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With Jubilee, legendary British filmmaker Derek Jarman channeled political dissent and artistic daring into a revolutionary blend of history and fantasy, musical and cinematic experimentation, satire and anger, fashion and philosophy.
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 down-and-dirty directorial debut of former clean-cut teen star Dennis Hopper, Easy Rider heralded the arrival of a new voice in film, one pitched angrily against the mainstream.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves star in this haunting tale from Gus Van Sant about two young street hustlers: Mike Waters, a sensitive narcoleptic who dreams of the mother who abandoned him, and Scott Favor, the wayward son of the mayor of Portland and the object of Mike’s desire.
Bob Dylan is captured on-screen as he never would be again in this groundbreaking film from D. A. Pennebaker.
A cornerstone of the French New Wave, the first feature from Alain Resnais is one of the most influential films of all time.
Based on the original play by Donald Freed and Arnold M. Stone, and starring Philip Baker Hall in a tour de force solo performance, Robert Altman’s Secret Honor is a searing interrogation of the Richard Nixon mystique and an audacious depiction of unchecked paranoia.
A hallucinatory biopic that breaks all cinematic conventions, Alex Cox’s Walker tells the story of nineteenth-century American adventurer William Walker (Ed Harris), who became a soldier of fortune and dictator of Nicaragua.
An aging gambler navigates the treacherous world of pimps, moneymen, and naive associates while plotting one last score in Jean-Pierre Melville’s Bob le flambeur, which melds the toughness of American gangster films with Gallic sophistication, laying the road map for the French New Wave.
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.
A fairy tale grounded in poignant reality, the magnificent, Manhattan-set The Fisher King, by Terry Gilliam, features Jeff Bridges and Robin Williams in two of their most brilliant roles.
Following Jack Nicholson’s breakout supporting turn in Easy Rider, director Bob Rafelson devised a powerful leading role for the new star in the searing character study Fve Easy Pieces.
In this unsettling drama from Italian filmmaker Liliana Cavani, a concentration camp survivor (Charlotte Rampling) discovers her former torturer and lover (Dirk Bogarde) working as a porter at a hotel in postwar Vienna.
A work of meticulous journalism and gripping drama, it recounts the disturbing tale of Randall Dale Adams, a drifter who was charged with the murder of a Dallas police officer and sent to death row, despite evidence that he did not commit the crime.
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.
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 is a faithful big-screen adaptation of Richard Adams’s classic British dystopian novel about a community of rabbits under terrible threat from modern forces.
A masterpiece from Nicolas Roeg, Don’t Look Now, adapted from a story by Daphne du Maurier, is a brilliantly disturbing tale of the supernatural.
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.
Seemingly off-the-cuff yet poetically constructed, these films are humane, sometimes wry, always engaging tributes to music, food, and all sorts of regionally specific delights.
The electric filmmaking genius John Cassavetes and his brilliant wife and collaborator Gena Rowlands give luminous, fragile performances as two closely bound, emotionally wounded souls who reunite after years apart.
A psychologically damaged war veteran and a neglected child begin a startlingly intimate friendship—one that ultimately ignites the suspicion and anger of his friends and neighbors in suburban Paris.
With a radical take on narrative, disturbing yet beautiful cinematography, and a highly sophisticated use of on- and offscreen sound, Martel turns her tale of a decaying bourgeois family, whiling away the hours of one sweaty, sticky summer, into a cinematic marvel.
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.
In Shallow Grave, three self-involved Edinburgh roommates take in a brooding boarder, and when he dies of an overdose, leaving a suitcase full of money, the trio embark on a series of very bad decisions, with extraordinarily grim consequences for all.
Errol Morris turns his camera on one of the most fascinating men in the world: the pioneering astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, afflicted by a debilitating motor neuron disease that has left him without a voice or the use of his limbs.
This multiple-Oscar-winning film by Roman Polanski is an exquisite, richly layered adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles.
