Introducing Kanopy, now streaming the Criterion Collection

Cinema fans and students rejoice: you can now stream a huge chunk of the Criterion Collection through Kanopy. Kanopy is a digital video service the AU Library just subscribed to that offers access to full-length films – and in our case, that means hundreds of the titles available through the Criterion Collection, the go-to brand … Continue reading “Introducing Kanopy, now streaming the Criterion Collection”

Cinema fans and students rejoice: you can now stream a huge chunk of the Criterion Collection through Kanopy.

Kanopy is a digital video service the AU Library just subscribed to that offers access to full-length films – and in our case, that means hundreds of the titles available through the Criterion Collection, the go-to brand name for film buffs. Their titles read like a list of the greatest movies of all time. Hoop Dreams, Seven Samurai, The Great Dictator, and Tokyo Story are some of the most cherished, ever, and all five are available to stream instantly from your choice of device.

To access Kanopy, visit this AU-specific website. You might notice movies labeled “Request”; we only have access to the Criterion titles, so not everything on Kanopy will be available. Follow this link for a list of just the Criterion Collection’s films. Many of these are also accessible through the catalog now, so if you searched for Burden of Dreams on DVD, you’ll find a streaming version too. (As with all our streaming video sites, you’ll have to log in with your library credentials if you are off-campus.)

We’ve bragged about the quality of our world cinema and silent film databases, but access to 300 titles from the Criterion Collection takes the cake. If you need to see a significant film for a course or just want to watch one of the classics, there’s a good chance you can see it for free, right now, on the same device you’re using to read this.

We’ll wait here while you check out Kanopy. You’ll want to.

Snag an armload of Criterion titles for half-off today!

Like an Arby’s selling piles of loose beef, the Criterion Collection has opened the floodgates on their store and is selling their entire DVD and Blu-ray stock for 50% off for the next 24 hours. This is a fantastic sale that every film buff should consider taking advantage of. The Criterion Collection sells the definitive … Continue reading “Snag an armload of Criterion titles for half-off today!”

Like an Arby’s selling piles of loose beef, the Criterion Collection has opened the floodgates on their store and is selling their entire DVD and Blu-ray stock for 50% off for the next 24 hours.

This is a fantastic sale that every film buff should consider taking advantage of. The Criterion Collection sells the definitive home video restorations of hundreds of classic films, everything from 20s silents to one of last year’s Oscar nominees. They have a formidable storefront, and if you’ve ever wanted to start your own film library, this is the best place to jump in and pick up a few great titles. DVDs that might normally cost $40 are selling for $20, which is a steal considering the extra content and commentary packed onto each disc.

If you’re having trouble figuring out what to buy, check out Criterion’s sale dashboard, which tracks the most popular films as well as which ones have almost run out. As of this writing, there’s only a few copies of Videodrome left. Go go go!

(To get the 50% discount, use the promo code SUZY when checking out.)

RIP William Becker, the unsung hero of world cinema

A week and a half ago, film distributor William Becker died. His name is not a recognizable one, and his quiet work at Janus Films and the Criterion Collection left a massive imprint on how we consume visual media. As the co-owner of Janus Films starting in 1965, Becker oversaw the importation of many influential … Continue reading “RIP William Becker, the unsung hero of world cinema”

A week and a half ago, film distributor William Becker died. His name is not a recognizable one, and his quiet work at Janus Films and the Criterion Collection left a massive imprint on how we consume visual media.

As the co-owner of Janus Films starting in 1965, Becker oversaw the importation of many influential works of world cinema to American shores. He deserves partial credit for the success and influence of directors including Bergman, Kurosawa, and Fellini, filmmakers who might not have come to the United States for some time otherwise. He also co-founded the Criterion Collection, which worked closely with Janus Films to release of hundreds of classic works of cinema and popularized the letterbox film display standard. If you’ve watched The 400 Blows on a television, you can thank William Becker for that.

