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The Criterion Collection, perhaps the finest of the boutique DVD distribution companies out there, announced their December titles today, and boy did they outdo themselves.

The much requested Terry Gilliam film Brazil finds itself onto blu-ray. If you follow Criterion on Facebook, you’ll know this is a title that Criterionphiles have flooded their page with desperate pleas for a blu release. Finally those folks will be silenced. Not a fan of the blu-ray format myself – I think the films look like cheap British soap operas and they tend to give me motion sickness. I might be one of the few people out there who isn’t concerned with making a move to HD for my films.

It was also announced that Christopher Nolan’s first feature, Following, will also finally see it’s release. Following was one of the first films expected for future release after Criterion and IFC Films announced a partnership three years ago. It along with Y Tu Mamá También were the remaining two in that initial deal who hadn’t been released. I guess the fans of the Alfonso Cuarón film will have to remain content with his other Criterion release, Sólo con tu pareja for now.

Perhaps the most exciting of the releases is Godfrey Reggio’s The Qatsi TrilogyKoyaanisqasti, Powaqqatsi and Noqoyqatsi – which had been given away as a hint in last month’s Criterion newsletter. These films are “immersive sensory experiences that meditate on the havoc humankind’s fascination with technology has wreaked on our world.” Couldn’t have said it better myself. The films features insane scores by minimalist composer Philip Glass, whose works has been featured in the films of documentary extraordinaire, Errol Morris.

Lastly, we get René Clément‘s Purple Noon, a film I certainly didn’t expect, at least not now. This film appears on Criterion’s Hulu Plus channel, which has been a repository of most of the films they’ve released on DVD already as well as all of the films for which they holds rights but have yet to produce for sale to consumers. While I haven’t seen this film, I am very excited about it. A culture vulture like Tim Canterbury from the original Office, I love the work of Alain Delon whose performance as cool hitman Jef in Le Samouraï stands as one of my all-time favorite performances.

Quite a month of announcements from the good folks at Criterion, as good as any month in recent memory and quite a bit more than we have come to expect for December. So now there are 105K+ Criterionphiles out there who now know what they’ll be getting for Christmas. Well played, Criterion.