This evocative period piece, faithfully adapted from the A. E. Hotchner memoir, is among the versatile Soderbergh’s most touching and surprising films.
A profoundly stirring evocation of elemental humanity and universal heartbreak, Tokyo Story is the crowning achievement of the unparalleled Yasujiro Ozu.
Five cities. Five taxicabs. Jim Jarmusch’s lovingly askew view of humanity from the passenger seat makes for one of his most charming and beloved films.
At his secluded chateau in the French countryside, a brilliant, obsessive doctor (Pierre Brasseur) attempts a radical plastic surgery to restore the beauty of his daughter’s disfigured countenance—at a horrifying price.
Hiroshi Teshigahara found his spiritual partner in novelist and screenwriter Kobo Abe, with whom he collaborated on these Kafkaesque portraits of identities in peril, films that captivated mainstream audiences while also touching the edges of the Japanese avant-garde.
Poetic realism reached sublime heights with Children of Paradise, widely considered one of the greatest French films of all time.
An epic on the grandest possible scale, Visconti’s opulent masterpiece stars Burt Lancaster as an aging prince watching his culture and fortune wane in the face of a new generation during the tumultuous years of Italy’s Risorgimento.
Shooting on 16 mm for a mere $3,000, writer-producer-director Linklater and his crew of friends threw out any idea of a traditional plot, choosing instead to create a tapestry of over a hundred characters, each as compelling as the last.
In the hands of the renowned experimental theater director Peter Brook, William Golding’s legendary novel about the primitivism lurking beneath civilization becomes a film as raw and ragged as the lost boys at its center.
Prince Ahmad, cast out of Bagdad by the nefarious Jaffar, joins forces with the scrappy thief Abu to win back his royal place and the heart of a princess in Alexander Korda’s The Thief of Bagdad, an eye-popping special-effects pioneer and one of the most spectacular fantasy films ever made.
Jean-Paul Belmondo delivers a subtly sensual performance in the hot-under-the-collar Léon Morin, Priest, directed by Jean-Pierre Melville. The French superstar plays a devoted man of the cloth who is desired by all the women of a small village in Nazi-occupied France.
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.
John Cassavetes’ devastating drama details the emotional breakdown of a suburban housewife and her family’s struggle to save her from herself. This is one of the benchmark films of American independent cinema—a heroic document from a true maverick director.
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.
Terry Zwigoff’s landmark 1995 film is an intimate documentary portrait of the underground artist Robert Crumb, whose unique drawing style and sexually and racially provocative subject matter have made him a household name in popular American art.
Bourgeois convention is demolished in Luis Buñuel’s surrealist gem The Phantom of Liberty, featuring an elegant soiree with guests seated at toilet bowls, poker-playing monks using religious medals as chips, and police officers looking for a missing girl who is right under their noses.
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.
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.
Philip Kaufman achieves a delicate, erotic balance with his screen version of Milan Kundera’s “unfilmable” novel about a womanizing surgeon (Daniel Day-Lewis), his free-spirited mistress (Lena Olin), and his childlike wife (Juliette Binoche).
In this captivating, skewed World War II drama from Nagisa Oshima, David Bowie regally embodies the character Celliers, a British officer interned by the Japanese as a POW. This was one of Oshima’s greatest successes.
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.
With its gorgeous widescreen compositions and sophisticated look at American male obsession, this stripped-down narrative from maverick director Monte Hellman is one of the artistic high points of 1970s cinema, and possibly the greatest road movie ever made.
Charlie Chaplin plays shockingly against type in his most controversial film, a brilliant and bleak black comedy about money, marriage, and murder.
The comic genius of silent star Harold Lloyd is eternal. Chaplin is the sweet innocent, Keaton the stoic outsider, but Lloyd—the modern guy striving for success—is us. And with its torrent of perfectly executed gags and astonishing stunts, Safety Last! is the perfect introduction to him.
Over a decade in the making, Claude Lanzmann’s nine-hour-plus opus is a monumental investigation of the unthinkable: the murder of more than six million Jews by the Nazis.