The 1,000 Greatest Films (400-301)

The banner image above is from Georges Franju’s Eyes Without a Face.
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Muriel

Muriel

Muriel ou Le temps d'un retour (original title)
1963 / France-Italy / 115m / Col / Drama, Psychological Drama
Delphine Seyrig, Jean-Pierre Kerien, Nita Klein, Jean-Baptiste Thierree, Claude Sainval, Laurence Badie, Jean Champion, Jean Daste, Martine Vatel, Philippe Laudenbach
"Alain Resnais' 1963 film surpasses his better-known Last Year at Marienbad and Hiroshima, mon amour in terms of intricacy of construction and sensitivity to shades of memory and regret. Delphine Seyrig is a widow living in the provinces with her troubled stepson (Thierree), a veteran of the Algerian war who can't escape the memory of a young girl he tortured and killed. When Seyrig's former lover (Kerien) turns up with his new mistress, Seyrig, too, is plunged into an obsession with the past. A subtle, precise, and wrenching film, shot largely without recourse to the stylistic flourishes that made Resnais' reputation." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by James Quandt, Richard Combs, Anja Kirschner, David Panos, Fritz Göttler.
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The Innocents

The Innocents

1961 / UK / 100m / BW / Horror, Supernatural Thriller
Deborah Kerr, Martin Stephens, Pamela Franklin, Michael Redgrave, Peter Wyngarde, Megs Jenkins, Clytie Jessop, Isla Cameron, Eric Woodburn
"is it the finest, smartest, most visually savvy horror film ever made by a big studio? Deborah Kerr is the sexually straitjacketed governess subject to either the ghastly duplicity of her dead-eyed charges (Martin Stephens and Pamela Franklin) or the threatening ghosts of the estate's previous servants—or both—and it might be the most unforgettable performance by a British actress in its decade. Clayton's filmmaking, mustering frisson by both candle and blazing daylight, could serve as an object lesson in its genre. Only Robert Wise's The Haunting, out two years later, came close to its edge-of-sight menace, repressed gothic angst, and all-suggestion creep-outs." - Michael Atkinson, The Village Voice
Selected by Clio Barnard, Ben Hopkins, Christopher Fowler, Juan Antonio Bayona, Mark Pilkington.
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There Will Be Blood

There Will Be Blood

2007 / USA / 158m / Col / Family Drama, Period Film
Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano, Kevin J. O'Connor, Ciaran Hinds, Dillon Freasier, Sydney McAllister, David Willis, David Warshofsky, Colton Woodward, Colleen Foy
"With its lowering, psychotic atmosphere and its Bunyanesque surnames, There Will Be Blood is so potent and so strange that it almost seems to have been delivered here from another planet. I can only describe it as an epic portrait, running from the beginning of the 20th century to the great crash of 1929. The movie speaks of oil's savage, entrepreneurial pre-history... This is a dark, uncompromising film, thrillingly original and distinctive, with a visionary passion. It is a movie against which all directors, and all moviegoers, will want to measure themselves. Anderson is doing something new with cinema, and you can hardly ask for more than that." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Sarah Polley, Agnieszka Holland, Manohla Dargis, Sam Mendes, Wesley Morris.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
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The Terminator

The Terminator

1984 / USA / 108m / Col / Science Fiction, Action
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn, Linda Hamilton, Paul Winfield, Lance Henriksen, Rick Rossovich, Bess Motta, Earl Boen, Dick Miller, Shawn Schepps
"Is it only incidental that James Cameron's greatest film is also his only work to clock in at under two hours? His subsequent films have proven consistently entertaining and frequently excellent, but the lightning of his debut—a content-to-be-small B movie that nevertheless feels epic in scope and emotion—has yet to strike twice. The Terminator remains as intelligent and emotionally complex as any film of its kind (among sci-fi action noir, only Blade Runner is superior), and the reductive lens of pop culture—to say nothing of intellectual film snobs ignorant to genre pleasures—can't extinguish its mythic humanist power." - Rob Humanick, Slant Magazine
Selected by Kathryn Bigelow, Ferenc Zalaba, Gareth Edwards, Mark Jancovich, Shinya Tsukamoto.
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Fantasia

Fantasia

1940 / USA / 120m / Col / Animated Musical, Children's Fantasy
Deems Taylor, Leopold Stokowski, The Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra, Walt Disney, Julietta Novis, James MacDonald, Paul J. Smith
"Sixty-five years after its 1940 release, Walt Disney's self-styled exercise in “a new form of screen entertainment” remains a masterpiece of the art of animation. The concept and some of the episodes are tainted with kitsch, but there's no other animated film with its scope and ambition—it is, in Otis Ferguson's words, “one of the strange and beautiful things that have happened in the world.” - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Ken Russell, Marco Dutra, Nicolas Barbano, Nicoletta Romeo, Fredric R. Jameson.
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Pasted Graphic

Wanda

1970 / USA / 105m / Col / Drama, Road Movie
Barbara Loden, Michael Higgins, Dorothy Shupenes, Peter Shupenes, Jerome Thier, Marian Thier, Anthony Rotell, M.L. Kennedy, Charles Dosinan, Frank Jourdano
"One of the most notorious orphans of the American New Wave, Barbara Loden's Wanda is actually a benchmark of the era—in a period of gritty, working-class neo-neorealism, here was a genuine indie (unlike most of the "wave" 's important films) that out-low-classed the competition… Loden wrote, directed, and starred in this fascinating portrait of a dim, soul-beaten woman… Equal parts Cassavetes-style vérité, Actors Studio resolve, and remarkable prophecy of the say-little, know-less, just-watch minimalism of recent Asian cinema, Wanda is also an overwhelming portrait—caught in grainy 16mm—of Middle America in the late '60s. " - Michael Atkinson, The Village Voice
Selected by Ray Carney, James Naremore, Berenice Reynaud, Rebecca Shatwell, Michael Omasta.
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French Cancan

French Cancan

1955 / France / 93m / Col / Comedy Drama, Musical Comedy
Jean Gabin, Francoise Arnoul, Maria Felix, Anna Amendola, Dora Doll, Giani Esposito, Philippe Clay, Michel Piccoli, Edith Piaf, Patachou
"Nineteenth-century Paris comes vibrantly alive in Jean Renoir’s exhilarating tale of the opening of the world-renowned Moulin Rouge. Jean Gabin plays the wily impresario Danglard, who makes the cancan all the rage while juggling the love of two beautiful women—an Egyptian belly-dancer and a naive working girl turned cancan star. This celebration of life, art and the City of Light (with a cameo by Edith Piaf) is a Technicolor tour de force by a master of modern cinema." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Peter Bogdanovich, Tag Gallagher, Carlos Diegues, Ain-Ling Wong, Daniel Kasman.
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Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

1969 / USA / 112m / Col / Western, Buddy Film
Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Katharine Ross, Strother Martin, Henry Jones, Jeff Corey, Cloris Leachman, Ted Cassidy, George Furth, Kenneth Mars
"Though Conrad Hall's stunning vistas and gorgeous exploration of wide-open spaces hearken back to John Ford, Butch Cassidy otherwise radiates the youthful energy, manic pop playfulness, and antic clowning of the French New Wave. The film's subversive attitude toward genres and genre-mashing echoes the pioneering work of Jean-Luc Godard, and Newman and Redford deliver an extended master class on the uses of old-school, twinkly-eyed movie-star charisma." - Nathan Rabin, A.V. Club
Selected by Bobby Farrelly, Jeff Nichols, Baltasar Komákur, Wanuri Kahiu, Zina Saro-Wiwa.
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The Gleaners & I

The Gleaners & I

Les Glaneurs et la glaneuse (original title)
2000 / France / 82m / Col / Culture & Society, Documentary
Bodan Litnanski, Peter Rnic, Agnes Varda, Francois Wertheimer
"The French title of this delightful, encouraging documentary underlines how Agnès Varda identifies with her subjects - social marginals who 'glean' a living, from the earth (caravan dwellers) or from refuse (the teacher of Malian and Senegalese immigrants whom she befriends at a Paris street market). The veteran film-maker is newly inspired and energised by the freedom her DV camera brings. The film is marked by youthful freshness, and the integrity and sympathy of both the images and the commentary, as Varda hurtles us to Arras, Beaune or Paris in search of the new generation of foragers." - Wally Hammond, Time Out
Selected by Sukhdev Sandhu, Charles Musser, Marina Warner, Sophie Mayer, Eleanor Burke & Ron Eyal.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
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Shoot the Piano Player

Shoot the Piano Player

Tirez sur le pianiste (original title); Shoot the Pianist (alternative title)
1960 / France / 92m / BW / Crime Drama, Post-Noir (Modern Noir)
Charles Aznavour, Marie Dubois, Nicole Berger, Michele Mercier, Albert Remy, Claude Mansard, Daniel Boulanger, Richard Kanayan, Jacques-Jean Aslanian, Serge Davri
"François Truffaut is drunk on the possibilities of cinema in this, his most playful film. Part thriller, part comedy, part tragedy, Shoot the Piano Player relates the adventures of mild-mannered piano player Charlie (Charles Aznavour, in a triumph of hangdog deadpan) as he stumbles into the criminal underworld and a whirlwind love affair. Loaded with gags, guns, clowns, and thugs, this razor-sharp homage to the American gangster film is pure nouvelle vague." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Todd McCarthy, Andrew Pulver, Gary Crowdus, Jonathan Demme, Miguel Pendás.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
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Palm Beach Story

Palm Beach Story

1942 / USA / 90m / BW / Screwball Comedy, Comedy of Manners
Claudette Colbert, Joel McCrea, Rudy Vallee, Mary Astor, Siegfried Arno, Robert Warwick, William Demarest, Franklin Pangborn, Arthur Stuart Hull, Torben Meyer
"Sturges was riding high in the early '40s, writing and directing comedies of such density and wit that a moment's inattention might make an audience miss six great one-liners, five amazing bits of business, four eight-syllable words, and three crowd scenes. And few of his films were as smoothly accomplished as The Palm Beach Story, a knowing satire on the driving forces of sex and money, with Colbert fleeing from her righteous and penniless husband into the ridiculous arms of yachtsman billionaire Rudy Vallee. Hilarious, irresistible, impeccably cast." - Geoff Brown, Time Out
Selected by Ryan Gilbey, Gus Van Sant, Julie Pearce, Noah Cowan, Taylor Hackford.
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The Cranes Are Flying

The Cranes Are Flying

Letyat zhuravli (original title)
1957 / USSR / 94m / BW / Melodrama, Romantic Drama
Tatyana Samojlova, Aleksei Batalov, Vasili Merkuryev, Aleksandr Shvorin, Svetlana Kharitonova, Konstantin Nikitin, Valentin Zubkov, Antonina Bogdanova, Boris Kovovkin, Yekaterina Kupriyanova
"Veronica and Boris are blissfully in love, until the eruption of World War II tears them apart. Boris is sent to the front lines…and then communication stops. Meanwhile, Veronica tries to ward off spiritual numbness while Boris’s draft-dodging cousin makes increasingly forceful overtures. Winner of the Palme d’Or at the 1958 Cannes Film Festival, The Cranes Are Flying is a superbly crafted drama, bolstered by stunning cinematography and impassioned performances." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Gerald Peary, Roger Michell, Xavier Dolan, Alexander Zeldovich, Alexei Popogrebsky.
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Fitzcarraldo

