Criterion Free Movie Of The Week
July 12, 2015 3:32 PM - Subscribe

Every week, Criterion makes a different selection of films available for free to non-Hulu subscribers. In response, the Criterion On Hulu film club is expanding to a second film per week, pulled from that week's free offerings, with the film under discussion being open to a vote.

On Sunday afternoon, whenever the Criterion announcement goes up, I'll put up a list of this week's free films. On Tuesday evening, I'll post the winner, and on Friday morning I'll post the new thread.
posted by Ian A.T. (44 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
For the week of July 12, the theme is "Summer In Paris," featuring ten films set in the City Of Lights:
Under the Roofs of Paris
René Clair, 1930
In the tenement slums of Paris between the world wars, an impoverished street singer yearns for a beautiful Romanian immigrant.

Children of Paradise
Marcel Carné, 1945
A lovely and enigmatic Parisian actress draws the attention of various men in her orbit, including a thoughtful mime and an ambitious actor.

The Red Balloon
Albert Lamorisse, 1955
The adventures of a young boy who one day finds a sentient, mute, red balloon.

Chronicle of a Summer
Edgar Morin and Jean Rouch, 1961
A documentary in which individuals are interviewed, then are shown fictionalized scenes based on their interviews and are asked to discuss if they obtained their level of reality.

Cléo from 5 to 7
Agnès Varda, 1962
A young singer must wait two hours to hear the results of a medical test that will possibly confirm a diagnosis of cancer.

Vivre sa vie / My Life To Life
Jean-Luc Godard, 1962
Twelve episodic tales in the life of a Parisian woman and her slow descent.

Place de le république
Louis Malle, 1974
A documentary that presents a snapshot of the comings and goings on one street corner in Paris.

The Last Métro
François Truffaut, 1974
During the French occupation, a small Parisian theatre battles censorship, antisemitism and material shortages.

La vie de bohème
Aki Kaurismäki, 1992
Three struggling artists try to make passable livings in Paris despite knock backs and tragedies.

Paris nous appartient / Paris Belongs to Us
Jacques Rivette, 1961
A literature student in Paris in 1957 tries to discover the truth behind the alleged suicide of a Spanish activist.
Click here to vote for your picks. I thought I'd try starting out with an online survey, to spare our Recent Activity from being overran with votes every week; however, if you guys would prefer to just post in the thread, we'll do it like that from here on out.

The survey is a ranking...your top pick should be 1, second pick should be 2, etc. That way, even if your first pick isn't the winner, your other picks still count towards the eventual winner. You don't have to rank all the films, only the ones you care about. (That's another thing I think I'll prefer doing it as an online survey...Survey Monkey can do all the math for me.)
posted by Ian A.T. at 3:34 PM on July 12, 2015 [2 favorites]

Nice, a lot more people than I thought ended up voting! And this week's winner is...
The Last Métro
François Truffaut, 1974
During the French occupation, a small Parisian theatre battles censorship, antisemitism and material shortages.
I've added it to the calendar for this Friday afternoon! Click the link above to watch it for free on Hulu.

The voting was actually really close...the Truffaut only beat out Goddard's Vivre sa vie by two-tenths of a point, and the two were tied right up to the last vote.

Also, the rankings led to an interesting result: more people had Cléo from 5 to 7 as their top choice than either of the two movies above. It didn't win, though, because fewer people chose it as their non-first place pick, whereas both The Last Metro and Vivre sa vie consistently ranked in people's top five.

If you voted for either Cléo from 5 to 7 or Vivre sa vie, would you like us to add either to our schedule of upcoming films for late August? They won't be free by then, of course, but if you're a Hulu subscriber that won't matter.

Also, what did you guys think of the ranking survey I used? I personally think it makes the most sense for something like this, but if y'all didn't dig it we could try something different.

Finally: I'm glad I'm not a gambler...I was sure that the vote was going to be a blowout for The Red Balloon, but it only came in fifth.
posted by Ian A.T. at 9:24 PM on July 14, 2015

I've been planning to suggest Cleo from 5 to 7 at some point. Agnes Varda is brilliant.
posted by ernielundquist at 9:22 AM on July 15, 2015

I just added it for August 18...I've been wanting to see it as well.
posted by Ian A.T. at 3:42 PM on July 15, 2015 [1 favorite]

For the week of July 17, the theme is "Through The Eyes Of A Child," featuring eight films about childhood:
The Spirit of the Beehive
Víctor Erice, 1973
A sensitive seven-year-old girl living in 1940 in a small Spanish village is traumatized after viewing the movie "Frankenstein" and drifts into her own fantasy world.

