Ever since classy, high-end movie streaming service FilmStruck was shuttered late last year, Warner Bros. has been promising some kind of replacement to fill that “where to watch our HD Bergman movies” gap in all our lives. Now that replacement, The Criterion Channel, is less than a month away from launch, debuting on April 8 with the full Criterion Collection in tow.
In addition to that venerable haul of more than a thousand films, the Channel has also announced how it’ll be keeping up viewer interest and helping users navigate its library of classics, laying out a calendar of spotlight features it’ll use to highlight different genres, creators, and eras of film. Wednesdays, for instance, will be devoted to female creators, with the very first such Spotlight dedicated to the work of Suso Cecchi d’Amico, the Italian screenwriter responsible for classics like Bicycle Thieves and Senso. Fridays, meanwhile, are set for double features, like a pairing of John Woo with Jacques Demy, or Hamlet (1948) and Ernest Lubitsch’s To Be Or Not To Be. (We see what you did there, Criterion Channel nerds.) That’s in addition to a whole bunch of curated features that’ll go up throughout the week, including a David Lynch retrospective on April 11, and a guest-programmed set of films from Julie Taymor on April 14.
Looking through the calendar, it’s easy to see how Criterion intends to separate itself from the streaming rabble, leaning hard on the curation element that’s already been a key part of the brand. It doesn’t hurt that, in addition to the Collection’s extensive library, they’ll also be offering outside films that match selected themes, plus shorts and (be still our heart) thousands of special features for cinephiles to peruse. You can see the full calendar for April 2019 here; meanwhile, the Channel also released the above video as a teaser for all the movie-lover goodness to come.