By Charlie Schmidlin | The Playlist January 2, 2013 at 9:23AM
One of the many pleasures of the Criterion Collection comes in the form of their monthly newsletters, in which they make good on a series of crude drawings hinting at upcoming releases (which in 2012 gave us a Robert Downey Sr. retrospective, “Quadrophenia,” and “Harold and Maude” among many others). It's a fun, collaborative peek into the months ahead, and in their fourth-annual Mega-Clue drawing for 2013, the folks over at CriterionCast have parsed out what looks to be a promising year indeed.
While much clearer and more stripped down than last year's installment, the New Years Hint still holds a number of contentious clues within. However, there are some near certainties, such as the candy-loving woman seen in Mike Leigh's film “Life is Sweet,” the flames of Teinosuke Kinugasa's samurai film “Gate of Hell,” the Pink Pearl giveaway of David Lynch's “Eraserhead,” and the huge clock's indication of the 1957 western “3:10 to Yuma,” starring Glenn Ford. The other time-based hint is a clear representation of Harold Lloyd in “Safety Last!,” while the naked woman drinking wine and spiny demon point to both Gabriel Axel's “Babette's Feast” and Guillermo del Toro's “The Devil's Backbone.”
The murkier aspects lead with the tightrope-walking clown, which could signify a “Man on Wire” Blu-ray (since a U.S. version has yet to be released), or perhaps a box set of comedian/filmmaker Pierre Etaix's films. The stress-inflicted head points to David Cronenberg's “Scanners,” the falling foliage could be Robert Aldrich's “Autumn Leaves,” and the conch looks like an upgrade of “Lord of the Flies.” Also, the man holding a birdcage alongside a child could tease “The Professional,” “Le Samourai” (or “Zatoichi”), and possibly Eduoard Molinaro's adaptation of “La Cage Aux Folles” (which Criterion put on laserdisc).
Finally, the entire apartment building could be interpreted as one massive clue to Roman Polanski's “The Tenant,” and curiously missing as well is Criterion's enduring hint at a “Y Tu Mamá También” disc. Perhaps that means the title has gone off the slate altogether, but if half of the other Criterion guesses come true, it'll mean another typical banner year for aficionados to enjoy. Take a look and tell us your predictions below.
Criterion Cast Criterion Clue Guesses
A. Harold Lloyd – Safety Last
B. 3:10 To Yuma
C. Roman Polanski’s The Tenant
D. Robert Aldrich’s Autumn Leaves / Autumn Sonata
E. Chaplin’s The Circus / Fellini’s La Strada / Pierre Etaix
F. Repo Man?
H. Gate Of Hell
I. The Devil’s Backbone / Lord Of The Flies
J. Babette’s Feast
K. Oshima’s Boy
L. David Lynch’s Eraserhead
M. The Professional / Le Samourai / Chaplin’s The Kid / Cage Aux Folles