The Criterion Channel’s November 2020 Lineup

On the Channel

Oct 30, 2020

The Criterion Channel’s November 2020 Lineup

The Criterion Channel’s November 2020 Lineup

On the Channel

Oct 30, 2020

With Thanksgiving around the corner, we’re grateful to the tireless preservationists who keep film history alive. Founded by Martin Scorsese in 1990, The Film Foundation has been an indispensable pillar of moving-image culture for the past three decades, making possible more than 850 restorations so far. This month, we’re kicking off a yearlong thirtieth-birthday celebration, showcasing thirty of the films they’ve restored, including old favorites like The Red Shoes and Ugetsu and rediscovered revelations like The Night of Counting the Years and Soleil Ô, to be joined by more classics and rarities in the months to come.

But that’s just the beginning of our November feast! With films by Claire Denis, Terence Nance, W. C. Fields, Bill Forsyth, Rithy Panh, Joan Tewkesbury, Sky Hopinka, Ngozi Onwurah, Harold Pinter, and Nadav Lapid, we’ve prepared a cinematic smorgasbord that’s sure to cater to all tastes.

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* indicates programming available December 1
** indicates programming available only in the U.S.


Frame of Mind: Psychiatry On-Screen

How do you portray the complex inner workings of the human mind on-screen? It’s a challenge that has long tantalized filmmakers, as seen in this wide-ranging look at some of cinema’s most fascinating explorations of neuroses, psychoses, and the art and science of psychiatry. From pop-Freudian deconstructions of criminal psychology (The Dark Past, The Mark) to immersions into the inner workings of psychiatric institutions (The Cobweb, David and Lisa) to explorations of the therapist-patient relationship both serious (Pressure Point, Ordinary People) and satiric (The President’s Analyst, The Ninth Configuration), these films reflect the increasingly nuanced representation of psychiatry in art as well as our evolving understanding of our own minds and selves.

Featuring: Blind Alley (1939), Possessed (1947), The Dark Past (1948), The Cobweb (1955), Autumn Leaves (1956), The Mark (1961), David and Lisa (1962), Pressure Point (1962), The President’s Analyst (1967), Solaris (1972), Old Boyfriends (1979), Bad Timing (1980), Dressed to Kill (1980), The Ninth Configuration (1980), Ordinary People (1980), House of Games (1987)*, The Prince of Tides (1991)*


A Dream Is What You Wake Up From

Through a bold mix of narrative and documentary techniques, directors Carolyn Johnson and Larry Bullard explore the experiences of Black families in American society. Shuffling between day-to-day scenes of life at home, school, and work, A Dream Is What You Wake Up From profiles three African American families grappling with the realities of systemic racism, domestic abuse, and economic disenfranchisement as they find themselves left behind by the promise of the American dream. As timely as ever in its intersectional approach to issues of race, class, and gender, this essential, long-neglected document of Black American struggle is a work of aching intimacy and powerful political insight.


Short + Feature: Stand-Up Guys
Stand Up and Lenny

Stand-up comedy becomes a vehicle for raw, uncomfortable, and lacerating truth-telling in two unsparing portraits of the personal pain behind the funnyman mask.

The Elephant Man (David Lynch, 1980)

Criterion Collection Edition #1051


Old Boyfriends
Featuring a new introduction by director Joan Tewkesbury

The sole theatrical feature directed by Joan Tewkesbury—whose screenplays for Nashville and Thieves Like Us yielded two of Robert Altman’s finest films—is an endlessly intriguing, shaggy-dog romantic comedy starring Talia Shire as Dianne Cruise, a Los Angeles psychiatrist who, with her life falling apart around her, goes in search of three of her past boyfriends in order to figure out where things went wrong. Written by Paul and Leonard Schrader and costarring John Belushi (fantastic as Dianne’s sleazy rocker ex) and Keith Carradine, Old Boyfriends ambles, in the best seventies road-movie tradition, through a series of surprising, emotionally intricate detours as it arrives at messy, complex truths about love and self-understanding.


Guest of Honour
Exclusive streaming premiere

A father and daughter attempt to unravel their complicated histories and intertwined secrets in the latest film from acclaimed director Atom Egoyan, which weaves through time in a riveting, psychologically intricate exploration of perception and penance, memory and forgiveness. Jim (David Thewlis) is a meticulous food inspector who wields great power over small, family-owned restaurants—a power he doesn’t hesitate to use. His daughter, Veronica (Laysla De Oliveira), is a high-school music teacher who has been wrongfully imprisoned for sexually abusing a student—a crime she didn’t commit but which she nevertheless wishes to be punished for. Years later, while preparing her father’s funeral, Veronica confides the secrets of her past to Father Greg (Luke Wilson), who may hold the final piece of this most curious family puzzle.


