The Criterion Channel’s July 2024 Lineup

On the Channel

Jun 12, 2024

The Criterion Channel’s July 2024 Lineup
Out of Sight

The Criterion Channel’s July 2024 Lineup

On the Channel

Jun 12, 2024

As July heats up, we’re bringing back one of our favorite seasonal themes with a hard-boiled Neonoir collection, the perfect viewing choice for sultry summer nights. A program of Pop Shakespeare adaptations surveys how the MTV era gave the Bard a fresh makeover, while Times Square revisits the pregentrification grime of what was once New York’s scuzziest landmark, and Columbia Screwball celebrates the studio that changed screen comedy forever. There’s so much more to choose from this month, including Godzilla classics from the Heisei era, Gregg Araki’s apocalyptic Nowhere, a pair of surreal and poetic rediscoveries from Filipino maverick Kidlat Tahimik, a long-unavailable landmark of Brazilian cinema, and a journey into the heart of Mexico City’s punk counterculture.

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* indicates programming available only in the U.S.




While film noir had its heyday in the disillusioned postwar era of the 1940s and ’50s, its seductively moody style and dark, cynical edge have continued to inspire more recent filmmakers to put their own stamps on the genre. Featuring unforgettable femmes fatales (Linda Fiorentino’s ice-cold bad girl in The Last Seduction) and rogue detectives (a shockingly sleazy James Woods in Cop, Harvey Keitel and Nicolas Cage as two very different Bad Lieutenants), these next-generation crime thrillers reveal the myriad ways in which the hard-boiled vocabulary of noir has endured and evolved over the decades. Bringing together acclaimed modern classics (L.A. Confidential) and hidden gems (The Deep End) from the New Hollywood of the 1970s (Night Moves, Obsession) to the VHS era of the 1980s and ’90s (Crimes of Passion, Out of Sight) and beyond, this selection proves that noir is more than just a single era or movement—it’s a state of mind.

FEATURING: Night Moves (1975), Obsession (1976), The Big Sleep (1978), Absence of Malice (1981), Blow Out (1981), Eyewitness (1981), Blood Simple (1984), Crimes of Passion (1984), Cop (1988), Blue Steel (1990), Bad Lieutenant (1992), The Last Seduction (1994), Blood and Wine (1996), L.A. Confidential (1997), Out of Sight (1998)*, The Deep End (2001), The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001)*, Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (2009)*

Pop Shakespeare


Every era gets its own Shakespeare, from the genius championed by the Romantics to the Bard who inspired Orson Welles and Laurence Olivier—and the age of MTV is no exception. Beginning in the late 1970s, modern-dress adaptations on both sides of the Atlantic spliced Shakespeare’s plays with the shiny trappings of contemporary pop culture. From indie luminaries (Gus Van Sant, Michael Almereyda) and exploitation artists (Abel Ferrara) to stage-trained specialists (Kenneth Branagh) and superhero showmen (Joss Whedon), everyone wanted a crack at the English language’s greatest poet and dramatist. With their earworm-packed soundtracks, razzle-dazzle anachronisms, and dreamy casts—Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes as Romeo and Juliet! Ethan Hawke as an NYU-student Hamlet! Keanu Reeves as a hustler Prince Hal!—these ecstatically inspired films are such stuff as dreams are made on.

FEATURING: The Tempest (1979), Tempest (1982), China Girl (1987), My Own Private Idaho (1991), Romeo + Juliet (1996), Hamlet (2000)*, Love’s Labour’s Lost (2000)*, Much Ado About Nothing (2012)

Columbia Screwball


In the early 1930s, Columbia Pictures’ fate changed with the arrival of director Frank Capra, who quickly established a new archetype of Hollywood glamour in Jean Harlow’s moniker-defining Platinum Blonde and, just three years later, swept the Oscars with the comedy sensation It Happened One Night. The studio soon became the foremost home of screwball comedy, with stars such as Cary Grant (The Awful Truth) and Jean Arthur (The More the Merrier) and major directors like George Cukor (It Should Happen to You) and Howard Hawks (His Girl Friday) taking the genre to dizzying heights of lunacy and sophistication. Defined by their rapid-fire (often female-driven) banter, playful sense of absurdism, effortless style, and topsy-turvy take on traditional gender roles, these films remain some of the most enduring treasures of Hollywood’s golden age.

