his month on the Criterion Channel, Tell Me: Women Filmmakers, Women’s Stories presents a revelatory survey of documentary and experimental works by female artists in which women share their experiences in their own words. Meanwhile, our retrospective of the master screenwriter Frances Marion will look back to an early era of Hollywood filmmaking when women helped shape the industry. With a centenary tribute to the legendary title-sequence designer Saul Bass, a trio of enigmatic films from French New Wave titan Jacques Rivette, early work from acclaimed director Eliza Hittman, oneiric shorts by the Quay brothers, the exclusive streaming premiere of Horace B. Jenkins’s long-lost Cane River, and a new episode of Adventures in Moviegoing with the Safdie brothers, there’s something for everyone in our eclectic May lineup.
Now check out the full calendar!
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** indicates programming available only in the U.S.
FRIDAY, MAY 1
Double Feature: California Dreamin’
The Limey and Mulholland Dr.
With a legendary commentary for The Limey featuring director Steven Soderbergh and screenwriter Lem Dobbs
Steven Soderbergh and David Lynch scramble time and memory in two surreal, LA-set noir puzzle boxes.
SATURDAY, MAY 2
Saturday Matinee: Around the World in 80 Days
An epic adventure takes flight in this spectacular adaptation of the Jules Verne favorite.
SUNDAY, MAY 3
Josh and Benny Safdie’s Adventures in Moviegoing
Auteurs of kinetic, adrenaline-rush cinema that unfolds at the heart-stopping pace of a New York minute, Josh and Benny Safdie have been keeping audiences on the edge of their seats (and on the verge of a panic attack) for over a decade with whirlwind character studies like Uncut Gems, Good Time, and Heaven Knows What. In this edition of Adventures in Moviegoing, the brothers sit down to discuss everything from their favorite cinematic fathers to the all-time best New York movies, and why they consider filmmaking inherently pathological.
Featuring: The Naked City (Jules Dassin, 1948), In a Lonely Place (Nicholas Ray, 1950), Camera Buff (Krzysztof Kieślowski, 1979), Gloria (John Cassavetes, 1980), Bless Their Little Hearts (Billy Woodberry, 1984), Meantime (Mike Leigh, 1984), Close-up (Abbas Kiarostami, 1990), Hero (Stephen Frears, 1992), The Mirror (Jafar Panahi, 1997)
MONDAY, MAY 4
Exclusive streaming premiere, with a new documentary featuring actors Richard Romaine and Tommye Myrick
Written, produced, and directed by the late, trailblazing director Horace B. Jenkins and crafted by an entirely African American cast and crew, this luminous, recently rediscovered landmark of American independent cinema is a charmingly laid-back, socially incisive love story set in the heart of Louisiana.
TUESDAY, MAY 5
Short + Feature: Freaks and Greeks
Washingtonia and Dogtooth
Outré tales of giraffes, beetles, and bizarro families from two renegades of the Greek Weird Wave.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 6
Down in the Delta
The only film directed by the iconic writer, poet, and activist Maya Angelou is a warm, richly evocative celebration of black southern family and resilience, featuring brilliant performances from Alfre Woodard, Loretta Devine, and Wesley Snipes.
THURSDAY, MAY 7
Three by Tsai Ming-liang
The most celebrated figure of the Second New Wave of Taiwanese cinema, boundary-pushing auteur Tsai Ming-liang charts the contours of contemporary alienation in mesmerizingly enigmatic works that are at once rigorously spare and richly sensuous.
Featuring: Rebels of the Neon God (1992), The Wayward Cloud (2005)**, Stray Dogs (2013)
FRIDAY, MAY 8
Double Feature: Mama Drama
Stella Dallas (1925) and Stella Dallas (1937)
A Barbara Stanwyck classic screens with the original tear-wringing tale of maternal self sacrifice.
SATURDAY, MAY 9
Saturday Matinee: Good Morning
A lighthearted take on director Yasujiro Ozu’s perennial theme of the challenges of intergenerational relationships, this charming comedy tells the story of two young boys who stop speaking in protest after their parents refuse to buy a television set.
