The 1,000 Greatest Films (500-401)

The banner image above is from Fred Zinnemann’s High Noon.
500
499
Carrie

Carrie

1976 / USA / 97m / Col / Horror, Supernatural Thriller
Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Amy Irving, William Katt, John Travolta, Nancy Allen, Betty Buckley, P.J. Soles, Sydney Lassick, Stefan Gierasch
"Wickedly reckless and deliriously tasteless, Carrie is about the creation of a sorceress, a geek-girl fantasy—what nerdy high-school chick hasn’t longed to zap the popular bitches?—rife with hilarious sexual symbolism (my personal favorite is Carrie’s control of a wildly leaping fire hose). No movie ever needed to end with an orgasm as much as this one, and De Palma rises to the occasion with a scene many have imitated but none have duplicated. Even when his heroine is postmortem, it seems De Palma can’t stop watching." - Jeannette Catsoulis, Reverse Shot
Selected by Edgar Wright, Yojiro Takita, Quentin Tarantino, Nancy Savoca, Craig Johnson.
499
476
The Blue Angel

The Blue Angel

Der Blaue Engel (original title)
1930 / Germany / 103m / BW / Melodrama, Psychological Drama
Emil Jannings, Marlene Dietrich, Kurt Gerron, Rosa Valetti, Hans Albers, Eduard von Winterstein, Reinhold Bernt, Hans Roth, Rolf Muller, Robert Klein-Lork
"Lola, star at the sleaziest nightclub in screen history, meets, seduces and ultimately destroys the upright bourgeois schoolteacher, Professor Rath. A tragedy? A comedy? It's actually a surprisingly complex morality play: a celebration of Lola's sexuality (it was Dietrich's first major role) and an ironic observation of Rath's repression and masochism (Jannings never suffered more or better). The film looks and sounds its age, but remains enthralling." - Tony Rayns, Time Out
Selected by Anjelika Artyukh, Joan Salvany, Yoshino Sakumi, Seijun Suzuki, Barthélemy Amengual.
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I Vitelloni

I Vitelloni

1953 / Italy / 104m / BW / Drama, Comedy
Franco Interlenghi, Alberto Sordi, Franco Fabrizi, Leopoldo Trieste, Riccardo Fellini, Leonora Ruffo, Lida Baarova, Arlette Sauvage, Jean Brochard, Achille Majeroni
"Five young men linger in a postadolescent limbo, dreaming of adventure and escape from their small seacoast town. They while away their time spending the lira doled out by their indulgent families on drink, women, and nights at the local pool hall. Federico Fellini’s second solo directorial effort is a semiautobiographical masterpiece of sharply drawn character sketches… An international success and recipient of an Academy Award® nomination for Best Original Screenplay, I vitelloni compassionately details a year in the life of a group of small-town layabouts struggling to find meaning in their lives." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Kevin MacDonald, Francis Ford Coppola, Margaret Brown, Maria Kuvshinova, Shane Danielsen.
497
473
Blissfully Yours

Blissfully Yours

Sud sanaeha (original title)
2002 / Thailand-France / 125m / Col / Avant-garde-Experimental, Drama
Kanokporn Tongaram, Min Oo, Jenjira Jansuda, Sa-gnad Chaiyapan, Kanitpat Premkij, Jaruwan Techasatiern
"This uncompromising film can feel shapeless until you discover the simplicity of its form, obscure until you realize that a large part of its meaning is, quite literally, clear as day. In plainest terms, it is the story of three stressed-out people taking the afternoon off and driving into the jungle for a picnic and sex. The first hour is angular, urban, socio-political, gently oblique; the second is liquid, primal, sensual, strange. The movement from city to country, geometry to flux, politics to sex, is a kind of happy entropy. Blissfully Yours doesn't resolve a story, it deliquesces into states of feeling." - Nathan Lee, New York Sun
Selected by Corneliu Porumboiu, Athina Rachel Tsangari, Florence Almozini, Christine Dollhofer, George Clark.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
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Deliverance

Deliverance

1972 / USA / 109m / Col / Drama, Adventure Drama
Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty, Ronny Cox, Bill McKinney, James Dickey, Herbert "Cowboy"" Coward, Ed Ramey, Billy Redden, Seamon Glass
"Four Atlanta businessmen decide to prove that the frontier spirit is not dead by spending a canoeing weekend shooting the rapids of a river high in the Appalachians. Terrific boy's own adventure stuff with adult ingredients of graphic mutilation and buggery, but Boorman is never content either to leave it at that or to subscribe to the ecological concerns of James Dickey's novel. Instead, he adds a dark twist of his own by suggesting that concern is too late… Signposted by the extraordinary shot of a corpse, surfaced from the water with one arm grotesquely wrapped round its neck and the other pointing nowhere, it's a haunting, nightmarish vision." - Tom Milne, Time Out
Selected by Mike Figgis, David Gordon Green, Chris Chang, Peter Cowie, Mark Borchardt.
495
469
Platform

Platform

Zhantai (original title)
2000 / China-Hong Kong-Japan-France / 154m / Col / Comedy Drama, Ensemble Film
Hong Wei Wang, Tao Zhao, Jing Dong Liang, Tian Yi Yang, Bo Wang, Sanming Han
"Fenyang in Shanxi Province, Jia's hometown and already the setting for Xiao Wu, provides the anchor for an epic account of the changes in China's pop culture in the 1980s, as seen across the lives of four friends. In 1979 all four are members of a state-run variety troupe, presenting Maoist propaganda shows to passive audiences in the sticks. By the mid-1980s, when state support is withdrawn and the troupe tries to reform as a private enterprise, everything is different... Jia uses large-scale vignettes, filmed in sequence shots, to chart ten years of far-reaching social changes and their psychological repercussions. A masterly achievement." - Tony Rayns, Time Out
Selected by Dennis Lim, Gavin Smith, Andréa Picard, Kaushik Bhaumik, Kim Dong-Ho.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
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The Phantom of Liberty

The Phantom of Liberty

Le Fantôme de la liberté (original title)
1974 / France / 104m / Col / Satire, Black Comedy
Bernard Verley, Jean-Claude Brialy, Monica Vitti, Milena Vukotic, Michel Lonsdale, Michel Piccoli, Jean Rochefort, Claude Pieplu, Julien Bertheau, Adriana Asti
"Bourgeois convention is demolished in Luis Buñuel’s surrealist gem The Phantom of Liberty. Featuring an elegant soiree with guests seated at toilet bowls, poker-playing monks using religious medals as chips, and police officers looking for a missing girl who is right under their noses, this perverse, playfully absurd comedy of non sequiturs deftly compiles many of the themes that preoccupied Buñuel throughout his career—from the hypocrisy of conventional morality to the arbitrariness of social arrangements." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Michel Gondry, Li Yang, Anton Dolin, Heinz Emigholz, Josué Méndez.
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Pasted Graphic

Walkabout

1971 / Australia / 95m / Col / Adventure, Drama
Jenny Agutter, Lucien John, David Gulpilil, John Meillon, Peter Carver, John Illingsworth, Barry Donnelly, Noelene Brown, Carlo Manchini, Robert McDarra
"A young sister and brother are abandoned in the harsh Australian outback and must learn to cope in the natural world, without their usual comforts, in this hypnotic masterpiece from Nicolas Roeg. Along the way, they meet a young aborigine on his “walkabout,” a rite of passage in which adolescent boys are initiated into manhood by journeying into the wilderness alone. Walkabout is a thrilling adventure as well as a provocative rumination on time and civilization." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by J.M. Tyree, Nana Asfour, Mark Cosgrove, Farai Sevenzo, Jeremy Deller.
492
455
The Devil, Probably

