We’re leaning into our fears this October with a selection of haunting masterpieces by producer Val Lewton, goretastic cult favorites from Herschell Gordon Lewis, Byron Haskin’s pulpy sci-fi and film noir classics, and other spooky-surrealist picks from David Lynch, Ana Lily Amirpour, Guillermo del Toro, and more. Plus: a tribute to independent film icon Shirley Clarke, the groundbreaking documentaries of Errol Morris, Gillo Pontecorvo’s revolutionary cinema, and a trip to Tuscon in the latest episode of Art-House America.
If you haven’t signed up yet, head to CriterionChannel.com and get a 14-day free trial!
Now, get into the spirits with our October programming!
* indicates programming available only in the U.S.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 1
Short + Feature: American Gothic
Möbius and Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me
Featuring an introduction by Möbius director Sam Kuhn
The kids aren’t all right in these two surreal mysteries set in the misty environs of the Pacific Northwest.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 2
Directed by Shirley Clarke
Featuring Rome Is Burning, a 1970 profile of Clarke with appearances by Yoko Ono and Jacques Rivette
Radical counter-cinema landmarks from a true visionary who synthesized jazz, modern dance, and abstract expressionism into a dynamic vérité style that put her at the forefront of the American independent film scene of the fifties and sixties. Features include: The Connection (1961), Robert Frost: A Lover’s Quarrel with the World (1963), Portrait of Jason (1967), Ornette: Made in America (1985). Shorts include: Dance in the Sun (1953), In Paris Parks (1954), Bullfight (1955), A Moment in Love (1956), Brussels Film Loops/Gestures/World Kitchen (Shirley Clarke and D. A. Pennebaker, 1957), Bridges-Go-Round 1 (1958), Bridges-Go-Round 2 (1958), Skyscraper (Shirley Clarke and Willard Van Dyke, 1960), A Scary Time (Shirley Clarke and Robert Hughes, 1960), Christopher and Me (Richard Leacock, 1960), Butterfly (1967), 24 Frames Per Second (1977), Four Journeys into Mystic Time: Initiation (1978), Four Journeys into Mystic Time: Trans (1978), Four Journeys into Mystic Time: One-Two-Three (1978), Four Journeys into Mystic Time: Mysterium (1978), Savage/Love (1981), Tongues (1982)
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 3
From the Archive: Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Featuring a laserdisc commentary by film scholar Maurice Yacowar
Cold War paranoia gives birth to a powerfully allegoric and still-chilling science-fiction classic.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 4
Double Feature: Bad Kitty!
Cat People and The Living Idol
Killer hellcats are on the prowl in a landmark of psychological terror and a pop-surrealist oddity.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 5
Saturday Matinee: The Adventures of Prince Achmed
A world of enchantment flickers to life through breathtaking shadow play in this animation milestone.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 6
Val Lewton Presents
Featuring Val Lewton: The Man in the Shadows, a 2007 documentary by Kent Jones
Terror lives in the shadows in the moody masterpieces of maverick producer Val Lewton, who turned our fears of the unseen and the unknown into haunting excursions into existential dread. Featuring: Cat People (Jacques Tourneur, 1942), I Walked with a Zombie (Jacques Tourneur, 1943), The Ghost Ship (Mark Robson, 1943), The Seventh Victim (Mark Robson, 1943), The Leopard Man (Jacques Tourneur, 1943), The Curse of the Cat People (Gunther von Frisch and Robert Wise, 1944), Isle of the Dead (Mark Robson, 1945), The Body Snatcher (Robert Wise, 1945), Bedlam (Mark Robson, 1946)
MONDAY, OCTOBER 7
Detour (Edgar G. Ulmer, 1945)
Criterion Collection Edition #966
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 8
Short + Feature: Look What the Cat Dragged In
Call of Cuteness and House
Feline frights abound in these two films that turn cats into the stuff of nightmares.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9
Featuring a program on the making of the film
Marjane Satrapi’s defiant, irreverent, supremely moving vision of growing up in a changing Iran.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 10
Three by Byron Haskin
A master termite-art technician, Byron Haskin brought a prodigious visual imagination and keen intelligence to pulp classics of both science fiction and film noir. Featuring: I Walk Alone (1947), The War of the Worlds (1953), Robinson Crusoe on Mars (1964)
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11
Double Feature: The Deviant and the Divine
Freaks and Multiple Maniacs
Totally twisted shockers from two masters of the perverse, Tod Browning and John Waters.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 12
Saturday Matinee: Animation Celebration
A dazzling array of animation techniques are on display in this eyeball-whirling selection of bite-size wonders, featuring stop-motion monkeys, mischievous chairs, a cosmic reverie, and more!
