Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Criterion Contraption

I was looking around the Criterion Collection's official website when I stumbled upon a link to this blog called The Criterion Contraption.

The blog was created by Matthew Dessem whose mission is to watch all of the Criterion films in order, by spine number. The blog was created so that he could review and give some information about each film he has seen so far. He has been at this for about four years now, and he is currently at Spine Number 84: Yasujiro Ozu's "Good Morning".

I find that the reviews I have been able to read so far get better each time. He is an excellent writer who clearly puts a lot of effort and thoughts into his work. The screen captures he gets from the films are all high in quality, and are not likely to be found anywhere else (like the one above). He provides a lot of detail and insight in his reviews, and encourages discussion about each film through his comments. I find that by doing all of these things, it really sets apart his blog from some of the other Criterion completionists out there (Which he links to on his blog as well). From what I can tell, he updates about once a month so you should remember to head over to his site every now and again to check out if he has seen anymore of the Criterions.

I am going to refrain from giving too much of a synopsis of what he does and why, because there is an illuminating interview that Dessem had with Christopher Zane that covers most of it. (Interview: Part 1, Part 2) However, I will say that this was a really great find, and if you have the time, it is a great read. Do yourself a favour and head over there and check out some of his thoughts and insights.


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