Channel Calendars

The Criterion Channel’s August 2020 Lineup

Inside Criterion / On the Channel — Jul 30, 2020

Stuck at home this summer? Don’t let that get you down—our Bad Vacations series makes the case for staying in and watching movies, cataloguing an array of holiday horrors ranging from existential ennui to full-throttle terror. That’s just the tip of the (melting) iceberg this month on the Channel: there’s also spotlights on independent visionary Bill Gunn, French-cinema luminary Mia Hansen-Løve, and underground-animation hero Bill Plympton, as well as a sweeping survey of the Australian New Wave. Beyond that, we’ve got the exclusive streaming premiere of the acclaimed Bacurau, Humberto Solás’s Cuban landmark Lucía, a trio of noirs by Robert Siodmak, Joseph Losey’s rediscovered existential mystery Mr. Klein, Amy Seimetz’s revelatory Sun Don’t Shine, and so much more.

Now check out the full calendar!

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


SATURDAY, AUGUST 1

Saturday Matinee: The Little Prince

Stanley Donen directs a touchingly sincere musical adaptation of the beloved philosophical fable.

Sullivan’s Travels (Preston Sturges, 1941)
Criterion Collection Edition #118


SUNDAY, AUGUST 2

Australian New Wave 
Featuring Voices from the Australian New Wave, a short documentary including interviews with Gillian Armstrong, Bruce Beresford, David Gulpilil, Peter Weir, and others

From the early seventies through the mideighties, a resurgence of government funding for national film production gave birth to a generation of brave, unconventional new voices who made Australia the home to a brief but bright-burning cinematic renaissance. Among the filmmakers who emerged from this artistic flowering were pivotal figures like Peter Weir, George Miller, Gillian Armstrong, Bruce Beresford, Fred Schepisi, and Phillip Noyce, many of whom went on to successful international careers. Encompassing subversive visions of Australian history, dystopian science-fiction cult classics, groundbreaking coming-of-age dramas, and beyond, these formally bold, thematically provocative films delved into the intricacies of Australian society and identity with newfound fearlessness.

Featuring: Walkabout (Nicolas Roeg, 1971), The Cars That Ate Paris (Peter Weir, 1974), Picnic at Hanging Rock (Peter Weir, 1975), Sunday Too Far Away (Ken Hannam, 1975), The Devil’s Playground (Fred Schepisi, 1976), Don’s Party (Bruce Beresford, 1976), Storm Boy (Henri Safran, 1976), The Getting of Wisdom (Bruce Beresford, 1977), The Last Wave (Peter Weir, 1977), The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (Fred Schepisi, 1978), Long Weekend (Colin Eggleston, 1978), Money Movers (Bruce Beresford, 1978), Newsfront (Phillip Noyce, 1978), Mad Max (George Miller, 1979), My Brilliant Career (Gillian Armstrong, 1979), The Plumber (Peter Weir, 1979), Breaker Morant (Bruce Beresford, 1980), Gallipoli (Peter Weir, 1981), Puberty Blues (Bruce Beresford, 1981), Starstruck (Gillian Armstrong, 1982), The Year of Living Dangerously (Peter Weir, 1982)


MONDAY, AUGUST 3

Four Documentaries by Ron Mann 
Featuring a new introduction by Mann

Essential records of North America’s pop-culture underground, the documentaries of Ron Mann are deep dives into some of the most vital and often overlooked artistic movements of the twentieth century. Finding offbeat inspiration in the creativity that flourishes outside the mainstream, he has chronicled everything from free jazz and a popular fifties dance craze to modern poetry and comic books, along the way capturing invaluable interviews with cult luminaries like musicians Cecil Taylor and Archie Shepp, writers William S. Burroughs and Charles Bukowski, and cartoonists Jack Kirby and Robert Crumb.

Featuring: Imagine the Sound (1981), Poetry in Motion (1982), Poetry in Motion (1982), Twist (1992)


TUESDAY, AUGUST 4

Short + Feature: High-Flying Heroes
Mynarski Death Plummet and Only Angels Have Wings

Take flight with two white-knuckle tales of courage in the sky.


WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 5

Starstruck

For the follow-up to her acclaimed first feature, My Brilliant Career, Australian New Wave leader Gillian Armstrong made a gloriously over-the-top, shiny pop musical complete with outré costumes, high-energy dance numbers, and eye-popping production design courtesy of Brian Thomson (The Rocky Horror Picture Show).


THURSDAY, AUGUST 6

World Cinema Project: Lucía 
Featuring Humberto & Lucía, a new documentary about the making of the film

A breathtaking vision of Cuban revolutionary history wrought with white-hot intensity by Humberto Solás, this operatic epic tells the story of a changing country through the eyes of three women, each named Lucía.