Double Feature: The Wicked and the Weird
Mad Love** and The Devil-Doll

Deranged scientists, bizarre experiments, and macabre menace haunt these two offbeat cult classics of 1930s B-movie horror.


Saturday Matinee: The Canterville Ghost

Charles Laughton and director Jules Dassin scare up plenty of mirth in this wittily imaginative supernatural farce based on an Oscar Wilde story.


Written by Harold Pinter
Featuring Harold Pinter: Art, Truth & Politics, Pinter’s 2005 Nobel Lecture

One of the most influential playwrights of the twentieth century brings his celebrated Pinter pauses and anxious ambiguity to the screen in these masterful dramas that quiver with quotidian menace. Having conquered the British stage with landmark works like The Birthday Party and The Caretaker, Harold Pinter embarked on a long and successful screenwriting career that included three brilliantly unsettling collaborations with director Joseph Losey (The Servant, Accident, The Go-Between) and several acclaimed adaptations of novels by writers like Penelope Mortimer (The Pumpkin Eater), John Fowles (The French Lieutenant’s Woman), Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid’s Tale), and Ian McEwan (The Comfort of Strangers). Rife with Pinter’s signature themes of power and control, these films are an indispensable part of the monumental legacy of an artist who exposed the tensions lurking beneath the surface of everyday life.

Featuring: The Servant (1963), The Pumpkin Eater (1964), Accident (1967), The Go-Between (1971), The Homecoming (1973), Butley (1974), The French Lieutenant’s Woman (1981), The Comfort of Strangers (1990), The Handmaid’s Tale (1990)


Dark Days

Journey into New York City’s subterranean society in this haunting, soulful record of invisible lives.


Short + Feature: Lovers in Arms
Flores and Beau travail

Two visions of love and longing among military men unfold amidst lush, senses-stunning landscapes in these ravishing cinematic hallucinations.

Make Way for Tomorrow (Leo McCarey, 1937)

Criterion Collection Edition #505


Directed by Claire Denis

No one makes movies like Claire Denis, one of contemporary cinema’s foremost masters. Raised in colonial West Africa, Denis apprenticed as an assistant to Jim Jarmusch and Wim Wenders before striking out on her own in the late eighties in an entirely original cinematic language shaped by her outsider’s perspective. Atmospheric, elliptical, and hypnotically absorbing, her films unfold as sensuous washes of sound and image that manage to balance intimate human stories with weighty themes of postcolonial tension, modern alienation, and the boundless complexities of love and sex. This selection of some of Denis’s key works—including a new restoration of her simmering erotic masterpiece Beau travail—reveals a wholly original artist who is as much a storyteller as she is a poet of rhythm, movement, and mood.

Featuring: Chocolat (1988) No Fear, No Die (1990), Nenette and Boni (1996), Beau travail (1999), Towards Mathilde (2005)**, 35 Shots of Rum (2008), White Material (2009)


Three by Bill Forsyth

Charm, whimsy, and humanism abound in the lovably offbeat works of Bill Forsyth, a pivotal figure in Scottish cinema who led the revitalization of his country’s film industry in the 1980s. First coming to widespread attention with the endearing coming-of-age romance Gregory’s Girl, Forsyth went on to work with Burt Lancaster in the delightful fish-out-of-water comedy Local Hero and made his American debut with a quirkily poetic adaptation of Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping. Though gently unassuming on the surface, Forsyth’s films reveal keen insights into human nature and resonate with bittersweet moral truths.

Featuring: Gregory’s Girl (1980), Local Hero (1983), Housekeeping (1987)


Double Feature: Killer Kiddies
The Bad Seed and Village of the Damned

The kids are very much not all right in two chilling tales of demonic children whose innocent faces conceal shocking evil.


Saturday Matinee: Lovers and Lollipops

See 1950s New York through the eyes of a child in this enchanting slice-of-life time capsule from the directors of Little Fugitive.


30 Years of The Film Foundation
Featuring a new interview with Martin Scorsese by Ari Aster

In 1990, Martin Scorsese founded an organization whose stated mission told the world, in no uncertain terms, that movies mattered, that the art of cinema and its history was a legacy worth preserving. Three decades later, The Film Foundation has become an indispensable pillar of moving-image culture, helping to make possible 850 restorations to date and raising much-needed awareness of the urgent necessity of film preservation as central to the safeguarding of our cultural heritage. In recognition of thirty years of vital work, the Criterion Channel looks back at a selection of the many masterpieces that, thanks to the efforts of The Film Foundation, have been rescued from the ravages of time and now live on for future generations to discover. Beginning with these thirty titles, the series will expand over the next year, with new additions to be announced monthly.

