The Criterion Collection has obvious standards for what gets “the treatment,” and so should we when proposing potential titles for admission. Here are some bend-but-don’t-break rules for how Make Mine Criterion! will select and approach these examples of great cinema waiting for a wacky “C.”
- Avoid titles already released by Criterion in other formats, such as on Laserdisc or through Hulu.
- Avoid titles already released on disc in extensive packages or released by other boutique labels, like the Masters of Cinema series, Olive Films, Oscilloscope, Magnet Releasing, Twilight Time, Animeigo, Shout Factory!, Discotek Media, Artsploitation Films, Icarus Films, Funimation, and others. (They all release good stuff too, so check them out as well!)
- Avoid titles already extensively teased for future release or proposed in-depth by others. In that regard, check out The Criterion Cast’s “For Criterion Consideration” posts for some great titles, Robert Nishimura’s wonderful Primolandia Productions blog for imagined Criterion Collection cover art and 3 Reasons videos and the Fake Criterions tumblr page for more fan-made cover treatments.
- Films must ostensibly be available in some practical sense. This may disqualify some major studio blockbusters or home release cash cows. It also acknowledges certain rights holders as problematic to a potential Criterion release.
- Make efforts to fill in gaps present in the Collection. With more than 650 spine numbers, omissions and poor representations by genre, mode, national cinema, and other factors still exist.
- Proposed special features and essays don’t usually come from nowhere, so each post should be an interactive experience offering links to those transtextual elements.
- Most importantly, the title must have that indeterminable, rarified frisson of a (flexibly defined) Criterion title.
These are only guidelines, so we don’t intend to enforce them too strictly. Still, some films remain too cultish, too marginal, or too disposable to find entry into the Criterion Collection. To those awesome films too weird to live and too rare to die, we will offer “Make Mine Drafthouse!” films, proposing a spine number be bestowed by the Drafthouse Films series to a deserving title. As a Drafthouse Alliance member myself, I can’t speak highly enough of the label and its titles.
So, with that out of the way, let’s get started!