Upcoming Criterion films
June 15, 2015 7:46 AM - Subscribe

Hi folks who like to watch Criterion films on Hulu and talk about them here... I wonder if we could throw out some ideas for upcoming films and take the temperature of what people are most interested in watching together. Maybe just name a couple Criterion/Hulu films you'd like to see, and if others are interested they can favorite or make a comment indicating support. Then we can schedule a few of the movies that seem to have the most support.
posted by latkes (63 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'd be into checking out Touki bouki or something by Abbas Kiarostami.
posted by latkes at 7:50 AM on June 15, 2015

I've got lots to choose from, but I think there are a few that would be interesting to more than just people studying the post-war period in Japan like I am.

I think my first choice overall would be The Naked Island (1960) (IMDB) by Kaneto Shindo. It's a beautiful, haunting movie about a family eking out a living on a small island in the Seto Inland Sea. I think it's one of the great achievements in cinema.

I haven't watched it yet, since I switched to chronological order in my viewing and am only up to 1953, but I think Naruse's When a Woman Ascends the Stairs (1960) (IMDB) is probably the best choice for him. My second choice would be Mother (1952) (IMDB). Naruse often depicted the lives of women in the post-war period, and either of these would make a good choice to explore that.

It's not necessarily Keisuke Kinoshita's greatest movie — that's probably Twenty-Four Eyes (1954) (IMDB) or Ballad of Narayama (1958) (IMDB) — but my choice for him would be Tragedy of Japan (1953) (IMDB), a brutal, antagonistic story of a war-widow doing whatever she had to do to care for her children in the aftermath of the war.

The conventional choice for Kurosawa is Seven Samurai (1954) (IMDB), and I'd be down for discussing it. I mean, I've only watched it a few dozen times over the years.

If you're asking me though, I think one of Kurosawa's other movies would be more interesting. Ikiru (1952) (IMDB) is probably his most underrated film and I highly recommend it regardless of whether or not we include it in the club. If we'd like something with a little action and intrigue, either High and Low (1963) (IMDB) or Stray Dog (1949) (IMDB) would be great choices. High and Low is an unbelievably good movie about a kidnapping and ransom demand in a Japan where the "economic miracle" is in full swing, but not for everyone. Stray Dog is also a crime drama and in addition to its many other fine qualities, is arguably the very first buddy cop movie ever made.
posted by ob1quixote at 3:04 PM on June 15, 2015

I just watched High and Low a few days ago and it was excellent.
posted by isthmus at 3:42 PM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]

Of those films you list ob1quixote, I'm especially interested in Mother or The Naked Island. I don't think I've seen Seven Samurai since I was a kid so would be into that or really anything on that list!
posted by latkes at 7:43 AM on June 16, 2015

You're going to make it a club, right? Using the new whizzy feature pb announced recently?

I would very very very much like an excuse to revisit Eric Rohmer's films - one or two. Maybe Claire's Knee and Love in the Afternoon? I like the moral tales series, though it's been a long time since I saw any of them. I remember next to nothing about Claire's Knee. Except for the knee.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 1:20 PM on June 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

It is a club! Come join!!

All of these suggestions sound really good.

I suggest we try to alternate super weird movies (ie: Daisies) with more well known canonical movies like Seven Samurai suggested above, so that more people are interested in connecting to this club. Wondering what others think of that idea...
posted by latkes at 1:34 PM on June 17, 2015 [4 favorites]

latkes.... agreed on the alternating idea. One canonical film after another can get old.

Can anyone add a movie event to the club? L'assassin habite au 21 looks like fun.
posted by Sheydem-tants at 6:01 PM on June 17, 2015

+1 on alternating freaky deaky movies with more well-known movies, thus achieving B A L A N C E.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 6:04 PM on June 17, 2015

In browsing around Hulu's Criterion Collection page today, I found two lists that may be of interest:
posted by ob1quixote at 1:34 AM on June 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

Oh man I haven't watched High And Low since high school and I'd love to watch it again with the community.