FEATURING: Platinum Blonde (1931), It Happened One Night (1934), Twentieth Century (1934), The Whole Town’s Talking (1935), Theodora Goes Wild (1936), The Awful Truth (1937), You Can’t Take It with You (1938), His Girl Friday (1940), The More the Merrier (1943), It Should Happen to You (1954), Phffft (1954), Good Neighbor Sam (1964)

Times Square


“Someday a real rain will come and wash all the scum off the streets . . .” Careful what you wish for! Before it hypergentrified into the ultimate emblem of New York City in the throes of late-capitalist excess, the old, unsanitized Times Square was a pungent playground of drama, danger, sin, and sleaze that embodied the untamed id of the city at its most extreme. It’s no wonder that it served as such a potent cinematic muse, providing the vivid backdrop for tales of weirdos, iconoclasts, outcasts, and lost souls navigating the daily adventure of life in the urban jungle. Hustlers (Midnight Cowboy), badass blaxploitation detectives (Shaft), runaway teenage punks (Times Square), sadistic giallo killers (The New York Ripper), porn-theater voyeurs (Variety), and ruthless gangsters (King of New York) are all part of the cavalcade of humanity populating these gloriously grimy cinematic time capsules that take us back to the good bad old days of a lost New York that perhaps even the above-quoted Travis Bickle (Taxi Driver) might miss.

FEATURING: Sweet Smell of Success (1957), Midnight Cowboy (1969), Born to Win (1971), Shaft (1971), God Told Me To (1976), Taxi Driver (1976), Times Square (1980), So Fine (1981), The New York Ripper (1982), Variety (1983), The Children of Times Square (1986), King of New York (1990), The Gods of Times Square (1999)

Directed by Nicolas Roeg


The thrillingly innovative films of Nicolas Roeg are dazzling, chronology-scrambling puzzles that explode the rules of cinema and leave the viewer to piece together the shards. Distinguishing himself first as a cinematographer for directors such as François Truffaut and Roger Corman, Roeg made the leap to directing with a remarkable run of films that frequently courted controversy but have gone on to become cult classics, including the dreamlike Australian odyssey Walkabout, the mesmerizing horror masterpiece Don’t Look Now, and the shockingly transgressive Bad Timing. Among the most radical and uncompromising British films of the era, these visceral, provocative works opened narrative cinema up to a brave new world of stylistic and psychological complexity.

FEATURING: Walkabout (1971), Don’t Look Now (1973), Bad Timing (1980), Insignificance (1985), Track 29 (1988)

Heisei-Era Godzilla


Following a nine-year absence from the screen, the King of the Monsters roared back with a vengeance in 1984 with The Return of Godzilla, inaugurating a new era in the romping reptile’s mythology. The ferociously entertaining kaiju spectaculars of the 1980s and ’90s—which brought back familiar favorites like Mothra and King Ghidorah and introduced a new adversary in the genetically engineered mutant Biollante—reestablished Godzilla as a fearsome force (after previous Showa-era films that had recast himself as a benevolent protector), while taking the series’s political commentary and vaunted special effects in bold new directions.

FEATURING: The Return of Godzilla (1984), Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989), Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991), Godzilla vs. Mothra (1992)


Ryuichi Sakamoto | Opus


Featuring a new interview with director Neo Sora and cinematographer Bill Kirstein, part of Criterion’s Meet the Filmmakers series

A celebration of an artist’s life in the purest sense, Ryuichi Sakamoto | Opus is the swan song of one of the world’s greatest musicians. As a parting gift, in late 2022, Ryuichi Sakamoto mustered all of his energy to leave us with one final performance: a concert film featuring just him and his piano. Curated and sequenced by Sakamoto himself, the twenty pieces of his played in the film wordlessly tell the story of his life and his wide-ranging oeuvre. The selection spans his entire career, from his pop-star period with Yellow Magic Orchestra and his magnificent scores for filmmakers Bernardo Bertolucci and Nagisa Oshima to his meditative final album, 12. Intimately filmed in black and white, and surrounded by trusted collaborators—including director Neo Sora, his son—Sakamoto bares his soul through his exquisitely haunting melodies, knowing this was the last time he would be able to present his art.

32 Sounds


This immersive sensory odyssey from Academy Award–nominated documentarian Sam Green (The Weather Underground) explores the elemental phenomenon of sound by weaving together thirty-two specific auditory explorations into a meditation on the power of sound to bend time, cross borders, and profoundly shape our perception of the world around us. Featuring original music by JD Samson (Le Tigre, MEN), 32 Sounds takes the audience on a journey through time and space, exploring everything from forgotten childhood memories to the soundtrack of resistance to subaquatic symphonies, and inviting us to experience anew the astonishing sounds of everyday life.

Chicken for Linda!


