Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (AKA the Daniels) had been indie film darlings for years thanks to their work on movies like “Swiss Army Man” and “The Death of Dick Long.” But the massive success of “Everything Everywhere All at Once” launched them into the stratosphere. The A24 film enjoyed a lengthy theatrical run and became the highest grossing indie film in 2022 before picking up 11 Oscar nominations last month. In addition to joining the rarified air of award season contenders, the film’s success earned the Daniels an invitation to another elite film industry institution: the Criterion Closet.
In a new video released by Criterion, the two filmmakers stopped by the legendary closet to pick out a selection of their favorite Criterion Blu-rays. Their taste spanned a wide variety of genres, but the video provides a special look at the types of films that inspired their unique style.
Scheinert kicked things off by selecting Richard Linklater’s “Before” trilogy box set, which contained “Before Sunrise,” “Before Sunset,” and “Before Midnight.”
“These movies changed my life,” Scheinert said. “I also did a film festival last year where I got up and watched ‘Before Sunrise’ before the sun rose, then watched ‘Before Sunset’ before dinner, and then we waited until midnight and watched ‘Before Midnight.'”
Kwan singled out Jackie Chan’s “Police Story” films as two favorites with particular sentimental value to him.
“My dad and his whole family, they speak in the language of old Hong Kong kung fu films,” Kwan said. “‘Police Story’ 1 and 2 was way too brutal for me as a kid, but I really loved it… We made ‘Everything Everywhere’ because kung fu movies are in the blood.”
After taking a stroll down memory lane reminiscing about his childhood fascination with Godzilla, Scheinert teased that there might be a kaiju movie in the Daniels’ future.
“As a kid I became obsessed with ‘Godzilla’ movies. Just knowing it’s a man in a suit smashing toys blew my mind,” Scheinert said. “I still sometimes say that’s the genre I’m interested in — a monster movie, but only if it’s costumes and miniatures.”
Watch the Daniels’ Criterion Closet video below.
✨ Daniels’ Closet Picks ✨ Before garnering eleven Academy Award nominations for EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE, writing and directing duo @dunkwun and Daniel Scheinert (aka @Daniels) stopped by for a trip inside our films closet, where their eclectic taste was on display! pic.twitter.com/URrMhMrpVn
— Criterion Collection (@Criterion) February 3, 2023