All of the Films Joining FilmStruck’s Criterion Channel This November

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 November will feature an exciting assortment of films, as noted below.

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Wednesday, November 1

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold*: Criterion Collection Edition #452

The best-selling novel by John le Carré, about a Cold War spy on one final dangerous mission in East Germany, is transmuted by director Martin Ritt into a film every bit as precise and ruthless as the book. Richard Burton is superb as Alec Leamas, whose relationship with the beautiful librarian Nan, played by Claire Bloom, puts his assignment in jeopardy. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold is a hard-edged and tragic thriller, suffused with the political and social consciousness that defined Ritt’s career. SUPPLEMENTAL FEATURES: an exclusive, wide-ranging interview with le Carré; a selected-scene commentary featuring director of photography Oswald Morris; an audio conversation from 1985 between director Martin Ritt and film historian Patrick McGilligan; and a trailer.

*Premiering on the Channel this month.

Thursday, November 2

Masterclass: Alex Ross Perry and Robert Greene on Big Ideas and Small Budgets

Known for his piercingly intelligent, stylistically ambitious explorations of alienation and misanthropy, independent filmmaker Alex Ross Perry has been busy at work on two projects: the soon-to-be-released Golden Exits and a live-action take on Winnie-the-Pooh. For our third Masterclass, his frequent collaborator Robert Greene, the director of the acclaimed narrative-documentary hybrids Kate Plays Christine and Actress, gets him to open up about how he brings his acerbic ideas to the big screen on a shoestring budget. Watch video of the complete event, hosted by the Ragtag Cinema in Columbia, Missouri, and catch up on Perry’s first three features: Impolex, The Color Wheel, and Listen Up Philip*.

*Premiering on the Channel this month.

Friday, November 3

Friday Night Double Feature: That Hamilton Woman and Anna Karenina

The luminous Vivien Leigh takes the lead in these two lavishly mounted period dramas. In Alexander Korda’s 1941 That Hamilton Woman – reportedly Winston Churchill’s favorite movie – she is transported back to the Napoleonic Wars, injecting glamour and intrigue into the story of an ambassador’s wife who has a scandalous affair with a British Royal Navy officer (played by Leigh’s real-life husband, Laurence Olivier). And in Julien Duvivier’s 1948 adaptation of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, she embodies the tragic dimensions of the iconic titular heroine, a married woman who falls into a fateful romance with a count.

Monday, November 6

Still Walking*: Criterion Collection Edition #554

Contemporary Japanese master Hirokazu Kore-eda pays tribute to his late mother in this deeply personal film, which depicts one day in the life of a family gathered for a commemorative ritual whose nature only gradually becomes clear. Rather than focus on big dramatic moments, Kore-eda relies on simple gestures and domestic routines (especially cooking) to evoke his characters’ deep regrets and daily joys. Featuring vivid, heartrending performances and a gentle naturalism that harks back to the director’s earlier, documentary work, Still Walking is an extraordinary portrayal of the ties that bind us. SUPPLEMENTAL FEATURES: interviews with Kore-eda and director of photography Yutaka Yamazaki; a documentary on the making of the film, featuring on-set footage; and a trailer.

*Premiering on the Channel this month.

Tuesday, November 7

Tuesday’s Short + Feature: Washingtonia* and Dogtooth

With Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Killing of a Sacred Deer now in theaters, revisit the eccentric, award-winning breakthrough that catapulted him to the forefront of contemporary Greek cinema. In 2009’s Dogtooth, the director penetrates the twisted world of three adults who have been held in captivity their entire lives by their manipulative parents. This brilliantly constructed provocation is preceded by another taste of the Greek Weird Wave, Konstantina Kotzamani’s Washingtonia, an expressionistic short that evokes the sweltering heat of a summer in Athens.

*Premiering on the Channel this month.

Wednesday, November 8

Belle de jour: Criterion Collection Edition #593

Catherine Deneuve’s porcelain perfection hides a cracked interior in one of the actress’s most iconic roles: Séverine, a Paris housewife who begins secretly spending her afternoon hours working in a bordello. This surreal and erotic late-sixties daydream from provocateur for the ages Luis Buñuel is an examination of desire and fetishistic pleasure (its characters’ and its viewers’), as well as a gently absurdist take on social mores and class divisions. SUPPLEMENTAL FEATURES: an audio commentary featuring Michael Wood, author of the BFI Film Classics book Belle de jour; a video piece featuring writer and sexual-politics activist Susie Bright and film scholar Linda Williams; an interview with screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière; a segment from the French television program Cinéma, featuring interviews with Carrière and Deneuve; and original and rerelease trailers.

