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The Criterion Channel’s January 2022 Lineup

On the Channel

Jan 1, 2022

The Criterion Channel’s January 2022 Lineup

The Criterion Channel’s January 2022 Lineup

On the Channel

Jan 1, 2022

Ring in the new year with the freshness and invigorating energy of the French New Wave, or follow the advice of Jean-Luc Godard and discover the Hollywood director he called “the most intelligent man in contemporary cinema,” Joseph L. Mankiewicz. For a blast from the indie past, turn the clock back three decades and revisit the Sundance Film Festival’s lineup from 1992, a watershed year for edgy, low-budget filmmaking. There’s plenty more to come each week, including streaming premieres, documentaries, double features, and Saturday matinees!

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


TOP STORIES
PREMIERING JANUARY 1

French New Wave

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Featuring hours of archival interviews with Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut, Claude Chabrol, Agnès Varda, and more

There was cinema before the French New Wave, and there was cinema after. The explosion of creative innovation that emanated from France in the late 1950s and early ’60s forever altered the course of film history by opening up new avenues of stylistic experimentation and trumpeting the concept of the “auteur” director, whose aesthetic vision and thematic obsessions took center stage. Led by a coterie of passionate film critics and cinephiles who took up cameras—including the radical Jean-Luc Godard (Breathless, Pierrot le fou), the romantic François Truffaut (The 400 Blows, Jules and Jim), the restless Agnès Varda (Cléo from 5 to 7, Le bonheur), the experimental Jacques Rivette (Paris Belongs to Us, Céline and Julie Go Boating), the modernist Alain Resnais (Hiroshima mon amour), and the classicist Eric Rohmer (My Night at Maud’s, Claire’s Knee)—the French New Wave inspired filmmakers around the world by liberating cinema from commercial demands and reclaiming it in the name of unfettered personal expression.

FEATURING: Le beau Serge (1958), Elevator to the Gallows (1958), The Lovers (1958), The 400 Blows (1959), Hiroshima mon amour (1959), Les cousins (1959), Breathless (1960), Shoot the Piano Player (1960), Zazie dans le métro (1960), Lola (1961), Chronicle of a Summer (1961), Paris Belongs to Us (1961), A Woman Is a Woman (1961), Cléo from 5 to 7 (1962), Jules and Jim (1962), Vivre sa vie (1962), The Fire Within (1963), Muriel, or The Time of Return (1963), Bay of Angels (1963), Contempt (1963)**, Suzanne’s Career (1963), The Soft Skin (1964), Band of Outsiders (1964)**, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964), Le bonheur (1965), Pierrot le fou (1965), Alphaville (1965), Les créatures (1966), Masculin féminin (1966), The Nun (1966), Weekend (1967), La collectionneuse (1967), The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967), My Night at Maud’s (1969), Claire’s Knee (1970), Donkey Skin (1970), Murmur of the Heart (1971), Love in the Afternoon (1972), Day for Night (1973), Céline and Julie Go Boating (1974), Lacombe, Lucien (1974), Black Moon (1975), My American Uncle (1980), The Last Metro (1980)


Plus: French New Wave Shorts

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Presentation, or Charlotte and Her Steak (1951), Les horizons morts (1951), Crazeologie (1954), Le coup du berger (1956), Le sabotier du Val de Loire (1956), All the Boys Are Called Patrick (1957), Une histoire d’eau (1958), Véronique and Her Dunce (1958), Du côté de la côte (1958), L’opéra-Mouffe (1958), Ars (1959), Charlotte et son Jules (1959), Antoine and Colette (1962), Les fiancés du pont Macdonald (1962), La luxure (1962), La Jetée (1963), The Bakery Girl of Monceau (1963), Nadja in Paris (1964), A Modern Coed (1966), Uncle Yanco (1968)

