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A List of Films that deserve to be on the Criterion Collection

If you’re a cinephile, you probably know about the Criterion Collection. If you also collect physical media, you may have at least one or two of their DVDs, Blu-rays, or 4K discs in your own collection. And, if you’re as obsessed as me, you probably go to Barnes & Noble every June and November to get their 50% sale on Criterion discs and collections. 

Since it’s November, and many of us celebrate this sale religiously, it’s fitting to make one of those lists—a countdown of films that deserve to be on the Criterion Collection. I hope you enjoy it, and let us know which movie you’d add in the comments. 

10 Any of the Two Suspiria Films

Starting the first official “Top 10” list of the website kind of cheating, I couldn’t decide which one of the Suspiria films should be considered. On one hand, Dario Argento’s 1977 original is the most beautiful horror movie ever made. The stunning cinematography, subject matter, and score from frequent collaborators Goblin results in a masterpiece that should be part of this prestigious boutique label.  

On the other hand, Luca Guadagdino adds depth to the magnificent story about the mysterious and haunted dance school. Though it doesn’t necessarily have the same color palette that characterizes Argento’s classic, it’s still a visual feast. Sonically, it does have a great soundtrack from outstanding singer-songwriter Thom Yorke. Yes, the Radiohead dude made the new Suspiria’s soundtrack. 

Both movies are superb on their own. So Criterion should go ahead and put the two together in a box set and maybe even add 1980s Inferno for three films about The Three Mothers lore. Let’s not add Mother of Tears. We don’t talk about that one.

9 The Revenge Trilogy

Criterion has a few trilogies in its collection. There are trilogy box sets for everyone, from Satyajit Ray’s Apu Trilogy to Godfrey Reggio’s Qatsi Trilogy. And fans of Korean thrillers and many others will rejoice with Park Chan-Wook’s revenge trilogy. 

Though all the rage has been towards its second installment, Oldboy, and its disturbing plot twist, each film is remarkable. Unless you’re challenging yourself to watch them as a marathon, each movie can be watched anytime as they’re just thematically the same. Watching each film’s special features one at a time and letting them sink in is even better.  

8 Uncle Bonnie Who Can Recall His Past Lives

Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul has taken over the world of independent cinema with his slow-paced, deep, spiritual dramas reminiscent of Tarkovsky’s classic works of cinema. His unconventional films are profoundly personal in which he touches on themes of his own homosexuality, life, dreams, and Asian culture. Even though some of his films are low-budget, he still creates a dreamlike atmosphere.

None other movies sums up everything that makes him exceptional other than his 2010 acclaimed film Uncle Boonme Who Can Recall His Past Lives. In the final installment of Weerasethakul’s multi-platform art project Primitive, the title character explores his past lives as he explores the theme of reincarnation. A philosophical and sentimental film, it also has its trance-like moments. Especially the equally trippy and haunting creature with the red eyes. It’s something not to be missed in a Criterion 4K restoration.  

7 Russian Ark

For me, a Criterion Collection film should be something remarkable. Films that subvert the protocols and conventions of cinema and do something new. To experiment, and what better experiment than a single-shot film recounting a nation’s history. Alexander Sokurov’s Russian Ark is the first unedited film shot in one take. 

It was filmed with a digital steadicam at the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg. For almost 90 minutes, we follow an unnamed narrator wandering through the museum and encountering different real and fictional characters from the last 200 years of Russian history. This cinematic achievement would be a great addition to the collection for film scholars to study and the rest of us to collect. 

6 City of God

When this film hit US theaters 20 years ago, cinephiles were obsessed with the Brazillian film City of God. Shot on location at the Rio de Janeiro favelas, it follows two childhood friends who choose different paths but cross together in a world of drugs and gangs. The film took over the globe with critical acclaim, countless awards and nominations, and millions of conversations with film lovers at college and movie theaters. 

Unfortunately, we don’t talk about this film as much anymore. Seems like we totally forgot about it. By the time the FIFA World Cup was hosted in Brazil and the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, I just wanted to show my DVD of this realist crime film to everyone supporting those events. Around 10 years later, I felt like the only one who remembered this movie. That’s why I think it should be included in the Criterion Collection. I want this film to be as celebrated and praised as in the early 2000s. 