One person alone is of course not responsible for reshaping the arthouse and international film market in America, but Becker’s transformation of Janus Films significantly helped. Criterion and Janus their exceptional work in distributing high-quality transfers of world cinema, and William Becker silently carved out a spot on the film world for that to happen.

Remember: sign up for a DC Library card and stream the Criterion Collection!

We try not to re-run content too often here, but now that the semester is settling, we wanted to remind you about the excellent streaming collection that anyone at American University can access through the DC Public Library. If you have a DC Public Library card (which you can grab at the Tenley-Friendship Library in … Continue reading “Remember: sign up for a DC Library card and stream the Criterion Collection!”

We try not to re-run content too often here, but now that the semester is settling, we wanted to remind you about the excellent streaming collection that anyone at American University can access through the DC Public Library.

If you have a DC Public Library card (which you can grab at the Tenley-Friendship Library in Tenleytown), you can stream films from the Criterion Collection, one of the greatest assortments of classic films ever assembled. We’re proud of the offerings you can get directly from the AU Library, but free streaming access to the Criterion Collection is hard to beat.

We encourage everyone to get a DC Library card and take advantage of this service. It’s a great convenience if you’re a film student, but anyone who wants to watch the best classic films of all time should take interest too.

(See our full post about this from May for more information.)

Watch a huge chunk of the Criterion Collection for free via DC Public Library

As film buffs know, the Criterion Collection releases the definitive versions of hundreds of classic films, restored and remastered to their original glory. Criterion has recently made much of their catalog available digitally through a subscription database, and we noticed that DC Public Library now provides access to this collection. This is a huge boon … Continue reading “Watch a huge chunk of the Criterion Collection for free via DC Public Library”

As film buffs know, the Criterion Collection releases the definitive versions of hundreds of classic films, restored and remastered to their original glory. Criterion has recently made much of their catalog available digitally through a subscription database, and we noticed that DC Public Library now provides access to this collection.

This is a huge boon for film aficionados: many of these films are not available in any format except the Criterion-released DVD or Blu-ray. You can now watch Eraserhead, The Battle of Algiers, The 400 Blows, and other classic films with almost no effort. This is useful for personal viewing as well as academics: there’s a good chance that Criterion offers the international film you need to watch too.

If you have a DC Public Library card, you can watch over 300 films in the Criterion Collection for free, instantly! All American University students, staff, and faculty are eligible for a DC Library card if you don’t already have one. For full instructions, check DCPL’s Get a Library Card page. You can get temporary registration online and pick up your official card in person at the Tenley-Friendship Branch, which is only a block from the AU shuttle stop.

You might be out of DC for the summer but already have your library card thanks to one of the events the AU Library ran earlier in the year. In that case, enjoy a summer of free classic films, courtesy of DC Public! If not, look for DCPL in the fall when they’ll likely host another meet-and-greet here at the AU Library.

Faculty members can contact us at libmediaft@american.edu for more information about using Criterion films for their courses.

“Lo and behold, there was actually an image in there.” Criterion’s techinical director talks restoration

Restoration is an important component of any film preservation and re-release process, especially the high-quality efforts from the Criterion Collection. Those of us without professional archival training never get a good idea of what happens during this mysterious process. Do they scan the original film? What sort of tools do they use to clean dirt … Continue reading ““Lo and behold, there was actually an image in there.” Criterion’s techinical director talks restoration”

Restoration is an important component of any film preservation and re-release process, especially the high-quality efforts from the Criterion Collection. Those of us without professional archival training never get a good idea of what happens during this mysterious process. Do they scan the original film? What sort of tools do they use to clean dirt off? What if a film reel is too damaged to use? Surely they don’t just color black-and-white movies with crayons!

Thanks to The A.V. Club, we now have a glimpse into the processing room. In commemoration of the Criterion remastering of the The Apu Trilogy, a masterwork of Indian cinema, The A.V. Club interviewed Criterion’s technical director Lee Kline about how a company restores a sixty-year-old film. The details are shocking; apparently the original copy was damaged in a fire and almost too brittle to play. Kline then goes into the chemistry of film preservation, as well as the tedious process of cleaning up scratches.

