With daily thematic programming, guest curators, original documentaries, and in-depth special features, the Criterion Channel offers more than just the movies
The Criterion Collection announced the initial lineup for its new streaming service, the Criterion Channel, today. The new service will launch on April 8, 2019, with a calendar of thematic programming that includes an eclectic mix of classic and contemporary films from Hollywood and around the world, many not available anywhere else.
The Criterion Channel will host the Criterion Collection and Janus Films’ celebrated library of more than 1,000 classic and contemporary films and will also feature a constantly refreshed selection of films from a wide array of studio and independent licensors including Sony Pictures, Warner Bros., Paramount Pictures, Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM), Lionsgate, IFC Films, Kino Lorber, Cohen Media, Milestone Film and Video, Oscilloscope, Cinema Guild, Strand Releasing, Shout Factory, Film Movement, and Grasshopper Films. Additional licensors will be added in the coming months.
The service will launch April 8 in the U.S. and Canada and will be available on desktop browsers as well as through apps for Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku, iOS, and Android and Android TV devices. Subscribers who sign up by April 7 will enjoy an extended, 30-day free trial (starting April 8), reduced fees for as long as they remain subscribed, and immediate access to a new pre-launch, members-only Movie of the Week every Wednesday between now and the April 8 launch.
The April lineup kicks off with a spotlight on “Columbia Noir” featuring eleven hard-boiled classics from Columbia Pictures, including gems from Fritz Lang, Jacques Tourneur, Don Siegel, and Blake Edwards; “Directed by David Lynch,” with four features and a selection of shorts; “Screenwriter: Suso Cecchi d’Amico,” a seven-film tribute; and another seven-film series on the extraordinary French actress Simone Signoret.
All of the original Criterion programming that debuted on FilmStruck will be back on the new Channel:
  • “Adventures in Moviegoing,” which previously featured such luminaries as Guillermo del Toro, Barry Jenkins, and Mira Nair sharing their lives as moviegoers and presenting favorite films, is back with visionary film and theater director Julie Taymor in the guest programmer seat.
  • The latest installment of “Meet the Filmmakers” focuses on Charles Burnett, the pioneering African-American independent filmmaker, who revisits South Central Los Angeles with friend and fellow director Robert Townsend.
  • “Observations on Film Art,” the Channel’s fifteen-minute-a-month film school, returns with its twenty-sixth episode as Professor Jeff Smith digs into the revolutionary subjectivity of Cuban classic Memories of Underdevelopment.
  • Also returning are all ten seasons of John Pierson’s groundbreaking series Split Screen, a priceless time capsule of movie-loving culture at the turn of the millennium.
In addition to the constantly refreshed thematic programming, subscribers to the Criterion Channel will enjoy continuous access to the Criterion Collection and Janus Films’ ever-growing library of more than 1,000 feature films, 350 shorts, and 3,500 supplementary features, including trailers, introductions, behind-the-scenes documentaries, interviews, video essays, commentary tracks, and rare archival footage. The permanent film collection includes the work of such essential filmmakers as Chantal Akerman, Luis Buñuel, Jane Campion, Jean Cocteau, Joel and Ethan Coen, Carl Th. Dreyer, Federico Fellini, John Ford, Samuel Fuller, Jean-Luc Godard, Alfred Hitchcock, Shohei Imamura, Jim Jarmusch, Akira Kurosawa, David Lean, Mike Leigh, David Lynch, Kenji Mizoguchi, Mikio Naruse, Yasujiro Ozu, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, Kelly Reichardt, Susan Seidelman, Ousmane Sembène, Paolo Sorrentino, Jacques Tati, François Truffaut, Agnès Varda, Jean Vigo, Andrzej Wajda, Orson Welles, Wim Wenders, and Edward Yang, among many others.
Films in the permanent streaming library will be continuously available to all Criterion Channel subscribers at all times, regardless of whether they are being spotlighted in thematic programming. Films licensed specifically for featured thematic programming may be available for shorter periods, but all films will be available for a minimum of 90 days unless otherwise noted.
Monday, April 8
Spotlight: Columbia Noir — Eleven dark gems from the studio that epitomized the hard-boiled essence of film noir
  • My Name Is Julia Ross, Joseph H. Lewis, 1945
  • So Dark the Night, Joseph H. Lewis, 1946
  • The Big Heat, Fritz Lang, 1953
  • Human Desire, Fritz Lang, 1954
  • Drive a Crooked Road, Richard Quine, 1954
  • Pushover, Richard Quine, 1954
  • Nightfall, Jacques Tourneur, 1957
  • The Burglar, Paul Wendkos, 1957
  • The Lineup, Don Siegel, 1958
  • Murder by Contract, Irving Lerner, 1958
  • Experiment in Terror, Blake Edwards, 1962
Mildred Pierce, directed by Michael Curtiz, 1945 – Criterion Collection Edition #860
Tuesday, April 9
Short + Feature: Yearbook and Y tu mamá también — A short film by Bernardo Britto paired with Alfonso Cuarón’s beloved road movie
Wednesday, April 10
Screenwriter: Suso Cecchi d’Amico — Seven classics from the Italian screenwriter behind some of the greatest films of all time
  • Bicycle Thieves, Vittorio De Sica, 1948
  • Senso, Luchino Visconti, 1954
  • Le amiche, Michelangelo Antonioni, 1955
  • Le notti bianche, Luchino Visconti, 1957
  • Big Deal on Madonna Street, Mario Monicelli, 1958
  • Rocco and His Brothers, Luchino Visconti, 1960
  • Salvatore Giuliano, Francesco Rosi, 1962
Wanda, directed by Barbara Loden, 1970 — Criterion Collection Edition #965
Thursday, April 11
Directed by David Lynch — Visions of terror and salvation from contemporary cinema’s master of the surreal
  • Eraserhead, 1977
  • The Elephant Man, 1980
  • Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, 1992
  • Mulholland Dr., 2001
  • Six Men Getting Sick, 1967
  • The Alphabet, 1968
  • The Grandmother, 1970
  • The Amputee Version 1, 1974
  • The Amputee Version 2, 1974
  • Premonitions Following an Evil Deed, 1995
Ace in the Hole, directed by Billy Wilder, 1951 — Criterion Collection Edition #396
Friday, April 12
Double Feature: Last Hurrah for Chivalry and The Umbrellas of Cherbourg — John Woo finds unlikely inspiration in Jacques Demy’s candy-colored musical.
