Criterion Weekend: what we’ll be watching

Christmas has come early for classic film buffs. Specifically it is this weekend, because Hulu is streaming a huge chunk of criterion collection films exclusively this weekend for free. As with anything free and movie related, film club is all over this opportunity. Have no doubt that we will be pushing back all papers and projects in favor of watching these amazing films. To help you sort through the many films on this list and find ones that you have to watch this weekend we’ve posted a list of what we will likely be watching.

 

1. Seven Samurai

Of course we are going to start with seven samurai. It is The Movie. It is also a great film for those of you who don’t watch a lot of foreign films (or old films). The story is about seven samurai (duh) who are hired to protect a village of poor farmers from a ruthless group of bandits. There are so many amazing things about this film but my favorite is actually the acting. The samurai in this film are some of the most iconic characters in all of story telling and when their story ends you are truly left wanting to see more of them.

2.  A Woman Under the Influence

We bring it back to english (and color) for the next film on the list. The first sentence of the imdb description says it pretty well: Mabel, a wife and mother, is loved by her husband Nick but her madness proves to be a problem in the marriage. Don’t be fooled by this movie, the opening scene may have you think it is a simple story but it is anything but. Not only should every film student watch this, but any one who has a slight interest in any of the following: women’s studies, psychology, sociology, life.

3. Stagecoach

Have you ever seen a John Wayne Film? If you have, then I shouldn’t have to tell you to watch this movie. If you haven’t then you will have to start with stagecoach. The western planes the cowboy medium shots. It’s how american cinema grew into what it is today.  Heres the imdb lowdown: A group of people traveling on a stagecoach find their journey complicated by the threat of Geronimo.

4. Breathless

Breathless is of course this authors favorite film of all time so it is a given that it would be on the list. The film tells the story of a car thief on the run who comes to paris to ask an old lover out on a date and ends up falling in love with her. Breathless is a french film made right at the beginning of the New Wave. I love this film mostly because the themes are sex and violence, the shots have a lot of motion(and emotion) and the dialog is very precise and powerful.

5. Down by Law

If you only ever watch one Jim Jarmush movie, let it be down by Law. Imdb describes this movie very simply in a nutshell: The story of three different men in a Louisiana prison and their eventual journey.  This movie is last on the list because it does move a bit slower(that is compared to mainstream hollywood not criterion standards). This is a movie about great character, however, and it has some of the best lines in any movie and also some of the best humor for a “dramatic” film.

 

 

Those are our favorites. Let us know what you will be watching this weekend.

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