The purpose of this list is to record the progress of the project, which I've optimistically titled "A Criterion a day...", as a tool to keep track of the titles watched.
The Criterion Collection is "a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films." I have been collecting films in this series since the late 1980s when they released titles on laserdisc. From December 1984 until March 1999, Criterion released 304 unique titles on laserdisc (plus 3 TV series compilations and 3 titles under the Rolling Thunder imprint), but only 193 of them have been released on Criterion DVD. They released their first title on DVD in 1998. As of January 2017, the company has released over 1100 films on DVD and Blu-ray (including feature-length supplementary films), and about 174 additional titles in their Eclipse series. Eclipse is an imprint of Criterion which offers "a selection of lost, forgotten, or overshadowed classics." About 850 of those titles can currently be streamed on the Criterion Channel of FilmStruck. In addition, the Criterion Channel offers over 250 titles licensed by Criterion which have never been released on either Criterion or Eclipse DVD. To be exact, as of January 1, 2017, there are 1753 films in the Collection, including those announced through March 2017. (About 150 of these are less than an hour in length, but that's more than made up by fourteen titles which are more than four hours long, and one which is more than 15 hours!)
As a film enthusiast with a special interest in foreign-language films, I had seen roughly a quarter of the Collection before this project began. I have more than 600 of them in my DVD/Blu-ray collection. At the start of this project, there were about 850 films in the Collection which I'd not seen. In order to view those remaining titles, I could watch one movie each week, but that would take about 17 years to complete. And since they are adding about 75 titles each year, I would never be able to catch up. My original goal was to watch those 850 titles, but a few months after the project started, I decided to see every film in the Collection, including those I'd already seen.
But what if I could watch one movie a day from the Criterion Collection? That would allow me to see every film in the Collection in just over four years. This estimate includes the additional titles released during that period. That might seem like an impossible goal, but in the first ten months of the project (which began in May 2013), I had watched 400 titles in the Collection, and that included several weeks when I was on vacation, and several three-to-four day stretches when I didn't watch any at all. If I can keep that same pace, and if Criterion doesn't increase its output, I should be able to see every film in the Criterion Collection by the end of 2016. (See the January 2017 Progress Report below which explains how this goal wasn't met.)
Progress Report: December 31, 2014: In 2014 alone, I watched 376 titles, which surpassed my goal of "a Criterion a day!" (They were among the 514 films I watched in 2014.)
Progress Report: January 31, 2015: I've watched 740 of the 1339 films in the Collection, or 55.3%. This includes 425 titles in the main series, 159 in the Eclipse series, and 156 Hulu Plus only titles.
Progress Report: February 28, 2015: I've decided to remove all films (with a few exceptions) which are less than feature-length from my database of Criterion titles. That also meant removing those titles which I'd watched and had previously added to this list. As of today, the title number of titles in the Criterion Collection (and those announced through May 2015) is 1298. This includes 829 titles in the main collection, 165 titles in the Eclipse series, 278 titles which are Hulu Plus-only, and 26 other non-numbered titles. Of these I've watch 740 (back to the total of last month!) or 57.09%.
Progress Report: June 30, 2015: I've watched 890 of the 1354 films currently in the Collection, or 65.7%. Broken down by source, I've seen 544 of the 880 films in the main series (61.8%), 160 of the 170 films in the Eclipse series (94.1%), 174 of the 278 Hulu-only titles (62.6%), and 12 miscellaneous titles. In the first half of 2015, I've watched 216 films of the Collection (and 113 films not in the Collection.) At that rate of 36 films each month, I should catch up with seeing all of the films in another 14 months or by September 2016, three years and four months after the start of the project.
Progress Report: September 25, 2015: I have reached 75% of my goal, having watched 1030 of the 1373 films currently in the Collection: 73% of the main series, 96% of the Eclipse series, 68% of the Hulu-only titles, and 77% of the miscellaneous titles. Will I be able to watch the remaining 340 films (plus the 50 or so which will be added) in the next twelve months?
Progress Report: December 31. 2015: In 2015, I watched 455 films in the Collection, well above my projected pace. They made up the bulk of the 803 films I watched in 2015.
Progress Report: January 5, 2016: As of today, I have watched 1141 or 82% of the current 1389 titles in the Collection. So keeping with the "a Criterion a day" plan, I should be caught up by September 9, 2016.
Progress Report: January 1, 2017: Earlier in 2016 I decided to add the titles which were released by Criterion as laserdiscs to my project. In November, the Criterion Channel of FilmStruck began as an online streaming service which added about 60 exclusive Criterion-branded titles to the total number of films, which currently stands at 1753. So I've completed 81%, which means my percentage has dropped from the last report with the addition of over 300 new titles, including the 89 films released by Criterion in their main line in 2016. As of today, I've watched 83% of the films in the main spine-numbered line (for the most part the remaining titles consist of feature-length supplements), 100% of the titles in the Eclipse line, 84% of the Criterion-branded titles on FilmStruck/Hulu (including all of those titles which have yet to be ported to FilmStruck from Hulu), and 22% of the other titles (including laserdisc, digital and non-spine numbered releases.)