The Devil, Probably

Le Diable probablement (original title)
1977 / France / 95m / Col / Drama, Psychological Drama
Antoine Monnier, Tina Irissari, Henri de Maublanc, Laetitia Carcano, Nicholas Deguy, Regis Hanrion, Geoffrey Gaussen, Roger Honorat, Vincent Cottrel, Laurence Delannoy
"Constructed as a flashback from news reports of a young man’s suspicious suicide, Robert Bresson’s splenetic 1977 drama puts the post-1968 world on trial and judges it unlivable… Bresson’s chilling visions of daily life suggest its hostility to the passions of youth. The film, however, offers a near-parody of the tamped-down spiritual universe of Bresson’s earlier work: these children of the revolution tremble with uncertainty, and their loose gestures and shambling ways conflict with his precise images. Both the world and Bresson’s cinema are in disarray, and the signs of his inner conflict are deeply troubling and tremendously moving." - Richard Brody, The New Yorker
Selected by Dennis Lim, Gregg Araki, Brad Deane, Drake Stutesman, Filipe Furtado.
491
454
Early Summer

Early Summer

Bakushû (original title)
1951 / Japan / 135m / BW / Drama, Family Drama
Setsuko Hara, Chishu Ryu, Chikage Awashima, Kuniko Miyake, Ichiro Sugai, Chieko Higashiyama, Haruko Sugimura, Kuniko Ikawa, Kan Nihonyanagi, Shuji Sano
"The Mamiya family is seeking a husband for their daughter, Noriko, but she has ideas of her own. Played by the extraordinary Setsuko Hara, Noriko impulsively chooses her childhood friend, at once fulfilling her family’s desires while tearing them apart. A seemingly simple story, Early Summer is one of Yasujiro Ozu’s most complex works—a nuanced examination of life’s changes across three generations." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Hong Sang-soo, Albert Serra, Fábio Andrade, Gabe Klinger, Morgan Fisher.
490
479
The Scarlet Empress

The Scarlet Empress

1934 / USA / 110m / BW / Historical Film, Period Film
Marlene Dietrich, John Lodge, Louise Dresser, Sam Jaffe, C. Aubrey Smith, Gavin Gordon, Maria Sieber, Ruthelma Stevens, Olive Tell, Jameson Thomas
"Filmmaker-svengali Josef von Sternberg escalates his obsession with screen legend Marlene Dietrich in this lavish depiction of sex and deceit in the eighteenth-century Russian court. A self-proclaimed “relentless excursion into style,” the pair’s sixth collaboration follows the exploits of Princess Sophia (Dietrich) as she evolves from trembling innocent to cunning sexual libertine Catherine the Great. With operatic melodrama, flamboyant visuals, and a cast of thousands, this ornate spectacle represents the apex of cinematic pageantry by Hollywood’s master of artifice" - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Tony Rayns, Barry Salt, Sara Driver, Jean-Louis Leutrat, Eric Henderson.
489
481
Laura

Laura

1944 / USA / 85m / BW / Mystery, Film Noir
Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb, Vincent Price, Judith Anderson, Dorothy Adams, James Flavin, Clyde Fillmore, Ralph Dunn, Grant Mitchell
"It's basically a B-feature whodunnit posing the question: who murdered the beautiful New York advertising executive Laura Hunt? But the film is raised to classic status by the witty script, David Raksin's score, Joseph LaShelle's subtle monochrome photography, and the way Preminger is more concerned with exploring the perversity of its generally dislikable characters (including the homicide detective) than in creating suspense. Preminger made darker, more characteristically noir films than this, but his only movie that's as good, or perhaps better, is Anatomy of a Murder." - Philip French, The Observer
Selected by David Meeker, Senem Aytaç, John Baldessari, Raquel Abad, Luo Jin.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
488
450
Safe

Safe

1995 / USA / 119m / Col / Medical Drama, Psychological Drama
Julianne Moore, Xander Berkeley, Dean Norris, Peter Friedman, Susan Norman, Kate McGregor Stewart, Mary Carver, Julie Burgess, James LeGros, Jessica Harper
"Todd Haynes's enviro-disease masterpiece Safe might just be the most terrifying film of the last decade. There are no monsters or homicidal maniacs here—instead, the film's horror emanates from an abstruse place where suburban drudgery gives way to a self-inflicted, existential crisis. The film's narrative is far from typical and its protagonist, Carol White (Moore), is painfully unextraordinary. She is the marginal housewife whose slight frame seems to wither beneath her giant shoulder pads. Carol is privileged yet disconnected from everything in her life—her husband, her friends, even her stepson." - Sal Cinquemani, Slant Magazine
Selected by Ray Carney, Ryan Gilbey, Charles Gant, Christine Molloy, David Filipi.
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The Servant

The Servant

1963 / UK / 115m / BW / Drama, Psychological Drama
Dirk Bogarde, James Fox, Wendy Craig, Sarah Miles, Catherine Lacey, Richard Vernon, Ann Firbank, Patrick Magee, Harold Pinter, Doris Knox
"Given Losey's abiding interest in relations of class and power it is hardly surprising that he should have been drawn to this story of a servant, Barrett, who is taken on by an effete young Englishman, Tony, and gradually takes over his master's life… Pinter's spare, elliptical dialogue, with its pauses and silences, is the perfect vehicle for expressing the unspoken dynamics of human relationships and for establishing a pervasive sense of menace and unease. More important still, however, is Losey's masterly direction, elaborate yet tightly controlled and never merely decorative." - Julian Petley, Film Reference
Selected by Claire Monk, Andris Feldmanis, Guy Désiré Yameogo, Gore Verbinski, Nanouk Leopold.
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Mad Max 2

Mad Max 2

The Road Warrior (alternative title)
1981 / Australia / 94m / Col / Action, Science Fiction
Mel Gibson, Bruce Spence, Vernon Wells, Emil Minty, Mike Preston, Kjell Nilsson, Virginia Hey, Syd Heylen, Moira Claux, David Slingsby
"George Miller's 1981 sequel to his 1980 sleeper, Mad Max. Set in a postapocalyptic Australia, where nomadic tribes battle each other for precious gasoline, it's a highly stylized, roaringly dynamic action film that shuns plot and characterization in favor of a crazy iconographical melange—it's like the work of a western punk trucker de Sade… For pure rhythm and visual panache, Miller has few real competitors; the climactic chase, with its deft variation of tempo and point of view, is a minor masterpiece." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Michael Koller, Sean Baker, Zack Snyder, David Fincher, Rob Cohen.
485
446
flowersofshanghai

Flowers of Shanghai

Hai shang hua (original title)
1998 / Taiwan / 130m / Col / Romantic Drama, Period Film
Shuan Fang, Michiko Hada, Annie Shizuka Inoh, Jack Kao, Carina Lau, Tony Leung, Rebecca Pan, Michele Reis, Vicky Wei
"The world of Flowers of Shanghai, Hou Hsiao-hsien's rapturously claustrophobic, hypnotic, and soporific new movie, might be hell; there is no outside, no night or day, and the people are all witty, well-dressed, and awful. It's like 120 Days of Sodom without the sodomy, a Merchant Ivory film as conceived by Samuel Beckett… With Shanghai, his first genuine period picture, Hou has refined realism into the ultimate artifice, has demonstrated that the elusive bloom of love that persists in all his bleak melodramas is inevitably crushed by our elaborate means of possessing it." - Peter Keough, Boston Phoenix
Selected by John Powers, Manohla Dargis, Florence Almozini, Justin Chang, Nathan Lee.
484
443
An Affair to Remember

