STEVEN’s Collection (141)

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  • Missing (Criterion DVD)

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    Missing

    Costa-Gavras

    STEVEN: “A coup against BOTH democracy and a Dad. The international and the intimate face off in a tragic showdown. Intensity crashes against indifference. Sad”

    DVD Spine #449 Learn more »
  • L’eclisse (Criterion Blu-Ray/DVD Combo)

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    L’eclisse

    Michelangelo Antonioni

    STEVEN: “A translator meets a trader. Emotional capital eludes her. He's a big financier and is still here. She searches for more. Eternal City Existentialism”

    Dual Format Blu-ray/DVD Spine #278 Learn more »
  • Homicide (Criterion DVD)

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    Homicide

    David Mamet

    STEVEN: “A cop explores a shopkeeper's slaying. But he's forced to choose between his badge and his tribal brethren. Will he side with Judaism or with justice?”

    DVD Spine #486 Learn more »
  • House of Games (Criterion DVD)

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    House of Games

    David Mamet

    STEVEN: “A charismatic, cunning con lures a by-the-book doctor into sinister, seductive yet grand graft. Subtle cat-and-mouse caper lit by a Mametian blowtorch”

    DVD Spine #399 Learn more »
  • Les dames du Bois de Boulogne (Criterion DVD)

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    Les dames du Bois de Boulogne

    Robert Bresson

    STEVEN: “Bresson's tome of upper class underhandedness. A vindictive vixen's turned down by her lover. Revenge via a naive coryphee becomes romantic instead.”

    DVD Spine #183 Learn more »
  • The Night of the Hunter (Criterion DVD)

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    The Night of the Hunter

    Charles Laughton

    STEVEN: “Appalachian abnormality brocaded with clothed knuckles & encased in a spooky spectacle. A conniving and evil ecclesiastic spreads a satanic scripture.”

    DVD Spine #541 Learn more »
  • Death of a Cyclist (Criterion DVD)

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    Death of a Cyclist

    Juan Antonio Bardem

    STEVEN: “An Aesopian, ideological, neorealist fable. In a biker's cruel end, the lower side of Francoist Spain's upper class is bared. Rage against the regime.”

    DVD Spine #427 Learn more »
  • L’argent (Criterion DVD)

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    L’argent

    Robert Bresson

    STEVEN: “The franc (gone now but not forgotten) proves fateful in this mendacious melodrama. Embroiling both the bourgeois and the besieged, ramification roils”

    DVD Spine #886 Learn more »
  • Walker (Criterion DVD)

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    Walker

    Alex Cox

    STEVEN: “Outre history. Walker, Nicaragua ranger, becomes a physical image of American hegemony and malevolence as he rules la republica. Sandanista surrealism”

    DVD Spine #423 Learn more »
  • Au hasard Balthazar (Criterion DVD)

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    Au hasard Balthazar

    Robert Bresson

    STEVEN: “Fable about equestrians and equal-opportunity abuse victims. Contrasts between human vices and animal virtues show the allegorical and the categorical”

    DVD Spine #297 Learn more »
  • My Winnipeg (Criterion DVD)

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    My Winnipeg

    Guy Maddin

    STEVEN: “An ode to a darling of a dead end city. A mirthful metropolis of nuanced narcolepsy and horseheads on ice (not in beds), Shakespearean yet sympathetic”

    DVD Spine #741 Learn more »
  • Pickpocket (Criterion DVD)

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    Pickpocket

    Robert Bresson

    STEVEN: “A cutpurse in the City of Light, a Gallic Artful Dodger, saunters and steals his way through many an unsuspecting pocket. He's a numb, nomadic nymph.”

    DVD Spine #314 Learn more »
  • Mouchette (Criterion DVD)

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    Mouchette

    Robert Bresson

    STEVEN: “Emotional earthiness and teenage turmoil meet on Bresson's cruel canvas. Pain: Mouchette's albatross. It traps her in literal and figurative forests. ”

    DVD Spine #363 Learn more »
  • Mon oncle Antoine (Criterion DVD)

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    Mon oncle Antoine

    Claude Jutra

    STEVEN: “Jutra's authentic avuncular valentine to rural Quebec and a past yuletide. Existential and ethnic pillars buttress personal sentiment and resentment.”

    DVD Spine #438 Learn more »
  • Phoenix (Criterion DVD)

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    Phoenix

    Christian Petzold

    STEVEN: “Nelly, scarred body and soul by the Holocaust, outlasts its horror. She slowly, warily readapts to civilization. A mirthful German kabuki dance begins”

    DVD Spine #809 Learn more »
  • Life Is Sweet (Criterion DVD)

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    Life Is Sweet

    Mike Leigh

    STEVEN: “A homey setting. A gently venal sire and his engaged AND enraged household. Figures both industrious and inept. This is Leigh's Thatcherite treatise.”

