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Scenes from a Marriage chronicles the many years of love and turmoil that bind Marianne (Liv Ullmann) and Johan (Erland Josephson) through matrimony, infidelity, divorce, and subsequent partners.
These early films, which show the stirrings of the genius to come, remain the hidden treasures of a European cinema on the cusp of a golden age.
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.
Utilizing a new cameraman—the incomparable Sven Nykvist—Bergman unleashed Through a Glass Darkly, Winter Light, and The Silence in rapid succession, exposing moviegoers worldwide to a new level of intellectual and emotional intensity.
Winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, Ingmar Bergman’s The Virgin Spring is a harrowing tale of faith, revenge, and savagery in medieval Sweden.
The story of the charged relationship between a turn-of-the-century traveling circus owner and his performer girlfriend, Ingmar Bergman’s film features dreamlike detours and twisted psychosexual power plays that presage the director’s Smiles of a Summer Night and The Seventh Seal.
An intensely felt film that is one of Bergman’s most striking formal experiments, Cries and Whispers (which won an Oscar for the extraordinary color photography of Sven Nykvist) is a powerful depiction of human behavior in the face of death.
Chow Yun-fat is jaded detective “Tequila” Yuen in John Woo’s dizzying odyssey through the world of Hong Kong Triads, undercover agents, and frenzied police raids; the brilliant, passionate Hard Boiled is violence as poetry, rendered by a master.
Chow Yun-fat stars as a killer with a conscience in John Woo’s exquisite dissection of morals in a corrupt society. Replete with balletic, slow-motion gun battles on the streets of Hong Kong, The Killer mixes genres from both the East and the West.
Trickery. Deceit. Magic. In F for Fake, a free-form sort-of documentary by Orson Welles, the legendary filmmaker (and self-described charlatan) gleefully reengages with the central preoccupation of his career: the tenuous lines between illusion and truth, art and lies.
Orson Welles’s Mr. Arkadin (a.k.a. Confidential Report) tells the story of an elusive billionaire who hires an American smuggler to investigate his past, leading to a dizzying descent into a cold-war European landscape.
In this poetic and atmospheric horror fable, set in a village in war-torn medieval Japan, a malevolent spirit has been ripping out the throats of itinerant samurai. Onibaba, Kuroneko (Black Cat) is a spectacularly eerie twilight tale.
In Kaneto Shindo’s chilling folktale, a mother and her daughter-in-law eke out a desperate existence in the lonely marshes of war-torn medieval Japan. When a neighbor returns from the skirmishes, lust, jealousy, and rage—and a horrifying fate at the hands of an ominous, ill-gotten demon mask—ensue.
At an Austrian boys’ boarding school in the early 1900s, shy, intelligent Törless observes the sadistic behavior of his fellow students, doing nothing to help a victimized classmate—until the torture goes too far. Young Törless is adapted from Robert Musil’s acclaimed novel.
The Tin Drum, is Volker Schlöndorff’s visionary adaptation of Nobel laureate Günter Grass’s acclaimed novel, characterized by surreal imagery, arresting eroticism, and clear-eyed satire.
A startling tale of heartbreak and violence set against the backdrop of bloody revolution, Volker Schlöndorff’s Coup de grâce is a powerful film that explores the interrelation of private passion and political commitment.
When Katharina Blum spends the night with an alleged terrorist, her quiet, ordered life falls into ruins. Suddenly a suspect, Katharina is subject to a vicious smear campaign by the police and a ruthless tabloid journalist, testing the limits of her dignity and her sanity.
Sunday Bloody Sunday depicts the romantic lives of two Londoners, a middle-aged doctor and a prickly thirtysomething divorcée—played with great sensitivity by Peter Finch and Glenda Jackson—who are sleeping with the same handsome young artist.
Tom Courtenay is Billy Fisher, the underachieving undertaker’s assistant whose constant daydreams and truth-deficient stories earn him the nickname “Billy Liar.” Deftly veering from gritty realism to flamboyant fantasy, Billy Liar is a dazzling and uproarious classic.
