STEVEN’s Collection (158)

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  • Shadows (Criterion DVD)

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    Shadows

    John Cassavetes

    STEVEN: “To be AND bop. A headstrong heritage-blind chick flirts/fidgets with her brothers, junior music mavens and 3-piece suitors. Improvised in tune & deed.”

    DVD Spine #251 Learn more »
  • Le plaisir (Criterion DVD)

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    Le plaisir

    Max Ophuls

    STEVEN: “In settings both bucolic and burghal, Ophuls depicts plaisirs de la chair et du coeur. Via de Maupassant rural life, romance & reverence are luminous.”

    DVD Spine #444 Learn more »
  • La ronde (Criterion DVD)

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    La ronde

    Max Ophuls

    STEVEN: “In Ophuls' ideal, amour shows no favor. On the contrary, it turns the world. Blind to human circumstance, its carousel whirls -- Bigelow Soliloquyless”

    DVD Spine #443 Learn more »
  • A Film Trilogy  by Ingmar Bergman (Criterion DVD)

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    A Film Trilogy by Ingmar Bergman

    STEVEN: “In THE SILENCE, Bergman excavates familial fracas, sickness and greed. The burg his characters visit symbolizes both edifice and emotion under siege.”

    DVD Spine #208 Learn more »
  • The Earrings of Madame de . . .  (Criterion DVD)

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    The Earrings of Madame de . . .

    Max Ophuls

    STEVEN: “Pampered peccadilloes: A heterodox hussy expels elegant earrings. Deceitful de boucles d’oreilles. Together, they pave a jeweler's row (as in FIGHT).”

    DVD Spine #445 Learn more »
  • Sweetie (Criterion Blu-Ray)

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    Sweetie

    Jane Campion

    STEVEN: “In a nuclear clan, an ancestral atom bomb threatens to go off. It's spherical shockwave masked as sibling rivalry. One dithers. One destroys herself.”

    Blu-Ray Spine #356 Learn more »
  • Peeping Tom (Criterion DVD)

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    Peeping Tom

    Michael Powell

    STEVEN: “An auteur with more issues than a newsagent uses film to frame his fatal fetishes. Consuming psychical horror with celluloid skeletons in the closet.”

    DVD Spine #58 Learn more »
  • A Man Escaped (Criterion DVD)

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    A Man Escaped

    Robert Bresson

    STEVEN: “A French patriot stares down the Nazis and his own Hotel Terminus. His two front war's lodged in a cold yet gritty single-minded resolve to break out.”

    DVD Spine #650 Learn more »
  • 3 Films by Roberto Rossellini Starring Ingrid Bergman (Criterion DVD)

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    3 Films by Roberto Rossellini Starring Ingrid Bergman

    Roberto Rossellini

    STEVEN: “STROMBOLI: A saga of an alienated, dispossessed woman's alienation from her surroundings and self. Neorealism with style; not necessarily a good thing”

    DVD Spine #672 Learn more »
  • The Graduate (Criterion DVD)

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    The Graduate

    Mike Nichols

    STEVEN: “An aimless youth's literal sunshine and storms. Yet he ultimately aims for life. It's more than plastics. Benjamin goes from plaintive to pulsating.”

    DVD Spine #800 Learn more »
  • Antichrist (Criterion DVD)

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    Antichrist

    Lars von Trier

    STEVEN: “Lust, loss, pain and primal urges overtake a couple destroyed by their son's tragic death. Nature turns against the mind and heart with a vengeance.”

    DVD Spine #542 Learn more »
  • Jane Austen in Manhattan (Merchant Ivory DVD)

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    Jane Austen in Manhattan

    James Ivory

    STEVEN: “It's vanguard versus old guard in this behind-the-curtainer about the theater. A group's board and treading the boards are no walk in Mansfield Park.”

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  • Personal Shopper (Criterion DVD)

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    Personal Shopper

    Olivier Assayas

    STEVEN: “A woman, ruled by camisoles and the celestial, tries to tap her deceased brother's alien rumblings. This ignites a different sort of fashion emergency”

    DVD Spine #899 Learn more »
  • Roseland (Merchant Ivory DVD)

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    Roseland

    James Ivory

    STEVEN: “A danseur's Grand Hotel. Camaraderie's and human movement's dance cards are full. The figurants, in life's different ballrooms, meet in the grandest.”

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  • Bombay Talkie (Merchant Ivory DVD)

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    Bombay Talkie

    James Ivory

    STEVEN: “Hooray for Bollywood! In a mix of deity, dailies and dance, an English scribe explores Earth's biggest film colony. But her price of admission's high.”

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  • Shakespeare Wallah (Merchant Ivory DVD)

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    Shakespeare Wallah

    James Ivory

    STEVEN: “Interpreters of the Bard, afoot in Britain's old crown jewel, perform for Midnight's children and those of India's dawn. But the English Lion's exiled”

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  • 4 by Agnès Varda (Criterion DVD)

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    4 by Agnès Varda

    Agnès Varda

    STEVEN: “Varda's main themes -- existentialism and people's relationship to their environments (human and otherwise) sont ecrits ici. Sawdust but no tinsel.”

    DVD Spine #418 Learn more »
  • 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 »