Joseph L. Mankiewicz: Talking Pictures

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Crafter of some of the most literate and sophisticated films of Hollywood’s golden age, writer-director Joseph L. Mankiewicz left behind a body of work that stands apart for its cutting intelligence, acerbic wit, and unsparing insights into human nature. The rare studio-era director who also scripted many of his films, he had a gift for acid-tongued dialogue that made favorites like A Letter to Three Wives and All About Eve into enduring, endlessly quotable classics of cultured cattiness. He also had an iconoclast’s penchant for tackling taboo subjects, bringing passion and complexity to his treatments of racism (No Way Out) and McCarthyism (People Will Talk). Contributing defining works to nearly every genre—from romance (The Ghost and Mrs. Muir) to musicals (Guys and Dolls) to historical epics (Cleopatra, whose infamously arduous production drove the filmmaker to collapse)—Mankiewicz proved that intellect and entertainment could go hand in hand.

FEATURING: Dragonwyck (1946), The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947), House of Strangers (1949), A Letter to Three Wives (1949), No Way Out (1950), All About Eve (1950), People Will Talk (1951), 5 Fingers (1952), Guys and Dolls (1955), The Quiet American (1958), Suddenly, Last Summer (1959), Cleopatra (1963), There Was a Crooked Man . . .  (1970)

Sundance Class of ’92: The Year Indie Exploded

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Featuring a new introduction by Sundance festival director emeritus John Cooper and John Nein, senior programmer and director of strategic initiatives

1992 was a watershed year for American independent cinema, led by the Sundance Film Festival, where a generation of filmmakers proved that passion and personal vision could overcome any budgetary limitation. It was the year that idiosyncratic gems like In the Soup, The Waterdance, and Gas Food Lodging found acclaim for their bold, offbeat storytelling; the year that the New Queer Cinema (a term popularized at the festival’s Barbed Wire Kisses panel) crystallized with touchstone works by Gregg Araki (The Living End), Derek Jarman (Edward II), and Tom Kalin (Swoon); and it was a banner year for documentaries, with nonfiction triumphs by Errol Morris (A Brief History of Time) Michael Apted (Incident at Oglala), and Camille Billops and James Hatch (Finding Christa) all making waves. Thirty years later, these films remain fresh and exciting landmarks from a time when the possibilities of indie filmmaking seemed limitless.

FEATURING: A Brief History of Time (1991), Color Adjustment (1991), Danzón (1991), Delicatessen (1991), Edward II (1991), Finding Christa (1991), The Hours and Times (1991), The Inland Sea (1991), Intimate Stranger (1991), Johnny Suede (1991)**, Night on Earth (1991), Shoot for the Contents (1991), Brother’s Keeper (1992), Deep Blues (1992)***, Gas Food Lodging (1992), Incident at Oglala (1992), In the Soup (1992), Light Sleeper (1992), The Living End (1992), My Crasy Life (1992), Poison Ivy (1992), Some Divine Wind (1992), Swoon (1992), The Tune (1992), The Waterdance (1992), Where Are We? Our Trip Through America (1992)

*** Available April 1

Starring Sterling Hayden

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Featuring Pharos of Chaos**, a 1983 documentary portrait of Hayden

A sailor and fisherman who fell into movies by accident, Sterling Hayden never lost the rugged, no-nonsense naturalism that was at the center of his appeal. A commanding, outsized screen presence thanks to his strapping, six-foot-five-inch frame and distinctive baritone voice, Hayden brought innate strength and gravitas to classic noirs (The Asphalt Jungle, The Killing) and westerns (Johnny Guitar, Terror in a Texas Town) alike. Memorably cast later in his career as the Hemingwayesque alcoholic writer whose disappearance is at the center of Robert Altman’s The Long Goodbye, Hayden radiated the kind of maverick cool that can’t be learned—it just is.

