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The Criterion Channel’s November 2021 Lineup

On the Channel

Oct 27, 2021

The Criterion Channel’s November 2021 Lineup

The Criterion Channel’s November 2021 Lineup

On the Channel

Oct 27, 2021

Celebrate Noirvember on the Criterion Channel with a tribute to the cool-as-ice Robert Mitchum, whose nonchalance and quiet menace made him a defining presence in American cinema’s underworld. Or enjoy the sophisticated, pitch-dark pulp classics in our Fox Noir series, including pinnacles of the genre by Otto Preminger, Jules Dassin, and Samuel Fuller. That’s just a taste of a month that also includes a roundup of films celebrating female friendships, spotlights on contemporary sensations Garrett Bradley and Ryusuke Hamaguchi, and so much more. Check out the full lineup!

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

TOP STORIES
PREMIERING NOVEMBER 1

Robert Mitchum: Playing It Cool

Featuring a new introduction by critic Imogen Sara Smith

Original Hollywood bad boy Robert Mitchum’s blend of rugged masculinity, antiauthoritarian attitude, and lightly bemused irony made him one of the defining faces of postwar film noir, a genre upon which he left an indelible mark in stone-cold classics like Out of the Past, Crossfire, and Angel Face. Unnervingly at home in antihero roles, he embodied some of the most frightening villains in all of cinema, including the menacing, knuckle-tattooed preacher in Charles Laughton’s dark fairy tale The Night of the Hunter and the psychotic ex-con out for revenge in the terrifying home-invasion thriller Cape Fear. But out of the noir shadows, Mitchum’s nonchalant air and unforced naturalism lent something special to a wide array of films, including William A. Wellman’s fascinatingly stylized snowbound western Track of the Cat and Vincente Minnelli’s florid family melodrama Home from the Hill. Encompassing Mitchum’s autumnal turns in films like the world-weary crime drama The Friends of Eddie Coyle and Jim Jarmusch’s Dead Man, this career-spanning tribute to the legend known as “Old Rumple Eyes” is proof positive that he was, quite simply, one of the all-time coolest guys ever to grace the screen.

FEATURING: Till the End of Time (1946), Crossfire (1947), Out of the Past (1947), Rachel and the Stranger (1948), The Red Pony (1949), Holiday Affair (1949)***, The Big Steal (1949), Where Danger Lives (1950), His Kind of Woman (1951), The Lusty Men (1952), Macao (1952), Angel Face (1953), Track of the Cat (1954), Man with the Gun (1955), The Night of the Hunter (1955), Not as a Stranger (1955), The Enemy Below (1957), Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957), Thunder Road (1958), The Sundowners (1960), Home from the Hill (1960), The Grass Is Greener (1960), Cape Fear (1962), The Way West (1967), 5 Card Stud (1968), Ryan’s Daughter (1970), The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973), Farewell, My Lovely (1975), The Last Tycoon (1976), The Big Sleep (1978), Dead Man (1995)

*** Available January 1

Fox Noir

Featuring a new introduction by critic Imogen Sara Smith

The dark unconscious of midcentury America is reflected in these shadowy gems from Twentieth Century-Fox, where major directors like Otto Preminger, Elia Kazan, and Samuel Fuller, working with stars like Richard Widmark, Gene Tierney, and Dana Andrews, created some of the defining film noirs of the genre’s golden era. Featuring the sophisticated murder mystery Laura, the haunting existential carnival ride Nightmare Alley (based on the same novel as Guillermo del Toro’s soon-to-be-released remake), and the Technicolor noir Niagara, starring Marilyn Monroe in her screen-scorching breakthrough performance, this selection of pulp classics and rarities is a plunge into the darkest realms of Hollywood’s imagination.

FEATURING: I Wake Up Screaming (1941), Laura (1944), Hangover Square (1945), Somewhere in the Night (1946), Nightmare Alley (1947), Night and the City (1950), No Way Out (1950), Panic in the Streets (1950), Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950), Niagara (1953), Pickup on South Street (1953), Black Widow (1954)

Read All About It!