Where Is My Friend’s House
Abbas Kiarostami, 1987
A conscientious schoolboy tries to return his friend's notebook in a neighboring village to help save the boy from getting expelled.

Au revoir les enfants
Louis Malle, 1987
The top student at a French boarding school run by priests gets a new roommate.

Robert Bresson, 1967
The story of a girl entering adolescence, the daughter of a bullying alcoholic father and ailing mother set in a rural French village.

L’enfance nue / Naked Childhood
Maurice Pialat, 1968
A ten-year-old boy feels unwanted when his mother places him in a home for wayward children.

Being Two Isn’t Easy
Kon Ichikawa, 1962
The trials, tribulations, and joys of a family with a boy coming up on his second birthday.

Zazie dans le métro
Louis Malle, 1960
A 10-year-old girl staying with her uncle manages to evade his watchful eye and sets out to explore the city on her own.

Alan King, 1967
A documentary about the lives of emotionally disturbed children housed in a facility in a Toronto suburb.
Click here to vote for your picks. The survey is a ranking...your top pick should be 1, second pick should be 2, etc. That way, even if your first pick isn't the winner, your other picks still count towards the eventual winner. You don't have to rank all the films, only the ones you care about.
posted by Ian A.T. at 1:32 PM on July 17, 2015 [2 favorites]

Spirit Of The Beehive jumped to first place early in the voting (after I cast the first vote, ha ha), but Au revoir les enfants quickly overtook the lead and by the end of the voting was the runaway winner. So, I just added it to the queue for Friday!

Thanks again for voting, everyone.
posted by Ian A.T. at 4:45 PM on July 21, 2015

For the week of July 24, the theme is "Art House 90s," featuring "some of the most important foreign and independent movies" from that decade:
The Double Life of Véronique
Krzysztof Kieślowski, 1991
A Polish choir soprano and her double, a French music teacher do not know each other, yet share a mysterious and emotional bond that transcends language and geography.

Taste of Cherry
Abbas Kiarostami,
A middle-aged man drives through Tehran offering a large sum of money to anyone who can carry out the task of burying him after he has died.

An Angel at My Table
Jane Campion, 1990
A film following a New Zealand woman from her youth in a poor family, through her years in a mental institution and into her writing years after her escape.

Lynne Ramsay, 1999
During Scotland’s national garbage strike of the mid-1970s, a poor adolescent boy struggles to reconcile his dreams and his guilt with the abjection that surrounds him.

Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 1997
A frustrated detective deals with the case of several gruesome murders committed by people who have no recollection of what they've done.

Before the Rain
Milcho Manchevski, 1994
Set against a background of political turbulence in Macedonia and London, the film presents three stories focusing on tragic and ill-fated love affairs.

Steven Soderbergh, 1996
A speechwriter for a self-help corporation discovers that his wife is having an affair with his doppelganger, a dentist.

Emporte-moi / Set Me Free
Léa Pool, 1999
A girl struggles with her sexuality and the depression of both her parents as she goes through puberty in Quebec in 1963.
Click here to vote for your picks. The survey is a ranking...your top pick should be 1, second pick should be 2, etc. That way, even if your first pick isn't the winner, your other picks still count towards the eventual winner. You don't have to rank all the films, only the ones you care about.
posted by Ian A.T. at 4:14 PM on July 24, 2015

So, apparently the 90s revival hasn't hit FanFare yet! There was only one vote this week, so we're just gonna skip this week's free film and try again on Friday.

If you were the person who voted, you and I actually both voted for the same film, so if you'd like to watch it with me, hit me up on MeFi Mail and we'll work something out!
posted by Ian A.T. at 6:47 PM on July 29, 2015

For the week of July 31, the theme is "1966," featuring films from "one of the richest movie years of all time":
Persona (Ingmar Bergman)
A young nurse attends to a well-known stage actress who has suddenly ceased to speak.

The Battle of Algiers
(Gillo Pontecorvo)
In the 1950s, fear and violence escalate as the people of Algiers fight for independence from the French government.

Closely Watched Trains (Jiří Menzel)
An apprentice train dispatcher at a village station seeks his first sexual encounter and becomes despondent when he is unable to perform.

Masculin féminin (Jean-Luc Godard)
A romantic young idealist and literary wannabe romantically pursues a budding pop star.

Wings (Larisa Shepitko)
A once-heroic Soviet fighter pilot, is now living a quiet, disappointingly ordinary life as a school principal.

Chafed Elbows (Robert Downey)
There is no way I could even attempt to abridge this description: "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."

