Spine: #282 Edition: DVD
These three groundbreaking films helped usher in the Polish School movement and have often been regarded as a trilogy. But each boldly stands on its own—a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the struggle for personal and national freedom.
1990 • 158 minutes • 1.78:1 • New Zealand
Spine: #301 Editions: DVD, Hulu Plus
With An Angel at My Table, Academy Award–winning filmmaker Jane Campion brings to the screen the harrowing true-life story of Janet Frame, New Zealand’s most distinguished author. Angel beautifully captures the color and power of the New Zealand landscape.
Lars von Trier
2009 • 108 minutes • 2.35:1 • Denmark
Spine: #542 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray
In this graphic psychodrama, a grief-stricken man and woman—a searing Willem Dafoe and Cannes best actress winner Charlotte Gainsbourg—retreat to their cabin deep in the woods after the death of their infant son, only to find terror and violence at the hands of nature and, ultimately, each other.
1984 • 72 minutes • 1.33:1 • Japan
Spine: #425 Editions: DVD, Hulu Plus, iTunes
A unique, enthralling cinematic experience, Teshigahara’s Antonio Gaudí, less a documentary than a visual poem, takes viewers on a tour of Gaudí’s truly spectacular architecture.
1998 • 153 minutes • 2.35:1 • United States
Spine: #40 Edition: DVD
Bruce Willis and an all-star cast of roughneck oil drillers blast off on a mission to save the planet in Michael Bay’s doomsday space epic.
1969 • 145 minutes • 1.85:1 • France
Spine: #385 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray, Collector’s Sets
Atmospheric and gripping, Army of Shadows is Melville’s most personal film, featuring Lino Ventura, Paul Meurisse, Jean-Pierre Cassel, and the incomparable Simone Signoret as intrepid underground fighters who must grapple with their conception of honor in their battle against Hitler’s regime.
1966 • 95 minutes • 1.66:1 • France
Spine: #297 Editions: DVD, Collector’s Sets, Hulu Plus
Robert Bresson’s Au hasard Balthazar follows the donkey Balthazar as he is passed from owner to owner, some kind and some cruel, but all with motivations beyond his understanding—a profound masterpiece from one of the most revered filmmakers in the history of cinema.
1987 • 105 minutes • 1.66:1 • France
Spine: #330 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray, Collector’s Sets, Hulu Plus
Based on events from writer-director Louis Malle’s own childhood, Au revoir les enfants tells a heartbreaking story of friendship and devastating loss concerning two boys living in Nazi-occupied France.
1962 • 113 minutes • 1.33:1 • Japan
Spine: #446 Editions: DVD, Hulu Plus
Yasujiro Ozu’s final film was also his final masterpiece, the gently heartbreaking story of a man’s dignified resignation to both life’s ever-shifting currents and society’s gradual modernization.
1978 • 90 minutes • 1.66:1 • Sweden
Spine: #60 Edition: DVD
A stunning union of two of Sweden’s national treasures, Autumn Sonata pairs Ingmar Bergman with Ingrid Bergman for their only joint effort. Ingrid plays a mother who, after forsaking her family for a music career, attempts a reconciliation with her oldest daughter (Liv Ullmann).
1960 • 145 minutes • 1.77:1 • Italy
Spine: #98 Editions: DVD, Collector’s Sets, Hulu Plus
A girl mysteriously disappears on a yachting trip. While her lover and her best friend search for her across Italy, they begin an affair. Antonioni’s penetrating study of the idle upper class offers stinging observations on spiritual isolation and the many meanings of love.
1987 • 104 minutes • 1.66:1 • Denmark
Spine: #665 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray, Hulu Plus
At once a rousing paean to artistic creation, a delicate evocation of divine grace, and the ultimate film about food, the Oscar-winning Babette’s Feast is a deeply beloved treasure of cinema.
1960 • 150 minutes • 2.35:1 • Japan
Spine: #319 Editions: DVD, Collector’s Sets, Hulu Plus
A young executive hunts down his father’s killer in director Akira Kurosawa’s scathing The Bad Sleep Well. Continuing his legendary collaboration with actor Toshiro Mifune, Kurosawa combines elements of Hamlet and American film noir to chilling effect.
1980 • 122 minutes • 2.35:1 • United Kingdom
Spine: #303 Editions: DVD, iTunes
Amid the decaying elegance of cold-war Vienna, psychoanalyst Dr. Alex Linden (Art Garfunkel) becomes mired in an erotically charged affair with the elusive Milena Flaherty (Theresa Russell) in Nicolas Roeg’s masterful, deeply disturbing foray into the dark world of sexual obsession.
1973 • 94 minutes • 1.85:1 • United States
Spine: #651 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray
Badlands announced the arrival of a major talent: Terrence Malick. His impressionistic take on the notorious Charles Starkweather killing spree of the late 1950s uses a serial-killer narrative as a springboard for an oblique teenage romance.
1959 • 89 minutes • 1.33:1 • Soviet Union
Spine: #148 Editions: DVD, Collector’s Sets, Hulu Plus
A milestone in Russian cinema, Grigori Chukhrai’s Ballad of a Soldier follows Alyosha as he journeys home once he is granted a visit with his mother after single-handedly fending off two enemy tanks.
1958 • 98 minutes • 2.35:1 • Japan
Spine: #645 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray, Hulu Plus, iTunes
Filmed almost entirely on cunningly designed studio sets, in brilliant color and widescreen, The Ballad of Narayama is a stylish and vividly formal work from Japan’s cinematic golden age, directed by the dynamic Keisuke Kinoshita.
1964 • 95 minutes • 1.33:1 • France
Spine: #174 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray, Collector’s Sets
Four years after Breathless, Jean-Luc Godard reimagined the gangster film even more radically with Band of Outsiders. In it, two restless young men (Sami Frey and Claude Brasseur) enlist the object of both of their fancies (Anna Karina) to help them commit a robbery—in her own home.
1940 • 72 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #78 Edition: DVD
W.C. Fields stars as an unemployed, henpecked drunk who spends most of his time at the Black Pussy Cat café. Things take a turn for the absurd when he unwittingly captures a bank robber and lands a job as a security guard.
1966 • 121 minutes • 1.85:1 • Italy
Spine: #249 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray, Hulu Plus, iTunes
One of the most influential political films in history, The Battle of Algiers, by Gillo Pontecorvo, vividly re-creates a key year in the tumultuous Algerian struggle for independence from the occupying French in the 1950s.
The filmmakers of Grey Gardens went back to their vaults of footage to create part two, The Beales of Grey Gardens, a tribute both to these indomitable women, Big and Little Edie Beale, and to the landmark documentary’s legions of fans, who have made them counterculture icons.
2000 • minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #100 Edition: DVD
The Beastie Boys are among the most influential groups of the last two decades. As their music has opened hip-hop to a wider audience and changed the parameters of its sound, their ambitious music videos have carried the medium to new levels of artistic expression.
1958 • 99 minutes • 1.33:1 • France
Spine: #580 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray, Hulu Plus
The remarkable and stark Le beau Serge heralded the arrival of a cinematic titan who would go on to craft provocative, entertaining films for five more decades.
1946 • 93 minutes • 1.33:1 • France
Spine: #6 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray, Collector’s Sets, Hulu Plus, iTunes
The spectacular visions of enchantment, desire, and death in Beauty and the Beast (La Belle et la Bête) have become timeless icons of cinematic wonder.