Clare's Criterion Collection

Here Is My Criterion Collection. See What I Have Bought & Read My Reviews. Follow Me As I Explore My Collection.

Criterion Collection Purchase # 9 & 10

Withnail & I was Purchase # 9.  This was purchased via Ebay and is an Out of Print film, though I was able to buy a new, unused copy.

Withnail & I

Another Barnes & Noble 50% sale and Purchase # 10 was made adding more Criterion’s to my collection.  This also meant another beating given to my bank account 🙂

My first Eclipse Series box set

Larisa Shepitko

A  double Bergman classic

Autumn Sonata

A man who wants a new life

Seconds

And a Cold War thriller

TSWCIFTC

Remember to look out for my reviews in the coming days/weeks/months as I make my way through my Collection.

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The Fireman’s Ball – Review # 11

The Fireman's Ball

Spine # 145

Available on DVD

Special Features:

  • New digital transfer, with restored image and sound
  • Video interview with director Milos Forman
  • A behind-the-scenes look at the transfer process, featuring cinematographer Miroslav Ondricek, and comments from Milos Forman
  • New and improved English subtitle translationNew cover by James Tung

Please note that whilst I try to not give away vital plot details/scenes/developments of the film, some reviews may contain mild spoilers.

Review

This is a film of comical misery guts! Please don’t take that as a nasty comment, I enjoyed and laughed my way through this riotous comedy, its just packed with lots of complaining / miserable faces etc.  Maybe that it was made me laugh so much.

As the title suggests there is a Ball, organised (if you can call what you see organised) by fireman to celebrate the birthday of the previous Commanding Officer, a man who may or may not be dying!

Centre to the evening is the tombola, a raffle with gifts donated by the town folk. There was a cake but someone nicked it, this was especially bad news for the poor chap in charge of putting up the banner.  Other delights up for grabs are a pigs head and bottles of Pilsner Urquell. There is a slight problem though; before the guests arrive items start to go “missing”

On with the Ball itself, and what a Ball(s-up).

The “organising committee” spend all their time perving over the young ladies in the crowd whilst finding contestants for their beauty contest, a contest no one wants to enter.  Some of the youngsters get frisky; the look on the old man’s face when he looks under table is a class moment, old married couples bicker and argue about watching items on the tombola table and everyone skips out on paying their bill.

Of course there is a fire, would be rude not to have one when there is a room full of firemen.  They spring into action and after digging and pushing the fire truck out of the snow, are able to do absolutely nothing to stop the house burning to the ground.  Don’t worry, the Ball continues with the beauty Queen crowned and all the tombola prizes stolen.

And with that, everyone went home.

As I said at the start, I laughed my way through this.  It witty and sarcastic humour throughout, the kind I love.  If you want a good laugh you can’t go wrong with this film.

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Paddle To The Sea – Review # 10

ptts

Whilst for sale & purchased via the Criterion Collection, this is a Janus Films edition

Available on DVD

Special Features:

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer

Please note that whilst I try to not give away vital plot details/scenes/developments of the film, some reviews may contain mild spoilers.

Review

I never thought I would find myself buying what is essentially a children’s film.  That said, I found the concept behind this film to be very interesting and as I now live in Canada and along the path of this film I felt a small connection.  So what did I think of this short (28 minutes) Oscar nominated film?

We start the journey in a cabin on the shore of Lake Superior.  We see Paddle (the name given to the boat) being carved from a piece of wood by a young boy with a dream.  As spring arrives and thaws away the harsh winter Paddle is soon skiing down, then tumbling down, the slope until he reaches the Lake.  From this point forward Paddle is “completely at the mercy of the wind and waves”.  He is also at the mercy of seagulls that want to eat him, a snake that slithers over him and a frog that tried to use him as a hiding place.

The one element he cannot escape is the weather and as the winter draws in he is frozen and disappears under a blanket of snow.  As with the start of his journey, it is only when the sun appears again in the spring is he set free to continue the journey.  A new danger is encountered, this time human!  Like the fish that share the Lakes and Rivers of his trip Paddle is caught on the end of a rod.  I have forgotten to mention the message carved into the base of the boat.  It reads:

“I am Paddle to the Sea: Please Put Me Back in the Water”

Thankfully, the young boy heeds this request, after a talk from his Father, and Paddle is released.

The big city is next and it is at this point the beauty of the world meets that harsh reality of what we doing to the planet, even back in the mid 60’s, when this film was made.  We see the pollution and filth created by man being pumped into the Lake.  We also see the biggest tourist attraction along the Great Lakes, Niagara Falls.  It was rather nice to have a birds-eye view of what it would be like to go over Horseshoe Falls.

As Paddle heads out down the St Lawrence River towards the Atlantic Ocean he encounters a few more hazards in the shape of a beaver, a deer, a child and thankfully, a dog that wasn’t in the mood to play “fetch”.  His last human contact (as far as we see in the film) takes him to a lighthouse where he is given a fresh coat of paint and then returned to the water.

I wonder what became of Paddle.  Is he still out there, drifting in the ocean?  I asked at the start what I thought of the film, well I found it to be everything I expected and as scenic as I had hoped.  Even as someone in their 30’s, I could appreciate this film and greatly enjoyed.  If you are to watch, I hope you do too.

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