Bruce Eder is a journalist and critic whose articles have appeared in print periodicals and reference books as well as online. Additionally, he is a writer and reissue producer in music and motion pictures whose work has been released on compact disc, videocassette, laserdisc, and DVD from the 1980s to the present, and he has also been one of the most active producer/commentators in those latter two formats, principally for The Criterion Collection.
Born in New York City in 1955, he graduated from Queens College (CUNY) and began his professional writing career at the end of the 1970s, as a freelancer at Our Town and The Aquarian Weekly, where he later became an associate editor. After resigning from The Aquarian in May of 1984, he moved on to The Village Voice the following month as a freelancer and was also hired as the writer-in-residence at Janus Films. He remained with The Voice for nine years, through 1993, during which time he also joined Newsday as a freelance reporter, and he subsequently had a weekly column on home video in their Sunday television supplement.
Additionally, his writing appeared in Current Biography, Interview, Video, Goldmine, and Video Business. After 1986, with the formation of Voyager Company (later rechristened The Criterion Collection) by Janus Films, he began devising and annotating laserdisc releases, starting with A Hard Day's Night, and subsequently moved from the writer's desk to supervising film-to-video transfers on such movies as Black Orpheus, Richard III, and Help! -- the latter marked the first time that a planned VHS release was done to a much higher laserdisc standard, rather than the other way around, which had always been the case until then.
At the start of the 1990s, he moved into writing and producing commentary tracks on Voyager's Criterion Collection laserdiscs, including award-nominated and award-winning special editions of such movies as The Great Escape, Dr. No, Goldfinger (although, through a typographical error, that title is credited on the jacket to Steve Rubin), and Jason and the Argonauts. He was also the writer and principal researcher on Voyager's CD-ROM release of A Hard Day's Night, providing many thousands of words of embellishment, critical and historical, to the movie, its makers, the musicians, and the songs. He was active in film restoration as well, preparing and assembling Laurence Olivier's Richard III (1956) and William Dieterle's The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941) in editions that marked their first respective full-length showings in four decades. And independent of his work for Criterion and Janus, he wrote and recorded commentary tracks used on five laserdisc releases from Republic Pictures Home Video, including Orson Welles' Macbeth (1948) and the classic serial Nyoka and the Tigermen (1942).
In the audio field during this same period, from 1990 through 1994, he worked as a freelance producer and writer at Sony Music Special Products, helping to oversee and prepare the re-release on CD of the MGM and United Artists soundtrack album libraries in restored and expanded editions. He also worked on CD reissues of music by Gene Clark, Skip Spence, and the Flamin' Groovies; on the reissues of the Nice, the Small Faces, and the Yardbirds that he annotated and co-produced, these were the first CDs ever issued on these artists that were produced from proper master tapes, rather than vinyl sources. He also worked with classical music during this period in collaboration with producer R. Peter Munves, at both Sony and Polygram. And totally separate from those projects, he provided annotation to the original release of the Rolling Stones box The Singles Collection. By the late '90s, he had moved over to the DVD field as a writer/commentator on such Criterion titles as Olivier's Henry V, Anthony Asquith's The Browning Version, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's The Tales of Hoffmann, and Alfred Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes.