Right now, Barnes and Noble has the entire Criterion Collection on sale for 50% off, making the often-pricy discs a little more accessible. What's great about the Criterion Collection is that the company often does a great remaster of classic films -- ones that are decades old -- and collects a wealth of research and material that goes into the extra features and packaging. If you're a film buff, it's your holy grail.
Criterion also releases a number of classic Japanese films that would otherwise be inaccessible to most Western viewers. With the sale going on, here are some suggested titles to add to your collection:
- House - As Zac said, "It looks like an over-the-top, low-budget crazy-fest created by a group of art students during a solid weekend of eating nothing but mushrooms and speed. That's more-or-less accurate"
- The Akira Kurosawa Collection - I'm going to cheat and recommend you just get all of the guy's films. He's dead now, and that means there isn't anything else that will see a release. While it's DVD-only, I don't forsee Criterion releasing all of his films in Blu-ray any time soon. If you only want to get one film, pick up my personal favorite, Stray Dog.
- Fires On The Plain - A black comedy that takes a look at the waning days of World War II and the Japanese soldiers' struggle to survive, with limited food and questionable integrity amongst the men.
- Tokyo Story - A truly moving piece about an elderly couple who visits their children in the post-war Tokyo, showing just how much life has changed between the generations.
- Tokyo Drifter - One of Suzuki Seijun's best films, this is a gangster piece done on a limited budget while the director fought with the studio tooth and nail. What results is a modernist piece of storytelling that fits the art-house vibe.
These are just some of the films available. There's so much more great stuff outside of the Japanese flicks, and Flixist has some recommendations of their own. The sale isn't going on for much longer, so be sure to buy quickly!