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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
2008 • 165 minutes • 2.40:1 • United States
Spine: #476 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
Brad Pitt is a man who is born in his eighties and ages backward and Cate Blanchett is the woman he is destined to love forever in David Fincher’s monumental, Academy Award–winning The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, a powerful testament to life and death, love and loss.
2007 • 91 minutes • 2.40:1 • United States
Spine: #540 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
In director Wes Anderson’s The Darjeeling Limited, three estranged American brothers reunite for a meticulously planned, soul-searching train voyage across India one year after the death of their father.
In the 1940s, the wit of playwright Noël Coward and the craft of filmmaker David Lean melded harmoniously in one of cinema’s greatest writer-director collaborations.
1978 • 94 minutes • 1.77:1 • United States
Spine: #409 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
A timeless American idyll and a gritty evocation of turn-of-the-century labor, Terrence Malick’s glorious period tragedy Days of Heaven features Oscar-winning cinematography by Nestor Almendros.
1993 • 102 minutes • 1.85:1 • United States
Spine: #336 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
America, 1976. The last day of school. Bongs blaze, bell-bottoms ring, and rock and roll rocks. Among the best teen films ever made, Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused eavesdrops on a group of seniors-to-be and incoming freshmen.
1933 • 91 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #592 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
Gary Cooper, Fredric March, and Miriam Hopkins play a trio of Americans in Paris who enter into a very adult “gentleman’s agreement” in this continental pre-Code comedy, freely adapted by Ben Hecht from a play by Noël Coward and directed by Ernst Lubitsch.
Guillermo del Toro
2001 • 108 minutes • 1.85:1 • Spain
Spine: #666 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
Set during the final week of the Spanish Civil War, The Devil’s Backbone tells the tale of a twelve-year-old boy who, after his freedom-fighting father is killed, is sent to a haunted rural orphanage full of terrible secrets.
1955 • 117 minutes • 1.33:1 • France
Spine: #35 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Hulu Plus
Before Psycho, Peeping Tom, and Repulsion, there was Diabolique, a heart-grabbing benchmark in horror filmmaking, featuring outstanding performances by Simone Signoret, Véra Clouzot, and Paul Meurisse.
1991 • 97 minutes • 1.66:1 • France
Spine: #359 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Hulu Plus, iTunes
Krzysztof Kieślowski’s international breakthrough remains one of his most beloved films, a ravishing, mysterious rumination on identity, love, and human intuition. The Double Life of Véronique is an unforgettable symphony of feeling.
1986 • 107 minutes • 1.78:1 • United States
Spine: #166 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Hulu Plus, iTunes
Director Jim Jarmusch followed up his brilliant breakout film Stranger Than Paradise with another, equally beloved portrait of loners and misfits in the American landscape
1953 • 100 minutes • 1.33:1 • France
Spine: #445 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Hulu Plus, iTunes
The most cherished work from French master Max Ophuls, The Earrings of Madame de . . . is a profoundly emotional, cinematographically adventurous tale of deceptive opulence and tragic romance.
1982 • 83 minutes • 1.78:1 • United States
Spine: #625 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Hulu Plus, iTunes
A mix of hilarious, anything-goes slapstick and biting satire of me-generation self-indulgence, Eating Raoul marked the end of the sexual revolution with a thwack.
2008 • 131 minutes • 1.85:1 • Sweden
Spine: #520 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
Swedish master Jan Troell, director of the beloved classics The Emigrants and The New Land, returns triumphantly with Everlasting Moments, a vivid, heartrending story of a woman liberated through art at the beginning of the twentieth century.
1960 • 90 minutes • 1.66:1 • France
Spine: #260 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Hulu Plus, iTunes
At his secluded chateau in the French countryside, a brilliant, obsessive doctor (Pierre Brasseur) attempts a radical plastic surgery to restore the beauty of his daughter’s disfigured countenance—at a horrifying price.