Criterion Collection and IFC team up to give indie/art house gems the royal treatment
Cineastes, today we rejoice, for IFC (Independent Film Channel) and The Criterion Collection have reportedly struck a deal to team up and release more contemporary titles on DVD. IFC already has been doing this on a small scale, releasing such indie favs as Harmony Korine’s Mister Lonely, the internationally lauded 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days, and Kore-eda Hirokazu’s Nobody Knows. Art house fans surely know of The Criterion Collection, which has been digitizing essential art house gems since the invention of the laser-disc — releases that are chocked full of supplements — and the collection features extensive Kurosawa, Godard, Ozu, and Fellini catelogues, along with many, many more auteurs.
Recently, Criterion Collection announced that it would be releasing festival favorites Gomorrah, the dysfunctional yet merry family tale A Christmas Tale, and Soderbergh’s long-winded biopic Che. Although very little is known, an IFC DVD release for Guy Maddin’s fantastically feverish My Winnipeg (2007) has been slated for a long time now — possibly a DVD release for the gem was pushed back until this deal was finalized — if so, this is great news, because My Winnipeg certainly is a top-tier film that deserves a top-tier, double disc Criterion royal treatment release. Criterion gave Maddin’s Brand Upon the Brain (2001) a five star release that was packed w/ short films and invaluable supplements. Maddin fans rejoice!
Earlier this summer, [IFC] announced a partnership with MPI Media Group to release genre titles such as “Sauna” and “Fear(s) of the Dark” in bare-bones editions, while reserving the right to cherry-pick its more acclaimed titles for the full “collector’s edition” treatment with Criterion.
IFC will decide on a case-by-case basis which films are best suited to go either the Criterion or MPI route, though Lisa Schwartz, exec veep of sales and business development, acknowledged that the promise of a Criterion homevid release could sweeten future distribution deals.
“The Criterion name provides a tremendous amount of credibility and prestige, and knowing IFC has a working relationship with Criterion could give us an edge in negotiations,” she said.
In addition to DVD SD and Blue Ray releases, it’s expected that upcoming Criterion+IFC releases will be available on video demand services that are provided by cable companies. IFC has been doing this for some time now and even offers digital rentals for independent releases during their theatrical runs. Even the IFC Entertainment website appears to have received a Criterion makeover already. More contemporary, top-tier, top shelves cine-gems are on their way to your collection (or your local Borders/B&N).
IFC+ Criterion Collection release schedule:
10 Nov 2009: A Christmas Tale (2008)
24 Nov 2009: Gomorrah (2008)
Dec 2009: Che (2008)
2010: Everlasting Moments (2008)
2010: Summer Hours (2008)
2010: The Secret of the Grain (2007)
2010: Hunger (2008)
2010: Still Walking (2008)
Undefined Release Date: Revanche (2008)