    DVD Spine #659 Learn more »
  • State of Siege (Criterion DVD)

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    State of Siege

    Costa-Gavras

    STEVEN: “The '70s: Cold War was Latin America. The US needed stability in its backyard. Sovereign states were sieged. C-G shows the cool tension that pervaded.”

    DVD Spine #760 Learn more »
  • Eclipse Series 23:  The First Films of Akira Kurosawa (Eclipse DVD)

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    Eclipse Series 23: The First Films of Akira Kurosawa

    Akira Kurosawa

    STEVEN: “Kurosawa became KUROSAWA with this tale laden with far eastern discipline, a dame and daring. A hero grows as Japan's Meiji Restoration strengthens.”

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  • Night and Fog (Criterion DVD)

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    Night and Fog

    Alain Resnais

    STEVEN: “Shot 10 years after Auschwitz's and Majdanek's liberation, NIGHT feels like it was 10 MINUTES after. That's the urgency of it. Campuses of carnage.”

    DVD Spine #197 Learn more »
  • Repo Man (Criterion DVD)

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    Repo Man

    Alex Cox

    STEVEN: “My favorite Malibu martian. A hardened yet honorable auto repo man and an agnostic acid rocker track a mirthful motorcar with a transcendental trunk.”

    DVD Spine #654 Learn more »
  • The Lovers (Criterion DVD)

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    The Lovers

    Louis Malle

    STEVEN: “A lyrical, tres francais Noel Coward-esque drawing room drama. Warmth's tempered by coldness. Our heroine's liberated. But love nearly passes her by..”

    DVD Spine #429 Learn more »
  • Muriel, or The Time of Return (Criterion Blu-Ray)

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    Muriel, or The Time of Return

    Alain Resnais

    STEVEN: “Personal and national histories haunt an antiquer and her step son. Tangible and neurological artifacts dominate. Resnais' yarn of yore and yearning.”

    Blu-Ray Spine #824 Learn more »
  • Summer Hours (Criterion DVD)

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    Summer Hours

    Olivier Assayas

    STEVEN: “A Gallic, Pinter-esque fable about family furnishings -- both physical and emotional. A matriarch merriment's a reunion of remuneration and rumination”

    DVD Spine #513 Learn more »
  • The French Lieutenant’s Woman (Criterion DVD)

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    The French Lieutenant’s Woman

    Karel Reisz

    STEVEN: “Reisz's cross-pollinated romance. A bright cinematic line slits Victoria's era and our permissive one. Enthralling, enigmatic, amorous and atmospheric”

    DVD Spine #768 Learn more »
  • The Confession (Criterion DVD)

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    The Confession

    Costa-Gavras

    STEVEN: “A Czech communist's trapped in a witch hunt/show trial's detritus and is subject to ideological incarceration. An entire belief system's in the dock.”

    DVD Spine #759 Learn more »
  • Sundays and Cybèle (Criterion DVD)

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    Sundays and Cybèle

    Serge Bourguignon

    STEVEN: “A scarred girl and soldier seek validation. They meet and give each other connection and purpose. But outside misunderstanding endangers their bond.”

    DVD Spine #728 Learn more »
  • The Long Day Closes (Criterion Blu-Ray/DVD Combo)

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    The Long Day Closes

    Terence Davies

    STEVEN: “Davies' saga of sense and sensitivity. A beautiful poetic paean to Liverpudlians' rise from postwar ashes. Scintillating, remarkable emotion floweth ”

    Dual Format Blu-ray/DVD Spine #694 Learn more »
  • Hunger (Criterion DVD)

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    Hunger

    Steve McQueen

    STEVEN: “Courage's opposing convictions clash amid Long Kesh's long knives. Attempts to kill humanity's spirit are a fool's errand. HUNGER is more than food.”

    DVD Spine #504 Learn more »
  • Canoa: A Shameful Memory (Criterion DVD)

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    Canoa: A Shameful Memory

    Felipe Cazals

    STEVEN: “In a revolting reversal, a sinister shepherd goads a frenzied flock into holy hysteria, targeting innocent mountaineers. The result: condoned calamity”

    DVD Spine #862 Learn more »
  • Something Wild (Criterion DVD)

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    Something Wild

    Jonathan Demme

    STEVEN: “A bland financier joins a far-out femme fatale (who brings happiness). They have a fateful fling punctuated by a vaporous vibe, Pontiacs and handcuffs”

    DVD Spine #563 Learn more »
  • Watership Down (Criterion DVD)

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    Watership Down

    Martin Rosen

    STEVEN: “A subterranean rabbit family's threatened. Ennui's fought. They make their exodus. The bucolic becomes bellicose, creating a wondrous yet weary world.”

