Fishing with John

Criterion Files

The Criterion Collection devotes itself to important classic and contemporary films. But cinema hardly exists in a vacuum. Moving image artists have often moved between media formats, and movies have had a history of influence from their many competitors. Would we have seen Nicholas Ray’s Bigger Than Life, for example, in widescreen Technicolor had 1950s cinema not competed with television? Therefore, even though The Criterion Collection is overwhelmingly devoted to the art of cinema, the Collection has recognized select important works of television. But the inevitable question arises: which works of great, influential television are justifiable to include in a cinema library? The Criterion Collection doesn’t include works of television that are great in television’s own terms, but instead recognizes works of television that are great for cinema.

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