Over the past four decades, Belgian director Chantal Akerman has created one of cinema’s most distinctive bodies of work—formally daring, often autobiographical films about people and places, time and space.
These early films, which show the stirrings of the genius to come, remain the hidden treasures of a European cinema on the cusp of a golden age.
This collection of Gabriel Pascal’s productions of Shaw’s work includes Major Barbara, Androcles and the Lion, and Caesar and Cleopatra, starring such luminaries of the big screen as Vivien Leigh, Claude Rains, Wendy Hiller, and Rex Harrison.
Often called the Godard of the East, Japanese director Nagisa Oshima was one of the most provocative film artists of the twentieth century, and his works challenged and shocked the cinematic world for decades.
Sacha Guitry was once a household name. Something of a Gallic Noël Coward, this disarming, multitalented artist served up some of 1930s French cinema’s tastiest dishes.
Years before Akira Kurosawa changed the face of cinema with such iconic works as Rashomon, Seven Samurai, and Yojimbo, he made his start in the Japanese film industry with four popular and exceptional works, created as World War II raged.
Canadian director Allan King is one of cinema’s best-kept secrets. It was with his cinema-verité-style documentaries that King left his greatest mark on film history. These startlingly intimate studies of people whose lives are in flux are riveting and at times emotionally overwhelming.
In the late fifties and early sixties, Basil Dearden created a series of gripping, groundbreaking, even controversial films that dealt with racism, homophobia, and the lingering effects of World War II, noir-tinged dramas that burrowed into corners of London rarely seen on-screen.
Mikio Naruse is one of the most popular directors in the history of Japanese cinema, a crafter of heartrending melodramas often compared with the work of Yasujiro Ozu and Kenji Mizoguchi.
These haywire hits about splintered love affairs and broken homes, all starring mustachioed matinee idol Amedeo Nazzari and icon of feminine purity Yvonne Sanson, luxuriate in delirious plot twists and overheated religious symbolism.
Koreyoshi Kurahara’s free-form approach to moviemaking was perfectly suited to the radical spirit of the 1960s, when he was one of the biggest hit makers working at the razzle-dazzle, youth-oriented Nikkatsu studios.
In the late eighties, Aki Kaurismäki, a master of the deadpan, fashioned a waggish fish-out-of-water tale about a U.S. tour by “the worst rock-and-roll band in the world.”
With the discerning eye of a true artist and the investigatory skills of a great journalist, Malle takes us from a street corner in Paris to America’s heartland to the expanses of India in his astonishing epic Phantom India.
In the thirties and forties, the young Indian actor known as Sabu (born Selar Shaik) captured the hearts of moviegoers in Britain and the United States as a completely new kind of big-screen icon.
Jean-Pierre Gorin established
his personal voice with this trio of fascinating,
Of all the cinematic New Waves that broke over the world in the 1960s, the one in Czechoslovakia was among the most fruitful, fascinating, and radical.
Robert Downey Sr. emerged as one of the most irreverent filmmakers of the New York underground of the sixties, taking no prisoners in his rough-and-tumble treatises on politics, race, and consumer culture.
Though little known outside of France, Jean Grémillon was a consummate filmmaker from his country’s golden age.
Norman Mailer is remembered for many things— his novels, his essays, his articles, his activism, his ego. one largely forgotten chapter of his life, however, is his late-sixties kamikaze-style plunge into making experimental films.
During the 1940s, realism reigned in British cinema—but not at Gainsborough Pictures. The studio, which had been around since the twenties, found new success with a series of pleasurably preposterous costume melodramas.
In 1967 and 1968, the company created four certifiably batty, low-budget fantasies, tales haunted by watery ghosts, plagued by angry insects, and stalked by aliens—including one in the form of a giant chicken-lizard.
These are unforgettable depictions of a postwar Japan troubled by identity crises and moral corruption on scales both intimate and institutional.
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
From the very beginning of his incandescent career, the New German Cinema enfant terrible Rainer Werner Fassbinder refused to play by the rules.
Centered on the modern sensibilities of the younger generation, these delicate family dramas are marked by an exquisite formal elegance and emotional sensitivity about birth and death, love and marriage, and all the accompanying joys and loneliness.
The films directed by the great Satyajit Ray in the last ten years of his life have a unique dignity and drama. They are complex, political, and humane depictions of worlds both corrupt and indescribably beautiful, constructed with Ray’s characteristic elegance and imbued with autumnal profundity.