But really I'm excited to do anything.
posted by lumpenprole at 10:29 AM on June 18, 2015

Would anyone be interested in some Fassbinder? They have sixteen of his movies streaming right now, so there's a good selection, and he's always interesting. I haven't seen all of them, but I'd be down with pretty much any of them, I think.

For weird movies, Symbiopsychotaxiplasm would probably count, and it strikes me as the sort of thing where there is a lot to talk about.

And I'm not favoriting anything in here right now, but that's because it all sounds good to me.
posted by ernielundquist at 1:57 PM on June 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

Sooo... I guess I'll add Touki bouki, since there have been no objections. And Seven Samurai to get that canonical thing going on.

Ian A.T., I know you had a list of stuff you'd been thinking of. I hope you'll put them on the queue since this was your awesome project!

I am interested in literally every other film mentioned in this thread, only wish is to try to build in variety of obscurity/canon, region of origin, time period, etc...
posted by latkes at 9:23 PM on June 21, 2015

(I added the criteriononhulu tag so this would show up on the club page; I didn't even know this thread was here!)
posted by Ian A.T. at 8:00 AM on June 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

I mentioned this idea over in the other thread, but it looks like the conversation has shifted over here, so let me repost:

Every week, Criterion has a thematic "festival of free films" that folks who don't subscribe to Hulu Plus can still watch. I think there's a commercial at the beginning, but someone on here confirmed there are no commercials in the films themselves.

The films aren't the dregs of the collection, either. This week the theme is Father's Day, and the films that are free to non-subscribers includes The Kid, Eraserhead, and Late Spring.

What do you guys think of adding a second film each week drawn from that week's free films? I think this could be a great way to get non-subscribers to participate in the club, and it would help keep the club spontaneous (since we won't know what the second film for the next week will be until the Friday of the week before).

I also think the process of choosing the film could be sorta fun, since we could open a new club thread where every week we'd "debate" which film to choose and maybe set up one of those off-site survey widgets.

What do you guys think? This puts a little more work on my / our plate, so if there's not a clear "Yes, that's an awesome idea" consensus (as opposed to "sure, okay, why not") I probably won't do it. But if you guys are up for it, I'll start this Friday.
posted by Ian A.T. at 11:38 AM on June 24, 2015 [2 favorites]

Yes, that's an awesome idea!

Maybe we should have a separate post about it, though, because people who don't subscribe to Hulu probably aren't reading this thread.
posted by ernielundquist at 12:59 PM on June 24, 2015

I'm into it! Only thing is I won't be able to watch 2 movies a week but I'm still into the plan!
posted by latkes at 2:08 PM on June 24, 2015

Hey, I was just thinking how about Stranger Than Paradise? I've never seen it and it would be switch up to having something more modern, American, and comedic...
posted by latkes at 9:49 AM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

Heh heh heh heh heh.

I have seen Stranger Than Paradise, like, a Rocky Horror number of times, and I am always down for a +1.
posted by ernielundquist at 10:34 AM on July 7, 2015

I'll do the first "flash film" this Friday as well if I remember and I have time.
posted by Ian A.T. at 4:29 PM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

Turns out Criterion doesn't post the new films until Sunday, so I had to wait until today to post the first of the "flash films":

Criterion Free Movie Of The Week
posted by Ian A.T. at 3:45 PM on July 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

The Seven Samurai thread has been posted!
posted by Ian A.T. at 12:52 PM on July 13, 2015

Since it's just me posting in the Free Movie Of The Week thread so far, I thought I'm post this here as well: this week's winner has been chosen, but I'm gonna make you click to find out what it is.

Thanks to everyone who voted, we had a surprisingly good turnout!
posted by Ian A.T. at 9:27 PM on July 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

The Last Metro is up, as well as the new Free Film survey!
posted by Ian A.T. at 1:34 PM on July 17, 2015

Two things:

1. This Friday's Free Film is Au revoir les infants. Judging from the title alone, it appears to be about an adorable group of French babies (in ittle striped shirts, scarves, and berets!) learning how to wave bye-bye.

