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This satire, both deeply melancholy and hilarious, is the culmination of Hal Ashby’s remarkable string of films in the 1970s, and a carefully modulated examination of the ideals, anxieties, and media-fueled delusions that shaped American culture during that decade.
A countercultural masterpiece about the act of seeing and the art of image making, Blow-Up takes the form of a psychological mystery, starring David Hemmings as a fashion photographer who unknowingly captures a death on film after following two lovers in a park.
One of the fastest, funniest, and most quotable films ever made, His Girl Friday is an immortal mix of hard-boiled newsroom setting with remarriage comedy.
This Cannes-award-winning romantic comedy channels the spirit of classic Hollywood and the whimsy of Jacques Tati into an idiosyncratic ode to the delirium of new romance.
Traveling to accept an honorary degree, Professor Isak Borg—masterfully played by veteran director Victor Sjöström—is forced to face his past, come to terms with his faults, and make peace with the inevitability of his approaching death.
In turn-of-the-century Sweden, four men and four women attempt to navigate the laws of attraction. During a weekend in the country, the women collude to force the men’s hands in matters of the heart.
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.
This first film by the legendary Hideo Gosha is among the most canonized chambara (sword-fighting) films.
Featuring a killer soundtrack and electric performances from Jeff Daniels, Melanie Griffith, and Ray Liotta, Something Wild, directed by oddball American auteur Jonathan Demme, is both a kinky comic thriller and a radiantly off-kilter love story.
Ingmar Bergman’s The Magician (Ansiktet) is an engaging, brilliantly conceived tale of deceit from one of cinema’s premier illusionists, a diabolically clever battle of wits that’s both frightening and funny.
Gregory and Shawn’s unique contributions to the cinematic landscape are shape-shifting, challenging, and entertaining works about the process of creation.
With clarity, subtlety, and a dose of wicked humor, Academy Award–winning director Ang Lee renders Rick Moody’s acclaimed novel of upper-middle-class American malaise as a trenchant, tragic cinematic portrait of lost souls.
Kirk Douglas gives the fiercest performance of his career as Chuck Tatum, an amoral newspaper reporter who washes up in dead-end Albuquerque, happens upon the scoop of a lifetime, and will do anything to keep getting the lurid headlines.
This landmark film, which documents the journeys of two remarkable families, continues to educate and inspire viewers, and it is widely considered one of the great works of American nonfiction cinema.
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.
Hailed as one of the finest films ever made, Jules and Jim charts, over twenty-five years, the relationship between two friends and the object of their mutual obsession.
Tatsuya Nakadai and Toshiro Mifune star in the story of a wandering samurai who exists in a maelstrom of violence. A gifted swordsman plying his craft during the turbulent final days of shogunate rule in Japan, Ryunosuke (Nakadai) kills without remorse or mercy.
One of the greatest achievements by Akira Kurosawa, Ikiru shows the director at his most compassionate—affirming life through an exploration of death.
Director Jim Jarmusch followed up his brilliant breakout film Stranger Than Paradise with another, equally beloved portrait of loners and misfits in the American landscape
A young man embarks on an obsessive search for the girlfriend who mysteriously disappeared while the couple were taking a sunny vacation trip, and his three-year investigation draws the attention of her abductor, a mild-mannered professor with a clinically diabolical mind.
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.
A heart-racing spy story by Alfred Hitchcock, The 39 Steps follows Richard Hannay (Robert Donat) as he stumbles upon a conspiracy that thrusts him into a hectic chase across the Scottish moors.
Seeking a Pulitzer Prize, reporter Johnny Barrett (Peter Breck) has himself committed to a mental hospital to investigate a murder. As he closes in on the killer, insanity closes in on him. Sam Fuller’s Shock Corridor masterfully charts the uneasy terrain between sanity and madness.
Combining stylish sixties modernism with silent-cinema touches and even a few unexpected sci-fi accents, Judex is a delightful bit of pulp fiction and a testament to the art of illusion.
A cornerstone of the career of this most economical and profoundly spiritual of filmmakers, Pickpocket is an elegantly crafted, tautly choreographed study of humanity in all its mischief and grace, the work of a director at the height of his powers.