Fitzcarraldo

1982 / West Germany / 157m / Col / Adventure Drama, Jungle Film
Klaus Kinski, Claudia Cardinale, Jose Lewgoy, Miguel Angel Fuentes, Paul Hittscher, Huerequeque Bohorquez, Grande Otelo, Peter Berling, David Perez Espinosa, Milton Nascimento
"Werner Herzog's most ambitious film divides audiences between those who laud its astonishing portrait of obsession and its insightful commentary on the absurdity of ambition and those who complain that it is a sterile, loud, boring journey to nowhere. There is, however, no denying the visual and technical magnificence of Herzog's achievement, as the jungle scenes have a palpable sense of authenticity, and those poor natives really DID haul that boat over a mountain. - Dan Jardine, All Movie
Selected by Baz Luhrmann, Elizabeth Wood, Kleber Mendonça Filho, Mauro Andrizzi, Massimo Causo.
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Hoop Dreams

Hoop Dreams

1994 / USA / 170m / Col / Sports, Documentary
William Gates, Arthur Agee, Emma Gates, Curtis Gates, Sheila Agee, Arthur 'Bo' Agee, Earl Smith, Gene Pingatore, Dennis Doyle, Isiah Thomas
"The dream of inner-city black kids to make it in the NBA has become such a familiar motif in movies that it's almost a cliche. But Hoop Dreams is a documentary that breathes new life into the subject by showing the everyday reality of that dream. Hoop Dreams is a massive work that traces five years in the lives of two young men, William Gates and Arthur Agee, possible NBA prospects, who start off as 14-year-olds playing basketball in a school yard. Though the movie clocks in at just under three hours, it is -- aside from an occasional slow spot -- fascinating and exciting." - Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
Selected by Ally Derks, Tim Grierson, Calum Marsh, Sean Fine & Andrea Nix Fine, Spike Lee.
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Shadows of Our Forgotten Ancestors

Shadows of Our Forgotten Ancestors

Tini zabutykh predkiv (original title)
1964 / USSR / 97m / Col / Drama, Period Film
Ivan Mikolajchuk, Larisa Kadochnikova, Tatyana Bestayeva, Spartak Bagashvili, Nikolai Grinko, Leonid Yengibarov, Nina Alisova, Aleksandr Gaj, Neonila Gnepovskaya, A. Raydanov
"Sergei Paradjanov's masterpiece won a raft of awards at international film festivals. Yet it was scarcely seen in his homeland, as much through studio hostility as official disapproval… However, Paradjanov's sole purpose was to challenge conventional methods of screen storytelling and redefine the audience's relationship to the moving image. Thus, he deconstructed the very processes of narration and representation, so that every frame confounded the viewer's expectation and forced them to reappraise both the action itself and their approach to spectatorship… Pure genius." - David Parkinson, Empire
Selected by Peter Strickland, Amit Dutta, Andriy Khalpakhchi, Bauyrzhan Nogerbek, Masoud Amralla Al Ali.
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The Cloud-Capped Star

The Cloud-Capped Star

Meghe Dhaka Tara (original title)
1960 / India / 126m / BW / Family Drama, Rural Drama
Supriya Choudhury, Anil Chatterjee, Bijon Bhattacharya, Niranjan Ray, Gita Ghatak, Gita De, Dwiju Bhawal, Gyanesh Mukherjee, Ranen Ray Choudhury, Satindra Bhattacharya
"For Western viewers it's perhaps most easily approached as a bitter critique of harsh social and economic conditions, particularly those arising from the 1947 Partition of East Bengal. More interesting cinematically, however, is Ghatak's inventive, not quite naturalistic treatment of the story: in order to underline or undercut certain elements in terms of narrative, theme and characterisation, the performances, images, music and, most especially, sound are given almost expressionist nuances." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Alexander Horwath, Nasreen Munni Kabir, Raymond Bellour, Shoma A. Chatterji, Carol Morley.
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Grey Gardens

Grey Gardens

1975 / USA / 95m / Col / Culture & Society, Documentary
Edith Bouvier Beale, Edith 'Little Edie' Bouvier Beale, Jerry Torre, Jack Helmuth, Brooks Hyers, Albert Maysles, David Maysles, Norman Vincent Peale, Lois Wright
"Arguably the most complex and controversial work in the storied career of cinema verite pioneers Albert and David Maysles is this intimate study of Edith Bouvier and “Little” Edie Beale, two relatives of Jackie Kennedy Onassis secluded in a dilapidated estate in the Hamptons… The film is a masterpiece of editing, weaving over a hundred hours of footage to create a world that is hermetically sealed... The surreal outcome – perhaps inevitable given the subjects’ remove from reality – further conflates the film’s status as both documentary and fiction." - Kevin B. Lee, Shooting Down Pictures
Selected by Carol Morley, Petra Seliskar, Sandra Hebron, Havana Marking, Amy Nicholson.
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The Tenant

The Tenant

Le Locataire (original title)
1976 / France-USA / 125m / Col / Thriller, Black Comedy
Roman Polanski, Isabelle Adjani, Shelley Winters, Melvyn Douglas, Jo Van Fleet, Bernard Fresson, Lila Kedrova, Claude Dauphin, Claude Pieplu, Rufus
"One of Polanski's most viscerally troubling movies. The plot, about a lodger who becomes convinced that the other residents of his apartment building are out to do him harm, has obvious similarities to Rosemary's Baby, but the familiar form is merely a vehicle for Polanski's neuroses, never unveiled so nakedly as here. The first movie Polanski directed after fleeing sexual assault charges in California, The Tenant is consumed with repulsion for its title character, not at all coincidentally played by Polanski himself (his only self-directed lead)… The Tenant goes off the rails in its last third. But damned if it doesn't almost take you with it." - Sam Adams, Philadelphia City Paper
Selected by Jonathan Caouette, Andrew Dominik, Juan Antonio Bayona, Mark Webber, Milcho Manchevski.
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Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

2004 / USA / 108m / Col / Comedy Drama, Romantic Fantasy
Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Elijah Wood, Mark Ruffalo, Jane Adams, David Cross, Tom Wilkinson, Deirdre O'Connell, Debbon Ayer
"Possibly the most elaborate romantic comedy ever predicated on the gimmick of amnesia, Eternal Sunshine has a more than passing resemblance to Being John Malkovich and Adaptation, the two movies Charlie Kaufman wrote for Spike Jonze. It's also a notable improvement over Gondry's first feature, Human Nature (written by Kaufman as well). Filled with the writer's trademark neurotic characters, grungy atmospherics, and downbeat emphasis on domestic discord, it's a baroque and intermittently brilliant brain twister so convoluted that it inevitably deposits the viewer in an alternate universe." - J. Hoberman, The Village Voice
Selected by Stephen Thrower, Marten Persiel, Drake Doremus, Richard Curtis, Amy Berg.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
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The Shawshank Redemption

The Shawshank Redemption

1994 / USA / 142m / Col / Drama, Prison Film
Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton, William Sadler, Clancy Brown, Gil Bellows, Mark Rolston, James Whitmore, Jeffrey DeMunn, Larry Brandenburg
"Darabont's adaptation of a Stephen King novella is a throwback to the kind of serious, literate drama Hollywood used to make (Birdman of Alcatraz, say), though the big spiritual resolution takes some swallowing… Against this weighs the pleasure of discovering a first-time director with evident respect for the intelligence of his audience, brave enough to let character details accumulate without recourse to the fast-forward button. Darabont plays the long game and wins: this is an engrossing, superbly acted yarn, while the Shawshank itself is a truly formidable mausoleum." - Tom Charity, Time Out
Selected by Li Shaohong, Christopher Nolan, Karen Oughton, Zach Braff, Guilherme Lobao.
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Last Tango in Paris

Last Tango in Paris

Ultimo tango a Parigi (original title)
1972 / France-Italy / 136m / Col / Psychological Drama, Erotic Drama
Marlon Brando, Maria Schneider, Maria Michi, Catherine Allegret, Marie-Helene Breillat, Catherine Breillat, Jean-Pierre Leaud, Darling Legitimus, Catherine Sola, Mauro Marchetti
"The Francis Bacon paintings that haunt the opening credits are the first hint that life might be both tortuous and beautiful in Bertolucci’s unforgettable portrait of grief and anonymous sex in 1970s Paris. The city looks to have been built uniquely for the occasion as Brando gives his best performance in years as Paul, an American mourning his wife’s suicide… Vittorio Storaro’s photography – all yellows and browns – takes its cue from Brando’s camel coat, and the film’s volatile emotional register springs from that staggering opening shot of Brando howling under a railway bridge as Schneider ambles past, carefree and beautiful. It’s Brando’s film: his monologues devastate." - Dave Calhoun, Time Out
Selected by Zhang Yuan, Aditya Assarat, Keith Griffiths, Helena Taberna, Edgar Reitz.
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Landscape in the Mist

Landscape in the Mist

Topio stin omichli (original title)
1988 / Greece-France-Italy / 125m / Col / Road Movie, Childhood Drama
Tania Palaiologou, Aliki Georgouli, Dimitris Kaberidis, Vassilis Kolovos, Ilias Logothetis, Gerasimos Skiadaressis, Stratos Tzortzoglou, Michalis Zeke
"Theo Angelopoulos's 1988 underseen, underworshipped epiphany nevertheless redefined the art film, hijacking the Antonioni/Tarkovsky long-take syntax and winnowing away its metaphysics, emerging with a heart-stopping odyssey of wintery orphanhood and breathless images. A young sister and brother launch out into the industrial Greek hinterlands to find a rumored father that doesn't exist, and the passage of their journey is, for us, an ordeal by sympathy, monolithic visions, adult monstrosity, and effortless metaphoric torque… Angelopoulos never married his ambitious pyramid-making to human experience this perfectly before or after." - Michael Atkinson, The Village Voice
Selected by Ann Hui, Stanley Kwan, Evans Chan, Kalle Løchen, Kim Dong-Ho.
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The Lost Highway

Lost Highway

1997 / USA-France / 134m / Col / Mystery, Surrealist Film
Bill Pullman, Patricia Arquette, Balthazar Getty, Robert Loggia, Robert Blake, Gary Busey, Richard Pryor, Natasha Gregson Wagner, Michael Massee, Lucy Butler
"Bill Pullman stars as a jazz saxophonist whose fiery solos grant him a passion and eloquence he seems incapable of anywhere else… The Lynch themes of voyeurism, obsession, unsettling sexuality, and the modern echoes of film noir flow without a filter. Lost Highway is a disquieting, disorienting film that doesn't just improve with repeat viewings, it practically requires them. Typical of Lynch, it commands attention while stirring the impossible desire to look away." - Keith Phipps, A.V. Club
Selected by Amanda Duthie, Edward Lawrenson, Frances Morgan, Khalil Joreige, Mauro Andrizzi.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
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The Killing of a Chinese Bookie

The Killing of a Chinese Bookie

1976 / USA / 109m / Col / Crime, Drama
Ben Gazzara, Timothy Carey, Seymour Cassel, Azizi Johari, Meade Roberts, Alice Fredlund, Virginia Carrington, Soto Joe Hugh, Robert Phillips, Morgan Woodward
"John Cassavetes engages film noir in his own inimitable style with The Killing of a Chinese Bookie. Ben Gazzara brilliantly portrays gentlemen’s club owner Cosmo Vitelli, a man dedicated to pretenses of composure and self-possession. When he runs afoul of a group of gangsters, Cosmo is forced to commit a horrible crime in a last-ditch effort to save his beloved club and his way of life. Suspenseful, mesmerizing, and idiosyncratic, The Killing of a Chinese Bookie is a thought-provoking examination of desperation and masculine identity." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Edgardo Cozarinsky, Lenny Abrahamson, Lisandro Alonso, Jørgen Leth, Lukas Moodysson.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
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Aliens

Aliens

1986 / USA / 137m / Col / Horror, Sci-Fi Action
Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael Biehn, Paul Reiser, Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton, William Hope, Jenette Goldstein, Al Matthews, Mark Rolston
"One sequel that surpasses the original. Director James Cameron dumps the decorative effects of Ridley Scott's 1979 Alien in favor of some daring narrative strategies and a tight thematic focus… At 137 minutes the film is a bit long, and Cameron does overplay his hand here and there, pushing things just a shade further than he should to maintain audience credibility. But unlike the original, the action is used to develop character, and the central image—the alien spores as a monstrous parody of human birth—finds an effective resonance in the plotline." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Jason Anderson, Ty Burr, R. Kurt Osenlund, Taika Waititi, Jason Reitman.
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Le Plaisir

