The best underseen Criterion titles to add to your collection

Ryan Mahoney

by: Ryan Mahoney
November 10th, 2010

My name is Ryan Mahoney and I am a Criterionaholic. I’ve made several posts about the Criterion Collection recently, but there is actually a reason for me being more obsessed than usual - Barnes and Noble is selling all Criterion films at 50% off until November 21.

Any Criterion fan worth his weight in Kurosawa films knows about all the flagship titles in the collection (SEVEN SAMURAI, BREATHLESS, THE SEVENTH SEAL, etc.) My goal is to introduce you to five Criterion releases that you might not be as familiar with, but are as equally magnificent.

Dušan Makavejev: Free Radical Eclipse Series- While I’m not sure how to pronounce his name, I do know that Dušan Makavejev is a daring and talented filmmaker. This set of his first three films is a good starting point for newcomers, as his later work is very shocking both in content and form. My favorite of the set is INNOCENCE UNPROTECTED, a pseudo -documentary about an acrobat.

THE SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE- An amazing Spanish film about a young girl’s obsession with FRANKENSTEIN after the Spanish Civil War has ended. The film features one of the greatest child performances ever by Ana Torent.

TWO-LANE BLACKTOP- It’s just 100 minutes of badass, starring one of the most badass badasses ever: Warren Oates. It’s just cool, man.

NAKED - An incredibly dark film from usually lighthearted Mike Leigh easily ranks as one of my favorites of all time.

John Cassavetes: Five Films- It’s simply my favorite DVD release ever. John Cassavetes is one of the best directors and these films are a great representation of that. His films contain an energy that has not been duplicated.

What are some of your favorite releases?

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  • Darren B

    Ace in the Hole and Man Bites Dog are two my favorite lesser known Criterion Collection entries.

  • Anonymous

    Definitely agree about Spirit of the Beehive and Cassavetes. What about Cría cuervos, also starring Ana Torent?

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