2. It appears we have a gap coming up on August 3. Does anyone have any suggestions, or should we honor the European tradition of these films and just take part of August off?
posted by Ian A.T. at 4:55 PM on July 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

Maybe we could do Spirit of the Beehive that week, since it had some popular support for the free film.

It's a really great movie, and I think it'd go over well.
posted by ernielundquist at 5:16 PM on July 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

The theme for this week's Festival of Free Films is "1966". Here's the voting thread.
posted by Ian A.T. at 2:45 PM on July 31, 2015

This Friday we'll be discussing Robert Downey's underground film Chafed Elbows. What's it about?
Hapless Walter Dinsmore undergoes his annual November breakdown at the 1954 World’s Fair, has a love affair with his mother, recollects his hysterectomy operation, impersonates a cop, is sold as a piece of living art, goes to heaven, and becomes the singer in a rock band, but not necessarily in that order.
Watch it here.
posted by Ian A.T. at 9:02 AM on August 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

Our queue is getting low again, so I'd like to propose the following films. Building off latkes' idea to do one well-known canonical film alternating with quirkier fare, I've drawn up the following schedule of classics. There's a week between each one to allow folks to schedule other movies that strike our fancy.
Aug 31
Sep 7: 8½
Sep 14
Sep 28
Oct 12
Oct 26
Nov 2: HOUSE
Nov 9
Nov 23
Then we're into Thanksgiving (Nov 26) and the holidays afterward, so I thought I'd leave those blank for now.

Oh, and looking through the listings, I know that House is a bit of an odd duck in that the others are considered the best films of all time and House is barely considered a film at all. But that's the Monday after Halloween, and I really want to rewatch that bananapants Japanese fever dream for the occasion.

What do you guys think? I know it's a bit daunting to have the rest of summer and most of autumn half-scheduled like this, but I think that the gaps I've left gives everyone space to add in their own personal picks as well.

If you guys are okay with this schedule, I'm going to add it to the calendar.
posted by Ian A.T. at 7:21 AM on August 11, 2015 [2 favorites]

Ha ha! I have been wanting us to do L'Atalante, but I was holding off because I didn't want to feel like I was trying to dominate the club. So I am wiggling my eyebrows and making a triangle with my fingers right now, as I often do when the universe bends to my will.

I really like all those choices, and also I want to mention that it is my fondest wish that people add their personal favorite movies to the queue. I probably wouldn't have gotten around to The Naked Island for a while if ob1quixote hadn't added it, but it was amazing, and his comments in the thread really helped me appreciate it even better.
posted by ernielundquist at 8:15 AM on August 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

Okay, I posted the films, but with one minor shift: I put L'Atalante at the top so we could get to it faster.
posted by Ian A.T. at 8:56 AM on August 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

(L'Atalante rescheduled for next Monday.)
posted by Ian A.T. at 4:55 PM on September 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

Ian A.T.: “(L'Atalante rescheduled for next Monday.)”
Whoopsie-daisy. It got to be afternoon and I said to myself, "Self? Didn't you say you were gonna post that Shinoda movie on Monday? Because it's Monday, and there's no movie up yet." But you meant next Monday, and I didn't look at the calendar. Apologies.
posted by ob1quixote at 10:19 PM on September 7, 2015

Oh, the one didn't have anything to do with the other. We had a free week next week anyway, and ernielundquist—who was really excited to talk about L'Atalante—is still trying to catch up with everything.