Le Plaisir

House of Pleasure (English title)
1951 / France / 97m / BW / Romance, Drama
Claude Dauphin, Gaby Morlay, Madeleine Renaud, Jean Servais, Daniel Gelin, Simone Simon, Danielle Darrieux, Ginette Leclerc, Jean Gabin, Pierre Brasseur
"Ophüls' second French film following his return from the USA was adapted from three stories by Maupassant… Although Ophüls had to drop a fourth story intended to contrast pleasure and death, these three on old age, purity and marriage are shot with a supreme elegance and sympathy, and the central tale in particular luxuriates in the Normandy countryside. The whole is summed up by the concluding line, that 'happiness is no lark'." - David Thompson, Time Out
Selected by V.F. Perkins, Alexander Jacoby, David Hare, Anja Kirschner, Fernando F. Croce.
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Five Easy Pieces

Five Easy Pieces

1970 / USA / 98m / Col / Drama, Road Movie
Jack Nicholson, Karen Black, Lois Smith, Billy Green Bush, Susan Anspach, Helena Kallianiotes, William Challee, Fannie Flagg, Sally Struthers, Marlena MacGuire
"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 Five Easy Pieces. Nicholson plays the now iconic cad Bobby Dupea, a shiftless thirtysomething oil rigger and former piano prodigy immune to any sense of romantic or familial responsibility, who returns to his childhood home to see his ailing, estranged father, blue-collar girlfriend (Black) in tow. Moving in its simplicity and gritty in its textures, Five Easy Pieces is a lasting example of early 1970s American alienation." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Andrew Haigh, Angelina Nikonova, Bálint Szalóky, Ben Gibson, Mirsad Purivatra.
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Yojimbo

Yojimbo

The Bodyguard (English title)
1961 / Japan / 110m / BW / Adventure, Samurai Film
Toshiro Mifune, Eijiro Tono, Kamatari Fujiwara, Tatsuya Nakadai, Yoko Tsukasa, Isuzu Yamada, Daisuke Kato, Seizaburo Kawazu, Takashi Shimura, Hiroshi Tachikawa
"The incomparable Toshiro Mifune stars in Akira Kurosawa’s visually stunning and darkly comic Yojimbo. To rid a terror-stricken village of corruption, wily masterless samurai Sanjuro turns a range war between two evil clans to his own advantage. Remade twice, by Sergio Leone and Walter Hill, this exhilarating genre-twister remains one of the most influential and entertaining films of all time." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Greg Mottola, Francis Ford Coppola, Philip Kemp, Duncan Jones, Darren Aronofsky.
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Shadows

Shadows

1959 / USA / 87m / BW / Drama, Ensemble Film
Lelia Goldoni, Ben Carruthers, Hugh Hurd, Anthony Ray, Rupert Crosse, Dennis Sallas, Tom Allen, David Pokitillow, David Jones, Pir Marini
"John Cassavetes’ directorial debut revolves around an interracial romance between Lelia (Goldoni), a light-skinned black woman living in New York City with her two brothers, and Tony (Ray), a white man. The relationship crumbles when Tony meets Lelia’s brother Hugh (Hurd), a talented dark-skinned jazz singer struggling to find work, and discovers the truth about Lelia’s racial heritage. Shot on location in Manhattan with a cast and crew made up primarily of amateurs, Cassavetes’ Shadows is a visionary work that is widely considered the forerunner of the American independent film movement." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Carlos Diegues, Adam Hyman, Andrew Šprah, Balazs Vizer, Bruce Jenkins.
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Chronicle of a Summer

Chronicle of a Summer

Chronique d'un été (original title)
1961 / France / 85m / BW / Culture & Society, Documentary
Marceline Loridan Ivens, Marilu Parolini, Jean Rouch, Angelo, Régis Debray, Jacques, Jean-Pierre, Landry, Edgar Morin, Sophie
"A joint effort by French ethnographer-filmmaker Jean Rouch and French sociologist Edgar Morin (The Stars) yielded this remarkable 1961 documentary investigation into what Parisians — regarded as a “strange tribe” — were thinking and feeling during the summer of 1960. This was when the war in Algeria was still a hot issue, although many other topics are discussed as well, private as well as public. At first, everyone is asked, simply, “Are you happy?” More generally, the film catches the shifting emotional tenor of a few lives over a certain period." - Jonathan Rosenbaum
Selected by Charles Musser, Eric Kohn, Martin Brady, Lü Xinyu, Xie Meng.
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Ivan's Childhood

Ivan's Childhood

Ivanovo detstvo (original title); My Name Is Ivan (alternative title)
1962 / USSR / 94m / BW / War, Childhood Drama
Nikolai Burlyayev, Irina Tarkovskaya, Valentin Zubkov, Yevgeni Zharikov, Stepan Krylov, Nikolai Grinko, Dmitri Milyutenko, Valentina Malyavina, Irma Raush, Andrei Konchalovsky
"The debut feature by the great Andrei Tarkovsky, Ivan’s Childhood is a poetic journey through the shards and shadows of one boy’s war-ravaged youth. Moving back and forth between the traumatic realities of World War II and serene moments of family life before the conflict began, Tarkovsky’s film remains one of the most jarring and unforgettable depictions of the impact of war on children." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Pablo Larraín, Agnès Devictor, Gary Crowdus, Ann Turner, Josué Méndez.
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Amadeus

Amadeus

1984 / USA / 158m / Col / Musical Drama, Biography
F. Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce, Elizabeth Berridge, Simon Callow, Roy Dotrice, Christine Ebersole, Jeffrey Jones, Charles Kay, Kenny Baker, Lisabeth Bartlett
"Milos Forman's Amadeus is one of the riskiest gambles a filmmaker has taken in a long time -- a lavish movie about Mozart that dares to be anarchic and saucy, and yet still earns the importance of tragedy. This movie is nothing like the dreary educational portraits we're used to seeing about the Great Composers, who come across as cobwebbed profundities weighed down with the burden of genius. This is Mozart as an eighteenth-century Bruce Springsteen, and yet (here is the genius of the movie) there is nothing cheap or unworthy about the approach." - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
Selected by Li Shaohong, Dorian Branea, Milcho Manchevski, Youngmee Hwang, Jordan Hoffman.
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High and Low

High and Low

Tengoku to jigoku (original title)
1963 / Japan / 142m / BW / Drama, Post-Noir (Modern Noir)
Toshiro Mifune, Kyoko Kagawa, Tatsuya Mihashi, Tatsuya Nakadai, Isao Kimura, Kenjiro Ishiyama, Takeshi Kato, Takashi Shimura, Jun Tazaki, Yutaka Sada
"Toshiro Mifune is unforgettable as Kingo Gondo, a wealthy industrialist whose family becomes the target of a cold-blooded kidnapper in High and Low, the highly influential domestic drama and police procedural from director Akira Kurosawa. Adapting Ed McBain’s detective novel King’s Ransom, Kurosawa moves effortlessly from compelling race-against-time thriller to exacting social commentary, creating a diabolical treatise on contemporary Japanese society." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Thom Andersen, Anne Thompson, Celina Murga, Haden Guest, James Mottram.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
367
363
Cabaret

Cabaret

1972 / USA / 128m / Col / Musical, Drama
Liza Minnelli, Michael York, Helmut Griem, Joel Grey, Fritz Wepper, Marisa Berenson, Elisabeth Neumann-Viertel, Sigrid von Richthofen, Helen Vita, Gerd Vespermann
"This viscerally powerful, deliriously inspired musical stands the test of time, and then some. Bob Fosse's classic 1972 movie about a decadent cabaret in Weimar Berlin gave us one of Hollywood's great female leads: gorgeous, vulnerable star turn Sally Bowles, a role in which Liza Minnelli gives the performance of a lifetime. Fosse unleashes some show-stoppingly sexy dance sequences - for Minnelli, and also for MC Joel Grey - and cinematographer Geoffrey Unsworth lights and frames everything with genius." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Anjelika Artyukh, Jurgis Krasons, Lisa Mullen, Rada Sesic, Andy Serkis.
366
350
If...

If...

1968 / UK / 111m / Col-BW / Drama, Satire
Malcolm McDowell, David Wood, Richard Warwick, Christine Noonan, Robert Swann, Rupert Webster, Hugh Thomas, Peter Jeffrey, Mona Washbourne, Arthur Lowe
"Lindsay Anderson’s If…. is a daringly anarchic vision of British society, set in a boarding school in late-sixties England. Before Kubrick made his mischief iconic in A Clockwork Orange, Malcolm McDowell made a hell of an impression as the insouciant Mick Travis, who, along with his school chums, trumps authority at every turn, finally emerging as a violent savior in the vicious games of one-upmanship played by both students and masters. Mixing color and black and white as audaciously as it mixes fantasy and reality, If…. remains one of cinema’s most unforgettable rebel yells." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Richard Linklater, Charles Gant, Fung Ka Ming, Chris Shepherd, Maria Kuvshinova.
365
343
Army of Shadows

Army of Shadows

L'Armée des ombres (original title); Army in the Shadows (alternative title)
1969 / France-Italy / 140m / Col / Resistance Film, War Drama
Lino Ventura, Paul Meurisse, Simone Signoret, Jean-Pierre Cassel, Claude Mann, Paul Crauchet, Christian Barbier, Serge Reggiani, Andre Dewavrin, Alain Dekok
"This masterpiece by Jean-Pierre Melville about the French Resistance went unreleased in the United States for thirty-seven years, until its triumphant theatrical debut in 2006. Atmospheric and gripping, Army of Shadows is Melville’s most personal film, featuring Lino Ventura, Paul Meurisse, Jean-Pierre Cassel, and the incomparable Simone Signoret as intrepid underground fighters who must grapple with their conception of honor in their battle against Hitler’s regime." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Lawrence Kasdan, Adrian Danks, Andrew Pulver, Gary Indiana, Jamie Graham.
364
351
Through the Olive Trees

Through the Olive Trees

Zire darakhatan zeyton (original title); Under the Olive Trees (alternative title)
1994 / Iran-France / 103m / Col / Drama, Docudrama
Mohamad Ali Keshavarz, Farhad Kheradmand, Zarifeh Shiva, Hossein Rezai, Tahereh Ladanian, Hocine Redai, Zahra Nourouzi, Nasret Betri, Azim Aziz Nia, Astadouli Babani
"Get used to the long takes and what at first appears to be an inconsequential narrative, and pretty soon the many levels of intellectual and emotional meaning will work their magic: it's a witty, poignant, illuminating film about the problems that affect movie-makers faced with intractable reality, about cinema's potential as a unifying force, and about the determination and the ability of people to survive tragedy, poverty, injustice and the vicissitudes of love. Sheer brilliance." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Ying Liang, Laura Mulvey, Gilberto Perez, Kristin Thompson, Khalil Joreige.
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The House is Black

The House is Black

Khaneh siah ast (original title)
1963 / Iran / 20m / BW / Illnesses & Disabilities, Documentary
Forugh Farrokhzad, Ebrahim Golestan, Hossein Mansouri
"Forugh Farrokhzad's black-and-white documentary about a leper colony in northern Iran is the most powerful Iranian film I've seen. Farrokhzad (1935-67) is widely regarded as the greatest Persian poet of the 20th century; her only film seamlessly adapts the techniques of poetry to its framing, editing, sound, and narration. At once lyrical and extremely matter-of-fact, devoid of sentimentality or voyeurism yet profoundly humanist, the film offers a view of everyday life in the colony—people eating, various medical treatments, children at school and at play—that's spiritual, unflinching, and beautiful in ways that have no apparent Western counterparts." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by Mark Cousins, John Gianvito, Dana Linssen, Kevin B. Lee, Laura Waddington.
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All About My Mother

