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New to Stream: The Criterion Channel’s May 2020 lineup

The Criterion Channel, a streaming service from the niche home video distributor for film aficionados, has unveiled its lineup of programming for the month of May, which will include a California Dreamin’ Double Feature with Steven Soderbergh’s The Limey and David Lynch’s Mulholland Dr., along with a large roster of contemporary and classic films!

RELATED: Criterion Collection Unveils July Releases, Including Marriage Story!

Friday, May 1

Double Feature: California Dreamin’

The Limey and Mulholland Dr.

With a legendary commentary for The Limey featuring director Steven Soderbergh and screenwriter Lem Dobbs

Two outsiders arrive in Los Angeles and are soon plunged into sinister mysteries that seem to unfold in fractured, dream-state unrealities. That’s just where the similarities begin between Steven Soderbergh’s hallucinatory revenge thriller The Limey and David Lynch’s feverish Hollyweird freak-out Mulholland Dr., which also share a time-scrambling puzzle-box structure, uncanny visual references, and even a key cast member. Viewed side by side, these postmodern neo-noires enter into a fascinating dialogue with one another that only enhances the enigmatic air that surrounds them.

Saturday, May 2

Saturday Matinee: Around the World in 80 Days 

Winner of five Academy Awards, including best picture, Michael Anderson’s grandly entertaining epic brings Jules Verne’s classic novel to colorful, star-studded life. When dapper nineteenth-century Englishman Phileas Fogg (David Niven) makes an incredible wager that he can circle the globe in eighty days, he embarks on a fantastic journey with his valet (Cantinflas), during which he encounters high adventure, romance, unending obstacles, and daring escapes amid breathtaking scenic beauty. Infused with a sense of wide-eyed wonder and pure joy, Around the World in 80 Days is a rollicking ride featuring cameos by more than forty celebrities, including Marlene Dietrich, Buster Keaton, Charles Boyer, Ronald Colman, Frank Sinatra, Peter Lorre, and Noël Coward.

Sunday, May 3

Josh and Benny Safdie’s Adventures in Moviegoing

The undisputed kings of kinetic, adrenaline-rush cinema that unfolds at the heart-stopping pace of a New York minute, Josh and Benny Safdie have been keeping audiences on the edge of their seats (and on the verge of a panic attack) for over a decade with whirlwind character studies like Uncut Gems, Good Time, and Heaven Knows What. In this edition of Adventures in Moviegoing, the brothers sit down to discuss everything from how their father’s love of movies shaped their upbringing (and made Dustin Hoffman a surrogate screen dad) to their deep-cut-heavy list of the best New York City movies (there’s a lot). The films they’ve chosen to present include slice-of-life gems from Mike Leigh (Meantime) and Billy Woodberry (Bless Their Little Hearts); gritty thrillers from Elaine May (Mikey and Nicky) and John Cassavetes (Gloria); and self-reflexive revelations from Krzysztof Kieślowski (Camera Buff) and Jafar Panahi (The Mirror), all of which reflect the abiding humanism that courses through the duo’s own work.

The Naked City, Jules Dassin, 1948

In a Lonely Place, Nicholas Ray, 1950

Camera Buff, Krzysztof Kieślowski, 1979

Gloria, John Cassavetes, 1980

Bless Their Little Hearts, Billy Woodberry, 1984

Meantime, Mike Leigh, 1984

Close-up, Abbas Kiarostami, 1990

Hero, Stephen Frears, 1992

The Mirror, Jafar Panahi, 1997

Monday, May 4

Cane River

Exclusive streaming premiere, with a new documentary featuring actors Richard Romain and Tommye Myrick

Written, produced, and directed by the late, trailblazing director Horace B. Jenkins and crafted by an entirely African American cast and crew, this luminous, recently rediscovered landmark of American independent cinema is a charmingly laid-back, socially incisive love story set in the heart of Louisiana. It’s there that a forbidden romance between an aspiring writer (Richard Romain) and an ambitious, college-bound woman (Tommye Myrick) lays bare the tensions between two black communities: the wealthy Creoles and the working-class descendants of slaves. Featuring lyrical cinematography and strikingly naturalistic performances from its captivating leads, the long-lost Cane River reemerges thanks to a brand-new, state-of-the-art restoration by Indie Collect and Oscilloscope Laboratories.