    DVD Spine #748 Learn more »
  • The Vanishing (Criterion DVD)

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    The Vanishing

    George Sluizer

    STEVEN: “An woman evaporates. Her boyfriend searches frantically. The abductor hides in plain sight. Hitchcock meets Joseph Conrad in this dark hearted story.”

    DVD Spine #133 Learn more »
  • Jigoku (Criterion DVD)

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    Jigoku

    Nobuo Nakagawa

    STEVEN: “Grand Guignol on the Ginza: Nakagawa uses Dante to make a Nipponese Inferno. He also explores human sins and lower world leveraging via a siren call.”

    DVD Spine #352 Learn more »
  • Eclipse Series 21:  Oshima’s Outlaw Sixties (Eclipse DVD)

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    Eclipse Series 21: Oshima’s Outlaw Sixties

    Nagisa Oshima

    STEVEN: “Surly strangers encounter each other in an isolated shelter. A bunker mentality colors the struggle for endurance. Personal and historical agony meet.”

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  • Le trou (Criterion DVD)

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    Le trou

    Jacques Becker

    STEVEN: “Becker's peine de prison poem about four inmates' dreary determination to break La Sante. Will a new mate the poison the plot to permeate? Qui sait?”

    DVD Spine #129 Learn more »
  • Blow-Up (Criterion DVD)

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    Blow-Up

    Michelangelo Antonioni

    STEVEN: “A romp in paper; a revelation in a park -- two moving parts of a stylish sleuthing. A swinging latter-day Vertov becomes a vigilante. It's in the wind”

    DVD Spine #865 Learn more »
  • Kill! (Criterion DVD)

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    Kill!

    Kihachi Okamoto

    STEVEN: “Okamoto's cast isn't a who's who of samurai or harried heroine thespians. Instead, it's a company wrapped around a warrior yarn layered with mirth.”

    DVD Spine #313 Learn more »
  • The Night Porter (Criterion DVD)

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    The Night Porter

    Liliana Cavani

    STEVEN: “In postwar Vienna, a randy reunion ensues between a death camp survivor and a (somewhat) reformed ex-SS officer. Dominance and submission has new feel”

    DVD Spine #59 Learn more »
  • Roberto Rossellini’s  War Trilogy (Criterion DVD)

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    Roberto Rossellini’s War Trilogy

    Roberto Rossellini

    STEVEN: “Grit and alienation flood the aesthetic. The Eternal City's violated by the external. Rossellini shows the warts of war and doesn't hide the tragedy.”

    DVD Spine #500 Learn more »
  • Umberto D. (Criterion DVD)

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    Umberto D.

    Vittorio De Sica

    STEVEN: “Umberto: An old everyman hit by Italian postwar meanness. Yet he finds pockets of kindness, both human and canine. Here, man's best friend truly is.”

    DVD Spine #201 Learn more »
  • Red Beard (Criterion DVD)

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    Red Beard

    Akira Kurosawa

    STEVEN: “An egotistical young intern clashes with an erudite older doctor. The latter's dedication melts the newbie's dillitantism. A humane detente emerges.”

    DVD Spine #159 Learn more »
  • The Shop on Main Street (Criterion DVD)

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    The Shop on Main Street

    Ján Kadár and Elmar Klos

    STEVEN: “A man's trapped by culpability and compassion. A sheltered shopkeeper's sighted by Aryan avarice. There's no exile from dilemma on this Main Street.”

    DVD Spine #130 Learn more »
  • Kes (Criterion DVD)

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    Kes

    Ken Loach

    STEVEN: “You can't TAME a kestrel. But you can TRAIN one. The same's true for Billy, a boy cursed by all. Except Kes, in an authentic tale of Dickensian scale.”

    DVD Spine #561 Learn more »
  • Closely Watched Trains (Criterion DVD)

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    Closely Watched Trains

    Jiří Menzel

    STEVEN: “This depot is occupied. Yet its denizens' hearts are anything but, despite navigating Nazis and each other. This is realism with a humanoid visage.”

    DVD Spine #131 Learn more »
  • Loves of a Blonde (Criterion DVD)

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    Loves of a Blonde

    Miloš Forman

    STEVEN: “Damsel in some distress seeks diversion and discovers it with a dashing player (not just a musician). But love (or something like it) has its limits.”