An Affair to Remember

1957 / USA / 115m / Col / Romance, Melodrama
Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr, Cathleen Nesbitt, Richard Denning, Neva Patterson, Robert Q. Lewis, Charles Watts, Fortunio Bonanova, Matt Moore, Louis Mercier
"Often regarded (or dreaded) as the ultimate chick flick, due in no small amount to its fetish-object role in Sleepless in Seattle, An Affair to Remember deserves better than to be the receptor of Meg Ryan's crocodile tears. A remake by Leo McCarey of his own 1939 classic Love Affair, the film progresses as a graceful switch from romantic comedy to weepie melodrama, reflecting the director's deep-rooted belief in the intricate bond between laughter and tears." - Fernando F. Croce, Slant Magazine
Selected by Jean-Claude Rousseau, Carlos Losilla, José Luis Garci, Enrique Bolado, Catherine Gautier.
483
475
Point Blank

Point Blank

1967 / USA / 92m / Col / Crime, Thriller
Lee Marvin, Angie Dickinson, Keenan Wynn, Carroll O'Connor, Lloyd Bochner, Michael Strong, John Vernon, Sharon Acker, James B. Sikking, Sandra Warner
"Point Blank has gradually become regarded as one of the seminal films of late 1960s American cinema. It was made at the peak of Lee Marvin’s booming stardom, and is the first of British director John Boorman’s films to survey his common preoccupation with a character (or often set of characters) let loose in an environment – modern or primeval – they can barely comprehend and plainly don’t belong to. It is, in the best sense of the term, a haunted, dream-like film that draws upon the spatial and temporal experiments of modernist European art cinema, most particularly the work of Alain Resnais." - Adrian Danks, Senses of Cinema
Selected by Park Chan-wook, Andrew Haigh, Geoff Dyer, Robert Haller, Nick Schager.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
482
474
Bartin Fink

Barton Fink

1991 / USA / 117m / Col / Comedy Drama, Black Comedy
John Turturro, John Goodman, Judy Davis, Michael Lerner, John Mahoney, Tony Shalhoub, Jon Polito, Steve Buscemi, David Warrilow, Richard Portnow
"What Raising Arizona was to baby lust, Barton Fink is to writer's block -- a rapturously funny, strangely bittersweet, moderately horrifying and, yes, truly apt description of the condition and its symptoms… Though it defies genre, it seems to work best as a tart self-portrait, a screwball film noir that expresses the Coens' own alienation from Hollywood. A cineaste's landmark on a par with Blue Velvet, this is an experience to savor over and over." - Rita Kempley, Washington Post
Selected by David O. Mahony, Mehmet Açar, Roberta Ciabarra, Van Papadopoulos, Warwick Thornton.
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498
Silence of the Lambs

The Silence of the Lambs

1991 / USA / 118m / Col / Thriller, Police Detective Film
Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn, Ted Levine, Anthony Heald, Diane Baker, Brooke Smith, Kasi Lemmons, Tracey Walter, Roger Corman
"From Thomas Harris’s novel, director Jonathan Demme explodes and reconstructs a classic genre, laying a foundation of emotional and political commitment beneath a perfectly constructed psychological thriller. Fourteen years after her controversial role in Taxi Driver, Jodie Foster finally makes the transformation from helpless victim to rescuing hero in this dark, gender-bending fairy tale of an American obsession: serial murder. As Hannibal “the Cannibal” Lecter, Anthony Hopkins is the archetypal antihero—cultured, quick-witted, uncontainable—a portrait of all the sharpest human faculties gone diabolically wrong." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, Luca Malavasi, Kike Maíllo, Juanma Bajo Ulloa, Bong Joon-ho.
480
461
The Wind Will Carry Us

The Wind Will Carry Us

Bad ma ra khahad bord (original title)
1999 / France-Iran / 118m / Col / Drama, Rural Drama
Behzad Dourani, Farzad Sohrabi, Shahpour Ghobadi, Noghre Asadi, Roushan Karam Elmi, Bahman Ghobadi, Reihan Heidari, Masood Mansouri, Ali Reza Naderi, Masoameh Salimi
"The Wind Will Carry Us... is oblique, evocative and visually stunning. Abbas Kiarostami's views of hillsides, valleys and gnarled, solitary trees seem almost otherworldly in their clarity and depth, and his story, about a morose engineer who has come to a remote Kurdish village on an enigmatic mission, is as simple and mysterious as a folk tale. This is one of those rare movies that completely absorb your attention and demand your concentration while you're watching, and that stay in your thoughts, growing richer and more powerful, for a long time afterward." - A.O. Scott, The New York Times
Selected by Scott Foundas, Jonathan Rosenbaum, Rima Mismar, Richard Peña, Margaret Deriaz.
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489
Tristana

Tristana

1970 / France-Spain / 98m / Col / Psychological Drama, Satire
Catherine Deneuve, Fernando Rey, Franco Nero, Lola Gaos, Antonio Casas, Jesus Fernandez, Vicente Solar, Jose Calvo, Fernando Cebrian, Candida Losada
"Luis Buñuel's 1970 masterwork, adapted from a novel by Benito Perez Galdos. Catherine Deneuve is a young woman unhappy with the constraints of turn-of-the-century Spanish society; her mild revolt is rewarded by an amputated leg. Buñuel conjures with Freudian imagery, outrageous humor, and a quiet, lyrical camera style to create one of his most complex and complete works, a film that continues to disturb and transfix." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Derek Malcolm, Albert Serra, June Givanni, Julio Pérez Perucha, Fernando Ganzo.
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507
Rosetta

Rosetta

1999 / Belgium-France / 94m / Col / Drama, Coming-of-Age
Emilie Dequenne, Fabrizio Rongione, Anne Yernaux, Olivier Gourmet, Bernard Marbaix, Frederic Bodson, Florian Delain, Christiane Dorval, Mireille Bailly, Thomas Gollas
"The Belgian filmmaking team of brothers Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne turned heads with Rosetta, an intense vérité drama that closely follows a poor young woman struggling to hold on to a job to support herself and her alcoholic mother. It’s a swift and simple tale made revelatory by the raw, empathetic way in which the directors render Rosetta’s desperation, keeping the camera nearly perched on her shoulder throughout. Many have copied the Dardennes’ style, but few have equaled it. This ferocious film won big at Cannes, earning the Palme d’Or for the filmmakers and the best actress prize for the indomitable Émilie Dequenne." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Cyrus Frisch, Lizzie Francke, Pawel Pawlikowski, Andreas Dresen, Jan Distelmeyer.
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588
A Hard Day's Night

A Hard Day's Night

1964 / UK / 85m / BW / Rock Musical, Anarchic Comedy
John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Wilfrid Brambell, Norman Rossington, Victor Spinetti, John Junkin, Deryck Guyler, Anna Quayle
"Richard Lester's innovations in A Hard Day's Night have become familiar; because the style, the subject and the stars are so suited to one another, the movie hasn't become dated. It's filled with the exhilaration of four musicians who were having fun and creating at the top of their form and knew it… The film is so tightly cut, there's hardly a down moment, but even with so many riches, it's easy to pick the best scene: The concert footage as the Beatles sing "She Loves You.'' This is one of the most sustained orgasmic sequences in the movies." - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
Selected by Allan Arkush, Esther Leslie, Norm Wilner, Allison Anders, Hal Hartley.
476
465
Fellini Satyricon

Fellini Satyricon

Satyricon (alternative title); Fellini's Satyricon (alternative title)
1969 / Italy / 129m / Col / Drama, Period Film
Martin Potter, Hiram Keller, Salvo Randone, Max Born, Mario Romagnoli, Magali Noel, Capucine, Alain Cuny, Fanfulla, Lucia Bose
"Satyricon took viewers aback with its sprawling, ambitious, almost expressionistic adaptation of Petronius' Latin prose satire of life under Nero… Fellini clearly spared nothing in translating his vision to film, and the results are visually remarkable… The director captures the timelessness of Petronius' attack, re-creating a Rome rotten at its core but also conveying that the all-too-human sources of its rottenness—greed, lust, narcissism—are eternal. Viewed as a film about the end of the '60s, when the world seemed ready to collapse, or as a companion piece to La Dolce Vita, Satyricon takes on added resonance. But no matter how you interpret it, it demands to be seen." - Keith Phipps, A.V. Club
Selected by Ahmed Atef, Jurgis Krasons, Maja Bogojevic, Rod Stoneman, Shion Sono.
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493
The Silence