FEATURING: The Asphalt Jungle (1950)**, Denver & Rio Grande (1952), Crime Wave (1953), Johnny Guitar (1954), The Eternal Sea (1955), The Last Command (1955), The Killing (1956), Crime of Passion (1957), Terror in a Texas Town (1958), The Long Goodbye (1973)



EXCLUSIVE STREAMING PREMIERES

A rare road movie from England, Christopher Petit’s mesmerizing debut feature has taken its place as a cult classic and one of the most singular films of the 1970s. Robert (David Beames), the film’s enigmatic protagonist, embarks on a road trip from London to Bristol to investigate the recent death of his brother. As Robert drives west, the radio newscasts he hears and the strangers he meets address the dire political and economic state of late-seventies Britain. A remarkable collection of art rock, punk, and new wave—David Bowie, Devo, Kraftwerk, Robert Fripp, Ian Dury, and more—soundtracks Robert’s journey, and the austere urban and rural landscapes he passes through are strikingly rendered in black and white by cinematographer Martin Shäfer (a frequent Wim Wenders collaborator). Petit deftly melds these stylistic, narrative, and documentary elements, resulting in an experience that is eerie, reflective, and hypnotic all at once.

The Fever

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 5

This spellbinding narrative feature debut from Maya Da-Rin is an entrancing, enigmatic meditation on the material, spiritual, and dream lives of Brazil’s Indigenous people. Justino (Regis Myrupu, winner of the Best Actor prize at the Locarno Film Festival) is a forty-five-year-old member of the Desana people who works as a security guard at a cargo port in Manaus, an industrial city surrounded by the Amazon rainforest. Since the death of his wife, his main company is his youngest daughter (Rosa Peixoto), a nurse who will soon be leaving him to study medicine in Brasilia. As the days go by, Justino is overcome by a strong, unexplained fever. During the day, he fights to stay awake at work. At night, a mysterious creature follows his footsteps. Torn between the oppression of life in the city and the distance of his native village, Justino can no longer endure an existence without place.

CRITERION EDITIONS
PREMIERING JANUARY 1

The Last Days of Disco (Whit Stillman, 1998)

Criterion Collection Edition #485
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Kate Beckinsale and Chloë Sevigny star in Whit Stillman’s affectionate yet unsentimental look back at the early-eighties Manhattan party scene.

SUPPLEMENTAL FEATURES: Audio commentary by Stillman, Sevigny, and Chris Eigeman; deleted scenes; an audio recording of Stillman reading from his book The Last Days of Disco, with Cocktails at Petrossian Afterwards; and more.

All About Eve (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1950)

Criterion Collection Edition #1003
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Bette Davis delivers writer-director Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s stiletto-sharp dialogue with unforgettable relish in the the most devastatingly witty film ever made about the ruthlessness of show business.

SUPPLEMENTAL FEATURES: Two audio commentaries, a feature-length documentary about Mankiewicz, television appearances by Davis and Gary Merrill, an interview with costume historian Larry McQueen, and more.

The Asphalt Jungle (John Huston, 1950)

Criterion Collection Edition #847
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One of the all-time great heist films offers an uncommonly naturalistic, detailed view of a seamy criminal underworld.

SUPPLEMENTAL FEATURES: Audio commentary by film historian Drew Casper; a documentary about actor Sterling Hayden; interviews with director John Huston, film noir historian Eddie Muller and cinematographer John Bailey; and more.

The Killing (Stanley Kubrick, 1956)

Criterion Collection Edition #575
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Stanley Kubrick displays his trademark visual precision and gratifying sense of irony in a cold-blooded noir classic, presented with its predecessor, Killer’s Kiss.

SUPPLEMENTAL FEATURES: Interviews with producer James B. Harris and actor Sterling Hayden, a program with author Robert Polito on writer Jim Thompson, and an appreciation of Killer’s Kiss featuring critic Geoffrey O’Brien.

THREE DIMENSIONS

The Nicholas Brothers

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Featuring an introduction by film historian Donald Bogle and programmer Bruce Goldstein

Nobody danced like the Nicholas Brothers. Among the most electrifying performers the screen has ever seen, Fayard and Harold Nicholas combined elegant tap with breathtaking acrobatics in astoundingly innovative routines that they executed with seemingly effortless grace, easily becoming the highlight of any film they appeared in. This trio of splashy Twentieth Century-Fox musicals contains some of the duo’s most extraordinary numbers, including the celebrated staircase routine from Stormy Weather that Fred Astaire hailed as the greatest dance sequence ever captured on film.