Friday, November 10

Friday Night Double Feature: Chevalier and Attenberg

One of the most exciting voices to emerge from contemporary Greek cinema’s recent renaissance, Athina Rachel Tsangari is a favorite on the Criterion Channel, having been the first subject profiled in our exclusive series Meet the Filmmakers. This program highlights two of her features: Chevalier, a dryly farcical comedy in which a sextet of chest-puffing men decide to submit to an increasingly absurd series of competitions at sea to determine who is “the best in general,” and Attenberg, a look at the strangeness of the human species through the eyes of a misanthropic young woman living in a small industrial town.

Monday, November 13

Everlasting Moments*: Criterion Collection Edition #520

Swedish master Jan Troell, director of the beloved classics The Emigrants and The New Land, illuminates the heartrending story of a woman liberated by art at the beginning of the twentieth century. Though poor and abused by her alcoholic husband, Maria Larsson (Maria Heiskanen, in a beautifully nuanced portrayal) finds an outlet in photography, which opens up her world for the first time. With a burnished bronze tint that evokes faded photographs, and a broad empathetic palette, Everlasting Moments – based on a true story – is a miraculous tribute to the power of image making. SUPPLEMENTAL FEATURES: Troell Behind the Camera, a short documentary made during production; The True Story of Maria Larsson, a collection of photographs by Larsson, with narration by writer Agneta Ulfsäter-Troell; Troell’s Magic Mirror, an hour-long documentary on the director’s career; and a trailer.

*Premiering on the Channel this month.

Tuesday, November 14

Tuesday’s Short + Feature: Pickle* and Gates of Heaven

Do all dogs go to heaven? Two documentary filmmakers explore mortality and mourning through the experiences of pet owners. In Pickle, Amy Nicholson profiles a couple of extreme animal lovers, interviewing them about the menagerie they’ve cared for and buried over the years, including paraplegic possums, emaciated cats, and morbidly obese chickens. Errol Morris’s debut feature, Gates of Heaven, immerses viewers in the community surrounding two pet cemeteries in Napa Valley, California, blending sincerity and satire to spin its quirky subject into a surprisingly expansive study of human nature.

*Premiering on the Channel this month.

Tuesday, November 14

Desert Hearts*: Criterion Collection Edition #902

Donna Deitch’s swooning and sensual first narrative feature was groundbreaking upon its release in 1985: a love story about two women, made entirely independently, on a shoestring budget, by a woman. In this 1959-set film, adapted from a beloved novel by Jane Rule, a straitlaced East Coast professor arrives in Reno to file for divorce but winds up catching the eye of a free-spirited young woman, touching off a slow seduction that unfolds against a breathtaking desert landscape. SUPPLEMENTAL FEATURES: an audio commentary from 2007 featuring director Donna Deitch; a conversation between Deitch and actor Jane Lynch; interviews with actors Helen Shaver and Patricia Charbonneau; a new program featuring Deitch, director of photography Elswit, and production designer Jeannine Oppewall; and an excerpt from Fiction and Other Truths: A Film About Jane Rule, a 1994 documentary about the author of Desert of the Heart, the 1964 novel on which the film is based.

*Premiering on the Channel this month.

Wednesday, November 15

Stalker: Criterion Collection Edition #888

A religious allegory, a reflection of contemporaneous political anxieties, and a meditation on film itself, Andrei Tarkovsky’s final Soviet feature takes a metaphys­ical journey through an enigmatic postapocalyptic landscape, where a hired guide leads a writer and a professor into a restricted disaster site known as the Zone. There the three men eventually zero in on the Room, a place rumored to fulfill one’s most deeply held desires. Adapting a science-fiction novel by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, Tarkovsky created an immersive world with a wealth of material detail and a sense of organic atmosphere, enveloping the viewer in a multitude of possible meanings. SUPPLEMENTAL FEATURES: an interview with Geoff Dyer, author of Zona: A Book About a Film About a Journey to a Room, and interviews from 2002 with cinematographer Alexander Knyazhinsky, set designer Rashit Safiullin, and composer Eduard Artemyev.

