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C What’s On: The Criterion Channel’s February 2021 Lineup

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Already we’re a month deep into the new year and the slew of programming from the Criterion Channel isn’t slowing down for February. With an eye on celebrating Black History Month, the Channel has a particularly excellent look at the work of renaissance man Gordon Parks. Besides being one of America’s greatest photographers, Parks’ work in motion pictures gave Black voices an outlet in the cinemas. Though Shaft, his landmark 1971 crime film would become a cinematic icon and among the most influential releases on the blaxploitation movement of films, the Criterion Channel is looking to highlight some of his less-bombastic works for the month of February.

Other highlights for me include Jim Jarmusch’s excellent Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, which in itself is a celebration of Black and Japanese culture by way of Jarmusch’s idiosyncratic mash-up of hitman and mob movie tropes. It’s a riot, and some of the film’s chief inspiration (including Seijun Suzuki’s 1967 classic Branded to Kill, overtly paid homage by Ghost Dog) is available to stream on the Channel now, in the Japanese Noir series.

But as always, whether you’re looking for hitmen or heartthrobs, there’s an array of good stuff to check out this month from the Criterion Channel. Get to it!

February 1st

Criterion Collection Edition #1057–Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (Jim Jarmusch, 1999)

Celebration (Olivier Meyrou, 2007)

February 2nd

Streaming premiere: The Killing Floor (Bill Duke, 1984)

Short + Feature: The Right Touch
The Touch Retouched and The Touch

February 3rd

Criterion February

Three by Madeline Anderson

Integration Report 1 (1960), A Tribute to Malcolm X (1967), I Am Somebody (1970)

February 4th

Directed by Gordon Parks

The Learning Tree (1969), Leadbelly (1976), Solomon Northup’s Odyssey (1984), Moments Without Proper Names (1987)

February 5th

Double Feature: Come On Pilgrim
A Canterbury Tale (Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, 1944) and The Ornithologist (João Pedro Rodrigues, 2016)

February 6th

Saturday Matinee: The Last Unicorn (Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin Jr, 1982)

February 7th

Marlene Dietrich & Josef von Sternberg

The Blue Angel (1930), Morocco (1930), Dishonored (1931), Shanghai Express (1932), Blonde Venus (1932), The Scarlet Empress (1934), The Devil Is a Woman (1935)

February 8th

Three Starring Lana Turner

The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946), A Life of Her Own (1950), The Bad and the Beautiful (1952)

February 9th

Short + Feature: Fellini of the Spirits
The Rabbit Hunters (Guy Maddin, 2020) and (Federico Fellini, 1963)

February 10th

Stories We Tell (Sarah Polley, 2012)

February 11th

Starring Ruby Dee

The Tall Target (1951), Edge of the City (1957)*, St. Louis Blues (1958), Take a Giant Step (1959), The Balcony (1963), Uptight (1968), Buck and the Preacher (1972)

February 12th

Double Feature: Cool Killers
Le samouraï (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1967) and Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai

February 13th

Saturday Matinee: A Story of Children and Film (Mark Cousins, 2013)

February 14th

Lovers on the Run

You Only Live Once (1937), They Live by Night (1948), Gun Crazy (1950)*, Where Danger Lives (1950), Tomorrow Is Another Day (1951), Pierrot le fou (1965), The Honeymoon Killers (1970), Badlands (1973), Thomasine and Bushrod (1974), One False Move (1992), The Living End (1992), Deep Crimson (1996), Sun Don’t Shine (2012), Ain’t Them Bodies Saints (2013)

February 15th

Exclusive streaming premiere: Park Lanes (Kevin Jerome Everson, 2015)

February 16th

Three Short Films by Ramin Bahrani

Plastic Bag (2009), Lift You Up (2014), Blood Kin (2018)

February 17th

Short Films by Akosua Adoma Owusu
Featuring a new introduction by the filmmaker

Ajube Kete (2005), Tea 4 Two (2006), Intermittent Delight (2007), Boyant (2008), Me broni ba (2009), Drexciya (2010), Split Ends, I Feel Wonderful (2012), Kwaku Ananse (2013), Bus Nut (2015), Reluctantly Queer (2016), Mahogany Too (2018), On Monday of Last Week (2018), Pelourinho: They Don’t Really Care About Us (2019)

February 18th

Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project: After the Curfew (Usmar Ismail, 1954)

February 19th

Double Feature: Oh My Godfrey!
Watermelon Man (Melvin Van Peebles, 1970) and Cotton Comes to Harlem (Ossie Davis, 1970)

February 20th

Criterion February 2021

Saturday Matinee: Journey to the Beginning of Time (Karel Zeman, 1955)

February 21st

Wyatt Cenac’s Adventures in Moviegoing

All Night Long (1962), Playtime (1967), Putney Swope (1969), Trafic (1971), Pressure (1976), Mur Murs (1981), Bamboozled (2000), In the Mood for Love (2000)

And the short Borom sarret (1963)

February 22nd

Exclusive streaming premiere Nationtime (William Greaves, 1972)

February 23rd

Black Fire
Featuring a new introduction by the filmmakers

Sugarcoated Arsenic (2014), We Demand (2016), Fastest Man in the State (2017), How Can I Ever Be Late (2017), Black Bus Stop (2019)

February 24th

Directed by Nina Menkes
Featuring a new introduction by the filmmaker

Queen of Diamonds (1991), Phantom Love (2007), Dissolution (2010)

And the short The Great Sadness of Zohara (1983)

February 25th

Directed by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun
Featuring a new introduction by the filmmaker

Abouna (2002), Daratt (2006), A Screaming Man (2010), Grigris (2013), A Season in France (2017)

February 26th

Double Feature: The Holy Trintignant
The Conformist (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1970) and Z (Costa-Gavras, 1969)

February 27th

Saturday Matinee: The Ghost Goes West (René Clair, 1935)

February 28th

Directed by Guy Maddin
Featuring a new conversation between Maddin and critic Robert Enright

Archangel (1990)**, Careful (1992)**, Dracula: Pages from a Virgin’s Diary (2002)**, Cowards Bend the Knee (2003)**, The Saddest Music in the World (2003), My Winnipeg (2007), The Forbidden Room (2015)

And the shorts My Dad Is 100 Years Old (2005), Glorious (2008), Spanky: To the Pier and Back (2008), How to Take a Bath (2009), Night Mayor (2009), Sinclair (2010), Louis Riel for Dinner (2012), Only Dream Things (2012), The Hall Runner (2014), Lines of the Hand (2015), The Green Fog (2017), Accidence (2018), The Rabbit Hunters (2020), Stump the Guesser (2020)

Plus: Now Playing in 30 Years of The Film Foundation

A Farewell to Arms (1932), Putney Swope (1969), Queen of Diamonds (1991)