5 Force Majeure

Not so long ago, Criterion released their first Ruben Östlund film, Triangle of Sadness. The dark comedy about social hierarchies was well-received and an incontestable addition to the boutique label. Turns out, Östlund is a critically acclaimed filmmaker, and all his works deserve the spot in the collection. Of all his filmography, Force Majeure has been the most requested to be in the collection for years since its release. 

The film about a man’s egoism over an extreme situation is arguably the director’s most acclaimed film. It’s an exceptional family drama that studies human behavior and makes the audience think about themselves in some situations while trying not to laugh at the darkly comedic spots. It would be fascinating to hear commentaries from the director and cast. As well as get a behind-the-scenes look at the avalanche.

4 I’m Thinking of Ending Things

Several critically acclaimed original Netflix releases have been added to the prestigious collection. Among these films are Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma, Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, and Guillermo Del Toro’s reimagining of Pinocchio. We enjoy them anytime through physical media, and supplements are well-documented for fans and scholars to watch and study. Then, why such an exceptional film such as Charlie Kaufman’s I’m Thinking of Ending Things is not in the collection? 

The surrealistic psychological thriller doesn’t lack the usual Kaufman mind-bending storytelling, has an excellent cast in Jesse Plemons, Jessie Buckley, and Toni Collette, and great-looking cinematography. It has more Criterion Collection attributes than some of the Netflix films in the collection. Maybe Charlie Kaufman transported us to the mind of someone who thinks this film hasn’t been released by Criterion. I hope that’s the case. 

3 Metropolis

The collection contains three Fritz Lang films. Those are M, Ministry of Fear, and The Testament of Dr. Mabuse. Three classics from the Austrian filmmaker that should be seen (especially M, such a masterwork). However, none of them deserves the boutique treatment as much as Metropolis. 

Aesthetically inspired by New York City’s skyscrapers, according to the director. This seminal 1927 classic takes place in a dystopian metropolitan area where the rich enjoy their luxurious lives at the expense of their workers. This sharp commentary on modern capitalism is one of the most iconic and influential movies ever.

As a matter of fact, the movie is set in 2026. Yeah, it’s disturbing how this film predicted the 2020s in many ways. But I was pointing out that it should be released in a beautiful box set with dozens of hours of special features. Do it, Criterion, please do it. 

2 Dancer in the Dark

Note from Myself: While researching this film, I was reminded of Bjork’s allegations of Lars Von Trier’s misconduct towards herself. Lars Von Trier is a complicated person. Some people have negative things to say about him. Others love working with him and are always up for the challenge. I oppose sexual harassment and any abusive behavior in general, and I find it challenging to separate the artist from the artwork when blogging about movies. 

With this said, I do believe Dancer in the Dark is a cinematic achievement and should be in the Criterion Collection. This musical follows a Czech immigrant who works at a factory and wants to save for her son’s eye operation. Although this is not an official Dogme 95 film, the director differentiates the musical sequences from the rest of the movie by using static cameras and brightening the colors. 

It’s one of the best Lars Von Trier films and would make a great addition to the collection. We can only hope all controversies are set aside so this gets a 4K and Blu-Ray.

1 Battleship Potemkin

Last but not least. Definitely, not least. Sergei Eisenstein’s 1925 Soviet drama, Battleship Potemkin. Based on the mutiny of Russian sailors against their superiors about the battleship Potemkin, the film tells the story of a group of sailors who revolt against their harsh working conditions. This classic narrates the revolutionary story in four sequences, from the moment they realized they got served rotten food to their triumphant sailing of the battleship. And, of course, the famous Odessa steps sequence in between. 

Despite being banned in several countries, including its native Soviet Union and (surprise, surprise) the United States, it’s still considered one of the most seminal films in international cinema. And is one in which Eisenstein’s creation of the montage is highlighted. The fact that there’s only a set of the director’s Sound films and is out of print is baffling. 

Can we please get a complete set of his silent era, astonishing editing films, and the reissue of his sound epics? I’ll give you the money in one of those flash sales. I’ll make my money rain in exchange for any of these releases. So will a lot of other cinephiles and collectors.

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