Tuesday, May 5

Short + Feature: Freaks and Greeks 

Washingtonia and Dogtooth

Let the peculiar pleasures of the Greek Weird Wave wash over you with a double dose of brilliantly provocative strangeness from two of the singular cinematic movement’s ringleaders. Konstantina Kotzamani’s faux nature documentary Washingtonia evokes summertime ennui in a sweltering Athens via a menagerie of giraffes, beetles, poodles, and disaffected humans. It makes for an appropriately outré intro to Yorgos Lanthimos’s startlingly perverse international sensation Dogtooth, which introduced the world to one of the most dementedly dysfunctional families in all of cinema.

Wednesday, May 6

Down in the Delta

The only film directed by the iconic writer, poet, and activist Maya Angelou is a warm, richly evocative celebration of black southern family and resilience. Alfre Woodard delivers a brilliant performance as a floundering, drug-addicted mother living in Chicago whose own mother sends her to stay with an uncle (Al Freeman Jr.) in the Mississippi Delta, where she gradually reconnects with her heritage and discovers strength in her roots. With her writer’s eye for detail and keen sense of character and place, Angelou crafts a bittersweet, deeply moving family portrait that ranks as one of the unsung gems of 1990s independent filmmaking. The marvelous supporting cast includes Esther Rolle (in her final film appearance), Loretta Devine, and Wesley Snipes, who also produced.

Thursday, May 7

Three by Tsai Ming-liang

The most celebrated figure of the Second New Wave of Taiwanese cinema, boundary-pushing auteur Tsai Ming-liang charts the contours of contemporary alienation in mesmerizingly enigmatic works that are at once rigorously spare and richly sensuous. Spanning more than twenty years, this trio of some of Tsai’s most arresting films all star his regular leading man and alter ego Lee Kang-sheng, who inhabits, variously, a teenage delinquent drifting through an urban wasteland in the director’s debut feature, Rebels of the Neon God; a pornographic actor with a taste for watermelon in the daring, utterly unclassifiable musical extravaganza The Wayward Cloud; and a father struggling to survive on the fringes of a decaying, perpetually rain-soaked Taipei in Stray Dogs.

Rebels of the Neon God, 1992

The Wayward Cloud, 2005

Stray Dogs, 2013

Friday, May 8

Double Feature: Mama Drama

Stella Dallas (1925) and Stella Dallas (1937)

Grab some tissues and get ready to celebrate Mother’s Day with two sterling adaptations of Olive Higgins Prouty’s classic, tear-wringing tale of maternal sacrifice. Filmed first in 1925 by producer Samuel Goldwyn and director Henry King from a script by Frances Marion, the original Stella Dallas, starring Belle Bennett, was groundbreaking in its sympathetic portrayal of single motherhood. Twelve years later, Goldwyn and director King Vidor updated the story for the talkie era, resulting in one of the most beloved and unabashedly moving melodramas of all time, with a heartbreaking Barbara Stanwyck as the coarse mill worker’s daughter determined to give her own child a better life.

Saturday, May 9

Saturday Matinee: Good Morning

A lighthearted take on director Yasujiro Ozu’s perennial theme of the challenges of intergenerational relationships, Good Morning tells the story of two young boys who stop speaking in protest after their parents refuse to buy a television set. Ozu weaves a wealth of subtle gags through a family portrait as rich as those of his dramatic films, mocking the foibles of the adult world through the eyes of his child protagonists. Shot in stunning color and set in a suburb of Tokyo where housewives gossip about the neighbors’ new washing machine and unemployed husbands look for work as door-to-door salesmen, this charming comedy refashions Ozu’s own silent classic I Was Born, But . . . to gently satirize consumerism in postwar Japan.

Sunday, May 10

Saul Bass Turns 100!

There were title sequences before Saul Bass, and there were title sequences after Saul Bass. The legendary graphic artist, born 100 years ago on May 8, revolutionized the art of motion-picture credits with his groundbreaking opening to Otto Preminger’s The Man with the Golden Arm, using strikingly minimalist design elements to visualize the story’s explosive theme of drug addiction. Over the next forty years, Bass would employ techniques ranging from animation (Around the World in 80 Days, Ocean’s 11) to live action (Walk on the Wild Side, Grand Prix) to avant-garde experimentation (Seconds) to time-lapse photography (The Age of Innocence) to create some of the most dazzling title sequences of all time, miniature works of art that not only set the mood for the feature to follow but which often help to tell the story itself. Though he directed only one feature—the visually stunning science-fiction head trip Phase IV—Bass left behind a widely influential legacy as one of the most innovative film artists of the twentieth century.

