What we're about

"Every great film should seem new every time you see it." - Roger Ebert

"Filmmaking is a collective assemblage of desires." - Isabelle Huppert

"Film as dream, film as music. No art passes our conscience in the way film does, and goes directly to our feelings, deep down into the dark rooms of our souls." - Ingmar Bergman

"What no human eye is capable of catching, no pencil, brush, pen of pinning down, your camera catches without knowing what it is, and pins it down with a machine's scrupulous indifference." - Robert Bresson

Rejoice cinephiles! Streaming services in Canada are no longer a wasteland for foreign and classic films. Criterion is launching a new service on April 8th 2019 called The Criterion Channel in both the US and Canada. This isn't a group where we watch films together, it's a discussion group where we watch a film at home, then meet to discuss it. Think of it as a book club, but instead of reading a book and discussing it, we're watching a film. If you have a passion for cinema that's a bit off the beaten path and you like to talk film with others that share that passion, this group is tailored for you.

Many Criterion films are already available for free at www.kanopy.com, all you need is a library card. If you have the resources to support Criterion directly, you can sign up for The Criterion Channel at www.criterionchannel.com. As we move towards a more digitally oriented world, there's a real danger that cinematic gems will become less accessible unless providers like Criterion are there to help obscure content flourish. While not all of the films chosen will be available on Kanopy, I do plan to make sure some of them are so that paying to subscribe to The Criterion Channel isn't a barrier for participation.

This group is intended to be an inclusive space where everyone can contribute as much (or as little!) as they feel comfortable with. You don't need to know anything about film to participate, but bringing along your curiosity and an open mind is encouraged!

Upcoming events (4)

Au hasard Balthazar - Robert Bresson (1966)

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This film is available to stream for free on www.kanopy.com, all you need is a library card. What Criterion has to say about the film: A profound masterpiece from one of the most revered filmmakers in the history of cinema, Robert Bresson’s Au hasard Balthazar follows the donkey Balthazar as he is passed from owner to owner, some kind and some cruel but all with motivations beyond his understanding. Balthazar, whose life parallels that of his first keeper, Marie, is truly a beast of burden, suffering the sins of humankind. But despite his powerlessness, he accepts his fate nobly. Through Bresson’s unconventional approach to composition, sound, and narrative, this simple story becomes a moving parable about purity and transcendence.

The Red Shoes - Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger (1948)

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This film is not available on Kanopy, so you'll need to watch it on the Criterion Channel (or another streaming service). What Criterion has to say about the film: The Red Shoes, the singular fantasia from Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, is cinema’s quintessential backstage drama, as well as one of the most glorious Technicolor feasts ever concocted for the screen. Moira Shearer is a rising star ballerina torn between an idealistic composer and a ruthless impresario intent on perfection. Featuring outstanding performances, blazingly beautiful cinematography by Jack Cardiff, Oscar-winning sets and music, and an unforgettable, hallucinatory central dance sequence, this beloved classic, now dazzlingly restored, stands as an enthralling tribute to the life of the artist.

Stranger Than Paradise - Jim Jarmusch (1984)

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This film is available to stream for free on www.kanopy.com, all you need is a library card. What Criterion has to say about the film: With this breakout film, Jim Jarmusch established himself as one of the most exciting voices in the burgeoning independent-film scene, a road-movie poet with an affinity for Americana at its most offbeat. Jarmusch follows rootless Hungarian émigré Willie (John Lurie), his pal Eddie (Richard Edson), and his visiting sixteen-year-old cousin, Eva (Eszter Balint), as they drift from New York’s Lower East Side to the snowy expanses of Lake Erie and the drab beaches of Florida, always managing to make the least of wherever they end up. Structured as a series of master-shot vignettes etched in black and white by cinematographer Tom DiCillo, Stranger Than Paradise is a nonchalant masterpiece of deadpan comedy and perfectly calibrated minimalism.

High and Low - Akira Kurosawa (1963)

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This film is available to stream for free on www.kanopy.com, all you need is a library card. What Criterion has to say about the film: Toshiro Mifune is unforgettable as Kingo Gondo, a wealthy industrialist whose family becomes the target of a cold-blooded kidnapper in High and Low (Tengoku to jigoku), the highly influential domestic drama and police procedural from director Akira Kurosawa. Adapting Ed McBain's detective novel King's Ransom, Kurosawa moves effortlessly from compelling race-against-time thriller to exacting social commentary, creating a diabolical treatise on contemporary Japanese society.

Past events (13)

Amarcord - Federico Fellini (1973)

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Photos (23)