FRIDAY, AUGUST 7

Double Feature: The Decline of Midwestern Civilization 
The Magnificent Ambersons and Kings Row

Two prestigious 1942 literary adaptations trace stories of small town tragedy—one with majestic poignancy, the other with shocking perversity.


SATURDAY, AUGUST 8

Saturday Matinee: Storm Boy

In this deeply affecting classic of the Australian New Wave, a lonely young white boy experiences an emotional awakening through his growing bonds with an orphaned pelican and an Aboriginal man estranged from his tribe.


SUNDAY, AUGUST 9

Starring Alain Delon

The beautiful boy of French cinema whose steely, ice-blue gaze betrayed more than a hint of danger, Alain Delon was a favorite of modernists like Luchino Visconti, Jean-Pierre Melville, and Michelangelo Antonioni, all of whom were seduced by his impossible good looks and air of cool detachment. This selection of many of Delon’s finest moments spotlights his wide-ranging, star-making performances.

Featuring: Purple Noon (René Clément, 1960), Rocco and His Brothers (Luchino Visconti, 1960), L’eclisse (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1962), Any Number Can Win (Henri Verneuil, 1963), Once a Thief (Ralph Nelson, 1965), Le samouraï (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1967), The Girl on a Motorcycle (Jack Cardiff, 1968), Spirits of the Dead (Federico Fellini, Louis Malle, and Roger Vadim, 1968), Le cercle rouge (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1970), The Widow Couderc (Pierre Granier-Deferre, 1971), Un flic (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1972), Mr. Klein (Joseph Losey, 1976)


MONDAY, AUGUST 10

Festival (Murray Lerner, 1967)
Criterion Collection Edition #892


TUESDAY, AUGUST 11

Short + Feature: Hands of Fate 
Cutaway and L’argent

Radical minimalism is wielded with extraordinary power in two shattering stories conveyed largely through a focus on hands.

Brazil (Terry Gilliam, 1985)
Criterion Collection Edition #51


WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 12

Three by Mia Hansen-Løve 
Featuring a new introduction by Hansen-Løve

Contemporary French cinema’s heir to the delicately naturalistic, profoundly humanist sensibility of Éric Rohmer, Mia Hansen-Løve mines the raw materials of her own life and family story to create gracefully empathetic explorations of people in states of emotional flux, finding rich philosophical insight in the moments that test us the most.

Featuring: Father of My Children (2009), Goodbye First Love (2011), Things to Come (2016)


THURSDAY, AUGUST 13

Three by Bill Gunn 
Featuring a 1984 interview with Gunn

One of the most electrifying but unjustly neglected talents to emerge from the creative ferment of 1970s American cinema, actor, writer, and director Bill Gunn blazed a new trail for Black independent filmmakers with his avant-visionary, Afrocentric vampire myth Ganja & Hess and Personal Problems, an epic, intensely intimate “meta-soap opera” (as writer Ishmael Reed called it) that went virtually unseen for decades before reemerging to widespread acclaim. Those twin masterpieces are presented alongside Ján Kadár’s The Angel Levine, an overlooked Bernard Malamud adaptation cowritten by Gunn and starring Zero Mostel and Harry Belafonte. With their bold, iconoclastic style and focus on the lives of intellectual and middle-class Black characters, Gunn’s uncompromising films were decades ahead of their time—only now is the world beginning to catch up.

Featuring: The Angel Levine (Ján Kadár, 1970), Ganja & Hess (Bill Gunn, 1973), Personal Problems (Bill Gunn, 1980)


FRIDAY, AUGUST 14

Double Feature: Behind the Screens 
Hollywood Shuffle and The Player

Two maverick filmmakers with uneasy relationships to Hollywood offer hilarious and scathing satires of the film industry.


SATURDAY, AUGUST 15

Saturday Matinee: The Secret Garden

Two of golden-age Hollywood’s greatest and most beloved child stars bring the classic novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett to enchanting life.


SUNDAY, AUGUST 16

Directed by Wim Wenders

Turning seventy-five this August, Wim Wenders is cinema’s preeminent poet of the open road, soulfully tracing the journeys of wanderers and drifters searching for themselves. Over the course of his incredible five-decade career, Wenders has traversed the landscapes of his native Germany, the highways of the American Southwest, and the dream worlds of angels, working with master cinematographers like Robby Müller and Henri Alekan to create some of the most indelible images in all of modern cinema. Moving restlessly between exquisite narrative works and innovative documentaries, Wenders remains a vital and prolific creative force, following his inspiration across the world wherever it may lead.

