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We take flight with Aviation, this week’s festival of free Criterion selections on Hulu. The folks in these films spend a lot of time with their heads in the clouds. In Larisa Shepitko’s poignant Wings, Maya Bulgakova is brilliant as a former hero fighter pilot turned school principal. Le ciel est à vous by Jean Grémillon concerns a mechanic’s wife who longs to break the women’s solo flying record. Then there are two British films made during World War II—Michael Powell’s The Lion Has Wings and Tim Whelan’s Q Planes, starring Laurence Olivier—and one war film made many years later, Stuart Cooper’s 1975 Overlord, which incorporates archival footage of air battles into a fictional narrative.
On the lighter side is the wonderful Anne-Marie, directed by Raymond Bernard and based on an original story by the beloved writer and aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. This charming and gorgeously realized drama involves the romantic and professional endeavors of a daring young aviatrix (played by thirties French film star Annabella). You can watch this film, unavailable on DVD or Blu-ray, for free in its entirety below or at Hulu. And remember, if you sign up for Hulu Plus for just $7.99 a month, you can see these and hundreds of other Criterion films, including many more rarities like this one.