C What’s On: The Criterion Channel’s November 2020 Lineup


I was prepared to make an introduction about how the Criterion Channel is coming to our November aid in these trying times with a smorgasbord of new films to stream as the Holiday season gets a-goin’. I then realized that it’s every month that the ‘Channel surprises and delights me with new stuff to watch, so I’d be redundant! October’s lineup gave me the chance to check a few off of my list that had been on the docket for a long time. However, this November, the channel highlight for me isn’t something new, but something highly, highly cherished.

Falling under the celebratory banner of Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation celebrating its 30th anniversary, the Criterion Channel is streaming Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in the West this month. West is, hands-down, no questions asked, my Favorite Film of All-Time. 

Once Upon a Time in the West is mythic. It’s the fantasized, ultra-stylish and epic realization of not only a cinematic pillar (in being a western), but puts America as a country under a lens of inspection. Leone weaves a fable of railroad-hired gunmen, nameless wanderers, and the woman who would stand against them all set against the iconic American landscape he so-clearly adored and was fascinated by. Once Upon a Time in the West is massive, yet each scene can be enjoyed in its own right. Its Ennio Morricone score flows with its characters, the music and the movement working in perfect harmony. It’s an unquestionable masterpiece. You should watch it.

Besides that, the Channel loads up on some quality animation this month; always welcomed by me! Also a remarkable amount of old ’30s horror and pulpy goodness. Who said Halloween ends with October?

And even if you’re still not subscribed, fret not. A totally-free, 14-day trial is available right on the Channel’s website. This Thanksgiving might be one of the strangest of our lives, with a global pandemic and all sorts of ugliness in the news, but we all know you’re going to need something to watch while sitting off that turkey-coma. Why not make it somethin’ good?

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


November 1st

Frame of Mind: Psychiatry On-Screen

Blind Alley (1939), Possessed (1947), The Dark Past (1948), The Cobweb (1955), Autumn Leaves (1956), The Mark (1961), David and Lisa (1962), Pressure Point (1962), The President’s Analyst (1967), Solaris (1972), Old Boyfriends (1979), Bad Timing (1980), Dressed to Kill (1980), The Ninth Configuration (1980), Ordinary People (1980), House of Games (1987)*, The Prince of Tides (1991)*

November 2nd

A Dream Is What You Wake Up From (1978, Larry Bullard and Carolyn Y Johnson)

November 3rd

Short + Feature: Stand-Up Guys
Stand Up and Lenny (1974, Bob Fosse)

Criterion Collection Edition #1051 The Elephant Man (1980, David Lynch)

November 4th

Old Boyfriends (1979, Joan Tewkesbury)

November 5th

Guest of Honour (2019, Atom Egoyan)
Exclusive streaming premiere

November 6th

Double Feature: The Wicked and the Weird
Mad Love** (1935, Karl Freund) and The Devil-Doll (1936, Tod Browning)

The Devil-Doll Official Trailer #1 - Lionel Barrymore Movie (1936) HD

November 7th

Saturday Matinee: The Canterville Ghost (1944, Jules Dassin)

November 8th

Written by Harold Pinter

The Servant (1963), The Pumpkin Eater (1964), Accident (1967), The Go-Between (1971), The Homecoming (1973), Butley (1974), The French Lieutenant’s Woman (1981), The Comfort of Strangers (1990), The Handmaid’s Tale (1990)

November 9th

Dark Days (2000, Marc Singer)

November 10th

Short + Feature: Lovers in Arms
Flores (2017, Jorge Jácome) and Beau travail (1999, Claire Denis)

Beau Travail | Trailer

Criterion Collection Edition #505 Make Way for Tomorrow (1937, Leo McCarey)

November 11th

Directed by Claire Denis

Chocolat (1988) No Fear, No Die (1990), Nenette and Boni (1996), Beau travail (1999), Towards Mathilde (2005)**, 35 Shots of Rum (2008), White Material (2009)

November 12th

Three by Bill Forsyth

Gregory’s Girl (1980), Local Hero (1983), Housekeeping (1987)

November 13th

Double Feature: Killer Kiddies
The Bad Seed (1956, Mervyn LeRoy) and Village of the Damned (1960, Wolf Rilla)

