Criterion’s recent influx of very new titles has raised some questions of when the time is right to canonize a film, as well as some concerns that Criterion needs easy ways to line their pockets so they can afford to restore more obscure films. But few contemporary films feel as ready for entry into the Criterion Collection as Parasite, all the moreso for being a crown jewel in the modern South Korean film scene that has, up to this point, been bafflingly underrepresented by Criterion (it’s just this and Secret Sunshine). Accordingly, they’ve got all-out for it (though the packaging seems unusually half-assed, let alone for something this momentous), with all kinds of interviews with Bong Joon-ho and his crew (including a commentary with Bong and Criterion’s go-to Asian film scholar Tony Rayns) and the whole movie in black-and-white as a supplement. I’m sure this will keep the lights on for them for at least a few more years.
It’s unfair on multiple levels to say that the difference between Criterion and Arrow can be seen in their respective big releases this week being Parasite and The Last Starfighter, but the opportunity is too easy for me to pass it up. Kino is doing better work this week than Arrow, with special editions of three 70s Clint Eastwood westerns, including the notoriously bleak High Plains Drifter, plus the classic British thriller The Ipcress File. And, just because I find it mildly amusing, I’ll bring up that this week gives us complete Blu-Ray sets of two very similar “Fl-” shows, Fleabag and The Flintstones. I love it when Phoebe Waller-Bridge tips over her car by buying ribs that are too big for it.
Cemetery of Terror (Vinegar Syndrome)
Cold Light of Day (Arrow)
Daughters of Darkness 4K (Blue Underground)
Fleabag: The Complete Series (Screen Media)
The Flintstones: The Complete Series (Warner)
High Plains Drifter (Kino)
I Was at Home, But… (Cinema Guild)
The Ipcress File (Kino)
Joe Kidd (Kino)
The Last Starfighter (Arrow)
The Opposite Sex (Warner Archive Collection)
Shock Treatment (Severin)
Two Mules for Sister Sara (Kino)