The stated aim of The Criterion Collection’s Eclipse Series is to curate a “selection of lost, forgotten, or overshadowed classics in simple, affordable editions”, with each volume “a brief cinemateque retrospective for the adventurous home viewer”. Due to the relative obscurity of the majority of titles in this series, the films are DVD only and with prints of variable quality, however the real goal is to simply make these films available to a wider audience. The previous releases in the Eclipse Series have been divided between collections of lesser known films by important directors (Early Bergman, Silent Ozu, Late Ray, The First Films Of Akira Kurosawa) and collections of films from overlooked directors or movements (Travels With Hiroshi Shimizu, Three Popular Films By Jean-Pierre Gorin, Pearls Of The Czech New Wave, Nikkatsu Noir).
I think the fact that I watched all four of the different versions of Army Of Darkness contained in the amazing Scream Factory Army Of Darkness Collector’s Edition blu-ray package over the course of three days may give some indication of just how much I love this film. Over the years I have owned numerous versions of this film across pretty much every format and can now safely say that there is finally a definitive version and I can get rid of all of the other versions… Well, I can get rid of all of them except “The Necronomicon” blu-ray edition because that has some pretty cool packaging.
Anyone with more than a passing interest in The Criterion Collection would be aware of the general commotion that occurs every couple of years when Criterion release their special edition of the Wes Anderson film before last. The whole process is always quite fascinating to follow on social media. The Criterion Collection is justifiably the most esteemed home video company in the world, renowned for not only the exceptional scope and quality of their releases, but also the time and effort that they put into packaging and supplements. As a result of the excellence of their work, the company has quite rightly built up their own rather zealous group of followers.
The recent Criterion Collection blu-ray release of The Killers serves as an illuminating study of how different artists and circumstances can influence the adaptation of the same source material. This package collects three films from 1946, 1956 and 1964 all based on Ernest Hemingway’s 1927 (very) short story The Killers. Continue reading “The Killers”