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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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Beyond the Hills: Offscreen Cinema
Beyond the Hills: Offscreen Cinema

Drawing as much from the horror-movie canon as from religious iconography, Cristian Mungiu provoked the ire of the Orthodox Church with this unrelenting account of a real-life exorcism.

By Doru Pop

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Dead Man: Earth, Wind, and Fire
Dead Man: Earth, Wind, and Fire

Improvising to Jim Jarmusch’s film in real time, Neil Young created a rich parallel environment that sounds like a force of nature.

By Ben Ratliff

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The Other Side of Hope: No-Home Movie
The Other Side of Hope: No-Home Movie

In the singular world of Finnish filmmaker Aki Kaurismäki, auteurist homage and social consciousness are joined by some of the most lovingly filmed dogs in contemporary cinema.

By Girish Shambu

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Moonrise: Dark of the Moon
Moonrise: Dark of the Moon

In his uncharacteristic final masterpiece, the great Hollywood melodramatist Frank Borzage approaches the shadowy violence of film noir with his unique brand of romanticism.

By Philip Kemp

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Dead Man: Blake in America
Dead Man: Blake in America

What do we mean when we say a narrative film is poetic? The answer lies in this visionary western from director Jim Jarmusch.

By Amy Taubin

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The Awful Truth: Divorce, McCarey Style
The Awful Truth: Divorce, McCarey Style

With a mix of improvisation, balletic physicality, and slapstick humor, Hollywood master Leo McCarey crafted the most sublime of screwball comedies.

By Molly Haskell

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The Virgin Suicides: “They Hadn’t Heard Us Calling”
The Virgin Suicides: “They Hadn’t Heard Us Calling”

Sofia Coppola lets us behind closed doors in ways that are beyond the imagining of the novel’s boy narrators.

By Megan Abbott

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The Color of Pomegranates: Parajanov Unbound
The Color of Pomegranates: Parajanov Unbound

Soviet filmmaker Sergei Parajanov explored his Transcaucasian roots in this visually spectacular and wonderfully strange ode to the Armenian poet Sayat-Nova.


By Ian Christie

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Eclipse Series 46: Ingrid Bergman’s Swedish Years
Eclipse Series 46: Ingrid Bergman’s Swedish Years

Ingrid Bergman’s work in her native Sweden was an early showcase for her dazzlingly precocious talent and emotional depth.

By ​Pamela Hutchinson

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Now You Has King of Jazz
Now You Has King of Jazz

This spectacular and technically ambitious Hollywood musical is a priceless window onto American pop culture’s view of itself in the 1930s.

By Farran Smith Nehme

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