Violence at Noon (Nagisa Oshima)
A violent rapist is seen through the recollections of his wife and one of his victims.

Law of the Border (Ömer Lütfi Akad)
In order to keep his ailing son alive, an impoverished man agrees to sneak a herd of sheep across the border.

(Also free this week are two films we've already covered in the Criterion On Hulu film club: Au hasard Balthazar and Daisies.)
Click here to vote for your picks. The survey is a ranking...your top pick should be 1, second pick should be 2, etc. That way, even if your first pick isn't the winner, your other picks still count towards the eventual winner. You don't have to rank all the films, only the ones you care about.
posted by Ian A.T. at 2:43 PM on July 31, 2015 [1 favorite]

I knew when I posted the summary for Chafed Elbows that it would be the movie to get the most votes, and I was right: the free movie we'll be discussing on Friday afternoon is Robert Downey's madcap masterpiece, streamable on Hulu here. Thanks to everyone who voted!
posted by Ian A.T. at 8:58 AM on August 5, 2015

This week's selection of free films "highlights the brief but forceful 'Sun Tribe' film movement in Japan that began in the 1950s. The term 'Sun Tribe' referred to a disillusioned post–World War II youth generation, and Japanese studios raced to make films to appeal to them." The films are:
Crazed Fruit, Ko Nakahira
I Am Waiting, Takumi Furukawa
The Perfect Game, Toshio Masuda
The Sun’s Burial, Nagisa Oshima
Cruel Story of Youth, Nagisa Oshima
The Warped One, Koreyoshi Kurahara
Everything Goes Wrong, Seijun Suzuki
This is a really fascinating topic and a nice window into an era of World Cinema, of course, but I'm not sure the wider appeal is there to open this up to a vote. Let's give ernielundquist the week off and try again next week.

However, if anyone would like to have a Fanfare discussion about any of these, drop me a note and I'll organize a watch.
posted by Ian A.T. at 3:01 PM on August 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

Someone contacted me over MeFi Mail to request that we do one of these films this week. So, we'll be discussing I Am Waiting on Friday afternoon.
An ex-boxer is roped into the criminal underworld when he falls for a mysterious young woman fleeing her gangster boss.
Sounds fun! You can stream it here.
posted by Ian A.T. at 8:43 AM on August 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

For the week of August 14, the theme is "We Love The Nightlife," featuring films about "party girls, cabaret singers, and lounge lizards":
Jacques Tati, 1967
With every inch of its superwide frame crammed with hilarity and inventiveness, Playtime is a lasting testament to a modern age tiptoeing on the edge of oblivion.

Pandora’s Box
Georg Wilhelm Pabst, 1929
Sensationally modern, Pandora's Box follows the downward spiral of the fiery, brash, yet innocent showgirl Lulu, whose sexual vivacity has a devastating effect on everyone she comes in contact with.

Jacques Demy, 1961
Demy’s crystalline debut gave birth to the fictional universe in which so many of his characters would live, play, and love. It’s among his most profoundly felt films, a tale of crisscrossing lives in Nantes.

French Cancan
Jean Renoir, 1954
The wily impresario Danglard makes the cancan all the rage while juggling the love of two beautiful women: an Egyptian belly-dancer and a naive working girl turned cancan star.

One Way Ticket to Love
Masahiro Shinoda, 1960
Shinoda's debut film portrays the romantic lives of a group of young night club entertainers.

Tokyo Drifter
Seijun Suzuki, 1966
In this free-jazz gangster film, reformed killer "Phoenix" Tetsu drifts around Japan, awaiting his own execution, until he's called back to Tokyo to help battle a rival gang.

The Great Beauty
Paolo Sorrentino, 2013
For decades journalist Jep Gambardella has charmed his way through the glittering nightlife of Rome. Featuring sensuous cinematography, a lush score, and a stunning performance by Toni Servillo, this film is a breathtaking tale of decadence and lost love.
Click here to vote for your picks. The survey is a ranking...your top pick should be 1, second pick should be 2, etc. That way, even if your first pick isn't the winner, your other picks still count towards the eventual winner. You don't have to rank all the films, only the ones you care about.
posted by Ian A.T. at 9:54 AM on August 15, 2015

It came down to the last vote, but Pandora's Box is the winner this week. You can stream it here. (Or on YouTube.)
posted by Ian A.T. at 1:37 PM on August 18, 2015 [2 favorites]

For the week of August 21, Criterion is having a free Robert Bresson film festival on Hulu:
Pickpocket (1959)
This incomparable tale of crime and redemption follows Michel, a young pickpocket who spends his days working the streets, subway cars, and train stations of Paris. As his compulsion grows, however, so too does his fear that his luck is about to run out.