The Big Knife, Robert Aldrich, 1955

The Man with the Golden Arm, Otto Preminger, 1955

Around the World in 80 Days, Michael Anderson, 1956

Storm Center, Daniel Taradash, 1956

Bonjour tristesse, Otto Preminger, 1958

The Big Country, William Wyler, 1958

Cowboy, Delmer Daves, 1958

Anatomy of a Murder, Otto Preminger, 1959

The Facts of Life, Melvin Frank, 1960

Ocean’s 11, Lewis Milestone, 1960

Something Wild, Jack Garfein, 1961

West Side Story, Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins, 1961*

Walk on the Wild Side, Edward Dmytryk, 1962

It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Stanley Kramer, 1963

Bunny Lake Is Missing, Otto Preminger, 1965

Grand Prix, John Frankenheimer, 1966*

Seconds, John Frankenheimer, 1966

Phase IV, Saul Bass, 1974

The Human Factor, Otto Preminger, 1979

The Age of Innocence, Martin Scorsese, 1993

Monday, May 11

The Documentaries of Louis Malle

Over the course of a nearly forty-year career, Louis Malle forged a reputation as one of the world’s most versatile cinematic storytellers, with such widely acclaimed, and wide-ranging, masterpieces as Elevator to the Gallows, My Dinner with Andre, and Au revoir les enfants. At the same time, however, with less fanfare, Malle was creating a parallel, even more personal body of work as a documentary filmmaker. With the discerning eye of a true artist and the investigatory skills of a great journalist, Malle takes us from a street corner in Paris to America’s heartland to the expanses of India in his astonishing epic Phantom India. These are some of the most engaging and fascinating nonfiction films ever made.

Vive le Tour, 1962

Phantom India, 1969

Calcutta, 1969

Humain, trop humain, 1973

Place de la République, 1974

God’s Country, 1985

. . . And the Pursuit of Happiness, 1986

Tuesday, May 12

Short + Feature: Youthquakes

Tremors and The Fits

Adolescent anxiety is unleashed in strange and disturbing ways in two hallucinatory visions that give physical form to the psychic experience of teenage angst. In his award-winning short Tremors, director Dawid Bodzak explores the mysteries of male adolescence via an enigmatic portrait of a skateboarder whose inner turmoil seems to explode outward in sudden attacks that literally shake him to his core. A similarly unsettling phenomenon overtakes a girls’ dance team in Anna Rose Holmer’s stunning debut feature, The Fits, which fuses mesmerizing sound and movement to create a visceral coming-of-age dreamscape.

Wednesday, May 13

It Felt Like Love

Featuring an introduction by director Eliza Hittman and two of her early short films

As her latest film, the 2020 Sundance and Berlin award winner Never Rarely Sometimes Always, garners critical acclaim, the Criterion Channel revisits the revelatory debut feature from director Eliza Hittman. Set over the course of a languid South Brooklyn summer, this unflinchingly honest, refreshingly unsentimental tale of sexual exploration and awakening centers on Lila (Gina Piersanti, in a remarkable debut), a lonely fourteen-year-old girl who pushes herself into frightening and dangerous new territory in a quest to experience love. With an eye for evocative, richly sensorial images, Hittman offers a bracing, startlingly intimate new take on the coming-of-age drama.


It Felt Like Love, 2013


Second Cousins Once Removed, 2010

Forever’s Gonna Start Tonight, 2011

Thursday, May 14

Short Films by the Quay Brothers

Two of the world’s most brilliantly original filmmakers, identical twins Stephen and Timothy Quay have, over the course of more than four decades, amassed an enormous cult following for their visionary blend of puppetry and stop-motion animation. Perhaps best known for their gothic classic Street of Crocodiles, The Quays display a passion for detail, a breathtaking command of color and texture, and an uncanny use of focus and camera movement that unite their darkly surreal, marvelously macabre works. Masters of miniaturization, they’ve created an unforgettable world on their tiny sets, suggestive of a landscape of long-repressed childhood dreams.

