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Comment Section for Sure, It Won an Oscar. But Is It Criterion? - The New York Times

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How the Criterion Collection became the film world’s arbiter of taste.


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This New York Times article explores the history and influence of the Criterion Collection, a company that curates and distributes noteworthy films. Founded in the 1980s, Criterion began by releasing films on VHS and LaserDisc and evolved to include DVD, Blu-ray, and a streaming service. The company has become renowned for its high-quality editions of films and its dedication to maintaining the filmmaker's original intent. The article highlights the company's focus on preserving films, which can involve extensive detective work to find the best surviving prints and sometimes years of restoration work. Criterion's selection process involves a keen balance of cultural significance, commercial viability, and filmmakers' lobbying, and its collection has often been compared to a film Hall of Fame. The company has also made efforts to diversify its catalog in response to criticism for propping up a largely white and male canon of films. The article concludes by highlighting Criterion's commitment to human curation over algorithmic suggestions, preserving the value of human creativity and curation in the age of streaming.

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Feb. 29, 2024, 4:28 p.m.

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