Though I'm glad that The Mystery Of Why Did Ob1quixote Post That has been solved!
posted by Ian A.T. at 7:25 AM on September 8, 2015

I thought I was back on the horse cuz I watched L'Atalante last week! Oh well, I'll be ready to talk about it when we get to it.
posted by latkes at 7:50 AM on September 8, 2015

All Latkes wanted to do was talk about L'Atalante, but when an impish ob1quixote came around singing a jaunty tune about Japanese cinema, Ian A.T. flew into a jealous rage and abandoned them both on the dock...
posted by Ian A.T. at 9:18 AM on September 8, 2015 [3 favorites]

Next week is open...anyone have any suggestions?
posted by Ian A.T. at 9:19 AM on September 21, 2015

I've been wanting to watch Stranger Than Paradise...
posted by latkes at 2:52 PM on September 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

Added for next Monday!
posted by Ian A.T. at 5:10 PM on September 22, 2015

If you use Letterboxd, there's now a full up-to-date list of all the Criterion on Hulu films. All 911 of them! I've watched 7% so far.
posted by octothorpe at 8:05 AM on October 7, 2015 [2 favorites]

Threepenny Opera for October 26?
posted by Sheydem-tants at 6:26 PM on October 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

Yup! Just added it to the calendar. And while I'm here, the free film vote is over and we're doing Tarkovsky's Solaris on Friday.

Any interest in a Criterion On Hulu team on Slack?
posted by Ian A.T. at 7:31 PM on October 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

FYI - I'm not sure Threepenny Opera is part of Criterion on Hulu, although Criterion has definitely issued a DVD.

If you search Hulu for "Threepenny Opera", you'll find it.
posted by Sheydem-tants at 10:29 AM on October 21, 2015

Weird...it was on Hulu about a year ago. I didn't know Criterion films went away from Hulu.
posted by Ian A.T. at 6:17 PM on October 21, 2015

The Threepenny Opera is on Hulu, but it takes a bit of digging. You can stream it here.
posted by Ian A.T. at 11:44 PM on October 24, 2015

OH, never mind...I totally misread your comment and hung on to that misreading for like four days.
posted by Ian A.T. at 11:46 PM on October 24, 2015

Ian A.T.: no worries... I do that all the time myself.

I think you wrote elsewhere that next Monday is also open? If so, Catherine Deneuve just turned 72, so how about Les Demoiselles de Rochefort? I just got a new TV and I think I need to feed it some candy-colored Jacques Demy.

Les Parapluies de Cherbourg is wonderful too but it's much better known... and doesn't have Françoise Dorléac or Gene Kelly.
posted by Sheydem-tants at 5:27 AM on October 26, 2015

Next Monday (Sunday, actually) is our "Huluween" showing of HOUSE with the Strange Club. But the Monday after that is free, so I'll go ahead and add Les Demoiselles de Rochefort now!


I've told this story before on here, I think, but about six years ago I was a member of a gym where the TVs got Turner Classic Movies, and I'd schedule my workouts around movies I wanted to see in the evening. There was just one catch: the TVs didn't have audio output, not even the crappy "tune your radio to this station" option. So everything I watched was muted and the dialogue was CC'd.

Because of that—and because watching a movie while running isn't exactly the best way to absorb the director's vision—I tended to watch movies I'd already seen or I'd watch movies that I would later rewatch properly on the weekend. But...you know how it goes, sometimes movies would fall through the cracks.

I told you all that to tell you this: Umbrellas Of Cherbourg was a film I watched at that gym but then I didn't rewatch it until about a year ago. That means that for about five years I'd been rapturously recommending the film to friends without realizing it was a musical...
posted by Ian A.T. at 7:13 AM on October 26, 2015 [4 favorites]

Hi guys...just wanted to let you know that an AMAZING film is playing tonight on Turner Classic Movies at 9:15 EST, the stunning I Am Cuba.
Director Mikhail Kalatozov's astounding film is an ambitious slice of cinematic agitprop, a poetic chronicle of the Cuban revolution that is epic in scope and filled with dazzling images and gravity-defying camera work.
It's not available on any streaming platform that I can tell, so I thought I'd give you a heads up.
posted by Ian A.T. at 3:03 PM on November 12, 2015 [2 favorites]

I'd like to add The Cranes Are Flying to the schedule for a week from Monday, aka the Monday before Thanksgiving. Does that conflict with anyone's plans? I can move it to after the holiday if that's better.
posted by Ian A.T. at 11:06 AM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