The Silence

Tystnaden (original title)
1963 / Sweden / 96m / BW / Psychological Drama, Family Drama
Ingrid Thulin, Gunnel Lindblom, Jorgen Lindstrom, Birger Malmsten, Hakan Jahnberg
"Two sisters—the sickly, intellectual Ester (Thulin) and the sensual, pragmatic Anna (Lindblom)—travel by train with Anna’s young son Johan (Lindstrom) to a foreign country seemingly on the brink of war. Attempting to cope with their alien surroundings, the sisters resort to their personal vices while vying for Johan’s affection, and in so doing sabotage any hope for a future together. Regarded as one of the most sexually provocative films of its day, Ingmar Bergman’s The Silence offers a brilliant, disturbing vision of emotional isolation in a suffocating spiritual void." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Ulrich Seidl, Götz Spielmann, Jean-Stephane Sauvaire, José Luis Rebordinos, Lenny Abrahamson.
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482
Two-Lane Blacktop

Two-Lane Blacktop

1971 / USA / 101m / Col / Drama, Road Movie
James Taylor, Warren Oates, Laurie Bird, Dennis Wilson, David Drake, Richard Ruth, Rudy Wurlitzer, Jaclyn Hellman, Bill Keller, Harry Dean Stanton
"Drag racing east from Los Angeles in a souped-up ’55 Chevy are the wayward Driver and Mechanic (singer-songwriter James Taylor and the Beach Boys’ Dennis Wilson)… Along the way, they meet Warren Oates’s Pontiac GTO–driving wanderer and challenge him to a cross-country race… But no summary can do justice to the existential punch of Two-Lane Blacktop. With its gorgeous widescreen compositions and sophisticated look at American male obsession, this stripped-down narrative from maverick director Monte Hellman is one of the artistic high points of 1970s cinema, and possibly the greatest road movie ever made." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Vic Pratt, Marcelo Alderete, Rolando Caputo, Regina Schlagnitweit, John Flaus.
473
435
Yellow Earth

Yellow Earth

Huang tu di (original title)
1984 / China / 89m / Col / Family Drama, Rural Drama
Bai Xue, Xueyin Wang, Tuo Tan, Quiang Liu
"The first 'modern' film to emerge from China, and one of the most thrilling debut features of the '80s. Its storyline couldn't be simpler. A Communist soldier visits a backward village in 1939, and is billeted with a taciturn widower and his teenage daughter and son… There are political undercurrents here that got the film into trouble in China… But what really stirred things up in old Beijing was the film's insistence on going its own way. Chen Kaige and his cinematographer Zhang Yimou have invented a new language of colours, shadows, glances, spaces, and unspoken thoughts and implications; and they've made their new language sing." - Tony Rayns, Time Out
Selected by Jia Zhangke, Sek Kei, Sean Cubitt, Anchalee Chaiworaporn, Tom Hunsinger.
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City of God

City of God

Cidade de Deus (original title)
2002 / Brazil-Germany-France / 129m / Col / Crime Drama, Coming-of-Age
Matheus Nachtergaele, Seu Jorge, Alexandre Rodrigues, Leandro Firmino da Hora, Phellipe Haagensen, Douglas Silva, Jonathan Haagensen, Jefechander Suplino, Alice Braga, Roberta Rodriguez Silvia
"Run, don't walk, to the cinema is all I can say. This electrifying picture is part tender coming-of-age film and part gang-warfare epic from the Brazilian slum, or favela, told from the viewpoint of the children who manage to be both its underclass and its criminal overlords. It's a movie with all the dials cranked up to 11, an overwhelming, intoxicating assault on the senses, and a thriller so tense that you might have the red seat plush in front of you - or even some unfortunate's hair - gripped in both fists." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Tata Amaral, Ahmed Atef, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Steven Markovitz, Charity Wakefield.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
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The Dead

The Dead

1987 / USA / 83m / Col / Drama, Period Film
Anjelica Huston, Donal McCann, Helena Carroll, Dan O'Herlihy, Donal Donnelly, Cathleen Delany, Ingrid Craigie, Rachael Dowling, Marie Kean, Frank Patterson
"What looked unimaginative then now appears bold, almost experimental: The Dead sometimes looks a little like an old-style live television broadcast of a stage-play on a single set, but this unitary effect has rigour, clarity and life. Huston holds his nerve and just follows, with eagle-eyed attention to detail, the inconsequential chatter and the to-ings and fro-ings of the dinner-jacketed folk, giving no hint of the final revelation." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Luke Gibbons, Ricardo Bedoya, Stanislav Zelvensky, Toni Ulled, Arancha Aguirre.
470
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Winter Light

Winter Light

Nattvardsgästerna (original title)
1962 / Sweden / 80m / BW / Psychological Drama, Religious Drama
Ingrid Thulin, Gunnar Bjornstrand, Max von Sydow, Gunnel Lindblom, Allan Edwall, Kolbjorn Knudsen, Olof Thunberg, Elsa Ebbesen, Lars-Olof Andersson, Eddie Axberg
"God, why did you desert me?” With Winter Light, master craftsman Ingmar Bergman explores the search for redemption in a meaningless existence. In this stark depiction of spiritual crisis, small-town pastor Tomas Ericsson (Björnstrand) performs his duties mechanically before a dwindling congregation. When he is asked to assist with a troubled parishioner’s (von Sydow) debilitating fear of nuclear annihilation, Tomas is terrified to find that he can provide nothing but his own uncertainty. Beautifully photographed by Sven Nykvist, Winter Light is an unsettling look at the human craving for personal validation in a world seemingly abandoned by God." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Fernando Mendez-Leite, Robert Beeson, Jan Holmberg, David Cox, Catharine Des Forges.
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Casino

Casino

1995 / USA / 182m / Col / Gangster Film, Crime Drama
Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Sharon Stone, James Woods, Don Rickles, Alan King, Kevin Pollak, L.Q. Jones, Dick Smothers, Frank Vincent
"In fascinating detail and with dazzling finesse, Casino lays out how the mob controlled and ultimately lost Las Vegas. Martin Scorsese's intimate epic about money, sex and brute force is a grandly conceived study of what happens to goodfellas from the mean streets when they outstrip their wildest dreams and achieve the pinnacle of wealth and power. An extraordinary piece of filmmaking, the picture is rough and unflinching in ways that won't be to all tastes and, from a commercial point of view, it is certainly open to criticism for its great length and unsavory violence." - Todd McCarthy, Variety
Selected by Ian Christie, Dario Oliveira, Marten Blomkvist, Mikel Olaciregui, Pasquale Iannone.
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Miracle in Milan

Miracle in Milan

Miracolo a Milano (original title)
1951 / Italy / 95m / BW / Fantasy Comedy, Satire
Francesco Golisano, Paolo Stoppa, Emma Gramatica, Guglielmo Barnabo, Brunello Bovo, Anna Carena, Alba Arnova, Flora Cambi, Virgilio Riento, Arturo Bragaglia
"Miracolo a Milano was greeted with sharp denunciation from critics on the Italian right, all of whom accused De Sica of Communist leanings. It was much more wholeheartedly received in the United States… It is a transitional film in De Sica's career, for with it he moved out of the mainstream of neorealism. It remains a charming salute to the hope and perseverance of the common man, enhanced by the consummate cinematography of G.R. Aldo, a melodious score by Alessandro Cicognini and the wholly believable and unprepossessing acting of a cast made up of professional and non-professional actors." - Ronald Bowers, Film Reference
Selected by Les Blank, Marco Ettore Zucchi, Martin Kanuch, Milos Forman, Ed Lachman.
467
453
Dr. Mabuse, The Gambler