With the simplest of concepts and sparest of techniques, Robert Bresson made one of the most suspenseful jailbreak films of all time in A Man Escaped.
An Academy Award–winning dark fable set five years after the end of the Spanish Civil War, Pan’s Labyrinth encapsulates the rich visual style and genre-defying craft of Guillermo del Toro.
This captivating, long-overlooked adventure—which features Paul Henreid and a clever screenplay by Frank Launder and Sidney Gilliat, best known for writing Alfred Hitchcock’s The Lady Vanishes—is a deftly concocted spy game that could give the Master of Suspense a run for his money.
The crowning achievement of Orson Welles’s extraordinary cinematic career, Chimes at Midnight was the culmination of the filmmaker’s lifelong obsession with Shakespeare’s ultimate rapscallion, Sir John Falstaff.
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.
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.
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.
Over the course of the 1990s, writer-director Whit Stillman made a trilogy of films about the acid tongues and broken hearts of some haplessly erudite young Americans in New York and abroad.
Controversial winner of the International Critics’ Prize at the 1992 Cannes Film Festival, Man Bites Dog stunned audiences worldwide with its unflinching imagery and biting satire of media violence.
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.
The Last Temptation of Christ, by Martin Scorsese, is a towering achievement. Though it initially engendered enormous controversy, the film can now be viewed as the remarkable, profoundly personal work of faith that it is.
In the 1940s, the wit of playwright Noël Coward and the craft of filmmaker David Lean melded harmoniously in one of cinema’s greatest writer-director collaborations.
Called the greatest rock film ever made, this landmark documentary follows the Rolling Stones on their notorious 1969 U.S. tour.
Marcello Mastroianni and Jeanne Moreau star as a novelist and his frustrated wife, who, over the course of one night, confront their alienation from each other and the achingly empty bourgeois Milan circles in which they travel.
The concluding chapter of Michelangelo Antonioni’s informal trilogy on contemporary malaise, L’eclisse tells the story of a young woman (Monica Vitti) who leaves one lover (Francisco Rabal) and drifts into a relationship with another (Alain Delon).
Michelangelo Antonioni invented a new film grammar with this masterwork.
In this beautifully shot, psychologically complex western, Van Heflin is a mild-mannered cattle rancher who takes on the task of shepherding a captured outlaw (played with cucumber-cool charisma by Glenn Ford) to the train that will deliver him to prison.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
In a dusty California resort rown, a naïve Southern waif finds her role model in a fellow nurse, but her hero-worship evolves into something stranger and more sinister than either could have anticipated. Robert Altman’s dreamlike masterpiece careens from the humorous to the chilling to the surreal.
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.
Autumn Sonata was the only collaboration between cinema’s two great Bergmans: Ingmar, the iconic director of The Seventh Seal, and Ingrid, the monumental star of Casablanca.
Filmed almost entirely on cunningly designed studio sets, in brilliant color and widescreen, The Ballad of Narayama is a stylish and vividly formal work from Japan’s cinematic golden age, directed by the dynamic Keisuke Kinoshita.
Taking place largely over the course of one tense night, Carol Reed’s psychological noir, set in an unnamed Belfast, stars James Mason as a revolutionary ex-con leading a robbery that goes horribly wrong.
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.
Federico Fellini’s career achieved new levels of eccentricity and brilliance with this remarkable, controversial, extremely loose adaptation of Petronius’s classical Roman satire, written during the reign of Nero.
This trio of rousing action epics reveals a deeply unsettling portrait of the Soviet Union under Stalin, and provided battle-scene blueprints for filmmaking giants from Laurence Olivier in Henry V to Akira Kurosawa in Seven Samurai.
This Freudian tale of adolescent sexuality set in a postapocalyptic world of shifting identities and talking animals is one of Malle’s most experimental films and a cinematic daydream like no other.
This is where it all started. John Ford’s smash hit and enduring masterpiece Stagecoach revolutionized the western, elevating it from B movie to the A-list.
With the three films in this set, Shoehi Imamura, one of the leading figures of the Japanese new wave, truly emerged as an auteur, bringing to his national cinema an anthropological eye and a heretofore unseen taste for the irreverent.
This fleet and gripping film is the first of the early thrillers the Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock, made during the fertile phase of his career spent at the Gaumont-British Picture Corporation.