Channel Calendars

The Criterion Channel’s June 2020 Lineup

My Own Private Idaho

This June, the Criterion Channel celebrates Pride Month with a lineup full of queer artists who have taken up the camera to expand our understanding of desire, identity, and history. At the center of the month is Queersighted: Turn the Gaze Around, a selection of films that subvert the heterosexual male gaze and eroticize the unexpected. Other programs spotlight Cheryl Dunye’s brilliantly self-reflexive explorations of race and sexuality, Gregg Araki’s vibrant punk provocations, Chantal Akerman’s restless experimentation, and Jonathan Caouette’s ingenious autobiographical documentary Tarnation. And that’s not all: June also brings a survey of Mike Leigh’s extraordinary career, D. A. Pennebaker’s long-unavailable Original Cast Album: “Company,” Bertrand Bonello’s eerie Zombi Child, a collection of Bette Gordon’s bold independent films, and so much more.

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** indicates programming available only in the U.S.


Art-House America: Film Streams

Filling a longtime void in the city’s cultural landscape, Film Streams opened its doors in 2007 in downtown Omaha, Nebraska, with a sold-out screening of Seven Samurai. With the help of filmmaker and Omaha native Alexander Payne, who has been closely involved with the institution from the beginning, Film Streams soon expanded to a second location at the historic Dundee Theater, the city’s longest-surviving neighborhood cinema, and became an integral part of its community. Reflecting its commitment to adventurous programming, the theater has selected a mix of influential favorites by Charlie Chaplin, Agnès Varda, Ousmane Sembène, and more.

Featuring: City Lights (Charles Chaplin, 1931), Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa, 1954), Cléo from 5 to 7 (Agnès Varda, 1962), Black Girl (Ousmane Sembène, 1966), Dont Look Back (D. A. Pennebaker, 1967), Memories of Underdevelopment (Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, 1968), Burden of Dreams (Les Blank, 1982)

Zombi Child 
Exclusive streaming premiere

Displaying the same audaciousness he did in Saint Laurent and Nocturama, iconoclastic auteur Bertrand Bonello blends voodoo and postcolonial tensions to create a shivery, hypnotic excursion into heady horror.

And When I Die, I Won’t Stay Dead

Director Billy Woodberry’s first feature since his 1983 LA Rebellion landmark Bless Their Little Hearts captures the life and spirit of legendary Beat visionary and poet Bob Kaufman.


Short + Feature: Italy Uncloseted 
The Red Tree and A Special Day 
Featuring a new introduction by The Red Tree director Paul Rowley

A haunting documentary and a heartrending human drama confront the persecution of gay men in 1930s Italy.


Directed by Cheryl Dunye

The inventive, self-reflexive films of independent trailblazer Cheryl Dunye offer multilayered, sharply funny commentaries on the intersections of black and queer identity. Over the course of six provocative, sardonic shorts, Dunye honed a unique, quasi-documentary style she dubbed “Dunyementary,” which she perfected in her first feature, The Watermelon Woman, a landmark of personal filmmaking in which she threads a self-deprecating look at interracial lesbian dating in the 1990s with a pointed critique of the history of African American representation on-screen. In subsequent features like the unconventional murder mystery The Owls, Dunye has continued to combine her astute observations on race, gender, and sexuality with ingenious formal experimentation.

Features: The Watermelon Woman (1996), The Owls (2010)

Shorts: Janine (1990), She Don’t Fade (1991), Vanilla Sex (1992), An Untitled Portrait (1993), The Potluck and the Passion (1993), Greetings from Africa (1996)


My Own Private Idaho (Gus Van Sant, 1991)
Criterion Collection Edition #277


Double Feature: A Pair of Jeans 
The Talk of the Town and The Whole Town’s Talking

Everybody’s talking . . . about Jean Arthur! The screwball virtuoso lends her effervescent charm to a pair of classic farces involving mistaken identities, murder raps, and romance.


Saturday Matinee: Spellbound

The P-R-E-S-S-U-R-E is on as eight teenage spelling wizards set out to win it all at the 1999 Scripps National Spelling Bee in this acclaimed, marvelously entertaining documentary.


