Each month, the fine folks at FilmStruck and the Criterion Collection spend countless hours crafting their channels to highlight the many different types of films that they have in their streaming library. This October will feature an exciting assortment of films, as noted below.
Monday, October 1
Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb*: Edition #821
Stanley Kubrick’s painfully funny take on Cold War anxiety is one of the fiercest satires of human folly ever to come out of Hollywood. The matchless shape-shifter Peter Sellers plays three wildly different roles: Royal Air Force Captain Lionel Mandrake, timidly trying to stop a nuclear attack on the USSR ordered by an unbalanced general (Sterling Hayden); the ineffectual and perpetually dumbfounded U.S. President Merkin Muffley, who must deliver the very bad news to the Soviet premier; and the titular Strangelove himself, a wheelchair-bound presidential adviser with a Nazi past. Finding improbable hilarity in nearly every unimaginable scenario, Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) is a subversive masterpiece that officially announced Kubrick as an unparalleled stylist and pitch-black ironist. Supplemental features: interviews with Stanley Kubrick collaborators and scholars; excerpts from an audio interview with Kubrick; four short documentaries, about the making of the film, the sociopolitical climate of the period, the work of actor Peter Sellers, and the artistry of Kubrick; and more.
*Premiering on the Channel this month.
Expires October 31, 2018
Tuesday, October 2
Tuesday’s Short + Feature: My Josephine* and My Beautiful Laundrette
Barry Jenkins and Stephen Frears explore the experiences of immigrants in these dreamy romances set in laundromats. Jenkins’s first short, My Josephine (2003), deploys a stylized color palette and elegant camera movement to build an atmospheric mood piece around the nightly routine of a lovestruck Arab laundromat worker who washes American flags for free. Made while Jenkins was in film school, in the aftermath of 9/11, this beautiful love story is accompanied here by a new intro by the director. Written by Hanif Kureishi, Frears’s My Beautiful Laundrette (1985) lays bare the social fissures of Margaret Thatcher’s England, telling the story of a young Pakistani man (Gordon Warnecke) in South London attempting to open a high-end laundromat with the help of his skinhead lover (Daniel Day-Lewis).
*Premiering on the Channel this Month
My Beautiful Laundrette expires October 31, 2018
Wednesday, October 3
The Emigrants/The New Land: Edition #796/797
This monumental mid-nineteenth-century epic from Jan Troell charts, over the course of two films, a Swedish farming family’s voyage to America and their efforts to put down roots in this beautiful but forbidding new world. Movie legends Max von Sydow and Liv Ullmann give remarkably authentic performances as Karl Oskar and Kristina, a couple who meet with one physical and emotional trial after another on their arduous journey. The precise, minute detail with which Troell depicts the couple’s story-which is also that of countless other people who sought better lives across the Atlantic-is a wonder to behold. Engrossing at every step of the way, the duo of The Emigrants (1971) and The New Land (1972) makes for perhaps the greatest screen drama about the settling of America. Supplemental features: an introduction by theater and film critic John Simon, a conversation between film scholar Peter Cowie and Troell, an interview with Ullmann, an hour-long documentary on the making of the films, and more.
Expires December 28, 2018
Friday, October 5
Friday Night Double Feature: McCabe & Mrs. Miller and Dead Man
These revisionist westerns deliver an idiosyncratic twist on the myths and archetypes of the frontier, with a little help from their boldly anachronistic soundtracks. Robert Altman’s dreamy 1971 take on the genre boasts an atmosphere thickened by Leonard Cohen’s plaintive songs, and stars Warren Beatty and Julie Christie as two newcomers to a mining town in the Pacific Northwest who join forces to provide the locals with a superior kind of whorehouse experience. Then, Jim Jarmusch follows an accountant named William Blake (Johnny Depp) to the outpost of Machine in a bleak vision of the American West from 1995, set to Neil Young’s bone-rattling guitar riffs.
McCabe & Mrs. Miller expires December 28, 2018
Monday, October 8
Art-House America: The Roxy Theater, Missoula, Montana
All around the country, in big cities and small towns, independent art-house theaters are thriving hubs of moviegoing, each with its own story to tell. With this series, Criterion goes wherever film culture is happening and brings back brief documentary portraits of different local art houses along with a selection of films handpicked by their programmers. Built in the 1930s, the original Roxy Theater burned down after a long tenure as a second-run movie house. The venue was bought by the International Wildlife Film Festival as a home for the yearly event, then expanded by executive director Mike Steinberg into a year-round theater showing indie fare and repertory cinema, as well as hosting live programs and forming a vibrant hub for the college-town community on Missoula’s “Hip Strip.” In keeping with the Roxy’s wildlife connection, the theater’s programmers have chosen Jean Painlevé’s mesmerizing science films to present on the Criterion Channel.
