Helen Shaver and Patricia Charbonneau star in the film by Donna Deitch

‘Desert Hearts’ – an American indie landmark on The Criterion Channel

An early example of modern American independent cinema and a landmark film in the presentation of same-sex romance in American movies, Desert Hearts (1985) follows the journey of Vivian (Helen Shaver), a college professor who arrives in Reno for a six-week stay at a vacation ranch set up for women who have come to Nevada […]

François Leterrier in the 1956 Robert Bresson film

‘A Man Escaped’ – Robert Bresson’s prison break on The Criterion Channel

“This story is true. I give it as it is, without embellishment.” That’s an understatement of an opening remark. A Man Escaped (France, 1956) is a mesmerizing meeting of opposites: a prison escape thriller directed by the austere, introspective Robert Bresson. Based on the memoir by Andre Devigny, a member of the French Resistance imprisoned […]

Victor Sjöström and Ingrid Thulin in the Swedish classic by Ingmar Bergman

Ingmar Bergman recalls the ‘Wild Strawberries’ of youth on Criterion Channel

In Wild Strawberries (Sweden, 1957), Ingmar Bergman takes that most venerable of modern genres, the road movie, and transforms it into the contemplative journey of an aging professor into his unexamined past. Victor Sjöström, one of the great Swedish director of the silent era as well as an actor (and one of Bergman’s heroes), was […]

Harry Dean Stanton in the film by Wim Wenders

‘Paris, Texas’ – Wim Wenders’ America on Criterion Channel

Winner of the Palme d’Or at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival, Paris, Texas (1984) was not Wim Wenders’ first American film—that would be Hammett (1982), which proved to be a dispiriting experience when producer Francis Ford Coppola decided to step in and re-edit Wenders’ vision to something more commercial (so much for the creative freedom […]

Yasujiro Ozu's 1932 silent family comedy 'I Was Born But.'

‘I Was Born, But…’ – Ozu’s cheeky comedy on The Criterion Channel

If all you know of Yasujiro Ozu, Japan’s national treasure of a film director in the 20th century, is the quiet restraint and rigorous simplicity of his sound films, then you only have half of the story of the director’s remarkable career. The artist called the most “Japanese” of Japanese directors was a voracious film […]

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

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

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, […]

Apichatpong Weerasethakul's 'Cemetery of Splendor' from Thailand

‘Cemetery of Splendor’ from Thailand on The Criterion Channel

In Thailand filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Cemetery of Splendor (Thailand, 2015), the world we live in and the world we dream are one and the same. An elementary school has been turned into a makeshift hospital for soldiers suffering from a mysterious sleeping sickness and Jen (Jenjira Pongpas Widner), a volunteer with a debilitating limp caused […]