(Pocket-lint) - Movie buffs will be happy to know they can now stream select Criterion movies by black filmmakers for free.
The Criterion Collection launched a standalone service, called The Criterion Channel, in 2019 to showcase an elite swath of feature films, short films, and masterclasses. Now, in response to the murder of George Floyd, as well as the impact of COVID-19 on communities of colour, Criterion is lifting the service's paywall so you can stream - free of charge - films focusing on black lives.
Black Lives Matter. pic.twitter.com/aRwDVjuI0O— Criterion Collection (@Criterion) June 4, 2020
The full list of free titles includes “works by early pioneers of African American Cinema", according to Criterion. Here are a few examples:
- Oscar Micheaux - Body and Soul
- Maya Angelou - Down in the Delta
- Julie Dash and William Greaves - Symbiopsychotaxiplasm Take One
- Kathleen Collins - Losing Ground
- Cheryl Dunye - The Watermelon Woman
- Charles Burnett - My Brother’s Wedding
- Khalik Allah - Black Mother
- Leilah Weinraub - Shakedown
The list also includes "portraits of black lives" by white filmmakers, such as:
Criterion further said it's committed to examining the role it plays in the "idea of canon formation, whose voices get elevated, and who gets to decide what stories get told". Currently, The Criterion Collection includes a mix of contemporary titles, classics, blockbusters, and independent films. These editions also usually feature restored transfers, commentary tracks, and other supplemental media.
Criterion said it works closely with filmmakers and scholars to ensure that "each film is presented as its maker would want it seen". Check out Criterion's Top 10 lists to see browse some of the best films in the collection. For more about Criterion, check out our guide here.
The Criterion Channel app is available to stream on several platforms, including Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku, iOS, and Android.