The Criterion Channel, the streaming service that is bringing classic films back online after the widely lamented shutdown last fall of WarnerMedia’s FilmStruck, has set the lineup for its launch on April 8. (See it below.)
The channel features the same Criterion Collection and Janus Films titles that were on FilmStruck, which went dark last fall, prompting a backlash among a long list of A-list directors, not to mention thousands of fans of the service. FilmStruck had been an effort to take the DNA of Turner Classic Movies into the streaming realm, with hundreds of Criterion titles at its core. Original programming from FilmStruck will also be back on the new channel, including Adventures in Moviegoing, Meet the Filmmakers, Observations on Film Art and 10 seasons of John Pierson’s Split Screen.
Subscriptions are $10.99 per month or $99.99 a year. A promotional offer lowers the lifetime price for those who sign up before April 7 to $9.99 a month or $89.99 a year, as well as providing earlybirds with a “movie of the week” dropping each Wednesday before the April 8 official launch. Those signing up by April 7 will also get their first month free.
In addition to the 1,000 classic and contemporary Criterion and Janus films and 350 shorts, the new channel will also rotate in selections from studios and indies, among them Sony, Warner Bros., Paramount, MGM, Lionsgate, IFC, Kino Lorber, Cohen Media and several others. More suppliers of licensed films will be added in the coming months.
Cinephiles in the U.S. and Canada will be able to stream the new service on desktop browsers as well as through apps for Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku, iOS, and Android and Android TV devices.
The April lineup is highlighted by a group of 11 film-noir titles from Columbia Pictures, from directors including Fritz Lang, Jacques Tourneur, Don Siegel, and Blake Edwards. David Lynch will be spotlighted with four features and a selection of shorts, as will screenwriter Suso Cecchi d’Amico. A seven-film series will center on French actress Simone Signoret.
In addition to short and feature-length films, the service will have 3,500 supplementary features, including trailers, introductions, behind-the-scenes documentaries, interviews, video essays, commentary tracks, and rare archival footage.
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.
Films with specific dates of arrival on the service will generally be made available at the start of each month, though the concept of a day-by-day calendar suits the classic-film market and is familiar to repertory filmgoers and TCM viewers.
Here is the full launch lineup, with descriptions provided by Criterion:
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Brothers, 2004
- After the Wedding, 2006
- In a Better World, 2010
- 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
- The Honeymoon Killers, Leonard Kastle, 1969
- Eating Raoul, Paul Bartel, 1982
- Sightseers, Ben Wheatley, 2012
- 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