Now that the festivities of Memorial Day are behind us, we can now look forward to the infinite pleasures of summer. And aside from the sunlight and weekends spent rolling in the sand, there’s always the delight of summer films. So in honor of the season, The Criterion Collection is offering up something new in their weekly unveiling of free films on Hulu. With their 101 Days of Summer, they will now be highlighting a new title every day which will remain free for forty-eight hours. And to start off the season in style, they’ve made seven wonderful features—from existential Bergman classics to rare Altman dramas—available for your post-holiday cinematic endeavors. Take a look at what they’re offering this week and enjoy.
This silent comedy, in which Lloyd plays a go-getter whose many jobs include cabdriver and soda jerk, is the only Oscar-nominated film in the slapstick icon’s oeuvre. It features some incredible on-location New York shooting (including a scene set at Coney Island and a car chase through the Washington Square Park arch) and a cameo by none other than Babe Ruth.
The setup is pure pulp: A former prostitute (a crackerjack Constance Towers) relocates to a buttoned-down suburb, determined to fit in with mainstream society. But in the strange, hallucinatory territory of writer-director-producer Samuel Fuller, perverse secrets simmer beneath the wholesome surface.
Based on the original play by Donald Freed and Arnold M. Stone, and starring Philip Baker Hall in a tour de force solo performance, Robert Altman’s Secret Honor is a searing interrogation of the Nixon mystique and an audacious depiction of unchecked paranoia.
The film resounds with themes and elements that interested and obsessed Truffaut throughout his career, but many of these themes flow directly from Roché: the incalculable complexity of love between men and women, the detached protagonist and the mismatched romantic partners, locked in love and crippled by its consequences. But Two English Girls sets itself apart by its sheer grace and palpable beauty, and if the film is a monument to Truffaut’s most prized and personal pleasures, our greatest pleasure is simply in observing the conjurer at work.
The Seventh Seal maintains throughout a peculiarly modernistic insistence on doubt. It embraces doubt the way most of the others embrace piety, futility, or melodrama. Only The Seventh Seal achieves uncanny timelessness by convincingly re-creating the time in which it is set.