Sign In

The Criterion Collection Thread — Page 6

Author
Time
 (Edited)

LeperMessiah117 said:

Stardust1138 said:

Here you go:

https://www.criterionchannel.com/rian-johnson-s-adventures-in-moviegoing

Ahh, very nice that the page contains links to the films he’s talking about, that’s convenient.

You’ll have to let me know what he says, in particular about Stalker.

https://youtu.be/HsN34cmEBsg

Here’s the preview of his talk from their YouTube channel.

“Heroes come in all sizes, and you don’t have to be a giant hero. You can be a very small hero. It’s just as important to understand that accepting self-responsibility for the things you do, having good manners, caring about other people - these are heroic acts. Everybody has the choice of being a hero or not being a hero every day of their lives.” - George Lucas

Author
Time

Stardust1138 said:

You’ll have to let me know what he says, in particular about Stalker.

https://youtu.be/HsN34cmEBsg

Here’s the preview of his talk from their YouTube channel.

His family were big movie buffs and his grandfather would tale them to foreign films often. Rian grew up loving Star Wars (of course), Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T., The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Scorsese films and such. He started out shooting parody films on Super-8 format in junior high and his interest in filmmaking progressed until he got to the point of considering directing film a serious career applied to various film school once he was old enough, but he was rejected repeatedly. Though, he managed to get in to USC during the midterm with his last application which was written as an “obnoxious screw you” diss but ended up getting accept because of it, lol.

About Stalker, he says that he had only seen the film within the past year (of the interview) and he’d seen The Sacrifice, Ivan’s Childhood and Solaris beforehand which prepared him for Stalker. He calls the film mesmerizing, says that people should go into the film thinking of it as a mountain to be climbed and that although the film uses “boredom” as a tool in it’s storytelling that it is ultimately rewarding. He also said that he would not want to go into the Room lest he actually discovers his true heart’s desires. Which yeah, can’t blame him.

And yes, I finally got around to watching Stalker myself. I feel less inclined to speak on how I feel about Stalker than even Solaris, but if I could say anything, wowwie! I indeed love the film. It’s obvious from this film and Solaris the Tarkovsky will let his films take as much time as he needs to build their atmosphere and tone and it works incredibly well. If Stalker were a Hollywood production it’d be cut an hour shorter at minimum and the film would utterly suffer for it, the effect he was going for totally demolished. This will be another blu-ray I’ll be picking up whenever the next Criterion sale occurs, for sure.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

Thank you so much for sharing all of that, LeperMessiah117. It’s very insightful, interesting, and a fun look at him as a person and yourself!

I’d be surprised if he’s not seen Andrei Rublev at this point as there’s a shot in the deleted scenes of The Last Jedi that is almost exactly the same as one found in the former.

I am the same and agree completely with you in regards to Stalker. I truthfully avoid any concrete looks at Andrei’s work as I like keeping the mystery of what I just watched to myself as I find everyone finds something different in his films.

Stalker is great on Blu Ray. The interview with Eduard Artemyev is very insightful.

I must confess though I do enjoy this BBC Radio 3 discussion about Stalker. It goes beyond the film I find and shows how cinema has a real cause and effect on society.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03rfgpd

Thought I’d pass it along!

Oh and this is great companion special for his eightieth birthday a few years back from Russia 1.

https://youtu.be/x4HgQ0zDP08

If you can’t tell, he’s indeed one of my heroes. 🙂

I think you’d really enjoy Andrei Rublev. Soon we will have Mirror on Blu Ray. I can’t wait! I just need to see Nostalghia and Ivan’s Childhood.

“Heroes come in all sizes, and you don’t have to be a giant hero. You can be a very small hero. It’s just as important to understand that accepting self-responsibility for the things you do, having good manners, caring about other people - these are heroic acts. Everybody has the choice of being a hero or not being a hero every day of their lives.” - George Lucas

Author
Time
 (Edited)

I just bought Topsy-Turvy on sale. I’m really looking forward to watching my first Mike Leigh film. I really wanted to get Naked as David Thewlis is my favourite actor but it wasn’t on sale. Maybe during the next Criterion sale. I hear Topsy-Turvy is a good one though and Rian mentioned it a couple of times in the commentary of The Last Jedi.

