Spine: #241 Edition: DVD
Near the end of his long and celebrated career, master filmmaker Jean Renoir indulged his lifelong obsession with life-as-theater and directed three majestic films infatuated with the past, love, and artifice.
1939 • 96 minutes • 1.37:1 • United States
Spine: #516 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Hulu Plus, iTunes
This is where it all started. John Ford’s smash hit and enduring masterpiece Stagecoach revolutionized the western, elevating it from B movie to the A-list.
2008 • 114 minutes • 1.85:1 • Japan
Spine: #554 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
The lyrical, profoundly moving Still Walking (Aruitemo aruitemo) is contemporary Japanese master Hirokazu Kore-eda’s most personal work to date, an extraordinary portrayal of the ties that bind us.
1965 • 96 minutes • 2.35:1 • Japan
Spine: #299 Editions: DVD, Hulu Plus
In Seijun Suzuki’s tragic love story, Harumi, volunteering as a “comfort woman” on the Manchurian front, where she is expected to service hundreds of soldiers, is commandeered by the brutal Lieutenant Narita but falls for the sensitive Mikami, Narita’s direct subordinate.
1954 • 108 minutes • 1.33:1 • Italy
Spine: #219 Editions: DVD, Collector’s Sets, Hulu Plus
Federico Fellini’s wife Giulietta Masina plays Gelsomina, a naive girl sold into the employ of a brutal strongman in a traveling circus, in this poetic fable of love and cruelty, winner of the 1956 Academy Award for Best Foreign Film.
1984 • 89 minutes • 1.78:1 • United States
Spine: #400 Editions: DVD, Hulu Plus, iTunes
With its delicate humor and dramatic nonchalance, Jim Jarmusch’s one-of-a-kind minimalist masterpiece, Stranger Than Paradise, forever transformed the landscape of American independent cinema.
1971 • 117 minutes • 1.85:1 • United States
Spine: #182 Edition: DVD
A young American mathematician, David Sumner (Dustin Hoffman), and his English wife, Amy (Susan George), move to a Cornish village, seeking the quiet life. But beneath the seemingly peaceful isolation of the pastoral village lies a savagery and violence that threatens to destroy the couple.
1949 • 122 minutes • 1.33:1 • Japan
Spine: #233 Editions: DVD, Collector’s Sets, Hulu Plus
When a pickpocket steals a rookie detective’s gun on a hot, crowded bus, the cop goes undercover in a desperate attempt to right the wrong. Kurosawa’s thrilling noir probes the squalid world of postwar Japan and the nature of the criminal mind.
1942 • 90 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #118 Edition: DVD
Hollywood director Joel McCrea, tired of churning out lightweight comedies, decides to make O Brother, Where Art Thou, a serious, socially responsible film about human suffering. After his producers point out that he knows nothing of hardship, he hits the road as a hobo.
2008 • 99 minutes • 1.85:1 • France
Spine: #513 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
Three siblings must decide what to do with the country estate and objects they’ve inherited from their mother. From this simple story, Olivier Assayas creates a nuanced, exquisitely made drama about the material of globalized modern living.
1951 • 96 minutes • 1.37:1 • Sweden
Spine: #613 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Hulu Plus
Touching on many of the themes that would define the rest of his legendary career—isolation, performance, the inescapability of the past—Ingmar Bergman’s tenth film was a gentle drift toward true mastery.
1953 • 97 minutes • 1.37:1 • Sweden
Spine: #614 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Hulu Plus, iTunes
Inspired by the earthy eroticism of Harriet Andersson, in the first of her many roles for him, Ingmar Bergman had a major international breakthrough with this sensual and ultimately ravaging tale of young love.
1955 • 100 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #22 Editions: DVD, Collector’s Sets, Hulu Plus, iTunes
In David Lean’s visually enchanting Summertime, Katharine Hepburn plays a lonely American spinster whose dream of romance finally becomes a bittersweet reality when she meets a handsome—but married—Italian man while vacationing in Venice.
