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This smash road comedy from Oscar-winning director Alfonso Cuarón is a funny and moving look at human desire.
The style and themes which made Federico Fellini world famous are already apparent in this charming comedy (his first solo directorial effort), featuring such long-time collaborators as his wife, actress Giulietta Masina, and composer Nino Rota.
When a Woman Ascends the Stairs might be Japanese filmmaker Mikio Naruse’s finest hour—a delicate, devastating study of a woman, Keiko (Hideko Takamine), who works as a bar hostess in Tokyo’s very modern postwar Ginza district, and entertains businessmen after work.
This scathing late-sixties satire from Jean-Luc Godard is one of cinema’s great anarchic works. Determined to collect an inheritance from a dying relative, a bourgeois couple travel across the French countryside while civilization crashes and burns around them.
The 1992 presidential election was a triumph not only for Bill Clinton but also for the new breed of strategists who guided him to the White House—and changed the face of politics in the process.
W. C. Fields’s prolific career placed him at the forefront of slapstick comedy. Gathered here are six gems that feature the comic genius at his peak.
Two strangers dressed as minstrels (Arletty and Alain Cuny) arrive at a castle in advance of court festivities—and are revealed to be emissaries of the devil, dispatched to spread heartbreak and suffering. Their plans, however, are thwarted by an unexpected intrusion: human love.
Novice nun Viridiana does her utmost to maintain her Catholic principles, but her lecherous uncle and a motley assemblage of paupers force her to confront the limits of her idealism. Luis Buñuel’s irreverent vision of life as a beggar’s banquet is regarded by many as his masterpiece.
A beautiful ingenue joins a tawdry music hall troupe and quickly becomes its feature attraction in Federico Fellini’s stunning debut film (directed in collaboration with neorealist filmmaker Alberto Lattuada).
In this pitch-black comedy from Preston Sturges, Rex Harrison stars as a world-famous symphony conductor consumed with the suspicion that his wife is having an affair. Unfaithfully Yours is a brilliantly performed mixture of razor-sharp dialogue and uproarious slapstick.
John Huston’s ambitious tackling of Malcolm Lowry’s towering, “unadaptable” novel Under the Volcano follows the final day in the life of self-destructive British consul Geoffrey Firmin (Albert Finney, in an Oscar-nominated tour de force), on the eve of World War II.
In René Clair’s irrepressibly romantic portrait of the crowded tenements of Paris, a street singer and a gangster vie for the love of a beautiful young woman. An international sensation upon its release, Under the Roofs of Paris is an exhilarating celebration of filmmaking.
This neorealist masterpiece by Vittorio De Sica follows an elderly pensioner as he strives to make ends meet during Italy’s postwar economic recovery.
Moving between the terrestrial and the otherworldly, Ugetsu reveals essential truths about the ravages of war, the plight of women, and the pride of men.
With its gorgeous widescreen compositions and sophisticated look at American male obsession, this stripped-down narrative from maverick director Monte Hellman is one of the artistic high points of 1970s cinema, and possibly the greatest road movie ever made.
With an innovative color-coded cinematic treatment to distinguish his interwoven stories, Steven Soderbergh embroils viewers in the lives of a newly appointed drug czar and his family, a West Coast kingpin’s wife, a key informant, and police officers on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.
Having pulled off the heist of a lifetime, Max looks forward to spending his remaining days relaxing with his beautiful young girlfriend. But when Max’s hapless partner lets word of the loot slip to loose-lipped, two-timing Josy (Jeanne Moreau), Max is reluctantly drawn back into the underworld.
This multilayered comedy from Sydney Pollack follows the elaborate deception of a down-on-his-luck New York actor who poses as a woman to get a soap opera gig.
In this fantastic voyage through time and space from Terry Gilliam, a boy named Kevin (Craig Warnock) escapes his gadget-obsessed parents to join a band of time-traveling dwarfs.
