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The Who’s classic rock opera Quadrophenia was the basis for this invigorating coming-of-age movie and depiction of the defiant, drug-fueled mod subculture of early 1960s London.
Set during the final week of the Spanish Civil War, The Devil’s Backbone tells the tale of a ten-year-old boy who, after his freedom-fighting father is killed, is sent to a haunted rural orphanage full of terrible secrets.
30 Jul 2013
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A behind-closed-doors look at the American legal system that is as riveting as it is spare, this iconic adaptation of Reginald Rose’s teleplay stars Henry Fonda as the dissenting member on a jury of white men ready to pass judgment on a Puerto Rican teenager charged with murdering his father.
In Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai (Shichinin no samurai), sixteenth-century villagers hire the eponymous warriors to protect them from invading bandits. This thrilling three-hour ride is one of the most beloved movie epics of all time.
With its lack of polish, surplus of attitude, anything-goes crime narrative, and effervescent young stars Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg, Breathless helped launch the French New Wave and ensured cinema would never be the same.
This scathing late-sixties satire from Jean-Luc Godard is one of cinema’s great anarchic works. Determined to collect an inheritance from a dying relative, a bourgeois couple travel across the French countryside while civilization crashes and burns around them.
In the enthralling Blow Out, brilliantly crafted by Brian De Palma, John Travolta gives one of his greatest performances, as a movie sound-effects man who believes he has accidentally recorded a political assassination.
Marlon Brando gives the performance of his career as the tough prizefighter-turned-longshoreman Terry Malloy in this masterpiece of urban poetry.
19 Feb 2013
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With Solaris, the legendary Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky created a brilliantly original science-fiction epic that challenges our conceptions about love, truth, and humanity itself.
The Last Temptation of Christ, by Martin Scorsese, is a towering achievement. Though it initially engendered enormous controversy, the film can now be viewed as the remarkable, profoundly personal work of faith that it is.
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.
When Max Renn goes looking for edgy new shows for his sleazy cable TV station, he stumbles across the pirate broadcast of a hyperviolent torture show called Videodrome. This is one of David Cronenberg’s most provocative works, fusing social commentary with shocking sex and violence.
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.
In this captivating, skewed World War II drama from Nagisa Oshima, David Bowie regally embodies the character Celliers, a British officer interned by the Japanese as a POW. This was one of Oshima’s greatest successes.
In this poetic and atmospheric horror fable, set in a village in war-torn medieval Japan, a malevolent spirit has been ripping out the throats of itinerant samurai. Onibaba, Kuroneko (Black Cat) is a spectacularly eerie twilight tale.
In his controversial masterpiece The Great Dictator, Charlie Chaplin offers both a cutting caricature of Adolf Hitler and a sly tweaking of his own comic persona.
Modern Times, Charlie Chaplin’s last outing as the Little Tramp, puts the iconic character to work as a giddily inept factory employee who becomes smitten with a gorgeous gamine (Paulette Goddard).
Badlands announced the arrival of a major talent: Terrence Malick. His impressionistic take on the notorious Charles Starkweather killing spree of the late 1950s uses a serial-killer narrative as a springboard for an oblique teenage romance.
19 Mar 2013
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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.
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.
In a career-defining performance, Alain Delon plays a contract killer with samurai instincts. A razor-sharp cocktail of 1940s American gangster cinema and 1960s French pop culture, maverick director Jean-Pierre Melville’s masterpiece Le Samouraï defines cool.
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One of the most influential political films in history, The Battle of Algiers, by Gillo Pontecorvo, vividly re-creates a key year in the tumultuous Algerian struggle for independence from the occupying French in the 1950s.
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.
22 Jan 2013
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In the dystopian masterpiece Brazil, Jonathan Pryce plays a daydreaming everyman who finds himself caught in the soul-crushing gears of a nightmarish bureaucracy.
4 Dec 2012
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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
Ingmar Bergman intended Fanny and Alexander as his swan song, and it is the legendary director’s warmest and most autobiographical film, a four-time Academy Award–winning triumph that combines his trademark melancholy and emotional intensity with immense joy and sensuality.
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Stanley Kubrick’s account of an ambitious racetrack robbery is one of Hollywood’s tautest, twistiest noirs.
Albert Lamorisse’s exquisite The Red Balloon remains one of the most beloved children’s films of all time. In this deceptively simple, nearly wordless tale, a young boy discovers a stray balloon, which seems to have a mind of its own, on the streets of Paris.
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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.
New German Cinema pioneer Wim Wenders (Wings of Desire) brings his keen eye for landscape to the American Southwest in Paris, Texas, a profoundly moving character study written by Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright Sam Shepard.
A young sister and brother are abandoned in the harsh Australian outback and must learn to cope in the natural world, without their usual comforts, in this hypnotic masterpiece from Nicolas Roeg.
Jonathan Brito: “Seriously? I did not see this one coming but I am looking forward greatly to picking up this film on blu-ray. Thank you, Criterion, always surprising.”
11 Dec 2012
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Mathieu Kassovitz took the film world by storm with La haine, a gritty, unsettling, and visually explosive look at the racial and cultural volatility in modern-day France, specifically the low-income banlieue districts on Paris’s outskirts.
Jonathan Brito: “Beautiful. Thats all I have to say about this trilogy.”
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Rarely has a film been as honest about sexuality—in both depiction and discussion—as this tale of a one-night stand that develops into a weekend-long idyll for two very different young men (exciting screen newcomers Tom Cullen and Chris New) in the English Midlands.
François Truffaut sensitively re-creates the trials of his own difficult childhood in The 400 Blows, the film that marked his emergence as one of Europe’s most brilliant auteurs and signaled the beginning of the French New Wave.
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.
Jonathan Brito: “How could a film about a kid obsessed with suicide end up being such a feel good film? Surely cheers up any cloudy day.”
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?
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.
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With an innovative color-coded cinematic treatment to distinguish his interwoven stories, Steven Soderbergh embroils viewers in the lives of a newly appointed drug czar and his family, a West Coast kingpin’s wife, a key informant, and police officers on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.
Based on a novel by Nobel Prize winner Selma Lagerlöf, this extraordinarily rich and innovative silent classic (which inspired Ingmar Bergman to make movies) is a Dickensian ghost story and a deeply moving morality tale, as well as a showcase for groundbreaking special effects.
Director Terry Gilliam and an all-star cast headlined by Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro show no mercy in bringing Hunter S. Thompson’s excoriating dissection of the American way of life to the screen, creating a film both hilarious and savage.
Jonathan Brito: “An all together well crafted film. With that said, its in serious need of a blu-ray release!”
Jonathan Brito: “Disturbing and grotesque, yet powerful in execution. Whether you like the film or not, Von Trier knows how to get under your skin.”
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.
Godzilla is the roaring granddaddy of all monster movies. It’s also a remarkably humane and melancholy drama made in Japan at a time when the country was still reeling from nuclear attack and H-bomb testing.
Stanley Kubrick’s Paths of Glory is among the most powerful antiwar films ever made. This is a haunting, exquisitely photographed dissection of the military machine in all its absurdity and capacity for dehumanization.