Friday, February 12, 2010

Criterion Films .....getting soft on us?

I'm an avid film buff, and I have over 7,000 films in my basement. The top of the line has always been Criterion DVD's. "THE BEST" print available of those chosen are on Criterion. They are known for pristine images, wonderful sound & lots of extras such as director commentary and deleted scenes. You can expect to pay $40 to $50 per film. There are over 300 films that have received the royal treatment over the years. Up until now you could expect to find the big guys like Woo, Ford, Bergman, Hitchcock, W. Herzog, Ozu, Kurosawa, Renoir and Truffaut there. Recently though that's changed with newer titles like "A Christmas Tale", "Gomorrah", "Che" and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" being added. I just read a NEWSWEEK article on this very issue and explanations are given. My question is have they sold out on what made them so unique in the first place. They are supposed to be preserving the important films! For something to be prestigious it has to matter. Criterion Films have always mattered that's why I own 30+ of them despite the cost. Personally I'm a little disappointed by their recent selections. I can think of a number of films more deserving than these. I'd love to hear from you readers what films you think are important enough to be preserved for years to come. I nominate our own Scott Phillips "Ice Harvest", and Tony Scott's "True Romance". I'll have to go to Criterion's website and check an updated list and get back to you all.

JIM WHITE April 28th, 2007

I really believe that every once in a while we just get lucky, or we stumble into something that changes our lives. In 2007 my wife & I attended The Roger Ebert Film Festival in Champaign, Il. We've been going for about 10 years now, but that year holds a special place in my heart. We had just seen a 7 p.m. showing of "STROSZEK" a Werner Herzog film (one of my all-time favorite directors) and it was getting late but the 10:30 p.m. show intrigued me. The show was called "SEARCHING FOR THE WRONG EYED JESUS" directed by Andrew Douglas & stared a little known folk singer named Jim White. The movie is like something straight out of a Flannery O'Conner novel. If you've ever read WISEBLOOD, then you will love this film. The film is about religion in the South but it's no documentary. We follow Jim as he drives through the South & it works. The cameo by Harry Crews was worth watching it alone. It's a strange film but a good one. After the show ended Jim White came on stage there at The Virginia Theatre & performed two songs "The Wound that Never Heals" (a tribute to Aileen Wuornos) and "A Bar is Just A Church That Sells Beer" and I was blown away. I was able to talk to Jim afterwards and was drawn in by his simple & genuine kindness. If you want to write a crime novel & need to set a tone, sit down with "Jailbird","Static on The Radio", or "Still Waters" and let your mind drift. It's truly great stuff and has a sound you'll be hard pressed to duplicate. I've been waiting for 3 years now to catch Jim again. I missed my one chance in Chicago a few years back due to a conflict. However, I am forever on the lookout for that next opportunity. Jim's from Florida, so if you live in the South you have a better chance of catching him. Do, I'm tellin you he's that good. I own 4 of his CD"s (Transnormal Skiperoo, Drill A Hole in That Substrate & Tell Me What You See, Wrong Eyed Jesus, and the Soundtrack from "Searching for the Wrong Eyed Jesus"). He also has a great website, so google him and check it out. Jim has a brand new CD out entitled "A Funny Little Cross To Bear", that hit record stores on Feb. 3rd. Let the Downloads Begin !!!!!