The Koker Trilogy: Journeys of the Heart
Paving a path from neorealism to playfully deconstructive postmodernism, Abbas Kiarostami’s suite of village fables explores complex philosophical mysteries through disarmingly simple means.
A Brighter Summer Day: Coming of Age in Taipei
Edward Yang’s masterful 1991 adolescent epic telegraphs the tensions and turbulence of 1960s Taiwan, when youth pop culture and teen street gangs became a major societal force.
Close-up: Prison and Escape
This milestone of Iranian filmmaking fuses, in a wholly original way, an unorthodox mix of documentary and fiction, a self-reflexive musing on cinema and its impact, and a simultaneous exaltation and questioning of the auteur.
Ride with the Devil: Apocalypse Then
The “Demonic Charisma” of Gimme Shelter
Bicycle Thieves: A Passionate Commitment to the Real
Viewed in retrospect, much of modern cinema can seem to flow from twin fountainheads: Orson Welles’s Citizen Kane (1941) and Vittorio De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves (1948). Though separated by World War II, the two movies symbolize the cardinal impuls…