SUNDAY, MAY 10
Saul Bass Turns 100!
There were title sequences before Saul Bass, and there were title sequences after Saul Bass. The legendary graphic artist, born 100 years ago on May 8, revolutionized the art of motion-picture credits with his groundbreaking opening to Otto Preminger’s The Man with the Golden Arm. Over the next forty years, Bass would employ techniques ranging from animation to live action to avant-garde experimentation to time-lapse photography to create some of the most dazzling title sequences of all time, miniature works of art that not only set the mood for the feature to follow but which often help to tell the story itself. Though he directed only one feature—the visually stunning science-fiction head trip Phase IV—Bass left behind a widely influential legacy as one of the most innovative film artists of the twentieth century.
Featuring: The Big Knife (Robert Aldrich, 1955), The Man with the Golden Arm (Otto Preminger, 1955), Around the World in 80 Days (Michael Anderson, 1956), Storm Center (Daniel Taradash, 1956), Bonjour tristesse (Otto Preminger, 1958), The Big Country (William Wyler, 1958), Cowboy (Delmer Daves, 1958), Anatomy of a Murder (Otto Preminger, 1959), The Facts of Life (Melvin Frank, 1960), Ocean’s 11 (Lewis Milestone, 1960), Something Wild (Jack Garfein, 1961), West Side Story (Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins, 1961)*, Walk on the Wild Side (Edward Dmytryk, 1962), It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (Stanley Kramer, 1963), Bunny Lake Is Missing (Otto Preminger, 1965), Grand Prix (John Frankenheimer, 1966)*, Seconds (John Frankenheimer, 1966), Phase IV (Saul Bass, 1974), The Human Factor (Otto Preminger, 1979), The Age of Innocence (Martin Scorsese, 1993)
MONDAY, MAY 11
The Documentaries of Louis Malle
Over the course of a nearly forty-year career, Louis Malle forged a reputation as one of the world’s most versatile cinematic storytellers. At the same time, but with less fanfare, Malle was creating a parallel, even more personal body of work as a documentary filmmaker. With the discerning eye of a true artist and the investigatory skills of a great journalist, Malle takes us from a street corner in Paris to America’s heartland to the expanses of India in his astonishing epic Phantom India. These are some of the most engaging and fascinating nonfiction films ever made.
Featuring: Vive le Tour (1962), Phantom India (1969), Calcutta (1969), Humain, trop humain (1973), Place de la République (1974), God’s Country (1985), . . . And the Pursuit of Happiness (1986)
TUESDAY, MAY 12
Cannes ’68: Cinema in Revolt
When the 1968 edition of the Cannes Film Festival opened amid widespread civil unrest, filmmakers began pulling their movies from the schedule in solidarity with the workers and students protesting across France. This series gathers select titles from the year’s official lineup, alongside a scene-setting introduction by film historian Dudley Andrew, so that you can decide for yourself which film should have won the never-presented Palme d’Or. Also included in our series is Federico Fellini’s Toby Dammit, which was set to screen that year out of competition.
Featuring: The Firemen’s Ball (Miloš Forman, 1967), Peppermint Frappé (Carlos Saura, 1967), Capricious Summer (Jiří Menzel, 1968), Kuroneko (Kaneto Shindo, 1968), A Report on the Party and Guests (Jan Němec, 1968), Toby Dammit (Federico Fellini, 1968)
Henri Langlois, the legendary cofounder of the Cinémathèque Française, changed the course of cinema history with his passionate advocacy for film culture, helping incubate the artistic explosion of the French New Wave. When the French government attempted to close down the Cinémathèque in 1968, Langlois’s movie mecca became a rallying point for the student protest movement that would soon bring France to the brink of revolution. Made two years later, this documentary portrait follows Langlois around the streets of Paris and features interviews with Lilian Gish, Simone Signoret, Catherine Deneuve, Kenneth Anger, Viva, and more.
