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More Is More: Lessons in Excess from Women in Love

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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.

By Joe Talbot

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Breaking the Ice: The Beginning of Desire in The Piano Teacher

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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.

By Garth Greenwell

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A Problem with Authority: Dušan Makavejev’s Art of Repulsion

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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.

By Stephanie LaCava

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The Joy and Pain of One Good Meal in Bicycle Thieves

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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.

By Jia Zhangke

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Marianne Faithfull Brings on the Heartbreak in Made in U.S.A

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Marianne Faithfull Brings on the Heartbreak in Made in U.S.A

With her a capella take on the Rolling Stones’ “As Tears Go By,” the singer turns a brief moment in one of Godard’s most playful films into a reflection on loss.

By Michael Atkinson

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John Cassavetes, Underrated Surrealist

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John Cassavetes, Underrated Surrealist

The director of Computer Chess and Support the Girls finds in John Cassavetes a surrealist whose weirdest set pieces could make David Lynch blush.

By Andrew Bujalski

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Tabletop Intimacy: One Scene from À nos amours

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Tabletop Intimacy: One Scene from À nos amours

The director of Love After Love examines the emotional subtlety of Maurice Pialat’s camera work in a pivotal scene in the 1983 masterpiece À nos amours.

By Russell Harbaugh

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The Sun on Their Faces: One Scene from People on Sunday

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The Sun on Their Faces: One Scene from People on Sunday

One of the most memorable sequences in the silent classic People on Sunday explores the experience of being photographed and the tension between still and moving images.

By Imogen Sara Smith

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Alone Together in the City: One Scene from Naked

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Alone Together in the City: One Scene from Naked

The disheveled drifter at the heart of Mike Leigh’s 1993 masterpiece collides with a disturbed young man in this brilliantly acted, semi-screwball scene.

By Ashley Clark

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Transitory Figures: One Scene from Before Sunrise

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Transitory Figures: One Scene from Before Sunrise

Romantic love is poignant because it is an infinite feeling that exists in a finite frame. And Richard Linklater’s Before Trilogy is the most romantic and profound of love stories because it imbues love with the weight of time. In these three films…

By Michael Koresky

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Thoughts and Words Won’t Save Us: One Scene from The Human Condition

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Thoughts and Words Won’t Save Us: One Scene from The Human Condition

When I first heard about The Human Condition (1959–61), I was already familiar with director Masaki Kobayashi’s irreverent Harakiri (1962), a favorite film of mine where samurai are scum of the earth and honor is equivalent to dirt. I immediately…

By Emma Ríos

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Subtle Communication: One Scene from Scenes from a Marriage

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Subtle Communication: One Scene from Scenes from a Marriage

Every time I watch Ingmar Bergman’s Scenes from a Marriage, I am stunned that a film could be so full. Here is this thing stuffed with detail, design, behavior, emotion, surprise, and skill. Like Fanny and Alexander and Face to Face, the work exist…

By Patrick Wang

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Stealing the Spotlight: One Scene from Monterey Pop
The Mechanics of the Job: One Scene from The Friends of Eddie Coyle

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The Mechanics of the Job: One Scene from The Friends of Eddie Coyle

Along with Who’ll Stop the Rain and Charley Varrick, I first saw The Friends of Eddie Coyle on late-night TV when I was ten or eleven. It would be another twenty-five years before I got ahold of the film again. Watching it recently reminded me why …

By Ben Wheatley

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Front-Seat Isolation: One Scene from 3 Women

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Front-Seat Isolation: One Scene from 3 Women

1973 Ford Pinto with Tanguy Sky (“3 Women”) 2011 | oil on canvas | 40 x 60 inches

By Eric White

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Loss Beyond Words: One scene from Cría cuervos . . .

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Loss Beyond Words: One scene from Cría cuervos . . .

I lived in Zurich before joining Stanley Kubrick on his Napoleon project in 1969. Unfortunately, this film was never made, but I stayed with Stanley for another thirty years. It was in Zurich, in an art-house cinema, that I saw Carlos Saura’s Cría…

By Jan Harlan

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A Drop in the Ocean: One Scene from Solaris

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A Drop in the Ocean: One Scene from Solaris

The first time I saw Solaris was on VHS in the mid-nineties. Even though the film affected me profoundly, I never watched it again until now. The richness of the images, the vividness of the mood, and the depth of the themes are so intense, they…

By Panos Cosmatos

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