Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Cherished DVDs: Welles Criterion

I've got three Criterion DVDs, and these are two.
If you're surprised I don't have more, so am I. Criterion caters to the arty-farty crowd, to which I cheerfully cop pretensions. Even when Criterion re-releases kitsch, camp or meatball action films, it pads the prime attraction with serious commentary -- printed and recorded. Sauce for the goose, you'd think.

They tend to be pricey affairs, however -- costly enough to force reconsideration. Does this release truly qualify for the limited shelf-space on my Wall Of Plastic? More often than not, the answer is a clear "no."

I have owned close to a dozen, in my day -- but after a viewing or two I've given them away to friends whose passion for the particular flick greatly exceeds my own. Those are gifts worth giving, let me tell you.

I can't think of anyone, however, who might be into these two Orson Welles enterprises. Mr. Arkadin and F Is For Fake qualify as curiosities to most cinéastes -- good for a look or two, depending. I find them both rather troubling, in ways that some of Welles' more celebrated features are not. The short explanation: it seems to me Welles was haunted by the elusive spectre of authenticity.

And if you think about that for any length of time, you become haunted as well.


Joel Swagman said...

I've never seen either of those films, but I've heard good things about F is for Fake.

This video essay in particular made me interested:

Darrell Reimer said...

That's good -- thanks for sharing. I should have probably added there are some juicy extras on both sets. But with Criterion that's pretty much a given.