Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s hypnotic serial-killer film dives into the realm of the uncanny and envisions the breakdown of Japanese society.
Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project No. 4
Two Girls on the Street: All Is Lies
This melodrama, made by André de Toth in his native Hungary, anticipates the unease of the director’s postwar Hollywood films with an array of radical stylistic choices and jarring visual tensions.
The Cranes Are Flying: A Free Camera
A war film that emphasizes personal drama over public platitude, this masterpiece by Mikhail Kalatozov features the vitality and freewheeling cinematic experimentation characteristic of post-Stalin cinema.
Häxan: The Real Unreal
Integrating fact, fiction, objective reality, hallucination, and different levels of representation, this silent masterpiece invented what decades later would be known as the essay film.
In Cold Blood: Structuring the Real
Richard Brooks’s In Cold Blood applied cinematic specificity and flair to the literary realism of Truman Capote’s classic “nonfiction novel.”
Ali: Fear Eats the Soul: One Love, Two Oppressions
People struggle to escape their socially dictated roles in Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s moving, Douglas Sirk–inspired melodrama.
Riot in Cell Block 11: States of Exception
A real-life prison uprising inspired this two-fisted tale directed by Don Siegel, who would go on to make many more films about men in extreme situations.
Le cercle rouge: What Is the Red Circle?
Excess in Stray Dog
Stray Dog is above all a film of atmosphere. The film establishes right away that it’s hot in Tokyo, and never lets us forget it for a second. By piling on naturalistic details to keep the heat constantly in our minds—fluttering fans, the mopping…
Love on the Run
While making Love on the Run, François Truffaut knew that it would be the end of the Antoine Doinel cycle. He also wanted the film to be the cycle’s recapitulation. Love on the Run prolongs Antoine’s adventures (or his “flight,” to recall th…
The Time It Takes: Le Trou and Jacques Becker
With recent retrospectives and video releases of several films, the United States is in the midst of a Jacques Becker revival. The rediscovery of Becker is an unusual opportunity because Becker was never discovered to start with. He’s tended to be…