In the cutthroat world of the newsroom, what goes on behind the scenes is often as juicy as the headlines splashed across the front page—at least if these ink-stained classics are to be believed. Pressure-cooker deadlines, muckraking, whistle-blowing, backstabbing, libel, ethical dilemmas, and the desperate, unscrupulous lengths some reporters will go to get a story—it’s all part of the industry that makes the news cycle go round. From snappy pre-Code template-setters (Five Star Final, Blessed Event) to whirlwind screwball comedies (Nothing Sacred, His Girl Friday) and hard-hitting social exposés (Gentleman’s Agreement, Ace in the Hole), this hot-off-the-presses lineup has the scoop on the stories behind the stories.

FEATURING: Five Star Final (1931), The Front Page (1931), Platinum Blonde (1931), Blessed Event (1932), It Happened One Night (1934), Nothing Sacred (1937), His Girl Friday (1940), Meet John Doe (1941)**, Woman of the Year (1942), Gentleman’s Agreement (1947), The Lawless (1950)*, Ace in the Hole (1951), Park Row (1952), Scandal Sheet (1952), Between the, Lines (1977), Newsfront (1978), The Year of Living Dangerously (1982)

* Available December 1

Directed by Elia Kazan

An artist forged on the cutting edge of New York City’s pioneering Group Theatre, director Elia Kazan was instrumental in bringing the modern Method style of acting—and by extension an intensely heightened emotional and psychological realism—to Hollywood cinema. Never one to shy away from controversy, he broke new ground in the depiction of anti-Semitism (Gentleman’s Agreement), racism (Pinky), class struggle (On the Waterfront), sexuality (Baby Doll), and media manipulation (A Face in the Crowd) on-screen, along the way guiding then-unknown actors like Marlon Brando and James Dean to career-making performances. Though his personal legacy was forever tarnished by his friendly testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee, Kazan’s body of work continues to electrify with some of the most searing explorations of outsiderhood and injustice in all of American cinema.

FEATURING: Boomerang! (1947), Gentleman’s Agreement (1947), Pinky (1949), Panic in the Streets (1950), Viva Zapata! (1952), On the Waterfront (1954), East of Eden (1955), Baby Doll (1956), A Face in the Crowd (1957), Wild River (1960), The Visitors (1972), The Last Tycoon (1976)

Between Us Girls: Bonds Between Women

The intense, intimate ties that bind women are at the center of these wide-ranging portraits of female friendship and sisterhood that explore the ways in which women support each other: through gestures of solidarity, the sharing of confidences, playfulness, spontaneity, and adventure. From nuanced portraits of transformative adolescent friendships (Old Enough, Just Another Girl on the I.R.T., Girlhood) to affecting stories of women helping each other through personal crises (Passion Fish, Fourteen) to incisive studies of the complexities of sisterhood (The Virgin Suicides, Margot at the Wedding, Mustang), the relationships on display within these films are idiosyncratic and often troubled, but also a source of strength and empowerment.

FEATURING: Daisies (1966), Céline and Julie Go Boating (1974), One Sings, the Other Doesn’t (1977), Old Enough (1984), Smooth Talk (1985), Two Friends (1986), Working Girls (1986), Privilege (1990), Just Another Girl on the I.R.T. (1992), Passion Fish (1992), The Virgin Suicides (1999), Ghost World (2001), Margot at the Wedding (2007), Butter on the Latch (2013), Frances Ha (2013), Girlhood (2014), Happy Hour (2015), Mustang (2015), Fourteen (2019), The Perfect Candidate (2019)

American Psychosis: Five Films by Frank Perry

Renowned for his empathetic studies of characters afflicted by mental illness and bourgeois malaise, Frank Perry found critical acclaim with the groundbreaking independent drama David and Lisa, the Burt Lancaster–starring suburban fantasia The Swimmer, and the New York yuppie tragicomedy Diary of a Mad Housewife, all written by his then-wife and collaborator Eleanor Perry. While his early films were celebrated for their sensitivity and nuance, Perry has perhaps become best known for the cult classic that made wire hangers infamous: his searing and controversial Joan Crawford biopic Mommie Dearest, built around a ferocious, often frightening performance by Faye Dunaway.

FEATURING: David and Lisa (1962), The Swimmer (1968), Diary of a Mad Housewife (1970), Man on a Swing (1974), Mommie Dearest (1981)

EXCLUSIVE STREAMING PREMIERES

Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 1

The brilliant work, personal struggles, and cultural impact of American writers Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams explode onto the screen in this innovative dual-portrait documentary. Filmmaker Lisa Immordino Vreeland masterfully collages a wealth of archival material, including dishy talk-show appearances with Dick Cavett and David Frost, with clips from some of the most memorable movie adaptations of the duo’s work: A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and In Cold Blood. Featuring vivid voiceover work by Jim Parsons (Capote) and Zachary Quinto (Williams), Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation is a celebration of both men’s fearless candor and tumultuous friendship that explores how their identity as gay southerners informed their timeless artistic achievements and relationships with family, colleagues, confidants, and each other.

