The Devil’s Backbone

Criterion 2013

The Criterion Collection is an ever-expanding accumulation of canonical works of cinema. Yet Criterion’s selections don’t only represent deliberate attempts to construct a pristine archive from cinema’s past, but also force a conversation with cinema’s present. These releases (and the cult of anticipation that develops around them) produces a distinctive contrast between the best of cinema history against the spoils of the current moment. And while 2013 did introduce us to some very good films (three of which made it into the Collection), the best selections of cinema’s past always have a lot of instructive lessons to offer the smorgasbord of cinema’s present. So here are some useful pieces of advice that we think current filmmaking should take from this year’s crop of Criterion releases.

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IntroGhostRevenge

When you think about it, the film Ghost has the exact same plot as your average supernatural horror film. It’s about a wronged spirit haunting a former lover through possession and manipulation, only to provoke and carry out gruesome revenge on those who wronged him. The only difference is that we watch horror movies from the side of the haunted, and not the one doing the haunting. Also, there sadly tends to be much less romantic pottery making. Here’s a handful of spooks who, like Swayze, totally were in the right.

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published: 12.19.2014
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published: 12.18.2014
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published: 12.17.2014
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