Palme d’Or Winners
The Cannes Film Festival’s top jury prize has long been one of the most coveted awards in international cinema. Over decades of competition, the Palme has crowned instant classics like Rome Open City and Taste of Cherry, recognized the mastery of auteurs like Ermanno Olmi and Mike Leigh, and occasionally singled out controversial choices like Maurice Pialat’s Under the Sun of Satan. Take a stroll down the red carpet and revisit some of the festival’s most memorable past winners.
Featuring: Brief Encounter (David Lean, 1945), Rome Open City (Roberto Rossellini, 1945), Miss Julie (Alf Sjöberg, 1951), Gate of Hell (Teinosuke Kinugasa, 1953), The Wages of Fear (Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1953), The Cranes Are Flying (Mikhail Kalatozov, 1957), Black Orpheus (Marcel Camus, 1959), Viridiana (Luis Buñuel, 1961), The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Jacques Demy, 1964), The Tree of Wooden Clogs (Ermanno Olmi, 1978), The Tin Drum (Volker Schlöndorff, 1979), Paris, Texas (Wim Wenders, 1984), Under the Sun of Satan (Maurice Pialat, 1987), Secrets & Lies (Mike Leigh, 1996), Taste of Cherry (Abbas Kiarostami, 1997), 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (Cristian Mungiu, 2007), Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2010), Dheepan (Jacques Audiard, 2015)
Short + Feature: Youthquakes
Tremors and The Fits
The kids are not all right in two bracingly visceral visions of teenage turmoil made manifest.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 13
It Felt Like Love
Featuring an introduction by director Eliza Hittman and two of her early short films
As her latest film, the 2020 Sundance and Berlin award winner Never Rarely Sometimes Always, garners critical acclaim, the Criterion Channel revisits the revelatory debut feature from director Eliza Hittman. Set over the course of a languid South Brooklyn summer, this unflinchingly honest, refreshingly unsentimental tale of sexual exploration and awakening offers a bracing, startlingly intimate new take on the coming-of-age drama.
Short films: Second Cousins Once Removed (2010), Forever’s Gonna Start Tonight (2011)
THURSDAY, MAY 14
Short Films by the Quay Brothers
Two of the world’s most brilliantly original filmmakers, identical twins Stephen and Timothy Quay have, over the course of more than four decades, amassed an enormous cult following for their visionary blend of puppetry and stop-motion animation. Perhaps best known for their gothic classic Street of Crocodiles, the Quays display a passion for detail, a breathtaking command of color and texture, and an uncanny use of focus and camera movement that unite their darkly surreal, marvelously macabre works.
Featuring: The Cabinet of Jan Švankmajer (1984), This Unnameable Little Broom (1985), Street of Crocodiles (1986), Rehearsals for Extinct Anatomies (1987), Stille Nacht I: Dramolet (1988), Stille Nacht III: Tales from Vienna Woods (1992), Stille Nacht IV: Can’t Go Wrong Without You (1993), The Comb (1990), Anamorphosis (1991), In Absentia (2000), The Phantom Museum (2003)
FRIDAY, MAY 15
Double Feature: Knockout!
The Harder They Fall and Raging Bull
Humphrey Bogart and Robert De Niro are up against the ropes in a one-two punch of boxing classics.
SATURDAY, MAY 16
Saturday Matinee: The Boy with Green Hair
An impassioned call for tolerance and an inspiring celebration of individuality, Joseph Losey’s lovably offbeat fable is one of the most unique, charmingly eccentric films to come out of studio-era Hollywood.
SUNDAY, MAY 17
Written by Frances Marion
Featuring Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Power of Women in Hollywood, a feature-length documentary directed by Bridget Terry and coproduced and written by film historian and author Cari Beauchamp
For almost three decades, Frances Marion was Hollywood’s highest-paid screenwriter (male or female), a pioneer who shaped the nascent art of script writing and whose seemingly boundless imagination yielded some of the most unforgettable words and stories ever put on screen. The top screenwriter at MGM during the late 1920s and early 1930s, Marion penned classics like The Wind, Anna Christie, The Big House, The Champ, Min and Bill, and Dinner at Eight, along the way becoming the first writer to win two Academy Awards. While her remarkable versatility meant that she could move easily between acclaimed literary adaptations, sparkling comedies, and gritty crime dramas, Marion’s piercing insight into human nature transcends genre and makes her work uniquely timeless.