All About My Mother

Todo sobre mi madre (original title)
1999 / Spain-France / 101m / Col / Comedy Drama, Ensemble Film
Cecilia Roth, Marisa Paredes, Penelope Cruz, Candela Pena, Antonia San Juan, Rosa Maria Sarda, Toni Canto, Eloy Azorin, Fernando Fernan Gomez, Fernando Guillen
"In All About My Mother the world of acting becomes a source of inspiration to women as they improvise their way through their own lives, with the kind of strength, passion and humor this filmmaker has always celebrated. Mr. Almodóvar has expressed the idea of life as a divine form of acting before, but never with the kind of clarity and beauty that glitter here. All About My Mother, his best film by far, is all about how tragedies of the flesh can yield renewal and hope despite the pain they leave behind, which is as clear an understanding of what makes movies tick as Mr. Almodóvar will ever need." - Janet Maslin, The New York Times
Selected by Andrei Plakhov, Ann Hui, Ben Gibson, Emma Wilson, Gráinne Humphreys.
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369
Cleo from 5 to 7

Cléo from 5 to 7

Cléo de 5 à 7 (original title)
1961 / France / 90m / BW / Drama, Psychological Drama
Corinne Marchand, Antoine Bourseiller, Dorothee Blank, Dominique Davray, Michel Legrand, Jose-Luis de Villalonga, Loye Payen, Renee Duchateau, Lucienne Marchand, Serge Korber
"Agnes Varda’s Cléo from 5 to 7, the first fully-achieved feature by the woman who would become the premiere female director of her generation, dazzled when it opened, and looks even more timely today in its tackling of the fashionable subject of female identity as a function of how women see and are seen by the world… Through an arresting use of Paris as both visual centerpiece and reflection of a woman’s inner journey, Varda paints an enduring portrait of a woman’s evolution from a shallow and superstitious child-woman to a person who can feel and express shock and anguish and finally empathy." - Molly Haskell, The Criterion Collection
Selected by Carrie Rickey, Ginette Vincendeau, Ben Russell, David Sorfa, J.M. Tyree.
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Easy Rider

Easy Rider

1969 / USA / 94m / Col / Road Movie, Biker Film
Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Antonio Mendoza, Phil Spector, Jack Nicholson, Warren Finnerty, Mac Mashourian, Tita Colorado, Luke Askew, Luana Anders
"As Billy and “Captain America,” Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda motored down the highway on their Harley Davidsons to the roaring strains of Steppenwolf’s “Born to Be Wild,” the definitive counterculture blockbuster was born. Former clean-cut teen star Hopper’s down-and-dirty directorial debut, Easy Rider heralded the arrival of a new voice in film, one pitched angrily against the mainstream. After Easy Rider’s cross-country journey—with its radical, New Wave–style editing, outsider-rock soundtrack, revelatory performance by a young Jack Nicholson, and explosive ending—the American road trip would never be the same." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Jan Sverák, Mario Van Peebles, Roger Donaldson, Kaushik Bhaumik, Luciano Barisone.
359
317
Kiss Me Deadly

Kiss Me Deadly

1955 / USA / 106m / BW / Thriller, Film Noir
Ralph Meeker, Albert Dekker, Maxine Cooper, Paul Stewart, Gaby Rodgers, Cloris Leachman, Jack Lambert, Wesley Addy, Nick Dennis, Marian Carr
"In this atomic adaptation of Mickey Spillane’s novel, directed by Robert Aldrich, the good manners of the 1950s are blown to smithereens. Ralph Meeker stars as snarling private dick Mike Hammer, whose decision one dark, lonely night to pick up a hitchhiking woman sends him down some terrifying byways. Brazen and bleak, Kiss Me Deadly is a film noir masterwork as well as an essential piece of cold war paranoia, and it features as nervy an ending as has ever been seen in American cinema." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Mike Hodges, Thom Andersen, José Luis Cienfuegos, Park Chan-wook, Mika Taanila.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
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Festen

Festen

The Celebration (English title)
1998 / Denmark / 105m / Col / Ensemble Film, Family Drama
Henning Moritzen, Ulrich Thomsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Paprika Steen, Birthe Neumann, Trine Dyrholm, Helle Dolleris, Therese Glahn, Klaus Bondam, Bjarne Henriksen
"Though it dedicates itself to avoiding directorial egotism, in accordance with strict rules of the Danish filmmakers' collective known as Dogma 95, Thomas Vinterberg's Celebration is still a virtuoso feat… The Celebration, which easily accommodates allusions to both Cries and Whispers and The Godfather, features a large, credible cast all over the hotel, from patrician guests to flirtatious waitresses to Helene's American boyfriend (a black man whose presence brings out the considerable worst in this family) to a kitchen staff bent on settling old scores. They and Vinterberg succeed dizzyingly well in making this a party to remember." - Janet Maslin, The New York Times
Selected by Destin Daniel Cretton, Mike Figgis, Terry Jones, Craig Brewer, Angelina Nikonova.
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Pyaasa

Pyaasa

1957 / India / 146m / BW / Drama, Romance
Guru Dutt, Mala Sinha, Waheeda Rehman, Rehman, Johnny Walker, Kumkum, Leela Mishra, Shyam, Mehmood, Radheshyam
"Among the pantheon of great early Bollywood directors is the wonderful Guru Dutt, whose 1957 film Pyaasa marks a high point in pre-sixties era Hindi filmmaking… Pyaasa bridges the very best of the great classical era with the developing populism and themes which would define the more formulaic Bollywood films. In some ways, Dutt's film is as expressive and poetic as Ray's Aparajito (1957) or Parash Pathar (1958), and represents a sophisticated blend of music into the film's narrative (sung poems by the tortured protagonist) which today strike the viewer as inspired… This is a richly rewarding forgotten work from a director who died too young." - Richard Steiner, TCM
Selected by Nasreen Munni Kabir, Rachel Dwyer, Richard Corliss, Anurag Kashyap, Jos Oliver.
356
344
Bride of Frankenstein

Bride of Frankenstein

1935 / USA / 75m / BW / Monster Film, Sci-Fi Horror
Boris Karloff, Colin Clive, Valerie Hobson, Elsa Lanchester, Ernest Thesiger, Una O'Connor, Dwight Frye, O.P. Heggie, Gavin Gordon, Douglas Walton
"The best of the Frankenstein movies--a sly, subversive work that smuggled shocking material past the censors by disguising it in the trappings of horror. Some movies age; others ripen. Seen today, Whale's masterpiece is more surprising than when it was made because today's audiences are more alert to its buried hints of homosexuality, necrophilia and sacrilege. But you don't have to deconstruct it to enjoy it; it's satirical, exciting, funny, and an influential masterpiece of art direction." - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
Selected by Joe Dante, David Rooney, Donald Clarke, Robert Cashill, Stuart Gordon.
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The Crime of Monsieur Lange

The Crime of Monsieur Lange

Le Crime de Monsieur Lange (original title)
1936 / France / 90m / BW / Drama, Crime Drama
Rene Lefevre, Jules Berry, Odette Florelle, Marcel Levesque, Nadia Sibirskaia, Sylvia Bataille, Henri Guisol, Odette Talazac, Maurice Baquet, Marcel Duhamel
"One of Renoir's most completely delightful movies (scripted by Jacques Prévert in the euphoria of the Popular Front days), a comedy-thriller-romance about employees of a publishing firm setting up a glorious collective when their lecherous and oppressive boss suddenly goes missing… Fantasy, politics and gentle naturalism combine to perfection, while Renoir's sympathies for his domestic revolutionaries are so infectious as to make the film genuinely uplifting." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Patrick Keiller, Philip Kemp, Todd McCarthy, Tom Charity, Allan Arkush.
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Stranger Than Paradise

Stranger Than Paradise

1984 / USA / 90m / BW / Comedy, Road Movie
John Lurie, Eszter Balint, Richard Edson, Cecilla Stark, Danny Rosen, Rammellzee, Tom DiCillo, Richard Boes, Rockets Redglare, Harvey Perr
"Rootless Hungarian émigré Willie (Lurie), his pal Eddie (Edson), and visiting sixteen-year-old cousin Eva (Balint) always manage to make the least of any situation, whether aimlessly traversing the drab interiors and environs of New York City, Cleveland, or an anonymous Florida suburb. With its delicate humor and dramatic nonchalance, Jim Jarmusch’s one-of-a-kind minimalist masterpiece, Stranger Than Paradise, forever transformed the landscape of American independent cinema." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Whit Stillman, Ari Folman, Babak Jalali, Pablo Stoll, Cristián Jiménez.
353
345
Mr. Hulot's Holiday

Mr. Hulot's Holiday

Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot (original title); Monsieur Hulot's Holiday (alternative title)
1953 / France / 86m / BW / Comedy, Slapstick
Jacques Tati, Nathalie Pascaud, Michelle Rolla, Louis Perrault, Andre Dubois, Valentine Camax, Suzy Willy, Lucien Fregis, Marguerite Gerard, Rene Lacourt
"Pipe-smoking Monsieur Hulot, Jacques Tati’s endearing clown, takes a holiday at a seaside resort where his presence provokes one catastrophe after another. Tati’s wildly funny satire of vacationers determined to enjoy themselves includes a series of precisely choreographed sight gags involving dogs, boats, and firecrackers. The first entry in the Hulot series is a masterpiece of gentle slapstick." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Peter Hames, Richard Lester, Benjamin Safdie, David Parkinson, Xiao Min.
352
347
The Green Ray

The Green Ray

Le Rayon vert (original title); Summer (USA title)
1986 / France / 96m / BW / Romantic Drama, Urban Drama
Marie Riviere, Vincent Gauthier, Carita, Lisa Heredia, Beatrice Romand, Basile Gervaise, Rosette, Eric Hamm, Joel Comarlot, Amira Chemakhi
"Eric Rohmer's compassionate, humane masterpiece was only made in 1986, but seems from another age entirely. Delphine (Rivière), a thoughtful young twentysomething, has no boyfriend and can't find anyone to go on holiday with - and becomes very unhappy. Delphine has nothing to guide her, nothing to help her stem or understand the tears: this is before Prozac, before therapy, before Ally McBeal… This simple, improvised tale tells an unglamorous truth about being young: how restless and frustrating it really often is… Its delicacy, charm and tenderness are irresistible." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Carlos F. Heredero, Hong Sang-soo, Mia Hansen-Løve, Joanna Hogg, David Jenkins.
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Koyaanisqatsi

Koyaanisqatsi

1983 / USA / 87m / Col / Essay Film, Documentary
"An unconventional work in every way, Godfrey Reggio’s Koyaanisqatsi was nevertheless a sensation when it was released in 1983. This first work of The Qatsi Trilogy wordlessly surveys the rapidly changing environments of the Northern Hemisphere, in an astonishing collage created by the director, cinematographer Ron Fricke, and composer Philip Glass. It shuttles viewers from one jaw-dropping vision to the next, moving from images of untouched nature to others depicting human beings’ increasing dependence on technology Koyaanisqatsi’s heterodox methods (including hypnotic time-lapse photography) make it a look at our world from a truly unique angle." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Andrey Zvyagintsev, Gary Tarn, Michael Dudok de Wit, Anton Bitel, Geoff Dyer.
350
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Make Way for Tomorrow

