Tuesday, October 20, 2009


I've been realizing as of late, in a way that I often do, that there's a lot of films and a lot of books and a lot of shit I need to read. Just piles of movies and literature stacked in the limbo of things unread/unwatched, that I need to dig in to. Criterion, the films of Woody Allen, every Coen Brother's film, Richard Price's book Lush Life, and the list just goes on and on.

Usually the realization that my life goal of reading and watching everything interesting ever conceived gets the bile in my throat up a bit, as the knobby hand of Death seems mighty close when a project of that size exists. But this go-around, I'm just sort of excited. There is so much amazing shit out there and I, being a sane twenty-seven year old with the majority of my wits about me, has a fair amount of time to try and knock out a solid wedge of said amazing things.

This might seem simple and already realized by you, the unobsessed film and book enjoyers of the world, but to me, a man who might just think too much, this is like someone removing a four hundred pound albino monkey sloth from my shoulders.

This realization will be forgotten, and then returned to, many many times over the course of this blog.

THE FUTURE! That's what I'm calling my semi-new column on Criterion Quest. I imagine the future to be full of seventeen armed tentacle-bots and cyber-'tutes being emailed to our front doors. Well that a whole slew of Criterion films that I may or may not ever get to (but I'm okay with that). The good folk of Criterion World continue to send me emails, well me and the rest of the folk obsessed with this rightly obsessible collection, about what's coming out. And I, being the chronicler of many things Criterion, will spread this word to you.

The Film: Monsoon Wedding (489)
The Director: Mira Nair (The Namesake, Vanity Fair)

What Is It: One of the highest grossing foreign films of all time. An explosion of color and emotion striking out from the middle of a traditional Indian wedding.

Why Is Criterion Releasing?: There's always words like "sumptuous" and "juicy" bandied around when it comes to this film. Nair's become quite a famous director in the wake of this film, and the chance to release a director-approved version of it must've had the cloak and dagger folk over at Crit-Col slathering like cheetahs. Also, Nair has a huge collection of shorts and documentaries that this little film gives Crit-Col the chance to release.

My Thoughts On It: I've wanted to see this film for, well, most of my life since it's release, but it's just one of those gentle giants you never get around to. I thought Nair's The Namesake was emotional and epic in a way few American films are, so I'm more than excited that in ten or so years I might be able to upload this film in to my brain stem's Netflix queue.

Wednesday: A Serious Man

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