For this week’s festival of free Criterion films on Hulu, we present art cinema of a different variety—these portraits of artists, real or fictional, pay tribute to the creative mind. The subjects include painters both iconic (in Andrei Tarkovsky’s Andrei Rublev and Alexander Korda’s Rembrandt) and eccentric (Ronald Neame’s The Horse’s Mouth and Evald Schorm’s section of the Czech omnibus film Pearls of the Deep)—plus one who makes a pact with the devil (Maurice Tourneur’s Le main du diable); one of history’s great architects (Hiroshi Teshigahara’s Antonio Gaudí); and a famous art forger (Orson Welles’s F for Fake).
A highlight is Kenji Mizoguchi’s rarely screened and unavailable-on-home-video Utamaro and His Five Women. Based on the life of a legendary eighteenth-century portraitist in Tokyo who found many of his models in brothels, Mizoguchi’s film is a lyrical and moving look at the artistic process. Stream the whole film below or at Hulu. And sign up for Hulu Plus for just $7.99 a month to see the hundreds of other Criterion films there.