The Story of Temple Drake: Notorious
Often credited with inciting full enforcement of the Hays Code, this harrowing melodrama is one of the few Faulkner adaptations that successfully evokes the writer’s distinctive ambience and unsettling contradictions.
All About Eve: Upstage, Downstage
Full of booze, bons mots, and backstabbing, Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s impeccably crafted showbiz drama is the rare movie where—as its star, Bette Davis, once put it—“it all came out right.”
Betty Blue: The Look of Love
Underneath its brilliantly colored, highly stylized surfaces, this key work of 1980s French cinema is a heartrending portrait of a woman struggling to both inhabit and reject traditionally feminine roles.
Reign of Destruction
Over its six and a half decades as a pop-culture icon, Godzilla has had many faces: a symbol of the nuclear age, a children’s movie superhero, and the engine behind a major international entertainment franchise.
When We Were Kings: Ready to Fight
Drawn from a treasure trove of footage, this Oscar-winning documentary explores a watershed moment for one of the world’s greatest athletes—an international spectacle that revealed the complexities of black identity.
Häxan: “Let Her Suffering Begin”
Decades before the witch became a staple of horror cinema, Benjamin Christensen used this gothic figure to explore the oppression of women in different historical periods.
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.
The Circus: The Tramp in the Mirror
During a tumultuous time in his life, Charlie Chaplin captured his own identity crisis with this deeply introspective comedy, which explores the fine line between success and failure.
Local Hero: Our Man in Ferness
Decades before climate change became a mainstream topic of conversation, Bill Forsyth’s beloved comedy asked fundamental questions about humankind’s willingness to conserve the natural world.
Polyester: The Perils of Francine
After a string of punkish subcultural shockers, John Waters set out to make something different with this hilariously foul take on Hollywood melodrama, his first studio picture.
The Cloud-Capped Star: A Cry for Life
In this landmark melodrama, director Ritwik Ghatak channeled his grief over the destruction of his beloved homeland, Bengal, in the wake of the Partition of India.
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.
1984: Coming Soon to a Country Near You
Brought to harrowing life in this film adaptation, George Orwell’s dystopian vision continues to ring true today. But so does his belief in the power of love and hope to overthrow the darkness.
The Baker’s Wife: Bread, Love, and a Trophy Wife
In his first major film to capture the Provençal setting that would come to define his work, Marcel Pagnol brilliantly combined comedy and emotion, theater and cinema.
Klute: Trying to See Her
Alan J. Pakula’s partnership with a newly politicized Jane Fonda turned what could have been a run-of-the-mill detective movie into a psychologically vivid portrait of a strong female character.