Just reading about the work that went into The Apu Trilogy‘s restoration stresses us out, so we’re it was handled by someone with skill. Maybe you won’t be grossed out reading about the nasty vinegar smell of rotting film – and maybe this line of work seems like something you’d want to do! We at least hope Kline’s interview helps you appreciate the enormous effort spent on saving global cultural heritage.

Check out the amazing art on Criterion’s Zatoichi box set

When we purchase new films for our collection, we always try to buy their definitive version. This means that the films we get often come in extravagant cases with all sorts of bonuses. We’ve basically seen at all at this point: Futurama in a giant life-sized Bender head, Six Feet Under in a block covered … Continue reading “Check out the amazing art on Criterion’s Zatoichi box set”

When we purchase new films for our collection, we always try to buy their definitive version. This means that the films we get often come in extravagant cases with all sorts of bonuses. We’ve basically seen at all at this point: Futurama in a giant life-sized Bender head, Six Feet Under in a block covered in artificial turf, Singin’ in the Rain with a commemorative umbrella… you get the idea.

Even so, we were blown away by the case for Criterion Collection’s release of the Zatoichi films. Over the course of twenty-six films, the popular Japanese series chronicled the journey of Zatoichi, a blind swordsman who wanders the country protecting the innocent. Zatoichi has appeared in more movies than James Bond, which should give you an idea about his popularity.

The Zatoichi compilation showed up in this glorious multi-piece box set, decorated with Japanese woodblock-style artwork depicting the events of the series. It’s pretty gorgeous, even for a Criterion set.

Unfortunately, we’re not going to put this box on the shelf, so it’ll take us a while to make cases and covers for all the individual disks. But since you wouldn’t see this box otherwise, we really wanted to share it.

(And if you liked these, you also might like the library archives’ woodblock art collection!)

Buy, buy, buy! All Criterion DVDs half-off for the next day

We don’t like to run blatant promotional material, but this is a special circumstance. The Criterion Collection, widely regarded as the gold standard for home media releases, is holding a one-day sale on their entire collection. Every Criterion DVD and Blu-ray is 50% off until noon tomorrow. This includes their collection sets and the Eclipse … Continue reading “Buy, buy, buy! All Criterion DVDs half-off for the next day”

We don’t like to run blatant promotional material, but this is a special circumstance.

The Criterion Collection, widely regarded as the gold standard for home media releases, is holding a one-day sale on their entire collection. Every Criterion DVD and Blu-ray is 50% off until noon tomorrow. This includes their collection sets and the Eclipse series.

If you have an interest in film, this is a sale you cannot pass up. Criterion DVDs tend to be pricey but stocked with worthwhile extras. The DVD for La Cage aux Folles, for instance, comes with exclusive interviews, archival footage, critical essays, and an updated transfer. With the sale price, this will only run you $15, roughly the same as buying the cheap copy on Amazon.

Head to Criterion’s website to save some significant money on films while you can!

Dress up like Death or RoboCop, get a gift bag

Criterion has put their own unexpected twist on the glut of seasonal costume contests and themed events. They are currently running a costume contest rewarding people who dress up as characters from one of the 600+ films in the Criterion Collection. This sounds like a daunting task, since it’s hard to pull of a recognizable … Continue reading “Dress up like Death or RoboCop, get a gift bag”

Criterion has put their own unexpected twist on the glut of seasonal costume contests and themed events. They are currently running a costume contest rewarding people who dress up as characters from one of the 600+ films in the Criterion Collection. This sounds like a daunting task, since it’s hard to pull of a recognizable Antoine Doinel costume, but Criterion’s archives are full of exciting and costume-able characters. This is Spinal Tap, Brazil, and Armageddon, for instance, both saw Criterion releases.

If you send Criterion a picture if your costume by the end of the day on Halloween, you’ll be entered to win a Criterion-themed gift bag. No telling what’s inside except winning!

Wikipedia has a handy list of all the films released by Criterion if you need a reference.