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.
1970 • 97 minutes • 1.66:1 • France
Spine: #187 Editions: Collector’s Sets, Hulu Plus
Lightly comic, with a touch of the burlesque, the fourth installment in François Truffaut’s chronicle of the ardent, anachronistic Antoine Doinel, Bed and Board, is a bittersweet look at the travails of young married life and the fine line between adolescence and adulthood.
1994 • 113 minutes • 1.78:1 • Macedonia
Spine: #436 Editions: DVD, Hulu Plus
Milcho Manchevski’s Before the Rain crosscuts the stories of an orthodox Christian monk, a British photo agent, and a native Macedonian war photographer to paint a portrait of simmering ethnic and religious hatred about to reach its boiling point.
1999 • 113 minutes • 1.85:1 • United States
Spine: #611 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
Have you ever wanted to be someone else? Or, more specifically, have you ever wanted to crawl through a portal hidden in an anonymous office building and thereby enter the cerebral cortex of John Malkovich for fifteen minutes, before being spat out on the side of the New Jersey Turnpike?
1967 • 100 minutes • 1.66:1 • France
Spine: #593 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Hulu Plus
Catherine Deneuve’s porcelain perfection hides a cracked interior in one of the actress’s most iconic roles: Séverine, a Paris housewife who begins secretly spending her afternoon hours working in a bordello.
2006 • 83 minutes • 1.77:1 • Sweden
Spine: #477 Editions: DVD, Hulu Plus
The most breathtakingly candid series of interviews that the famously reclusive director ever took part in, Bergman Island features legendary filmmaker Ingmar Bergman sitting down just four years before his death with Swedish documentarian Marie Nyreröd in his home on Fårö Island.
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
1980 • 940 minutes • 1.33:1 • Germany
Spine: #411 Edition: DVD
Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s controversial, fifteen-hour-plus epic follows the hulking, childlike ex-convict Franz Biberkopf (Günter Lamprecht) as he attempts to “become an honest soul” amid the corrosive urban landscape of Weimar-era Germany.
1938 • 96 minutes • 1.33:1 • France
Spine: #324 Editions: DVD, Hulu Plus
Based on the classic Emile Zola novel, Jean Renoir’s La bête humaine, a suspenseful journey into the tormented psyche of a workingman, was one of the director’s greatest popular successes—and earned star Jean Gabin a permanent place in the hearts of his countrymen.
Vittorio De Sica
1948 • 89 minutes • 1.33:1 • Italy
Spine: #374 Edition: DVD
Hailed around the world as one of the greatest movies ever made, the Academy Award–winning Bicycle Thieves, directed by Vittorio De Sica, defined an era in cinema.
1963 • 135 minutes • 1.33:1 • India
Spine: #668 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Hulu Plus, iTunes
The Big City follows the personal triumphs and frustrations of Arati (Madhabi Mukherjee), who decides, despite the initial protests of her bank-clerk husband, to take a job to help support their family.
1958 • 106 minutes • 1.33:1 • Italy
Spine: #113 Edition: DVD
An all-star cast and jazzy score highlight this charming comedy, a deft satire of classic caper films like Rififi. Big Deal on Madonna Street hilariously details the plight of a sad-sack group of bumbling thieves and their desperate attempts to pull off the perfect heist.
1956 • 95 minutes • 2.35:1 • United States
Spine: #507 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
When a suburban teacher and father (James Mason) is prescribed cortisone for a painful, possibly fatal affliction, he grows dangerously addicted to the experimental drug. This Eisenhower-era throat-grabber, shot in expressive CinemaScope, is an excoriating take on the nuclear family.
1963 • 93 minutes • 2.35:1 • United Kingdom
Spine: #121 Editions: DVD, Collector’s Sets
Tom Courtenay is Billy Fisher, the underachieving undertaker’s assistant whose constant daydreams and truth-deficient stories earn him the nickname “Billy Liar.” Deftly veering from gritty realism to flamboyant fantasy, Billy Liar is a dazzling and uproarious classic.
1975 • 100 minutes • 1.66:1 • France
Spine: #571 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Hulu Plus
This Freudian tale of adolescent sexuality set in a postapocalyptic world of shifting identities and talking animals is one of Malle’s most experimental films and a cinematic daydream like no other.
1959 • 107 minutes • 1.33:1 • France
Spine: #48 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Collector’s Sets, Hulu Plus, iTunes
Winner of both the Academy Award for best foreign-language film and the Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or, Marcel Camus’ Black Orpheus (Orfeu negro) brings the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice to the twentieth-century madness of Carnival in Rio de Janeiro.
1961 • 77 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #428 Edition: DVD
Swift, brutal, and black-hearted, Allen Baron’s New York City noir Blast of Silence is a sensational surprise, a low-budget, carefully crafted portrait of a hit man on assignment in Manhattan during Christmastime.
1945 • 96 minutes • 1.37:1 • United Kingdom
Spine: #606 Editions: Collector’s Sets, iTunes
David Lean’s delightful film version of Noël Coward’s theater sensation stars Rex Harrison as a novelist who cheekily invites a medium to his house to conduct a séance, hoping the experience will inspire a book he’s working on.