Help Me Pick an Upcoming Proposal!

Work on MMC!‘s next Criterion Collection proposal is unfortunately progressing slowly. What’s more, I’m stymied over what type of film to next propose for an Arrow Video treatment. I’d like to choose something not yet explored by the label, but I’m finding myself torn between the choices.

My solution is MMC!‘s first poll! Let me know what you’d like to see and let’s find out if I can construct a poll properly!

7 thoughts on “Help Me Pick an Upcoming Proposal!

  1. jnvahtola April 3, 2017 / 4:20 pm

    If you have difficulties choosing Criterion proposals, here come three Scandinavian crime movies that might interest international audience plus a bonus.

    1. Bo Widerberg’s “Mannen på taket” (1976) is one of the best Swedish action movies ever made. The shooting was chaotic, but the film has a wonderful atmosphere of realism and documentary-style.

    2. Matti Kassila’s “Komisario Palmun erehdys” (1960) is one of the few lasting achievements of the Finnish film industry of the early 1960s, a police film with hints of expressionistic farce. The score of the film is very modernistic: electronic music by Osmo Lindeman. — There are also sequels to this title. Nowadays it is both hilarious and painful to watch “Kaasua, komisario Palmu!” (1961) as the ending of the movie seems to declare its moral: “Oh yes! It was the PERVERTED HOMOSEXUAL who murdered that nice old lady!” — Kassila is still alive, but I don’t know if he would participate in an audio commentary.

    3. The athlete/actor/director Åke Lindman’s best film is possibly “Harjunpää ja kiusantekijät” (1993), a police film about stalking and harassment, in human scale, based upon a popular novel by Matti Yrjänä Joensuu. There are other films and TV shows with detective sergeant Harjunpää, too, but for me this is the best one. (Also the 1980s Swedish-language TV series are worth watching, but the latest film “Harjunpää ja pahan pappi” (2010) with Peter Franzén is a bit too “American”, excessive, to my taste.) There are beautiful cinematography of night-time Helsinki and a wonderful score by the late Lasse Mårtenson. Unfortunately this movie is difficult to obtain at the moment and any video release would be a treat.

    As a bonus, I might recommend two films by the Finn Mikko Niskanen: the WW II movie “Sissit” (1963), and the reality-based drama “Kahdeksan surmanluotia” (1972). The latter one tells the story of a poor farmer who ended up murdering four policemen in 1969. Niskanen came from the same part of Finland where that happened, and the tragedy in that story is heart-felt. This title has been released both as a theatrical film (145 minutes) and as a 4-part television miniseries. As with e.g. “Fanny and Alexander”, both might be included in the BD release. (International Film Guide 1974 stated this the 10th best film of the year globally.)

    • spinenumbered April 3, 2017 / 4:30 pm

      Thanks very much for this great response! I very much enjoy Scandinavian cinema, although it’s often hard to get in North America and with English subtitles. All these titles are new to except your final one, Eight Deadly Shots, which I remember reading about in an issue of Film Comment (I think … ) and then adding to my list of potential titles, should I ever get a chance to see it. Kippis!

      • jnvahtola April 7, 2017 / 2:51 pm

        You’re right. It’s a pity that most of these films haven’t been released in an English-friendly form. The Widerberg title, however, has been available from Svensk Filmindustri as a special edition DVD with English subtitles for the main feature (mastered in HD) and a very interesting documentary. It’s sold out now, but I borrowed it from the libarary a few years backand enjoyed it. DVDBeaver extolls it here:
        “Mannen på taket” is also a wonderful film about the city of Stockholm, and I feel very sad because of today’s tragic news from there.

      • spinenumbered April 7, 2017 / 4:04 pm

        Thanks for the further info. Unfortunately, the sad news you reference is just reaching us here. My wife and my idea of a vacation is walking around a city in coats and we’ve talked about visiting Scandinavia as it seems like a place we would very much relate to. Terrible to see this event occurring.

    • jnvahtola July 26, 2020 / 11:26 am

      I’m happy to note that “Mannen på taket” has been released on Blu-ray recently. The disc is region-free and the main feature has English subtitles. The bonus materials, however, are not subtitled (they are plenty but only in Swedish). The UPC for this Swedish disc is 7350036728762.

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