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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), her face disfigured and reconstructed, returns to her war-ravaged hometown to seek out the 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.
The visionary chroniclers of eccentric Americana Joel and Ethan Coen present one of their greatest creations in Llewyn Davis, a singer barely eking out a living on the peripheries of the flourishing Greenwich Village folk scene of the early sixties.
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.
This early smash for producer extraordinaire Dino De Laurentiis and director Giuseppe De Santis is neorealism with a heaping dose of pulp.
A young woman (Meiko Kaji), trained from childhood as an assassin and hell-bent on revenge for the murders of her father and brother and the rape of her mother, hacks and slashes her way to gory satisfaction.
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.
Speedy is an out-of-control love letter to New York that will have you grinning from ear to ear.
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.
Merchant Ivory Productions, led by director James Ivory and producer Ismail Merchant, became a household name with A Room with a View, the first of their extraordinary adaptations of E. M. Forster novels.
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.
Oscar winner Marion Cotillard received another nomination for her searing, deeply felt performance as a working-class woman desperate to hold on to her factory job, in this gripping film from master Belgian directors Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne.
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.
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.
This comic masterpiece by Preston Sturges is among the finest Hollywood satires and a high-water mark in the career of one of the industry’s most revered funnymen.
Based on the novel by Rumer Godden, the film eloquently contrasts the growing pains of three young women with the immutability of the Bengal river around which their daily lives unfold.
During his first decade at Shochiku studios, where he dabbled in many genres, Ozu put out a trio of precisely rendered, magnificently shot and edited silent crime films
Jean-Pierre Melville began his superb feature filmmaking career with this powerful adaptation of an influential underground novel written during the Nazi occupation of France.
In one of the best performances of his legendary career, Robert Mitchum plays small-time gunrunner Eddie “Fingers” Coyle in an adaptation by Peter Yates of George V. Higgins’s acclaimed novel The Friends of Eddie Coyle.
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.
Truffaut made The Soft Skin at a time when he was immersing himself in the work of Alfred Hitchcock, and that master’s influence can be felt throughout this complex, insightful, and underseen French New Wave treasure.
This bittersweet film from Jean Renoir, based on a story by Guy de Maupassant, is a tenderly comic idyll about a city family’s picnic in the French countryside and the romancing of the mother and grown daughter by two local men.
The last film by Yasujiro Ozu was also his final masterpiece, a gently heartbreaking story about a man’s dignifed resignation to life’s shifting currents and society’s modernization.