Dr. Mabuse, The Gambler

Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler - Ein Bild der Zeit (original title)
1922 / Germany / 270m / BW / Master Criminal Film, Police Detective Film
Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Alfred Abel, Aud Egede Nissen, Gertude Welcker, Bernard Goetzke, Robert Forster-Larrinaga, Paul Richter, Hans Adalbert Schlettow, Georg John, Grete Berger
"Fritz Lang's Dr. Mabuse, The Gambler is often thought of as the place where the director's filmmaking aesthetic springs full-grown to the screen. He had experimented with different aspects of visual style in his earlier works, but it is on this epic -- some four hours long in its original release -- that Lang pulled all of these elements together into the hyper-expressionist style that was identifiable as his. The first of three adaptations of the Norbert Jacques' novels by the renowned director, the film also provided Lang's wife and screenwriter Thea Von Harbou a canvas on which to explore and expand her own work." - Bruce Eder, All Movie
Selected by Raymond Bellour, Glenn Kenny, Noël Burch, Alejandro G. Calvo, Margaret Deriaz.
466
436
The Flowers of St. Francis

The Flowers of St. Francis

Francesco, giullare di Dio (original title); Francis, God's Jester (alternative title)
1950 / Italy / 83m / BW / Religious Drama, Biography
Aldo Fabrizi, Brother Nazario Gerardi, Arabella Lemaitre, Gianfranco Bellini, Pino Locchi, Peparuolo, Fra' Severino Pisacane, Roberto Sorrentino
"In a series of simple and joyous vignettes, director Roberto Rossellini and co-writer Federico Fellini lovingly convey the universal teachings of the People’s Saint: humility, compassion, faith, and sacrifice. Gorgeously photographed to evoke the medieval paintings of Saint Francis’s time, and cast with monks from the Nocera Inferiore Monastery, The Flowers of St. Francis is a timeless and moving portrait of the search for spiritual enlightenment." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Ramin Bahrani, Manohla Dargis, Dan Callahan, Andrew Tracy, Matías Piñeiro.
465
441
The Red Circle

The Red Circle

Le Cercle rouge (original title)
1970 / France-Italy / 150m / Col / Crime Thriller, Post-Noir (Modern Noir)
Alain Delon, Andre Bourvil, Yves Montand, Francois Perier, Gian Maria Volonte, Andre Eykan, Pierre Collet, Paul Crauchet, Paul Amiot, Jean-Pierre Posier
"Alain Delon plays a master thief, fresh out of prison, who crosses paths with a notorious escapee (Volonté) and an alcoholic ex-cop (Montand). The unlikely trio plot a heist, against impossible odds, until a relentless inspector and their own pasts seal their fates. Jean-Pierre Melville’s Le cercle rouge combines honorable antiheroes, coolly atmospheric cinematography, and breathtaking set pieces to create a masterpiece of crime cinema." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Robin Buss, Patrick Keiller, Pedro Almodóvar, Cristina Álvarez López, Ho Yuhang.
464
445
A Taste of Cherry

A Taste of Cherry

Ta'm e guilass (original title)
1997 / Iran / 99m / Col / Drama, Road Movie
Homayon Ershadi, Abdolrahman Bagheri, Afshin Khorshid Bakhtiari, Safar Ali Moradi, Mir Hossein Noori, Ahmad Ansari, Hamid Masoumi, Elham Emami, Ajmad Jahangiri, Nasrolah Amini
"There are plenty of miserablist films about suicide. Why does this one have such power? It is partly because Badii (Ershadi) never invites sympathy or compassion in any conventional way: watching Taste of Cherry I feel gripped; I feel scared, but I don't feel sad – or not exactly. And it is partly because of the implications of what he has in mind... The film has a remarkable austerity and starkness; watching it is like being waylaid by the Ancient Mariner, who grips you with a strange and terrible message in his tale. It is Kiarostami's greatest film." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Thomas Elsaesser, Darrell Roodt, Han Jie, Julie Rigg, Jytte Jensen.
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The Wind

The Wind

1928 / USA / 88m / BW / Drama, Psychological Drama
Lillian Gish, Lars Hanson, Montagu Love, Dorothy Cumming, Edward Earle, William Orlamond, Leon Janney, Carmencita Johnson, Billy Kent Schaefer
"One of cinema's great masterpieces… Swedish emigré Sjöström directs with immaculate attention to psychological detail, while making perfectly credible the film's transition from low-key, naturalistic comedy of manners to full-blown hysterical melodrama. Filmed under extremely difficult conditions on location in the Mojave desert, its climactic sandstorm sequence has to be seen to be believed, although the entire film - erotic, beautiful, astonishing - demonstrates such imagination and assurance that it remains completely modern." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Paolo Mereghetti, Tata Amaral, Núria Bou, Jesús Piquero, Frank Kessler.
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439
Titicut Follies

Titicut Follies

1967 / USA / 87m / BW / Social Issues, Documentary
"Frederick Wiseman's first documentary is a masterpiece of muckraking in which he examines the workings and inhumanities of a state mental hospital in Massachusetts. Wiseman's focus is on the complex relationship among liberal professionals (who come off badly), guards (who come off not so badly), inmates whose only reason for being locked up is that they are “mentally ill” (whatever that means), and inmates who've committed serious crimes and have to be segregated. As with most Wiseman documentaries (High School, Law and Order, Hospital, Basic Training), the emphasis is on institutions and the way they dehumanize." - Don Druker, Chicago Reader
Selected by Ramin Bahrani, Karen Cooper, Tiago Mata Machado, Matthias Müller, Nick Broomfield.
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444
Pinocchio

Pinocchio

1940 / USA / 88m / Col / Children's Fantasy, Animated Musical
Dickie Jones, Christian Rub, Cliff Edwards, Mel Blanc, Don Brodie, Walter Catlett, Marion Darlington, Frankie Darro, Charles Judels, Evelyn Venable
"Pinocchio is a parable for children, and generations have grown up remembering the words "Let your conscience be your guide" and "A lie keeps growing and growing until it's as plain as the nose on your face." The power of the film is generated, I think, because it is really about something. It isn't just a concocted fable or a silly fairy tale, but a narrative with deep archetypal reverberations… Later Disney films would have comparable skill, but not the excitement of discovery. Is it possible to sense, through thousands of individual drawings by dozens of different artists, a collective creative epiphany? I think so." - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
Selected by Jaime Chávarri, Gary Thomas, Peter Machen, Paul Bartel, Chris Butler.
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Dead Ringers

Dead Ringers

1988 / Canada / 115m / Col / Drama, Psychological Thriller
Jeremy Irons, Genevieve Bujold, Heidi von Palleske, Jonathan Haley, Nicholas Haley, Barbara Gordon, Shirley Douglas, Stephen Lack, Nick Nichols, Lynne Cormack
"In Dead Ringers, David Cronenberg tells the chilling story of identical twin gynecologists—suave Elliot and sensitive Beverly, bipolar sides of one personality—who share the same practice, the same apartment, the same women. When a new patient, glamorous actress Claire Niveau, challenges their eerie bond, they descend into a whirlpool of sexual confusion, drugs, and madness. Jeremy Irons’ s tour-de-force performance—as both twins—raises disturbing questions about the nature of personal identity." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Ant Timpson, David O. Mahony, Diego Lerer, Philippa Hawker, Stephen Thrower.
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Accattone