The true story of the death of Italy’s most wanted criminal and celebrated hero, Francesco Rosi’s groundbreaking political film is a startling exposé of Sicily and the tangled relations between its citizens, the Mafia, and government officials.
The Moment of Truth, from director Francesco Rosi, is a visceral plunge into the life of a famous torero—played by real-life bullfighting legend Miguel Mateo, known as Miguelín.
Rod Steiger is ferocious as a scheming land developer in Francesco Rosi’s Hands over the City, a blistering work of social realism and the winner of the 1963 Venice Film Festival Golden Lion.
Two unemployed actors drown their frustrations in booze, pills, and lighter fluid. When an uncle offers his cottage, they escape the squalor of their flat for a week in the country. Bruce Robinson’s semi-autobiographical cult favorite is intelligent, superbly acted, and hilarious.
Richard E. Grant is the endlessly suave Dennis Bagley, a high-strung advertising executive whose shoulder sprouts an evil, talking boil. This caustic satire reunites the talented team behind the cult classic Withnail and I to create a tour de force of verbal jousting and physical comedy.
One of the most influential political films in history, The Battle of Algiers, by Gillo Pontecorvo, vividly re-creates a key year in the tumultuous Algerian struggle for independence from the occupying French in the 1950s.
Before he left his mark on cinema forever with the revolutionary The Battle of Algiers, Italian director Gillo Pontecorvo directed this uncompromising World War II drama about a young Jewish woman (Susan Strasberg) in a Nazi concentration camp.
The singular French director Maurice Pialat puts his distinctive stamp on the lost-youth film with this devastating portrait of a damaged foster child.
In a revelatory film debut, the dynamic, fresh-faced Sandrine Bonnaire plays Suzanne, a fifteen-year-old Parisian who embarks on a sexual rampage in an effort to separate herself from her overbearing, beloved father. À nos amours is one of Maurice Pialat’s greatest achievements.
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.
Sensationally modern, G. W. Pabst’s lurid, controversial melodrama follows the downward spiral of the fiery, brash, yet innocent showgirl Lulu (Louise Brooks), whose sexual vivacity has a devastating effect on everyone she comes in contact with.
Ermanno Olmi’s masterful feature is the tender story of two Milanese fiancés whose strained relationship is tested when the man accepts a new job in Sicily. With the separation come loneliness, nostalgia, and, perhaps, some new perspectives that might rejuvenate their love.
When young Domenico ventures from the small village of Meda to Milan in search of employment, he finds himself on the bottom rung of the bureaucratic ladder in a huge, faceless company in Ermanno Olmi’s tender coming-of-age story.
Laurence Olivier directed only five films in his sixty-year career, yet his three Shakespeare adaptations, presented here together on DVD for the first time, are still widely considered the definitive film adaptations.
In Richard III, director, producer, and star Laurence Olivier brings Shakespeare’s masterpiece of Machiavellian villainy to ravishing cinematic life
Winner of four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor, Sir Laurence Olivier’s Hamlet continues to be the most compelling version of Shakespeare’s beloved tragedy.
This sumptuous Technicolor rendering of Shakespeare’s play features a thrilling re-creation of the battle of Agincourt, and Sir Laurence Olivier in his prime as director and actor.
One of the CIA’s top international operatives, Miles Kendig (Walter Matthau) suddenly finds himself relegated to a desk job in an agency power play. Unwilling to go quietly, Kendig writes a memoir exposing the innermost secrets of every major intelligence agency in the world.
In Ronald Neame’s film of Joyce Cary’s classic novel, Alec Guinness transforms himself into one of cinema’s most indelible comic figures: the lovably scruffy painter Gulley Jimson.
A lifetime officer and an educated scion of an old military family battle each other to win the loyalties of a peacetime Scottish battalion. Ronald Neame’s portrayal of the rigid hierarchy of military life also examines the institutional contradictions and class divisions of English society.
In Paul Morrissey’s brash mixture of humor, horror, and sex, Blood for Dracula, the infamous count searches Italy for virgin blood.
Maverick filmmaker Paul Morrissey’s Flesh for Frankenstein reevaluates the horror film, infusing it with satiric wit and sexuality. Morrissey’s tale of the mad Baron Frankenstein and his perverse creative urges was heavily edited upon initial release; this is the restored director’s cut.
