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Criterion Films- The Worlds Best?

Updated on December 1, 2012

Independent films always fascinate and entice me and rarely disappoint. As a student and instructor of film, I find the most fascinating ones come from a group called the Criterion Collection. Many of these films are foreign with subtitles, but there are also many that are American made and titled.

Rosemary's Baby is a classic film with Mia Farrow playing a pregnant woman who lives in a very strange apartment building and gives birth to a valuable new resident. This film was made in the 1960's and was considered a classic horror movie then as well as now. Here are only a few of the many films I have seen over the past few years and the list to watch keeps growing...

The Vanishing is a French film that was made in the 1980's and left many of the moviegoers squirming in their seats upon the realizations revealed at the end. The subject of passion, decisions and predestination offers the look into the mind of a sociopath.

Hiroshima Mon Amour is Marjorie Duras famous play made into a film. The film juxtaposes love and war and the tragedies of daily life encountered in Japan after WW2.

Ikiru is one of the best existential films made. This movie is Japanese made and follows the demise of a city worker dying of cancer. It is loosely based on Tolstoy's novella "the Death of Ivan Ilych" and the scene on the playground is poignant.

The Night of the Hunter is the story of the battle between good and evil and will keep you interested with its expressionist style.

A Night to Remember is one of the first representations of the night the Titanic sank and its haunting orchestra and passengers on deck as the ship went down.

Le Notti Bianchi is a fantastic adaptation on a Dostoevsky short story that also looks at existential themes and the question of fate.

Rashomon delves into the perceptions of justice and the differences in stories in peoples lives. This Japanese film is one of Akiru Kurasowa's best.

There are hundreds of films being added all the time, including "The Curious case of Benjamin Button" which is more recently released. The enjoyment of the film style is part of the lure of the film-ophile who loves watching movies and discussing them much like those whose passion is books. As someone who loves both dearly, I am not a fan usually of the film adaptation, as it seems to lack the beauty of the original writing. Do check the links below to the Criterion Collection and enjoy the smorgasbord of films that encompass differing styles, time periods and countries of origin when the mood strikes to watch a film that is more than jus box office "fluff".


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