My earliest movie exposure was heavily influenced by what my father could find at the local video store.He’d stop there on the way home from work and pick out one of new releases from the display of empty video boxes that lined the outer walls of the store.
This was unlike any video store I’d ever encountered.
It was enormous, carrying seemingly every movie ever put on video in any format, from VHS to laserdisc to DVD, including PAL videotapes and foreign region DVDs that required renting special machines to play.
Most of them were so rare that the store required a credit card deposit of several hundred dollars just to walk out of the store with the movie. The Criterion Collection is likely the preeminent distribution brand in the minds of movie buffs. One is by curating and licensing rights to a library of truly great, enduring movies.
Secondly, when they bring those movies to the world, they do so with an attention to detail and quality that can only come from the purest love and respect for movies as an art form.
These were movies from all over the world, in all languages, sorted not just by new versus old but by country, director, and genre.
It was at Scarecrow that I rented my first Criterion laser disc.
We’re launching with over 150 Criterion movies today, and we’ll be adding more titles each month.
Among the launch list today are so many acknowledged classics: , Henri-Georges Clouzot’s first feature.
And so my early love of movies grew largely from a diet of American Hollywood blockbusters because that’s what dominated the most coveted merchandising space at our local video stores.
After college, I moved to Seattle, and some movie buffs I met there introduced me to a video store called Scarecrow Video.
This doesn’t even include the supplemental content Criterion is famous for and which we’ll bring to the Criterion experience on Hulu Plus over time: commentaries, documentaries, interviews, original trailers, essays, and more.