Features: The Broken Butterfly (1919), Trouble in Paradise (1932), It Happened One Night (1934), L’Atalante (1934), The Long Voyage Home (1940) The Chase (1946), The Red Shoes (1948), The River (1951), Moulin Rouge (1952), The Bigamist (1953), Ugetsu (1953), Senso (1954), The Big Country (1958), Shadows (1959), The Cloud-Capped Star (1960), Primary (1960), The Connection (1961), Salvatore Giuliano (1962), The Masque of the Red Death (1964), Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), The Night of Counting the Years (1969), Soleil Ô (1970), The Mattei Affair (1972), Insiang (1976), Xiao Wu (1997)

Shorts: The Fatal Glass of Beer (1933), Uncle Yanco (1967), Black Panthers (1968), The Eloquent Peasant (1970), Audience (1983)


Antonio Gaudí (Hiroshi Teshigahara, 1984)

Criterion Collection Edition #425


Short Films by Sky Hopinka
Featuring a new introduction by the filmmaker

Transcendent meditations on language, landscape, and myth, the ethnopoetic works of Sky Hopinka—a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation and descendent of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians—explode the traditions of ethnographic filmmaking and reclaim the form as a vehicle for ecstatic personal expression. Through an intricate layering of words and images, Hopinka creates dense, hallucinatory audiovisual collages that reflect his longstanding interest in endangered Indigenous languages (particularly the nearly extinct chinuk wawa) and the cultural memories embedded within them. Through both his filmmaking and his work with the COUSIN Collective, which supports fellow Native filmmakers, Hopinka has emerged as a vital force in bringing the contemporary Indigenous experience to the screen.

Featuring:Wawa (2014), Kunįkága Remembers Red Banks, Kunįkága Remembers the Welcome Song (2014), Venite et Loquamur (2015), Jáaji Approx. (2015), Visions of an Island (2016), I’ll Remember You as You Were, Not as What You’ll Become (2016), Anti-Objects, or Space Without Path or Boundary (2017), Dislocation Blues (2017), Fainting Spells (2018), When you’re lost in the rain (2018), Lore (2019)

Shorts + Feature: Caribbean Journeys
Dadli and Black Mother

Experience the many dimensions of life in the Caribbean in two immersive, richly sensorial voyages through its islands.


Directed by Ngozi Onwurah
Featuring a new introduction by the filmmaker

A vital cinematic voice of the Black diaspora, British-Nigerian filmmaker Ngozi Onwurah has forged an eclectic cinematic vocabulary that spans documentary and genre spectacle, formal experimentation and bold political commentary. Her short work includes autobiographical explorations of racial and sexual identity (The Body Beautiful) as well as nonfiction studies of the conflicts between tradition and modernity that shape gender roles in Nigerian society (The Desired Number, Monday’s Girls). And with her dystopian feature debut, Welcome II the Terrordome, Onwurah proved herself to be a visionary ahead of her time, becoming the first Black woman to direct a British feature in the process.

Features:Welcome II the Terrordome (1995)

Coffee Colored Children (1988), The Body Beautiful (1991), And Still I Rise (1993), Monday’s Girls (1993), The Desired Number (1995)


Three by Nadav Lapid
Featuring a new introduction by the filmmaker

The bracing films of Israeli writer-director Nadav Lapid are visceral, highly physical explorations of identity, belonging, and otherness informed by his own complicated relationship with his homeland. In just three features to date—the hard-hitting hostage drama Policeman, the provocative psychological puzzle The Kindergarten Teacher, and the delirious expat tragicomedy Synonyms—Lapid has established himself as one of contemporary cinema’s most arresting voices, a continually surprising artist who finds bold and unexpected ways to grapple with Israel’s fractured national consciousness.

: Policeman (2011), The Kindergarten Teacher (2014), Synonyms (2019)

King of the Hill (Steven Soderbergh, 1993)

Criterion Collection Edition #698


Double Feature: Domestic Disturbances
Faces and Deathdream

The powerhouse acting duo of John Marley and Lynn Carlin bring harrowing intensity to their portrayals of couples in crisis in both a Cassavetes masterpiece and a cult horror gem.


Saturday Matinee: Swallows and Amazons

Set sail for adventure in this enchanting adaptation of the children’s classic bursting with wit, wonder, and early 20th century period detail.


Queersighted: Queer Fear
Featuring a new conversation between series programmer Michael Koresky and filmmaker and critic Farihah Zaman

We’re freaking ourselves out in this installment of Queersighted, which features a selection of movies that cast illumination on some of the darker corners of queer cinema. The mission of this ongoing series is to draw out the realities and presence of a non-heteronormative, non-gender-binary cinema that has always existed alongside, parallel to, or underneath the status quo—and there is perhaps no genre that’s better suited to teasing out queer subtext than horror. From Victorian-tinged gothic ghost stories and campy creaky-house movies to gory explorations of forbidden desires and contemporary psychological thrillers, these films—which include movies directed by out filmmakers like James Whale, Clive Barker, and Alain Guiraudie—remind us that queerness has traditionally been seen as the ultimate fear for hetero life, an inchoate threat that cannot be contained. But even when queer figures are cast as villains, their erotic charisma is often the source of these films’ delights—after all, when it comes to horror, it’s the monsters who get top billing.

