In 1984, a company called The Criterion Collection was created with the aim of selling important classic and contemporary films that have been cleaned and restored and augmented with bonus features. Their first releases were Citizen Kane and King Kong. Their Citizen Kane was created from a master positive provided by the UCLA Film and Television Archive. King Kong was the debut of their scene-specific audio-commentary feature, so beloved by hard-core film buffs.
With its eighth release, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Criterion originated the letterbox format, which added black bars to the top and bottom of the 4:3 standard television set in order to preserve the original aspect ratio of the film.
As well as cleaning and restoring all films released on their label, Criterion works closely with filmmakers and scholars to ensure that each film is presented as its maker would want it seen.
From the 1990s onwards, the Criterion Collection has focused on releasing world cinema, cinema classics, and critically successful obscure movies, seeking out films that are “exemplary films of their kind.”
So if you are a film buff, you might want to check out the extensive selection (172 titles) of Criterion Collection movies that we offer here at the Library. Simply go to the SCPL catalog, and search on the term “Criterion Collection.” You might also wanted to check out the Criterion Collection Facebook page, which offers an entertaining and ever-changing assortment of film clips and interviews with notables in the film world.