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


With summer right around the corner, the Criterion Channel is curating another strong month of classic and contemporary films, spearheaded by a celebration of Indian filmmaker Satyajit Ray. Regarded as one of the all-time masters of cinema, Ray’s films offer the sort of of human insight and sense of deep emotion that good films strive for, his work none more essential than the iconic Apu Trilogy, chronicling the coming of age of its title character across the films Pather Panchali, Aparajito and The World of Apu. They’re beautiful, heartfelt works of art, and an excellent jumping off point for not only Ray’s body of work, but Indian cinema as a whole.

With the likes of Robert Ryan shooting it out in Sam Peckinpah’s titanic and bloody classic The Wild Bunch and more gunslinging added to the Ennio Morricone series curated by the Channel, the summer heat isn’t entirely without some hard-nosed action. Nor is it lacking in diversity, with a strong lineup of women filmmakers highlighted, including Nanfu Wang’s Hooligan Sparrow, which shines a light on the very real battle fought by feminist activists under Chinese oppression.

We’re not out of the mire yet, but as the world begins to heal and perhaps look a little brighter than it did this time last year, summer months of movies, cooped up inside, might not be on the mind of everyone in this age of isolation. But for peace of mind and an eye for safety, a night at the movies (or, in this case, at home [at the Opera]) is still an easy source of comfort the Criterion Channel continues to provide.

* indicates programming available June 1
** indicates programming available only in the U.S.

May 1st

Satyajit Ray at 100

Sat May Criterion
Featuring Shyam Benegal’s 1984 feature documentary Satyajit Ray

Pather Panchali (1955), Aparajito (1956), The Music Room (1958), Apur Sansar (1959), Devi (1960), Rabindranath Tagore (1961), Three Daughters (1961), The Big City (1963), Charulata (1964), The Coward (1965), The Holy Man (1965), The Hero (1966), The Chess Players (1977), The Elephant God (1979), The Home and the World (1984), An Enemy of the People (1989), The Stranger (1991)

Directed by Mitchell Leisen

Death Takes a Holiday (1934), Murder at the Vanities (1934), Hands Across the Table (1935)*, Easy Living (1937), Midnight (1939), Remember the Night (1940), Kitty (1945), To Each His Own (1946), No Man of Her Own (1950), Darling, How Could You! (1951)

Starring Gena Rowlands

Shadows (1959), Lonely Are the Brave (1962), Faces (1968), Machine Gun McCain (1969), Minnie and Moskowitz (1971), A Woman Under the Influence (1974), Opening Night (1977), Gloria (1980), Tempest (1982), Night on Earth (1991)

Starring Robert Ryan

Criterion May

Crossfire (1947), Caught (1949), The Set-Up (1949), On Dangerous Ground (1951), Clash by Night (1952)*, Bad Day at Black Rock (1955)**, Men in War (1957)*, Odds Against Tomorrow (1959), The Wild Bunch (1969)

After the War

The Blue Dahlia (1946), The Razor’s Edge (1946), The Men (1950), The Idiot (1951), The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (1956), Lilith (1964), Welcome Home Soldier Boys (1972), The Last Detail (1973), Deathdream (1974)

Directed by Lois Weber

The Dumb Girl of Portici (1916), Shoes (1916), The Blot (1921)

With the shorts: Suspense (1913), Discontent (1916)

Written by Dalton Trumbo

Kitty Foyle (1940)**, Thirty Seconds over Tokyo (1944), Our Vines Have Tender Grapes (1945), Gun Crazy (1950), He Ran All the Way (1951), Roman Holiday (1953)**, The Green-Eyed Blonde (1957), Cowboy (1958), Spartacus (1960), The Last Sunset (1961), Lonely Are the Brave (1962)

Criterion Collection Edition #1028 Dance, Girl, Dance (Dorothy Arzner, 1940)

Criterion Collection Edition #1055

CC May gf

Girlfriends (Claudia Weill, 1978)

Criterion Collection Edition #105 Spartacus (Stanley Kubrick, 1960)

Observations on Film Art #42: Paths and Roads in Pather Panchali

SATURDAY MATINEE Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (Allan Dwan, 1938)

May 3rd


The Lives of Artists: Five Films by Michael Almereyda

William Eggleston in the Real World (2005), Escapes (2017)

And the shorts: Skinningrove (2013), The Lonedale Operator (2018), To the Unknown (2017)

May 4th

Short + Feature: Wandering Warriors

YOJIMBO Trailer (1961) - The Criterion Collection

Hasaki Ya Suda (Cedric Ido, 2011) and Yojimbo (Akira Kurosawa, 1961)

May 5th


Directed by Josephine Decker

Butter on the Latch (2013), Thou Wast Mild and Lovely (2014), Flames (co-directed with Zefrey Throwell) (2017)

With the shorts: Squeezebox (2010), Me the Terrible (2012), First Day Out (2016), The Mask Task (2018)

May 6th


What Happened Was . . . (Tom Noonan, 1994)

May 7th

Double Feature: More than a Mother
Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words (Stig Bjorkman, 2015) and Stories We Tell (Sarah Polley, 2012)

May 8th

SATURDAY MATINEE Aparajito (Satyajit Ray, 1956)

May 10th


Dina (Antonio Santini, Dan Sickles, 2017)

May Criterion Mala

Mala mala (Antonio Santini, Dan Sickles, 2014)

May 11th

Short + Feature: Ramblin’ Women
Stray (Ashley McKenzie. 2013) and Wanda (Barbara Loden, 1970)

May 12th


CC May

The House Is Black (Forough Farrokhzad, 1963)

May 13th

Three Starring George Segal

King Rat (1965), The Hot Rock (1972), California Split (1974)

May 14th

Double Feature: Military Operations
Patton (Franklin J Schaffner, 1970) and MASH (Robert Altman, 1970)

May 15th


Marx Crit

A Night at the Opera (Sam Wood, 1935)

May 17th

TRUE STORIES Wild Combination: A Portrait of Arthur Russell (Matt Wolf, 2008)

May 18th

Short + Feature: Happy Birthday, Harvey

Pat Rocco: Harvey Milk speech in Los Angeles (1978)

575 Castro St. (Jenni Olson, 2009) and The Times of Harvey Milk (Rob Epstein, 1984)

May 21st

Double Feature: All Hail the King
A Touch of Zen (King Hu, 1971) and The Fate of Lee Khan (King Hu, 1973)

May 22nd

SATURDAY MATINEE An Inn in Tokyo (Yasujiro Ozu, 1935)

May 24th

The Booksellers (DW Young, 2019)

May 25th

Short + Feature: Goya Gothic

Criterion May
The Fall
(Jonathan Glazer, 2019) and Cronos (Guillermo del Toro, 1993)

May 26th


Criterion Hool Spar

Hooligan Sparrow (Nanfu Wang, 2016)

May 28th

Double Feature: Hopper vs. Hollywood
The Last Movie (Dennis Hopper, 1971) and Along for the Ride (Nick Ebeling, 2016)

May 29th

SATURDAY MATINEE Oliver Twist (David Lean, 1948)

Now Playing in The Maestro: Scores by Ennio Morricone

A Pistol for Ringo (1965), The Return of Ringo (1965), The Cat o’ Nine Tails (1971), What Have You Done to Solange? (1972), Property Is No Longer a Theft (1973), The Thing (1982), Wolf (1994)

Now Playing in 30 Years of The Film Foundation

The Music Room (1958), Borom sarret (1963), Black Girl (1966)

Source: Criterion