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November 29, 2008

I ♥ Criterion

ratcatcher.jpg Folks well versed in motion pictures who have seen St. Nick, in whole and in part, almost without fail say that it calls to mind Lynn Ramsay's Ratcatcher and Victor Erice's Spirit Of The Beehive. Neither of which I've seen, both of which I really want to see, and both of which I've decided to hold off on for the time being, until my own film has receded far enough into my own mind that I won't be playing a frustrating game of connect-the-dots while watching them. Or so I said a week ago, before Criterion launched their outstanding new website and online cinematheque. Part and parcel with this is their free online film festival, presented by The Auteurs, the first installment of which is entitled Cruel Stories Of Youth and which contains in its roster both of the films mentioned above. Will I be able to resist watching them now that they're only a click away?

Tangentially related:

Ted Hope sent out an e-mail yesterday, providing an overview of some of the things he sees as necessary for the survival of indie film in these rough and tumble times. Here's one paragraph that stuck in my head:

Sundance is now upon us. Traditionally all of the filmmakers get notified this coming week. I have heard buzz on over thirty films that probably will be going, star vehicles and no-budgeted DIY titles both. Yet how many already have websites, blogs, and trailers up? How many will actually do something, like a one week free stream, immediately after their premiere in order to build world of mouth? How many filmmakers will be selling DVDs at Sundance to facilitate Living Room Theater word-of-mouth screenings? Very few in each instance I fear.

Hmmmm. I'm not going to Sundance, but regardless of festivals...food for thought.

Posted by David Lowery at November 29, 2008 1:45 AM


It doesn't get much better than Ratcatcher. I bought the DVD based on that haunting cover with no idea of what was waiting inside. The DVD is worth viewing to at least see Ramsay's short films.

Posted by: Aaron at November 29, 2008 3:29 PM

Saw Ratcatcher at the Cinefamily Theater this past August. Goddamn. Afterward, I couldn't help but find raw inspiration in the way that Lynne Ramsay captured this small bit of truth, a minimalist sort of film (and yet also a top-notch period piece) that succeeded at trapping me within its murky bond from start to finish. Breathtaking...

Posted by: Jim McMahon at December 24, 2008 9:04 PM