A Man Escaped (1956)
Lt. Fontaine has little to lose in his effort to escape prison, as he is certain that he will be executed if the normal course of events are allowed to their conclusion.

L'Argent (1983)
An innocent turns to crime after coming into possession of a counterfeit 500 Franc note.

Mouchette (1967)
Faced with a dying mother, an absent, alcoholic father, and a baby brother in need of care, teenaged Mouchette seeks solace in nature and daily routine, a respite from her economic and pubescent turmoil.

Les dames du Bois de Bologne (1945)
A society lady connives to initiate a scandalous affair between her aristocratic ex-lover and a prostitute.

The Trial Of Joan Of Arc (1962)
A stark and beautifully compact retelling of the Joan of Arc tale based on the actual surviving records of her trial. Not to be confused with Dryer's The Passion Of Joan Of Arc.
(Also free this week is a film we've already covered in the Criterion On Hulu film club, Au hasard Balthazar.)

Click here to vote for your picks. The survey is a ranking...your top pick should be 1, second pick should be 2, etc. That way, even if your first pick isn't the winner, your other picks still count towards the eventual winner. You don't have to rank all the films, only the ones you care about.
posted by Ian A.T. at 4:39 PM on August 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

I continue to be happily surprised with the number of people voting each week.

The winner is Pickpocket, which we'll be discussing on Friday. You can stream it here.
posted by Ian A.T. at 5:14 PM on August 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

This week Criterion is hosting two free film festivals: one based on Ingmar Bergman and one based on "the working man." I'm not really sure how to set this up for a vote though...throw them all into one survey? do two separate movies? skip this week?

What do you guys think?
posted by Ian A.T. at 2:38 PM on August 28, 2015

My feeling is if they're going to offer two free movies, we should put two movies into the club. One for Bergman's 100th birthday, the other for the "Workers Unite!" theme.

Of course that's easy for me to say having just caught all the way up last night.
posted by ob1quixote at 4:51 PM on August 28, 2015

By popular demand (?) we'll be doing two movies this Friday. The first will be an Ingrid Bergman film in honor of the actress' 100th birthday:
Roberto Rossellini, 1950
A Lithuanian refugee finds the landscape of her fisherman husband's native island to be as hostile as its inhabitants.

Europe ’51
Roberto Rossellini, 1952
A wealthy Rome socialite is racked by guilt over the death of her young son. (Hulu streams the English-language version.)

Journey to Italy
Roberto Rossellini, 1954
A couple in a declining marriage take a trip from England to the countryside near Naples.

Roberto Rossellini, 1954
An adulterous, anxiety-ridden wife is blackmailed by the jealous ex-girlfriend of her lover.

Elena and Her Men
Roberto Renoir, 1956
A beautiful but impoverished princess catches the eye of a famous general, and finds herself at the center of political scheming.

Autumn Sonata
Ingmar Bergman, 1978
A married daughter who longs for her mother's love gets visited by the latter, a successful concert pianist.
Click here to vote for your picks. As always, the survey is a ranking...your top pick should be 1, second pick should be 2, etc. That way, even if your first pick isn't the winner, your other picks still count towards the eventual winner. You don't have to rank all the films, only the ones you care about.

The second film we're watching this week is from the "Workers Unite," a series about the plights of workers all over the world. These films include:
Modern Times
Charlie Chaplin, 1936
A giddily inept factory employee becomes smitten with a gorgeous gamine.

La bête humaine
Jean Renoir, 1938
A hard-boiled and suspenseful journey into the tormented psyche of a workingman.

Tout va bien
Jean-Luc Godard (with Jean Pierre Gorin), 1972
A wildcat strike at a sausage factory is witnessed by an American reporter and her has-been New Wave film director husband.

The Proud Valley
Pen Tennyson, 1940
An American sailor joins rank-and-file Welsh miners organizing against the powers that be.

The Organizer
Mario Monicelli, 1963
Textile factory workers in Turin, Italy, go on strike.

Man Is Not a Bird
Dušan Makavejev, 1965
An antic, free-form portrait of the love lives of two less-than-heroic men who labor in a copper factory.

Humain, trop humain
Louis Malle, 1973
A documentary on a group of French factory workers.

Une chambre en ville
Jacques Demy, 1982
During a workers’ strike in Nantes, a young woman wishes to leave her brutish husband for an earthy steelworker, though he is involved with another.

A Flame at the Pier
Masahiro Shinoda, 1962
A young dockworker who owes his life to his boss becomes embroiled in union activity.
Click here to vote for your picks. The same rules as above apply.