Make Way for Tomorrow

1937 / USA / 92m / BW / Family Drama, Marriage Drama
Victor Moore, Beulah Bondi, Fay Bainter, Thomas Mitchell, Porter Hall, Barbara Read, Maurice Moscovich, Elisabeth Risdon, Minna Gombell, Louise Beavers
"Leo McCarey’s Make Way for Tomorrow is one of the great unsung Hollywood masterpieces, an enormously moving Depression-era depiction of the frustrations of family, aging, and the generation gap. Victor Moore and Beulah Bondi headline a cast of incomparable character actors, starring as an elderly couple who must move in with their grown children after the bank takes their home, yet end up separated and subject to their offspring’s selfish whims. An inspiration for Ozu’s Tokyo Story, Make Way for Tomorrow is among American cinema’s purest tearjerkers, all the way to its unflinching ending, which McCarey refused to change despite studio pressure." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Dave Kehr, Pierre Rissient, Errol Morris, Filipe Furtado, Isaac León Frías.
349
348
Eyes Without a Face

Eyes Without a Face

Les Yeux sans visage (original title)
1959 / France-Italy / 88m / BW / Horror, Gothic Film
Pierre Brasseur, Alida Valli, Edith Scob, Francois Guerin, Juliette Mayniel, Beatrice Altariba, Alexandre Rignault, Rene Genin, Claude Brasseur, Michel Etcheverry
"An incredible amalgam of horror and fairytale in which scalpels thud into quivering flesh and the tremulous heroine (Scob) remains a prisoner of solitude in a waxen mask of eerie, frozen beauty… Illuminated throughout by Franju's unique sense of poetry - nowhere more evident than in the final shot of Scob wandering free through the night, her mask discarded but her face seen only by the dogs at her feet and the dove on her shoulder - it's a marvellous movie in the fullest sense." - Tom Milne, Time Out
Selected by Mark Kermode, Ed Park, Gráinne Humphreys, Paul Mayersberg, Peter Strickland.
348
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Marketa Lazarova

Marketa Lazarová

1967 / Czechoslovakia / 162m / BW / Epic, Historical Film
Josef Kemr, Magda Vasaryova, Nada Hejna, Jaroslav Moucka, Frantisek Velecky, Karel Vasicek, Ivan Paluch, Martin Mrazek, Vaclev Sloup, Pavla Polaskova
"An epic medieval meditation, filmed at some length from a purportedly unfilmable novel by Vladislav Vancura. Acting out the intrigue, suspicion and bloodlust of 13th century tribal rivalry, the plot, such as it is, is wilfully wayward and often close to impenetrable. As 'pure cinema', though, it's stark, daring and often astoundingly dynamic. Black and white 'Scope camerawork surveys a cruel, desolate landscape of plains, castles and forests populated by scavenging strays, strugglers, tyrants and wolf-men, while an eerily evocative sound design gives the picture a near hallucinatory quality." - Nick Bradshaw, Time Out
Selected by Agnieszka Holland, Garin Nugroho, Peter Hames, Hans-Michael Bock, Karel Och.
347
322
Nostalghia

Nostalghia

Nostalgia (English title)
1983 / Italy / 120m / Col / Drama, Psychological Drama
Oleg Yankovsky, Erland Josephson, Domiziana Giordano, Patrizia Terreno, Laura De Marchi, Delia Boccardo, Milena Vukotic, Raffaele Di Mario, Rate Furlan, Livio Galassi
"Another of Tarkovsky's strange, hauntingly beautiful meditations on man's search for self. The film may forsake the run-down space station of Solaris or the miraculous Zone of Stalker for the hilltop villages of Tuscany, but its framework is familiar (flashbacks in spectral black-and-white, the use of rich sepia alongside pastel colour to blur distinctions between dream and reality), and so are its themes (memory, melancholia, disenchantment with the material world, dogged stumbling after salvation)… Tarkovsky remains as much a metaphysician as anything else, and Nostalgia isn't an entertainment but an article of faith." - Angus MacKinnon, Time Out
Selected by Krzysztof Zanussi, Guy Désiré Yameogo, Bryan Chang, Henk Camping, Jason Anderson.
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Opening Night

Opening Night

1977 / USA / 144m / Col / Ensemble Film, Showbiz Drama
Gena Rowlands, Ben Gazzara, John Cassavetes, Joan Blondell, Paul Stewart, Zohra Lampert, Laura Johnson, John Tuell, Ray Powers, John Finnegan
"For all of John Cassavetes's concern with acting, this 1977 film is the only one of his features that takes it on as a subject; it also boasts his most impressive cast. During the New Haven tryouts for a new play, an aging star (Rowlands), already distressed that she's playing a woman older than herself, is traumatized further by the accidental death of an adoring teenage fan (Johnson)… Juggling onstage and offstage action, Cassavetes makes this a fascinating look at some of the internal mechanisms and conflicts that create theatrical fiction, and his wonderful cast never lets him down." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by Mike Figgis, Shion Sono, Dāvis Sīmanis, Dmitry Martov, Ik-June Yang.
345
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Hour of the Wolf

Hour of the Wolf

Vargtimmen (original title)
1967 / Sweden / 88m / BW / Gothic Film, Psychological Drama
Max von Sydow, Liv Ullmann, Erland Josephson, Gertrud Fridh, Georg Rydeberg, Naima Wifstrand, Ulf Johansson, Gudrun Brost, Bertil Anderberg, Ingrid Thulin
"A brilliant Gothic fantasy about an artist who has disappeared, leaving only a diary; and through that diary we move into flashback to observe a classic case history of the Bergman hero haunted by darkness, demons and the creatures of his imagination until he is destroyed by them. The tentacular growth of this obsession is handled with typical virtuosity in a dazzling flow of surrealism, expressionism and full-blooded Gothic horror… In its exploration of the nature of creativity, haunted by the problem of whether the artist possesses or is possessed by his demons, Hour of the Wolf serves as a remarkable companion-piece to Persona." - Tom Milne, Time Out
Selected by Abel Ferrara, Joseph Cedar, Nigel Andrews, Anocha Suwichakornpong, Evans Chan.
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The Thing

The Thing

1982 / USA / 108m / Col / Science Fiction, Horror
Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, T.K. Carter, David Clennon, Keith David, Richard Dysart, Charles Hallahan, Peter Maloney, Richard Masur, Donald Moffat
"A flop upon its release (by Universal, two weeks after Spielberg's E.T.), this spatial masterpiece of desolate Arctic vistas at odds with close-quarters claustrophobia has since been hailed as a high totem of modern horror-making. There remains something deeply unnerving about Carpenter's ambiguity as to whether the movie's shape-shifting alien is distorting its hosts' personalities or merely revealing something of their primal selves." - Scott Foundas, The Village Voice
Selected by Mark Sinker, Ferenc Zalaba, Martin Koolhoven, Wheeler Winston Dixon, Alejandro G. Calvo.
343
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Week-End

Week-End

Week End (alternative spelling); Weekend (alternative spelling)
1967 / France-Italy / 103m / Col / Avant-garde-Experimental, Satire
Mireille Darc, Jean Yanne, Jean-Pierre Kalfon, Jean-Pierre Leaud, Yves Beneyton, Juliet Berto, Anne Wiazemsky, Valerie Lagrange, Paul Gegauff, Daniel Pommerulle
"This scathing late-sixties satire from Jean-Luc Godard is one of cinema’s great anarchic works. Determined to collect an inheritance from a dying relative, a bourgeois couple travel across the French countryside while civilization crashes and burns around them. Featuring a justly famous sequence in which the camera tracks along a seemingly endless traffic jam, and rich with historical and literary references, Weekend is a surreally funny and disturbing call for revolution, a depiction of society reverting to savagery, and— according to the credits—the end of cinema itself." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Lizzie Francke, Mike Figgis, Thomas Clay, Klaus Kreimeier, Vigen Galstyan.
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The Kid

The Kid

1921 / USA / 60m / BW / Comedy Drama, Melodrama
Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Jackie Coogan, Baby Hathaway, Carl Miller, Granville Redmond, May White, Tom Wilson, Henry Bergman, Lita Grey
"A picture with a smile and perhaps a tear' says the opening title of Chaplin's first feature. There's no perhaps about it, what with Charlie struggling to nurture a cast-off illegitimate child in the face of unfeeling cops, doctors and orphanage workers. As always, Chaplin's opulent Victorian sentimentality is made palatable both by the amazing grace of his pantomimic skills and the balancing presence of harsh reality: the drama and the intertwining gags are played out amongst garbage, flophouses, a slum world depicted with Stroheim-like detail." - Geoff Brown, Time Out
Selected by David Robinson, Wang Xiaoshuai, Guy Désiré Yameogo, Casper Tybjerg, Isild Le Besco.
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El

El

This Strange Passion (English title)
1952 / Mexico / 91m / BW / Black Comedy, Satire
Arturo de Cordova, Delia Garces, Luis Beristain, Aurora Walker, Carlos Martinez Baena, Manuel Donde, Rafael Banquells, Fernando Casanova, Jose Pidal, Roberto Meyer
"Released at the pinnacle of his prolific Mexican period, Él remains one of Luis Buñuel's crowning achievements. "Ironically, there's absolutely nothing Mexican about Él; it's simply the portrait of a paranoiac, who, like a poet, is born, not made," says the director in his autobiography. Though set in Mexico and ripe with authentic details from daily life, Él is less a portrait of machismo gone awry than it is a brutal and absurd glimpse at one man's runaway paranoia" - Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine
Selected by Miguel Gomes, Jean Narboni, Carlos Saura, Ed Gonzalez, Daniela Michel.
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Where is the Friend's Home?

Where is the Friend's Home?

Khane-ye doust kodjast? (original title); Where is My Friend's House? (alternative title)
1987 / Iran / 85m / Col / Drama, Childhood Drama
Babak Ahmed Poor, Ahmed Ahmed Poor, Kheda Barech Defai, Iran Outari, Ait Ansari, Sadika Taohidi, Biman Mouafi, Ali Djamali, Aziz Babai, Nadir Ghoulami
"It's entirely possible that Abbas Kiarostami, who's been making films in Iran for about three decades, is our greatest living filmmaker… Where Is the Friend's House? is a miniature epic about a schoolboy trying to return a classmate's notebook… This is a sustained meditation on singular landscapes and the way ordinary people live in them; an obsessional quest that takes on the contours of a parable; a concentrated inquiry that raises more questions than it answers; and a comic as well as cosmic poem. It's about making discoveries and cherishing what's in the world—including things that we can't understand." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by Nicolas Philibert, Judith Williamson, Tadao Sato, Werner Herzog, Sanjeewa Pushpakumara.
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A Star is Born

A Star is Born

1954 / USA / 154m / Col / Musical, Showbiz Drama
Judy Garland, James Mason, Jack Carson, Charles Bickford, Tommy Noonan, Lucy Marlow, Amanda Blake, Irving Bacon, Hazel Shermet, James Brown
"Brutally cut after its first release and further disfigured by the insertion of the long, tasteless production number “Born in a Trunk,” George Cukor's 1954 film somehow survives—and even touches greatness at times. Judy Garland gives everything she has as the young star on the way up; her performance is an emotional autobiography. And James Mason, as the aging star on the way out, balances her vulnerability with a tense distance, transcending the pathos his part was written for. This was Cukor's first complete film in color and his first in 'Scope: both elements are used with a bold assurance and perfect expressiveness." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Kevin Thomas, Mike D'Angelo, Linda Ruth Williams, Isild Le Besco, Shu Kei.
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The Hour of the Furnaces

The Hour of the Furnaces

Hora de los hornos: Notas y testimonios sobre el neocolonialismo, la violencia y la liberación, La (original title)
1968 / Argentina / 260m / BW / Politics & Government, Documentary
Maria de la Paz, Fernando E. Solanas, Edgardo Suarez
"This brilliant documentary launched the Third Cinema movement and put Latin American cinema on the international map. It combines new and old film footage to explain the history of Argentina and the wave of revolutionary fervor that swept many countries in Latin America. From the Spanish invaders to modern military concerns financed by foreign powers, this feature examines racism, social upheaval, native massacres and the precarious political situations that could change in the wake of revolutionary rebellion." - Dav Pavlides, All Movie
Selected by Patricio Guzmán, Thom Andersen, Peter Rist, Elizabeth Wood, Helen Dewitt.
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Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