Thursday, November 16

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me*: Criterion Collection Edition #898

In the town of Twin Peaks, everybody has their secrets – but no one more than Laura Palmer. In this prequel to his groundbreaking 1990s series (which returned to television this year to rapturous reviews), David Lynch resurrects the teenager found wrapped in plastic at the beginning of the show, following her through the last week of her life and teasing out the enigmas that surround her murder. Homecoming queen by day and drug-addicted thrill seeker by night, Laura leads a double life that pulls her deeper and deeper into horror as she pieces together the identity of the assailant who has been terrorizing her for years. SUPPLEMENTAL FEATURES: The Missing Pieces, ninety minutes of deleted and alternate takes from the film, assembled by Lynch; an interview from 2014 by Lynch with actors Sheryl Lee, Ray Wise, and Grace Zabriskie; interviews with Lee and composer Angelo Badalamenti; and trailers.

*Premiering on the Channel this month.

Friday, November 17

Friday Night Double Feature: Police, Adjective* and Insomnia

Moral ambiguities abound in these unconventional detective stories from Romania and Norway. In Corneliu Porumboiu’s low-key procedural Police, Adjective, a cop has a crisis of conscience as he struggles with an assignment to book a high-school kid for smoking pot. Reluctant to ruin the boy’s life with a jail sentence, he starts to question the letter of the law, leading to an unforgettable climax in which a dictionary becomes the ultimate instrument of power. And in Erik Skjoldbjærg’s Nordic thriller, a disgraced detective (Stellan Skarsgård, in one of his most magnetic performances) investigating the death of a teenage girl becomes uneasily complicit with her killer as the Arctic midnight sun erodes his sense of reality.

*Premiering on the Channel this month.

Monday, November 20

Babette’s Feast: Criterion Collection Edition #665

One of the ultimate food films, this adaptation of a lovingly layered tale by Isak Dinesen shows what happens when a mysterious French housekeeper brings quiet revolution in the form of one exquisite meal to a circle of starkly pious villagers. Set in nineteenth-century Denmark, Gabriel Axel’s Oscar-winning film combines earthiness and reverence in an indescribably moving depiction of sensual pleasure that goes to your head like fine champagne. SUPPLEMENTAL FEATURES: interviews with Axel and actor Stéphane Audran; a 1995 documentary about Dinesen; a visual essay by filmmaker Michael Almereyda; an interview with sociologist Priscilla Parkhurst Ferguson about the significance of cuisine in French culture; and a trailer.

Tuesday, November 21

Tuesday’s Short + Feature: The Vampire* and Nosferatu

The vampire as we know it is unimaginable without F. W. Murnau’s groundbreaking horror film, an unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula that brought the creature to the screen with the wildly expressive powers of German expressionism. Jean Painlevé, France’s brilliant scientist of the surreal, spotted the kinship between this iconic monster and the Brazilian vampire bat. His short The Vampire, soundtracked by Duke Ellington, explores this nocturnal creature’s feeding rituals, making for an unusually spooky entry in the filmmaker’s series of imaginative wildlife portraits.

*Premiering on the Channel this month.

Wednesday, November 22

Heart of a Dog*: Criterion Collection Edition #846

Multimedia artist Laurie Anderson meditates on death and other forms of absence in her first feature in thirty years. This haunting essay film seamlessly weaves together thoughts on Tibetan Buddhism, reincarnation, the modern surveillance state, and the artistic lives of dogs, with an elegy for the filmmaker’s beloved rat terrier, Lolabelle, at its heart. Narrated by Anderson with her characteristic wry wit, and featuring a plaintive, free-form score by the filmmaker, the tender and provocative Heart of a Dog continues Anderson’s four-and-a-half-decade career of imbuing the everyday with a sense of dreamlike wonder. SUPPLEMENTAL FEATURES: a conversation between Anderson and coproducer Jake Perlin; footage of Anderson’s 2016 Concert for Dogs; deleted scenes; Lolabelle’s video Christmas card; and a trailer.

*Premiering on the Channel this month.

Thursday, November 23

Adventures in Moviegoing with Barry Jenkins

The director of Moonlight, the exquisite coming-of-age drama that took home this year’s best picture Oscar, recounts some of his own formative experiences as a cinephile in this month’s episode of our guest programmer series Adventures in Moviegoing. In conversation with Criterion president Peter Becker, Jenkins talks about how he fell in love with the art of storytelling, his “rude awakening” at film school, and his experience programming at the Telluride Film Festival. To go alongside the interview, Jenkins has also curated a selection of personal favorites, an eclectic group of films that includes Krzysztof Kieślowski’s Three Colors trilogy (1993–94), Lucrecia Martel’s La Ciénega (2001), and a number of titles by indie trailblazer John Cassavetes.