“Heroes come in all sizes, and you don’t have to be a giant hero. You can be a very small hero. It’s just as important to understand that accepting self-responsibility for the things you do, having good manners, caring about other people - these are heroic acts. Everybody has the choice of being a hero or not being a hero every day of their lives.” - George Lucas

Author
Time

I’m disappointed that Criterion couldn’t hold onto The Man Who Fell To Earth. I waited too long on buying it and now it’s out of print. After Bowie died, someone rushed out a bluray, but the transfer was bad. I think the Criterion edition is going for a whole lot online now.
If you haven’t seen the film, I’d put it up there with the best sci-fi art films (Blade Runner, Alphaville, THX 1138…)

“What’s wrong?”

Author
Time
 (Edited)

I’ve added a handful of new Criterions since last time I was on. I got my first Wes Anderson film - The Grand Budapest Hotel, Mike Leigh’s Life is Sweet, and Ingmar Bergman’s Fanny and Alexander.

So excited Mirror is finally coming in July! It’s amazing that it’ll include Andrei’s son’s documentary - A Cinema Prayer.

“Heroes come in all sizes, and you don’t have to be a giant hero. You can be a very small hero. It’s just as important to understand that accepting self-responsibility for the things you do, having good manners, caring about other people - these are heroic acts. Everybody has the choice of being a hero or not being a hero every day of their lives.” - George Lucas

Author
Time
 (Edited)

This upcoming release looks so intriguing and metaphysical.

https://www.criterion.com/films/29081-after-life

“Heroes come in all sizes, and you don’t have to be a giant hero. You can be a very small hero. It’s just as important to understand that accepting self-responsibility for the things you do, having good manners, caring about other people - these are heroic acts. Everybody has the choice of being a hero or not being a hero every day of their lives.” - George Lucas

Author
Time
 (Edited)

Just received Mirror and The Tree of Life for early birthday presents. I’m so excited to finally see Mirror in pristine condition come July. It’s truly my favourite film. I’m also really looking forward to seeing another film by Terrance Malick. He’s a great filmmaker.

“Heroes come in all sizes, and you don’t have to be a giant hero. You can be a very small hero. It’s just as important to understand that accepting self-responsibility for the things you do, having good manners, caring about other people - these are heroic acts. Everybody has the choice of being a hero or not being a hero every day of their lives.” - George Lucas

Author
Time
 (Edited)

As part of the Criterion sale I’ve added:

Dekalog
Scenes from a Marriage
Babette’s Feast
Naked

“Heroes come in all sizes, and you don’t have to be a giant hero. You can be a very small hero. It’s just as important to understand that accepting self-responsibility for the things you do, having good manners, caring about other people - these are heroic acts. Everybody has the choice of being a hero or not being a hero every day of their lives.” - George Lucas

Author
Time

Criterion Rules i have dazed abd confused abd bamboozled plus more quality is the best besides 4k

Author
Time
 (Edited)

Added:

Marketa Lazarová
The Hidden Fortress

“Heroes come in all sizes, and you don’t have to be a giant hero. You can be a very small hero. It’s just as important to understand that accepting self-responsibility for the things you do, having good manners, caring about other people - these are heroic acts. Everybody has the choice of being a hero or not being a hero every day of their lives.” - George Lucas

Author
Time

Here’s a list of the Criterion LDs in my collection:

The 39 Steps (#3)
Black Orpheus (#13A)
Singin’ in the Rain (#52)
The Wizard of Oz (#59)
2001: A Space Odyssey (#60)
West Side Story (#72A)
Casablanca (#73)
Ghostbusters (#75)
Rebecca (#98A)
Notorious (#100)
Taxi Driver (#109A)
Ikiru (#114)
Wages of Fear (#127)
Citizen Kane (#142)
Spartacus (#155)
The Tales of Hoffmann (#157)
Jason and the Argonauts (#160)
Monty Python and the Holy Grail {#168)
The Man Who Fell To Earth (#169)
The 400 Blows (#173)
Great Expectations (#262)
The Blood of a Poet (#289)

Author
Time

I picked up

The Killing
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
Night of the Living Dead
Parasite
The Irishman

Gonna see about picking up Stalker and Memories of Murder before the sale ends.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

Added:

The Complete Films of Agnès Varda

My last sale item. I’m really looking forward to exploring her art. It looks so playfully fun yet with lots of deeper meanings.