(Sorry this is posting so's been a busy weekend.)
posted by Ian A.T. at 2:28 PM on August 30, 2015

Well, I guess the demand wasn't as popular as I thought! Aside from me, nobody voted for an Ingrid Bergman film, and only one person voted for a Workers Unite film. That person's top pick was Jean Renoir's 1938 film La Bête Humaine, so that's the film we'll be doing on Friday. You can stream it here.


A small scheduling note: on Fridays, I've been posting the film thread in the early afternoon, then putting together next week's survey. However, it occurs to me that if the Friday thread makes someone interested in the next week's survey, it won't be up yet. So I'm going to start putting together the survey first, then posting the previous winner's thread.

Why am I even mentioning this? Because Criterion's blog can be a little flaky about when they post the next week's films—sometimes it's early on Friday, sometimes it's in the evening—so the Friday thread may get pushed from the afternoon and into the the PM hours, depending on when Criterion updates their blog.

Literally nobody except me cares about this, but I thought I'd share.
posted by Ian A.T. at 6:44 PM on September 1, 2015

Ian A.T.: “Well, I guess the demand wasn't as popular as I thought! Aside from me, nobody voted for an Ingrid Bergman film, and only one person voted for a Workers Unite film.”
That's curious, because I voted in both. I was presented with a "thanks for voting" screen that made me think it had worked.
posted by ob1quixote at 7:46 PM on September 1, 2015

I hasten to add, you'd know which vote was mine at least in "Workers Unite!" because you can easily guess which one I rated 1st. (And it wasn't La Bête Humaine.)
posted by ob1quixote at 7:48 PM on September 1, 2015

So, I had a big emergency where I got a last minute three day ticket to Riot Fest, and as a result have gotten pretty far behind in my movie watching what with my busy schedule of headbanging and other partying responsibilities. But I plan to watch the current movies and then get to the backlog.

So I haven't voted, but I plan to get back up to speed now, and I just want everyone to know I'm still in and my absence was temporary.
posted by ernielundquist at 8:21 PM on September 1, 2015

Oh no! I actually started to write you a MeFi Mail asking you if you'd voted, since it seemed weird that you'd suggest we do two movies then not vote for both, but I couldn't figure out a way to word it that didn't seem naggy or passive-aggressive, so I closed the tab.

If we have this problem again, I'll find another online voting service.

We have a free slot a week from Monday, why don't you add your pick there?
posted by Ian A.T. at 9:55 PM on September 1, 2015

Maybe none of my votes have worked? I just tried again, and got a screen that I thought meant thanks, but maybe it's not recording my vote because I don't have an account?

I, of course, picked the Shinoda film A Flame at the Pier as my number 1 in the Labory Day survey (currently #47 in my queue), so I'll slot it in if that suits. I'm not sure I want to spend a Monday slot on it though. I note we haven't had a Kinoshita or Naruse film yet.
posted by ob1quixote at 3:08 AM on September 2, 2015

Hmm, it's still not showing your votes. Well, that's troubling.

Does anyone have an objection to just voting here in the thread? The reason I haven't done that in the past is that I fudge the numbers in favor of other voters; that is, I always eliminated my vote if it was the deciding factor. Before I could hide that, but now you guys will "catch" me!

ob1quixote, I'm issuing you a coupon redeemable for a Free Friday Pick. If I put up a survey with a movie you really want to see, just slap down your coupon and we'll do that one.
posted by Ian A.T. at 9:26 AM on September 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

The theme for the week of September 4 is "Back to School." The films include:
The Freshman
Sam Taylor and Fred Newmeyer, 1925
Harold Lloyd’s biggest hit was this silent comedy gem, featuring the everyman at his eager best. Though he dreams of being a big man on campus, the freshman’s plans inevitably go awry in this gleeful showcase for Lloyd’s slapstick brilliance and charm.

Days of Youth
Yasujiro Ozu, 1929
Two college friends court the same woman.

Zéro de conduite / Zero For Conduct
Jean Vigo, 1933
So effervescent and charming that one can easily forget its importance in film history, Jean Vigo’s enormously influential portrait of prankish boarding-school students is one of cinema’s great acts of rebellion.

Where Now Are the Dreams of Youth?
Yasujiro Ozu, 1932
When a young man inherits his father's lucrative business, he cheats the system to set up three of his college friends with jobs.

Alf Sjöberg, 1944
A boarding-school senior is terrorized by his sadistic Latin teacher.

Youth in Fury
Masahiro Shinoda, 1960
An alienated young man flirts with extremism during a major student protest.