Tuesday, October 9
Tuesday’s Short + Feature: Neighbours and Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
Norman McLaren and Stanley Kubrick take aim at the appalling carnage of the twentieth century in these visually inspired satires. McLaren’s 1952 Oscar-winning short film combines live-action photography and stop-motion animation to illustrate the mindlessness of war through the story of two neighbors who come to blows over a flower growing between their houses. Pablo Picasso, no doubt smitten with McLaren’s ingenious technique as well as the urgency of his message, called it the greatest film ever made. Kubrick’s hard-hitting 1964 comedy, starring Peter Sellers in three roles, tracks a group of military goons, bureaucrats, and politicians hurtling headlong toward global annihilation, in a vision of nuclear politics as terrifying as it is hilarious.
Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
expires October 31, 2018
Wednesday, October 10
Andrei Rublev: Edition #34
Tracing the life of a renowned icon painter, the second feature by Andrei Tarkovsky vividly conjures the murky world of medieval Russia. This dreamlike and remarkably tactile film follows Andrei Rublev as he passes through a series of poetically linked scenes-snow falls inside an unfinished church, naked pagans stream through a thicket during a torchlit ritual, a boy oversees the clearing away of muddy earth for the forging of a gigantic bell-gradually emerging as a man struggling mightily to preserve his creative and religious integrity. Appearing here in the director’s preferred 183-minute cut as well as the version that was originally suppressed by Soviet authorities, the masterwork Andrei Rublev is one of Tarkovsky’s most revered films, an arresting meditation on art, faith, and endurance. Supplemental features: the original 205-minute version of the film, Tarkovsky’s 1961 student thesis film, a making-of documentary, and more.
Friday, October 12
Friday Night Double Feature: Seven Samurai and The Magnificent Seven
Ragtag crews band together to fight the good fight in a landmark samurai epic and the Hollywood western it directly inspired. One of the most influential works in the history of cinema, Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 film Seven Samurai is a thrilling tale of courage and honor in which a sixteenth-century village, led by a septet of wandering ronin, mounts a spirited defense against marauding bandits. Six years later, John Sturges’s The Magnificent Seven- a rousing classic in its own right-transposed the action of Kurosawa’s film to the Old West, turning the swordsmen into gunslingers, and recruiting such actors as Steve McQueen, Yul Brynner, and Charles Bronson to fill out the star-studded cast.
The Magnificent Seven expires January 25, 2019
Monday, October 15
From the Archives: King Kong
The iconic movie monster gets a chance to pound his chest on the Channel, in the effects-laden Hollywood spectacular that introduced him to the world. Part globe-trotting fantasy and part hair-raising nightmare, the 1933 King Kong, produced and directed by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack, follows a movie crew to the remote Skull Island, where the gargantuan gorilla winds up taking an actress (Fay Wray) captive. But it’s only after the beast is brought back to New York and exhibited as the “Eighth Wonder of the World” that all hell really breaks loose. An important piece of film history, Cooper and Schoedsack’s technically innovative thrill ride also represented a milestone for Criterion: the 1984 edition was our first laserdisc release and featured our first audio commentary track, by film historian Ronald Haver, which remains a state-of-the-art example of the possibilities of the form.
Expires December 28, 2018
Tuesday, October 16
Spanning fifty-three movies and forty-one editions of the Olympic Games, 100 Years of Olympic Films: 1912–2012 is the culmination of a monumental, award-winning archival project encompassing dozens of new restorations by the International Olympic Committee. In celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Black Power salute at the Summer Olympics in Mexico City, one of the most politically resonant and controversial acts in the history of the games, we’re premiering forty-three titles from the box set, making the entire collection available for the first time on the Channel. This remarkable movie marathon showcases a hundred years of human endeavor and reflects the social, cultural, and political changes that have shaped our recent history.
Tuesday, October 16
Tuesday’s Short + Feature: Seide* and The Black Stallion
There’s no better friend than a horse in these two moving coming-of-age films. Elnura Osmonalieva’s 2015 Seide, a beautifully shot short set amid the snowy mountain terrain of Kyrgyzstan, centers around a young girl who feels most at home astride her horse. But when her parents move to arrange her marriage and vow to kill the animal as part of a wedding tradition, she faces the prospect of losing her closest companion. In Carroll Ballard’s Oscar-nominated 1979 feature The Black Stallion, an emotionally resonant and visually arresting adaptation of a beloved children’s novel, a wild horse and a young boy form a tight bond while shipwrecked on a deserted island.
*Premiering on the Channel this month.
