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Hour of the Wolf and From the Life of the Marionettes: The Strength of Surrender

Ingmar Bergman’s Cinema

Hour of the Wolf and From the Life of the Marionettes: The Strength of Surrender

Separated by more than a decade in Ingmar Bergman’s filmography, these two formally masterful dramas uncover the ugliness of male aggression and brutality.

By Sarinah Masukor

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Shampoo: First as Farce
Shampoo: First as Farce

Seen as a light-hearted farce upon its release, this star-studded comedy by Hal Ashby stands as one of Hollywood’s most prescient portraits of post-Watergate politics.


By Frank Rich

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Crisis and A Ship to India: Bergman in the Making

Ingmar Bergman’s Cinema

Crisis and A Ship to India: Bergman in the Making

Two early works by Ingmar Bergman show the Swedish master grappling with the conventions of melodrama, which would go on to influence his later explorations of spiritual torment.

By Christine Smallwood

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Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day: The Utopia Channel
Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day: The Utopia Channel

In a world vulnerable to authoritarianism, Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s television epic stands as an example of how an artist can speak to a broad audience about revolutionary politics.

By Moira Weigel

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A Raisin in the Sun: Resistance and Joy
A Raisin in the Sun: Resistance and Joy

This faithful screen adaptation of Lorraine Hansberry’s legendary play explores a wide range of perspectives on working-class black life, and over the years has inspired reactions just as diverse.

By Sarita Cannon

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My Man Godfrey: The Right Kind of People
My Man Godfrey: The Right Kind of People

Once called “the great directorial genius of Hollywood” by Carole Lombard, Gregory La Cava struck comedy gold with this mix of madcap high jinks, irresistible romance, and social commentary.

By Farran Smith Nehme

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The Tree of Life: Let the Wind Speak
The Tree of Life: Let the Wind Speak

The imitation of nature becomes a devotional act in Terrence Malick’s cinema, which reaches sublime heights in this exploration of childhood, memory, and grief.

By Kent Jones

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Cold Water: Dancing on the Ruins
Cold Water: Dancing on the Ruins

Fueled by the rebellious sounds of rock and roll, Olivier Assayas’s long-unavailable breakthrough film is a remarkably unsentimental journey through the memories of youth.

By Girish Shambu

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Memories of Underdevelopment: Imaging History
Memories of Underdevelopment: Imaging History

Tomás Gutiérrez Alea brought cinema to the center of Cuban society with this richly ambiguous portrait of postrevolutionary Havana.

Smithereens: Breakfast at the Peppermint Lounge
Smithereens: Breakfast at the Peppermint Lounge

A haven for punks and drifters, 1980s downtown New York is captured in all its grit and romance in Susan Seidelman’s Palme d’Or–nominated debut feature.

By Rebecca Bengal

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The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez: A Cinematic Corrido
The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez: A Cinematic Corrido

Reimagining the story of a Mexican American folk hero, this revisionist western ushered in a new era in both Chicano and independent filmmaking.

A Matter of Life and Death: The Too-Muchness of It All
A Matter of Life and Death: The Too-Muchness of It All

A feast of sumptuous color and cinematic imagination, Powell and Pressburger’s postwar masterpiece is also a powerful reckoning with recent history.

By Stephanie Zacharek

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sex, lies, and videotape: Some Kind of Skin Flick
sex, lies, and videotape: Some Kind of Skin Flick

Flesh has rarely been as alive on-screen as it is in Steven Soderbergh’s feature debut, an intimate drama that changed the face of American independent film.

By Amy Taubin

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No, But I Saw the Game
No, But I Saw the Game

In this essay originally published in the New Yorker, Roger Angell hails Ron Shelton’s comic ode to baseball as one of the few movies to capture the essence of the sport.

By Roger Angell

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Dragon Inn: Poised for Battle
Dragon Inn: Poised for Battle

The martial-arts film was never the same after King Hu got his hands on it, reinventing the genre with subtle editing and dazzling choreography.

By Andrew Chan

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Where Credit Is Due
Where Credit Is Due

Josef von Sternberg may have been one of cinema’s original micromanagers, but his films are testaments to longstanding collaborations with brilliant artists and technicians.

By Farran Smith Nehme

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Female Trouble: Spare Me Your Morals
Female Trouble: Spare Me Your Morals

John Waters’ favorite among his early works is both an assault on political correctness and a no-holds-barred expression of gay militancy.

By Ed Halter

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The Devil Is in the Details
The Devil Is in the Details

During a period when studios gave him carte blanche, Josef von Sternberg created a sublime cinematic language that shrugged off one orthodoxy after another.

By Gary Giddins

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El Sur: A Complete Incomplete Film
El Sur: A Complete Incomplete Film

At a time when Spain was trying to leave its past behind, master filmmaker Víctor Erice transported viewers back to the post–Civil War era, examining its traumas through the eyes of a child.

By Elvira Lindo

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Bowling for Columbine: By Any Means Necessary
Bowling for Columbine: By Any Means Necessary

A galvanizing mix of polemic and entertainment, Michael Moore’s look at the American gun obsession is as chillingly relevant today as when it was released.

By Eric Hynes

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Mistress of Ceremonies
Mistress of Ceremonies

Marlene Dietrich’s sexually authoritative, coolly insolent persona was the product of meticulous screen craft.

By Imogen Sara Smith

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Manila in the Claws of Light: A Proletarian Inferno
Manila in the Claws of Light: A Proletarian Inferno

Gritty realism meets Hollywood-inspired melodrama in this portrait of urban poverty, seen through the eyes of star-crossed lovers.

By José B. Capino

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Midnight Cowboy: On the Fringe
Midnight Cowboy: On the Fringe

John Schlesinger’s Midnight Cowboy is a milestone along several different paths of movie history, all of which converged at the majestically seedy crossroads of Times Square in the spring of 1968.

By Mark Harris

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Graduation: Where Are You, Romeo?
Graduation: Where Are You, Romeo?

About halfway through Cristian Mungiu’s Graduation (2016), Dr. Romeo Aldea (Adrian Titieni) finds himself in a patch of woods in the middle of the night, crying. It’s a surprisingly vulnerable moment for a protagonist who is usually all business.…

By Bilge Ebiri

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