You’d be hard pressed to find a company in the film industry that’s as beloved as The Criterion Collection. Pricey though they are, the boutique label remains as popular in the film-loving set as ever. One of those fans is director Mike Leigh (who has three films on the label: “Naked,” “Life Is Sweet,” and “Topsy-Turvy“), and as part of the press tour for his latest, “Mr. Turner,” the British filmmaker stopped by the Criterion offices and shot a video inside their hallowed closet.
It would be easy for filmmakers to grow so hardened and cynical over a career that they lose sight of their love of the art form. That’s why it’s so great when someone retains their passion for cinema like Leigh does in this eight-minute-long video. Barring a reference to the recently released Blu-ray of “A Hard Day’s Night,” all of Leigh’s recommendations stay firmly planted in non-English-language cinema, with the director explaining that he first fell in love with world of film as a young man in 1960s London. Directors name-checked include Francois Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Yasujiro Ozu, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, and Milos Forman. For any viewer looking to explore non-English-language cinema, Leigh sets aside a pretty great beginner’s course.
Watch Leigh ransack Criterion’s closet below and catch his new film, “Mr. Turner,” in select theaters starting this Friday.