FEATURING: Down Argentine Way (1940), Sun Valley Serenade (1941), Stormy Weather (1943)



WOMEN FILMMAKERS

Karaoke Girl

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 12

An artful blend of fiction and reality gives rich expression to a young Bangkok sex worker’s innermost hopes, dreams, and feelings.

What About Me

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 19

Richard Hell, Nick Zedd, Johnny Thunders, and Dee Dee Ramone are among the counterculture mainstays who populate Rachel Amodeo’s grimily poetic time capsule of life on the margins of the East Village in the early nineties.

Directed by Desiree Akhavan

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 26

Iranian American writer-director-actor Desiree Akhavan has been hailed for her bold depictions of female sexuality and queer identity, both in her two feature films and in her acclaimed television series The Bisexual. Brash yet empathetic, Akhavan explores the journey of a young queer woman who is concealing her sexuality from her conservative Iranian family in Appropriate Behavior, and brings nuance and humor to a coming-of-age story about the horrors of conversion therapy in The Miseducation of Cameron Post.

FEATURING: Appropriate Behavior (2014), The Miseducation of Cameron Post (2018)

More women filmmakers featured in this month’s programming: Documentaries by Lee Grant, Documentaries by Maya Da-Rin, Cléo from 5 to 7 (1962), Le bonheur (1965), Les créatures (1966), Du côté de la côte (1958), L’opéra-Mouffe (1958), Les fiancés du pont Macdonald (1962), Uncle Yanco (1968), Danzón (1991), Finding Christa (1991), The Inland Sea (1991), Shoot for the Contents (1991), Gas Food Lodging (1992), Poison Ivy (1992), The Fever (2019), What We Left Unfinished (2019)

TRUE STORIES

Documentaries by Lee Grant

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Though Lee Grant is widely known to audiences as a lauded, Academy Award–winning actor, she has also carved out an equally accomplished career as a trailblazing documentary filmmaker. Unafraid to tackle tough, often controversial subjects—the fight for workers’ rights in The Willmar 8, Reagan-era economic inequality in the Oscar-winning Down and Out in America, and the transgender experience in the groundbreaking What Sex Am I?—Grant brings a courageous compassion and unflinching honesty to stories that still feel powerfully urgent.

Preserved and curated by Taylor A. Purdee.

FEATURING: ​​The Willmar 8 (1981), When Women Kill (1983), What Sex Am I? (1985), Down and Out in America (1986), Battered (1989), A Father . . . A Son . . . Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2005)

Documentaries by Maya Da-Rin

MONDAY, JANUARY 10

Presented alongside the streaming premiere of Brazilian filmmaker and visual artist Maya Da-Rin’s mesmerizing narrative feature debut The Fever, these richly sensorial nonfiction works capture the ebb and flow of life along the triple-border region where Brazil, Colombia, and Peru meet. With a mix of ethnographic observation and dreamy impressionism, Da-Rin’s documentaries Margin and Lands meditate on the landscapes, people, and intertwining cultures that comprise this unique, ever-changing urban island in the midst of the Amazon.

FEATURING: Margin (2007), Lands (2009)

What We Left Unfinished

MONDAY, JANUARY 17

Mariam Ghani’s study of Afghanistan’s Communist-era film industry is a probing and engrossing case study in censorship, authoritarianism, and political art.

Roger & Me

MONDAY, JANUARY 24

Gadfly documentarian Michael Moore’s scathingly funny debut rewrote the rules of activist filmmaking with its idiosyncratic, rousingly entertaining blend of puckish humor and firebrand populism.

The Woodmans

MONDAY, JANUARY 31

This fascinating portrait of the too-brief life and extraordinary art of enigmatic photographer Francesca Woodman expands the frame to take in her brilliant family.