The Cabinet of Jan Švankmajer, 1984

This Unnameable Little Broom, 1985

Street of Crocodiles, 1986

Rehearsals for Extinct Anatomies, 1987

Stille Nacht I: Dramolet, 1988

Stille Nacht III: Tales from Vienna Woods, 1992

Stille Nacht IV: Can’t Go Wrong Without You, 1993

The Comb, 1990

Anamorphosis, 1991

In Absentia, 2000

The Phantom Museum, 2003

Friday, May 15

Double Feature: Knockout!

The Harder They Fall and Raging Bull

Humphrey Bogart and Robert De Niro pull no punches in two of the finest, most hard-hitting boxing dramas ever made. First, Bogie delivers his powerful final screen performance as a sportswriter drawn into the corrupt underbelly of the fight racket in the gritty noir The Harder They Fall. Then, De Niro is raw physicality incarnate as self-destructive boxer Jake LaMotta in Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull, a blistering vision of tortured masculinity that stands as perhaps the peak of one of cinema’s greatest actor-director collaborations.

Saturday, May 16

Saturday Matinee: The Boy with Green Hair 

One of the most unique, charmingly eccentric films to come out of studio-era Hollywood, this heartfelt fable tells the supernatural-tinged story of Peter (a young Dean Stockwell), a war orphan who finds a safe haven in small town America . . . until one day he wakes up to find that his hair has inexplicably turned green. Although ridiculed by his classmates and the local townspeople, Peter soon realizes that there is power in being different. An impassioned call for tolerance and an inspiring celebration of individuality, The Boy with Green Hair features a superlative cast (including Robert Ryan and Pat O’Brien), a hit theme song (“Nature Boy”) by Nat King Cole, and the typically inspired direction of Joseph Losey, making his feature debut.

Sunday, May 17

Written by Frances Marion

Featuring Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Power of Women in Hollywood, a feature-length documentary directed by Bridget Terry

For almost three decades, Frances Marion was Hollywood’s highest-paid screenwriter (male or female), a pioneer who shaped the nascent art of script writing and whose seemingly boundless imagination yielded some of the most unforgettable words and stories ever put on screen. Like fellow trailblazers Lois Weber, Dorothy Arzner, and Anita Loos, Marion was drawn to Hollywood at a time when women could still carve out a place for themselves in the burgeoning film industry, establishing herself as a hugely successful writer (and occasional director) for her best friend Mary Pickford. The top screenwriter at MGM during the late 1920s and early 1930s, Marion penned classics like The Wind, Anna Christie, The Big House, The Champ, Min and Bill, and Dinner at Eight for stars such as Lillian Gish, Greta Garbo, Marie Dressler, Wallace Beery, and Jean Harlow, along the way becoming the first writer to win two Academy Awards. While her remarkable versatility meant that she could move easily between acclaimed literary adaptations, sparkling comedies, and gritty crime dramas, Marion’s piercing insight into human nature transcends genre and makes her work uniquely timeless.

Stella Dallas, Henry King, 1925

The Scarlet Letter, Victor Sjöström, 1926

The Winning of Barbara Worth, Henry King, 1926

The Wind, Victor Sjöström, 1928

Their Own Desire, E. Mason Hopper, 1929

Anna Christie, Clarence Brown, 1930

The Big House, George Hill, 1930

Min and Bill, George Hill, 1930

The Champ, King Vidor, 1931

Blondie of the Follies, Edmund Goulding, 1932

Cynara, King Vidor, 1932

Dinner at Eight, George Cukor, 1933

Secrets, Frank Borzage, 1933

Riffraff, J. Walter Ruben, 1936

Knight Without Armour, Jacques Feyder, 1937

Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Power of Women in Hollywood, Bridget Terry, 2000

Monday, May 18

Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion: Criterion Collection Edition #682

The provocative Italian filmmaker Elio Petri’s most internationally acclaimed work is this remarkable, visceral, Oscar-winning thriller. Petri maintains a tricky balance between absurdity and realism in telling the Kafkaesque tale of a Roman police inspector (a commanding Gian Maria Volonté) investigating a heinous crime—which he himself committed. Both a compelling character study and a disturbing commentary on the draconian government crackdowns in Italy in the late 1960s and early ’70s, Petri’s kinetic portrait of surreal bureaucracy is a perversely pleasurable rendering of controlled chaos. SUPPLEMENTAL FEATURES: An archival interview with Petri; Elio Petri: Notes About a Filmmaker, a documentary on the director’s career; a documentary about Volonté; and more.

