Lunarchivist Yeah this might be like a mid-level film nerd thing but I always get slightly miffed when people default to the stereotype/branding image of Criterion as this “official” stamp of cultural approval rather than just a distribution company that picks up films with a strong niche market (usually, as Brandon alludes to, “academic”-ish types) that for whatever reason other distributors may not be interested in due to a perception of limited commercial potential. I didn’t listen to the whole podcast so maybe this is brought up eventually, but one of the cool things about Criterion Channel as distinct from their physical media distribution line is that they’re able to negotiate streaming rights for films they don’t own full distribution rights to, so like for a month or two you’ll get a selection of, say, Hitchcock films (usually jealousy guarded by Paramount etc., Hitchcock being the rare name-brand director you can sell in a boxset at Wal-Mart) or films too niche or forgotten to merit even a disc release. Criterion selection isn’t really about quality, it’s about quality + rarity + demand by a fairly particular niche audience (or sometimes just the company getting a good distribution deal on a hot film). (Tubi tends to reach into even deeper obscurities than Criterion, but I’ve only skimmed their selection via Amazon.)
Anyway lol, Criterion always likes to ask artists to pick their top 10 Criterion-distributed films and of course everyone feels compelled to say they like the proper Hollywood silver age and Euro new wave stuff, but I honestly think getting people to pick a top 10 Criterion least-favorites would be just as illuminating and fun. I do declare Deep Cover, Bowling for Columbine, Masculin Feminin, Man Bites Dog and The Game, for instance, can kiss my grits.