Dennis Hopper is Tom Ripley in Wim Wender's take on Patricia HIghsmith

‘The American Friend’ on Criterion Channel

The American Friend (Germany, 1977) – “What’s wrong with a cowboy in Hamburg?” Dennis Hopper’s Tom Ripley is nothing like the character that Patricia Highsmith created and explored in five novels, and while Wim Wender’s adaptation of Ripley’s Game, the sequel to The Talented Mr. Ripley, remains more or less faithful to the plot (with […]

František Vláčil directs this epic from Czechoslovakia

‘Marketa Lazarova’ – Czech epic on Criterion Channel

Marketa Lazarova (Czechoslovakia, 1967), an epic based on one of the revered masterpieces of Czech literature (considered unfilmmable by many), was voted the greatest Czech film ever made in a 1998 poll of Czechoslovakian film critics and professionals. Yet it is all but unknown in the U.S., rarely revived and never on home video before […]

What to stream: ‘Jackie’ and ‘Moana’ on VOD and more

Pay-Per-View / Video-On-Demand Natalie Portman earned an Oscar nomination in Jackie as the widow of JFK in the days after his assassination. Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larrain brings his passion for political and social history to his American film debut and his perspective is illuminating. Peter Sarsgaard, Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup, and John Hurt co-star (R). […]

Carroll Baker and Ralph Meeker in the film by Jack Garfein

‘Something Wild’ – Rediscovered 1962 New York story on Criterion Channel

The 1962 Something Wild, not to be confused with the Jonathan Demme screwball comedy/thriller by the same name, is a film nurtured in an Actor’s Studio environment and shot as an early American Independent film. It’s also an unusually frank drama about a teenage girl recovering from sexual assault with a weird dramatic detour. Director […]

What to stream: 2017 Oscars and new arrivals for March

So, did you catch the drama at the Oscars on Sunday? You can relive the moment or watch the entire 89th Annual Academy Awards (not rated) on Hulu. If you just want to see the winners, these are on VOD and disc and at Redbox: Moonlight (Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actor, R), Manchester by the […]

Mia Farrow in Roman Polanski's 'Rosemary's Baby'

The original ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ on Criterion Channel

Rosemary’s Baby (1968), Roman Polanski’s American directing debut, is one of the most celebrated American horror films of all time, but horror isn’t really the right description for this film. Yes, it is about a cabal of devil worshippers in modern day (circa late 1960s) and an innocent served up to bear Satan’s child, but Polanski […]

Tony Leung Chiu-wai and Maggie Cheung in Wong Kar-Wai's award-winning film

Wong Kar-Wai’s melancholy ‘In the Mood for Love’ on FilmStruck

There may be no more sensual director in the world than Hong Kong’s Wong Kar-Wai, and In the Mood for Love (Hong Kong, 2000) is one of his richest and most melancholy works, a shadow dance of would-be lovers sketched in suggestions and intimations. Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung Chiu-Wai star as next door neighbors […]

P.J. Soles and The Ramones

‘Rock ‘n’ Roll High School’ on Criterion Channel

“Do your parents know you’re Ramones?” If Rock ‘n’ Roll High School (1979) isn’t the greatest rock and rebellion film of all time, it is certainly in the running, a pure, cheerfully juvenile blast of blitzkrieg guitar rock, Looney Tunes sight gags, teenage hormones, and rebellion against authority because it’s there. They aren’t exactly rebels […]

Juliette Binoche and William Shimell star in Abbas Kiarostami's first European production

‘Certified Copy’ on Criterion Channel and Sundance Now

The Certified Copy (2010) of Iranian master Abbas Kiarostami’s first European production refers to artworks—Why do we value a reproduction less than an original and what does authenticity even mean?—but resonates just as effectively with the art of filmmaking and its relationship to reproduction and recreation. “It’s our perception that gives it value,” to quote […]

Jean Gabin stars in Julien Divivier’s poetic French film noir

‘Pépé le Moko’ – The romance of French noir on FilmStruck

Jean Gabin was a brooding, rough working class anti-hero in France when his role as cool master criminal Pépé le Moko (France, 1937) made him an international star. Set in the Casbah of French Morroco, a labyrinth of alleys and termite-hole dwellings in an underworld slum that creates its own bustling, self-contained society within Algiers, […]