The Black Stallion expires November 30, 2018
Wednesday, October 17
Eyes Without a Face: Edition #260
At his secluded chateau in the French countryside, a brilliant, obsessive doctor (Pierre Brasseur) attempts a radical plastic surgery to restore the beauty of his daughter’s disfigured countenance-at a horrifying price. Eyes Without a Face, directed by the supremely talented Georges Franju, is rare in horror cinema for its odd mixture of the ghastly and the lyrical, and it has been a major influence on the genre in the decades since its release. There are images here-of terror, of gore, of inexplicable beauty-that once seen are never forgotten. Supplemental features: a 1949 documentary by Franju about the slaughterhouses of Paris, archival interviews with Franju, an interview with actor Edith Scob, and more.
Friday, October 19
Friday Night Double Feature: Night of the Living Dead and I Walked with a Zombie
Needless to say, the undead do not tread lightly in this pair of influential zombie films. With the bloodcurdlingly tense Night of the Living Dead (1968), shot on a shoestring budget outside Pittsburgh, George A. Romero and his collaborators revolutionized the horror form, situating their tale of a farmhouse under brutal siege by brain-dead “ghouls” as an urgent diagnosis of American social ills. In director Jacques Tourneur’s similarly resourceful I Walked with a Zombie, a darkly atmospheric incarnation of the genre from 1943 produced by horror impresario Val Lewton, a Canadian nurse travels to a sugar plantation in the West Indies to care for its owner’s wife, eventually turning to voodoo rituals in a quest to cure her charge’s eerily supernatural trance.
I Walked with a Zombie expires April 26, 2019
Tuesday, October 23
Tuesday’s Short and Feature: An Act of Love* and Cría cuervos …
A pair of films that examine the complex bonds of sisterhood. The identical twins in Australian director Lucy Knox’s award-winning 2018 short An Act of Love, an intimate character study shot on handheld 16 mm, are inseparable – until one of them attracts the attentions of a boy at a mall arcade, prompting her sister to act out. The themes of doubling, individuality, and the ties that bind also come to the fore in Carlos Saura’s 1976 masterpiece Cría cuervos …, a historical allegory that blurs fantasy and reality as a disturbed eight-year-old (The Spirit of the Beehive ’s Ana Torrent), living with her two sisters in Madrid, mourns the death of her mother (Geraldine Chaplin, who also appears as the grown Ana).
*Premiering on the Channel this month.
Wednesday, October 24
Kuroneko: Edition #584
In this poetic and atmospheric horror fable, set in a village in war-torn medieval Japan, a malevolent spirit has been ripping out the throats of itinerant samurai. When a military hero is sent to dispatch the unseen force, he finds that he must struggle with his own personal demons as well. From Kaneto Shindo, director of the terror classic Onibaba, Kuroneko (1968) is a spectacularly eerie twilight tale with a shocking feminist angle, evoked through ghostly special effects and exquisite cinematography. Supplemental features: interviews with Shindo and critic Tadao Sato.
Friday, October 26
Friday Night Double Feature: Arsenic and Old Lace and The Body Snatcher
Horror icon Boris Karloff looms large in these two journeys into the macabre from the 1940s. Set in Brooklyn on Halloween, Frank Capra’s spooky comedy Arsenic and Old Lace (1944) stars Cary Grant as a bachelor who’s finally found love. Things take a turn for the ghastly when he realizes that his two beloved aunts are up to some dastardly deeds, and that his long-lost brother – who is often mistaken for Karloff – has returned to stir up drama. Karloff himself played the role in the original stage version, and he also stars in the second entry in this double bill: Robert Wise’s The Body Snatcher (1945), about a hard-nosed doctor and a homicidal grave robber. The film is notable for being the last film in which Karloff starred alongside longtime rival Bela Lugosi.
Arsenic and Old Lace expires December 28, 2018
Monday, October 29
Observations on Film Art #24: Widescreen Composition in Shoot the Piano Player
A delirious mix of thriller, comedy, and tragedy, François Truffaut’s second feature, Shoot the Piano Player, finds the director at his most exuberantly playful. Following the adventures of the titular mild-mannered musician (Charles Aznavour) as he stumbles into the criminal underworld and a whirlwind love affair, this French New Wave classic is loaded with gags and guns, making for an indelible homage to American genre cinema. In the latest episode of Observations on Film Art, a Channel-exclusive series that gives viewers a monthly ten-minute dose of film school, Professor Jeff Smith examines Truffaut’s distinctive use of anamorphic widescreen lenses and what his compositional motifs reveal about his approach to storytelling.
