STEVEN’s Collection (123)

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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 »
  • Kagemusha (Criterion DVD)

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    Kagemusha

    Akira Kurosawa

    STEVEN: “Kurosawa's epic of manipulation AND magnificence. A compendium of color and feudal Japanese conflict. It evokes film's past. It inspired its future.”

    DVD Spine #267 Learn more »
  • Andrzej Wajda: Three War Films (Criterion DVD)

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    Andrzej Wajda: Three War Films

    Andrzej Wajda

    STEVEN: “A story of war-torn Polish wounded pride and tragic patriotism. But the downtrodden stand up and push back against the Nazis. And the hero grows.”

    DVD Spine #282 Learn more »
  • The Hidden Fortress (Essential Art House DVD)

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    The Hidden Fortress

    Akira Kurosawa

    STEVEN: “Quintessential Kurosawa. A cinematic canvas of excursions, treasure, damsels and duels. A road film to boot. But not exactly Crosby and Hope-esque ;-)”

    DVD Spine #116 Learn more »
  • Breaking the Waves (Criterion Blu-Ray/DVD Combo)

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    Breaking the Waves

    Lars von Trier

    STEVEN: “A saga that pits the anatomy against the Almighty and the human spirit versus suffocating spirituality. The heart: Fearless yet fearful heroine Bess.”

    Dual Format Blu-ray/DVD Spine #705 Learn more »
  • Ashes and Diamonds (Essential Art House DVD)

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    Ashes and Diamonds

    Andrzej Wajda

    STEVEN: “Poland: A victim of circumstance. Especially on 5/8-9/45, as fascism became communism. Beating Nazism was pyrrhic. Yet human diamonds shone brightly..”

    DVD Spine #285 Learn more »
  • I vitelloni (Criterion DVD)

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    I vitelloni

    Federico Fellini

    STEVEN: “Fellini's magnum opus of character and physical/emotional environment. Devoid of the director's touchstones like whimsy, we see souls at a crossroads.”

    DVD Spine #246 Learn more »
  • Amarcord (Criterion DVD)

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    Amarcord

    Federico Fellini

    STEVEN: “A Fellini-fired tale of friendship and feeling infused by the fascism that gripped '30s Italy. Full of quirks, it's "This is Your Life" Italian style.”

    DVD Spine #4 Learn more »
  • Nights of Cabiria (Criterion DVD)

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    Nights of Cabiria

    Federico Fellini

    STEVEN: “Fellini's anti-heroine Cabiria's a mix of sweet and sour; delight and disdain. She's a bargain basement courtesan navigating postwar Rome's squalor.”

    DVD Spine #49 Learn more »
  • AK 100:  25 Films by Akira Kurosawa ( DVD)

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    AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa

    Akira Kurosawa

    STEVEN: “THE LOWER DEPTHS: Kurosawa taps Gorky's drama and realism. He uses his own voice and traditions like kabuki. Atmospheric yet airless and confining.”

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  • Classe tous risques (Criterion DVD)

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    Classe tous risques

    Claude Sautet

    STEVEN: “A caring criminal crosses a figurative Rubicon, launching an asperous trek to Paris. A trip mixed with cohorts and crime. Honor's pulled from hiding.”

    DVD Spine #434 Learn more »
  • Le doulos (Criterion DVD)

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    Le doulos

    Jean-Pierre Melville

    STEVEN: “A French braid of an over-the-top underworld saga. Who's telling what to whom? The simple becomes complicated in this tango of treachery.”

    DVD Spine #447 Learn more »
  • In the Mood for Love (Criterion DVD)

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    In the Mood for Love

    Wong Kar-wai

    STEVEN: “A cuckolded couple meets in a chance encounter that's anything but brief. Tight living quarters and feelings. Visually rich yet emotionally frugal.”

    DVD Spine #147 Learn more »
  • Ikiru (Criterion DVD)

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    Ikiru

    Akira Kurosawa

    STEVEN: “Watanabe's a mystery. His life is/was silent struggle. But fate has his back to the wall. He takes his mortality into his hands and starts living.”

    DVD Spine #221 Learn more »
  • High and Low (Criterion DVD)

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    High and Low

    Akira Kurosawa

    STEVEN: “The dark side of the art of the deal. Lives are literally at stake in Kurosawa's drama. It's also a striking statement on Japan's postwar character.”

    DVD Spine #24 Learn more »
  • Taste of Cherry (Criterion DVD)

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    Taste of Cherry

    Abbas Kiarostami

    STEVEN: “A suicidal man wanders (literally and figuratively) about Tehran searching for a last connection. He gets 3 serindipitous perspectives. Mulberries.”

    DVD Spine #45 Learn more »
  • Sanjuro (Criterion DVD)

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    Sanjuro

    Akira Kurosawa

    STEVEN: “A new Kurosawa: Characters eat (he didn't like dining scenes); a somewhat reluctant RONIN and a band of bungling samurai take on crime -- or do they?”

    DVD Spine #53 Learn more »
  • Three Colors (Criterion DVD)

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    Three Colors

    Krzysztof Kieślowski

    STEVEN: “A woman is numbed by unspeakable tragedy. We're drawn into both her worldview and path forward. Kieslowski teaches a master class on filmmaking here.”

    DVD Spine #587 Learn more »
  • The Bad Sleep Well (Criterion DVD)

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    The Bad Sleep Well

    Akira Kurosawa

    STEVEN: “Boardroom machinations. The old boys club. A contrast between class and crass. A GODFATHER-esque opening set piece. Was Coppola inspired by Kurosawa?”

    DVD Spine #319 Learn more »