Netflix Annexes, Criterion Collexes: Four New Films Slated For DVD/Blu-Ray Release

In a remarkable demonstration of efficiency/quick-turnaround in the life of a film as it travels through the pipelines of various media outlets, Netflix seems to have cracked the code of theatrical/streaming/high-end physical media release; one that apparently leads to critical plaudits, positive cash-flow, and Oscar-nominated glory-bask.

Perhaps signaling that waiting for a few years of breathing-space/perspective-gathering regarding fancy home-video editions is for chumps and lollygaggers, the streaming giant/emerging major movie studio that is Netflix announces that FOUR of its recently-released films (along with the previously announced Roma) are headed straight into the Criterion Collection (we’re assuming that they asked first).

The Irishman, Scorsese’s wisened-wiseguy/uncanny-valley mob epic, Marriage Story, Noah Baumbach’s both strangely praised AND reviled ADAM Driver/Scarlett Johansson divorce-drama, Atlantics, Mati Diop’s moody Senegalese ghost-story/migrant-crisis drama, and American Factory, a documentary film from directors Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar (the debut release from Barack and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground Productions), about a Chinese owned factory opening in rural Ohio.

Irishman, Marriage, and Factory have all gained Oscar noms (Diop’s Atlantics has won the Grand Prix prize at Cannes, the first for a black female director).

Only time, multiple viewings and appraisals will tell us whether special-feature commentaries from directors so fresh off of a production (to be fair, a relatively common practice in common/standard home video releases) will retain any historical value for the Criterion brand, that special Manchus Red Fox restaurant booth, reserved for prestige (or possibly mobbed-up) DVD and Blu-ray offerings.