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.
1975 • 201 minutes • 1.66:1 • Belgium
Spine: #484 Editions: DVD, Hulu Plus
Whether seen as an exacting character portrait or one of cinema’s most hypnotic and complete depictions of space and time, Jeanne Dielman is an astonishing, compelling movie experiment, one that has been analyzed and argued over for decades.
1955 • 106 minutes • 1.66:1 • United States
Spine: #568 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray
Brazen and bleak, Kiss Me Deadly is a film noir masterwork as well as an essential piece of cold war paranoia, and it features as nervy an ending as has ever been seen in American cinema.
1993 • 187 minutes • 2.35:1 • United States
Spine: #265 Edition: DVD
Epic in scale yet meticulously observed, maverick director Robert Altman’s Short Cuts interweaves the lives of twenty-two characters struggling to find solace and meaning in contemporary Los Angeles.
1977 • 124 minutes • 2.35:1 • United States
Spine: #230 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray
In a dusty California resort rown, a naïve Southern waif finds her role model in a fellow nurse, but her hero-worship evolves into something stranger and more sinister than either could have anticipated. Robert Altman’s dreamlike masterpiece careens from the humorous to the chilling to the surreal.
1988 • 353 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #258 Editions: DVD, Hulu Plus
In 1988, renegade filmmaker Robert Altman and Pulitzer Prize–winning Doonesbury cartoonist Garry Trudeau created a presidential candidate, ran him alongside the other hopefuls during the primary season, and presented their media campaign as a cross between a soap opera and TV news.
1984 • 90 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #257 Editions: DVD, Hulu Plus, iTunes
Based on the original play by Donald Freed and Arnold M. Stone, and starring Philip Baker Hall in a tour de force solo performance, Robert Altman’s Secret Honor is a searing interrogation of the Richard Nixon mystique and an audacious depiction of unchecked paranoia.
A low-key postpunk diary that took four years to complete, Allison Anders’ Border Radio features legendary rocker Chris D. as a singer/songwriter who has stolen loot from a club and gone missing, leaving his wife, a no-nonsense rock journalist, to track him down with the help of his friends.
1968 • 112 minutes • 1.66:1 • United Kingdom
Spine: #391 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray
Before Kubrick made his mischief iconic in A Clockwork Orange, Malcolm McDowell made a hell of an impression as the insouciant Mick Travis, who, along with his school chums, trumps authority at every turn, finally emerging as a violent savior.
1963 • 134 minutes • 1.66:1 • United Kingdom
Spine: #417 Editions: DVD, iTunes
One of the finest British films ever made, this benchmark of “kitchen-sink realism” follows the self-defeating professional and romantic pursuits of a miner turned rugby player eking out an existence in drab Yorkshire, played by an astonishing Richard Harris.
2001 • 110 minutes • 2.35:1 • United States
Spine: #157 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray
Wes Anderson’s hilarious, touching, and brilliantly stylized study of melancholy and redemption centers around a dysfunctional family of geniuses.
1998 • 93 minutes • 2.35:1 • United States
Spine: #65 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray
Tenth grader Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman) is Rushmore Academy’s most extracurricular student, and its least scholarly, in Wes Anderson’s dazzling sophomore effort—equal parts coming-of-age story, French New Wave homage, and screwball comedy.
1996 • 91 minutes • 1.85:1 • United States
Spine: #450 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray
Wes Anderson first illustrated his lovingly detailed, slightly surreal cinematic vision (with cowriter Owen Wilson) in this visually witty and warm portrait of three young misfits.
2004 • 118 minutes • 2.35:1 • United States
Spine: #300 Edition: DVD
Internationally famous oceanographer Steve Zissou (Bill Murray) and his crew—Team Zissou—set sail on an expedition to hunt down the mysterious, elusive, possibly nonexistent “jaguar shark” that killed Zissou’s partner in Oscar-nominated writer-director Wes Anderson’s adventure-comedy.
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.
1960 • 145 minutes • 1.77:1 • Italy
Spine: #98 Editions: DVD, Collector’s Sets, Hulu Plus
A girl mysteriously disappears on a yachting trip. While her lover and her best friend search for her across Italy, they begin an affair. Antonioni’s penetrating study of the idle upper class offers stinging observations on spiritual isolation and the many meanings of love.
1962 • 126 minutes • 1.85:1 • Italy
Spine: #278 Editions: DVD, Hulu Plus
The conclusion of Michelangelo Antonioni’s informal trilogy on modern malaise, L’eclisse (The Eclipse) tells the story of a young woman (Monica Vitti) who leaves one lover (Francisco Rabal) only to drift into a relationship with another (Alain Delon).
1964 • 117 minutes • 1.85:1 • Italy
Spine: #522 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray, Hulu Plus
Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1960s panoramas of contemporary alienation were decade-defining artistic events. Red Desert, his first color film, is perhaps his most epochal, and confirms Antonioni as cinema’s preeminent poet of the modern age.
1982 • 130 minutes • 1.85:1 • Italy
Spine: #585 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray, Hulu Plus
Michelangelo Antonioni’s Identification of a Woman is a body- and soul-baring voyage into one man’s artistic and erotic consciousness.
2009 • 122 minutes • 1.33:1 • United Kingdom
Spine: #553 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray
British director Andrea Arnold won the Cannes Jury Prize for the intense and invigorating Fish Tank, about a fifteen-year-old girl, Mia (electrifying newcomer Katie Jarvis), who lives with her mother and sister in the housing projects of Essex.
1971 • 91 minutes • 1.85:1 • United States
Spine: #608 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray
With the idiosyncratic American fable Harold and Maude, countercultural director Hal Ashby fashioned what would become the cult classic of its era.
1952 • 95 minutes • 1.33:1 • United Kingdom
Spine: #158 Editions: DVD, Collector’s Sets, iTunes
Oscar Wilde’s enduringly hilarious story of two young women who think themselves engaged to the same nonexistent man is given the grand Technicolor treatment. Seldom has a classic stage comedy been so engagingly transferred to the screen.
Cranky Professor Henry Higgins (Leslie Howard) takes a bet that he can turn Cockney guttersnipe Eliza Doolittle (Wendy Hiller) into a “proper lady” in a mere six months in this delightful comedy of bad manners, based on the play by George Bernard Shaw.
1951 • 90 minutes • 1.33:1 • United Kingdom
Spine: #294 Editions: DVD, Hulu Plus, iTunes
Michael Redgrave gives the performance of his career in Anthony Asquith’s adaptation of Terence Rattigan’s unforgettable play. Redgrave portrays Andrew Crocker-Harris, an embittered, middle-aged schoolmaster who begins to feel that his life has been a failure.
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.