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.
Vittorio De Sica
1952 • 88 minutes • 1.37:1 • Italy
Spine: #201 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray, Collector’s Sets, Hulu Plus
This neorealist masterpiece by Vittorio De Sica follows an elderly pensioner as he strives to make ends meet during Italy’s postwar economic recovery.
1988 • 172 minutes • 1.85:1 • United States
Spine: #55 Edition: DVD
Philip Kaufman achieves a delicate, erotic balance with his screen version of Milan Kundera’s “unfilmable” novel about a womanizing surgeon (Daniel Day-Lewis), his free-spirited mistress (Lena Olin), and his childlike wife (Juliette Binoche).
1930 • 92 minutes • 1.33:1 • France
Spine: #161 Editions: DVD, Hulu Plus
In René Clair’s irrepressibly romantic portrait of the crowded tenements of Paris, a street singer and a gangster vie for the love of a beautiful young woman. An international sensation upon its release, Under the Roofs of Paris is an exhilarating celebration of filmmaking.
1984 • 112 minutes • 1.78:1 • United States
Spine: #410 Editions: DVD, Hulu Plus
John Huston’s ambitious tackling of Malcolm Lowry’s towering, “unadaptable” novel Under the Volcano follows the final day in the life of self-destructive British consul Geoffrey Firmin (Albert Finney, in an Oscar-nominated tour de force), on the eve of World War II.
1948 • 105 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #292 Edition: DVD
In this pitch-black comedy from Preston Sturges, Rex Harrison stars as a world-famous symphony conductor consumed with the suspicion that his wife is having an affair. Unfaithfully Yours is a brilliantly performed mixture of razor-sharp dialogue and uproarious slapstick.
Carl Th. Dreyer
1932 • 73 minutes • 1.19:1 • Denmark
Spine: #437 Editions: DVD, Hulu Plus
With Vampyr, Danish filmmaker Carl Theodor Dreyer’s brilliance at achieving mesmerizing atmosphere and austere, profoundly unsettling imagery was for once applied to the horror genre. Yet the result is nearly unclassifiable. Vampyr is one of cinema’s great nightmares.
1988 • 106 minutes • 1.66:1 • Netherlands
Spine: #133 Editions: DVD, Hulu Plus
A young man begins an obsessive search for his girlfriend after she mysteriously disappears during their sunny vacation getaway. The Vanishing unfolds with intense precision, culminating in a genuinely chilling finale that has unnerved audiences around the world.
1994 • 119 minutes • 1.66:1 • United States
Spine: #599 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray
Vanya on 42nd Street is as memorable and emotional a screen version of Chekhov’s masterpiece as one could ever hope to see. This film, which turned out to be Malle’s last, is a tribute to the playwright’s devastating work as well as to the creative process itself.
A beautiful ingenue joins a tawdry music hall troupe and quickly becomes its feature attraction in Federico Fellini’s stunning debut film (directed in collaboration with neorealist filmmaker Alberto Lattuada).
1979 • 140 minutes • 1.66:1 • Japan
Spine: #384 Editions: DVD, Hulu Plus, iTunes
A thief, murderer, and charming lady-killer, Iwao Enokizu (Ken Ogata) is on the run from the police. Director Shohei Imamura turns this fact-based story of his seventy-eight-day killing spree into a cold, perverse, and diabolically funny tale of the primitive coexisting with the modern.
1983 • 87 minutes • 1.85:1 • Canada
Spine: #248 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray
When Max Renn goes looking for edgy new shows for his sleazy cable TV station, he stumbles across the pirate broadcast of a hyperviolent torture show called Videodrome. This is one of David Cronenberg’s most provocative works, fusing social commentary with shocking sex and violence.
1960 • 89 minutes • 1.33:1 • Sweden
Spine: #321 Editions: DVD, Collector’s Sets, Hulu Plus
Winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, Ingmar Bergman’s The Virgin Spring is a harrowing tale of faith, revenge, and savagery in medieval Sweden.
1961 • 90 minutes • 1.66:1 • Spain
Spine: #332 Editions: DVD, Collector’s Sets, Hulu Plus
Novice nun Viridiana does her utmost to maintain her Catholic principles, but her lecherous uncle and a motley assemblage of paupers force her to confront the limits of her idealism. Luis Buñuel’s irreverent vision of life as a beggar’s banquet is regarded by many as his masterpiece.
1942 • 121 minutes • 1.33:1 • France
Spine: #626 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray, Hulu Plus
Two strangers dressed as minstrels (Arletty and Alain Cuny) arrive at a castle in advance of court festivities—and are revealed to be emissaries of the devil, dispatched to spread heartbreak and suffering. Their plans, however, are thwarted by an unexpected intrusion: human love.
1962 • 83 minutes • 1.33:1 • France
Spine: #512 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray, Hulu Plus
Vivre sa vie was a turning point for Jean-Luc Godard and remains one of his most dynamic films, combining brilliant visual design with a tragic character study. Anna Karina plays Nana, a young Parisian who aspires to be an actress but instead ends up a prostitute.
1953 • 147 minutes • 1.33:1 • France
Spine: #36 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray, Collector’s Sets, Hulu Plus, iTunes
Four desperate men sign on for a suicide mission to drive trucks loaded with nitroglycerin over a treacherous mountain route—a white-knuckle ride from France’s legendary master of suspense, Henri-Georges Clouzot.
1971 • 100 minutes • 1.78:1 • Australia
Spine: #10 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray, Hulu Plus, iTunes
A young sister and brother are abandoned in the harsh Australian outback and must learn to cope in the natural world, without their usual comforts, in this hypnotic masterpiece from Nicolas Roeg.
1987 • 94 minutes • 1.85:1 • United States
Spine: #423 Edition: DVD
A hallucinatory biopic that breaks all cinematic conventions, Alex Cox’s Walker tells the story of nineteenth-century American adventurer William Walker (Ed Harris), who became a soldier of fortune and dictator of Nicaragua.
The 1992 presidential election was a triumph not only for Bill Clinton but also for the new breed of strategists who guided him to the White House—and changed the face of politics in the process.
1967 • 104 minutes • 1.66:1 • France
Spine: #635 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray, Hulu Plus
This scathing late-sixties satire from Jean-Luc Godard is one of cinema’s great anarchic works. Determined to collect an inheritance from a dying relative, a bourgeois couple travel across the French countryside while civilization crashes and burns around them.
2011 • 97 minutes • 1.85:1 • United Kingdom
Spine: #622 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray
Rarely has a film been as honest about sexuality—in both depiction and discussion—as this tale of a one-night stand that develops into a weekend-long idyll for two very different young men (exciting screen newcomers Tom Cullen and Chris New) in the English Midlands.
1960 • 111 minutes • 2.35:1 • Japan
Spine: #377 Editions: DVD, Hulu Plus
When a Woman Ascends the Stairs might be Japanese filmmaker Mikio Naruse’s finest hour—a delicate, devastating study of a woman, Keiko (Hideko Takamine), who works as a bar hostess in Tokyo’s very modern postwar Ginza district, and entertains businessmen after work.
1982 • 90 minutes • 1.78:1 • United States
Spine: #455 Edition: DVD
Kristy McNichol stars as a young actress who adopts a lost German shepherd, only to discover through a series of horrifying incidents that the dog has been trained to attack black people. White Dog is Samuel Fuller’s throat-grabbing exposé on American racism.