This Is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 4

Berlin-based Mosotho filmmaker Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese’s devastating and hypnotic This Is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection marks the emergence of a major filmmaker and the swan song of a remarkable actress. The late Mary Twala Mhlongo, recognizable from Beyoncé’s blockbuster musical Black Is King, gives a career-capping performance as Mantoa, an eighty-year-old woman who has lived in a small Lesotho village for her entire life. While preparing for her own death, she receives word of an accident that has killed her only son, leaving her entirely alone, with only the respect of her neighbors, the traditions of her ancestors, and the courage of her convictions. When her community must relocate to make way for a nearby dam that threatens to flood her family’s burial ground, Mantoa draws a line in the sand and becomes an unlikely political and spiritual leader. Cryptic and impressionistic, this magical-realist tale of the tension between tradition and progress has already been hailed as a landmark in African cinema.

CRITERION EDITIONS
PREMIERING NOVEMBER 1

Nightmare Alley (Edmund Goulding, 1947)

Criterion Collection Edition #1078

Darkness lurks behind the bright lights of a traveling carnival in one of the most haunting and perverse film noirs of the 1940s—a downward slide into existential oblivion.

SUPPLEMENTAL FEATURES: Audio commentary featuring film historians James Ursini and Alain Silver; interviews with actor Coleen Gray, critic Imogen Sara Smith, and performer and historian Todd Robbins; and more.

The Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton, 1955)

Criterion Collection Edition #541

The sole film directed by Charles Laughton is a masterwork: a horror movie with the quality of a fairy tale starring a sublimely sinister, knuckle-tattooed Robert Mitchum.

SUPPLEMENTAL FEATURES: Charles Laughton Directs “The Night of the Hunter,” a documentary on the making of the film; interviews with Laughton biographer Simon Callow and cinematographer Stanley Cortez; a clip from The Ed Sullivan Show in which cast members perform a scene deleted from the film; and more.

Woman of the Year (George Stevens, 1942)

Criterion Collection Edition #867

Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy are newlywed newspaper reporters in this fresh and funny romantic-comedy classic that marked the beginning of the pair’s personal and professional union.

SUPPLEMENTAL FEATURES: Interviews with director George Stevens, George Stevens Jr., and authors Marilyn Ann Moss and Claudia Roth Pierpont; and feature-length documentaries on Stevens and Tracy.

Ghost World (Terry Zwigoff, 2001)

Criterion Collection Edition #872

Terry Zwigoff’s fiercely beloved adaptation of the cult-classic comic by Daniel Clowes is an at once bleakly funny and wholly endearing portrait of adolescent alienation.

SUPPLEMENTAL FEATURES: Audio commentary featuring Zwigoff, Clowes, and producer Lianne Halfon; interviews with actors Thora Birch, Scarlett Johansson, and Illeana Douglas; deleted scenes; and more.

Night and the City (Jules Dassin, 1950)

Criterion Collection Edition #274

Richard Widmark is a two-bit hustler navigating a treacherous underworld of shifting alliances and bottomless graft in Jules Dassin’s classic noir, luminously shot on the streets of London.

SUPPLEMENTAL FEATURES: Audio commentary featuring film scholar Glenn Erickson, interviews with Dassin, and more.

The Virgin Suicides (Sofia Coppola, 1999)

Criterion Collection Edition #920

Sofia Coppola explores the aesthetics of femininity while conjuring the ineffable melancholy of teenage longing and ennui in her singular debut feature.

SUPPLEMENTAL FEATURES: Interviews with Coppola, cinematographer Ed Lachman, actors Kirsten Dunst and Josh Hartnett, author Jeffrey Eugenides, and writer Tavi Gevinson; a documentary on the making of the film; a short film by Coppola; and more.

Pickup on South Street (Samuel Fuller, 1953)

Criterion Collection Edition #224

Samuel Fuller’s hard-boiled repartee and raw cinematic energy propel this gut-punching pulp classic about a petty crook embroiled in Cold War intrigue.