Hey guys...I'm home sick today. If someone wants to post 8 ½, go for it. Otherwise, I'll do it Tuesday.
posted by Ian A.T. at 11:07 AM on November 16, 2015

Anyone interested in watching René Clair's Le Million in the next few weeks some time? I just watched it and have some questions about other folks' reactions...
posted by latkes at 9:44 PM on November 16, 2015

Absolutely...let's do that next Monday and I'll schedule Cranes for after the holidays.
posted by Ian A.T. at 11:34 PM on November 16, 2015

Emergency! Apparently, there is going to be a Krzysztof Kieslowski purge on Hulu in eight days, so if you've been considering watching any of his movies, now is the time.

I guess they're the free movies for this week as well, but the expiration notices are coming up even when I'm signed on. If anyone wants to call a free movie for the week, I can probably show up for your insurgency.

(I'm planning to watch A Short Film about Killing and A Short Film about Love probably today, and will try to get to a few others as well. And I've rewatched The Double Life of Veronique and the Colors trilogy pretty recently.)
posted by ernielundquist at 3:00 PM on November 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

latkes: This is super-embarrassing, but my comments will have to wait until tomorrow because I watched the wrong movie. Somehow in my head I got it all mixed up and watched The Cranes Are Flying instead. I know, I know. I'll catch up tonight.

ernielundquist: Dang it! I was going to suggest a three-week Three Colours series after the new year. It's funny, Twitter is so excited about all the Kieslowski that just got added to Hulu...it's odd that news of the purge isn't better known.
posted by Ian A.T. at 10:06 AM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

OK, I am increasingly convinced that Hulu throws me glitches sometimes just to damage my credibility and make me look like some kind of unreliable narrator.

I swear that when I posted that, it was showing me expiration dates on all of his movies. I even logged out and logged back in again to make sure. But now, today, they're gone. It looks like they're not expiring.

But also, I had never noticed several of the movies there before, and I do actively look for his decalogue stuff every now and again. So you and Twitter are no doubt right that these were just added, and those expirations are just part of a big conspiracy at Hulu to make me look crazy and trick me into panicking. (Which I did. I gathered all my necessary provisions and watched both of the Short Films in a row right after I posted.)

Remember that time they made me look like a fool by showing me commercials on Criterion and I panicked that time too? Or the time they decided that Lars Trier and Lars von Trier were two different guys and I was trying to warn people to search for both versions of his name because I was getting different results?

The next time they do something wacky, I need to screencap it, because Hulu gaslights me all the danged time, making me look like some kind of maniac.

In conclusion: I don't think they're expiring after all, so never mind.
posted by ernielundquist at 11:10 AM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]

latkes, it's possible I overestimated my ability to watch a film while my visiting mother reads every detail of this week's Big Lots circular to me.
posted by Ian A.T. at 7:43 PM on November 25, 2015 [2 favorites]

I'm just catching up with the films that I missed from last year and I'd definitely like this club to continue. Anyone else?
posted by octothorpe at 4:37 AM on January 27, 2016 [2 favorites]

I'm still in, even though I've got a handful of club movies still sitting in my queue.
posted by ob1quixote at 5:02 AM on January 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'm ready to dive back in too. I've actually been watching the movies pretty regularly, but sometimes I couldn't think of anything to say about them.
posted by ernielundquist at 9:42 PM on January 28, 2016

Yeah, I'd been waiting until I was all caught up to start the Club again, but at this point I might need to write a couple off as a loss.

Would anyone mind if we moved the posting day to Saturday or Sunday? Posting them during the week was tough because I felt pulled between the conversation and my job.
posted by Ian A.T. at 10:39 PM on January 28, 2016

Sunday sounds good to me. Yay!
posted by latkes at 9:56 AM on January 29, 2016

I just posted the 2016 film suggestion thread!
posted by Ian A.T. at 6:44 PM on January 31, 2016 [1 favorite]

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