Tuesday, May 19

Short + Feature: Fassbinder and His Friends

Angst isst Seele auf and Ali: Fear Eats the Soul

Thirty years after its release, the powerful, antiracist themes of Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Sirkian masterpiece Ali: Fear Eats the Soul continue to resonate in an at once hard-hitting and poetic short. Shot with striking immediacy by a subjective camera, Shahbaz Noshir’s Angst isst Seele auf assumes the point of view of a black actor in Germany dealing with racist abuse as he prepares to appear in a play based on Fassbinder’s film, about the taboo relationship between an older German woman and an Arab man. Sharing the same lead actress (Brigitte Mira), cinematographer (Jürgen Jürges), and editor (Thea Eymèsz), these twin works offer a searing indictment of prejudice within German society.

Wednesday, May 20

Three by Diane Kurys

Featuring an archival interview with Kurys

In a career spanning five decades, French filmmaker Diane Kurys has mined the raw material of her own life and family history to create richly realized portraits of female relationships that overflow with wit and warmth. This selection features her effervescent feature debut, Peppermint Soda, a gently comic, autobiographical tale of two sisters coming of age in 1960s Paris; her Oscar-nominated drama Entre nous, the bittersweet story of an intimate friendship between two women in postwar France based on her own mother’s life and starring Isabelle Huppert; and Children of the Century, a sumptuous period romance starring Juliette Binoche as the iconoclastic writer George Sand. Though she is often overlooked in the pantheon of great contemporary French auteurs, Kurys makes films that manage to be at once deeply personal and universally resonant.

Peppermint Soda, 1977

Entre nous, 1983

Children of the Century, 1999

Thursday, May 21

The Age of Innocence: Criterion Collection Edition #913

No filmmaker captures the grandeur and energy of New York like Martin Scorsese. With this sumptuous romance, he meticulously adapted the work of another great New York artist, Edith Wharton, bringing to life her tragic novel set in the cloistered world of Gilded Age Manhattan. The Age of Innocence tells the story of Newland Archer (Daniel Day-Lewis), whose engagement to an innocent socialite (Winona Ryder) binds him to the codes and rituals of his upbringing. But when her cousin (Michelle Pfeiffer) arrives in town on a wave of scandal after separating from her husband, she ignites passions in Newland he never knew existed. Swelling with exquisite period detail, this film is an alternately heartbreaking and satirical look at the brutality of old-world America. SUPPLEMENTAL FEATURES: interviews with Scorsese, coscreenwriter Jay Cocks, production designer Dante Ferretti, and costume designer Gabriella Pescucci; Innocence and Experience, a documentary on the making of the film; and more.

Friday, May 22

Double Feature: A Legacy and a Landmark

Losing Ground and The Scar of Shame

Kathleen Collins’s independent landmark Losing Ground is a luminous, brilliantly perceptive portrait of a marriage at a crossroads and a woman’s emotional awakening. One of the first films to explore black female desire with nuance and philosophical complexity, it contains a key allusion to actress Pearl McCormack and her role in the 1927 race film The Scar of Shame, a fascinating silent melodrama that, like Losing Ground, touches on issues of class and African American social mobility. Made more than fifty years apart, these touchstone works—once neglected, now cherished—speak to a rich counter-history of black filmmaking that extends across generations.

Saturday, May 23

Saturday Matinee: Black Beauty

Anna Sewell’s classic novel about the bond between a boy and his horse receives a stirring, handsomely mounted screen adaptation, complete with spectacular scenery and a lively sense of adventure. When Black Beauty, the beloved horse he has nurtured since birth, is taken away from him by a cruel squire, young Joe (Mark Lester of Oliver! fame) is determined that they will one day be reunited. Meanwhile, Black Beauty is passed through the hands of various masters in a series of far-flung exploits that take him from a Spanish circus to the battlefields of India and beyond. Beautifully shot amid the natural splendor of Ireland and Spain, Black Beauty is a breathlessly entertaining journey that offers a moving perspective on the relationship between humans and animals.