Features: Alice in the Cities (1974), Wrong Move (1975), Kings of the Road (1976), The American Friend (1977), Paris, Texas (1984), Tokyo-ga (1985), Wings of Desire (1987), Until the End of the World (1991), Palermo Shooting (2008), Pina (2011)

Shorts: Same Player Shoots Again (1968)


MONDAY, AUGUST 17

Documentaries by Les Blank

From garlic to gap-toothed women, no subject was too esoteric to capture the imagination of Les Blank, an uncompromisingly independent spirit who, for nearly fifty years, disappeared with his camera into subcultures rarely seen on-screen. Seemingly off-the-cuff yet poetically constructed, Blank’s films are humane, sometimes wry, always engaging tributes to music, food, and all sorts of regionally specific delights. Whether documenting the art of a legendary Texas bluesman, the richness of Cajun culture, or the quixotic exploits of his friend Werner Herzog, Blank had a boundless zest for life and people that shines through every frame of his affectionate, joy-filled work.

Features: A Poem is a Naked Person (1974), Burden of Dreams (1982)

Shorts: The Blues Accordin’ to Lightnin’ Hopkins (1968), God Respects Us When We Work, but Loves Us When We Dance (1968), Spend It All (1971), A Well Spent Life (1971), Dry Wood (1973), Hot Pepper (1973), Always for Pleasure (1978), Garlic Is as Good as Ten Mothers (1980), Sprout Wings and Fly (1983), In Heaven There Is No Beer? (1984), Gap-Toothed Women (1987), Yum, Yum, Yum! A Taste of Cajun and Creole Cooking (1990), The Maestro: King of the Cowboy Artists (1994), Sworn to the Drum: A Tribute to Francisco Aguabella (1995)


TUESDAY, AUGUST 18

Short + Feature: Landscapes of Loss 
Voices of Kidnapping and Nostalgia for the Light

The enduring love of families for victims of political violence reaches across time and space in two haunting topographic meditations on grief and hope.


WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 19

Rafiki

Bursting with the colorful street style and music of Nairobi’s vibrant youth culture, Rafiki is a tender love story between two young women in a country that still criminalizes homosexuality. Initially banned in Kenya for its positive portrayal of queer romance, Wanuri Kahiu’s film made history by winning a landmark supreme court case chipping away at Kenyan anti-LGBTQ legislation.


THURSDAY, AUGUST 20

Bacurau 
Exclusive streaming premiere, featuring an interview with directors Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles

A blistering sci-fi thriller streaked with antiracist and anticolonialist rage, the new film from Aquarius director Kleber Mendonça Filho, codirected with Juliano Dornelles, is an audacious, furiously entertaining model of genre art as a vehicle for political resistance.

Three by Robert Siodmak

Along with fellow European émigrés like Fritz Lang and Billy Wilder, German-born Robert Siodmak was instrumental in importing the expressionist visual style and hard-bitten existentialist sensibility that would define Hollywood film noir, arguably creating more classics of the genre than any other director. His moody, shadow-etched compositions and flair for the fatalistic are on full display in three of his finest: Phantom Lady, his dreamlike first noir and a fascinating protofeminist example of the genre; The Killers, a landmark known as the “Citizen Kane of noir” for its intricate flashback structure, starring Burt Lancaster in his film debut; and Criss Cross, which reunited the director with Lancaster for one of the twistiest and bleakest crime thrillers ever made.

Featuring: Phantom Lady (1944), The Killers (1946), Criss Cross (1949)


FRIDAY, AUGUST 21

Double Feature: Art of Darkness 
The American Friend and Mr. Klein

Master directors Wim Wenders and Joseph Losey paint sinister portraits of moral corruption in a pair of spellbinding, coolly stylized tales of unscrupulous art dealers embroiled in dangerous underworlds.


SATURDAY, AUGUST 22

Saturday Matinee: The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T.

One of the most outrageous acts of cinematic surrealism ever to emanate from Hollywood’s dream factory, the only film written by Theodor Seuss Geisel (a.k.a. Dr. Seuss) is a riotous Technicolor fantasy in which a young boy dreams himself into an imaginary world ruled by a diabolical piano teacher who forces five hundred children to practice an enormous keyboard for eternity. Met with incomprehension upon its release, it has since taken its place as a beloved cult favorite, a one-of-a-kind children’s film that doubles as a triumph of genuine avant-garde imagination.


SUNDAY, AUGUST 23

Bad Vacations

Wishing you could get away this summer? This collection of some of cinema’s most memorably disastrous trips will have you reconsidering the comforts of home. 

