Spine: #392 Edition: DVD
Hiroshi Teshigahara found his spiritual partner in novelist and screenwriter Kobo Abe, with whom he collaborated on these Kafkaesque portraits of identities in peril, films that captivated mainstream audiences while also touching the edges of the Japanese avant-garde.
1964 • 93 minutes • 2.35:1 • Japan
Spine: #596 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray, Hulu Plus
This first film by the legendary Hideo Gosha is among the most canonized chambara (sword-fighting) films.
Georg Wilhelm Pabst
1931 • 110 minutes • 1.19:1 • Germany
Spine: #405 Editions: DVD, Hulu Plus
Set in the impoverished back alleys of Victorian London, The Threepenny Opera follows underworld antihero Mackie Messer (a.k.a. Mack the Knife) as he tries to woo Polly Peachum and elude the authorities. Set to Kurt Weill’s irresistible score, this film remains a benchmark of early sound cinema.
1957 • 109 minutes • 1.33:1 • Japan
Spine: #190 Editions: DVD, Collector’s Sets, Hulu Plus
Akira Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood reimagines Macbeth in feudal Japan. Starring Kurosawa’s longtime collaborator Toshiro Mifune and the legendary Isuzu Yamada as his ruthless wife, the film tells of a valiant warrior’s savage rise to power and his ignominious fall.
1981 • 116 minutes • 1.85:1 • United Kingdom
Spine: #37 Edition: DVD
In Terry Gilliam’s fantastic voyage through time and space, a young boy escapes his gadget-obsessed parents to join a band of time-traveling dwarves.
1984 • 88 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #557 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray, Hulu Plus, iTunes
The Oscar-winning The Times of Harvey Milk, was as groundbreaking as its subject. One of the first feature documentaries to address gay life in America, it’s a work of advocacy itself, bringing Milk’s message of hope and equality to a wider audience.
1979 • 163 minutes • 1.66:1 • Germany
Spine: #234 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray, Hulu Plus, iTunes
The Tin Drum, is Volker Schlöndorff’s visionary adaptation of Nobel laureate Günter Grass’s acclaimed novel, characterized by surreal imagery, arresting eroticism, and clear-eyed satire.
2010 • 99 minutes • 2.35:1 • United States
Spine: #597 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray
As painfully confessional as it is amusing, Tiny Furniture is an authentic, incisive portrait of a young woman at a crossroads.
1942 • 99 minutes • 1.37:1 • United States
Spine: #670 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray
As nervy as it is hilarious, this screwball masterpiece from Ernst Lubitsch stars Jack Benny and, in her final screen appearance, Carole Lombard as husband-and-wife thespians in Nazi-occupied Warsaw who become caught up in a dangerous spy plot.
1966 • 82 minutes • 2.35:1 • Japan
Spine: #39 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray, Hulu Plus, iTunes
In this jazzy gangster film, reformed killer Tetsu’s attempt to go straight is thwarted when his former cohorts call him back to Tokyo to help battle a rival gang.
1965 • 170 minutes • 2.35:1 • Japan
Spine: #155 Edition: DVD
Utilizing glorious widescreen cinematography, Kon Ichikawa examines the beauty and rich drama on display at the 1964 Summer Games in Tokyo. A spectacle of magnificent proportions, Tokyo Olympiad ranks among the greatest documents of sport ever committed to film.
1953 • 136 minutes • 1.33:1 • Japan
Spine: #217 Editions: DVD, Hulu Plus, iTunes
One of cinema’s greatest masterpieces, Yasujiro Ozu’s Tokyo Story follows an aging couple, Tomi and Sukichi, on their journey from their rural village to visit their two married children in bustling, postwar Tokyo.
1999 • 160 minutes • 1.78:1 • United Kingdom
Spine: #558 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray
The world of Gilbert and Sullivan comes to vivid life in director Mike Leigh’s extraordinary dramatization of the staging of the duo’s legendary 1885 comic opera The Mikado. Topsy-Turvy is an unexpected period delight from one of contemporary cinema’s great artists.
