If your binge high is over after watching Loveless and now you are chasing that feeling, check out this list of shows.
Albert Lamorisse's flights of fancy come to Criterion courtesy of a gorgeous new box set.
There are few things more wondrous than a child's imagination -- its capacity to uplift itself beyond the pain and doldrums of everyday life to see the world through new eyes. One of cinema's greatest chroniclers of that imagination is French filmmaker Albert Lamorisse, a contemporary of the French New Wave who literally went high where his peers went low. His domain was in short, charming, powerful films often linking child protagonists to wonders both terrestrial and supernatural: an animal that captures their heart, or the unyielding power of flight. Now, Criterion has captured that magic in a new two-disc Blu-ray set containing the bulk of Lamorisse's flashes of cinematic whimsy.
The crown jewel of the pack, of course, is 1956's The Red Balloon, the only short film to ever receive a major Academy Award (for Best Original Screenplay; no small feat, considering the film, like many of Lamorisse's, relies on very little dialogue). It's a simple, elemental tale of a boy (Lamorisse's son, Pascal, a frequent star of his works) walking the grey, rundown streets of postwar Paris -- the Ménilmontant neighborhood, to be specific -- only to find himself befriending a bright red balloon that follows him everywhere. The two seem to build some ineffable connection, a bond that plays out through the streets of Ménilmontant. The boy's parents and teachers don't understand their friendship. His peers envy it, chasing them through the streets to tragic ends. Continue Reading →
As the TV series Everything Now begins, Mia (Sophie Wilde) is eager for freedom. After spending months in a hospital undergoing treatment for her anorexia, her supervisor, Dr. Nell (Stephen Fry), has decided she’s well enough to return to school with her best friends Becca (Lauryn Ajufo), Cam (Harry Cadby), and Will (Noah Thomas). Cooped up inside for what seemed like an eternity, Mia is bursting with enthusiasm about finally undergoing many teenage rites of passage like first dates and big parties. Continue Reading →
Lessons in Chemistry
Despite the lead character’s penchant for brutal honesty and empirical truths, Lessons in Chemistry is not a series viewers should turn to for a gritty look at early 60s gender relations, race relations, or workers’ rights. That’s not to say the word of the Lee Eisenberg-created series—adapted from a Bonnie Garmus novel of the same name—exists in a conflict-free world. It’s there’s a bittersweet gentleness that underpins and surrounds the proceedings, conflicts and all. Continue Reading →
GREGORY HORROR SHOW
An often-overlooked decade for horror gets the spotlight, & we’ll tell you what to watch & what to skip.
This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the work being covered here wouldn't exist.
Hurry up and finish watching everything in the Criterion Channel’s High School Horror collection, because they’re doing it again with a brand new one devoted to 90s horror, starting today. Unlike last year’s expansive 80s Horror offering, there’s just eleven films in this collection, with three more coming in November and December. That’s cleverly reflective of the state of horror in the 90s, as are some of the selected films stretching the definition of “horror.” Continue Reading →
Only Murders in the Building
The surprise, sustained hit Only Murders in the Building brands itself as a comedy-mystery on Hulu. But, as season three hits the streaming service, with another murder for the Arconian trio of Charles (Steve Martin), Oliver (Martin Short), and Mabel (Selena Gomez) to solve, something becomes apparent. The series isn’t going for big laughs. Instead, it provides warmth, small chuckles, and genial goodness between the triumvirate. The show remains about found family, intergenerational friendships, and murder mysteries. It’s perhaps best described as a cozy mystery, a murder show with a heart of gold, an oxymoron of concepts. Continue Reading →