Over on the Criterion Channel on FilmStruck, we’ve always taken to heart that old adage about good things coming in small packages. Through our Short + Feature pairings, we’ve thrown the spotlight on some of the short films that have helped push the envelope of the cinematic medium, from indelible early-career works by visionaries such as Jean-Luc Godard and David Lynch, to bold experiments in style and narrative that we’ve plucked hot off the international festival circuit. And now we’re offering a new collection of these small movies that make an outsize impression.
As Criterion Channel programmer Penelope Bartlett describes in her introduction to the program, we’ve gathered closely observed early works from some of the world’s leading female directors, offering an extraordinary window onto the development of each of these highly original voices. These are five movies that you won’t soon forget: the black-and-white first films from Sofia Coppola and Chantal Akerman examine the hidden lives of their protagonists, while award winners from Jane Campion and Andrea Arnold bear close witness to the tumult of family life, and a documentary by Agnès Varda finds her harnessing her characteristically playful nonfiction approach. After watching the video above, head over to the Channel, where you can take in these stories, all of which amply demonstrate the expressive capacity of the short-film form.