Sing, Young People
Keisuke Kinoshita, 1963
A college student receives a surprising offer to be a movie star.

A Modern Coed
Eric Rohmer, 1966
An examination of the lifestyles of female college students in 1966.

Akira Kurosawa, 1993
Kurosawa's final film is composed of distinct episodes based on Hyakken Uchida's writings that illustrate the affection and loyalty felt between Uchida and his students.

The Garden of Women
Keisuke Kinoshita, 1954
A student at a woman's university takes a controversial action against the school's old-fashioned doctrines.
Click here to vote. Because of issues we're having with SurveyMonkey, we're trying out a different service, and it's a little different: instead of numbering your choices, you just drag them into the order you prefer. (Unfortunately, there's no way to not vote for something.) Be sure to click the "Finish Sorting" button at the bottom before you submit. If you have any issues voting, please let me know.
posted by Ian A.T. at 10:12 PM on September 4, 2015

I re-examined my ScriptSafe settings and I found that while I had allowed JavaScript for SurveyMonkey, the site asked to load a script after that which I was blocking. I have confirmed with Ian A.T. that it works now.

You must allow JavaScript from both of the following domains for your SurveyMonkey votes to actually count:
The site may not ask to load from the secure sub-domain until after you've allowed the main domain. That was my mistake.
posted by ob1quixote at 12:59 AM on September 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

The voting was very close this more than 3 points separated the tenth-place film and the eventual winner: Sing, Young People, which you can stream here.

Since the votes were so tight this week, if anyone wants to make the case for their top pick, we'll do that film as well. (This is true every week; all I care about is having films in the club that generate good discussions among the members.)
posted by Ian A.T. at 9:34 AM on September 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

Hey guys...I have a big work deadline and relatives visiting, so the free films vote won't be up until later. Here's the Criterion blog post about this week's films, however, if you want to start thinking about what you'd like to see.

However, even if it doesn't win, I highly recommend To Be Or Not To Be. It's an astonishing film, a bracing black comedy with a surprisingly modern insouciance. The opening's narrative twists and turns is right out of a Charlie Kaufman film. I was actually going to mention To Be Or Not To Be in the thread for the The Last Metro, because To Be plays like a comedic remake of the later film, and it would be .

ob1quixote, do you mind posting the Sing, Young People thread? If you can't get to it, I'll just post it later tonight.
posted by Ian A.T. at 2:18 PM on September 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

and it would be .
Um, I'm not sure what I was going to say here, probably something like "and it would be a great pairing with the Truffault movie."

The theme for the week of September 11 is Spies, featuring "espionage, international intrigue, and double crosses, running the gamut from Hollywood favorites to British thrillers to Japanese action classics."
Foreign Correspondent
Alfred Hitchcock, 1940
A hapless hero tries to stay in front of a glib-tongued spy-master.

To Be or Not to Be

Ernst Lubitsch, 1942
Set in Warsaw, Poland, during and after the German invasion of 1939, this comedy-drama mixed dedicated Nazis, ham actors, and earnest pilots and resistance fighters into a surprisingly (and, in 1942, uncomfortably) entertaining topical satire.

Jun Fukuda, 1965
After being mistaken for an Interpol agent, a man who was just supposed to go on vacation gets mixed up in a war between two gangs intent on winning the favor of a notorious arms dealer. (aka 100 Shot, 100 Killed)

Samurai Spy

Masahiro Shinoda, 1965
Years of warfare end in a Japan unified under the Tokugawa shogunate, and samurai spy Sasuke Sarutobi, tired of conflict, longs for peace. When a high-ranking spy named Tatewaki Koriyama defects from the shogun to a rival clan, however, the world of swordsmen is thrown into turmoil.


Ronald Neame, 1980
A smart and stylish tale of international intrigue and a cat-and-mouse comedy.

The Spy in Black

Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger, 1939
During World War I, a German U-Boat captain is sent to Scotland on a spy mission, but he finds more than he bargained for in his contact, the local schoolmistress.

