Movie Reviews

5 Fun Facts about Criterion Blu-Ray Videos

The Criterion Collection has been preserving cinema and film history since its inception in 1984. With so many titles to choose from, the collection offers a dream escape for cinephiles who love getting lost in iconic films. A stand-out part of the collection is the Criterion Collection Blu-ray sets. The Criterion Collection Blu-ray sets are really popular for cinema lovers as the package doesn’t just offer expertly restored film but often supplemental material like booklets and art.

\We know that the best Blu-ray Criterion Collection sets will give film buffs a deeper look into their favorite movies with a plethora of bonus content, commentary, and other perks. But what else is there to know about this home video distribution company? Just for fun, we have compiled a list of 5 fun facts about Criterion Blu-ray Videos.

Back in 2008, Criterion released its first ever Blu-ray disc films. This was a really exciting moment as film fans who loved what Criterion had been doing up until that point could now watch on of their expertly restored films in crystal clear high definition. There were four films in total that were released on December 16: Bottle Rocket, Chungking Express, The Man Who Fell to Earth, and The Third Man. Bottle Rocket was an excellent choice and director Wes Anderson’s palette of colors is particularly popping in Blu-ray.

In total, Criterion has issued and released 804 Blu-rays to date and over 1,500 DVD and Blu-ray discs combined. Before Criterion committed to releasing films to watch on Blu-ray players, the company exclusively used the DVD format. And between 1984 and 1998, Criterion released films on LaserDisc, which was quite rare in a time when VHS dominated the home film market. Criterion has always been committed to the best and truest quality and that is why they decided to use LaserDisc, which is widely considered to be a superior way to watch home movies.

Ever since its inception in 1984, Criterion has included supplementary material on their LaserDisc releases. Audio commentary was usually done by critics or film scholars but in 1990 Criterion invited Martin Scorsese to partake in audio commentary over his film Taxi Driver, this was the first time a director had ever done so. Criterion’s additional features is why many film fans keep adding to their collection, the additional cost is really justified considering the sheer amount of content that you get with a Criterion release. If you haven’t already done so, check out a Criterion box set if you enjoy additional features like audio commentary and behind the scenes’ footage as they are dense with content.

Ingmar Bergman holds the title for the most Criterion Blu-ray releases. Bergman’s work has been released in 20 separate Blu-ray releases, which is by far the most. We are exclusively counting Blu-ray discs here and 20 individual Bergman releases is very close to being the directors full discography. Taking second spot with 12 Blu-ray releases in total is Fellini and in third spot with 10 Blu-ray releases is Japanese director Akira Kurosawa.

Shoah is a 1985 documentary film about the Holocaust and clocks in at over 9 hours long, 9 hours and 26 minutes to be exact. The documentary was filmed by French director Claude Lanzmann and features interviews with survivors, perpetrators and witnesses of the atrocity. On the other hand, Chris Marker’s La Jetée is the shortest film in the collection finishing after only 27 minutes.

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