Friday, November 24

Friday Night Double Feature: Permanent Vacation* and Smithereens

These idiosyncratic first features capture a hardscrabble New York at the dawn of the eighties, tagging along with protagonists who are struggling to find a foothold in the city that never sleeps. A drifter confronts his own state of estrangement, and a number of distinctive characters besides, in Jim Jarmusch’s characteristically droll Permanent Vacation (1980); a striver tries in vain to make a name for herself in the punk scene in Susan Seidelman’s blistering breakout Smithereens (1982).

*Premiering on the Channel this month.

Monday, November 27

Observations on Film Art No. 13: Flashbacks in The Phantom Carriage

Illustrating that a story’s telling often means as much as the tale itself, this month’s episode of Observations on Film Art – a Channel-exclusive series in which film scholars David Bordwell, Kristin Thompson, and Jeff Smith offer in-depth yet concise discussions of cinematic style – goes along for a twisty ride with Victor Sjöström’s intricately structured The Phantom Carriage (1921). The touchstone of silent cinema presents a handful of extended flashbacks out of chronological sequence – a narrative design that, in Prof. Thompson’s estimation, is key to establishing the dynamics between the film’s characters and the strength of its themes of evil and salvation.

Tuesday, November 28

Tuesday’s Short + Feature: In Paris Parks and Zazie dans le métro

Children take to the parks and streets of Paris in these urban symphonies, transforming the city into a landscape of playful chaos. Shirley Clarke’s documentary In Paris Parks short observes the teeming life she finds in the recreational spots where city dwellers bring their children, uncovering the wonders of a seemingly mundane space. And Louis Malle’s Zazie dans le métro brings Raymond Queneau’s celebrated novel to the screen, spinning a brash ten-year-old’s weekend visit to a Parisian relative into an anarchic comedy packed with stream-of-consciousness effects, visual gags, and editing tricks.

Wednesday, November 29

Amarcord: Criterion Collection Edition #4

This Oscar-winning carnivalesque portrait of provincial Italy during the fascist period is among Federico Fellini’s most personal films. Now revered as one of cinema’s enduring treasures, it satirizes the director’s youth and turns daily life into a circus of social rituals, adolescent desires, male fantasies, and political subterfuge, all set to Nino Rota’s classic, nostalgia-tinged score. SUPPLEMENTAL FEATURES: an audio commentary by film scholars Peter Brunette and Frank Burke; American release trailer; a deleted scene; Fellini’s Homecoming, a forty-five-minute documentary on the complicated relationship between the celebrated director, his hometown, and his past; an interview with star Magali Noël; archival audio interviews of Fellini and his friends and family, by critic Gideon Bachmann; and a restoration demonstration.


Complete list of films premiering on the Criterion Channel this month:

November 1

  • The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, Martin Ritt, 1965

November 2

  • Impolex, Alex Ross Perry, 2009
  • The Color Wheel, Alex Ross Perry, 2011
  • Listen Up Philip, Alex Ross Perry, 2014

November 3

  • Utamaro and His Five Women, Kenji Mizoguchi, 1946
  • The Brothers and Sisters of the Toda Family, Yasujiro Ozu, 1941
  • Burden of Life, Heinosuke Gosho, 1935
  • Black Lizard, Umetsugu Inoue, 1962
  • Ronin-Gai, Masahiro Makino, 1957

November 6

  • Still Walking, Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2008

November 7

  • Washingtonia, Konstantina Kotzamani, 2014

November 10

  • Stolen Desire, Shohei Imamura, 1958
  • Intentions of Murder, Shohei Imamura, 1964
  • The Pornographers, Shohei Imamura, 1966
  • Profound Desire of the Gods, Shohei Imamura, 1968

November 13

  • Everlasting Moments, Jan Troell, 2008

November 14

  • Pickle, Amy Nicholson, 2016
  • Desert Hearts, Donna Deitch, 1986

November 16

  • Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, David Lynch, 1992

November 17

  • Police, Adjective, Corneliu Porumboiu, 2009
  • Eva, Gustaf Molander, 1948
  • Scrubbers, Mai Zetterling, 1982
  • Girl with Green Eyes, Desmond Davis, 1964

November 21

  • The Vampire, Jean Painlevé, 1945

November 22

  • Heart of a Dog, Laurie Anderson, 2015

November 24

  • Permanent Vacation, Jim Jarmusch, 1980
  • Bergman Island, Marie Nyreröd, 2006
  • The Challenge, Milton Rosmer and Luis Trenker, 1938
  • Fanfan la Tulipe, Christian Jacque, 1952