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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.
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Disgraced Swedish detective Jonas Engström (Stellan Skarsgård) travels to northern Norway to solve a brutal murder in Erik Skjoldbjærg’s debut feature, Insomnia.
Unsparing in its portrait of the inner turmoil of a self-destructive writer who resolves to kill himself, The Fire Within is one of Louis Malle’s darkest and most personal films.
When a Woman Ascends the Stairs might be Japanese filmmaker Mikio Naruse’s finest hour—a delicate, devastating study of a woman, Keiko (Hideko Takamine), who works as a bar hostess in Tokyo’s very modern postwar Ginza district, and entertains businessmen after work.
Robinson Crusoe on Mars tells the story of U.S. astronaut Commander “Kit” Draper (Paul Mantee), who must fight for survival when his spaceship crash-lands on the barren waste of Mars, a pet monkey his only companion.
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.
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.
World-weary and living hand to mouth, Coyle works on the sidelines of the seedy Boston underworld. In one of the best performances of his legendary career, Robert Mitchum plays small-time gunrunner Eddie “Fingers” Coyle in Peter Yates’s The Friends of Eddie Coyle.
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.
Widely regarded as the greatest Spanish film of the 1970s, Victor Erice’s The Spirit of the Beehive is a visually arresting, bewitching portrait of a child’s haunted inner life.
At a village railway station in occupied Czechoslovakia, a bumbling dispatcher’s apprentice longs to liberate himself from his virginity. Wry and tender, Jirí Menzel’s Academy Award-winning Closely Watched Trains is a masterpiece of human observation.
A buried treasure from Hollywood’s golden age, Lonesome is the creation of a little-known but audacious and one-of-a-kind filmmaker, Paul Fejos (also an explorer, anthropologist, and doctor!).
A stone-faced Jean-Paul Belmondo stars as enigmatic gangster Silien, who may or may not be responsible for squealing on Faugel, just released from the slammer and already involved in what should have been a simple heist. Le doulos is one of the filmmaker’s most gripping crime dramas.
Launching us from a grave past to a space-age future, these two thrilling double features, from producers Richard and Alex Gordon, spin classic tales of hair-raising homicidal mania and intrepid, death-defying exploration.
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These three independent films showed off Samuel Fuller’s genre diversity, gutter wit, and subversive force, and pointed the way to a controversial career in studio moviemaking.
David Mamet’s witty tale of a therapist and best-selling author who must confront her own obsessions when she meets an attractive cardsharp is as psychologically acute as it is full of twists and turns, a rich character study told with the cold calculation of a career criminal.
Ernest Hemingway’s gripping short story “The Killers” has fascinated readers and filmmakers for generations. The Criterion Collection presents all three film versions of this classic tale of amorality.
The Belgian filmmaking team of brothers Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne turned heads with Rosetta, an intense vérité drama that closely follows a poor young woman struggling to hold on to a job to support herself and her alcoholic mother.
Eric Rohmer stood apart from his New Wave contemporaries, like François Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard, with his patented brand of gently existential, hyperarticulate character studies set against vivid seasonal landscapes. The “Six Moral Tales” unleashed a new voice onto the film world.
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Like a Looney Tunes rendition of The Big Sleep gone New Wave, this chaotic crime thriller and acidly funny critique of consumerism features Anna Karina as the most brightly dressed private investigator in film history, searching for a former lover who might have been assassinated.
Charlie Chaplin’s comedic masterwork—which charts a prospector’s search for fortune in the Klondike and his discovery of romance (with the beautiful Georgia Hale)—forever cemented the iconic status of Chaplin and his Little Tramp character.
Bob Hoskins (who snagged an Oscar nomination for his performance) plays George, a small-time loser employed as a chauffeur to an enigmatic, high-class call girl in writer-director Neil Jordan’s brilliant, noir-infused love story.
Jarred: “Renoir's work is so delicate, so human. I don't think I could ever cease to be fascinated with all the deceptively simple details in this film. ”
Paul Schrader’s visually stunning, collagelike portrait of acclaimed Japanese author and playwright Yukio Mishima investigates the inner turmoil and contradictions of a man who attempted an impossible harmony between self, art, and society.
What does the energy harnessed through orgasm have to do with the state of communist Yugoslavia circa 1971? Only counterculture filmmaker extraordinaire Dušan Makavejev has the answers (or the questions) in his surreal documentary-fiction collision WR: Mysteries of the Organism.
Jean Cocteau’s update of the Orpheus myth depicts a famous poet (Jean Marais), scorned by the Left Bank youth, and his love for both his wife, Eurydice (Marie Déa), and a mysterious princess (Maria Casarès).
Lodge Kerrigan’s raw, ravaging Clean, Shaven is a headfirst dive into the mindscape of a schizophrenic as he tries to track down his daughter after he is released from an institution.
Jarred: “Ebert said it best: Kaurismaki's characters are marvels of shrugging their way through terrible misfortune with dignity and humanity.”
Named one of the ten best British films of the century by the British Film Institute, Ken Loach’s Kes, concerns Billy, a fifteen-year-old miner’s son whose close bond with a wild kestrel provides him with a spiritual escape from his dead-end life.
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
Les Blank documents acclaimed German filmmaker Werner Herzog’s ambitious and troubled production of Fitzcarraldo, the story of one man’s attempt to build an opera house deep in the Amazon jungle.
Jarred: “A film that comes back to haunt me, and that surprisingly few people ever talk about. Probably because it's so hard to find words...”