    DVD Spine #144 Learn more »
  • The Firemen’s Ball (Criterion DVD)

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    The Firemen’s Ball

    Miloš Forman

    STEVEN: “Follow the smoke jumper's bouncing ball. A socialist soiree/tribute meant for all becomes the personal playground for the few. A peasant Peyton Place.”

    DVD Spine #145 Learn more »
  • The Young Girls of Rochefort (Criterion Blu-Ray)

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    The Young Girls of Rochefort

    Jacques Demy

    STEVEN: “Fold up Cherbourg's umbrellas and step into Rochefort's clarion, if complicated, romanticism. A consomme of color, choreography and the yens of youth.”

    Blu-Ray Spine #717 Learn more »
  • Twenty-Four Eyes (Criterion DVD)

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    Twenty-Four Eyes

    Keisuke Kinoshita

    STEVEN: “Isolated by topology but not tactility, youth are taught by a young woman. A tight student/teacher bond grows in this real mix of history and humanity”

    DVD Spine #442 Learn more »
  • If.... (Criterion DVD)

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    If....

    Lindsay Anderson

    STEVEN: “Andersen's riot act on conformity. Equal parts poetry and pyrotechnics. His cinematic embodiment: Classical yet anarchic. Intellect v. Insurrection.”

    DVD Spine #391 Learn more »
  • Fat Girl (Criterion DVD)

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    Fat Girl

    Catherine Breillat

    STEVEN: “Film's the art of the impossible. A living example of this mantra is FAT GIRL. A shining crystal's pitted against an obese onyx. Dark sibling rivalry.”

    DVD Spine #259 Learn more »
  • A Taste of Honey (Criterion DVD)

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    A Taste of Honey

    Tony Richardson

    STEVEN: “Piercing Manchester's drab's a dynamic industriousness. A young woman struggles to slay emotional poverty. A celebration of courageous cinema verite.”

    DVD Spine #829 Learn more »
  • Danton (Criterion DVD)

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    Danton

    Andrzej Wajda

    STEVEN: “Uprisings build and buckle. So do their human alliances. DANTON lays bare the fundamental questions: What is a revolution? How costly are its ideals?”

    DVD Spine #464 Learn more »
  • Eclipse Series 25:  Basil Dearden’s London Underground (Eclipse DVD)

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    Eclipse Series 25: Basil Dearden’s London Underground

    Basil Dearden

    STEVEN: “Under illustrious touchstones of 1950's Britain (like Queen Elizabeth's coronation) lay intolerance. Here, Dearden ECLIPSES these shards of realism.”

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  • One-Eyed Jacks (Criterion DVD)

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    One-Eyed Jacks

    Marlon Brando

    STEVEN: “Human nature's infused into the Western genre. In Brando's vision, mercy's in short supply. But memory's as long as the trek taken to ensure justice.”

    DVD Spine #844 Learn more »
  • L’enfance nue (Criterion DVD)

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    L’enfance nue

    Maurice Pialat

    STEVEN: “A tragic Gallic treatise about fostering, frustration, family. Francois, our anti-hero, tries to navigate accommodation while just trying to be a kid.”

    DVD Spine #534 Learn more »
  • Spellbound (Criterion DVD)

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    Spellbound

    Alfred Hitchcock

    STEVEN: “Hitchcock taps behavioral health. He shows a tangled tango between a doctor and her new boss. Its dangerous moves are phobias, patterns and identity.”

    DVD Spine #136 Learn more »
  • When a Woman Ascends the Stairs (Criterion DVD)

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    When a Woman Ascends the Stairs

    Mikio Naruse

    STEVEN: “Naruse's treatise of lonely leisure. The focus is placed on his heroine's social/practical survival and her happy sadness. Ginza lights hide despair.”

    DVD Spine #377 Learn more »
  • Dodes’ka-den (Criterion DVD)

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    Dodes’ka-den

    Akira Kurosawa

    STEVEN: “In a no-man's land, nobodies make their home. Kurosawa does more than just show us daily life in a dump. He creates resilience within the rubbish. ”

    DVD Spine #465 Learn more »
  • The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (Criterion DVD)

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    The Killing of a Chinese Bookie

    John Cassavetes

    STEVEN: “Life isn't a cabaret for old chum Cosmo. He's his own worst enemy. In a gust of seedy realism, Cassavetes shows desperation and wiliness are the same.”

    DVD Spine #254 Learn more »
  • Le deuxième souffle (Criterion DVD)

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    Le deuxième souffle

    Jean-Pierre Melville

    STEVEN: “An appreciated criminal escapes prison for a last hurrah of a heist. He re-enters larceny and interior loneliness worlds, chased by a stylish Javert.”

    DVD Spine #448 Learn more »