Almodóvar, From Now to Then
Rejecting the repression of Franco-era Spain, Pedro Almodóvar made his name with exuberant films set in an eternal present. But by the turn of the century, his cinema began to drift toward memories of a not so distant past.
A Woman’s Voice: Ingrid Bergman in Five Languages
Over the course of her five-decade career, one of cinema’s greatest globe-trotters brought her musical, richly expressive voice to an impressive array of cultural contexts.
The Dissidence of Others
Agnieszka Holland challenges romantic notions of civil unrest and revolutionary activism in her magnificently bleak period miniseries Burning Bush, which is now available to stream on the Criterion Channel.
Tears Left to Cry: Jeon Do-yeon in Secret Sunshine
The Cannes-award-winning lead performance in Lee Chang-dong’s masterful melodrama captures both the pain and perverse pleasure of public crying.
More Is More: Lessons in Excess from Women in Love
The director of the Sundance hit The Last Black Man in San Francisco reflects on what he learned from Ken Russell’s extravagant style and approach to the subject of male relationships.
When a Lovely Flame Dies: The Climactic Heartbreaker in 45 Years
The Platters’ impassioned rendition of the pop chestnut “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” highlights the irrevocable loss in Andrew Haigh’s marriage drama.
Silent Treatment: Kim Min-hee in On the Beach at Night Alone
In her most explicitly autobiographical collaboration with director Hong Sang-soo, the once reviled actress conveys a deep inner life through a series of understated moments.
Breaking the Ice: The Beginning of Desire in The Piano Teacher
One of the quietest, most unassuming moments in Michael Haneke’s disturbing drama serves as a microcosm of his themes of control and sexuality.
The Hot-Blooded Love Cry at the Cold Heart of Badlands
Mickey & Sylvia’s 1956 hit “Love Is Strange” injects a hint of lustful energy into a screen romance that is otherwise unsettlingly detached.
The Secret to Simone Signoret’s Staying Power
A politically engaged actor who refused to be commodified, this French icon showcased her piercing intelligence throughout four decades of unforgettable performances.
Least Wanted—Film Noir’s Character Actors: Harry Morgan
In Frank Borzage’s Southern Gothic noir Moonrise, the actor captures a heartbreaking mixture of love and fear with his deeply empathetic (and very brief) portrayal of a deaf-mute.
A Problem with Authority: Dušan Makavejev’s Art of Repulsion
Early in his boundary-pushing Sweet Movie, Serbian renegade Dušan Makavejev stages a pageant of visual grotesquerie that speaks to the luridness of our contemporary age.
The Joy and Pain of One Good Meal in Bicycle Thieves
The great Chinese filmmaker Jia Zhangke recalls what his first encounters with Vittorio De Sica’s masterpiece taught him about the possibilities of cinematic realism.
The Funny Man with the Pardon: Billy Gilbert in His Girl Friday
The famously blustery comedy veteran transforms into a hilariously timid messenger in Howard Hawks’s fast-talking screwball masterpiece.
Uriah Heep Brings a Touch of the Uncool to Cold Water
With its irresistible momentum and sonic crunch, “Easy Livin’” occupies a special place in one of the most celebrated sequences in Olivier Assayas’s filmography.