SUPPLEMENTAL FEATURES: Interviews with Fuller and critic Imogen Sara Smith and a television profile of Fuller.

WOMEN FILMMAKERS

Short Films by Garrett Bradley

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 3

With her Academy Award–nominated documentary Time, Garrett Bradley confirmed her place among the most original and poetic voices working in the realm of nonfiction today. Her richly sensorial visual style and incisive blending of the personal and the political are on display in these remarkable short works, which include an inside look at the social media “click farms” of Bangladesh (Like), a heartrending exploration of the ravages of the American carceral state (Alone), and an ecstatic voyage through a lost history of African American cinema (America).

FEATURING: Like (2016), Alone (2017), The Earth Is Humming (2018), America (2019)

Angels Wear White

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 10

This searing drama from Vivian Qu offers an enraging and empathetic look at corruption and gender violence in contemporary China.

Bright Star**

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 10

Jane Campion’s rapturous period romance is an exquisite vision of the transcendent love between legendary poet John Keats and Fanny Brawne.

Short Films by Caroline Monnet

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 17

Montreal-based filmmaker and multimedia artist Caroline Monnet combines striking, often abstract visuals and evocative soundscapes to explore Indigenous identity, the reverberations of colonialism, and hidden cultural histories. Encompassing an inspiring portrait of a Chippewa mixed martial artist (Emptying the Tank), a dynamic journey across Canada’s first First Nations–owned railway (Tshiuetin), and a surreal study of an unraveling suburban housewife (Roberta), Monnet’s innovative films communicate complex ideas through bracingly visceral means.

FEATURING: Ikwé (2009), Warchild (2010), Gephyrophobia (2012), The Black Case (2014), Roberta (2014), Mobilize (2015), Creatura Dada (2016), Tshiuetin (2016), Ceremonial (2018), Emptying the Tank (2018)

Go Fish

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 24

A landmark of nineties queer cinema, Rose Troche’s smart, loose-limbed lesbian romance deftly balances sassy wit with insight into the nuances of love and friendship among women.

More women filmmakers featured in this month’s programming: Open City Mixtape: Short Films by A. V. Rockwell, Meshes of the Afternoon (1943), Daisies (1966), Between the Lines (1977), One Sings, the Other Doesn’t (1977), Old Enough (1984), Smooth Talk (1985), Two Friends (1986), Working Girls (1986), Privilege (1990), Just Another Girl on the I.R.T. (1992), Beautiful Thing (1996), The Virgin Suicides (1999), Butter on the Latch (2013), The Last Bread (2013), Division Avenue (2015), Girlhood (2014), 300 Nassau (2015), Álvaro (2015), Mustang (2015), Collective: Unconscious (2016), The Perfect Candidate (2019), Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation (2020)

TRUE STORIES

Hale County This Morning, This Evening

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 1

The documentary feature debut from RaMell Ross is an at once intimate and expansive, poignant and profound vision of the African American experience in the heart of Alabama’s Black Belt.

The Mystery of Picasso

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 8

The motion-picture screen becomes the artist’s canvas in this mesmerizing and innovative collaboration between Pablo Picasso and Henri-Georges Clouzot, one of the greatest films ever made about the mysteries of creativity.

The Exiles

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 15

A rediscovered landmark of American independent cinema, this revelatory documentary-fiction hybrid is a gritty and poetic evocation of a night in the life of a group of young Native Americans living in Los Angeles.

Stations of the Elevated

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 22

Manfred Kirchheimer’s city symphony is an impressionistic tribute to a graffiti-covered New York that has long since disappeared.

Los Sures

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 29

Featuring five shorts from UnionDocs’s Living Los Sures project

Diego Echeverria’s vivid portrait of South Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in the early 1980s is presented alongside recent shorts that explore the complex social forces that continue to shape the neighborhood.

FEATURING: The Last Bread (2013), Third Shift (2014), Division Avenue (2015), 300 Nassau (2015), Álvaro (2015)

More documentaries featured in this month’s programming: Short Films by Garrett Bradley, Open City Mixtape: Short Films by A. V. Rockwell, Please Vote for Me (2007), Little Potato (2017), Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation (2020)

TWENTY-FIRST-CENTURY CINEMA


Directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 11

With his latest film, the Cannes prizewinner Drive My Car, currently garnering acclaim, Ryusuke Hamaguchi is fast emerging as one of contemporary Japanese cinema’s most vital and original voices. His international breakthrough, Happy Hour, is a sprawling, absorbingly novelistic portrait of the intersecting lives of four female friends navigating the ups and downs of their thirties, while Asako I & II is a bracingly mysterious, subtly surreal romance that finds the filmmaker pushing his interest in the intricacies of human relationships into surprising new territory.

