Oscar-winning filmmaker Barry Jenkins gets to pillage the Criterion Collection’s closet. Jenkins certainly is an intriguing filmmaker… his work is heavily influenced by non-American film artists (as well as Americans)… and that gives his work a certain type of visual, emotional, and cinematic grammaric edge that his African-American contemporaries. He strives for a style of cinema that reaches into the thoughts of the characters, their unspoken inner life more than trying to dazzle us with spoken language (the Tarantino and Sorkin camp).
Foreign film is my palette cleanser, to be sure, as it isn’t a slave the past-its-prime star system (which helps determine the distribution viability of US films in the international market, but how does that work for non-American films?)
Anyway, Jenkins makes some interesting selections, and I find it funny that he thinks it’s embarrassing that he’s stuffing so many cinematic gems into his bag (take what’s free, man!!). As someone who relishes the attention to detail and care of a Criterion release, there is a sticker shock (and this has been the case going back to Laser Discs) with their offerings that it becomes hard to sink dollars into Blu-rays, yet and still, you do want to have the best possible presentation format of these works of art. And black filmmakers don’t come from money, nor do they get paid anywhere near what white filmmakers get paid, so amassing a collection of Criterion films is dream that most don’t even strive for.