1937 / USA / 83m / Col / Children's Fantasy, Animated Musical
Adriana Caselotti, Harry Stockwell, Lucille LaVerne, Moroni Olsen, Billy Gilbert, Pinto Colvig, Otis Harlan, Scotty Mattraw, Roy Atwell, Stuart Buchanan
"Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was immediately hailed as a masterpiece. (Sergei Eisenstein called it the greatest movie ever made.) It remains the jewel in Disney's crown, and although inflated modern grosses have allowed other titles to pass it in dollar totals, it is likely that more people have seen it than any other animated feature. The word genius is easily used and has been cheapened, but when it is used to describe Walt Disney, reflect that he conceived of this film, in all of its length, revolutionary style and invention, when there was no other like it--and that to one degree or another, every animated feature made since owes it something." - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
Selected by Jan Troell, Reece Shearsmith, Terry Jones, Dusan Makavejev, Jose Luis Borau.
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All That Heaven Allows

All That Heaven Allows

1955 / USA / 89m / Col / Melodrama, Romantic Drama
Jane Wyman, Rock Hudson, Agnes Moorehead, Conrad Nagel, Virginia Grey, Charles Drake, Gloria Talbott, William Reynolds, Jacqueline de Wit, Leigh Snowden
"Jane Wyman is a repressed wealthy widow and Rock Hudson is the hunky Thoreau-following gardener who loves her in Douglas Sirk’s heartbreakingly beautiful indictment of 1950s small-town America. Sirk utilizes expressionist colors, reflective surfaces, and frames-within-frames to convey the loneliness and isolation of a matriarch trapped by the snobbery of her children and the gossip of her social-climbing country club chums." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Boris Nelepo, John David Rhodes, Jon Robertson, Luke Gibbons, Peter Matthews.
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Marnie

Marnie

1964 / USA / 129m / Col / Romantic Mystery, Psychological Thriller
Sean Connery, Tippi Hedren, Diane Baker, Martin Gabel, Louise Latham, Alan Napier, Mariette Hartley, Bruce Dern, Bob Sweeney, Milton Selzer
"Universally despised on its first release, Marnie remains one of Alfred Hitchcock's greatest and darkest achievements… The examination of sexual power plays surpasses Fassbinder's films, which Marnie thematically resembles, going beyond a simple dichotomy of strength and weakness into a dense, shifting field of masochism, class antagonism, religious transgression, and the collective unconscious. The mise-en-scene tends toward a painterly abstraction, as Hitchcock employs powerful masses, blank colors, and studiously unreal, spatially distorted settings. Theme and technique meet on the highest level of film art." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Andrew Dominik, Richard Brody, David Meeker, Fritz Göttler, Girish Shambu.
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Man of Aran

Man of Aran

1934 / UK / 77m / BW / Anthropology, Documentary
Colman "Tiger" King, Maggie Dillane, Michael Dillane, Pat Mullin, Patch Ruadh, Patcheen Faherty, Tommy O'Rourke, "Big Patcheen" Conneely, Stephen Dirrane, Pat McDonough
"Produced over two and a half years on the Aran Islands, Man of Aran studies a battered community that epitomizes the struggle between man and nature… Against the barren rocks and crashing waves, Man of Aran celebrates survival and resilience under punishing conditions, as the islanders dig through crevices for precious soil, fish from towering cliff faces, and battle a massive basking shark for two days, just to render enough oil for their lamps. In stark and pictorially ravishing terms, the film depicts man's heroic relationship with the environment–an unpredictable and merciless source of sustenance, peril, and unvarnished beauty." - Scott Tobias, A.V. Club
Selected by Andrei Ujica, Vladimir Carvalho, Jeff Masino, Sadullo Rakhimov, Vittorio De Seta.
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Out 1, noli me tangere

Out 1, noli me tangere

Out 1 (alternative title)
1971 / France / 729m / Col-BW / Drama, Comedy
Michele Moretti, Hermine Karagheuz, Karen Puig, Pierre Baillot, Marcel Bozonnet, Jean-Pierre Leaud, Michel Lonsdale, Sylvain Corthay, Edwine Moatti, Bernadette Onfroy
"An eight-part serial running about 12 and a half hours, this 1971 comedy drama is Jacques Rivette's grandest experiment and most exciting adventure in filmmaking. Balzac's History of the Thirteen, about a few Parisians who hope to control the city through their hidden interconnections, inspired its tale, dominated by two theater groups and two solitary individuals. Some of the major actors of the French New Wave participated, creating their own characters and improvising their own dialogue… What emerges is the definitive film about 60s counterculture." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by Dennis Lim, Jonathan Romney, David Ehrenstein, B. Kite, Brad Stevens.
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Heat

Heat

1995 / USA / 174m / Col / Crime, Thriller
Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Val Kilmer, Jon Voight, Tom Sizemore, Amy Brenneman, Wes Studi, Dennis Haysbert, Mykelti Williamson, Diane Venora
"Heat occupies an exalted position among the countless contemporary crime films. Stunningly made and incisively acted by a large and terrific cast, Michael Mann's ambitious study of the relativity of good and evil stands apart from other films of its type by virtue of its extraordinarily rich characterizations and its thoughtful, deeply melancholy take on modern life… Rarely in the crime genre have so many characters been so deeply drawn, and only occasionally has there been this kind of grand, even philosophical view of lawless behavior that so effectively serves to paint a bigger picture of society at large. Overall impact is not only exciting but powerfully sad." - Todd McCarthy, Variety
Selected by Mia Hansen-Løve, Neil Marshall, Gorazd Trušnovec, Peter Körte, Piermaria Bocchi.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
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Written on the Wind

Written on the Wind

1956 / USA / 99m / Col / Melodrama, Family Drama
Lauren Bacall, Robert Stack, Dorothy Malone, Rock Hudson, Robert Keith, Grant Williams, Robert J. Wilke, Edward Platt, Harry Shannon, John Larch
"Bathed in lurid Technicolor, melodrama maestro Douglas Sirk’s Written on the Wind is the stylishly debauched tale of a Texas oil magnate brought down by the excesses of his spoiled offspring. Features an all-star quartet that includes Robert Stack as a pistol-packin’ alcoholic playboy; Lauren Bacall as his long-suffering wife; Rock Hudson as his earthy best friend; and Dorothy Malone (who won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance) as his nymphomaniac sister." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Elisabeth Bronfen, Richard Kwietniowski, Laura Marks, Ty Burr, Clare Stewart.
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The Sorrow and the Pity

The Sorrow and the Pity

Le Chagrin et la pitié (original title)
1969 / France-Switzerland-Germany / 260m / BW / Military & War, Documentary
Georges Bidault, Matthaus Bleibinger, Charles Braun, Maurice Buckmaster, Emile Coulaudon, Emmanuel d'Astier de la Vigerie, Rene de Chambrun, Christian de la Maziere, Jacques Duclos, R. Du Jonchay
"The Nazi occupation of France lasted more than four years. Marcel Ophuls' landmark 1969 documentary boils it down to a more manageable 265 minutes - which still amounts to an awful lot of sorrow and a veritable ocean of pity. Strange to note, then, that the film is so boldly conceived, richly textured and beautifully paced that its marathon running time feels more like a sprint… Employing a seamless blend of contemporary interviews, newsreel footage and propaganda films, it paints an engrossing portrait of a cowed and compromised nation, presided over by the Blimpish Marshal Pétain and serenaded by the honeyed tones of Maurice Chevalier." - Xan Brooks, The Guardian
Selected by Jorge García, Laura Waddington, Karen Cooper, Kristy Matheson, Margaret Deriaz.
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The King of Comedy

The King of Comedy

1983 / USA / 109m / Col / Showbiz Comedy, Black Comedy
Robert De Niro, Jerry Lewis, Diahnne Abbott, Sandra Bernhard, Ed Herlihy, Lou Brown, Whitey Ryan, Doc Lawless, Marta Heflin, Katherine Wallach
"The salutary tale of an aspiring comedian (De Niro) who kidnaps his idol, Jerry Langford (Lewis, playing close to type), in order to ensure a TV spot, The King of Comedy has more to say about the parlous state of modern celebrity culture than any other movie I can call to mind… Perfectly pitched between satire and horror, The King of Comedy finds both its director and star working at the peak of their powers – the dramatic punch of the piece being strengthened by understatement, by the fact that neither director nor star are grandstanding… The King of Comedy is quite breathtakingly brilliant." - Mark Kermode, The Guardian
Selected by Francis Ford Coppola, Lizzie Francke, Bryan Singer, Ant Timpson, Jan Lumholdt.
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I Was Born, But...

I Was Born, But…

Otona no miru ehon - Umarete wa mita keredo (original title)
1932 / Japan / 100m / BW / Comedy Drama, Coming-of-Age
Tatsuo Saito, Mitsuko Yoshikawa, Hideo Sugawara, Tomio Aoki, Takeshi Sakamoto, Seiichi Kato, Shoichi Kojufita, Seiji Nishimura, Teruyo Hayami, Chishu Ryu
"One of Ozu’s most popular films, I Was Born, But… is a blithe portrait of the financial and psychological toils of one family, as told from the rascally point of view of a couple of stubborn little boys. For two brothers, the daily struggles of bullies and mean teachers is nothing next to the mortification they feel when they realize their good-natured father’s low-rung social status. Reworked decades later as Ozu’s Technicolor comedy Good Morning, it’s a poignant evocation of the tumult of childhood, as well as a showcase for Ozu’s expertly timed comedy editing." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Jonathan Rosenbaum, Peter Rist, Abé Mark Nornes, Arthur Mas, Jan Lumholdt.
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Chelsea Girls

Chelsea Girls

1966 / USA / 210m / Col-BW / Avant-garde-Experimental, Trash Film
Brigid Berlin, Randy Borscheidt, Ari Boulogne, Angelina 'Pepper' Davis, Dorothy Dean, Eric Emerson, Patrick Flemming, Ed Hood, Arthur Loeb, Donald Lyons
"The most celebrated Andy Warhol feature, and for many the best, is made up of a dozen 33-minute reels that are projected two at a time, side by side… The people shown include such Warhol “superstars” as Nico, Ondine, Gerard Malanga, Marie Menken, Mary Woronov, Ingrid Superstar, Brigid Polk, and International Velvet… They engage in a number of activities and dialogues for 210 minutes, and the results are often spellbinding; the juxtaposition of two film images at once gives the spectator an unusual amount of freedom in what to concentrate on and what to make of these variously whacked-out performers." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by Berenice Reynaud, Ed Halter, Bruce Jenkins, Jacob Perlin, Jed Rapfogel.
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Lola Montes

Lola Montès

The Sins of Lola Montes (alternative title)
1955 / France-West Germany / 116m / Col / Drama, Period Film
Martine Carol, Peter Ustinov, Anton Walbrook, Ivan Desny, Will Quadflieg, Oskar Werner, Lisa Delamare, Paulette Dubost, Henri Guisol, Helena Manson
"Lola Montès is a visually ravishing, narratively daring dramatization of the life of the notorious courtesan and showgirl, played by Martine Carol. With his customary cinematographic flourish and, for the first time, vibrant color, Max Ophuls charts the course of Montès’s scandalous past through the invocations of the bombastic ringmaster (Ustinov) of the American circus where she has ended up performing. Ophuls’s final film, Lola Montès is at once a magnificent romantic melodrama, a meditation on the lurid fascination with celebrity, and a one-of-a-kind movie spectacle." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by David Ehrenstein, Kevin Thomas, Andrea Dittgen, Gertrud Koch, Horacio Bernades.
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The Puppetmaster

