Today: May 18, 2024

Five Years of The Criterion Collection (UK)

This April marks the five-year anniversary of The Criterion Collection in the UK. With a focus on “important classic and contemporary films”, the label has always been a prestigious and important institution in home video – and for the last half-decade, it has been bringing some truly wonderful films to our homes here in the UK. So, raise a glass and wish a happy birthday to The Criterion Collection as we take a look at some of their finest releases.

The Films of Wes Anderson

One of the many jewels in The Criterion Collection’s crown is their selection of works from celebrated auteur Wes Anderson. With many of his beloved films including The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic, The Darjeeling Limited and even his underrated debut Bottle Rocket in the collection, the label have always clearly been fond of the eccentric artist due to the passion they put into his releases. Gorgeous artwork and bundles of wonderful special features, these releases are essential purchases for any self-respecting film fan.

Netflix Oscar Darlings

Those passionate about physical media can also be very grateful that The Criterion Collection have been able to license some of Netflix’s finest films for disc, with Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma, Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman and Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story all available on the label on both DVD and Blu-ray. Described by Netflix as being “such an honour” to be part of the collection, the releases from the streaming giant’s catalogue are in no way slowing down, with Scorsese’s unique Bob Dylan documentary Rolling Thunder Revue recently joining the collection too.

Laugh-Out-Loud Comedy Classics

Sometimes we all need a laugh, and The Criterion Collection can certainly deliver that in spades. Whether you’re looking for classic slapstick from Harold Lloyd in Safety Last, biting satire from Albert Brooks in Lost in America or just a good old fashioned all-star road comedy in It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, there really is something to tickle anybody’s funny bone. Special mention should go to Arthur Hiller’s classic buddy caper The In-Laws, boasting Peter Falk and Alan Arkin on top of their games.

Undisputed Masterpieces

Unsurprisingly, the prestigious collection also boasts some of the finest films in the history of cinema for the cinephiles among you. You can take a dark and haunting trip with Andrei Tarkovsky in Solaris, Stalker, and Ivan’s Childhood, be swayed by Henry Fonda’s kind juror in 12 Angry Men or see how the zombie genre started with George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead. There is such a staggering number of unforgettable and iconic films in this collection, it is truly awe-inspiring.

Beautiful Boxsets

Something else The Criterion Collection does incredibly well is a nice boxset. With Zatoichi – The Blind Swordsman collection, Richard Linklater’s Before Trilogy and their breathtakingly epic Godzilla 1954-1975 set, their catalogue is packed with some true treasure troves of cinematic bliss. This Summer brings their highly-anticipated World of Wong Kar Wai boxset, which is simply a must-own for Chungking Express and In the Mood for Love alone – that’s before you even consider the other five masterful films in the set! 

So, as you can see, The Criterion Collection have been remarkably busy over the last five years delivering some of the finest films to our shelves with beautiful packaging, fascinating special features and gorgeous transfers. This truly is an incredible time to be alive for anybody with a passion for film.

Happy birthday, Criterion – here’s to the next five years, and beyond! 

All available on Criterion Collection Blu-ray

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