A vivid, visceral Macbeth adaptation, Throne of Blood, directed by Akira Kurosawa, sets Shakespeare’s definitive tale of ambition and duplicity in a ghostly, fog-enshrouded landscape in feudal Japan.
Set in the impoverished back alleys of Victorian London, The Threepenny Opera follows underworld antihero Mackie Messer (a.k.a. Mack the Knife) as he tries to woo Polly Peachum and elude the authorities. Set to Kurt Weill’s irresistible score, this film remains a benchmark of early sound cinema.
This boldly cinematic trio of stories about love and loss from Krzysztof Kieślowski was a defining event of the art-house boom of the 1990s.
Terrence Malick’s visionary adaptation of James Jones’s 1962 novel about the World War II battle for Guadalcanal is one of the most deeply philosophical films ever released by a major Hollywood studio, a thought-provoking meditation on man, nature, and violence.
Thieves’ Highway vividly depicts the perilous world of “long-haul boys,” who drive by night to bring their goods to the markets of America’s cities. Richard Conte stars as ex-G.I. Nick Garcos, a tyro trucker bent on satisfaction from the man responsible for crippling his father.
Prince Ahmad, cast out of Bagdad by the nefarious Jaffar, joins forces with the scrappy thief Abu to win back his royal place and the heart of a princess in Alexander Korda’s The Thief of Bagdad, an eye-popping special-effects pioneer and one of the most spectacular fantasy films ever made.
Luis Buñuel’s final film explodes with eroticism, bringing full circle the director’s lifelong preoccupation with the darker side of desire. Buñuel regular Fernando Rey plays Mathieu, an urbane widower, tortured by his lust for the elusive Conchita.
In Fritz Lang’s landmark of mystery and suspense, Berlin’s star detective must connect the fragmented clues of an insane criminal mastermind’s last will: a manifesto establishing a future empire of crime.
The lyrical, profoundly moving Still Walking (Aruitemo aruitemo) is contemporary Japanese master Hirokazu Kore-eda’s most personal work to date, an extraordinary portrayal of the ties that bind us.
Alfonso Cuarón made his mark on Mexican cinema with the lightning-quick Sólo con tu pareja. Don Juan–ish yuppie Tomás Tomás spends his nights juggling so many beautiful women that he can’t keep their names straight—until a spurned nurse gives him a taste of his own medicine.
The Small Back Room details the travails of troubled research scientist and military bomb-disposal expert Sammy Rice, who, while struggling with a complex relationship with secretary girlfriend Susan, is hired by the government to advise on a dangerous new German weapon.
Eric Rohmer stood apart from his New Wave contemporaries, like François Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard, with his patented brand of gently existential, hyperarticulate character studies set against vivid seasonal landscapes. The “Six Moral Tales” unleashed a new voice onto the film world.
Over a decade in the making, Claude Lanzmann’s nine-hour-plus opus is a monumental investigation of the unthinkable: the murder of more than six million Jews by the Nazis.
Much studied, imitated, even parodied, but never outdone, Bergman’s stunning allegory of man’s search for meaning was one of the benchmark foreign imports of America’s 1950s art house heyday, pushing cinema’s boundaries and ushering in a new era of moviegoing.
In Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai (Shichinin no samurai), sixteenth-century villagers hire the eponymous warriors to protect them from invading bandits. This thrilling three-hour ride is one of the most beloved movie epics of all time.
Based on the original play by Donald Freed and Arnold M. Stone, and starring Philip Baker Hall in a tour de force solo performance, Robert Altman’s Secret Honor is a searing interrogation of the Richard Nixon mystique and an audacious depiction of unchecked paranoia.
Filmmaker-svengali Josef von Sternberg escalates his obsession with screen legend Marlene Dietrich in this lavish depiction of sex and deceit in the eighteenth-century Russian court, a self-proclaimed “relentless excursion into style.”
This revelatory drama was named the best film of the 1990s in a Village Voice poll of more than fifty critics.
Roberto Rossellini is one of the most influential filmmakers of all time. And it was with his trilogy of films made during and after World War II—Rome Open City, Paisan, and Germany Year Zero—that he left his first transformative mark on cinema.