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 13
Art-House America: The Loft Cinema, Tucson, AZ
The latest installment of our ongoing tour of America’s art houses pays a visit to the Loft Cinema in Tucson, Arizona, a vibrant nonprofit theater that has been serving the local community since 1972.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 14
Judex (Georges Franju, 1963)
Criterion Collection Edition #710
Three by Jacques Tourneur
A master craftsman whose shadowy visual palette and staunch humanism shone through B-movie trappings and across genres. Featuring: Cat People (1942), Out of the Past (1947), Stars in My Crown (1950)
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 15
Short + Feature: Bizarre Love Triangles
Bad at Dancing and Jules and Jim
With a new introduction by Bad at Dancing director Joanna Arnow
Three’s a crowd for a millennial throuple and a French New Wave ménage à trois.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16
La Ciénaga (Lucrecia Martel, 2001)
Criterion Collection Edition #743
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 17
Following (Christopher Nolan, 1999)
Criterion Collection Edition #638
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 18
Double Feature: Bad Habits
Black Narcissus and The Devils
Sexual frenzy shakes the convents in these hothouse tales of nuns gone mad.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 19
Saturday Matinee: The Blob
Steve McQueen plays a rebel teen who tries to warn his small-town neighbors about an outer-space invader in this cult classic of gooey greatness.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 20
Directed by Errol Morris
Featuring a selection of archival interviews with Morris
Singular films from the director-detective who redefined the possibilities of nonfiction filmmaking through his idiosyncratic perspective and philosophical insight into the human condition and the elusive nature of truth. Featuring: Gates of Heaven (1978), Vernon, Florida (1981), The Thin Blue Line (1988), A Brief History of Time (1991), Fast, Cheap & Out of Control (1997), The Fog of War (2003), Tabloid (2010)
MONDAY, OCTOBER 21
The 39 Steps (Alfred Hitchcock, 1935)
Criterion Collection Edition #56
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22
Short + Feature: Far-Out Fantasies
Les escargots and Fantastic Planet
Science-fiction marvels of surrealist invention and psychedelic wonder from director René Laloux and writer-animator Roland Topor.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 23
Featuring a new interview with director Julie Taymor
The bold visions of two singular artists—Frida Kahlo and director Julie Taymor—collide with dazzling results in this vibrant account of the iconic Mexican painter’s turbulent life and awe-inspiring work.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 24
Three by Gillo Pontecorvo
Featuring Gillo Pontecorvo: The Dictatorship of Truth, a 1992 documentary narrated by literary critic Edward Said
The explosive, fiercely leftist cinema of the Italian firebrand weds revolutionary politics with an equally radical visual style. Featuring: Kapò (1959), The Battle of Algiers (1966), Burn! (1969)
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 25
Double Feature: Critical Massey
The Old Dark House and Arsenic and Old Lace
The inimitable Raymond Massey lends his formidable presence to two macabre classics.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 26
Saturday Matinee: Godzilla
The roaring granddaddy of all monster movies, also a surprisingly humane and melancholy drama, first introduced the beloved international icon of destruction.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 27
Meet the Filmmakers: Herschell Gordon Lewis
In a 2009 conversation with filmmaker Sean Baker, the late Godfather of Gore proves to be as entertaining and unpretentious as his own movies, dishing on everything from his filmmaking philosophy to perfecting the look of onscreen blood. This latest entry in the Criterion Channel’s Meet the Filmmakers series is accompanied by a goretastic selection of Lewis’s films, featuring: Carving Magic (1959), Blood Feast (1963), Two Thousand Maniacs! (1964), Color Me Blood Red (1965), The Gruesome Twosome (1967), The Wizard of Gore (1970), The Gore Gore Girls (1972), Herschell Gordon Lewis: The Godfather of Gore (Frank Henenlotter and Jimmy Maslon, 2010)
MONDAY, OCTOBER 28
Observations of Film Art #32: Withholding and Revealing in An Angel at My Table
Professor Kristin Thompson explores how Jane Campion uses a strategy of concealment and carefully orchestrated reveals to create curiosity, tension, and surprise.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 29
Short + Feature: Baseball and Broomsticks
The Beaning and Häxan
With a new introduction by The Beaning director Sean McCoy
Something witchy this way comes in these sinister brews of satanism, black magic, and pseudodocumentary.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 30
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
Ana Lily Amirpour’s mesmerizing debut feature blends the influences of spaghetti westerns, graphic novels, horror films, the Iranian New Wave, and Jim Jarmusch into a truly original blast of shoegazey, black-and-white cool.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 31
The Devil’s Backbone (Guillermo del Toro, 2001)*
Criterion Collection Edition #666