only one thing:
Terrence Malick’s THIN RED LINE is coming to the Criterion Collection on DVD and Blu-Ray
It makes perfect sense that Criterion would want to capitalize on the success and positive feedback they’ve been receiving from the Blu-Ray release of DAYS OF HEAVEN. Â They’ve been using the Blu-Ray platform to showcase auteurs known for their arresting cinematography, and Malick is already an established director in the Collection. Â We can officially look forward to the likes of George Clooney, Nick Nolte, Woody Harrelson, John C. Reilly, and a slew of others making their way into the club.
My level of certainty: Â 85%
While it would be extraordinary to receive some more Okamoto from Criterion (and while they should definitely still consider a RED LION release), all signs point to THIN RED LINE as the answer to our March clue. Â Though I’m more than excited about this gem, it looks like I’ll be twitching and mumbling for the foreseeable future…