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One of the most polarizing filmmakers of all time made an impact from his debut film, this surreal nightmare that was released in arthouses back in and was an instant hit in major cities. Directed, produced, and edited by Lynch, it stars Jack Nance as a man taking care of a deformed child in a nightmarish alternate reality.
It would still be powerful if it came out today. A Woman Under the Influence John Cassavetes Criterion has released a fantastic box set of five of the essential films of John Cassavetes, one of the most influential voice in the history of American independent cinema. The legend plays an ordinary woman in a blue-collar family who basically starts to come apart at the seams. Fish Tank Andrea Arnold Andrea Arnold is one of the best female directors working today, and her success early in her career led to raves for American Honey and her being tapped to direct the second season of Big Little Lies.
Perhaps the toughest part of being a Chaplin fan is picking one for newbies. No matter, they generally end up watching them all. The Maysles and co-directors Ellen Hovde and Muffie Meyer capture the decline of opulence in a way that turns their realistic approach into a commentary on the end of an era.
This is what Camelot becomes: co-dependent former socialites stuck in their routines in a crumbling mansion. Also his first, it stars Emmanuelle Riva and Eiji Okada as a French actress and a Japanese architect who have an affair amidst the ruins of Hiroshima. It earned an Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay. Ikiru Akira Kurosawa. Even if Criterion had only a handful of Kurosawa films, it would still be difficult to choose between The Seven Samurai , Rashomon, and Ran, to name a few.
So why Ikiru? More Kurosawa on the Criterion Channel: Too many to list. The two play neighbors who develop an attraction to one another in a way that feels both deeply cinematic and completely human. This examination of the gradual breakdown of the routines of an ordinary life turns everyday detail into something unforgettable, even transcendent. The Village Voice named it one of the 20 best films of the 20th century. What if someone could just disappear off the face of the Earth?
La Promesse Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne Though Criterion has released several great films by the Dardennes, only one is on the channel as of this writing. La Strada Federico Fellini As with several filmmakers on this list, picking a single Fellini feels almost cruel, but a good place to start is with the unforgettable visage of Giulietta Masina. She plays Gelsomina, a woman sold to a circus strongman, played by Anthony Quinn.
A wonderful genre blend, it nimbly incorporates elements of comedy into the mystery. An underrated great. Moments from childhood rise to the surface and then fade back again, often with perfectly chosen music to accompany them. A beautiful, lyrical, deeply poetic piece of filmmaking.
M Fritz Lang A perfectly calibrated suspense film about a serial killer, unforgettably played by Peter Lorre. Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters Paul Schrader Writer-director Paul Schrader is known for his films about men on the fringes of society see: Taxi Driver and First Reformed , but this is arguably his most visually striking work, about a man who merged his life and art.
Ken Ogata plays Yukio Mishima, who committed public seppuku in to protest what he saw as the decadence of Japanese postwar culture. Challenging traditional forms of cinematic storytelling, Mishima is a modern classic.
They are windows into lives that seem genuine and three-dimensional. One of the reasons for this is the unique way he works, collaborating with actors in an improvisational workshop way to get a final product. The resulting career is one of the most acclaimed of his generation, including multiple award winners.
One of his best is this David Thewlis drama from , which landed Leigh a director prize at Cannes and an acting one for Thewlis, who has never been better than he is here. Watch them all. He knew how to use them to enhance the mood of masterpieces like The Third Man and this thriller, in which James Mason plays a political conspirator on the run, hunted by police throughout Belfast.
Soon the whole world starts to feel dangerous and unsettling. He has claimed this will be his last film. Dreyer Carl Theodor Dreyer is one of the most important and influential filmmakers of all time. When people first make their way into the catalog of silent film history, they often start with the most accessible films of the comedians like Chaplin and Keaton, but they eventually find their way to Dreyer, a man who defined the visual medium of film in movies like Vampyr and this masterpiece about the trial of Joan of Arc.