Accattone

Accatone (alternative spelling)
1961 / Italy / 120m / BW / Urban Drama, Psychological Drama
Franco Citti, Franca Pasut, Roberto Scaringella, Silvana Corsini, Paola Guidi, Adriana Asti, Adele Cambria, Luciano Conti, Luciano Gonini, Renato Capogna
"Treating a social milieu Pasolini knew at first hand, his first film as a director was misunderstood by many critics when it was first released as a return to the canons of Italian neo-realism of the '40s and '50s. In fact, its editing style, use of close-ups, dialogue in the Romanesco vernacular - not to mention the Bach score - all betray an originality much more of a piece with Pasolini's later work than with neo-realism." - Rod McShane, Time Out
Selected by Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, Ryan Gilbey, Philippe Parreno, Bernardo Bertolucci, Alberto Pezzotta.
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Fight Club

Fight Club

1999 / USA-Germany / 139m / Col / Satire, Psychological Drama
Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Helena Bonham Carter, Meat Loaf, Jared Leto, Zach Grenier, Eion Bailey, Ezra Buzzington, Richmond Arquette, Joel Bissonnette
"The sardonic, testosterone-fueled science fiction of Fight Club touches a raw nerve. In a film as strange and single-mindedly conceived as Eyes Wide Shut, Fincher's angry, diffidently witty ideas about contemporary manhood unfold. As based on a novel by Chuck Palahniuk (and deftly written by Jim Uhls), it builds a huge, phantasmagorical structure around the search for lost masculine authority, and attempts to psychoanalyze an entire society in the process… This film twists and turns in ways that only add up fully on the way out of the theater and might just require another viewing." - Janet Maslin, The New York Times
Selected by Alejandro Amenábar, Dana Linssen, Pawel Pawlikowski, Duncan Jones, Kike Maíllo.
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442
The Cameraman

The Cameraman

1928 / USA / 69m / BW / Slapstick, Romantic Comedy
Buster Keaton, Marceline Day, Harry Gribbon, Harold Goodwin, Sidney Bracey, Edward Brophy, Richard Alexander, Ray Cooke, Vernon Dent, William Irving
"Buster Keaton's 1928 film on the problems and principles of making movies. Directed by Edward Sedgwick, the film follows the adventures of Keaton as he tries to become a cameraman for the Hearst newsreel company, and it includes some of the best asides on the techniques and psychology of shooting films ever captured in a movie. In many ways it summarizes Keaton's career and makes a marvelous companion piece to his other film-about-film, Sherlock Jr." - Don Druker, Chicago Reader
Selected by Paolo Mereghetti, Fernando Trueba, Clare Stewart, Isaki Lacuesta, Javier Porta Fouz.
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Providence

Providence

1977 / France-Switzerland / 110m / Col / Drama, Ensemble Film
John Gielgud, Dirk Bogarde, Ellen Burstyn, David Warner, Elaine Stritch, Cyril Luckham, Denis Lawson, Kathryn Leigh Scott, Milo Sperber, Samson Fainsilber
"Alain Resnais' first feature in English focuses on the imagination, dreams, and memories of an aging British novelist (Gielgud) over one night as he mentally composes and recomposes his last book… Like all of Resnais' best work, this is shot through with purposeful and lyrical enigmas, but the family profile that emerges is warm and penetrating… The superb performances and Miklos Rozsa's sumptuous Hollywood-style score give the film's conceit a moving monumentality and depth, and Resnais' insights into the fiction-making process are mesmerizing and beautiful." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by Michel Ciment, Gunnar Almer, José Carlos Avellar, Mingchuam Huang, Tacita Dean.
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422
Pasted Graphic

Quince Tree of the Sun

El Sol del membrillo (original title); Dream of Light (alternative title)
1992 / Spain / 133m / Col / Drama, Documentary
Antonio Lopez Garcia, Marina Moreno, Enrique Gran, Maria Lopez, Carmen Lopez, Elisa Ruiz, Jose Carretero, Amalia Aria, Lucia Munoz, Esperanza Parada
"Erice follows Antonio López García, considered by many to be Spain's greatest living painter, in his daily attempts to render the quince tree in his backyard as it appears in autumn's midday sun. By dwelling on the details, Erice makes Garcia's painstaking preparations surprisingly compelling, observing the artist as he surrounds the small tree with an elaborate web of strings and weights to keep his perspective fixed… What begins as a detailed, dramatic look at the artistic process slowly broadens its scope, as Garcia discards one attempt after another, chats with old friends and admiring visitors, and copes with inclement weather." - Keith Phipps, A.V. Club
Selected by Jaime Pena, Jorge García, José Luis Torres Leiva, Koen van Daele, Manuel Asín.
454
417
Tale of Tales

Tale of Tales

Skazka skazok (original title)
1979 / USSR / 29m / Col / Avant-garde-Experimental, Animation
Aleksandr Kalyagin
"It’s as if Norshteyn sat with these images all his life, drawing them with such lucidity and palpable depth of feeling, that they make even the untold hours of ingenuity and laborious craft behind Pixar films feel relatively disposable. It summons a concept of the fermented image: a vision that has stayed with a person for as long as they’ve been breathing, and perhaps beyond that, like the wolf that lurks throughout the film, a folkloric figure as old as Russian blood. It’s a vision that nurtures, like the suckling breast that satiates the infant who sees the wolf just as its eyes pull into sleep." - Kevin B. Lee, Shooting Down Pictures
Selected by Peter Hames, Alexei Popogrebsky, Carolina López Caballero, Clare Kitson, Gareth Evans.
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Farewell, My Concubine

Farewell, My Concubine

Ba wang bie ji (original title)
1993 / Hong Kong-China / 155m / Col / Drama, Romantic Epic
Leslie Cheung, Zhang Fengyi, Gong Li, Lu Qi, Ying Da, Ge You, Li Chun, Lei Han, Tong Di, Ma Mingwei
"Chen Kaige's Farewell My Concubine, the Chinese epic that has proved so troublesome to the Communist authorities at home, is one of those very rare film spectacles that deliver just about everything the ads are likely to promise: action, history, exotic color, multitudes in confrontation, broad overviews of social and political landscapes, all intimately rooted in a love story of vicious intensity, the kind that plays best when it goes badly, which is most of the time." - Vincent Canby, The New York Times
Selected by Pam Cook, Ahmed Atef, Fu Hongxing, Xiaoning Lu, Mei Xuefeng.
452
438
The Lady from Shanghai

The Lady from Shanghai

1948 / USA / 87m / BW / Film Noir, Romantic Mystery
Orson Welles, Rita Hayworth, Everett Sloane, Glenn Anders, Ted De Corsia, Erskine Sanford, Gus Schilling, Carl Frank, Lou Merrill, Evelyn Ellis
"Don't attempt to follow the plot because Welles simply doesn't care enough to make the narrative seamless. Indeed, the principal pleasure of The Lady from Shanghai is its tongue-in-cheek approach to story-telling… One intriguing reading of the movie is that it's a commentary on Welles' marriage to Hayworth - the impossibility of the 'boy genius' maintaining a relationship with a mature woman - and the scene in the hall of mirrors, where the temptress' face is endlessly reflected back at him, stands as a brilliant expressionist metaphor for sexual unease and its accompanying loss of identity. Complex, courageous, and utterly compelling." - Martyn Auty, Time Out
Selected by Greg Mottola, Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, Akira Tochigi, Mark Sinker, Martha P. Nochimson.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
451
423
India Song