November 14th

Saturday Matinee: Lovers and Lollipops (1956, Morris Engel and Ruth Orkin)

November 15th

30 Years of The Film Foundation

The Broken Butterfly (1919), Trouble in Paradise (1932), It Happened One Night (1934), L’Atalante (1934), The Long Voyage Home (1940) The Chase (1946), The Red Shoes (1948), The River (1951), Moulin Rouge (1952), The Bigamist (1953), Ugetsu (1953), Senso (1954), The Big Country (1958), Shadows (1959), The Cloud-Capped Star (1960), Primary (1960), The Connection (1961), Salvatore Giuliano (1962), The Masque of the Red Death (1964), Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), The Night of Counting the Years (1969), Soleil Ô (1970), The Mattei Affair (1972), Insiang (1976), Xiao Wu (1997)

Henry Fonda Talks about his casting in Once Upon A Time in the West

With the shorts

The Fatal Glass of Beer (1933), Uncle Yanco (1967), Black Panthers (1968), The Eloquent Peasant (1970), Audience (1983)

November 16th

Criterion Collection Edition #425 Antonio Gaudí (1984, Hiroshi Teshigahara)

November 17th

Short Films by Sky Hopinka

Wawa (2014), Kunįkága Remembers Red Banks, Kunįkága Remembers the Welcome Song (2014), Venite et Loquamur (2015), Jáaji Approx. (2015), Visions of an Island (2016), I’ll Remember You as You Were, Not as What You’ll Become (2016), Anti-Objects, or Space Without Path or Boundary (2017), Dislocation Blues (2017), Fainting Spells (2018), When you’re lost in the rain (2018), Lore (2019)

Shorts + Feature: Caribbean Journeys
Dadli (2018, Shabier Kirchner and Elise Tyler) and Black Mother (2018, Kalik Allah)

November 18th

Directed by Ngozi Onwurah

Welcome II the Terrordome (1995)

And the shorts

Coffee Colored Children (1988), The Body Beautiful (1991), And Still I Rise (1993), Monday’s Girls (1993), The Desired Number (1995)

November 19th

Three by Nadav Lapid

Policeman (2011), The Kindergarten Teacher (2014), Synonyms (2019)

Criterion Collection Edition #698 King of the Hill (1993, Steven Soderbergh)

November 20th

Double Feature: Domestic Disturbances
Faces (1968, John Cassavetes) and Deathdream (1974, Bob Clark)

November 21st

Saturday Matinee: Swallows and Amazons (1974, Claude Whatham)

November 22nd

Queersighted: Queer Fear

The Old Dark House (1932), The Black Cat (1934), The Seventh Victim (1943), The Uninvited (1944), The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945), Diabolique (1955), The Haunting (1963), Daughters of Darkness (1971), Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975), Hellraiser (1987), Stranger by the Lake (2013)**, Always Shine (2016)

DIABOLIQUE Trailer (1955) - The Criterion Collection

November 23rd

A Spell to Ward off the Darkness (2013, Ben Rivers and Ben Russell)

November 24th

Short + Feature: In Rave Danger
Acid Rain (2019, Tomek Popakul) and Victoria (2015, Sebastian Schipper)

November 25th

Werewolf (2016, Ashley McKenzie)

and the shorts

Stray (2013), 4 Quarters (2015)

November 26th

Short Films by W. C. Fields

Pool Sharks (1915), The Golf Specialist (1930), The Barbershop (1933), The Fatal Glass of Beer (1933), The Pharmacist (1933)

November 27th

Double Feature: Meet the Author
The Arbor** (2010, Clio Barnard) and Rita, Sue and Bob Too (1987, Alan Clarke)

November 28th

Saturday Matinee: The King and the Mockingbird (1980, Paul Grimault)

November 29th

Directed by Terence Nance

An Oversimplification of Her Beauty (2012)

And the shorts

No Ward (2009), Native Sun (2011), Their Fall Our All (2014), Swimming in Your Skin Again (2015), You and I and You (2015), Univitellin (2016), Jimi Could Have Fallen From the Sky (2017)

November 30th

Films by Rithy Panh

The Missing Picture (2013)**, Exile (2016)**