Tuesday, October 30
Tuesday’s Short and Feature: Bath House* and Funny Games
In this unnerving pair of films, dark forces take over insular spaces. Swedish filmmaker Niki Lindroth von Bahr’s 2014 stop-motion short centers on a gang of animals that invade a bathhouse run by a pedantic zebra, whose protestations they ignore and mock. Von Bahr considers Austrian director Michael Haneke one of her greatest influences, so we’ve paired her film with his nightmarish 1997 home-invasion tale Funny Games, which follows two violent young men who take a family hostage in their vacation home and force them into performing sadistic acts on each other.
*Premiering on the Channel this month.
Wednesday, October 31
Diabolique: Edition #35
Before Psycho, Peeping Tom, and Repulsion, there was Diabolique. This thriller from Henri-Georges Clouzot, which shocked audiences in Europe and the U.S., is the story of two women-the fragile wife and the willful mistress of the sadistic headmaster of a boys’ boarding school-who hatch a daring revenge plot. With its unprecedented narrative twists and terrifying images, Diabolique is a heart-grabbing benchmark in horror filmmaking, featuring outstanding performances by Simone Signoret, Véra Clouzot, and Paul Meurisse. Supplemental features: selected-scene commentary by French-film scholar Kelley Conway, an introduction by Serge Bromberg, an interview with novelist and film critic Kim Newman, and more.
Complete list of films premiering on the Criterion Channel this month:
- Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, Stanley Kubrick, 1964
- My Josephine, Barry Jenkins, 2003
- The Games of the V Olympiad Stockholm, 1912, Adrian Wood, 2016
- The Olympic Games Held at Chamonix in 1924, Jean de Rovera, 1924
- The Olympic Games as They Were Practiced in Ancient Greece, Jean de Rovera, 1924
- The Olympic Games in Paris 1924, Jean de Rovera, 1924
- The White Stadium, Arnold Fanck, Othmar Gurtner, 1928
- The IX Olympiad in Amsterdam, dir. Unknown, 1928
- The Olympic Games, Amsterdam 1928, Wilhelm Prager; supervisor Jules Perel, 1928
- Youth of the World, Carl Junghans, 1936
- Fight Without Hate, André Michel, 1948
- XIVth Olympiad: The Glory of Sport, Castleton Knight, 1948
- The VI Olympic Winter Games, Oslo 1952, Tancred Ibsen, 1952
- Where the World Meets, Hannu Leminen, 1952
- Gold and Glory, Hannu Leminen, 1953
- Memories of the Olympic Summer of 1952, dir. Unknown, 1954
- Olympic Games, 1956, Peter Whitchurch, 1956
- The Melbourne Rendez-vous, René Lucot, 1957
- Alain Mimoun, Louis Gueguen, 1959
- The Horse in Focus, dir. Unknown, 1956
- People, Hopes, Medals, Heribert Meisel, 1960
- The Grand Olympics, Romolo Marcellini, 1961
- Sensation of the Century, prod. Taguchi Suketaro, supervisor Nobumasa Kawamoto, 1966
- Snows of Grenoble, Jacques Ertaud, Jean-Jacques Languepin, 1968
- The Olympics in Mexico, Alberto Isaac, 1969
- Sapporo Winter Olympics, Masahiro Shinoda, 1972
- Games of the XXI Olympiad, Jean-Claude Labrecque, Jean Beaudin, Marcel Carrière, Georges Dufaux, 1977
- Olympic Spirit, Drummond Challis, Tony Maylam, 1980
- O Sport, You Are Peace! Yuri Ozerov, 1981
- A Turning Point, Kim Takal, 1984
- Calgary ’88: 16 Days of Glory, Bud Greenspan, 1989
- Seoul 1988, Lee Kwang-soo, 1989
- Hand in Hand, Im Kwon-taek, 1989
- Beyond All Barriers, Lee Ji-won, 1989
- One Light, One World, Joe Jay Jalbert, R. Douglas Copsey, 1992
- Atlanta’s Olympic Glory, Bud Greenspan, 1997
- Nagano ’98 Olympics: Stories of Honor and Glory, Bud Greenspan, 1998
- Olympic Glory, Kieth Merrill, 1999
- Sydney 2000: Stories of Olympic Glory, Bud Greenspan, 2001
- Salt Lake City 2002: Bud Greenspan’s Stories of Olympic Glory, Bud Greenspan, 2003
- Bud Greenspan’s Athens 2004: Stories of Olympic Glory, Bud Greenspan, 2005
- Bud Greenspan’s Torino 2006: Stories of Olympic Glory, Bud Greenspan, 2007
- The Everlasting Flame, Gu Jun, 2010
- Bud Greenspan Presents Vancouver 2010: Stories of Olympic Glory, prods. Bud Greenspan, Nancy Beffa, 2010
- First, Caroline Rowland, 2012
- Seide, Elnura Osmonalieva, 2015
- An Act of Love, Lucy Knox, 2018
- Bath House, Niki Lindroth von Bahr, 2014