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Criterion Teases 'The Deer Hunter,' 'The Big Chill,' 'It's A Wonderful Life' & More In New Year's Clue

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by Kevin Jagernauth
January 2, 2014 9:06 AM
12 Comments
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The Deer Hunter

Emerging as an annual cinephile tradition, The Criterion Collection has once again kicked off the New Year with an illustrated clue hinting at what fans of the boutique label can expect over the next 12 months. And if these hints pan out, it's going to be another strong slate of releases in 2014.

Now a caveat: everything below is nothing more than educated guesses, but between the usually well-informed people at The Criterion Cast and Criterion Forum, they probably aren't far off base. So what is Criterion teasing? Well, the clues seem to be pointing toward: Michael Cimino's "The Deer Hunter"; Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life" (previously issued by Criterion on laserdisc); Howard Hawks' classic "Red River"; the landmark documentary "Jazz On A Summer's Day" (recently re-issued in a theatrical run); Lawrence Kasdan's "The Big Chill" and more.

Anyway, an annotated graphic and possible titles below (via Criterion Cast). What do you think? Share you thoughts with us in the comments section.

A. Bushes =

B. Reindeer behind a bush = Michael Cimino’s The Deer Hunter

C. Beetles = Richard Lester’s A Hard Day’s Night

D. Picnic scene = Picnic At Hanging Rock, Hideo Nakata’s Ringu (or Truffaut’s Wild Child?), Les Blank’s Garlic Is As Good As Ten Mothers, Sydney Pollack’s Tootsie, Roman Polanski’s MacBeth, Riot In Cell Block 11

E. Red Sun = Terence Young’s Red Sun 1971, Edward Yang’s A Brighter Summer Day

F. Red River = Howard Hawk’s Red River

G. Dancing people = Lawrence Kasdan’s The Big Chill

H. Exploding Head = David Cronenberg’s Scanners

I. California Raisin = Daniel Petrie’s A Raisin In The Sun (1961), The Big Chill

J. Head in the box = Jacques Tati box set

K. Angel leaving with a bell = Frank Capra’s It’s A Wonderful Life, Breaking The Waves

L. Band playing = Jazz On A Summer's Day

M. Angels in the water = Jacques Demy’s Bay Of Angels, Charles Chaplin’s The Kid

N. Angel with a boa = Jacques Demy’s Lola

O. Angel with the hat = Jacques Demy’s Donkey Skin

P. Red Umbrella = Jacques Demy’s Umbrellas Of Cherbourg

Criterion New Years's Clue (skip crop)
Criterion Clue Annotated 2014 (skip crop)


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12 Comments

  • Bailee | March 26, 2014 10:26 PMReply

    Let's not forget the two angels, one with light hair, the other with dark+ the twins in Jaques Demy's Les Demoiselles de Rochefort!

  • Bailee | March 26, 2014 10:27 PM

    I meant for the + to be =

  • gubbler chechenova | January 4, 2014 8:13 PMReply

    Please release Kaseki(Kobayashi), Here's Your Life(Troell), A Man without a Map(aka Ruined Map directed by Teshigahara), the Wanderers(Ichikawa).

  • spassky | January 2, 2014 2:20 PMReply

    "The Big Chill" = glad they're still pulling in crap to frame alongside "Armageddon" and "Tiny Furniture"

  • Nicole | January 2, 2014 12:49 PMReply

    I thought those were crabs and not beetles, so I was kind of going crazy with what kind of films criterion added that involved crabs. Also added Deer Hunter to the collection would be amazing! I also think that there might be some Orson Welles being added as well, because of that essay that is on the home page.

  • Swell | January 2, 2014 12:20 PMReply

    Yeah, with their von Trier track record and likelihood as an eventual landing spot for Nymphomaniac, I'd wager the angel with the bell is Breaking the Waves. That could just be wishful thinking on my part though (I'd like to see a small box of some of his older stuff get released as well, like Medea and The Idiots).

  • Ted | January 2, 2014 10:59 AMReply

    I don't know if any of these clues will pan out, but I doubt we're lucky enough to get a Criterion release of "A Brighter Summer Day's," but I'd be ecstatic if we did. A Tati box set and a collection of Demy films would be great. A Demy set of Lola, Umbrellas, and Young Girls of Rochefort would be awesome.

    The rest I couldn't care about that much, and I vehemently hate "The Deer Hunter." Red River is good, but certainly not Hawks' best (not even his best Western, I'd put both Rio Bravo and The Big Sky above Red River). Similarly, "The Kid" isn't the most interesting Chaplin.

  • DJ | January 4, 2014 2:17 PM

    Have been waiting years for A Brighter, Summer Day! I know Criterion was struggling with copyright issues and what not, but I'd heard that Yang's widow was complying with it all. A distilled digital transfer would be a treasure.

  • Mongoosecmr | January 2, 2014 11:16 AM

    A Brighter Summer Day, the Demy films and any Chaplin films are already guarantees, regardless of whether they're hinted here or not

  • ftzcrrldnt | January 2, 2014 10:48 AMReply

    how is the angel in the water a clue to chaplin's the kid? maybe an angel breaking a window...

  • Eric | January 2, 2014 9:55 AMReply

    I think the jazz band is also probably a reference to David Lynch's MULHOLLAND DR. (2001) because they leaked a letter a while back specifying his video/audio presentation preferences for the film addressed to them...

  • Jonah | January 2, 2014 10:28 AM

    That letter wasn't addressed to them, but to Lynch's friend, - a theater projectionist.

    Btw, Criterion doesn't have the rights to It's a Wonderful Life, and that, supposedly, The Deer Hunter clue is rather questionable.

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