Featuring: Stella Dallas (Henry King, 1925), The Scarlet Letter (Victor Sjöström, 1926), The Winning of Barbara Worth (Henry King, 1926), The Wind (Victor Sjöström, 1928), Their Own Desire (E. Mason Hopper, 1929), Anna Christie (Clarence Brown, 1930), The Big House (George W. Hill, 1930), Min and Bill (George Hill, 1930), The Champ (King Vidor, 1931), Blondie of the Follies (Edmund Goulding, 1932), Cynara (King Vidor, 1932), Dinner at Eight (George Cukor, 1933)**, Secrets (Frank Borzage, 1933), Riffraff (J. Walter Ruben, 1936), Knight Without Armour (Jacques Feyder, 1937), Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Power of Women in Hollywood (Bridget Terry, 2000)
MONDAY, MAY 18
Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion (Elio Petri, 1970)
Criterion Collection Edition #682
TUESDAY, MAY 19
Short + Feature: Fassbinder and His Friends
Angst isst Seele auf and Ali: Fear Eats the Soul
A powerful indictment of racial prejudice takes its inspiration from a Fassbinder masterpiece.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 20
Three by Diane Kurys
Featuring an archival interview with Kurys
In a career spanning five decades, French filmmaker Diane Kurys has mined the raw material of her own life and family history to create richly realized portraits of female relationships that overflow with wit and warmth. Though she is often overlooked in the pantheon of great contemporary French auteurs, Kurys makes films that manage to be at once deeply personal and universally resonant.
Featuring: Peppermint Soda (1977), Entre nous (1983), Children of the Century (1999)
THURSDAY, MAY 21
The Age of Innocence (Martin Scorsese, 1993)**
Criterion Collection Edition #913
FRIDAY, MAY 22
Double Feature: A Legacy and a Landmark
Losing Ground and The Scar of Shame
Kathleen Collins’s perceptive portrait of a woman’s emotional awakening contains a key allusion to actress Pearl McCormack and her role in a fascinating silent-era melodrama.
SATURDAY, MAY 23
Saturday Matinee: Black BeautyThe classic novel about the bond between a boy and his horse receives a stirring screen adaptation, complete with spectacular scenery and a lively sense of adventure.
SUNDAY, MAY 24
Tell Me: Women Filmmakers, Women’s Stories
Featuring a conversation between guest programmer Nellie Killian and actor Jenny Slate, plus a new documentary about the filmmaking collective New Day Films
In 1979, poet Adrienne Rich observed that “one of the most powerful social and political catalysts of the past decade has been the speaking of women with other women, the telling of our secrets, the comparing of wounds and sharing of words.” Tell Me celebrates female filmmakers who took the simple, radical step of allowing women space and time to talk about their lives. Whether through the bonds of shared experience or merely genuine interest, these portraits capture women talking about trauma and sexual identity, summoning new language to describe the long-simmering injustices and frustrations we still face today, making jokes, admitting insecurities, and organizing for the future. Featuring films by Chantal Akerman, Barbara Hammer, Camille Billops, Chick Strand, Yvonne Rainer, Joyce Chopra, Vivienne Dick, Su Friedrich, and more, this cross-section of feminist filmmaking speaks to Rich’s insight that “in order to change what is, we need to give speech to what has been, to imagine together what might be.”
