Donkey Skin: Demy’s Fairy-Tale Worlds
By Anne E. Duggan
Insomnia: Unbearable Lightness
By Jonathan Romney
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg: A Finite Forever
By Jim Ridley
With this week’s Criterion festival of free films on Hulu Plus, we pay tribute to French cinema’s great matinee idol, the legendary Jean Gabin. He excelled at embodying unflappable everymen caught up in extraordinary circumstances. Whether he’s playing a petty criminal eluding the law in classics like his breakout, Jean Duvivier’s Pépé le moko, or Jean Renoir’s The Lower Depths; a conflicted working-class hero in Renoir’s Zola adaptation La bête humaine; or the Moulin Rouge’s debonair, no-nonsense impresario in Renoir’s glorious French Cancan, Gabin is never less than compelling—rarely do your eyes stray to anyone else when he’s on-screen. The rarest film on offer is Jean Grémillon’s Remorques, an emotionally devastating work of poetic realism that will be available in July for the first time on DVD in the U.S., as part of our thirty-fourth Eclipse series, Jean Grémillon During the Occupation. See it first, below or at Hulu. And to watch the hundreds of other Criterion films at Hulu Plus, sign up for just $7.99 a month.