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This singular vision of early seventeenth-century America from Terrence Malick is a work of astounding elemental beauty, a poetic meditation on nature, violence, love, and civilization.
Ten years after the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps, filmmaker Alain Resnais documented the abandoned grounds of Auschwitz and Majdanek in Night and Fog (Nuit et brouillard), one of the first cinematic reflections on the Holocaust.
Alain Resnais’s Muriel, or The Time of Return, the director’s follow-up to Last Year at Marienbad, is as radical a reflection on the nature of time and memory as its predecessor.
At once a wuxia film, the tale of a spiritual quest, and a study in human nature, A Touch of Zen is an unparalleled work in Hu’s formidable career and an epic of the highest order.
A young woman in a small Kansas town survives a drag race accident, then agrees to take a job as a church organist in Salt Lake City. En route, she becomes haunted by a bizarre apparition that compels her toward an abandoned lakeside pavilion.
Fueled by elaborate stunt work and the laconic, naturalistic charms of its two stars, The In-Laws deserves its status as a madcap classic—and has continued to draw ardent fans in the years since its release.
This major early achievement by Michelangelo Antonioni bears the first signs of the cinema-changing style for which he would soon be world-famous.
Jean Renoir’s ruthless love triangle tale, his second sound film, is a true precursor to his brilliantly bitter The Rules of the Game, displaying all of the filmmaker’s visual genius and fully imbued with his profound sense of humanity.
A sophisticated supernatural Hollywood comedy whose influence continues to be felt, Here Comes Mr. Jordan stars the eminently versatile Robert Montgomery as a working-class boxer and amateur aviator whose plane crashes in a freak accident.
Nothing else has ever looked or felt like director René Laloux’s animated marvel Fantastic Planet, a politically minded and visually inventive work of science fiction.
Stanley Kubrick’s painfully funny take on Cold War anxiety is one of the fiercest satires of human folly ever to come out of Hollywood.
This multilayered, immensely entertaining drama from the great contemporary French director Olivier Assayas is a singular look at the intersection of high art and popular culture.
In the middle of the 1970s, Wim Wenders embarked on a three-film journey that took him from the wide roads of Germany to the endless highways of the United States and back again.
A Hollywood studio executive with a shaky moral compass (Tim Robbins) finds himself caught up in a criminal situation that would be right at home in one of his movie projects, in this biting industry satire from Robert Altman.
Director Kaneto Shindo’s documentary-like, dialogue-free portrayal of daily struggle is a work of stunning visual beauty and invention.
When a gifted but washed-up screenwriter with a hair-trigger temper—Humphrey Bogart, in a revelatory, vulnerable performance—becomes the prime suspect in a brutal Tinseltown murder, the only person who can supply an alibi for him is a seductive neighbor (Gloria Grahame) with her own troubled past.
Suffused with a lingering post–World War II disillusionment while also evincing the playfulness and fascination with theatrical performance and conspiracy that would become hallmarks for the director, Paris Belongs to Us marked the provocative start to a brilliant directorial career.
The rare film that takes aim at the frenzy of the McCarthy era while also being suffused with its Cold War paranoia, The Manchurian Candidate remains potent, shocking American moviemaking.
Among the most praised and sought-after titles in all contemporary film, this singular masterpiece of Taiwanese cinema, directed by Edward Yang, finally comes to home video in the United States.
A Poem Is a Naked Person is a work of rough beauty that serves as testament to Les Blank’s cinematic daring and Leon Russell’s immense musical talents.
Hailed around the world as one of the greatest movies ever made, the Academy Award–winning Bicycle Thieves, directed by Vittorio De Sica, defined an era in cinema.
Electrified by crackling dialogue and visual craftsmanship of the great Howard Hawks, Only Angels Have Wings stars Jean Arthur as a traveling entertainer who gets more than she bargained for during a stopover in a South American port town.
Set during the eighties, Barcelona explores topics both heady and hilarious while remaining a constantly witty delight, featuring a sharp young cast that includes Taylor Nichols, Chris Eigeman, and Mira Sorvino.
After surviving Auschwitz, a former cabaret singer (Nina Hoss, in a dazzling, multilayered performance) has her disfigured face reconstructed and returns to her war-ravaged hometown to seek out her gentile husband, who may or may not have betrayed her to the Nazis.
Seeking to invigorate the American documentary format, which he felt was rote and uninspired, Robert Drew brought the style and vibrancy he had fostered as a Life magazine correspondent to filmmaking in the late fifties.
This monumental mid-nineteenth-century epic from Jan Troell charts, over the course of two films, a Swedish farming family’s voyage to America and their efforts to put down roots in this beautiful but forbidding new world.
Charlie Chaplin and Jackie Coogan make a miraculous pair in this nimble marriage of sentiment and slapstick, a film that is, as its opening title card states, “a picture with a smile—and perhaps, a tear.”
Genius provocateur Nagisa Oshima, an influential figure in the Japanese New Wave of the 1960s, made one of his most startling political statements with the compelling pitch-black satire Death by Hanging.