1971 • 110 minutes • 1.66:1 • United Kingdom
Spine: #629 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
Sunday Bloody Sunday depicts the romantic lives of two Londoners, a middle-aged doctor and a prickly thirtysomething divorcée—played with great sensitivity by Peter Finch and Glenda Jackson—who are sleeping with the same handsome young artist.
1962 • 111 minutes • 2.35:1 • France
Spine: #728 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
A psychologically damaged war veteran and a neglected child begin a startlingly intimate friendship—one that ultimately ignites the suspicion and anger of his friends and neighbors in suburban Paris.
1974 • 98 minutes • 1.66:1 • France
Spine: #390 Editions: DVD, Hulu Plus
With its lewd abandon and sketch-comedy perversity, Makavejev’s cult staple Sweet Movie is a full-throated shriek in the face of bourgeois complacency and movie watching.
1957 • 96 minutes • 1.66:1 • United States
Spine: #555 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
In the swift, cynical Sweet Smell of Success, Burt Lancaster stars as the vicious Broadway gossip columnist J. J. Hunsecker, and Tony Curtis as Sidney Falco, the unprincipled press agent Hunsecker ropes into smearing the up-and-coming jazz musician romancing his beloved sister.
1989 • 99 minutes • 1.85:1 • New Zealand
Spine: #356 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Hulu Plus, iTunes
Though she went on to create a string of brilliant films, Jane Campion will always be remembered for her stunning debut feature, Sweetie, which focuses on the hazardous relationship between the buttoned-down, superstitious Kay and her rampaging, devil-may-care sister, Sweetie.
1966 • 119 minutes • 2.35:1 • Japan
Spine: #280 Editions: DVD, Hulu Plus, iTunes
Tatsuya Nakadai and Toshiro Mifune star in the story of a wandering samurai who exists in a maelstrom of violence. A gifted swordsman—plying his trade during the turbulent final days of Shogunate rule—Ryunosuke kills without remorse, without mercy. It’s a way of life that leads to madness.
1965 • 85 minutes • 2.35:1 • Japan
Spine: #311 Editions: DVD, Collector’s Sets, Hulu Plus
Legendary swordplay filmmaker Hideo Gosha’s Sword of the Beast chronicles the flight of the low-level swordsman Gennosuke, who kills one of his ministers as part of a reform plot. His comrades then turn on him and, his sense of honor shaken, he decides to live in the wild, like an animal.
1968 • 75 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #360 Editions: DVD, Hulu Plus
In his one-of-a-kind fiction/documentary hybrid Symbiopsychotaxiplasm Take One, director William Greaves presides over a beleaguered film crew in New York’s Central Park, leaving them to try to figure out what kind of movie they’re making.
1966 • 100 minutes • 1.33:1 • Italy
Spine: #456 Edition: DVD
Filmmaking legend Roberto Rossellini brings his passion for realism and unerring eye for the everyday to this portrait of the early years of the reign of France’s “Sun King,” and in the process reinvents the costume drama.
A poet dreams of three women—a mechanical performing doll, a bejeweled siren, and the consumptive daughter of a famous composer—all of whom break his heart in different ways. Powell and Pressburger create a phantasmagoric marriage of cinema and opera in this one-of-a-kind classic.
1988 • 353 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #258 Editions: DVD, Hulu Plus
In 1988, renegade filmmaker Robert Altman and Pulitzer Prize–winning Doonesbury cartoonist Garry Trudeau created a presidential candidate, ran him alongside the other hopefuls during the primary season, and presented their media campaign as a cross between a soap opera and TV news.
1997 • 99 minutes • 1.66:1 • Iran
Spine: #45 Editions: DVD, Hulu Plus
Middle-aged Mr. Badii drives through the hilly outskirts of Tehran, searching for someone to rescue or bury him, in Iranian auteur Abbas Kiarostami’s emotionally complex meditation on life and death.