FEATURING: Happy Hour (2015), Asako I & II (2018)**

Discomfort Zone: Three Films by Ruben Östlund

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 18

Featuring a new introduction by the filmmaker

Swedish provocateur Ruben Östlund—who has made waves in recent years with his art-house sensations Force Majeure and the Palme d’Or–winning The Square—began his career with these three fearlessly unflinching studies of uneasy social dynamics, codes of masculinity, and the tension between the group and the individual. Chronicling the oddities and contradictions of human behavior through an almost anthropologically detached, yet quietly caustic lens, they display the evolution of a major filmmaker who has grown to become one of contemporary cinema’s most consistently intriguing and incendiary auteurs.

FEATURING: The Guitar Mongoloid (2004), Involuntary (2008), Play (2011)

SATURDAY MATINEES

Please Vote for Me

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 6

A class election in Wuhan becomes a fascinating microcosm of modern democratic politics in Weijun Chen’s fascinating, witty, and insightful documentary.

Jazztime Tale and The Marzipan Pig

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 13

The lovingly hand-drawn animation of Michael Sporn graces these charming children’s tales about a lonely confectionary pig and an interracial friendship in early-twentieth-century Harlem.

The Naughty Nineties

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 20

Abbott and Costello’s classic “Who’s on First” routine steals the show in this hilariously zany musical comedy set aboard a nineteenth-century showboat.

Big Fish & Begonia

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 28

From ancient Chinese legends comes an exciting, gorgeously animated tale of myth and magic set in a wondrous realm of fantasy and imagination.

SHORT-FILM PROGRAMS

Collective: Unconscious

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 2

Five of contemporary cinema’s most adventurous filmmakers adapt each other’s dreams (and nightmares) in an audacious, deliriously surreal journey into the furthest realms of the subconscious mind.

Short + Feature: Trance-Formers
Meshes of the Afternoon and Mulholland Dr.

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 9

Two giants of the American avant-garde speak through the language of the subconscious in a pair of surrealist masterpieces set in the shadow of the Hollywood dream factory.

Don’t Go Tellin’ Your Mama

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 16

“A is for Amphetamines. B is for Blue. C is for Code Switching.” Musician and multimedia wizard Topaz Jones teaches us his “Black ABCs” in a kaleidoscopic odyssey through the African American cultural consciousness.

Open City Mixtape: Short Films by A. V. Rockwell

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 23

Rising director A. V. Rockwell captures life on the streets of New York City in this collection of ten short films—a mix of documentaries and narratives—depicting a cross section of some of the eight million lives whose stories are often overlooked. Shot in luscious monochrome and set to evocatively eclectic soundscapes, they are by turns gritty and transcendent snapshots of the dreamers, schemers, hustlers, and youths who give the cultural capital its singular rhythm.

Short + Feature: Telling Mom
Little Potato and Beautiful Thing

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 30

Two young gay men come out to find love and acceptance from their fiercely protective mothers in these tender coming-of-age journeys.

DOUBLE FEATURES

Double Feature: Wonderful Leigh
Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle and Margot at the Wedding

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5

Jennifer Jason Leigh shows off her incredible range and inimitable performance style in a glittering Jazz Age ensemble piece and an incisive family portrait, both laced with biting wit.

Double Feature: A Tennessee Heat Wave
The Night of the Iguana and This Property Is Condemned

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 12

Sexual and psychological tensions simmer in two scorching, star-studded films based on the work of boundary-pushing playwright Tennessee Williams.

Double Feature: Troubled Walters
A Face in the Crowd and The Taking of Pelham One Two Three

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 19

The one and only Walter Matthau gives two of his most unforgettable performances as men in crisis in a brilliant media satire and a crackling New York thriller.

Double Feature: The Mind Reels
The Snake Pit and The Three Faces of Eve

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 26

Two groundbreaking portraits of women grappling with mental illness offer bracing insights into the workings of mid-twentieth-century psychiatry.

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