(Also streaming this week is Golden Eyes, the 1968 sequel to Ironfinger.)
Click here to cast your vote. Since ob1quixote resolved his issue with SurveyMonkey — and posted help for anyone else blocking Javascript — we're going to move back to that. Remember that you only have to vote for the films you care about.
posted by Ian A.T. at 7:02 PM on September 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

I hope I didn't unfairly sway the vote this week, because the unanimous winner is To Be Or Not To Be, which you can stream here.
posted by Ian A.T. at 6:36 PM on September 15, 2015 [1 favorite]

Not sure what's going on, but Criterion hasn't posted their free film selection yet. I'll post our vote when it updates.
posted by Ian A.T. at 10:14 AM on September 19, 2015

Criterion has finally updated their list of free films on Hulu, and this week they're spotlighting "a comedy legend you may not know, though he bears comparison to Jerry Lewis and Jacques Tati. The series of features made in the 1960s by the circus clown turned master filmmaker Pierre Etaix demonstrate what an accomplished practitioner of both physical comedy and cultural criticism he was."
Beginning as a clever homage to silent film, complete with intertitles, Yoyo blossoms into a poignant family saga that is director Pierre Etaix’s most beloved movie, as well as his personal favorite.

Le Grand Amour
Despite having a loving and patient wife at home, a good-natured suit-and-tie man, played by writer-director Pierre Etaix, finds himself hopelessly attracted to his gorgeous new secretary in this gently satirical tale of temptation.

As Long As You've Got Your Health
In this endlessly diverting compendium of four short films, Pierre Etaix regards the 1960s from his askew but astute perspectives on domestic life, consumer culture, and landscapes both urban and rural.

The Suitor
Pierre Etaix’s first feature introduces the droll humor and oddball charm of its unique writer-director-star in this story of a sheltered young man who sets out to find a young woman to marry.

Land Of Milk And Honey
Pierre Etaix’s most radical film, Land of Milk and Honey is a fascinating investigative documentary about post–May ’68 French society.

Le Havre
Aki Kaurismäki, 2011
Fate throws young African refugee Idrissa into the path of Marcel Marx, a well-spoken shoeshiner. With innate optimism and the unwavering support of his community, Marcel stands up to officials doggedly pursuing the boy for deportation. [Etaix appears as an actor in this film.]

[Also streaming for free this week is the previously covered Pickpocket, in which Etaix played a member of the pickpocket gang. Unfortunately not streaming is The Day The Clown Cried, the infamous and unreleased Jerry Lewis film about the Holocaust, in which Etaix played Lewis' nemesis.]
Click here to cast your vote. As always, this vote is a ranking and you don't have to vote for every film...only the ones you care about.
posted by Ian A.T. at 9:17 AM on September 21, 2015

Unsurprisingly, nobody was interested in "the French Jerry Lewis." (If you did vote, please drop a note here...we could be having problems with Survey Monkey again.) So, no Free Film this week.

I'm going to watch Le Havre this week, however. If anyone else wants to watch it as well, let me know and I'll make a thread on Friday.
posted by Ian A.T. at 2:17 PM on September 22, 2015

Not too crazy about this week's selections, so let's keep it casual: if anyone sees something they'd like to watch, let us know in this thread and I'll add it to the schedule for next Friday.
posted by Ian A.T. at 6:28 PM on September 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

"Power-mad leaders, guilty murderers, and others are constantly looking over their shoulders in this week’s festival of free Criterion films on Hulu, titled Paranoia! And it’s an international human condition, as demonstrated by these titles from around the world..."
Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1954
After a sadistic headmaster brutalizes his fragile wife and his headstrong mistress, the two women murder him and dump his body in a swimming pool. When the pool is drained, no corpse is found. Criterion presents Diabolique in a digital transfer.

Knife in the Water
Roman Polanski, 1962
When a young hitchhiker joins a couple on a weekend yacht trip, psychological warfare breaks out as the two men compete for the woman's attention.

Richard III
Laurence Olivier, 1955
Olivier’s performance, viewed as the greatest of his career, charges Richard with magnetic malevolence as he steals his brother Edward’s crown through a murderous set of machinations.

The Confession
Costa-Gavras, 1970
A Czechoslovakian minister is arrested and forced to confess to acts of treason.

The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum
Volker Schlöndorff and Margarethe von Trotta, 1975
When Katharina Blum spends the night with an alleged terrorist, her quiet, ordered life falls into ruins. Suddenly a suspect, Katharina is subject to a vicious smear campaign by the police and a ruthless tabloid journalist.

Secret Honor
Robert Altman, 1984
In Robert Altman's searing interrogation of presidential mystique and unchecked paranoia, a disgraced Richard Milhous Nixon sits sequestered in his home, armed with a bottle of scotch and a gun, to record memoirs that no one will hear.

The Ear
Karel Kachnya, 1970
After learning that a number of his colleagues have been terminated, a government official discovers that his house has been bugged.

[If anyone objects to the Club covering a Polanksi film, please MeFi Mail me and I'll remove it from the running.]
Click here to cast your vote. As always, this vote is a ranking and you don't have to vote for every film...only the ones you care about.
posted by Ian A.T. at 11:55 AM on October 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

And the winner by a single vote is...The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum, which you can stream here.