Featuring: Bonjour tristesse (Otto Preminger, 1958), La collectionneuse (Éric Rohmer, 1967), The Deep (Peter Yates, 1977), House (Nobuhiko Obayashi, 1977), Long Weekend (Colin Eggleston, 1978), The Green Ray (Eric Rohmer, 1986), The Comfort of Strangers (Paul Schrader, 1990), The Sheltering Sky (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1990), Funny Games (Michael Haneke, 1997), Fat Girl (Catherine Breillat, 2001), La Ciénaga (Lucrecia Martel, 2001), Unrelated (Joanna Hogg, 2007), Sightseers (Ben Wheatley, 2012)**


MONDAY, AUGUST 24

John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection

Narrated by Mathieu Amalric, this innovative documentary revisits a wealth of 16 mm footage of tennis superstar John McEnroe taken at the height of his career, when he competed to defend his status as the world’s top-ranked player at the 1984 French Open. This portrait of sports prowess and passion expressively reshapes its material to explore both McEnroe’s game and the footage itself, creating a mesmerizing, immersive study of a driven athlete, the human body in motion, and cinema itself.


TUESDAY, AUGUST 25

Short + Feature: Poetry in Motion 
The Lonedale Operator and And When I Die, I Won’t Stay Dead

The words and worlds of visionary poets John Ashbery and Bob Kaufman flicker to life in these richly cinematic odes to American genius.


WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 26

Sun Don’t Shine 
Featuring a new introduction by Seimetz and her short film When We Lived in Miami

Written and directed by Amy Seimetz, this tantalizingly enigmatic, sun-kissed noir follows Crystal (Kate Lyn Sheil) and her boyfriend Leo (Kentucker Audley) on a tense and mysterious road trip through the desolate yet hauntingly beautiful landscape of central Florida.


THURSDAY, AUGUST 27

Three by Stephen Cone 
Featuring a new interview with Cone

A self-taught filmmaker who has quietly garnered a reputation as one of American independent cinema’s most thoughtful and compassionate artists, Stephen Cone is a true actor’s director, working intimately with a cast of regulars to tell naturalistic, deeply human stories about coming of age, coming out, and the intricacies of modern-day religion. Triumphs of subtle, empathetic storytelling, Cone’s unjustly under-the-radar films exude an easy, understated grace even as they grapple with some of life’s most complex questions. 

Featuring: The Wise Kids (2011), Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party (2015), Princess Cyd (2017)


FRIDAY, AUGUST 28

Double Feature: Private Eyes 
Phantom Lady and Variety

The power of the female gaze subverts the genre and gender conventions of classical film noir in a dreamlike thriller and a feminist touchstone it inspired.


SATURDAY, AUGUST 29

Saturday Matinee: The Scarlet Pimpernel

Prestige producer Alexander Korda applies his seal of quality to this rip-roaring swashbuckler about a foppish aristocrat with a heroic secret identity.


SUNDAY, AUGUST 30

Films by Bill Plympton

“King of Indie Animation” Bill Plympton’s wonderfully weird creations are unmistakable: the wriggly, hand-sketched style, warped humor, and endlessly shape-shifting, transmogrifying images are the hallmarks of a singularly bizarre and brilliant imagination. Originally a newspaper cartoonist, Plympton found success as a film animator when his entrancingly twisted musical Your Face received an Oscar nomination for best animated short, leading to dozens more shorts and features, regular play on early 1990s MTV, another Oscar nomination (for the short Guard Dog), and a worldwide cult following. A self-described “blend of Magritte and R. Crumb,” Plympton is a one-of-a-kind auteur of the absurd, an underground animation hero whose films hold a funhouse mirror up to the innate strangeness of everyday reality.

Features: The Tune (1992), I Married a Strange Person! (1997), Mutant Aliens (2001), Hair High (2004), Idiots and Angels (2008), Cheatin’ (2013), Revengeance (2016)

Shorts: Your Face (1987), One of Those Days (1988), 25 Ways to Quit Smoking (1989), How to Kiss (1988), Push Comes to Shove (1991), The Wiseman (1991), How to Make Love to a Woman (1996), Sex and Violence (1997), Guard Dog (2004), The Fan and The Flower (2005), Guide Dog (2006), Hot Dog (2008), Santa, the Fascist Years (2008), Horn Dog (2009), The Cow Who Wanted to Be a Hamburger (2010)


MONDAY, AUGUST 31

Exporting Raymond 
Featuring a new introduction by director Phil Rosenthal

Phil Rosenthal created one of the most iconic television families of all time with his hit sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond. And then . . . the Russians called. In this genuine fish-out-of-water comedy that could only have happened in real life, Phil travels to Russia to help adapt his beloved show for Russian television. Exporting Raymond offers a hilarious, wildly entertaining look at what happens when a quintessentially American comedy gets lost in translation.