The Puppetmaster

Hsimeng jensheng (original title)
1993 / Taiwan / 141m / Col / Biography, Drama
Tianlu Li, Giong Lim, Chung Lin, Ming Hwa Bai, Fue Choung Cheng, Hung Liou, Chen-Nan Tsai, Lai-Yin Yang
"Hou Hsiao-hsien's masterpiece about the childhood and early adulthood of octogenerian Taiwanese puppet master and actor Li Tien-lu… Hou's preference for filming entire scenes in long takes from fixed camera angles and for eschewing close-ups has never been as masterfully employed and modulated as it is here… The film alternates between re-created scenes from Li's life, Li speaking directly to the camera about his past, and extracts from his puppet and stage performances, creating a layered density in the narrative that does full justice to the complexity and poetry of Hou's investigation." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Kent Jones, Thom Andersen, Ain-Ling Wong, Edwin Mak.
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Days of Being Wild

Days of Being Wild

A Fei zheng chuan (original title)
1990 / Hong Kong / 94m / Col / Drama, Ensemble Film
Leslie Cheung, Maggie Cheung, Andy Lau, Carina Lau, Rebecca Pan, Jacky Cheung, Danilo Antunes, Hung Mei-Mei, Ling-Hung Ling, Tony Leung
"Wong Kar-Wai's second feature is a brilliant dream of Hong Kong life in 1960… The terrific, all-star cast enacts this as a series of emotionally unresolved encounters; the swooningly beautiful camera and design work takes its hallucinatory tone from the protagonist's own uncertainties. The mysterious appearance of Tony Leung only in the closing scene heralds a sequel that will sadly never be made. But this is already some kind of masterpiece." - Tony Rayns, Time Out
Selected by Aditya Assarat, Clare Stewart, Christine Dollhofer, Ed Park, Ignatiy Vishnevetsky.
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Scenes from a Marriage

Scenes from a Marriage

Scener ur ett äktenskap (original title)
1973 / Sweden / 168m / Col / Drama, Marriage Drama
Liv Ullmann, Erland Josephson, Bibi Andersson, Jan Malmsjo, Gunnel Lindblom, Anita Wall, Barbro Hiort af Ornas, Lena Bergman, Wenche Foss, Rosanna Mariano
"Scenes from a Marriage chronicles the many years of love and turmoil that bind Marianne (Ullmann) and Johan (Josephson) through matrimony, infidelity, divorce, and subsequent partners. Shot in intense, intimate close-ups by master cinematographer Sven Nykvist and featuring flawless performances, Ingmar Bergman’s emotional x-ray reveals the intense joys and pains of a complex relationship." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Sarah Polley, Asghar Farhadi, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Neil LaBute, Dave Calhoun.
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Dawn of the Dead

Dawn of the Dead

1978 / USA / 126m / Col / Horror, Creature Film
David Emge, Ken Foree, Scott Reiniger, Gaylen Ross, David Crawford, David Early, George A. Romero, Tom Savini, James A. Baffico, Howard Smith
"Dawn of the Dead is one of the best horror films ever made -- and, as an inescapable result, one of the most horrifying. It is gruesome, sickening, disgusting, violent, brutal and appalling. It is also (excuse me for a second while I find my other list) brilliantly crafted, funny, droll, and savagely merciless in its satiric view of the American consumer society. Nobody ever said art had to be in good taste." - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
Selected by Peter Jackson, Nathan Lee, Gonzalo Maza, Mark Pilkington, Richard Kuipers.
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Dog Day Afternoon

Dog Day Afternoon

1975 / USA / 125m / Col / Crime, Urban Drama
Al Pacino, John Cazale, Sully Boyar, Charles Durning, Chris Sarandon, Penelope Allen, Beulah Garrick, Carol Kane, James Broderick, Sandra Kazan
"Al Pacino heads a stellar ensemble cast in Sidney Lumet’s tense, unbearably moving tale of a first-time crook whose plan to rob a Brooklyn bank goes spectacularly awry. Though primarily confined to a single location, the film is filled to brimming with distinctly New York characters… At the center of it all is Pacino’s Sonny Wortzik, who alternates between cocky displays of street-theater bravado (his famous “Attica!” speech) and devastating moments of walls-are-closing-in introspection. You can see the film’s influence in multifaceted heist movies like Reservoir Dogs and Heat (also starring Pacino), but nothing matches Dog Day’s earthy, unsentimental vision." - Keith Uhlich, Time Out New York
Selected by Bruce Robinson, Richard Lester, Karen Oughton, Niki Caro, Nancy Savoca.
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1900

1900

Novecento (original title)
1976 / Italy-France-West Germany / 245m / Col / Political Drama, Family Drama
Burt Lancaster, Robert De Niro, Gerard Depardieu, Dominique Sanda, Francesca Bertini, Laura Betti, Sterling Hayden, Donald Sutherland, Stefania Sandrelli, Romolo Valli
"Upon its release in 1977, 1900 became an infamous flop. But seen with diminished expectations, 1900 is just fine: a well-plotted history play studded with artful sequences and Bertolucci's particular brand of earthiness, bordering on vulgarity. 1900 may seem too conventional compared to the blazing fire of Bertolucci's previous films, but as the film rambles toward its beautifully symbolic final shot of a man on train tracks, it takes its place at the center of the director's career-long, fragmentary 20th-century mosaic." - Noel Murray, A.V. Club
Selected by Rolf De Heer, Lone Scherfig, Bruno Barreto, Mikel Olaciregui, Helena Koder.
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The Double Life of Veronique

The Double Life of Veronique

La Double vie de Véronique (original title)
1991 / France / 97m / Col / Romantic Drama, Psychological Drama
Irene Jacob, Halina Gryglaszewska, Kalina Jedrusik, Aleksander Bardini, Wladyslaw Kowalski, Jerzy Gudejko, Jan Sterninski, Philippe Volter, Sandrine Dumas, Louis Ducreux
"Krzysztof Kieślowski’s international breakthrough remains one of his most beloved films, a ravishing, mysterious rumination on identity, love, and human intuition. Irène Jacob is incandescent as both Weronika, a Polish choir soprano, and her double, Véronique, a French music teacher… Aided by Slawomir Idziak’s shimmering cinematography and Zbigniew Preisner’s haunting, operatic score, Kieślowski creates one of cinema’s most purely metaphysical works. The Double Life of Véronique is an unforgettable symphony of feeling." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Gregg Araki, José Teodoro, Fung Ka Ming, Lucy Virgen, Matthew Taylor.
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Pasted Graphic

Network

1976 / USA / 121m / Col / Comedy Drama, Media Satire
Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch, Robert Duvall, Wesley Addy, Ned Beatty, Arthur Burghardt, Bill Burrows, John Carpenter, Jordan Charney
"Two decades later, this iconic American New Wave renegade text is even more startling than it once was—was Hollywood ever this cerebral, this caustic, this ethically apocalyptic? That 90 percent of Network's satire has become fulfilled prophecy by now doesn't take the shine off of its broadsword. Reality-show whoredom, death TV, New Globalistic anti-humanism, audience as robotic consumer—it's all here and all still hamburger in the teeth of this movie, written with hissing rage and in huge, thoughtful paragraphs by Paddy Chayefsky and directed with a vivid sense of '70s genuineness by Sidney Lumet." - Michael Atkinson, The Village Voice
Selected by Cyrus Frisch, George Clooney, Bennett Miller, David Michôd, P.J. Hogan.
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I Know Where I'm Going!

I Know Where I'm Going!

1945 / UK / 91m / BW / Drama, Romance
Wendy Hiller, Roger Livesey, Finlay Currie, Pamela Brown, Nancy Price, John Laurie, Norman Shelley, Catherine Lacey, George Carney, Walter Hudd
"The film isn't as deep or ambitious as some of the Powell-Pressburger films that followed, but it's still a delightful love story, blessed with attractive leads, lovely locations, and witty dialogue. Easily the equal of any contemporaneous Hollywood romance, Where I'm Going features an underlying motif of eschewing materialism for more sublime pleasures—driven home by Livesey's classic line, "They're not poor, they just haven't any money." - Noel Murray, A.V. Club
Selected by Molly Haskell, Nick James, Anne Thompson, Charles Whitehouse, Christian Keathley.
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The Matrix

The Matrix

1999 / USA-Australia / 136m / Col / Science Fiction, Sci-Fi Action
Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, Joe Pantoliano, Gloria Foster, Marcus Chong, Julian Arahanga, Matt Doran, Belinda McClory
"The Matrix is just one big, fat, honking comic book of a sci-fi-martial-arts adventure flick. It goes over the top, comes back around the bottom and then back over the top again. It has stu-freakin'-pendous special effects, hipster sang-froid out the wazoo and a story line that makes only as much sense as it has to… Kudos to production designer Owen Paterson and comic-book artist Geof Darrow for their angular techno-grunge world of black leather, sunglasses after dark and tentacled machines. Mucho kudos to Hong Kong fight coordinator Yuen Wo Ping for his wire-stunt expertise that makes the actors fly through the air like a bunch of angry, buff marionettes." - Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post
Selected by Joss Whedon, Anjelika Artyukh, Fernando Solorzano, Gulnara Abikeyeva, Sek Kei.
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I Am Cuba

I Am Cuba

Soy Cuba (original title)
1964 / USSR-Cuba / 141m / Col / Drama, Avant-garde-Experimental
Sergio Corrieri, Salvador Wood, Jose Gallardo, Raul Garcia, Luz Maria Collazo, Jean Bouise, Alberto Morgan, Celia Rodriguez, Fausto Mirabal, Roberto Garcia York
"This Soviet-Cuban hymn from 1964 to the Castro revolution has more than its fair share of agitprop naivety - but for its sheer dazzling technique, and the glorious beauty of its monochrome cinematography, it deserves impregnable classic status… To the accompaniment of narration co-scripted by Yevgeny Yevtushenko, the story is achieved in a series of superbly choreographed single-take sequences, with a drama-doc vérité effect… I Am Cuba combines the high-minded severity of Russian cinema with the exuberance of Vigo or Fellini, and even anticipates the conspiracy-fear of Oliver Stone." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Dina Iordanova, Ronald Bergan, Mike Leigh, Gillies MacKinnon, Peter Bradshaw.
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Russian Ark

Russian Ark

Russkiy kovcheg (original title)
2002 / Russia-Germany-Japan-Canada-Finland-Denmark / 96m / Col / Avant-garde-Experimental, Essay Film
Sergei Dontsov, Mariya Kuznetsova, Leonid Mozgovoy, David Giorgobiani, Aleksandr Chaban, Maxim Sergeyev, Anna Aleksakhina, Natalia Nikulenko, Vladimir Baranov, Boris Smolkin
"Russian Ark is a magnificent conjuring act, an eerie historical mirage evoked in a single sweeping wave of the hand by Alexander Sokurov. The 96-minute film, shot in high-definition video in the Hermitage at St. Petersburg, consists of one continuous, uninterrupted take. Thanks to recent technological innovation, it is the longest unbroken shot in the history of film… Mr. Sokurov, who has always been drawn to historical subjects, has said that he wanted to capture "the flow of time" in a pure cinematic language that suggests "a single breath." And that's what Russian Ark accomplishes." - Stephen Holden, The New York Times
Selected by Pere Portabella, Ronald Bergan, Stuart Klawans, Helena Koder, Jaime N. Christley.
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Cache