Renee Jeanne Falconetti gives one of the most iconic performances of all time, conveying more with her eyes than most actresses can do with an entire script of dialogue. Most importantly, you should watch this classic to see how much it influenced the next century of filmmaking.
It really changed everything. The Piano Teacher Michael Haneke Years before he won an Oscar for Amour , Michael Haneke was a controversial voice on the international scene with several challenging flicks.
This Grand Prix winner at Cannes in was one of his major turning points. Isabelle Huppert stars as Erika, the titular piano teacher, who starts up an affair with one of her students and then watches her life turn upside down. Tim Robbins stars as a studio executive who gets caught up in a web of paranoia and greed in a way that could only happen in Hollywood.
Often cited for its famous unbroken shot and plentiful cameos, The Player is underrated as an example of tonal balance: Watch as Altman slides smoothly from dark comedy to noir elements to industry commentary and back to satire. When people like Scorsese, Spielberg, and Coppola are asked about their favorite films of all time, The Red Shoes regularly comes up. The Rules of the Game Jean Renoir.
One of the most revered films of all time, this is a scathing examination of class in French society and a roller coaster in terms of tone and style. But where to start? But it was his surreal masterpiece, in which a knight of the Crusades Max von Sydow meets Death on a beach and the two play a game of chess, that defined him as an international cinematic presence.
More Bergman on the Criterion Channel: So much. Watch it all. Stagecoach John Ford. Solaris may be more widely known, but Stalker is his masterpiece, a film nearly impossible to describe in a single paragraph. His films are more about creating a mood than conveying a traditional narrative, and this is where that brand really began. Arguably his best film remains this masterpiece that defined true-crime documentaries for decades to come. While some of these movies were available through other services in the past, including Hulu and FilmStruck, the Criterion Channel is the only place to stream these films today.
In addition to licensing films for home distribution, the Criterion Collection restores older movies. It also pioneered features, such as the letterbox format and special releases, that eventually caught on with other distributors. At one time, the entire Criterion Collection was available for streaming through Hulu. It later moved to the FilmStruck service, which merged it with the similar Turner Classic Movies library.
In addition to the Criterion Collection library, the Criterion Channel includes original programming and themed selections of classic movies to help you discover new gems. In addition to more than 1, classic films, the Criterion Channel includes original programming you won't find anywhere else. The Criterion Channel includes access to the entire Criterion library of more than 1, classic and contemporary films.
It also includes about shorts, interviews, mini-documentaries, and original content. In addition to the main library of more than 1, Criterion Collection films, the Criterion Channel rotates in classics from a variety of major studios and indies. These films come and go, unlike the main library, so you have to make sure to watch those films before they disappear. The Criterion Channel has simple navigation options based primarily around the home page and the All Films page.
The home page provides a listing of popular films in several categories. The All Films page allows you to sort the entire Criterion collection according to various filters and sorting possibilities. Search for films in a specific genre, look for particular directors, or narrow your search by decade or country.
If you know what movie you're looking for, enter the title in the search function in the navigation bar. Here's how to watch a film on the Criterion Channel:. Locate a film you want to watch, and select it. Select Watch. The film plays in the same window. In addition to the main library of the Criterion Collection, and a rotating selection of films from other sources, the Criterion Channel includes a variety of shorts and original programming.
These original series, along with behind the scenes footage, commentaries, and original documentaries, round out the Criterion Channel's entertainment options. Watch the Criterion Channel on your iOS or Android mobile device, as well as through a browser on your desktop computer.
By Jeremy Laukkonen. Jeremy Laukkonen. Jeremy Laukkonen is automotive and tech writer for numerous major trade publications. When not researching and testing computers, game consoles or smartphones, he stays up-to-date on the myriad complex systems that power battery electric vehicles.
The Criterion Channel is a strong service that's tailor-made for classic and art-house film fans. It boasts ad-free streaming of Criterion. The now defunct streaming service, FilmStruck, was a joint enterprise run by the Criterion Collection and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). The Criterion Channel streaming service draws on the resources of the Collection, with about 2, of its titles (and plenty of bonus features).