I’ve never owned a Blu-Ray player. I had amassed a towering DVD collection from the late 90s to about 5 years ago which got so large and cumbersome I moved it into storage. In the end streaming services took over and large swathes of it were sold off. I like streaming but I’ve always missed my physical movie library.
My film nerd friends out there will know the words, Criterion Collection. They are a company that, in their words, dedicate themselves to gathering the greatest films from around the world and publishing them in editions of the highest technical quality, with supplemental features that enhance the appreciation of the art of film.
They don’t release the films that made the most money, or got the best reviews, they release the films that they think deserve to be presented in the best possible quality.
The Criterion Collection breeds madness. There are videos on YouTube of people standing in their Criterion Closets (walk-in wardrobes racked floor to ceiling with expensive Blu-Rays) swooning over their own obscure knowledge of movies you’ve never heard of. “The visual poetry of Jean Cocteau’s, Orpheus is… etc etc etc”. And in the next breath they’ll be equally excited about their Criterion release of Robocop. And rightly so.
It is a cult.
I am now a member of that cult.
For it is my birthday today and Rachel has given me my very first Blu-Ray player! And… My very first Criterion Blu-Ray!
Destry Rides Again is James Stewart’s first foray into the Western genre… etc etc etc