Caché

Hidden (English title)
2005 / France-Austria-Germany-Italy / 117m / Col / Drama, Psychological Thriller
Daniel Auteuil, Juliette Binoche, Maurice Benichou, Annie Girardot, Bernard Lecoq, Walid Afkir, Lester Makedonsky, Daniel Duval, Nathalie Richard, Denis Podalydes
"While Hidden is a gripping thriller, it is almost a moral and political enquiry into colonialism and its aftermath. The acting all around is outstanding, with Auteuil and Binoche working beautifully together as their marriage falls apart, expressing their emotional upheaval through the slight movement of an eye or the flicker of a lip. This is a movie that takes one back to the glory days of art-house films in the 1960s and 70s, when you left the cinema not in need of food and drink, but a sympathetic person to discuss the film with." - Philip French, The Observer
Selected by Tarsem Singh, Michael C. Hall, Riz Ahmed, Agnieszka Holland, Peter Bradshaw.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
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How Green Was My Valley

How Green Was My Valley

1941 / USA / 118m / BW / Family Drama, Rural Drama
Walter Pidgeon, Maureen O'Hara, Roddy McDowall, Donald Crisp, Anna Lee, John Loder, Barry Fitzgerald, Patric Knowles, Sara Allgood, Morton Lowry
"John Ford's 1942 Oscar winner is an immensely moving study of stresses, changes, and heroism in a Welsh coal-mining family as it passes from the blissful 19th century to the grim 20th. As in all the best Fordian cinema, though everything changes and most things die or disappear, what remains in memory and in spirit triumphs—and what on the surface is a tender and sad film becomes instead joyous and robust. Expert performances from Donald Crisp, Walter Pidgeon, Maureen O'Hara, and a host of brilliant character actors enhance a magnificent movie experience." - Don Druker, Chicago Reader
Selected by Kristin Thompson, Tag Gallagher, Andy Rector, Hideo Nakata, Andrew Tracy.
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Don't Look Back

Don't Look Back

1967 / USA / 96m / BW / Music, Documentary
Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Donovan, Albert Grossman, Bob Neuwirth, Alan Price, Tito Burns, Derroll Adams, Chris Ellis, Allen Ginsberg
"An unforgettable all-access pass behind the scenes of Bob Dylan's '65 British tour, D.A. Pennebaker's landmark 1967 rock doc all but invented the form while presaging the music video with its oft-copied "Subterranean Homesick Blues" clip. Pennebaker hangs with Dylan and his entourage (including Joan Baez, Alan Price, and the droll Bob Neuwirth) as they move through a blur of indistinguishable hotel rooms and concert halls, pursued by highbrow journalists who want to talk to the oracle. The concert footage of the young Dylan in his punky prime is electrifying, but the most fun comes from the privileged glimpses of his sadistic wit." - Jim Ridley, The Village Voice
Selected by Andrew Šprah, Bill Nichols, Carlos Reviriego, Charles Musser, Karen Cooper.
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The Time to Live and the Time to Die

The Time to Live and the Time to Die

Tong nien wang shi (original title)
1985 / Taiwan / 137m / Col / Coming-of-Age, Family Drama
Ann-Shuin Yiu, Feng Tien, Mei-Feng, Yu-Yuen Tang, Shufen Xin, Xiao Ai
"A subtle, deeply moving picture of Taiwanese history seen through the eyes of a boy whose family has recently emigrated from the Mainland… Hou's autobiographically-based film is as beautifully performed, shot and scored as his earlier Summer at Grandpa's, but there is a distinct progress in the depiction of the wider dynamics of society. It is the unflinching, unsentimental honesty that supplies the elegiac intelligence: Hou's quiet style bursts forth, here and there, into sudden, superlative scenes of untrammelled emotional power. It's a brilliantly simple but multi-faceted portrait of loss and the complacency of childhood: quite literally, we can't go home again." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Ann Hui, Bryan Chang, Phan Dang-Di, Heddy Honigmann, Tien-Hsiang Wen.
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Red Desert

Red Desert

Il Deserto rosso (original title)
1964 / France-Italy / 118m / Col / Drama, Psychological Drama
Monica Vitti, Richard Harris, Carlo Chionetti, Xenia Valderi, Rita Renoir, Lili Rheims, Aldo Grotti, Valerio Bartoleschi, Emanuela Paola Carboni, Bruno Borghi
"This provocative look at the spiritual desolation of the technological age—about a disaffected woman, brilliantly portrayed by Antonioni muse Monica Vitti, wandering through a bleak industrial landscape beset by power plants and environmental toxins, and tentatively flirting with her husband’s coworker, played by Richard Harris—continues to keep viewers spellbound. With one startling, painterly composition after another—of abandoned fishing cottages, electrical towers, looming docked ships—Red Desert creates a nearly apocalyptic image of its time, and confirms Antonioni as cinema’s preeminent poet of the modern age." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Marc Forster, Andréa Picard, Emma Wilson, Law Kar, Leonard Quart.
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October

October

Oktyabr (original title)
1927 / USSR / 103m / BW / Historical Film, Docudrama
Vasili Nikandrov, Vladimir Popov, Boris Livanov, Layaschenko, Chibisov, Mikholyev, N. Podvoisky, Smelsky, Eduard Tisse
"Expanding on his editing experiments in Battleship Potemkin (1925), Sergei Eisenstein melded documentary realism with narrative metaphor to depict the pivotal events of the Russian Revolution in October… Eisenstein constructed October as an elaborate "intellectual montage," deriving meaning from the metaphorical or symbolic relationships between shots… While the film's whole is not as great as its parts, the abstract power and narrative innovation of its greatest sequences still render it a seminal work in the development of film form." - Lucia Bozzola, All Movie
Selected by Tata Amaral, Beat Glur, Gertrud Koch, Manuel Asín, Michael O'Pray.
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A Canterbury Tale

A Canterbury Tale

1944 / UK / 124m / BW / Comedy Drama, Road Movie
Eric Portman, Sheila Sim, Sgt. John Sweet, Dennis Price, Esmond Knight, Hay Petrie, George Merritt, Edward Rigby, Charles Hawtrey, Freda Jackson
"Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s beloved classic A Canterbury Tale is a profoundly personal journey to Powell’s bucolic birthplace of Kent, England. Set amid the tumult of the Second World War, yet with a rhythm as delicate as a lullaby, the film follows three modern-day incarnations of Chaucer’s pilgrims—a melancholy “landgirl,” a plainspoken American GI, and a resourceful British sergeant… Building to a majestic climax that ranks as one of the filmmaking duo’s finest achievements, the dazzling A Canterbury Tale has acquired a following of devotees passionate enough to qualify as pilgrims themselves." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Kim Newman, Adrian Danks, Charles Barr, Alexander Jacoby, Joanna Hogg.
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Monsieur Verdoux

Monsieur Verdoux

1947 / USA / 123m / BW / Black Comedy, Crime Comedy
Charles Chaplin, Martha Raye, Isobel Elsom, Mady Correll, Marilyn Nash, Irving Bacon, William Frawley, Charles Evans, Allison Roddan, Robert Lewis
"While the descriptive phrase "ahead of its time" is all too often dragged out and tacked on to one marginalized film work after another, in the case of Monsieur Verdoux it is perhaps quite appropriate, given not only the film's lackluster reception in its day, but its surprising formal subtleties. The film's quite hilarious sense of humor, one part slapstick, one part steely wit, works in fluid conjunction with Chaplin's bleaker ruminations, and both are still quite contemporary and relevant even while being bound within very specific contexts. Monsieur Verdoux still matters, and it's still an urgent work of necessary art." - Josh Vasquez, Slant Magazine
Selected by Bernard Eisenschitz, Dan Fainaru, Andy Rector, David Meeker, Klaus Wyborny.
305
304
Peeping Tom

Peeping Tom

1960 / UK / 109m / BW / Thriller, Psychological Thriller
Karlheinz Bohm, Anna Massey, Maxine Audley, Moira Shearer, Esmond Knight, Michael Goodliffe, Shirley Anne Field, Brenda Bruce, Bartlett Mullins, Martin Miller
"Few films have as strange and tortured a destiny as Peeping Tom. Unanimously savaged by critics at the time of its 1960 release, Michael Powell's sympathetic portrait of a mild-mannered serial killer was pulled from London theaters in less than a week… Today, thanks largely to a 1980 revival engineered by Powell enthusiast and fellow director Martin Scorsese, Peeping Tom is rightly seen as a horror classic and sophisticated psychological journey… Peeping Tom was a bold, subversive risk. Far ahead of its time, it's a study in voyeurism that equates photography and moviemaking with scopophilia, the morbid urge to gaze." - Edward Guthmann, San Francisco Chronicle
Selected by Anurag Kashyap, Gerardo Naranjo, Richard Kwietniowski, Thomas Dawson, Federico Pedroni.
304 Up Arrow
341
This is Spinal Tap

This is Spinal Tap

1984 / USA / 82m / Col / Mockumentary, Showbiz Comedy
Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer, Rob Reiner, R.J. Parnell, David Kaff, June Chadwick, Ed Begley Jr., Tony Hendra, Bruno Kirby
"Since the antics of so many heavy metal bands already teeter on the edge of self-parody, it would have been no surprise if this spoof 'rockumentary' about a comeback tour by a has-been English rock group had turned out to be a one-joke movie. In the event, Reiner's brilliantly inventive script and smart visuals avoid all the obvious pitfalls, making this one of the funniest ever films about the music business. Filmed in cinéma vérité style, it follows the group from venue to venue, observing the trials and tribulations of life on the road, personal tensions within the group, and problems with expanding egos." - Nigel Floyd, Time Out
Selected by Claudia Winkleman, Jasper Sharp, Niki Caro, Sacha Gervasi, Antonia Quirke.
303
289
Listen to Britain

Listen to Britain

1942 / UK / 20m / BW / Culture & Society, Documentary
Chesney Allen, Leonard Brockington, Bud Flanagan, Myra Hess
"Humphrey Jennings' films covered the whole of the Second World War in Britain. His quiet, emotive style produced some of the most memorable film images of the War… Listen To Britain's title might suggest a strong sound element… But it is the images, particularly the studies of people, that are the real star. The gaunt, tired faces in this most desperate part of the war seem only slightly aware that Jennings' camera is there... The editing in Listen To Britain is trademark Jennings: simple comparisons between scenes from everyday life and the manic, unreal struggle of the war effort." - Ewan Davidson, BFI Screen Online
Selected by Charles Drazin, Charles Musser, Annette Kuhn, David Meeker, Ed Halter.
302 Up Arrow
310
Orpheus

Orpheus

Orphée (original title)
1950 / France / 95m / BW / Fantasy, Romantic Fantasy
Jean Marais, Maria Casares, Francois Perier, Marie Dea, Juliette Greco, Edouard Dermithe, Henri Cremieux, Pierre Bertin, Roger Blin, Jacques Varennes
"Jean Cocteau’s update of the Orpheus myth depicts a famous poet (Marais), scorned by the Left Bank youth, and his love for both his wife, Eurydice (Déa), and a mysterious princess (Casarès). Seeking inspiration, the poet follows the princess from the world of the living to the land of the dead, through Cocteau’s famous mirrored portal. Orpheus’s peerless visual poetry and dreamlike storytelling represent the legendary Cocteau at the height of his powers." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Anne Billson, Kevin Jackson, Paul Schrader, Peter Whitehead, Neville de Almeida.
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300
The Sacrifice

The Sacrifice

Offret (original title)
1986 / France-Sweden / 145m / Col / Psychological Drama, Religious Drama
Erland Josephson, Susan Fleetwood, Valerie Mairesse, Allan Edwall, Guorun Gisladottir, Sven Wollter, Filippa Franzen, Tommy Kjellqvist, Per Kallman, Tommy Nordahl
"Andrei Tarkovsky's final film from 1986 looks to me quite different twenty years on. It is brilliant and audacious, with one of the most extraordinary final sequences in modern cinema, and all in a manner which Hollywood in the succeeding decade would learn to call "high concept". But it is more complex and ambiguous than it appeared at the time: its tragic meaning has darkened and clotted with time." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Pere Portabella, Julio Medem, Alan Pauls, Antonio Delgado, Ian Wild.