The Criterion Collection

Criterion on Hulu

If you thought you were going to go on a camping trip to your local National Park, to get some solid work done on that tree fort you’re building or to edit all the Russian meteor footage into a totally sweet dubstep mash-up this weekend, you are sadly mistaken, friend. The Criterion Collection has made your plans for you, and they include all of their movies playing for free on Hulu from February 14th-18th. And, no, I’m not at all sure why the Most Popular movies (as seen above) prominently feature female breasts on their DVD covers. By my math, you could watch anywhere from 30-38 movies depending on their individual runtimes and your willingness to pee into a case of plastic bottles you keep by the couch. My suggestion would be to start with Modern Times,  swing over to Diabolique, follow it up with Tokyo Story and then just free-style it for the next 44 hours. After you’re done, join Landon for way-too-in-depth conversations about what you just watched. Happy lost weekend, everyone.

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Criterion Files

Since his infamous assassination in Ford Theater was re-imagined for D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation, American movies have been just as fascinated by Abraham Lincoln’s image and legacy as American culture at large. Besides the general veneration directed towards his name, there are specific reasons why Lincoln has been a subject of considerable preoccupation in the moving image. Lincoln is an icon ubiquitous in American culture; his face resides on our currency and his larger-than-life status has literally been set in stone by the Lincoln Memorial. But at the same time, Lincoln occupied the Office of the Presidency years before the emergence of mass media as it is recognizable today. Having died several decades before the first images were captured on film, history knows Lincoln only through still portraits. On the one hand, this reality has emboldened the notion that Lincoln was a uniquely authentic President; this Kentucky rail-splitter of modest means and education didn’t have to perform leadership for microphones, mass-distributed newspapers, or television cameras. On the other hand, the pre-cinematic status of real-life Lincoln emboldens curiosity about Lincoln the symbol versus Lincoln the human being. Live action cinema forces a rendering of reality concrete even if its subject matter concerns the mythic and the symbolic; any cinematic rendering of Lincoln may pose answers to a variety of questions, including details as difficult to know certainly as the sound of his voice.

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Got some extra cash laying around? Thinking about starting holiday gift-buying early? Missing a crucial title? The Criterion Collection has got you covered, as every cinephile’s favorite creator of technically and trivia-ly (go with it) superior home video releases has just launched a major flash sale. For just twenty-four hours, every available title on the Criterion list (including both DVDs and Blu-rays) is a big, eye-popping fifty percent off. That’s right, half off. Head on over to the Criterion website to get going on your purchases. Remember, the sale ends tomorrow (Tuesday, September 25th) at noon EST. Stymied by too many choices? Take a look back at some of our Criterion Files to get a handle on all the must-buys.

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Have no fear, internet. April Fool’s Day is over, and (probably since it fell on a Sunday) the laundry list of fake casting announcements and crap development deals was relatively short. You can still check out our Print Edition of Film School Rejects, but here are a few good, bad and grotesque fakes that might need some clarification alongside a few geek products that should be real in a fair universe.

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This was a hell of a year in The Criterion Collection. Between films about phantom carriages, angry jurors, beasts and beauties, stranded astronauts, international revolutionaries, and great dictators, Adam Charles and Landon Palmer found their wallets empty and their cinephilic obsessions sated. Here are their eleven favorite releases and upgrades of the year…

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The year 2010 may have ended, but the cycle of movie news keeps on a-cyclin’. Most of the news this time of year has something to do with a list — the best, the worst and the otherwise notable performances, directorial efforts and nude scenes, just to name a few. Everyone wants to have their say and we at FSR may be the worst among them with our Year in Review. So you’ll have to excuse me if my innagural edition of Movie News After Dark, the movie news column you can read while mostly asleep, is full of other people’s “best of” lists. There are also some worthy surprises, I assure you…

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Criterion Files

Beginning in the mid 1960’s with the inspired psychodrama Persona, Ingmar Bergman began a substantial working relationship with actress Liv Ullman. Over the course of the next decade Bergman and Ullman would team up for nine pictures culminating in this drama about the attempted reconciliation of a musically gifted, yet self-absorbed, mother and the daughter she would continuously abandon physically by leaving and emotionally when present.

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The Criterion Collection rebooted two of their early releases these past two weeks, re-releasing Nicolas Roeg’s Walkabout on DVD and Blu-ray…and bringing us another amazing restoration of Fritz Lang’s M on Blu-ray. One of these films, I had never seen before. The other film, I have seen…but I have never seen it look or sound so good.

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It has been a while since The Criterion Collection has graced our shelves, but this week they bring us two films on Blu-Ray. Both films are imports from France, and both star a beautiful actress. One film comes to us from Legendary director Jean-Luc Godard. The other is a more recent film starring Juliette Binoche. These two films, of course, are Vivre Sa Vie and Summer Hours.

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