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Criterion New Years drawing gives us a glimpse into their 2011 slate

Joshua Brunsting

by: Joshua Brunsting
January 1st, 2011

While the changing of a year may not mean much for the average film fan; well, at least no more than the writing of your run-of-the-mill best-of lists, for fans of The Criterion Collection, we get to be treated to a new look at what the company may be giving us in the coming months.

With January, February, and March’s respective slates already filled out, 2011 is looking like a mighty fine year for us fans of the collection, and while this massively cryptic cartoon, drawn by Criterion staple Jason Polan, we now have the chance to discuss what we each think will be coming out within the subsequent nine months of releases from April to December.

Here are a few of my thoughts of where this could ultimately be going:

-          Woman tied to a boat / CUL-DE-SAC: Roman Polanski has two respective films currently in the collection (REPULSION and KNIFE IN THE WATER) and this would fit perfectly here. The film is about a couple being held hostage, so it would definitely fit this drawing. Others have thought that it may be former Criterion laserdisc SOME LIKE IT HOT, but it appears like the Criterion Forum appears to be in relative agreement that it may be CUL-DE-SAC. And personally, you can’t get enough Polanski in my opinion. Especially a film that’s pretty hard to come by on home video.

-          Strawberry patch / WILD STRAWBERRIES Blu-Ray: The only way this could be more obvious is if the damn strawberries were colored blue.

-          Space station / SOLARIS: Another relatively obvious nod, expect to see either a Blu-ray release of Tarkovsky’s original, or a DVD/Blu-ray release of Steven Soderbergh’s remake. Or maybe both? Just a hunch, but I think we’ll be seeing both sometime this year.

-          Briefcase / ?: This is where it gets interesting. My mind says that this is a hint at the film KISS ME DEADLY, which played at this past year’s All Tomorrows Parties, a telling sign for a films Criterion Collection chances. However, in my heart of hearts, I still hold out hope that it’s a PULP FICTION release. I know I have a better chance at directing a WATCHMEN sequel than FICTION does at getting in the collection (rights problems), but it would be one hell of a coup for the company. However, KISS ME DEADLY is likely what is talked about here.

-          Calendar / SUNDAY BLOODY SUNDAY: I’d like someone to really tell me it’s not this. One of the more obvious drawings here. Toss in the fact that it’s an MGM release, which is a catalog Criterion seems hell bent on digging through, and it’s almost a sure thing.

-          Man with a gun / CARLOS: Already confirmed, nothing to see here.

-           Ghost cat / KURONEKO: Just like HAUSU/HOUSE, KURONEKO is an Asian cult horror film that has seen a re-release on the festival circuit (well, at least Fantastic Fest, which also played home to the aforementioned haunted cat film), and has done so thanks to Janus. A perfect addition to counteract HOUSE, KURONEKO looks like a likely addition to the collection (I’d be shocked if this one didn’t see a release sometime in October).

-          Knife and coffee / ?: This is again a dream choice, versus a likely choice. Personally, when I see this, I, like the guys over at Criterion Cast (who I should now toss a hat tip to for helping come up with these choices), think of two Jim Jarmusch films, GHOST DOG and COFFEE AND CIGARETTES. That would be one hell of a duel addition, and wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility. But then again, there are a ton of possible choices here. Really, I have no idea what this one is. What do you think? Claire Denis’ WHITE MATERIAL maybe?

-          Woman dancing / ? : This one has even the biggest film geeks puzzled. Many people believe that it could be the film RISO AMARO aka BITTER RICE, which I think is the likeliest addition here. If I were a betting man, I’d have to say that would be where I’d place my money.

-          The Einstein and Monroe mixture / INSIGNIFICANCE: Nicholas Roeg will likely return to the Collection with this film, and will likely take the place of the recently out of print THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH (well, OOP with regards to the Criterion edition). Honestly, this is the only thing I can think of that could be regarding a person with Einstein’s head and Marilyn Monroe’s body, so if there is something I’m missing here, let me know.

-          Spanish sign / Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN: Without a doubt. The fact that it’s an IFC Title only sweetens the pot here. Side note: where the hell is Chris Nolan’s FOLLOWING? That’s one that I definitely expected to see here. Hmmm…

-          Kid / ZERO FOR CONDUCT: Pretty much a resounding choice among those trying to pick this cartoon a part, and I have to agree. It’s a 1933 film that has been credited as inspiring Francois Truffaut’s THE 400 BLOWS, so you know it has some clout here.

-          Globe / THE GREAT DICTATOR: It was only a matter of time before we got what many believe may in fact be Charlie Chaplin’s greatest film. Expect this one soon. I don’t see them sitting on this one for very long.

-           Floating head / DIABOLIQUE: Another obvious choice. In absolute dire need of a new Blu-ray release.

And here is where it gets really interesting. There is also a boat and snowflakes in the cartoon. Those two images are so broad in their reach that I can’t begin to come up with a proper choice, so I’ll leave it up to you. What films are represented by these respective drawings?

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  • http://www.bpdreview.com Brian Dunn

    Dancing woman–any chance it’s SECRET OF THE GRAIN?

    • http://twitter.com/isavedlatin89 Josh Brunsting

      That’s a great call, but if you remember, that has already been released in the collection in both DVD and Blu-ray. Part of their IFC partnership. Definitely a good call though. It’s the most puzzling drawing of them all.

  • http://twitter.com/isavedlatin89 Josh Brunsting

    That’s a great call, but if you remember, that has already been released in the collection in both DVD and Blu-ray. Part of their IFC partnership. Definitely a good call though. It’s the most puzzling drawing of them all.

  • Anonymous

    I <3 Criterion.

  • Anonymous

    I <3 Criterion.

    • http://twitter.com/isavedlatin89 Josh Brunsting

      You and me both sir :D

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