Even before the societal shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Criterion Channel streaming service was a godsend for cinephiles. Filling the gap that the loss of FilmStruck left, The Criterion Channel is the Netflix for art house movie lovers. It streams a deep catalog of Hollywood classics, foreign film landmarks, and art house essentials dating from decades past all the way up to the very present, and many are bolstered by well-curated bonus features.
Now, with our present #StayAtHome protocols and the likely social distancing to come for the forseeable future when we return to “normal,” The Criterion Channel has become a must-have more than ever. That sentiment is exactly the spirit found in an email sent to CC by director Wes Anderson, and that CC shared with its subscribers:
- Dear Criterion friends, I’ve been streaming and Blu-raying Criterion movies every day and just wanted to mention: Raymond Bernard! Anne-Marie written by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry? I’d never heard of it . . . And Les misérables is a masterpiece. I love this Harry Bauer. Also: Wooden Crosses. I had never watched Arthur Hiller’s The Out-of-Towners before, either. It is a great time-machine, that one. Revisiting Louis Malle documentaries, too. Especially . . . And the Pursuit of Happiness. How many times will I re-watch An Angel at My Table? What are you watching? How fortunate we are to have this Louvre of movies at our fingertips!
Louvre of movies, indeed!
Ironically, none of Anderson’s films are currently offered on the service, despite the fact that eight of his nine movies have been given the full Criterion blu-ray treatment; Isle of Dogs, his most recent, remains the sole holdout. But with the channel’s monthly update of offerings, that’s likely to change at some point.