Directed by Chantal Akerman 
Featuring a 2015 program on Akerman’s work

One of the boldest cinematic visionaries of the past half century, Chantal Akerman—who would have turned seventy this June—took a profoundly personal, aesthetically radical approach to the form, using it to investigate geography and identity, space and time, sexuality and alienation. Influenced by the structuralist cinema she was exposed to when she came to New York from her native Belgium in 1970, Akerman made her mark in the decade that followed, exploring the possibilities of long takes and formal repetition in audacious and personal works like Hotel Monterey, Je tu il elle, and Les rendez-vous d’Anna. Her towering achievement, however, remains Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles, a domestic epic that has exerted an incalculable influence on the evolution of both feminist and avant-garde cinema. In later works such as Golden Eighties and No Home Movie, Akerman continued to expand the boundaries of cinematic language, leaving behind monumental landmarks that have pointed the way for a generation of artists who have followed in her footsteps.

Features: Hotel Monterey (1972), Je tu il elle (1975), Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975), News from Home (1976), Les rendez-vous d’Anna (1978), Dis-moi (1980), One Day Pina Asked . . . (1983), Golden Eighties (1986), Histoires d’Amérique: Food, Family and Philosophy (1989), From the East (1993), Chantal Akerman by Chantal Akerman (1997), South (1999), La captive (2000), From the Other Side (2002), Down There (2006), Almayer’s Folly (2011), No Home Movie (2015)

Shorts: Saute ma ville (1968), La chambre (1972)


The Eyes of Orson Welles

Visionary cinema historian Mark Cousins charts the imagination of one of the twentieth century’s most revolutionary artists through an unprecedented and profound work of visual archaeology.


Exclusive streaming premiere

Winner of the top prize at the Berlin Film Festival, this audacious, deliriously unhinged dark comedy from Israeli director Nadav Lapid evokes the whiplash disorientation of the immigrant experience with both ferocious intensity and unexpected poetry.

Short + Feature: Queer Through the Years 
Call Your Father and Parting Glances 
Featuring a new introduction by Call Your Father director Jordan Firstman

From the AIDS era to the age of the hookup app, two sharp-witted portraits of gay male relationships tackle serious themes with trenchant insight and biting humor.


But I’m a Cheerleader

Natasha Lyonne is the lesbian next door in this subversive, hilariously campy cult satire, one of the definitive queer classics of the late nineties.


Husbands (John Cassavetes, 1970)
Criterion Collection Edition #1029

Observations on Film Art #37: Ozu’s Space Adventures—Editing in Passing Fancy

Yasujiro Ozu’s lovely 1933 silent domestic drama is a gently humorous take on one of his signature themes: the relationship between fathers and sons. In this edition of Observations on Film Art, Professor David Bordwell explores the many ways in which Ozu’s distinctive approach to editing shapes the viewer’s engagement with the characters and their conflicts, adding another dimension to the film’s poignant, human story.


Double Feature: Cities of Shadows 
The Naked City and In a Lonely Place 
Featuring an introduction by filmmakers Josh and Benny Safdie

Uncut Gems directors Josh and Benny Safdie present a coast-to-coast double bill of classic noir murder mysteries, one quintessentially New York, the other archetypally LA.


Saturday Matinee: Into the West

The rich folklore of the Irish Travellers provides the inspiration for this captivating fable about the relationship between two boys and a magical horse.


Queersighted: Turn the Gaze Around 
Featuring a new conversation between guest programmer Michael Koresky and food and film writer Mayukh Sen

For the second installment of Queersighted, a series from Michael Koresky that views film history through a distinctly queer lens, we turn our sights to a handful of filmmakers—from Jean Cocteau to Cheryl Dunye—who have turned their gazes away from convention, using cinema to eroticize the unexpected and subvert objectification.

Featuring: Orpheus (Jean Cocteau, 1950), Purple Noon (René Clement, 1960), Querelle (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1982), My Beautiful Laundrette (Stephen Frears, 1985), My Own Private Idaho (Gus Van Sant, 1991), The Watermelon Woman (Cheryl Dunye, 1996), Water Lilies (Céline Sciamma, 2007)


Original Cast Album: “Company” 
Featuring a new conversation with the cast and writers of Documentary Now!’s “Original Cast Album: Co-Op” episode, including John Mulaney, Seth Meyers, Richard Kind, Paula Pell, Alex Brightman and Renée Elise Goldsberry, plus director Alex Buono and composer Eli Bolin

This legendary, long-unavailable documentary from Direct Cinema pioneer D. A. Pennebaker captures the behind-the-scenes drama that went into the making of the cast album recording of Stephen Sondheim’s groundbreaking concept musical Company.

Mafioso (Alberto Lattuada, 1962)
Criterion Collection Edition #424


Short + Feature: The Duke Abides 
A Bundle of Blues and Anatomy of a Murder

Get jazzed for a toe-tapping twofer featuring the swinging sounds of Duke Ellington.


