Let the year end lists roll out. In preparation for our Company selection of the best films of 2010, I thought I’d tease out a selection of the best DVDs of the year from the Criterion Collection, one fetish for which I will never apologize.
1) Colossal Youth, dir. Pedro Costa (2006) — This film is enormous. Puts Costa in league with Béla Tarr. I love this movie.
2) Lola Montes, dir. Max Ophuls (1955) — Lush from the man who invented it. A spectacle gets the DVD it deserves.
3) Red Desert, dir. Michelangelo Antonioni (1964) — There’s only one way to watch Antonioni’s first foray into color filmmaking: on film. If you can’t do that, do this.
4) Underworld, dir. Josef von Sternberg (1927) — The film that launched the classic American gangster genre. There is a world inside the world.
5) Paisan, dir. Roberto Rossellini (1946) — Rossellini’s episodic follow-up to Rome, Open City is even more beautiful and, until now, much harder to find.
Runners-up: Make Way for Tomorrow and Night Train to Munich. No matter how good Criterion’s releases are, I always manage to find a fault: couldn’t they put out more Godard instead of Broadcast News? Do they really need to remaster The Ice Storm or Easy Rider instead of giving Kiarostami some extra distribution? But I guess Criterion gotta eat. Either way, a continual tip of the hat from me (even though you’ve been tipping my wallet for a while now).