As always, if anyone wants to make the case for their pick, we'll post that one as well.

There won't be a vote posted on Friday...we lost Chantal Akerman this week, and I scheduled her masterpiece Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles for next Friday. However, I may still post the free films as a community service.
posted by Ian A.T. at 4:20 PM on October 6, 2015 [2 favorites]

"We’re turning the spotlight on Soviet Cinema for this week’s festival of free films on Hulu. These films span thirty years, from the postwar forties to the seventies, and show the range of voices and artistry that emerged from an otherwise constrictive environment."
The Ascent
Larisa Shepitk, 1976
Two peasant soldiers, cut off from their troop, trudge through the snowy backwoods of Belarus seeking refuge among villagers.

The Cranes Are Flying

Mikhail Kalatozov, 1957
Veronica and Boris are blissfully in love, until the eruption of World War II tears them apart. Boris is sent to the front lines…and then communication stops.

Ivan the Terrible, Parts I & II
Sergei Eisenstein, 1944-55
The story of the troubled sixteenth-century tsar who united Russia.

Ivan’s Childhood
Andrei Tarkovsky, 1962
The debut feature from the great Andrei Tarkovsky, Ivan’s Childhood is an evocative, poetic journey through the shadows and shards of one boy’s war-torn youth.

Andrei Tarkovsky, 1972
Ground control has been receiving strange transmissions from the Solaris space station. When cosmonaut and psychologist Kris Kelvin is sent to investigate, he experiences the nightmarish phenomena that afflict the Solaris crew.

Larisa Shepitko, 1966
Suffocated by modern day living, a buttoned-down headmistress reminisces about her glory days as a World War II pilot.

Ballad of a Soldier
Grigori Chukhrai, 1959
Russian soldier Alyosha is granted a visit with his mother after he single-handedly fends off two enemy tanks. As he journeys home, Alyosha encounters the devastation of his war-torn country, witnesses glimmers of hope among the people, and falls in love.

Letter Never Sent
Mikhail Kalatozov, 1960
A group of Russian geologists hunting for diamonds in Siberia becomes trapped by a forest fire.

Nine Days of One Year

Mikhail Romm, 1962
A young scientist becomes sick with radiation poisoning, but his love for his work, his wife and mankind help him pull through.
Click here to cast your vote. As always, this vote is a ranking and you don't have to vote for every film...only the ones you care about.
posted by Ian A.T. at 6:46 PM on October 16, 2015

Apparently, most of you are good Reagan-loving patriots and wisely avoided participating in anything "Soviet," but it seems we have a fifth columnist in the Criterion club, a godless commie who actually cast a vote. Therefore, on Friday, we'll be discussing their top choice—Tarkovsky's Solaris—instead of a morally upstanding film made by a decent hardworking American.
posted by Ian A.T. at 7:37 PM on October 20, 2015 [2 favorites]

HEY. Now it's my vote didn't get counted!

I'm good with Tarkovsky, and have had that in my queue for a while. Just FYI that I also tried to vote.

(My computer is ailing and I just got the parts in today, so I've been using some pretty quaint and non-standard systems the past week or two, and I probably tried to vote with my blender or something.)
posted by ernielundquist at 8:54 PM on October 20, 2015

Ugh, I'm sorry...that sucks. What was your top film? We could do two over the weekend.

We've been doing the Friday films for a few months now. How are you guys feeling about them? Are two films a week too much to keep up with?
posted by Ian A.T. at 6:16 PM on October 21, 2015

I think my #1 was The Ascent, but thing is, the other day I rewatched Tarkovsky's Nostalghia and was thinking how great that is, and that I need to watch Solaris soon because I haven't seen it. So had I had the chance, I may have changed my vote to watch that anyway.

IOW, I am very happy with this turn of events, and there's no need to add another movie to the schedule. I'm feeling pretty Tarkovskyish right about now.

As to the big question, I can mostly keep up with the schedule we decide because I watch waaay too many movies, but the response is kind of tepid, isn't it? If the polls are only getting a vote or two on the regular, it seems like that's putting a lot of work on you. Maybe we could just do some sort of community flash announcement thing? Like if one of us sees something in the free selection we want to cover, we can just take the initiative ourselves? Post here to see if anyone else is in or even just put it in the free queue by fiat?
posted by ernielundquist at 7:55 PM on October 21, 2015

Hi guys...I've felt really crummy all weekend. Is it okay if we do Solaris next Friday?
posted by Ian A.T. at 3:37 PM on October 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

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