The Counterfeiters

Criterion Files

First is a precarious position to be in, for in retrospect you stand in for the entire legacy (or, at least, for inaugurating the legacy) of the thing itself. It’s tough being the first, and can be burdensome. And of the first ten movies that were admitted into the Criterion Collection, there are some confounding choices. The Lady Vanishes (Spine #3), for instance, is a great film, but hardly amongst Hitchcock’s best (or even his best British work). It’s an…interesting choice for the first Hitchcock film in the DVD collection that would come to define 21st century cinephilia. But then again, way back in 1998, whose to say that the Criterion Collection had any idea the reputation it would cultivate? Criterion’s choices for its first two releases, however, are pitch-perfect. Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, the film that defined his legacy and had a greater influence on world cinema than even his Rashomon, sits prominently at Spine #2. And Jean Renoir’s anti-war, prewar masterpiece, Grand Illusion, sits deservedly in Criterion’s #1 spot, with the weight of important classic and contemporary cinema resting comfortably on its shoulders. Grand Illusion may admittedly not have the empirical evidence of definitive influence of Seven Samurai (in other words, it has yet to be remade into a Western). But that is perhaps to its benefit. While Kurosawa made tens of samurai films, Renoir never made another movie quite like Grand Illusion, and the film still occupies a singular place in the history of war cinema – […]

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This week, Landon uses a trip to the bar to watch the World Cup as a catalyst for discussing nationality (and a lack of it) in films throughout the last 60 years – culminating in a look of the broad, international flavor (and financing) of modern films.

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DVDs I Bought This Week!

Brian Gibson loves to buy DVDs. Come with him on his weekly journey into the depths of credit card debt as he tells you what to buy, rent and avoid.

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The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Welcome to FSR’s newest weekly feature in which I break down the good, the bad, and the ugly of what Hollywood has to offer.

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The Counterfeiters

The Nazi reign in Central Europe left, besides it’s horrific legacy, a great deal of fascinating stories to be told. One of those, the recount of “Operation Bernhard”, is the theme of this year’s subtitled Oscar winner from Austrian director Stefan Ruzowitzky, The Counterfeiters. Not only of historical interest, but morally diverse and fairly entertaining too.

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We break down all the films that don’t speak English and such…

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