More documentaries featured in this month’s programming: Chronicle of a Summer (1961), A Brief History of Time (1991), Color Adjustment (1991), Finding Christa (1991), The Inland Sea (1991), Intimate Stranger (1991), Shoot for the Contents (1991), Brother’s Keeper (1992), Incident at Oglala (1992), My Crasy Life (1992), Where Are We? Our Trip Through America (1992), Antarctica: A Year on Ice (2013)

VINTAGE BINGE-WATCHING

Les Vampires

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The undisputed master of the silent-era espionage serial, Louis Feuillade (Fantômas) crafted films with labyrinthine plots and unforgettable characters that influenced countless generations of filmmakers. Comprised of ten episodes and clocking in at nearly seven hours in duration, Les Vampires is an unqualified masterpiece. It follows journalist Philippe Guérande (Édouard Mathé) in his efforts to expose a vast criminal organization known as the Vampires. Joined by a comical sidekick, Mazamette (Marcel Lévesque), and often competing against a rival gang lord (Fernand Herrmann), Guérande dethrones a succession of the Vampires’ Grand Masters. But most evasive of all is the Vampires’ muse, a seductive assassin who performs her job with deadly grace: Irma Vep, played by the unforgettable Musidora.

SATURDAY MATINEES

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

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Fantastical sets, imaginative contraptions, and infectious songs come together in this whimsical musical adventure.

The Chalk Garden

SATURDAY, JANUARY 8

Deborah Kerr is the governess who attempts to reach out to a lonely and troubled teenage girl in this superlative adaptation of the acclaimed play.

Harvey

SATURDAY, JANUARY 15

James Stewart delights in this lighthearted classic about a quixotic man whose best friend is a six-foot-three white bunny rabbit that only he can see.

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

SATURDAY, JANUARY 22

An independent-minded widow and the spirit of a cantankerous sea captain form an unlikely bond in Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s beloved, sublimely atmospheric romantic fantasy.

Antarctica: A Year on Ice

SATURDAY, JANUARY 29

This visually stunning journey to the end of the world captures both the grandeur of nature and everyday life among the hardy and devoted people who live there year-round.

DOUBLE FEATURES

Double Feature: Dangerous Cargo
The Wages of Fear and The Load

FRIDAY, JANUARY 7

Fasten your seatbelts for a pair of white-knuckle road trips through treacherous terrain.

Double Feature: Hot Dam!
Wild River and Still Life

FRIDAY, JANUARY 14

Two communities are transformed by ambitious dam-construction projects in these elegiac explorations of the tension between tradition and progress.

Double Feature: A Load of Bull
The Moment of Truth and Matador**

FRIDAY, JANUARY 21

The violent, passionate world of bullfighting provides the backdrop to these visceral, provocative looks at lives poised on the perpetual edge of death.

Double Feature: Best Westerns
Man in the Saddle and The Man from Laramie

FRIDAY, JANUARY 28

The star power of Randolph Scott and James Stewart and the auteur punch of André De Toth and Anthony Mann are on display in two of the finest westerns of the 1950s.

SHORT-FILM PROGRAMS

Short + Feature: Window Watching
Accidence and Rear Window

TUESDAY, JANUARY 4

Blink and you could miss a murder in Alfred Hitchcock’s classic study of voyeurism and an innovative homage.

Short + Feature: Growing Up Gay
-Ship: A Visual Poem and The Long Day Closes

TUESDAY, JANUARY 11

The mundane is rendered miraculous in these richly impressionistic evocations of the inner worlds of young boys grappling with questions of sexuality, identity, and religion.

After Migration: Calabria

TUESDAY, JANUARY 18

A pair of refugees transcend their difficult histories while settling in a quiet Italian town in this triumphant portrait, featuring stunning, color-drenched cinematography.

Short + Feature: Things We Do For Love     

I Am Afraid to Forget Your Face and Manila in the Claws of Light

TUESDAY, JANUARY 25

Two men embark on perilous quests to be reunited with the women they love in these searing journeys through oft-unseen layers of Egyptian and Filipino society.

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