1954 • 96 minutes • 1.33:1 • France
Spine: #271 Editions: DVD, Collector’s Sets
Having pulled off the heist of a lifetime, Max looks forward to spending his remaining days relaxing with his beautiful young girlfriend. But when Max’s hapless partner lets word of the loot slip to loose-lipped, two-timing Josy (Jeanne Moreau), Max is reluctantly drawn back into the underworld.
Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Pierre Gorin’s free-ranging assault on consumer capitalism and the establishment left tells the story of a wildcat strike at a sausage factory as witnessed by an American reporter (Jane Fonda) and her has-been New Wave film director husband (Yves Montand).
2000 • 147 minutes • 1.78:1 • United States
Spine: #151 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray
With an innovative color-coded cinematic treatment to distinguish his interwoven stories, Steven Soderbergh embroils viewers in the lives of a newly appointed drug czar and his family, a West Coast kingpin’s wife, a key informant, and police officers on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.
1971 • 97 minutes • 1.33:1 • France
Spine: #439 Edition: DVD
For his final outing, Monsieur Hulot is employed as an auto company’s director of design, and accompanies his new vehicle (a camper tricked out with absurd gadgetry) to an auto show in Amsterdam. Naturally, the road is paved with modern-age mishaps in Jacques Tati’s Trafic.
Pier Paolo Pasolini
Spine: #631 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray
In the early 1970s, the great Italian poet, philosopher, and filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini brought to the screen a trio of masterpieces of medieval literature.
1960 • 131 minutes • 1.66:1 • France
Spine: #129 Edition: DVD
In a Paris prison cell, five inmates use every ounce of their tenacity and ingenuity in an elaborate attempt to tunnel to freedom. Based on the novel by José Giovanni, Jacques Becker’s Le trou (The Hole) balances lyrical humanism with a tense, unshakable air of imminent danger.
1932 • 82 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #170 Edition: DVD
When thief Gaston Monescu (Herbert Marshall) meets his true love in pickpocket Lily (Miriam Hopkins), they embark on a scam to rob lovely perfume company executive Mariette Colet (Kay Francis). Legendary director Ernst Lubitsch’s masterful touch is in full flower in Trouble in Paradise.
1960 • 106 minutes • 1.66:1 • United Kingdom
Spine: #225 Editions: DVD, Hulu Plus, iTunes
A lifetime officer and an educated scion of an old military family battle each other to win the loyalties of a peacetime Scottish battalion. Ronald Neame’s portrayal of the rigid hierarchy of military life also examines the institutional contradictions and class divisions of English society.
1954 • 156 minutes • 1.33:1 • Japan
Spine: #442 Editions: DVD, Hulu Plus
One of Japan’s most popular and enduring classics, Keisuke Kinoshita’s Twenty-Four Eyes is an elegant, emotional chronicle of a teacher’s unwavering commitment to her students, her profession, and her sense of morality.
1967 • 87 minutes • 1.66:1 • France
Spine: #388 Edition: DVD
A young Jewish boy living in Nazi-occupied Paris is sent by his parents to the countryside to live with an elderly Catholic couple until France’s liberation. Forced to hide his identity, the eight-year-old, Claude, bonds with the irascible, staunchly anti-Semitic Grampa (Michel Simon).
1971 • 103 minutes • 2.35:1 • United States
Spine: #414 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray
With its gorgeous widescreen compositions and sophisticated look at American male obsession, this stripped-down narrative from maverick director Monte Hellman is one of the artistic high points of 1970s cinema, and possibly the greatest road movie ever made.
1953 • 97 minutes • 1.33:1 • Japan
Spine: #309 Editions: DVD, Collector’s Sets, Hulu Plus, iTunes
Derived from stories by Akinari Ueda and Guy de Maupassant, Ugetsu, a ghost story like no other, is surely the Japanese director Kenji Mizoguchi’s supreme achievement and one of the most beautiful films ever made.