Anderson says ‘Darjeeling’ Criterion should happen

Joe Shearer

No one knows for sure, though, if ideal format will come


Credit: DKS Editors

There are two kinds of DVD consumers in this world.

First, there are those who care about one thing, and one thing only: the movie. Most people fall into this group, buying bare-bones, single-disc-maybe even (gasp!) fullscreen editions of the film. In a world where information is unlimited, these souls choose to limit themselves from any added experience related to the feature presentation.

Then, there are hardcores – the geeks, if you will. The end of a film (yes, a movie is no longer simply a “movie,” but a “film”) is only the beginning. You have the commentary tracks, documentaries, deleted scenes and if you’re really lucky, the actors’ screen tests. And so, these elitist, knowledge-starved pupils search high and low, far and near, to find juicy, mouth-watering special editions of the films they love.

For these people, myself included, only one name consistently delivers the goods: The Criterion Collection, which prides itself on pristine picture and audio transfers, and loads of bonus features you can’t find anywhere else. These carefully crafted DVDs typically retail from $30 to $40.

Still following?

Fans of filmmaker Wes Anderson (“Rushmore”, “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou”) are especially familiar with Criterions, as all but one of the director’s films have joined the collection’s ranks. Anderson’s debut feature, “Bottle Rocket,” is the latest addition (Nov. 25), while his most recent film, 2007’s “Darjeeling Limited,” eludes addition to the privileged 450-ish titles.

Much Internet chatter and even a petition have added oomph to the question as to whether this tale of three brothers will ever be more than the bland, unimpressive offering from 20th Century Fox.

Anderson has said little to nothing on the record to reassure fans; however, last October, he (as well as actors Jason Schwartzman and Waris Ahluwalia) promoted the film in Cleveland. After a roundtable interview, with my recorder still running, I asked him if a “Darjeeling” Criterion would happen.

“I think at first it’s gonna be out with it not Criterion,” Anderson said. Check: It hit stores at the end of February. He added, “But then, a couple months later, there’ll be a Criterion.”

Roughly six months later after the DVD release, all we have is speculation. Who knows? Maybe a “couple months later” can be translated into “down the road.” He spoke fairly confidently on the subject, and if his determination to launch “Bottle Rocket” out of the standard domain is any indication, the odds of it happening aren’t terrible.

All of you in Group One of DVD buyers are fine. You have the movie, and life goes on. For us dreamers in Group Two, no Criterion means one thing: We’re at the beginning of an experience waiting to happen.

Contact all reporter Joe Shearer at [email protected].