India Song

1974 / France / 120m / Col / Avant-garde-Experimental, Psychological Drama
Delphine Seyrig, Michel Lonsdale, Mathieu Carriere, Claude Mann, Vernon Dobtcheff, Didier Flamand, Claude Juan, Satasinh Manila, Nicole Hiss, Monique Simonet
"India Song is radical in both form and content. Like Alain Resnais's L'année dernière à Marienbad, Duras's film offers an ambiguity of narrative—a type of enigma which paradoxically calls for a reading and yet makes any reading tentative. The film asks, who is Anne-Marie Stretter, the protagonist? What is her relation to men? To India? Or to a beggar woman whose destiny somehow parallels her own? In answering these questions or, more precisely, in eluding any definitive answer, the film expresses some important feminist perspectives while making innovations in film narrative." - Rodney Farnsworth, Film Reference
Selected by Drake Stutesman, Henk Camping, Lourdes Monterrubio, Maja Bogojevic, Paul Buck.
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Terra em Transe

Terra em Transe

Land in Anguish (English title); Entranced Earth (alternative title)
1967 / Brazil / 106m / BW / Drama, Political Drama
Jardel Filho, Paulo Autran, Jose Lewgoy, Glauce Rocha, Paulo Gracindo, Hugo Carvana, Danuza Leao, Jofre Soares, Modesto De Souza, Mario Lago
"Terra em Transe, an explosive study of art and politics in the third world, is Glauber Rocha’s most personal film as well as his most brilliant contribution to political cinema… Terra em Transe is a provocative, aggressive, intentionally difficult film, an advanced lesson in reading political and cinematographic significations. It consistently violates our expectations; it withholds spectacle when the story demands it, and denies romance where plot conventions would require it. Even its orgies are anti-erotic. Where we expect sharp political definition, the film gives us poetic, imagistic freedom." - Robert Stamm, Jump Cut
Selected by Bruno Barreto, Violet Lucca, Richard Porton, José Carlos Avellar, Tiago Mata Machado.
449
428
A Night at the Opera

A Night at the Opera

1935 / USA / 92m / BW / Anarchic Comedy, Farce
Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx, Kitty Carlisle, Allan Jones, Margaret Dumont, Sig Ruman, Walter Woolf King, Edward Keane, Robert Emmett O'Connor
"The Marx Brothers at the turning point, just before their gradual descent into mediocrity at the hands of MGM, who wanted their comedy to be rationed and rationalised. It's a top budget job, opulent and meticulous, with its fair share of vices: this is the first Marx Brothers film where you really feel like strangling the romantic leads. But it has even more virtues: there's no Zeppo, the script's generally great (Kaufman and Ryskind), Dumont's completely great, and the Brothers get to perform some of their most irresistible routines - the stateroom scene and all." - Geoff Brown, Time Out
Selected by Ken Russell, Aaron Katz, Isabelle Stever, Daniel Sánchez Arévalo, Elías Querejeta.
448
430
Tropical Malady

Tropical Malady

Sud pralad (original title)
2004 / France-Thailand-Germany-Italy-Switzerland / 118m / Col / Avant-garde-Experimental, Adventure Drama
Banlop Lomnoi, Sakda Kaewbuadee, Sirivech Jareonchon, Huai Dessom, Udom Promma, Saritpong Boonyadiwon
"Tropical Malady is an experiment, a strange, dreamlike meditation on humanity, our need for love and our inner demons. It is actually two films; the first half describes the tender courtship of a soldier and a country boy who works in an ice-cutting plant, then it switches gears to follow another soldier (or is it the same soldier? Both are played by Sakda Kaewbuadee) into the jungle, where he pursues the ghost of a tiger, which at times transforms itself into a shaman... Tropical Malady is an intriguing emotional and intellectual puzzle that made me feel exhilarated and contemplative. There are far too few films that do that." - G. Allen Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle
Selected by Lisandro Alonso, Lalitha Gopalan, Anocha Suwichakornpong, Cristina Nord, Ben Rivers.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
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Trainspotting

Trainspotting

1995 / UK / 95m / Col / Comedy Drama, Addiction Drama
Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller, Ewen Bremner, Kevin McKidd, Robert Carlyle, Kelly Macdonald, Pauline Lynch, Irvine Welsh, Peter Mullan, James Cosmo
"A shocking, painfully subjective trawl through the Edinburgh heroin culture of the 1980s, Irvine Welsh's cult novel is hardly an obvious choice for the team who made Shallow Grave. Yet the film's a triumph. Audaciously punching up the pitch-black comedy, juggling parallel character strands and juxtaposing image, music and voice-over with a virtuosity worthy of Scorsese on peak form, Trainspotting the movie captures precisely Welsh's insolent, amoral intelligence. Amoral, but not unthinking, and certainly not unfeeling… This may not have the weight of 'Great Art', but it crystallises youthful disaffection with the verve of the best and brightest pop culture. A sensation." - Tom Charity, Time Out
Selected by Guido Bonsaver, Claudia Winkleman, Anurag Kashyap, Jon Wright, Oren Peli.
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High Noon

High Noon

1952 / USA / 84m / BW / Western, Psychological Western
Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly, Lloyd Bridges, Thomas Mitchell, Katy Jurado, Otto Kruger, Lon Chaney Jr., Harry Morgan, Ian MacDonald, Eve McVeagh
"The term "psychological Western" has become something of a cliche. If you had to label Fred Zinnemann's masterpiece, it should be called a neo-realist Western on account of the understated performances and Floyd Crosby's stark imagery. Written as a rejoinder to that pro-witchhunt parable, On The Waterfront, this treatise on fidelity to principle is told in real time to add to the suspense and boasts a performance of rare grit and dignity by the finest lawman of them all, Gary Cooper." - David Parkinson, Empire
Selected by Pablo Giorgelli, Billy Bob Thornton, Hao Jian, David Gritten, Bernard van de Popeliere.
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Mon oncle

Mon oncle

My Uncle (English title)
1958 / France / 126m / Col / Satire, Domestic Comedy
Jacques Tati, Jean-Pierre Zola, Adrienne Servantie, Alain Bercourt, Yvonne Arnaud, Lucien Fregis, Betty Schneider, Dominique Marie, J.F. Martial, Andre Dino
"Mon oncle marks Tati's second go-round as the bumbling, pipe-smoking Monsieur Hulot. This time out the character navigates a changing, increasingly modernized suburban landscape, which is at tremendous odds with his quaintly old-world upbringing. It's not a critique so much as a generous, all-encompassing compare-contrast: Tati never uses comedy to thumb his nose, but to uncover the humanity lurking within his rigorously composed frames. The end of Mon Oncle—in which Hulot's relatives send him off to find a full-time, "respectable" job—segues beautifully into Tati's next effort, the astonishing Play Time (1967)." - Keith Uhlich, Time Out New York
Selected by Aki Kaurismäki, Anton Corbijn, Iulia Blaga, David Lynch, Bruno Fornara.
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Heaven's Gate

Heaven's Gate

1980 / USA / 219m / Col / Epic Western, Revisionist Western
Kris Kristofferson, Christopher Walken, John Hurt, Sam Waterston, Brad Dourif, Isabelle Huppert, Joseph Cotten, Jeff Bridges, Geoffrey Lewis, Ronnie Hawkins
"A breathtaking depiction of the promise and perils of America’s western expansion, Heaven’s Gate, directed by Michael Cimino, is among Hollywood’s most ambitious and unorthodox epics. Kris Kristofferson brings his weathered sensuality to the role of a Harvard graduate who relocates to Wyoming as a federal marshal; there, he learns of a government-sanctioned plot by cattle barons to kill the area’s European settlers for their land. The resulting battle is based on the bloody real-life Johnson County War of 1892… Heaven’s Gate is a savage and ravishingly shot take on western movie lore." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Mark Romanek, Roberto Manassero, Kim Young-Jin, Brad Stevens, Antonio Campos.
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Lola

