What’s your favorite essay written for a DVD or Blu-ray in The Criterion Collection? 

 

(NOTE: I’m asking specifically about the essay included in the packaging of the disc; not an article or review about the DVD or Blu-ray.)

Movies can become tied to memories and for that reason my favorite essay is film critic Maitland McDonagh’s for “Kuroneko” or “Yabu no naka no kuroneko” (The Black Cat from the middle of the Bamboo Forest).

The movie is one of two that I will forever associate with Roger Ebert (the other being “March of the Penguins”). For that I can credit Michael Jackson. My husband and I had compiled a CD of interpretations of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” On a whim, I sent one to Roger Ebert for Halloween. In return, he sent to me “Kuroneko.”

The McDonagh’s essay has a balanced blend of background information, cultural contrast between East and West and commentary on cinematic style. Yet I would want to say something different. Roger urged me to watch Japanese films on Hulu and write about Japanese movies. This essay reminds me of those two things as well as appealing to my growing affection for Halloween (I’m already contemplating my costume for this year) and interest in horror films that are targeted at frightening men over women (“Audition” or “Fatal Attraction”).

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