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What Else I’ll Be Watching This Summer

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I started my 2015 summer movie preview with a look at this year’s lineup of big-budget would-be blockbusters and continued it by taking a look at the handful of Oscar contenders on the schedule for the next couple months.

Today, I wrap things up with nothing more than a brief announcement. Theater-going is one thing, but most of the movies I see this summer will be from the comfort of my couch. This week, I’ll begin a journey through Criterion’s Eclipse Series. I’m a Criterion brand devotee and quite familiar with large swaths of the main collection, but its less popular brother Eclipse is totally foreign to me. That has changed and will continue to over the next few months.

The Eclipse Series does two things really well. First, it highlights important and interesting filmmakers who, for whatever reason, don’t have quite the international reputation of some of their contemporaries—directors like Koreyoshi Kurahara, Allan King, and Basil Dearden. It also dives very deep into the filmographies of some of international cinema’s great titans—like Ozu, Kurosawa, Bergman, and Ray.

The only thing I can say about my plan for navigating the Eclipse Series is that I don’t have one and don’t want one. I’ll be watching films from every set I can. I’ve already seen my first Kurohara film, as well as one of Ozu’s silent crime dramas, which were just released on DVD a few weeks ago. Next up might be Fassbinder or Fuller or Mizoguchi—whatever tickles my fancy. And every film I see will receive a write-up.

So while most of America will be suffering through Hot Pursuit in a crowded (or not-so-crowded) multiplex, I’ll be on my couch enjoying the best world cinema has to offer. Jealous? You don’t need to be. Check out some Eclipse series films and tweet @johnlgilpatrick to tell me about them. Most of the series is available on Hulu Plus, and I’ll share what I’m watching (and when) on Twitter so you can follow along. I’d love to engage with you about these underseen gems.

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