Wracked with guilt after unjustly punishing her daughter Linda, widowed mother Paulette resolves to do anything to make it up to her. What does the girl want? A meal of chicken with peppers, which reminds her of the dish her father used to make. But with a general strike closing stores all across town and pushing people into the streets, this innocent request quickly leads to an outrageous series of events that spirals out of control, as Paulette does everything she can to keep her promise and find a chicken for Linda. Directors Chiara Malta and Sébastien Laudenbach unleash a unique visual marvel of hand-painted animation with bright, color-blocked characters, and a story that blends slapstick comedy, musical, and family drama, as Paulette and Linda ultimately confront the grief of an unspoken tragedy through the meal that could finally bring them closer together.




You can practically smell the pheromones wafting off this kaleidoscopic odyssey, which finds director Gregg Araki crossing soap-operatic elements with blasts of science fiction, indie-kid cool, and shiny pop-art subversion. On the day when the world is foretold to end, a group of terminally horny, disillusioned, zonked-out teens in Los Angeles see their lives explode in a glitter bomb of drugs, sex, death, and alien abduction. Bisexual lust, vaporizing Valley girls, sinister televangelists, nipple-ring S&M, murder by Campbell’s-soup can—Araki folds it all into an anarchic orgy that brings his Teen Apocalypse Trilogy to an explosively caustic close.

Perfumed Nightmare


Acclaimed by Werner Herzog as “one of the most original and poetic works of cinema made anywhere in the seventies,” this exhilaratingly imaginative DIY landmark of Filipino cinema stars director Kidlat Tahimik as a starry-eyed jitney driver obsessed with American culture (particularly its space program) who gets a crash course in the failures of globalization during a sojourn in Paris. Shot through with offbeat wit and invention, Perfumed Nightmare wraps a cogent critique of Western capitalism in the guise of a surreal, satiric picaresque.



Mixing documentary-like observation with playful irony, Kidlat Tahimik’s cautionary fable depicts the corrosive effects of capitalism on a tiny Philippine town. It’s there that a family—who make their living producing papier-mâché animals for the religious festival of Turumba—find their lives upended when a German entrepreneur commissions them to produce thousands of figurines for the 1972 Munich Olympics, transforming their humble handicraft business into an increasingly industrial, profit-driven, and alienating enterprise. Told from the point of view of a young boy, Turumba uses a child’s-eye innocence to issue a barbed takedown of neocolonialist cultural corruption.

Lime Kiln Club Field Day


Featuring two different scores, by Donald Sosin and Trevor Mathison, outtakes from the film, and a new introduction by film scholar Jacqueline Stewart and MoMA film curator Ron Magliozzi

The oldest known surviving film starring an entirely Black cast, this unfinished 1913 romantic comedy—the footage of which was miraculously recovered from the vaults of the bankrupt Biograph film studio, alongside outtakes and a trove of still images from the production—stars legendary Bahamian-American vaudeville performer Bert Williams as a dandy competing with two rivals for the love of a woman (played by Harlem entrepreneur and actress Odessa Warren Grey). Williams—wearing blackface makeup in a concession to entertainment standards of the day—proves to be a leading man of striking depth, blending impressive slapstick gifts with emotional range. Reconstructed by the Museum of Modern Art from the extant fragments, Lime Kiln Club Field Day is a remarkable living vision of Black love, joy, and comic creativity.

Mary Jane’s Not a Virgin Anymore


Featuring director Sarah Jacobson’s 1993 short I Was a Teenage Serial Killer

The punk-spirited films of Sarah Jacobson combine B-movie aesthetics, riot grrrl feminism, and the DIY ethos of the 1990s zine scene into unfiltered and subversive looks at female rebellion. Mary Jane’s Not a Virgin Anymore, Jacobson’s only feature, is a vibrant and vital antidote to every phony Hollywood teen picture, bringing lo-fi authenticity to the coming-of-age genre as a young woman (Lisa Gerstein) navigates the less-than-glamorous realities of love and sex with a frankness rarely seen on-screen.


Thelma & Louise (Ridley Scott, 1991)

Criterion Collection Edition #1180


Two women, a turquoise Thunderbird, the trip of a lifetime: Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis rewrite the rules of the road movie in the ultimate ode to ride-or-die female friendship.

SUPPLEMENTAL FEATURES: Two audio commentaries featuring director Ridley Scott, screenwriter Callie Khouri, and Davis and Sarandon; interviews with Scott and Khouri; deleted and extended scenes; and more.

Black God, White Devil (Glauber Rocha, 1964)

Criterion Collection Edition #1225


Myth, mysticism, and white-hot revolutionary rage merge in a blistering existential western from Brazilian cinema radical Glauber Rocha.