Jubal, directed by Delmer Daves, 1956 — Criterion Collection Edition #656
Saturday, April 13
Saturday Matinee: Bugsy Malone —Pint-sized wise guys battle it out in this irresistible all-kid gangster spoof.
Sunday, April 14
Julie Taymor’s Adventures in Moviegoing — Our guest-programmer series returns with the acclaimed stage and screen director.
  • Baby Face, Alfred E. Green, 1933
  • Great Expectations, David Lean, 1946
  • Rashomon, Akira Kurosawa, 1950
  • Sawdust and Tinsel, Ingmar Bergman, 1953
  • Nights of Cabiria, Federico Fellini, 1957
  • The Cranes Are Flying, Mikhail Kalatozov, 1957
Monday, April 15
Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day, directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1972 — Criterion Collection Edition #946
Tuesday, April 16
Short + Feature: The Silence and Taste of Cherry — Two soul-searching Iranian films grapple with mortality
Wednesday, April 17
Directed by Susanne Bier — Three intimate and explosive dramas from an auteur specializing in emotional extremes
  • Brothers, 2004
  • After the Wedding, 2006
  • In a Better World, 2010
Thursday, April 18
Kaili Blues — Bi Gan introduces his audacious feature debut, along with a related short film The Poet and Singer.
Friday, April 19
Double Feature: Hamlet and To Be or Not to Be — Laurence Olivier’s Shakespeare adaptation meets Ernst Lubitsch’s wartime farce.
Saturday, April 20
Saturday Matinee: The Kid — Charlie Chaplin pairs his lovable Tramp with a child companion in one of his best-loved films.
Sunday, April 21
Meet the Filmmakers: Charles Burnett — The director of To Sleep with Anger revisits Watts with filmmaker Robert Townsend in an intimate portrait paired with a selection of his films.
  • My Brother’s Wedding, 1983
  • To Sleep with Anger, 1990
  • Hollywood Shuffle, Robert Townsend, 1987
  • Several Friends, 1969
  • The Horse, 1973
  • When It Rains, 1995
  • The Final Insult, 1997
  • Quiet as Kept, 2007
Monday, April 22
David Simon on Paths of Glory — The creator of The Wire introduces Stanley Kubrick’s wrenching antiwar film.
Tuesday, April 23
Short + Feature: Fauve and The Wages of Fear — An Oscar-nominated short precedes Henri-Georges Clouzot’s masterful suspense film.
The Hidden Fortress, directed by Akira Kurosawa, 1958 — Criterion Collection Edition #116
Wednesday, April 24
The Virgin Suicides, directed by Sofia Coppola, 1999 — Criterion Collection Edition #920
Thursday, April 25
Killer Couples x 3 — Three couples you definitely don’t want to meet at a party
  • The Honeymoon Killers, Leonard Kastle, 1969
  • Eating Raoul, Paul Bartel, 1982
  • Sightseers, Ben Wheatley, 2012
Friday, April 26
Double Feature: Murder by Contract and Le samouraï — Irving Lerner’s pared-down film noir, followed by Jean-Pierre Melville’s minimalist thriller
Saturday, April 27
Saturday Matinee: Mon oncle — Jacques Tati’s first color film is a slapstick sendup of modern technology.
Sunday, April 28
Spotlight: Simone Signoret — A salute to the French actor who brought unforgettable complexity to every performance
  • La ronde, Max Ophuls, 1950
  • Casque d’or, Jacques Becker, 1952
  • Diabolique, Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1955
  • Room at the Top, Jack Clayton, 1959
  • Adua and her Friends, Antonio Pietrangeli, 1960
  • Army of Shadows, Jean-Pierre Melville, 1969
  • The Widow Courdec, Pierre Granier-Deferre, 1971
Monday, April 29
Observations on Film Art No. 26: The Revolutionary Subjectivity of Memories of Underdevelopment — Professor Jeff Smith picks up our monthly film-school series with a course on a Cuban classic.
Tuesday, April 30
Short + Feature: Surface Tension and News from Home — Hollis Frampton and Chantal Akerman’s experimental portraits of New York City