Criterion

At Criterion Channel, programming a movable movie feast

NEW YORK (AP) — Arthouses are closed. Film festivals are canceled. But double features, matinees and film series continue to run unabated in one vital, virtual corner of moviedom.

The Criterion Channel, the year-old streaming service, is a hotbed of cinephilia in the best of times. Right now, it’s about as close as you can get to actually going to the movies. Whereas other streamers supply expansive oceans of “content,” the Criterion Channel pools its movies into collections, double-bills and night-by-night selections. Algorithms aren’t welcome.

“Instead of isolating each other in our own preferences, we’re coming together around different themes and programs,” says Peter Becker, the energetic president of the Criterion Collection. “I think people can feel that there’s people behind this programming. This is a service that’s programmed by people, for people.”

The Criterion Channel, which launched last year in the wake of the shuttering of the Turner

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