James L. Brooks
1987 • 132 minutes • 1.85:1 • United States
Spine: #552 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
James L. Brooks’s witty, gently prophetic film is a captivating transmission from an era in which ideas on relationships and the media were rapidly changing.
1978 • 96 minutes • 1.66:1 • France
Spine: #671 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
A breakout art-house smash in America, Edouard Molinaro’s La Cage aux Folles inspired a major Broadway musical and the blockbuster remake The Birdcage. But with its hilarious performances and ahead-of-its-time social message, there’s nothing like the audacious, dazzling original movie.
2010 • 339 minutes • 2.35:1 • France
Spine: #582 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
Carlos, directed by Olivier Assayas, is an epic, intensely detailed account of the life of the infamous international terrorist Ilich Ramírez Sanchez—also known as Carlos the Jackal.
1970 • 140 minutes • 1.85:1 • France
Spine: #218 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
Alain Delon plays a master thief, fresh out of prison, who crosses paths with a notorious escapee and an alcoholic ex-cop (Yves Montand). The unlikely trio plot a heist, against impossible odds, until a relentless inspector and their own pasts seal their fates.
2010 • 106 minutes • 1.85:1 • Italy
Spine: #612 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
What seems at first to be a straightforward tale of two people—played by Oscar-winning actress Juliette Binoche and opera singer William Shimell—getting to know each other over the course of an afternoon gradually reveals itself as something richer, stranger, and trickier.
1963 • 113 minutes • 1.85:1 • United States
Spine: #57 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
In this comedic thriller, a trio of crooks relentlessly pursue a young American, played by Audrey Hepburn in gorgeous Givenchy, through Paris in an attempt to recover the fortune her dead husband stole from them.
1964 • 119 minutes • 1.33:1 • India
Spine: #669 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Hulu Plus, iTunes
Based on a novella by the great Rabindranath Tagore, Charulata is a work of subtle textures, a delicate tale of a marriage in jeopardy and a woman taking the first steps toward establishing her own voice.
2008 • 261 minutes • United States
Spine: #496 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
Daring in its refusal to make the socialist leader into an easy martyr or hero, Che paints a vivid, naturalistic portrait of the man himself (Benicio del Toro), from his overthrow of the Batista dictatorship to his 1964 United Nations trip to the end of his short life.
1945 • 190 minutes • 1.37:1 • France
Spine: #141 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Hulu Plus, iTunes
Poetic realism reached sublime heights with Children of Paradise, widely considered one of the greatest French films of all time.
2008 • 152 minutes • 2.35:1 • France
Spine: #492 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
In Arnaud Desplechin’s beguiling A Christmas Tale, Catherine Deneuve brings her legendary poise to the role of Junon, matriarch of the troubled Vuillard family, who come together at Christmas after she learns she needs a bone marrow transplant from a blood relative.
The fascinating result of a collaboration between filmmaker-anthropologist Jean Rouch and sociologist Edgar Morin, this vanguard work of what Morin would term cinéma verité is a brilliantly conceived and realized sociopolitical diagnosis of the early sixties in France.
1994 • 102 minutes • 1.66:1 • Hong Kong
Spine: #453 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
Two heartsick Hong Kong cops cross paths at the Midnight Express take-out restaurant stand, where the ethereal pixie waitress Faye works. Chungking Express is one of the defining works of nineties cinema and the film that made Hong Kong filmmaker Wong Kar-wai an instant icon.
2001 • 101 minutes • 1.85:1 • Argentina
Spine: #743 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Hulu Plus, iTunes
With a radical take on narrative, disturbing yet beautiful cinematography, and a highly sophisticated use of on- and offscreen sound, Martel turns her tale of a decaying bourgeois family, whiling away the hours of one sweaty, sticky summer, into a cinematic marvel.
1931 • 86 minutes • 1.19:1 • United States
Spine: #680 Editions: Dual Format Blu-ray/DVD, Hulu Plus, iTunes
The writer-director-star achieved new levels of grace, in both physical comedy and dramatic poignancy, with this silent tale of a lovable vagrant falling for a young blind woman who sells flowers on the street (a magical Virginia Cherrill) and mistakes him for a millionaire.
1990 • 98 minutes • 1.33:1 • Iran
Spine: #519 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Hulu Plus, iTunes
Internationally revered Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami has created some of the most inventive and transcendent cinema of the past thirty years, and the fiction-documentary hybrid Close-up is his most radical, brilliant work.
Spine: #729 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
With a background in music hall and mime performance, Tati steadily built an ever-more-ambitious movie career that ultimately raised sight-gag comedy to the level of high art.
Even among cinema’s legends, Jean Vigo stands apart. The son of a notorious anarchist, Vigo had a brief but brilliant career making poetic, lightly surrealist films before his life was cut tragically short by tuberculosis at age twenty-nine.
On a beautiful June weekend in 1967, at the height of the Summer of Love, the first and only Monterey International Pop Festival roared forward, capturing a decade’s spirit and ushering in a new era of rock and roll.
1970 • 138 minutes • 1.66:1 • France
Spine: #759 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Hulu Plus, iTunes
The master of the political thriller, Costa-Gavras became an instant phenomenon after the mammoth success of Z, and he quickly followed it with the equally riveting The Confession.
1959 • 109 minutes • 1.33:1 • France
Spine: #581 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Hulu Plus
In Les cousins, Claude Chabrol crafts a sly moral fable about a provincial boy who comes to live with his sophisticated bohemian cousin in Paris. This dagger-sharp drama won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival and was an important early entry in the French New Wave.
1972 • 91 minutes • 1.66:1 • Sweden
Spine: #101 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Hulu Plus, iTunes
An intensely felt film that is one of Bergman’s most striking formal experiments, Cries and Whispers (which won an Oscar for the extraordinary color photography of Sven Nykvist) is a powerful depiction of human behavior in the face of death.
Guillermo del Toro
1993 • 92 minutes • 1.78:1 • Mexico
Spine: #551 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Hulu Plus, iTunes
Guillermo del Toro made an auspicious, audacious feature debut with Cronos, a highly unorthodox tale about the seductiveness of the idea of immortality. Cronos is a dark, visually rich, and emotionally captivating fantasy.
1995 • 120 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #533 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
Terry Zwigoff’s landmark 1995 film is an intimate documentary portrait of the underground artist Robert Crumb, whose unique drawing style and sexually and racially provocative subject matter have made him a household name in popular American art.
1966 • 112 minutes • 1.66:1 • United Kingdom
Spine: #577 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
Roman Polanski orchestrates a mental ménage à trois in this slyly absurd tale of paranoia from the director’s golden 1960s period.