This historical drama by Mario Monicelli, brimming with humor and honesty, is a beautiful and moving ode to the power of the people.
An all-star cast and jazzy score highlight this charming comedy, a deft satire of classic caper films like Rififi. Big Deal on Madonna Street hilariously details the plight of a sad-sack group of bumbling thieves and their desperate attempts to pull off the perfect heist.
Based on the Booker Prize–nominated novel by Anita Desai, In Custody, the debut of Ismail Merchant as a director, is a wry, lyrical, comic drama about contemporary Indian culture, society, and domestic life.
In this nightmarish urban odyssey, inner-city police detective Bobby Gold (Joe Mantegna), is following the murder of an elderly Jewish candy-shop owner, which leads him down a path of obscure encounters and clues, as well as a profound reckoning with his own self and identity.
David Mamet’s witty tale of a therapist and best-selling author who must confront her own obsessions when she meets an attractive cardsharp is as psychologically acute as it is full of twists and turns, a rich character study told with the cold calculation of a career criminal.
Makavejev’s films about political and sexual liberation were revolutionary, raucous, and ribald. Across these first three films, he investigates love, death, and work; the legacy of war and the absurdity of daily life in a Communist state; criminology and hypnosis; strudels and strongmen.
What does the energy harnessed through orgasm have to do with the state of communist Yugoslavia circa 1971? Only counterculture filmmaker extraordinaire Dušan Makavejev has the answers (or the questions) in his surreal documentary-fiction collision WR: Mysteries of the Organism.
With its lewd abandon and sketch-comedy perversity, Makavejev’s cult staple Sweet Movie is a full-throated shriek in the face of bourgeois complacency and movie watching.
A work of memory and imagination, the film burrows into what the filmmaker calls “the heart of the heart” of the continent, conjuring a city as delightful as it is fearsome, populated by sleepwalkers and hockey aficionados.
This eerie excursion into the Gothic recesses of Guy Maddin’s mad, imaginary childhood is a silent, black-and-white comic science-fiction nightmare set in a lighthouse on grim Black Notch Island, where fictional protagonist Guy Maddin was raised by an ironfisted, puritanical mother.
Gary Cooper, Fredric March, and Miriam Hopkins play a trio of Americans in Paris who enter into a very adult “gentleman’s agreement” in this continental pre-Code comedy, freely adapted by Ben Hecht from a play by Noël Coward and directed by Ernst Lubitsch.
As nervy as it is hilarious, this screwball masterpiece from Ernst Lubitsch stars Jack Benny and, in her final screen appearance, Carole Lombard as husband-and-wife thespians in Nazi-occupied Warsaw who become caught up in a dangerous spy plot.
Deceased playboy Henry Van Cleve presents himself to the outer offices of Hades, where he asks a bemused Satan for permission to enter the gates of hell. Henry proceeds to recount a lifetime of wooing and pursuing women, his long, happy marriage to Martha notwithstanding.
When thief Gaston Monescu (Herbert Marshall) meets his true love in pickpocket Lily (Miriam Hopkins), they embark on a scam to rob lovely perfume company executive Mariette Colet (Kay Francis). Legendary director Ernst Lubitsch’s masterful touch is in full flower in Trouble in Paradise.
These elegant, bawdy films, made before strict enforcement of the Hays morality code, feature some of the greatest stars of early Hollywood, as well as that elusive style of comedy that would thereafter be known as “the Lubitsch touch.”
Albert Lamorisse’s exquisite The Red Balloon remains one of the most beloved children’s films of all time. In this deceptively simple, nearly wordless tale, a young boy discovers a stray balloon, which seems to have a mind of its own, on the streets of Paris.
In the south of France, in a vast plain region called the Camargue, lives White Mane, a magnificent stallion and the leader of a herd of wild horses too proud to let themselves be broken by humans. Only Folco, a young fisherman, manages to tame him.
Veronica and Boris are blissfully in love, until the eruption of World War II tears them apart. The Soviet cinema classic The Cranes Are Flying won the Palme d’Or at the 1958 Cannes Film Festival.