Whenever we gather on Skype to record the various podcasts on our network we inevitably get around to discussing Criterion rumors, and make some predictions for the next round of new announcements. With the July 2012 Criterion titles due in a few days, I thought it’d be helpful to run down most of the likely candidates for July, as well as the second half of 2012. I’ll just be going off the titles that are common knowledge amongst fans who follow the various forums, Facebook pages, and Twitter feeds. I’m not revealing anything here that isn’t public knowledge in some form.
I’ve broken down the titles into various categories, and will discuss them in the context of how they were revealed (roughly).
So at this point the one July title that I’m most certain about is Down By Law. I wrote about it last week on our Tumblr, in regards to an announced screening of the film in Austin in July. If Criterion continues the trend of teasing the new titles on their Facebook page, we can expect to see some portions of covers and screenshots in the next few days.
Other potential Blu-ray upgrades that we might see this summer? Things like Nanook of the North and Picnic at Hanging Rock have been teased at. I’d also love to see Criterion finally release a definitive Brazil Blu-ray box set, now that we’re almost a year from the Blu-ray that Universal released. Last year we also saw the Fassbinder box set go out of print, but it seems like a new edition is coming.
I’ve gone back through my notes regarding the various wacky newsletter drawings, and at this point the two which are most likely to come next are the Grey Gardens and Umberto D Blu-ray upgrades. Expanding this to the New Years drawing, we can expect things like Quadrophenia and Eating Raoul, and the others which are a little more uncertain.
Janus Films has several films which they’ve been touring, which Criterion will certainly get around to soon. Films like The Soft Skin, Le Havre, La Promesse, and Week End are due soon. Hopefully we’ll also get a new Blu-ray for Children Of Paradise, once the newly restored print makes its run around the country. They also have their hands on a number of Robert Bresson films which have been in theaters over the past few weeks, and a couple have popped up on Criterion’s Hulu Plus channel.
Looking a little further down the line, into fall & winter possibilities, I’d love to see Criterion release The Royal Tenenbaums on Blu-ray in November, echoing last years Rushmore upgrade.
It’s always fun to think about what Criterion has in store for the holidays, when they typically unveil a box set for the really enthusiastic home video fans. There are always a number of potential candidates for something like this. Could we see a Chaplin set? A Bergman collection? A Blu-ray version of the Kurosawa set from a few years back? I think at this point I’m putting my money on Satyajit Ray’s Apu Trilogy as a front runner. This was confirmed as a title that Criterion was working on several months ago at the Wexner Center, and I think is the only of the revealed titles that we’re still waiting on. This could also be a good August title, where Criterion has released things like the Jean Vigo collection, and the Von Sternberg box set in the past. Other potential November box set candidates? Maybe Kieslowski’s Decalogue or this Wim Wenders box set that we covered a few months back.
I think a big title to look forward to has to be Badlands, which has been rumored for a while now, and word on the street is that the Warner Bros legal folks have finally signed off on it. This could be a good September film, mirroring The Thin Red Line from a few years back.
We’re still waiting on things like Wild Strawberries on Blu-ray, Y Tu Mama Tambien, the Game, and Following. None of the recent IFC titles are jumping out as future releases, apart from Pina, which was confirmed last year. The Errol Morris films were confirmed at the same time, along with 4 Months, 3 Weeks, And 2 Days.
Heaven’s Gate has also been talked about for a few years now, but still hasn’t happened.
A number of rumored MGM films still haven’t materialized, like Thief, the Fellini films that MGM has released, and Koyaanisqatsi & Powaqqatsi.
There’s usually a number of genre titles that we expect to see around Halloween, but I don’t see any obvious front runners emerging so far this year. There are certainly fun films on the Hulu channel that could fill this role, but who knows.
I mostly wanted to compile this post as a way of consolidating my notes, and I thought it’d be of interest to a few of you out there. I’m sure there are other obvious titles that I’m forgetting, and maybe one or two that I’m leaving out purposefully, but feel free to shoot me an email if you want to geek out over Criterion rumors.