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Out Of The Blu: Time to stock up on these essential Criterion Collection films

 

Every July and November, Barnes and Noble does a public service in exchange for their decimation of the Mom and Pop bookstore and to stave off the abyss known in some circles as “the internet": They mark down the entire Criterion Collection by 50 percent (10 percent extra if you’re a member) and film nerds everywhere rejoice.

Criterion releases are among the most expensive DVDs/Blu-ray discs available for purchase on the market, with your average Blu running about $40, but they’re well worth the cost: The transfers are utterly incredible works of film restoration, and the context-providing extras are considerately selected and fascinating. Today, July Eleventh in the Year of Our Lord Twenty Seventeen, the sale begins, and it’ll last through August 7.

We’ve provided you with a handful of choice cuts (Blu-ray emphasized -- it’s 2017) for your shopping perusal (we wish we could have included more films from before 1960, but what can you do), and also highlighted some of the best ways you can spend during this sale to maximize the value of your dollar.

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Ghost World

Finally, we have Terry Zwigoff’s modern masterpiece and Vanyaland personal fave Ghost World, which received a fantastic release back at the end of May. In addition to the amazing new transfer that’s typical of every Criterion release, they were able to get all of the cast and crew on the record to talk about the film and celebrate its 16th anniversary. The traditional booklet of information and essays that comes with every disc is expertly crafted here as well, with ephemera from comic creator Dan Clowes amongst essays and other details detailing the film’s making and the restoration process. It’s a lovely package, and it’s only $20, which is the baseline for your standard release here. Seriously, if you grab only one thing, pick this up. If you’d like to grab more at this price level, we’d also recommend In A Lonely Place, It Happened One Night, Heart of a Dog, Fish Tank, Design for Living, Repo Man, Naked, Ugetsu, Sullivan’s Travels, Cameraperson, Blow Out, and The Thin Red Line. We’re gasping for breath, too.

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