Monday, December 18, 2006

Criterion's Eclipse

Long hinted at and now, finally, announced, Eclipse is the Criterion imprint dedicated to non-cleaned up, extras-free issues of films. That's right: Criterion will be releasing films that they have neither restored nor supplemented with additional materials. Sounds like an awful idea to me.

The price is set to be under $15 per film - but the films will be sold in box sets, of at least three a piece. So, for $45 you can buy a not-cleaned, barebones set of three movies on DVD - when, from a different publisher, I can buy plenty of lovely boxes of fully scrubbed, extra-heavy films for less (notably Warner Bros. or Star films in Asia).

The theory is, the Eclipse line will carry titles that are otherwise hard to find - though, truth be told, I expect this is going to mean titles that are hard to find if you can't be bothered to look very hard. With the wonder of online imports from every nook and cranny of the world of cinema, I doubt very much that Criterion are going to dig up any genuinely hard-to-get gems.

But I hope to proven wrong.

On a similar note, the film ick top tens for 2006 are on their way - alongside a list of 'Lost Classics' - films you really will find it hard to aquire on DVD. Let it double up as a wish list for Eclipse.


Anonymous said...

Boy, you Brit film geeks must have it easy if you think Americans can just find early Bergman films and Louis Malle documentaries by importing them. The reality is if it ain't tentacle porn, Shaw Brothers, or "Salo", you've got a lot of pick-and-shovel work ahead of you and it's unlikely to run you less than $30 for ONE film, and the Eclipse edition will probably be of the same quality (odds are with some of these discs it'll be the same PRINT.) So I say bring it on. I'll sign up for the subscription service too if that comes up.

Brendon said...

It doesn't have to be so hard - I'll compile a list of good import sites in the New Year and pop them up here. That should help.