From Morgen Ruff, Exhibition Program Manager & Programmer
Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project
Creator: Various Filmmakers
Available on the Criterion Channel (offers free trial subscriptions)
Martin Scorsese, one of American cinema’s leading filmmakers of the past several decades, has done so much behind-the-scenes work to illuminate cinematic gems from all over the globe through his non-profit endeavor the Film Foundation, founded in 1990 and “dedicated to protecting and preserving motion picture history.” A project of the foundation is the essential World Cinema Project, which to date has preserved or restored forty classics of global cinema that have been historically overlooked, mostly due to their origins in small, non-Western countries dotting the Global South. Seventeen of these incredible films are available to stream on the Criterion Channel, including works like Edward Yang’s Taipei Story (1985) and A Brighter Summer Day (1991), both classics of the Taiwanese New Wave of the 80s and 90s; Ousmane Sembene’s Black Girl (1966) and Djibril Diop Mambéty’s Touki-Bouki (1973), two unbreakable cornerstones of Senegalese—and African—cinema; Tomás Guttiérez Alea’s Memories of Underdevelopment (1968), one of post-revolutionary Cuba’s most searing works; and many, many more. Dive in with these picks and explore the rest of the World Cinema Project—in my opinion, you can’t miss, and you’ll hopefully find a new favorite and a new avenue of cinematic exploration because this is just the tip of the iceberg.