Progress Report: May 1, 2017: It has now been four years since the start of this ever-evolving project. I have now watched 1641 of the 1808 feature-length films currently or announced in the Criterion Collection (including any associated titles), or almost 91%. (13 of those 1641 titles are not in the Letterboxd database because they are alternate versions of films already in the db.) I still need to watch 41 films on FilmStruck's Criterion Channel, 51 films from the laserdisc (even though I'd seen most of those before the start of the project), and 58 feature films which are supplements in the spine-numbered mainline series. I hope to have seen all of them before the end of Summer 2017. With the addition of about 10-15 films each month (mainline and Criterion Channel titles). It's going to take a while longer to be completely caught-up, and may be something that may forever be only inches within my grasp.
Progress Report: June 18, 2017: My original goal to see all of the featured titles in the spine-numbered DVD/BD series was accomplished today. That includes all films currently in the Collection (#880 is the latest release.) In addition to those 922 films, I have watched all 174 titles in the Eclipse series, 88 of the 109 Laserdisc-exclusive films, 325 of the 364 streaming-only films, 176 of the 248 feature-length films that appeared as supplements in the spine-numbered series, and 15 non-numbered and digital download-only films, bringing the total to the well-rounded number of 1700 films. I have also watched 14 of the 42 supplemental feature-length films which are currently not in the Letterboxd database. The total number of films in the Collection as of today is 1838, leaving a remainder of 124 films to go before Total Completion.
Progress Report: January 1, 2018: By my reckoning, at the end of 2017, and counting those announced through March 2018, there were 2017 titles in the Collection (just a coincidence!) I have watched 1929 or 95.64%. For 2017, they added over 180 films to the Collection. In December alone, they released 54 Olympic films on disc, and added more than two dozen films to the Criterion Channel. I have watched 1259 of the 1333 DVD/BD titles, all but 13 of the 387 streaming-only titles, all of the 107 laserdisc-only titles, and all but one of the 178 Eclipse titles (it won't be available until the end of January.) There are currently 21 unwatched supplemental films only available in spine-numbered releases which I'm reluctant to buy. Disregarding those, it's very likely that my project will catch up before May 1, 2018, its fifth anniversary.
Progress Report: February 16, 2018: There are currently 2028 films in the Collection through the May 2018 announcement. I have watched 1984 (including 34 alternate versions which are not included in the Letterboxd database), or 97.83%. I am 100% viewing complete of films in the Eclipse series, those available only through streaming, and those which were only available on laserdisc. Of the 1346 films released in the spine-numbered main line, I've watched 1302, or 96.73%. I still need to watch 22 of the 1032 featured films (half of them Olympic films) and 22 of the 314 feature-length supplements.
Progress Report: April 30, 2018: Today is Day #1825 of this project, and tomorrow will be its fifth anniversary. Having watched every featured film released in the Criterion Collection during the DVD/BD era through today, I can effectively say that I've accomplished my original goal. My additional goals of watching every Criterion-branded film released on laserdisc, in the Eclipse line, and streamed only on Hulu and the Criterion Channel have also been accomplished. The only goal that has yet to be completed is watching all feature-length films included as supplements on DVD/BD main spine-numbered line. But 307 of the current 316 isn't bad. The other nine films are on releases that are not in my collection and haven't been streamed on FilmStruck. Eventually I expect to add them to my collection as it appears that they most likely won't be streamed. In addition to watching 2019 of the 2028 feature-length films in the Criterion Collection (this includes the 35 alternate versions of films which do not have records on Letterboxd), I've also watched 522 of the 543 short films either included as supplements or featured in the main spine-numbered line, or streaming-only films on the Criterion Channel of FilmStruck. But that's a by-product of this project....or is it?
Progress Report: July 14, 2018: Day #1900, and I have watched every feature-length or featured film ever released in the Criterion Collection. This includes films which were available both physically on DVD/BD/LD or only as a streaming title. I have in fact watched all films that have been announced up through September 2018, except for two which will be available for the first time on Criterion: the extended version of The Tree of Life, and the director's cut of Andrei Rublev.
The 2062 films break down as follows:
866 Spine-numbered films on DVD/BD
177 Non-spine-numbered films featured on DVD/BD
334 Supplemental films on DVD/BD
184 films released in the Eclipse series
384 streaming-only films
105 laserdisc-only films
12 Non-numbered films on DVD/BD
This total includes the 37 alternate versions of films that can't be recorded on Letterboxd. So there are 2025 films on this list as of today, marking the official end of the Project. But it will continue. I'll be adding newly watched films as they are released in the Collection.