Last Minute Criterion Suggestions from Us

There’s only a few days left of the half-off sale from the Criterion Collection. If you’re a newcomer to the home video line, all of those selections can look daunting and you’ll probably stand there for a good while trying to decide what to get. With nearly a thousand titles to choose from, it’s overwhelming. Don’t worry, two Criterion aficionados have their picks that are perfect for any first-time buyer or if you’re looking for something to spice up your shelf.

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The Comfort of Being Free with Sebastián Lelio’s Gloria Bell: TIFF Review

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Sebastián Lelio remakes his own Gloria for the English language with Gloria Bell, a film he made out of love for his own mother – but having a more refined eye behind the camera in the years since the original, this shot-for-shot remake of the original doesn’t only find a new reach to an English-speaking world. This isn’t any other shot-for-shot remake of a foreign language film, but it’s also a film that feels so wholly liberating from first frame to last, and celebrates what it feels like to carry that spirit no matter how old you are. But that’s the very least of what makes watching Gloria Bell feel every bit as good as it is, because for all I know this happens to be the happiest that I’ve felt watching any of Lelio’s films. It’s easy to admire the Chilean filmmaker’s ability to bring the most out of the actresses he works with if his filmography hasn’t already made that clear enough, but there’s something special about the story that he tells with Gloria which isn’t present in his other films, and perhaps it’s even more polished in this instance.

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The TIFF Diaries: Day 2 – Abruptly Changing the Schedule: Mouthpiece and Gloria Bell

It is my second day at the Toronto International Film Festival and I seem to have encountered a bit of a Sophie’s Choice more than anything, and in this instance I’d been left with a choice whether to go attend a press and industry screening for Cold War or just skip it to secure red carpet access for Beautiful Boy. But I feel afterwards that I ended up making the red carpet for Felix Van Groeningen’s film after having come straight from Oakville to catch a press screening of Mouthpiece today. I have to admit though, being at a red carpet may also have been one of the most anxiety-inducing experiences of my whole life by far, because knowing already that I have to meet up with numerous big names in the business, I kept worrying about what would happen if I ended up making a fool out of myself.

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Do the Right Thing: Nearly 30 Years Later and it Still and May Always Feel Relevant

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Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing caused an uproar upon its initial release in 1989 because of the fear it would incite race-related riots. In the current political climate, it would be much easier to find films like this being made but that’s only one among many reasons as to why this film works at achieving everything that it sets out for. Watching Do the Right Thingalmost thirty years ever since its release, what catches me is the fact that this film so distinctly feels like it could have been made today and it would still invoke the same reaction that it did back in 1989. This is not a movie that shows itself as one above racism but it is a film that presents an ordinary day in which racial tensions are so prominent, not merely between black and white Americans – because this is not the very limit to which racism can extend itself in our world today. But because it is still so commonly seen under that light, it only makes the impact of Spike Lee’s film all the more clear.

 

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The Big Lebowski: The Dude Abides Twenty Years Later

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It’s hard to pinpoint where the brilliance of the films of the Coen brothers can ever find itself limited because even their weaker films still carry enough of a bite to prevent the experience from being wholly unrewarding. But in these early films they seem to be developing their cynicism all the more and how exactly does it manage to add up to create an endlessly rewatchable ride? First off, you only need The Dude, a soiled rug, and bowling to create the perfect template for a drug-induced neo-noir that only provides more laughs the longer it goes on. It takes only as much as an attitude to make The Big Lebowski one of the Coen brothers’ most distinctive features but at the same time it also proves itself to be their most entertaining movie with such ease. It’s their most entertaining movie because of how well it manages to stick inside of your memory, because it keeps to the attitude and never lets go for as it did say in its own words, “The Dude abides.”

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