SUPPLEMENTAL FEATURES: Documentaries on Rocha and the Cinema Novo movement, an interview with film scholar Richard Peña, and more.


loudQUIETloud: A Film About the Pixies


An intimate, authentically raw portrait of indie legends the Pixies captures their trying, tense, and ultimately triumphant return as one of rock music’s greatest bands.

Learning to Live Together: The Return of Mad Dogs & Englishmen


In 1970, Joe Cocker undertook a tour that became a storied musical experiment. Fifty years after it passed into the realm of legend, witness the reunion of Cocker’s rock ’n’ roll commune for a concert led by Tedeschi Trucks Band and featuring original members such as Leon Russell.


Mexico City Punk


In the late 1980s, the spirit of punk was alive and well in Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl (Neza for short), the sprawling, slum-choked municipality on the edge of Mexico City where a fiercely nihilistic youth culture sprang up in response to economic stagnation and urban neglect. Beginning in the 1980s, video artist Sarah Minter and her partner, filmmaker Gregorio Rocha, turned their cameras on Neza, cultivating a special relationship with the Mierdas Punk (Punk Shits), a group of teenagers that exemplified the city’s vibrantly oppositional punk ethos. Blending fiction and documentary, these dispatches from the ragged edge of the global punk scene capture the undefeatable exuberance of resistance in abrasively raw 16 mm and video textures.

FEATURING: Shit Saturday (1988), Nobody Is Innocent (1986), Alma Punk (1991), Nobody Is Innocent: Twenty Years Later (2010)

Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession


Directed by Xan Cassavetes, this story of a pioneering cable movie channel and its visionary, tortured programmer—who brought classics, cult rarities, lost treasures, and more to the small screen—is catnip for cinephiles.

A haunting, powerfully personal documentary, this captivating feature debut by Lebanese-American director Jude Chehab—who also shot the film—depicts the insidious influence of a secretive matriarchal religious order on three generations of the filmmaker’s family.

Gahan Wilson: Born Dead, Still Weird


Step inside the brilliantly warped imagination of the cartoonist whose morbidly witty, subversive illustrations enlivened the pages of magazines like the New Yorker, Playboy, and National Lampoon for nearly fifty years.


A Single Man*


Colin Firth delivers a masterfully calibrated portrayal of grief and queer alienation in the lusciously stylized, luxuriantly melancholy debut feature from superstar fashion designer Tom Ford.


Three Short Films by Mackie Mallison


As ecstatically inventive as they are warmly heartfelt, these deeply personal shorts by rising director Mackie Mallison are multilayered explorations of Asian American identity (including his own Japanese American heritage), family, displacement, and memory. Combining the dreamy textures and intimate, home-movie quality of 16 mm with exuberant bursts of colorful animation, kinetic editing, and surreal superimpositions, Mallison’s collage-like films open up a poignant dialogue across cultures and generations in a moving search for the meaning of home.

FEATURING: Chuu Chuu (2021), It Smells Like Springtime (2022), Live From the Clouds (2023)

It Was a Dark and Silly Night


Unexpected guests crash a children’s cemetery party in this humorously macabre adaptation of a Neil Gaiman story, animated in typically ghoulish style by cartoonist Gahan Wilson.


Premiering July 1 in Documentaries by Les Blank: 11 films

From garlic to gap-toothed women, no subject was too esoteric to capture the imagination of Les Blank, an uncompromisingly independent spirit who, for nearly fifty years, disappeared with his camera into subcultures rarely seen on-screen. Whether documenting the artistry of Tejano musicians (Chulas fronteras), the vibrant culture of Chicago’s Serbian-American community (Ziveli! Medicine for the Heart), or the search for the finest tea in China (All in This Tea), Blank had a boundless zest for life and people that shines through every frame of his affectionate, joy-filled work. These wry, engaging tributes to music, food, and all sorts of regionally specific delights join our extensive Blank collection, which features such highlights as A Poem Is a Naked Person, The Blues Accordin’ to Lightnin’ Hopkins, and Burden of Dreams.

FEATURING: Dizzy Gillespie (1965), Chulas fronteras (1976), Del mero corazón (1979), Huey Lewis and the News: BEFORE! (1986), Ziveli! Medicine for the Heart (1987), I Went to the Dance (1989), Innocents Abroad (1991), Marc and Ann (1991), All in This Tea (2006), How to Smell a Rose: A Visit with Ricky Leacock at His Farm in Normandy (2014), Thailand Moment (2015)

Premiering July 1 in Directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini: Oedipus Rex and Medea

The great Italian iconoclast turned to classical tragedy and myth with this pair of hypnotic, elemental fables adapted from the works of Sophocles and Euripides.

FEATURING: Oedipus Rex (1967), Medea (1969)

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