This Week on the Criterion Channel

Inside Criterion / On the Channel — Nov 9, 2018

We’ll be sad to say goodbye to FilmStruck on November 29, but you still have three more weekends to enjoy everything on the service, including our freshest batch of programming. Among the latest additions is Day for Night, an affectionate farce from François Truffaut about the joys and strife of moviemaking. The French New Wave icon himself appears as the harried director of a frivolous melodrama, the shooting of which is plagued by the whims of a neurotic actor (Jean-Pierre Léaud), an aging but still forceful Italian diva (Valentina Cortese), and a British ingenue haunted by personal scandal (Jacqueline Bisset). An irreverent paean to the prosaic craft of cinema as well as a delightful human comedy about the pitfalls of sex and romance, Day for Night is buoyed by robust performances and a sparkling score by the legendary Georges Delerue. Alongside the movie, watch a visual essay by filmmaker kogonada, interviews with cast and crew members, and archival footage of Truffaut on the set.

Also up this week:

Adventures in Moviegoing with Paul Dano

In the latest episode of the Channel-exclusive guest-programmer series Adventures in Moviegoing, actor and Wildlife director Paul Dano revisits the films that have shaped him as an artist both in front of and behind the camera. Dano sheds light on his evolution from performer to acclaimed filmmaker by way of a conversation that touches upon revelatory viewings of classics by Robert Bresson, Yasujiro Ozu, and Jean-Pierre Melville; his experiences working with contemporary auteurs like Paul Thomas Anderson; and the reasons why movies about families resonate so strongly with him. Check out an excerpt from the program here.


Shorts for Days: Women Auteurs

In this program, we bring together early works by path-breaking women artists working out the themes and aesthetics they would further explore in their celebrated features. Teen angst fuels both Sofia Coppola’s first film, Lick the Star (1998), a stylish, punk rock-inflected forerunner to The Virgin Suicides, and Chantal Akerman’s debut, Saute ma ville (1968), a blistering, anti-domestic yowl that laid the groundwork for her feminist landmark Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles. The complex family dynamics Jane Campion would investigate in Sweetie and The Piano are fully present in her enigmatic An Exercise in Discipline (1982), while Andrea Arnold displays her distinctive poetic-realist eye in her devastating, Academy Award–winning international breakthrough, Wasp (2003). Finally, Uncle Yanco (1967) is vintage Agnès Varda: a wonderfully sunny, bohemian documentary made during her California period.


Tuesday’s Short + Feature: Kaiju Bunraku and Mothra vs. Godzilla

Japan’s second-most famous movie monster, Mothra, strikes twice in this fantastical pairing. Jillian Mayer and Lucas Leyva’s psychedelic short Kaiju Bunraku (2017) blends traditional Japanese puppet theater and monster-movie mayhem into a feverishly original, surprisingly poignant tale of marital conflict. It screens with Ishiro Honda’s 1964 kaiju classic Mothra vs. Godzilla, in which the winged avenger goes up against the King of the Monsters. The first—and perhaps finest—in a long line of films pitting Toho’s iconic beasts against one another, it’s a prime showcase for the studio’s wildly imaginative creature effects and epically entertaining battle sequences.


Friday Night Double Feature: Rendez-vous and Clouds of Sils Maria

Juliette Binoche’s evolution from breakout star to world-cinema icon is mirrored neatly by her roles in this week’s double feature. In 1985, Binoche burst onto the scene with her fearless, César-nominated performance as an aspiring actor ruthlessly chasing stardom in André Téchiné’s dark backstage drama Rendez-vous, coscripted by Olivier Assayas. Three decades later, Assayas directed Binoche in Clouds of Sils Maria (2014)—a kind of spiritual companion to Rendez-vous in which she plays a renowned, middle-aged actor plagued by insecurity as she prepares to star opposite an up-and-coming Hollywood ingenue in a remake of the film that originally launched her career.