With the recent death of Brazilian filmmaker Nelson Pereira dos Santos, I’ve just re-watched his feature How Tasty Was My Little Frenchman (1971), an ethnographic/historical/satirical depiction of the beginnings of European colonization of South America in the 16th Century.
The collector is attracted to more than just the movie itself; there’s a desire to heighten and amplify the experience of watching by surrounding it with tangible things which can serve as reminders of the experience of the movie. Shelves of special editions make us feel more connected to the movies we love.
Criterion’s latest Eclipse release opens a window on a previously little-seen world: the Japanese home front during World War 2 as depicted under oppressive regulations during the war. The great Keisuke Kinoshita managed to inject elements of subversive critique into supposedly uplifting calls for national unity and shared sacrifice. Keisuke Kinoshita and World War II is one of the most revelatory releases of the year.
Despite perennial predictions of the demise of movies-on-disk, 2014 offered a rich and varied selection of new and old titles in often impressive editions from many different companies, though not necessarily from major distributors. The cream came from specialty labels like Criterion, the BFI, Arrow, Eureka/Masters of Cinema, Shout! Factory, Olive Films, Kino Lorber, Flicker Alley and Twilight Time.