A character study that never strays from its complicated central figure, while keeping us at an emotional remove, I Knew Her Well is one of the most overlooked films of the sixties, by turns funny, tragic, and altogether jaw-dropping.
One of the most beloved American films of all time, The Graduate earned Mike Nichols a best director Oscar, brought the music of Simon & Garfunkel to a wider audience, and introduced the world to a young actor named Dustin Hoffman.
An ever-shifting battle of the sexes set on a Buenos Aires casino’s glittering floor and in its shadowy back rooms, Gilda is among the most sensual of all Hollywood noirs.
Wim Wenders pays loving homage to rough-and-tumble Hollywood film noir with The American Friend, a loose adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s novel Ripley’s Game.
The world-famous artist Takashi Murakami made his directorial debut with Jellyfish Eyes, taking his boundless imagination to the screen in a tale of friendship and loyalty that also addresses humanity’s propensity for destruction.
Made up of intimate, revelatory footage of the singular author and poet filmed over the course of five years, Howard Brookner’s 1983 documentary about William S. Burroughs was for decades mainly the stuff of legend.
One of the greatest achievements by Akira Kurosawa, Ikiru shows the director at his most compassionate—affirming life through an exploration of death.
Bob Dylan is captured on-screen as he never would be again in this groundbreaking film from D. A. Pennebaker.
Truman Capote’s best seller, a breakthrough narrative account of real-life crime and punishment, became an equally chilling film in the hands of writer-director Richard Brooks.
Two decades after its original negatives were burned in a fire, Satyajit Ray’s breathtaking milestone of world cinema rises from the ashes in a meticulously reconstructed new restoration.
One of the world’s most influential and provocative filmmakers, the Oscar–winning Austrian director Michael Haneke diagnoses the social maladies of contemporary Europe with devastating precision and artistry.
Julien Duvivier made the transition from silents to talkies with ease, marrying his expressive camera work to a strikingly inventive use of sound with a singular dexterity.
David Lynch’s seductive and scary vision of Los Angeles’s dream factory is one of the true masterpieces of the new millennium, a tale of love, jealousy, and revenge like no other.
After more than a decade of sober political dramas and socially minded period pieces, the great Japanese director Masaki Kobayashi shifted gears dramatically for this rapturously stylized quartet of ghost stories.
Italian cinema dream team Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni are cast against glamorous type and deliver two of the finest performances of their careers in this moving, quietly subversive drama from Ettore Scola.
With its combination of psychological and body horror, The Brood laid the groundwork for many of the director’s films to come, but it stands on its own as a personal, singularly scary vision.
A decade after he broke through with Breaker Morant, Australian director Bruce Beresford made another acclaimed film about the effects of colonialism on the individual.
Director Bruce Beresford garnered international acclaim for this riveting drama set during a dark period in his country’s colonial history, and featuring passionate performances by Edward Woodward, Bryan Brown, and Jack Thompson.
Based on a shocking true story and shot in documentary-style black and white, The Honeymoon Killers is a stark portrayal of the desperate lengths to which a lonely heart will go to find true love.
This affectionate farce from François Truffaut about the joys and strife of moviemaking is one of his most beloved films.
Brian De Palma ascended to the highest ranks of American suspense filmmaking with this virtuoso, explicit erotic thriller.
An astounding array of talent came together for the big-screen adaptation of John Fowles’s novel The French Lieutenant’s Woman, a postmodern masterpiece that had been considered unfilmable.
The legendary French filmmaker Agnès Varda, whose remarkable career began in the 1950s and has continued into the twenty-first century, produced some of her most provocative works in the United States.
A cornerstone of the French New Wave, the first feature from Alain Resnais is one of the most influential films of all time.
This mesmerizing debut by the great Swedish director Jan Troell is an epic bildungsroman and a multilayered representation of early twentieth-century Sweden.
An island off the New England coast, summer of 1965. Two twelve-year-olds, Sam and Suzy, fall in love, make a secret pact, and run away together into the wilderness.
Bernhard Wicki’s astonishing The Bridge was the first major antiwar film to come out of Germany after World War II, as well as the nation’s first postwar film to be widely shown internationally, even securing an Oscar nomination.
Costa-Gavras puts the United States’ involvement in Latin American politics under the microscope in this arresting thriller.
The master of the political thriller, Costa-Gavras became an instant phenomenon after the mammoth success of Z, and he quickly followed it with the equally riveting The Confession.
In this anguished yet mordantly funny film, Fassbinder charts the decline of a self-destructive former policeman and war veteran struggling to make ends meet for his family by working as a fruit vendor.
Bette Midler exploded onto the screen with her take-no-prisoners performance in this quintessential film about fame and addiction from director Mark Rydell.
Charlie Chaplin’s masterful drama about the twilight of a former vaudeville star is among the writer-director’s most touching films. Chaplin plays Calvero, a once beloved musical-comedy performer, now a washed-up alcoholic who lives in a small London flat.