Featuring: Growing Up Female (Julia Reichert and Jim Klein, 1971), Janie’s Janie (Geri Ashur, Peter Barton, Marilyn Mulford, and Stephanie Pawleski, 1971), Betty Tells Her Story (Liane Brandon, 1972), It Happens to Us (Amalie R. Rothschild, 1972), Joyce at 34 (Joyce Chopra and Claudia Weill, 1972), Yudie (Mirra Bank, 1974), Chris and Bernie (Bonnie Friedman and Deborah Shaffer, 1976), Guerillère Talks (Vivienne Dick, 1978), Inside Women Inside (Christine Choy and Cynthia Maurizio, 1978), Soft Fiction (Chick Strand, 1979), Dis-moi (Chantal Akerman, 1980), I Am Wanda (Katja Raganelli, 1980), Clotheslines (Roberta Cantow, 1981), Land Makar (Margaret Tait, 1981), Audience (Barbara Hammer, 1982), Suzanne, Suzanne (Camille Billops and James Hatch, 1982), The Ties That Bind (Su Friedrich, 1985), Conversations with Intellectuals About Selena (Lourdes Portillo, 1999), Privilege (Yvonne Rainer, 1990), The Salt Mines (Susana Aiken and Carlos Aparicio, 1990), The Transformation (Susana Aiken and Carlos Aparicio, 1995), Mimi (Claire Simon, 2003), No Home Movie (Chantal Akerman, 2015), Shakedown (Leilah Weinraub, 2018)
MONDAY, MAY 25
Le Havre (Aki Kaurismäki, 2011)
Criterion Collection Edition #619
TUESDAY, MAY 26
Short + Feature: What a Woman Wants
The Field and The Cloud-Capped Star
Two women yearn for fulfillment amid the patriarchal inequities of Indian society in these subversive, visually sublime explorations of traditional gender expectations.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 27
Three by Nicole Holofcener
Featuring a new introduction by Holofcener
In her smart, bitingly hilarious, and deeply empathetic comedies, Nicole Holofcener offers refreshingly nuanced portrayals of flawed, complex women whose outward sophistication belies their dysfunctional, often disastrous personal lives. All featuring her regular collaborator Catherine Keener, this trio of Holofcener favorites displays the richly realized characterizations, all-too-real relationships, and trenchant insights into privilege and bourgeois anxieties that have made the writer-director one of contemporary cinema’s most astutely acerbic observers of human folly.
Featuring: Lovely & Amazing (2001), Friends with Money (2006)**, Please Give (2010)**
THURSDAY, MAY 28
Three by Jacques Rivette
Featuring a 1990 profile of Rivette directed by Claire Denis, from the series Cinéastes de notre temps
Sprawling, labyrinthine, and obsessed with cryptic symbols, conspiracies, and clues, the films of French New Wave titan Jacques Rivette unfold like epic, choose-your-own-adventure puzzles that draw you ever deeper down their loopy, mysterious rabbit holes. This Rivettian sampler spans three decades (and nearly ten combined hours) in the career of a master for whom moviemaking was a game of surprise and discovery.
Featuring: Paris Belongs to Us (1961), Céline and Julie Go Boating (1974), La belle noiseuse (1991)
FRIDAY, MAY 29
Double Feature: Tramps and Scamps
The Kid and Sidewalk Stories
A beloved Charlie Chaplin classic inspires an unsung miracle of 1980s independent cinema.
SATURDAY, MAY 30
Saturday Matinee: The Little Fugitive
This enchanting child’s-eye odyssey through Coney Island bursts with a freewheeling inventiveness that would go on to influence both the French New Wave and a generation of DIY American filmmakers.
SUNDAY, MAY 31
Starring Jackie Chan
Featuring a new interview with Grady Hendrix, author and cofounder of the New York Asian Film Festival
Marrying the daredevil physical comedy of Buster Keaton with the martial-arts mastery of Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan is an international icon whose awe-inspiring stunt work and acrobatic grace set a new standard for action spectacle.
Featuring: Half a Loaf of Kung Fu (Chen Chi-hwa, 1978), Spiritual Kung Fu (Lo Wei, 1978), The Fearless Hyena (Jackie Chan, 1979), The Young Master (Jackie Chan, 1980), Fearless Hyena 2 (Chan Chuen, 1983), My Lucky Stars (Sammo Hung, 1985), Police Story (Jackie Chan, 1985), Police Story 2 (Jackie Chan, 1988)