When my film, Searching for Mr. Rugoff was released in the theaters, the most common feedback I got was how astounding it was that one company released so many of the definitive films from what, in retrospect, looks like a golden age of art films. I had so many requests for a list of the films that I included one in the press kit and provided it to anyone who asked.
It is with that in mind that I am so very pleased that the Criterion Channel is showing twenty Cinema 5 titles in conjunction with the exclusive premiere of my film. The series starts on September 12.
This collection of films might as well be a syllabus for anyone interested in non-Hollywood cinema from the ’60s and ’70s, a particularly ripe period of pushing the limits of what could be shown in commercial movie theaters. Many of the films were controversial in their day, and probably would be today. It took an off-kilter sensibility like Rugoff’s to see commercial potential in them, and many of them failed at the box office. But looking back after all these years, the collection seems downright inspired.
So, kudos to Criterion for pulling this together. And many thanks for giving me the thrill of seeing my name side-by-side with all those brilliant filmmakers, as undeserved as that may be. And for those of you who haven’t checked out the Criterion Channel, it’s available on every platform with a 15-day free trial. If you are at all interested in cinema, this streaming service is a great companion to the more commercial services you are already subscribing to.
Here is a full list of the titles in the series:
- The Soft Skin, François Truffaut, 1964
- Elvira Madigan, Bo Widerberg, 1967
- The Firemen’s Ball, Miloš Forman, 1967
- Putney Swope, Robert Downey Sr., 1969
- Z, Costa-Gavras, 1969
- Gimme Shelter, Albert Maysles, David Maysles, and Charlotte Zwerin, 1970
- WR: Mysteries of the Organism, Dušan Makavejev, 1971
- Greaser’s Palace, Robert Downey Sr., 1972
- State of Siege, Costa-Gavras, 1972
- Scenes from a Marriage, Ingmar Bergman, 1973
- Visions of Eight, Miloš Forman, Claude Lelouch, Yuri Ozerov, Mai Zetterling, Kon Ichikawa, John Schlesinger, Arthur Penn, and Michael Pfleghar, 1973
- Swept Away, Lina Wertmüller, 1974
- Seven Beauties, Lina Wertmüller, 1975
- Coup de grâce, Volker Schlöndorff, 1976
- Harlan County USA, Barbara Kopple, 1976
- The Man Who Fell to Earth, Nicolas Roeg, 1976
- A Special Day, Ettore Scola, 1977
- Jabberwocky, Terry Gilliam, 1977
- One Sings, The Other Doesn’t, Agnès Varda, 1977
- Pumping Iron, George Butler and Robert Fiore, 1977
- Searching for Mr. Rugoff, Ira Deutchman, 2019