The new Personal Criterion thread got me thinking: what films aren't in the Criterion Collection that you think should be? List them here, but also make a case for them. Just because you love a film doesn't mean it would be a good fit for that brand, so explain why you think it would.
Here a few of mine:
Possession (really all of the films of Anrdzej Zulawski):
One of the most mind-blowing, surreal, shocking and viscerally forceful filmmakers in history. His films are filled with innovative camerawork, Gnostic symbolism, and historical significance. He is one of the representative's of Polish filmmaking and his movies are art house masterpieces that don't yet have the masterpiece status they deserve, as well as cult classics that don't yet have the cult they deserve. The behind the scenes stories of his films are as fraught and interesting as the films themselves. The Soviets confiscated and cut up several of his films, rumor has it he's driven his leading ladies to both suicidal despair as well as spiritual enlightenment. His films are these treasure troves of art that never leave you once you see them, and more than any other filmmaker not yet in it, he deserves to be represented in the CC. Possession is his masterpiece, so let's start with that.
If Criterion were to put out animated films, this is the one they should start with. A shocking, but brilliant film that is all but forgotten, this follow up to Watership Down (using talking dogs) is a deep character piece, a disturbing expose of animal cruelty during a specific time and place (the 80's, in England) and an almost Buddhist meditation on life being suffering. It is perhaps the most deep and adult (without at all being prurient) animated feature ever made. This one is due for a critical and cultural reevaluation and Criterion could provide that.
John Sayles is another guy who should have his body of work put out by CC, and no film of his is more deserving than this forgotten (a theme emerges in my choices) ensemble about a miners strike during the great depression. Boasting early performances from David Straitharn, Chris Cooper, Mary McDonnel and Will Oldham(!), as well as a greatly underrated James Earl Jones, Sayles is able to build up a political film that blows up in an act of thrilling cathartic action. Few films are as thoughtful and as exciting as this one. With the cast and crew now significantly older and well known, I think there is a great documentary to be made where they all look back on it and discuss it. Plus you know Sayles will provide and awesome commentary track.
The Woman Chaser:
Great black-and-white neo noir from 2000 boasting a career best performance from Patrick Wahlburton. A surreal, viscous satire on Hollywood filmed in a style that recalls Jim Jarmusch and the Coen Brothers at their best. This is a perfect fit for Criterion, especially that it's not so much forgotten as unknown since it's never had a proper release. But those who have seen it rightfully regard it as masterpiece and if the rights (mostly regarding the soundtrack) can get cleared, this one deserves all the bells and whistles a Criterion release would bestow upon it.
Alright, this is my most questionable pick, but hear me out. While this (once-again) mostly forgotten exploitation flick from the 80's might seem like an odd choice, I think it fits in perfectly with their other action and noir B-flick selections. Besides being a thrilling and perfectly structured film boasting one of the greatest and unrecognized performances ever (Wings Hauser as the villainous pimp Ramrod) it is also shot on location in 1980's Skid Row. That alone makes it an important historical artifact. Though it's an exploitation action film, it takes a hard and realistic (at times surprisingly subtle) look at prostitution and the Los Angeles underground of the 80's. Plus it's just such a blast that people would be so amazed to discover, I honestly think it would become a wild success for Criterion.