No matter what genre he worked in, Howard Hawks played by his own rules, and never was this more evident than in his first western, the rowdy and whip-smart Red River.
This ripe, colorful adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s vicious novel The Talented Mr. Ripley, directed by the versatile René Clément, stars Delon as Tom Ripley, a duplicitous American charmer in Rome.
Subu makes pornographic films. He sees nothing wrong with it. They are an aid to a repressed society, and he uses the money to support his landlady, Haru, and her family in controversial director Shohei Imamura’s comic treatment of voyeurism and incest.
This sensual and striking chronicle of a disappearance and its aftermath put director Peter Weir on the map and helped usher in a new era of Australian cinema.
Bourgeois convention is demolished in Luis Buñuel’s surrealist gem The Phantom of Liberty, featuring an elegant soiree with guests seated at toilet bowls, poker-playing monks using religious medals as chips, and police officers looking for a missing girl who is right under their noses.
A frank exploration of voyeurism and violence, Michael Powell’s extraordinary film is the story of a psychopathic cameraman—his childhood traumas, sexual crises, and murderous revenge as an adult.
A mix of the witty and the utterly absurd, The Palm Beach Story is a high watermark of Sturges’s brand of physical comedy and verbal repartee, featuring sparkling performances.
These are the three films that put Portuguese director Pedro Costa on the map: spare, painterly portraits of battered, largely immigrant lives in the slums of Fontainhas, a neighborhood on the outskirts of Lisbon.
In The Blood of a Poet, Orpheus, and Testament of Orpheus, Cocteau utilizes the Orphic myth to explore the complex relationships between the artist and his creations, reality and the imagination.
These rare early films from Yasujiro Ozu, The Only Son and There Was a Father , are considered by many to be two of the Japanese director’s finest works, paving the way for a career among the most sensitive and significant in film history.
Marlon Brando gives the performance of his career as the tough prizefighter-turned-longshoreman Terry Malloy in this masterpiece of urban poetry.
In this unsettling drama from Italian filmmaker Liliana Cavani, a concentration camp survivor (Charlotte Rampling) discovers her former torturer and lover (Dirk Bogarde) working as a porter at a hotel in postwar Vienna.
My Life as a Dog is the story of Ingemar, a working-class twelve-year-old sent to live with his uncle in a country village when his mother falls ill. There, with the help of the warmhearted eccentrics who populate the town, the boy finds both refuge from his misfortunes and unexpected adventure.
Bob Hoskins (who snagged an Oscar nomination for his performance) plays George, a small-time loser employed as a chauffeur to an enigmatic, high-class call girl in writer-director Neil Jordan’s brilliant, noir-infused love story.
Suffused with dread and paranoia, this Fritz Lang adaptation of a novel by Graham Greene is a plunge into the eerie shadows of a world turned upside down by war.
By turns charming and inventive, René Clair’s lyrical masterpiece about the journey of a winning lottery ticket had a profound impact on not only the Marx Brothers and Charlie Chaplin but the American musical as a whole.
Before he turned to the story of Joan of Arc, the Danish cinema genius Carl Theodor Dreyer fashioned this ahead-of-its-time examination of domestic life.
Make Way for Tomorrow, by Leo McCarey, is one of the great unsung Hollywood masterpieces, an enormously moving Depression-era depiction of the frustrations of family, aging, and the generation gap.
Ingmar Bergman puts his indelible stamp on Mozart’s exquisite opera in this sublime rendering of one of the composer’s best-loved works: a celebration of love, forgiveness, and the brotherhood of man.
The electric filmmaking genius John Cassavetes and his brilliant wife and collaborator Gena Rowlands give luminous, fragile performances as two closely bound, emotionally wounded souls who reunite after years apart.
Bob Hoskins, in his breakthrough film role, stars as a London racketeer fast losing control of his gangland empire; Helen Mirren shines as his classy moll.