Sunday, May 24

Tell Me: Women Filmmakers, Women’s Stories

Featuring a conversation between guest programmer Nellie Killian and actor Jenny Slate, plus a conversation about the filmmaking collective New Day Films

In 1979, poet Adrienne Rich observed that “one of the most powerful social and political catalysts of the past decade has been the speaking of women with other women, the telling of our secrets, the comparing of wounds and sharing of words.” Curated by guest programmer Nellie Killian, Tell Me celebrates female filmmakers who took the simple, radical step of allowing women space and time to talk about their lives. Made in a range of idioms encompassing cinema verité, essay film, and agitprop, what the assembled films all share is a startling intimacy between camera and subject. Whether through the bonds of shared experience or merely genuine interest, these portraits capture women talking about trauma and sexual identity, summoning new language to describe the long-simmering injustices and frustrations we still face today, making jokes, admitting insecurities, and organizing for the future. Featuring films by Chantal Akerman, Barbara Hammer, Camille Billops, Chick Strand, Yvonne Rainer, Joyce Chopra, Vivienne Dick, Su Friedrich, and more, this cross-section of feminist filmmaking speaks to Rich’s insight that “in order to change what is, we need to give speech to what has been, to imagine together what might be.”

Growing Up Female, Julia Reichert and Jim Klein, 1971

Janie’s Janie, Geri Ashur, Peter Barton, Marilyn Mulford, and Stephanie Pawleski, 1971

Betty Tells Her Story, Liane Brandon, 1972

It Happens to Us, Amalie R. Rothschild, 1972

Joyce at 34, Joyce Chopra, 1972

Yudie, Mirra Bank, 1974

Chris and Bernie, Bonnie Friedman and Deborah Shaffer, 1976

Guerillère Talks, Vivienne Dick, 1978

Inside Women Inside, Christine Choy and Cynthia Maurizio, 1978

Soft Fiction, Chick Strand, 1979

Dis-moi, Chantal Akerman, 1980

I Am Wanda, Katja Raganelli, 1980

Clotheslines, Roberta Cantow, 1981

Land Makar, Margaret Tait, 1981

Audience, Barbara Hammer, 1982

Suzanne, Suzanne, Camille Billops and James Hatch, 1982

The Ties That Bind, Su Friedrich, 1985

Conversations with Intellectuals About Selena, Lourdes Portillo, 1999

Privilege, Yvonne Rainer, 1990

The Salt Mines, Susana Aiken and Carlos Aparicio, 1990

The Transformation, Susana Aiken and Carlos Aparicio, 1995

Mimi, Claire Simon, 2003

No Home Movie, Chantal Akerman, 2015

Shakedown, Leilah Weinraub, 2018

Monday, May 25

Le Havre: Criterion Collection Edition #619

In this warmhearted comic yarn from Aki Kaurismäki, fate throws the young African refugee Idrissa (Blondin Miguel) into the path of Marcel Marx (André Wilms), a kindly old bohemian who shines shoes for a living in the French harbor city Le Havre. With inborn optimism and the support of his tight-knit community, Marcel stands up to the officials doggedly pursuing the boy for deportation. A political fairy tale that exists somewhere between the reality of contemporary France and the classic French cinema of the past, Le Havre is a charming, deadpan delight and one of the Finnish director’s finest films. SUPPLEMENTAL FEATURES: Interviews with members of the cast and crew and concert footage of Little Bob, the musician featured in the film.

Tuesday, May 26

Short + Feature: What a Woman Wants

The Field and The Cloud-Capped Star

Two women yearn for fulfillment amid the patriarchal inequities of Indian society in these subversive, visually sublime explorations of traditional gender expectations. Gorgeously attuned to the stirrings of the natural world, Sandhya Suri’s sensuous short The Field immerses the viewer in the world of a poor agricultural laborer leading a double life apart from her husband. Its feminist themes resonate throughout Ritwik Ghatak’s ravishing melodrama masterpiece The Cloud-Capped Star, in which a young woman sacrifices her own dreams and desires for the needs of her family.