The Irishman should be good. I really need to get into Martin Scorsese’s films. The Age of Innocence is on my wish list for future sales.

“Heroes come in all sizes, and you don’t have to be a giant hero. You can be a very small hero. It’s just as important to understand that accepting self-responsibility for the things you do, having good manners, caring about other people - these are heroic acts. Everybody has the choice of being a hero or not being a hero every day of their lives.” - George Lucas

Author
Time

Added before the end of the sale:

Stalker
Memories of Murder
Carnival of Souls

Stardust1138 said:

Added:

The Complete Films of Agnès Varda

My last sale item. I’m really looking forward to exploring her art. It looks so playfully fun yet with lots of deeper meanings.

The Irishman should be good. I really need to get into Martin Scorsese’s films. The Age of Innocence is on my wish list for future sales.

Martin Scorsese is a director of whose filmography I need to do a deeper dive. I have seen Goodfellas, Casino, The Departed, Shutter Island and The Irishman. He’s mostly known for his Italian mobster films and Goodfellas and Casino are awesome, but he seems much more diverse than that and I definitely need to explore his other works.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

Great choices. I long await your thoughts on Stalker.

He definitely does seem to be much more than his Italian mobster films. In particular I want to see Silence and Hugo of his other films.

https://youtu.be/IqrgxZLd_gE

https://youtu.be/Hv3obL9HqyY

“Heroes come in all sizes, and you don’t have to be a giant hero. You can be a very small hero. It’s just as important to understand that accepting self-responsibility for the things you do, having good manners, caring about other people - these are heroic acts. Everybody has the choice of being a hero or not being a hero every day of their lives.” - George Lucas

Author
Time

Stardust1138 said:

Great choices. I long await your thoughts on Stalker.

Ah yes! That’s right, I was to post my full thoughts on Stalker once I had finished my 2nd viewing! Well, those thoughts will be incoming soon enough. Gonna have a ‘projector room’ screening for this one (as soon as I receive my blu-ray, that is).

Author
Time
 (Edited)

LeperMessiah117 said:

Stardust1138 said:

Great choices. I long await your thoughts on Stalker.

Ah yes! That’s right, I was to post my full thoughts on Stalker once I had finished my 2nd viewing! Well, those thoughts will be incoming soon enough. Gonna have a ‘projector room’ screening for this one (as soon as I receive my blu-ray, that is).

Can’t wait!

“Heroes come in all sizes, and you don’t have to be a giant hero. You can be a very small hero. It’s just as important to understand that accepting self-responsibility for the things you do, having good manners, caring about other people - these are heroic acts. Everybody has the choice of being a hero or not being a hero every day of their lives.” - George Lucas

Author
Time

Alright, then! And here’s my thoughts on Stalker!

I can describe Stalker in a few terms; labyrinthian, enigmatic, despairing. These terms apply not only to The Zone within the film, but the film itself.

Even though a good hour and a half of this film is set in essentially one location (the building in which houses The Room and the surrounding area just outside), the film makes a dream-like and confused journey of it, with characters disappearing from frame on one side and reappearing again on the other as the camera pans over, or characters getting left behind only show up again as the others press on ahead. The masterful camerawork shows us so much, each shot perfectly framed, and yet, we are never convinced that we are being guided through anything less than a open spaced maze. The viewer is never sure where they are going, where they are or where they have been and through it all, likely left feeling as lost as the Writer and Professor must have felt as they follow the Stalker’s lead though the enigma they know as The Zone.