Directed by Bette Gordon 
Featuring a new introduction by Gordon

Emerging from the avant-garde underground of the 1970s and ’80s, Bette Gordon made her mark with stylishly subversive investigations of sexuality and gender roles that invert genre expectations with their feminist themes. Following a string of groundbreaking experimental shorts, Gordon made her narrative feature debut with Variety, a noir-tinged study of voyeurism, pornography, and fantasy that turns the conventional male gaze back on itself. Fifteen years later, Gordon followed it up with Luminous Motion, a similarly provocative, dreamlike thriller.

Features: Variety (1983)**, Luminous Motion (1998)

Shorts: Michigan Avenue (Bette Gordon and James Benning, 1973), I-94 (Bette Gordon and James Benning, 1974), The United States of America (Bette Gordon and James Benning, 1975), Empty Suitcases (Bette Gordon, 1980), Anybody’s Woman (Bette Gordon, 1981)


Three by Gregg Araki 
Featuring a new introduction by Araki

Fearlessly raw, angry, and unrestrained, the films of underground auteur Gregg Araki give voice to the angst and alienation of queer youth everywhere. Emerging as one of the edgiest and most vital voices of 1990s New Queer Cinema movement, Araki channeled the disillusionment and despair of the AIDS era into transgressive, stylistically explosive howls of rage in the face of a homophobic society, and cemented his status as one of independent cinema’s most uncompromising chroniclers of the outsider experience.

Featuring: The Living End (1992), Totally F***ed Up (1993), Mysterious Skin (2004)


Double Feature: Queer Britannia 
Another Country and Maurice

Two groundbreaking queer period dramas explore forbidden desire and the struggle to live as one’s true self amid the repression of early-twentieth-century British society.


Saturday Matinee: The Count of Monte Cristo

En garde! Alexandre Dumas’s classic tale of injustice and retribution gets a stirring adaptation in this spirited swashbuckler.


Directed by Mike Leigh

The great prickly humanist of British cinema, Mike Leigh has forged a body of work unique in its concern for the struggles of ordinary people and the social fabric of working-class London. Famously born from a process of extensive improvisation with his powerhouse actors, Leigh’s films inhabit a register of tragicomic despair that, thanks to their unwavering compassion, never slips into miserabilism. From his early slice-of-life portraits of Thatcher-era Britain to his award-winning international triumphs to forays into the period drama and relatively lighthearted comedy, Leigh plumbs the darkest depths of the human condition without ever losing hope.

Featuring: Meantime (1984), High Hopes (1988), The Short and Curlies (1987), Life Is Sweet (1990), Naked (1993), Secrets & Lies (1996), Career Girls (1997), All or Nothing (2002), Vera Drake (2004), Happy-Go-Lucky (2008), Another Year (2010)**


Exclusive streaming premiere

A pioneering, ahead-of-its-time work in the development of the autobiographical documentary, Jonathan Caouette’s cathartic film diary swirls together Super 8 and VHS home movies, answering machine messages, family photographs, and other records to tell the story of Caouette’s tumultuous childhood, his coming out as gay, and his complex relationship with his schizophrenic mother. Famously made for just $218 and edited using free iMovie software, Tarnation went on to become a critical sensation that redefined the boundaries of personal filmmaking.

Death in Venice (Luchino Visconti, 1971)
Criterion Collection Edition #962


Jazz Shorts 1929–1939

Louis Armstrong swings, Bing Crosby croons, and Billie Holiday sings the blues in these tune-filled shorts, featuring some of the greatest jazz musicians of all time in their electrifying prime. Made as preludes to accompany feature films, these minimusicals helped popularize future superstars—from Cab Calloway to Hoagy Carmichael—on their way to becoming legends. From Bessie Smith belting the St. Louis Blues to Duke Ellington performing his Symphony in Black to big-band maestro Artie Shaw presenting a Class in Swing, this selection of syncopated sizzlers represents an indispensable record of America’s musical heritage.

