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In these three films, something like social-realist farces, Kaurismäki surveys the working-class outcasts of his native Finland with detached yet disarming amusement.
John Cassavetes was a genius, a visionary, and the progenitor of American independent film, but that doesn’t begin to get at the generosity of his art.
Widely regarded as the greatest Spanish film of the 1970s, Victor Erice’s The Spirit of the Beehive is a visually arresting, bewitching portrait of a child’s haunted inner life.
Two heartsick Hong Kong cops cross paths at the Midnight Express take-out restaurant stand, where the ethereal pixie waitress Faye works. Chungking Express is one of the defining works of nineties cinema and the film that made Hong Kong filmmaker Wong Kar-wai an instant icon.
The extraordinary, internationally embraced Yi Yi (A One and a Two . . .), directed by the late Taiwanese master Edward Yang, follows a middle-class family in Taipei over the course of one year, beginning with a wedding and ending with a funeral.
Vivre sa vie was a turning point for Jean-Luc Godard and remains one of his most dynamic films, combining brilliant visual design with a tragic character study. Anna Karina plays Nana, a young Parisian who aspires to be an actress but instead ends up a prostitute.