As film buffs know, the Criterion Collection releases the definitive versions of hundreds of classic films, restored and remastered to their original glory. Criterion has recently made much of their catalog available digitally through a subscription database, and we noticed that DC Public Library now provides access to this collection.
This is a huge boon for film aficionados: many of these films are not available in any format except the Criterion-released DVD or Blu-ray. You can now watch Eraserhead, The Battle of Algiers, The 400 Blows, and other classic films with almost no effort. This is useful for personal viewing as well as academics: there’s a good chance that Criterion offers the international film you need to watch too.
If you have a DC Public Library card, you can watch over 300 films in the Criterion Collection for free, instantly! All American University students, staff, and faculty are eligible for a DC Library card if you don’t already have one. For full instructions, check DCPL’s Get a Library Card page. You can get temporary registration online and pick up your official card in person at the Tenley-Friendship Branch, which is only a block from the AU shuttle stop.
You might be out of DC for the summer but already have your library card thanks to one of the events the AU Library ran earlier in the year. In that case, enjoy a summer of free classic films, courtesy of DC Public! If not, look for DCPL in the fall when they’ll likely host another meet-and-greet here at the AU Library.
Faculty members can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about using Criterion films for their courses.