Over the holidays, our good friends at the Criterion Collection unleashed a New Year's Postcard, chock full of those squiggly cartoon clues that adorn their newsletters (the postcard is drawn by regular wacky clue artist Jason Polan). We love those clues, and immediately the Internet exploded with speculation about what everything meant (on sites like Criterion Forum and High Def Junkies), while we puzzled over the clues ourselves. Here's a rundown of what most of the mega-clue probably mean. Maddeningly, there was no reference to Guillermo del Toro's "Cronos," which was teased (via cartoony clue) roughly one million years ago.
Anyway here's how the speculation is netting-out and yes, it's sort of super dorky and very theoretical, but whatever, we're pretty dorky about this stuff ourselves. And yes, some of the elements have already been announced, so they're less clues and more reinforcing the fact that there are other hints strewn about.
- There's a blue M on the shirt of the guy on the motorcycle, which seems to signify a release of Fritz Lang's "M" on Blu-ray (it's already part of the DVD collection, spine #30).
- The blue locusts on the left side of the postcard are from Terrence Malick's breathtaking "Days of Heaven," which makes its Blu-ray debut on March 23rd (again, this was already a great Criterion DVD).
- The dog-headed man with the star T-shirt seems to confirm a previously teased release of a Blu-ray collection of Stan Brakhage films (presumably called "By Brakhage Vol. 2").
- The blue leopard screams Blu-ray release of Luchino Visconti's luscious historical epic (spine #235) "The Leopard"
- The tree-stump with the blue axe is an image from Austrian revenge thriller "Revanche," which the Collection will debut on February 16th.
- The blue katana towards the center of the page seems to represent the pair of Kurosawa films the Collection will be debuting on Blu-ray in March, "Yojimbo" and "Sanjuro" (Criterion has also all-but-promised a high definition version of "The Seven Samurai" by the end of the year, too).
- And while the red ballet slippers are quite obviously a nod to Powell and Pressburger's "Red Shoes," it's unclear if the new disc (which Martin Scorcese has a hand in) will be a standard definition-only affair (the version they currently have out is oooold) or will also be issued in Blu-ray.
- The motorcycle and flowers seems to come from Iranian Abbas Kiarostami's "Close-Up" (one of the forums had a screen cap of an identical image from the film). This title hasn't been announced yet.
- The devil could be from the restored director's cut of Ang Lee's "Ride with the Devil" (out this summer).
- The wavy red lines that adorn the back of the postcard have everyone saying it's definitely Michelangelo Antonioni's "The Red Desert." While we'd love to see that film get the deluxe treatment it so rightfully deserves, we also have to say: c'mon guys, it's wavy red lines. It could be anything.
- The road sign contains a number of references. Germany, Rome, Po Valley are all in connection with the Rossellini War Trilogy (out on January 26th), with Paris, Texas, obviously alluding to Wim Wender's "Paris, Texas" (on Blu-ray and DVD on January 26th also), and the "Idlewild Home for Ladies" sign referencing "Make Way for Tomorrow" (out February 23rd).
- The giant baby sadly doesn't signify an extravagant edition of "Honey, We Blew Up the Kid," but rather Pedro Costa's "Colossal Youth," part of the recently announced Letters from Fontainhas: Three Films by Pedro Costa DVD box set (March 30th).
- Smaller items on the postcard follow: the polka-dotted revolver is from Marco Ferreri's "Dillinger is Dead" (out March 16th); the Che T-shirt is, from Soderbergh's two-part "Che" (on DVD and Blu-ray January 19th); while the white feather seems to have reignited speculation that the Collection will be putting out an as-yet-unannounced edition of Zoltan Korda's 1939 version of "Four Feathers."
- The sassy girl with the gun, wearing the Che T-shirt and the red ballet shoes is an indicator for the forthcoming release of Max Ophuls' "Lola Montes" (on DVD and Blu-ray February 16th).
- The hotel sign is from Jean-Luc Godard's 1962 film "Vivre sa Vie: Film en Douze Tableaux" (just check out the poster), which has not been announced yet, but many have speculated on.
- The weirdo modernist vase between the sign post and the dog-headed man may look like a crash-landed UFO but it's actually from Olivier Assayas' "Summer Hours," which will be released as part of Criterion's pact with IFC. We expect this to be announced in the next batch of releases (for April).
- Oh, and the pitcher of milk is from Nicolas Ray's "Bigger than Life," out on DVD and Blu-ray on March 23rd (we're super excited for this one).