The Zone is utterly confounding. One is never at any point sure what is possible in this place or of what it’s capable. We know that many have disappeared here or otherwise met their demises, but we never see by what means their fates have been met. Tanks and various vehicles lie desolate, a pair a skeletons lay forgotten in a final, eternal embrace. We are told The Porcupine’s brother was killed during a venture to The Room, but otherwise we have little to go on as to what happens to those who evoke The Zone’s punishment. And what is it that’s behind The Zone? Aliens? God? Something unfathomable perhaps. Is it even something with consciousness? Perhaps it’s an unimportant question, really. What we know is that The Zone and the consequences for “disrespecting” it are real.

And The Room with it’s promise of granting one’s innermost, secret desire is real, as evidence by the unseen Porcupine character, who committed suicide one week after returning The Room. The Room is a deeply troubling concept, and it’s function seems to be, rather than the bland “your wish has been granted” type miracle that some a who have ventured to that place presumed it would be, but rather a journey to meet oneself, one’s true inner self, which can be soul-crushing and traumatizing, as your secret, unconscious desire is laid bare to be reckoned with. Porcupine, in his conscience mind, thought to bring his brother back from the dead, only to be rewarded with a big pile of money once he returned home. Most of us consider ourselves good, well-intentioned people, but how many of us would also find a pile of cash once we got home? Even if consciously we set out to fulfill a desire of noble intent? The Room, in a way, is a mirror for looking into one’s own ‘soul’, which I think would break many of us. And in the end, the Stalker’s clients wisely chose not to enter. I think that only those who have pure hearts, either pure goodness or evil, could theoretically use The Room with satisfaction. But it begs the question if anybody like that actually exists. The Professor sets out with the intention of destroying The Room, lest it fall into the hands of an evil sort, but who knows if somebody as such could even make it that far into The Zone? Either way, The Room is not what you’d imagine it would be at first based on a simple one sentence description of it.

A few more things about movie; This is a near perfect film, I’d say. Given the time and place (and production setbacks as well), one can easily forgive the very few technical imperfections and Stalker is about as perfect as one could possibly hope for it to be. As I said, the camerawork is masterful. Every shot in the film can be used as a desktop background. I love the use of sepia-tone in this film. It somehow feels more colourless than black & white. To me, I interpret the colour change shifts to reflect The Stalker character’s hope, as all parts of the film that are in full colour are in The Zone or focused on his daughter (I love that colour shot that starts off appearing as if his daughter is walking on her own, implying the wishes he holds for her future.)

The best films have the least amount of editing and the editing very restrained (I doubt Tarkovsky shot much coverage at all). Because shots last so long (and not without purpose) there are many, many, many shots that will stick with you long after you’ve seen it. The sound design is on point. The acting is wonderfully restrained at most times, but when the actors are required to give strong emotional performances, they deliver splendidly. The music, also restrained, provides so much whenever it is used, adding to the strange atmosphere. Perhaps what I enjoy the most is the film’s atmosphere. The desolate, quiet and lonely nature of the world, as we see it, really speaks to me and reminds me alot of Eraserhead in a sense. It sounds weird, but I kinda want to visit the areas as portrayed in this film.

I would probably give the film a 9/10 overall. Very close to a 10 out of 10. I will, likely, never fully understand this film, and I’m fine with that. Stalker will be a film I’ll keep returning to and maybe I can grasp a little more of it’s truth (and perhaps my own) with each subsequent viewing.

TD;DR - Stalker is a masterpiece.

Author
Time

I just got the 1988 edition of The Adventures of Robin Hood. In CAV format on Laserdisc.

I was amazed how cheap the cardboard sleeve/dustjacket was. But the discs are very nice and there is no laser rot.

Author
Time

Hopefully when TOHO finally releases 4K discs of Kurosawa and Godzilla films Criterion will as well.

I’d also like for them to reissue War of the Worlds which they did a 4K scan of but released only on Blu-Ray, release that in 4K. The George Pal film.

They’ll never do it but they should also do 4K releases of Ray Harryhausen films. They don’t currently have the rights.

Maybe even upgrade the Bruce Lee Collection to 4K.