David Lynch’s ‘Mulholland Dr.’ on The Criterion Channel

Mulholland Dr. (2001) – David Lynch pulled a near magic trick in what can only be an exercise in creative rewriting and re-conception. Taking an open ended TV pilot rejected by the networks, he added 45 minutes and created closure in a weird, mystical logic that, in its unique Lynchian way, makes a twisted emotional […]

Mick Jagger and James Fox in the 1970 film by Nicolas Roeg and Donald Cammell

‘Performance’ – British crime and counterculture collide on The Criterion Channel

Performance (1970) may have been released in 1970 but this collision of London gangster machismo and drug culture, where “Nothing is true; everything is permitted,” is unmistakably a product of the sixties. Mick Jagger makes his feature acting debut as Turner, a reclusive rock star in a dilapidated manor home in a London slum, but […]

What to stream: ‘Good Omens’ on Amazon, ‘When They See Us’ on Netflix, ‘Deadwood’ ends on HBO

Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Now, video-on-demand, and other streaming services … Michael Sheen is an epicurean angel and David Tennant a rebellious demon who team up to stop Armageddon in the Amazon Original limited series Good Omens (2019), a comic fantasy scripted by Neil Gaiman […]

Samantha Robinson is The Love Witch in Anna Biller's retro-styled feminist / horror / fantasy / melodrama

‘The Love Witch’ – Sex, magic, and sixties style on The Criterion Channel

The Love Witch (2016), Anna Biller’s collision of feminism, romantic fantasy, power, sex, and horror opens with its cool heroine Elaine (Samantha Robinson), a slim, raven-haired beauty with a smear of turquoise eye shadow and eyelashes like wings, driving up the Pacific Coast Highway in a candy apple red convertible and matching outfit. She could […]

Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame star, Nicholas Ray directs from the Dorothy B. Hughes novel

Nicholas Ray’s ‘In a Lonely Place’ on The Criterion Channel

In a Lonely Place (1950) hasn’t much to do with the Dorothy B. Hughes novel on which it was ostensibly based, beyond the title (one of the most evocative in noir history), the Los Angeles setting, and the murder of a young woman that puts our ostensible hero, volatile, hard-drinking Hollywood screenwriter Dixon Steele (Humphrey […]

James Cagney stars in the gangster classic from Raoul Walsh

‘White Heat’ – James Cagney on top of the world on The Criterion Channel

“Made it, ma. Top of the world!” One of the greatest gangster classics of all time, White Heat (1949) stars James Cagney in an explosive performance as psychotic career criminal Cody Jarrett, driven over the edge by blinding headaches and murderous rages that only his mother can calm. Until, that is, she’s murdered while he’s […]

What to stream: ‘Wine Country’ and ‘Wandering Earth’ on Netflix, ‘Chernobyl’ on HBO, World War I revisited on VOD

Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Now, video-on-demand, and other streaming services … Peter Jackson brings history to life in They Shall Not Grow Old (2018, R), a documentary on the experience of British soldiers in World War I created entirely from archival footage and interviews. The […]

Constance Bennett and Lowell Sherman in the original pre-code 'Star is Born' from George Cukor

‘What Price Hollywood?’ – the pre-code ‘A Star is Born’ on The Criterion Channel

What Price Hollywood? (1932) is one of the wittiest and most interesting Hollywood movies about Hollywood culture ever made. It’s a shame it’s not better known. This pre-code comedy stars Constance Bennett as an aspiring actress waiting tables at The Brown Derby who gets her big break when a drunken film director (Lowell Sherman) invites […]

What to stream: ‘Suspira’ remade on Amazon, ‘Knock Down the House’ and ‘Burning’ on Netflix, ‘Ms. Fisher’ on Acorn

Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Now, video-on-demand, and other streaming services … Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria (2018, R) is less a remake of Dario Argento’s cult horror movie than a reimagining of the story of an American dancer (Dakota Johnson) in a German dance company run by […]

‘Adua and Her Friends’ on The Criterion Channel

Adua and Her Friends (Italy, 1960) are prostitutes from a Rome brothel attempting to take charge of their own lives after their place is shut down in the aftermath of Italy’s Merlin Law, which ended legalized prostitution in 1958. Adua (Simone Signoret), a veteran of the life, has a plan to open a restaurant as […]