Featuring:The Old Dark House (1932), The Black Cat (1934), The Seventh Victim (1943), The Uninvited (1944), The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945), Diabolique (1955), The Haunting (1963), Daughters of Darkness (1971), Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975), Hellraiser (1987), Stranger by the Lake (2013)**, Always Shine (2016)


A Spell to Ward off the Darkness

Boundary-pushing experimentalists Ben Rivers and Ben Russell find transcendence in the elemental forces of earth, water, and doom metal.


Short + Feature: In Rave Danger
Acid Rain and Victoria

Turn up the bass and turn out the lights for two synthy, stroboscopic journeys through Europe’s rave scene underground that capture both its hedonistic highs and crushing comedowns.


Featuring a new introduction by director Ashley McKenzie

With both sensitivity and brutal honesty, the revelatory feature debut from Ashley McKenzie immerses the viewer in the hardscrabble lives of two methadone addicts locked in a toxic relationship. Drifting through life on Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton Island, twentysomething junkies Blaise (Andrew Gillis) and Vanessa (Bhreagh MacNeil) survive by sleeping in tents and harassing residents into letting them mow their lawns for money in order to finance their next fix. Shooting in oblique close-ups that heighten the sense of disorientation, McKenzie doggedly and courageously refuses to romanticize her characters’ lives, capturing the futility, toil, and frustration that define their existence with startling immediacy. Werewolf is presented alongside two shorts by McKenzie that further showcase her jagged, uncompromising style and feeling for life on the margins.

: Werewolf (2016)

Shorts: Stray (2013), 4 Quarters (2015)


Short Films by W. C. Fields

The prickly genius of comic curmudgeon W. C. Fields is on display in five classic shorts that showcase his roguish wit and timeless cynicism. Though he made his screen debut in 1915 showing off his slapstick skills in Pool Sharks, the irascible writer-actor had to wait until the sound era of the 1930s for his distinctive drawl and colorful wordplay to find proper appreciation in hilariously antisocial gems like The Barber Shop and the surreal melodramatic satire The Fatal Glass of Beer. Full of antifamily values and brilliantly off-the-cuff one-liners, these shorts are miniature masterpieces of misanthropy from one of the screen’s most sui generis talents.

Featuring: Pool Sharks (1915), The Golf Specialist (1930), The Barbershop (1933), The Fatal Glass of Beer (1933), The Pharmacist (1933)


Double Feature: Meet the Author
The Arbor** and Rita, Sue and Bob Too

The turbulent life and brilliant work of British playwright Andrea Dunbar is on display in a formally radical documentary portrait and an incisive comedy of sex and class.


Saturday Matinee: The King and the Mockingbird

A favorite of Hayao Miyazaki, this dizzyingly imaginative adaptation of a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale is one of the true treasures of hand-drawn animation.


Directed by Terence Nance
Featuring a new conversation between Nance and critic Greg Tate

Beamed straight from his id to your eyeballs, the kaleidoscopic, mind-enhancing visions of Terence Nance swirl surrealism, Afrofuturism, animation, and confessional documentary into exhilaratingly unclassifiable works of free-form abstraction. In his ecstatically innovative feature An Oversimplification of Her Beauty, experimental sketch show Random Acts of Flyness, and a string of visually enthralling short films and music videos, Nance has established himself as one of America’s most forward-thinking filmmakers, a boundary-breaking creative spirit who has the remarkable ability to shape the raw materials of his subconscious into poetic, political, and philosophical expressions of the cosmic sublime.

Features: An Oversimplification of Her Beauty (2012)

Shorts:No Ward (2009), Native Sun (2011), Their Fall Our All (2014), Swimming in Your Skin Again (2015), You and I and You (2015), Univitellin (2016), Jimi Could Have Fallen From the Sky (2017)


Films by Rithy Panh

The sole member of his family to survive the Cambodian genocide, documentarian Rithy Panh has devoted himself to exorcising the traumas of his country’s past through the cathartic power of cinema. These profoundly moving works—the Academy Award–nominated The Missing Picture, which recreates the lost images of the genocide through clay figurines, and Exile, a poetic rumination on the horrors his family experienced at the hands of the Khmer Rouge—are harrowing and haunting records of human atrocity and unbelievable resilience.

Featuring:The Missing Picture (2013)**, Exile (2016)**

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