Terrence Malick's The Tree Of Life is growing 50 minutes longer for a new Criterion edition

The Tree Of Life, Terrence Malick’s symphonically ambitious rumination on his ’50s Texas childhood and overall place in the cosmos, is coming to the Criterion Collection. That’s no surprise, considering that the storied deluxe video label has already produced DVD and Blu-Ray releases of the reclusive filmmaker’s first…

Oscar nominee Barry Jenkins is the latest director to nerd out in Criterion’s closet

The concept for Closet Picks is simple: visiting actors or filmmakers (or Marxist cultural critics) are taken to the tightly packed closet where the esteemed home video label Criterion keeps its extra Blu-rays and DVDs, and allowed to take whatever they want. The latest to run loose in this cinephile candy store is …

The Coens’ magnificent noir debut Blood Simple returns again to theaters

Every 16 years (at least so far), the Coen brothers’ 1984 debut, Blood Simple, gets a theatrical re-release. Back in 2000, the marketing hook was a so-called “director’s cut,” though Joel and Ethan had encountered no interference regarding the original release; they were just a bit embarrassed, in retrospect, by what…

John Waters’ hard-to-find trash epic Multiple Maniacs gets the Criterion treatment

You can see a lot of things in John Waters movies, but if you want to see Divine get raped by a giant lobster, you’ll have to do some digging. That outrageous scenario comes literally out of nowhere in the climactic scene of Multiple Maniacs, Water’s second feature film, which stars Divine as the leader of a traveling…

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Robert Altman affectionately skewered Hollywood with The Player

Robert Altman’s adaptation of Michael Tolkin’s The Player—a novel that eviscerates ’80s Hollywood—begins with a lengthy joke that only cinema could make. As a studio security chief (Fred Ward) bitterly complains about the era’s ADD aesthetic (“All this cut, cut, cut,” he grumbles, blissfully unaware that Michael Bay…

Robert Drew’s Kennedy films chart the evolution of American politics—and American documentary

Nowadays, anyone who can afford a smartphone carries a fairly decent video camera around with them 24/7, ready to shoot documentary footage at a moment’s notice. Half a century ago, by contrast, cameras that could shoot moving images were such clunky behemoths that the documentary as we know it today was more or less…