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With the simplest of concepts and sparest of techniques, Robert Bresson made one of the most suspenseful jailbreak films of all time in A Man Escaped.
The debut feature by the great Andrei Tarkovsky, Ivan’s Childhood is a poetic journey through the shards and shadows of one boy’s war-ravaged youth.
Marlon Brando gives the performance of his career as the tough prizefighter-turned-longshoreman Terry Malloy in this masterpiece of urban poetry.
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This boldly cinematic trio of stories about love and loss from Krzysztof Kieślowski was a defining event of the art-house boom of the 1990s.
Like the rest of America, Hollywood was ripe for revolution in the late sixties. Cinema attendance was down; what had once worked seemed broken. Enter Bob Rafelson, Bert Schneider, and Steve Blauner, who would form form BBS Productions, a company that was also a community.
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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.
Federico Fellini satirizes his youth in this carnivalesque portrait of provincial Italy in the fascist period. The Academy Award–winning Amarcord remains one of cinema’s enduring treasures.
Terrence Malick’s visionary adaptation of James Jones’s 1962 novel about the World War II battle for Guadalcanal is one of the most deeply philosophical films ever released by a major Hollywood studio, a thought-provoking meditation on man, nature, and violence.
The Samurai Trilogy, directed by Hiroshi Inagaki and starring the inimitable Toshiro Mifune, was one of Japan’s most successful exports of the 1950s, a rousing, emotionally gripping tale of combat and self-discovery.
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This multilayered, noirish descent into one man’s personal hell is also a surreal, metacinematic journey that, two years after the phenomenon Se7en, further demonstrated that director David Fincher was one of Hollywood’s true contemporary visionaries.
Two strangers dressed as minstrels (Arletty and Alain Cuny) arrive at a castle in advance of court festivities—and are revealed to be emissaries of the devil, dispatched to spread heartbreak and suffering. Their plans, however, are thwarted by an unexpected intrusion: human love.
Have you ever wanted to be someone else? Or, more specifically, have you ever wanted to crawl through a portal hidden in an anonymous office building and thereby enter the cerebral cortex of John Malkovich for fifteen minutes, before being spat out on the side of the New Jersey Turnpike?
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.
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The lyrical, profoundly moving Still Walking (Aruitemo aruitemo) is contemporary Japanese master Hirokazu Kore-eda’s most personal work to date, an extraordinary portrayal of the ties that bind us.
In this graphic psychodrama, a grief-stricken man and woman—a searing Willem Dafoe and Cannes best actress winner Charlotte Gainsbourg—retreat to their cabin deep in the woods after the death of their infant son, only to find terror and violence at the hands of nature and, ultimately, each other.
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.
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.
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.
Wes Anderson’s hilarious, touching, and brilliantly stylized study of melancholy and redemption centers around a dysfunctional family of geniuses.
One of the greatest films about film ever made, Federico Fellini’s 8½ (Otto e mezzo) turns one man’s artistic crisis into a grand epic of the cinema.
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.
Seeking a Pulitzer Prize, reporter Johnny Barrett (Peter Breck) has himself committed to a mental hospital to investigate a murder. As he closes in on the killer, insanity closes in on him. Sam Fuller’s Shock Corridor masterfully charts the uneasy terrain between sanity and madness.
The setup is pure pulp: A former prostitute (a crackerjack Constance Towers) relocates to a buttoned-down suburb, determined to fit in with mainstream society.
In turn-of-the-century Sweden, four men and four women attempt to navigate the laws of attraction. During a weekend in the country, the women collude to force the men’s hands in matters of the heart.
Jane Wyman is a repressed wealthy widow and Rock Hudson is the hunky Thoreau-following gardener who loves her in Douglas Sirk’s heartbreakingly beautiful indictment of 1950s small-town America.
One of the first cinematic reflections on the horrors of the Holocaust, Alain Resnais’ documentary Night and Fog (Nuit et Brouillard) contrasts the stillness of the abandoned camps’ quiet, empty buildings with haunting wartime footage.
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In David Lean’s visually enchanting Summertime, Katharine Hepburn plays a lonely American spinster whose dream of romance finally becomes a bittersweet reality when she meets a handsome—but married—Italian man while vacationing in Venice.
An unsung comic triumph from David Lean, Hobson’s Choice stars the legendary Charles Laughton as the harrumphing Henry Hobson, the owner of a boot shop in late Victorian northern England whose haughty, independent daughter decides to forge her own path, romantically and professionally.
The story of the charged relationship between a turn-of-the-century traveling circus owner and his performer girlfriend, Ingmar Bergman’s film features dreamlike detours and twisted psychosexual power plays that presage the director’s Smiles of a Summer Night and The Seventh Seal.
Max Ophuls brings his astonishing visual dexterity and storytelling bravura to this triptych of tales by Guy de Maupassant about the limits of spiritual and physical pleasure.
Director Jean Renoir’s entrancing first color feature—shot entirely on location in India—is a visual tour de force. Based on the novel by Rumer Godden, the film eloquently contrasts the growing pains of three young women with the immutability of the holy Bengal River.
Jean Cocteau and Jean-Pierre Melville joined forces for this adaptation of Cocteau’s wicked novel about the wholly unholy relationship between a brother and sister, Elisabeth and Paul, who close themselves off from the world by playing an increasingly intense series of mind games.
Barbara Stanwyck and Walter Huston are at their fierce finest in master Hollywood craftsman Anthony Mann’s crackling western melodrama The Furies, sophisticated in its view of frontier settlement and ablaze with searing domestic drama.
Soldiers, chambermaids, poets, prostitutes, aristocrats—all are on equal footing in Max Ophuls’s multicharacter merry-go-round of love and infidelity.
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This unique love story follows the maneuverings of a society lady as she connives to initiate a scandalous affair between her aristocratic ex-lover and a prostitute. With his second feature film, director Robert Bresson was already forging his singularly brilliant filmmaking technique.
Criterion is proud to present these Dreyer masterpieces on DVD for the first time, with brand new digital transfers. Each is an intense exploration of the clash between individual desire and social expectations, with Dreyer’s famously perfectionist attention to detail shining throughout.
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This Technicolor spectacular, directed by Zoltán Korda, is considered the finest of the many adaptations of A. E. W. Mason’s classic 1902 adventure novel about the British empire’s exploits in Africa, and a crowning achievement of Alexander Korda’s legendary production company, London Films.
The legendary Gilbert and Sullivan troupe the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company joined forces with Hollywood for this 1939 Technicolor version of the beloved comic opera The Mikado, the first work by the famed duo to be adapted for the screen.
In Fritz Lang’s landmark of mystery and suspense, Berlin’s star detective must connect the fragmented clues of an insane criminal mastermind’s last will: a manifesto establishing a future empire of crime.