Fall in Love with Criterion’s February Slate

It's been a long time coming, but the Criterion Collection is finally bringing the greatest film trilogy of all time to Blu-ray in a deluxe box set. Richard Linklater's Before trilogy – which consists of 1995's Before Sunrise, 2004's Before Sunset and 2013's Before Midnight – chronicles the brutally honest relationship of Jesse and Celine as they meet in Vienna one fateful night, reunite in Paris nine years later and struggle to make love last nine years after that in Greece. It's one of the most monumental screen achievements ever conceived and absolutely a pleasure to watch. The box set has long been rumored and finally arrives on February 28. Special features include a conversation with actors Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke and director Richard Linklater, a video essay and the 2016 documentary Dream Is Destiny, about Linklater's 25-year career.


February also sees a long-time-coming disc: Almodovar's Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. The most celebrated Spanish filmmaker of all time surprisingly has no films in the Criterion Collection yet. His breakthrough film – this 1989 comedy – is a great place to start. The remastered film also features a discussion on the film's wide-reaching impact. The same day you'll also be able to pick up Mildred Pierce, Michael Curtiz's film noir adaptation of James Cain's landmark novel. Joan Crawford gives one of her best performances as the titular character, a mother trying to make a better life for herself and her insufferable daughter (Ann Blyth). Rare interviews with Cain, Crawford and Blyth are also included.


If you prefer your films a little more devastating, Criterion's final two offerings will be more up your alley. The Tree of Wooden Clogs won the Palme d'Or at Cannes in 1978, and it's the kind of heartbreaking movie the critics rave about for decades. Set in 19th Century Italy, it's a three-hour epic about a family of poor farmers on the edge of falling apart. For something a little more current, there's also Cameraperson, one of this year's most acclaimed documentaries. Kirsten Johnson shares her images – including daily life in Bosnia, Nigeria and other places around the world – and her craft as a cinematographer, exploring how to properly capture the story that's unfolding.



About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.

Leave a Reply