Wednesday, May 27

Three by Nicole Holofcener

Featuring a new introduction by Holofcener

In her smart, bitingly hilarious, and deeply empathetic comedies, Nicole Holofcener offers refreshingly nuanced portrayals of flawed, complex women whose outward sophistication belies their dysfunctional, often disastrous personal lives. All featuring her regular collaborator Catherine Keener, this trio of Holofcener favorites—the cutting family portrait Lovely & Amazing, the wicked class comedy Friends with Money, and the darkly funny satire of white liberal guilt Please Give—displays the richly realized characterizations, all-too-real relationships, and trenchant insights into privilege and bourgeois anxieties that have made the writer-director one of contemporary cinema’s most astutely acerbic observers of human folly.

Lovely & Amazing, 2001

Friends with Money, 2006

Please Give, 2010

Thursday, May 28

Three by Jacques Rivette

Featuring an excerpt from a 1994 profile of Rivette directed by Claire Denis for the series Cinéastes de notre temps

Sprawling, labyrinthine, and obsessed with cryptic symbols, conspiracies, and clues, the films of French New Wave titan Jacques Rivette unfold like epic, choose-your-own-adventure puzzles that draw you ever deeper down their loopy, mysterious rabbit holes. Featuring his tantalizing study of postwar disillusionment Paris Belongs to Us, the freewheeling buddy-comedy fantasia Céline and Julie Go Boating, and the mesmerizing portrait of artistic obsession La belle noiseuse, this Rivettian sampler spans three decades (and nearly ten combined hours) in the career of a master for whom moviemaking was a game of surprise and discovery.

Paris Belongs to Us, 1961

Céline and Julie Go Boating, 1974

La belle noiseuse, 1991

Friday, May 29

Double Feature: Tramps and Scamps

The Kid and Sidewalk Stories

In 1921, Charlie Chaplin’s immortal Little Tramp teamed up with Jackie Coogan’s streetwise ragamuffin in The Kid, and one of the all-time great screen matchups was born. Nearly seventy years later, writer-director-actor Charles Lane paid homage to Chaplin’s classic in the nearly silent Sidewalk Stories, which updates the premise for a black artist living on the streets of 1980s New York who becomes the guardian of a young orphan. Preserving the elegant slapstick invention and heart-tugging poignancy of Chaplin’s vision, Lane infuses the story with a newfound sense of realism and social consciousness to create one of the unsung miracles of 1980s independent cinema.

Saturday, May 30

Saturday Matinee: Little Fugitive

One of the most influential and enchanting films of the American independent cinema, this charming, stylistically innovative fable poetically captures the joys and wonders of childhood. When seven-year-old Joey (Richie Andrusco) is tricked into believing he has killed his older brother, he gathers his meager possessions and flees to New York’s nether wonderland: Coney Island. Upon and beneath the crowded boardwalk, Joey experiences a day and night filled with adventures and mysteries, captured in a groundbreaking semidocumentary style that is refreshingly spontaneous and thoroughly delightful. Winner of the Silver Lion at the 1953 Venice Film Festival, Little Fugitive bursts with a freewheeling inventiveness that would go on to influence both the French New Wave (particularly François Truffaut, who cited it as a key reference for The 400 Blows) and a generation of DIY American filmmakers.

Sunday, May 31

Starring Jackie Chan

Featuring a new interview with Grady Hendrix, author and cofounder of the New York Asian Film Festival

Marrying the daredevil physical comedy of Buster Keaton with the martial-arts mastery of Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan is an international icon whose awe-inspiring stunt work and acrobatic grace set a new standard for action spectacle. Working his way up through the Hong Kong film industry of the 1970s as a stuntman, Chan achieved stardom when he combined his thrilling fight choreography with slapstick mayhem in early vehicles like Half a Loaf of Kung Fu and Spiritual Kung Fu. Making the leap to director with The Fearless Hyena and The Young Master, Chan embarked on a dazzling run of 1980s successes that culminated with Police Story and its sequel, blockbuster megahits in which his death-defying, adrenaline-rush set pieces reached new heights of giddy virtuosity.

Half a Loaf of Kung Fu, Chen Chi-hwa, 1978

Spiritual Kung Fu, Lo Wei, 1978

The Fearless Hyena, Jackie Chan, 1979

The Young Master, Jackie Chan, 1980

Fearless Hyena 2, Chan Chuen, 1983

My Lucky Stars, Sammo Hung, 1985

Police Story, Jackie Chan, 1985

Police Story 2, Jackie Chan, 1988

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