Featuring: Black and Tan (Dudley Murphy, 1929), St. Louis Blues (Dudley Murphy, 1929), I Surrender Dear (Mack Sennett, 1931), A Rhapsody in Black and Blue (Aubrey Scotto, 1932), A Bundle of Blues (Fred Waller, 1933), Sing, Bing, Sing (Babe Stafford, 1933), Cab Calloway’s Hi-De-Ho (Fred Waller, 1934), Symphony in Black: A Rhapsody of Negro Life (Fred Waller, 1935), Artie Shaw’s Class in Swing (Leslie M. Roush, 1939), Hoagy Carmichael (Leslie M. Roush, 1939)

Short + Feature: I Second That Stop Motion 
The Cabinet of Jan Švankmajer and Alice

Travel through the looking glass with two eyeball-whirling wonders of stop-motion surrealism—Jan Švankmajer’s Lewis Carroll–inspired masterpiece, and Stephen and Timothy Quay’s Švankmajer-inspired miniature marvel.


Featuring an archival interview with director Jacqueline Audry

Neglected for nearly seventy years, a singular landmark of lesbian cinema by one of France’s trailblazing women directors reemerges. Plunging the viewer—and the main character—into a lion’s den, Jacqueline Audry depicts a nineteenth-century boarding school for young girls, a house divided between its rival mistresses, Miss Julie (Edwige Feuillere) and Miss Cara (Simone Simon). Awash in spellbinding gothic atmosphere and a hothouse air of unspoken desire, Olivia is a daring feminist statement decades ahead of its time.


Scorsese Shorts (Martin Scorsese, 1963–78)
Criterion Collection Edition #1030


Double Feature: Figures in Landscapes 
Museum Hours and Columbus**

Two quietly revelatory, elegantly unassuming works weave tales of unexpected human connection in which art, architecture, and environment serve as characters unto themselves.


Saturday Matinee: Born Free

This beloved animal’s tale recreates the remarkable true story of Joy (Virginia McKenna) and George Adamson (Bill Travers), a British couple who adopt a slain lioness’s cub in Kenya and raise her to adulthood while attempting to teach her to survive in the wild.


Czechoslovak New Wave

Of the cinematic New Waves that broke over the world in the 1960s, the one in Czechoslovakia was among the most fruitful, fascinating, and radical. With a wicked sense of humor and a healthy streak of surrealism, a group of fearless directors—including Miloš Forman, Vera Chytilová, Jiří Menzel, Jaromil Jireš, Jan Němec, and Juraj Herz—risked censorship and began to use film to speak out about the hypocrisy and absurdity of the Communist state. Ranging in style from the dazzlingly experimental to the arrestingly realistic, these revolutionary transmissions from a singular time and place stand as models of art as a tool of political resistance.

Features: Something Different (Vera Chytilová, 1963), Black Peter (Miloš Forman, 1964), Courage for Every Day (Evald Schorm, 1964), Diamonds of the Night (Jan Němec, 1964), Intimate Lighting (Ivan Passer, 1965), Loves of a Blonde (Miloš Forman, 1965), The Shop on Main Street (Ján Kadár and Elmar Klos, 1965), Closely Watched Trains (Jiří Menzel, 1966), Daisies (Vera Chytilová, 1966), Pearls of the Deep (Jiří Menzel, Věra Chytilová, Jaromil Jireš, Jan Němec, and Evald Schorm, 1966), A Report on the Party and Guests (Jan Němec, 1966), The Firemen’s Ball (Miloš Forman, 1967), Return of the Prodigal Son (Evald Schorm, 1967), Capricious Summer (Jirí Menzel, 1968), All My Good Countrymen (Vojtech Jasný, 1969), The Cremator (Juraj Herz, 1969), The Joke (Jaromil Jireš, 1969), The Ear (Karel Kachyňa, 1970), Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (Jaromil Jireš, 1970)

Shorts: Uncle (Jaromil Jireš, 1959), Footprints (Jaromil Jireš, 1960), The Hall of Lost Footsteps (Jaromil Jireš, 1960), The Junk Shop (Juraj Herz, 1965), A Boring Afternoon (Ivan Passer, 1968)


The Loft Cinema Presents: Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World

From the indelible first chords of Link Wray’s rock ’n’ roll landmark “Rumble,” Native Americans have had an enormous, though often overlooked, impact on the evolution of American popular music. Tracing the contributions of iconic Native artists like Charley Patton, Mildred Bailey, Jimi Hendrix, and Buffy Sainte-Marie, Rumble reveals a hidden musical history as told by the legendary artists who knew them, played music with them, and were inspired by them, including Quincy Jones, George Clinton, Martin Scorsese, Steven Tyler, and Iggy Pop.


Short + Feature: When Cyber Eyes Are Prying 
Dirt Daughter and Red Road

Two unsettling portraits of lonely female security guards take on intriguing erotic dimensions in this provocative pairing.

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