Lola

1961 / France / 90m / BW / Drama, Romance
Anouk Aimee, Marc Michel, Jacques Harden, Elina Labourdette, Alan Scott, Margo Lion, Annie Duperoux, Catherine Lutz, Corinne Marchand, Yvette Anziani
"Soft and evanescent, lyrical but bittersweet, Jacques Demy's first film is like a dream that one enters -- and then recalls for years afterward with absolute pleasure. Filmed in 1961, Lola is an ode to yearning and enchantment -- a valentine to France, to beautiful women, to the foolish but delicious notions of romance that we receive from Hollywood. Anouk Aimee is heavenly as Lola, a dance-hall girl in the port city of Nantes (Demy's hometown). Part phantom and part voluptuary, Lola is the kind of woman who wants "always to be alluring," who wiggles when she walks, who's fond of a drink, who likes to primp and smoke and speak in a breathy voice." - Edward Guthmann, San Francisco Chronicle
Selected by Armond White, David Stratton, Jonathan Romney, Isabelle Stever, John Flaus.
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Alphaville

Alphaville

Alphaville, une étrange aventure de Lemmy Caution (original title)
1965 / France / 95m / BW / Psychological Sci-Fi, Tech Noir
Eddie Constantine, Anna Karina, Howard Vernon, Akim Tamiroff, Laszlo Szabo, Jean-Louis Comolli, Michel Delahaye, Jean-Andre Fieschi, Christa Lang, Jean-Pierre Leaud
"Alphaville is science fiction without special effects. Godard couldn’t afford them in 1965 or ever, but he probably wouldn’t have wanted them even if he’d had unlimited financing. His whole theme, imagination versus logic, is consistent with his deployment of Paris as it was in the ’60s—or at least, those portions of Paris which struck Godard as architectural nightmares of impersonality… You don’t have to be French to enjoy Alphaville. But you have to love movies with high-minded seriousness." - Andrew Sarris, The Criterion Collection
Selected by John McNaughton, Lisandro Alonso, Peter Whitehead, Bruce LaBruce, Ken Hollings.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
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Top Hat

Top Hat

1935 / USA / 99m / BW / Musical Romance, Romantic Comedy
Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Edward Everett Horton, Helen Broderick, Erik Rhodes, Eric Blore, Lucille Ball, Leonard Mudie, Donald Meek, Florence Roberts
"The third Astaire-Rogers movie and one of the best, with a superlative Irving Berlin score, and equally superlative Hermes Pan routines which spark a distinct sexual electricity between the pair. Oddly enough, the film is almost slavishly patterned on The Gay Divorcee, with the scene again shifting from London to a resort (Venice in this case), the plot again turning on mistaken identity, and the comedy again reliant on Horton, Blore and Rhodes. The reason you don't really notice this - with Top Hat readily springing to mind as the archetypal Fred'n'Ginger movie - is the booster given by Van Nest Polglase's stunning white Art Deco designs, which were to set the tone for the series." - Tom Milne, Time Out
Selected by Andrzej Zulawski, Joshua Clover, Martha P. Nochimson, Richard Leacock, Catherine A. Surowiec.
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A Nos Amours

À nos amours

To Our Loves (English title)
1983 / France / 102m / Col / Drama, Coming-of-Age
Sandrine Bonnaire, Dominique Besnehard, Maurice Pialat, Evelyne Ker, Anne-Sophie Maille, Maite Maille, Christophe Odent, Pierre-Loup Rajot, Cyr Boitard, Cyril Collard
"With his raw style of filmmaking, Maurice Pialat has been called the John Cassavetes of French cinema, and the scorching À nos amours is one of his greatest achievements. In a revelatory film debut, the dynamic, fresh-faced Sandrine Bonnaire plays Suzanne, a fifteen-year-old Parisian who embarks on a sexual rampage in an effort to separate herself from her overbearing, beloved father (played with astonishing magnetism by Pialat himself), ineffectual mother, and brutish brother. A tender character study that can erupt in startling violence, À nos amours is one of the high-water marks of eighties French cinema." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Molly Haskell, Nick Pinkerton, Michel Lipkes, Matthew Flanagan, Alexei Popogrebsky.
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The Awful Truth

The Awful Truth

1937 / USA / 92m / BW / Romantic Comedy, Screwball Comedy
Cary Grant, Irene Dunne, Ralph Bellamy, Alex D'Arcy, Cecil Cunningham, Molly Lamont, Esther Dale, Joyce Compton, Robert Allen, Robert Warwick
"Leo McCarey's largely improvised 1937 film is one of the funniest of the screwball comedies, and also one of the most serious at heart. Cary Grant and Irene Dunne are a pair of world-weary socialites who decide to drop the pretense of their wide-open marriage, but fate and Ralph Bellamy draw them together again. The awful truth is that they need each other, and McCarey, with his profound faith in monogamy, leads them gradually and hilariously to that crucial discovery. The issues deepen in a subtle, natural way: the film begins as a trifle and ends as something beautiful and affirmative. A classic." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Peter Bogdanovich, Molly Haskell, Whit Stillman, Jean-Philippe Tessé, Philippa Hawker.
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Charulata

Charulata

The Lonely Wife (English title)
1964 / India / 117m / BW / Drama, Romantic Drama
Soumitra Chatterjee, Madhabi Mukherjee, Shailen Mukherjee, Shyamal Ghoshal, Gitali Roy, Bholanath Koyal, Suku Mukherjee, Dilip Bose, Joydeb, Bankim Ghosh
"This relatively early film by Satyajit Ray, based on a Tagore novel of Victorian India, may be the first of his features in which he really discovers mise-en-scene, and it's an exhilarating encounter. It's typically rich in the nuances of grief and in extraordinarily allusive dialogue, though not very much happens in terms of plot (a sensitive woman is neglected by her newspaper-publisher husband and drawn to his younger cousin). But at every moment, the gorgeous cinematography and expressive camera movements and dissolves have plenty of stories of their own to tell. You shouldn't miss this." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by David Stratton, Philip Kemp, Ain-Ling Wong, Naman Ramachandran, Sanjeev Verma.
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Eyes Wide Shut

Eyes Wide Shut

1999 / USA-UK / 159m / Col / Marriage Drama, Psychological Drama
Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Sydney Pollack, Madison Eginton, Marie Richardson, Rade Serbedzija, Vinessa Shaw, Todd Field, Alan Cumming, LeeLee Sobieski
"Eyes Wide Shut epitomizes Kubrick's commendable and audacious willingness to venture into unexplored territory and risk making a fool of himself. Like Crash and Blue Velvet, two similarly fearless, sexually transgressive but ultimately moralistic films that straddled the fine line between genius and lunacy, Eyes Wide Shut is above all a masterpiece of sustained tone, a tightrope act that pays off in rich and unexpected ways… As deceptively simple as an Aesop fable, and as haunting and enigmatic as a half-remembered dream, Eyes Wide Shut is a towering final achievement from one of cinema's greatest innovators." - Nathan Rabin, A.V. Club
Selected by Craig Keller, Ed Park, Mia Hansen-Løve, Stanislav Zelvensky, Zachary Wigon.
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Withnail & I

Withnail & I

1987 / UK / 105m / Col / Comedy, Buddy Film
Richard E. Grant, Paul McGann, Richard Griffiths, Ralph Brown, Michael Elphick, Daragh O'Malley, Michael Wardle, Una Brandon-Jones, Noel Johnson, Irene Sutcliffe
"London. The 1960s. Two unemployed actors—acerbic, elegantly wasted Withnail (RGrant) and the anxiety-ridden “I” (McGann)—drown their frustrations in booze, pills, and lighter fluid. When Withnail’s Uncle Monty (Griffiths) offers his cottage, they escape the squalor of their flat for a week in the country. They soon realize they’ve gone on holiday by mistake when their wits—and friendship—are sorely tested by violent downpours, less than hospitable locals, and empty cupboards. An intelligent, superbly acted, and hilarious film." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Steven Galvin, Justin Kurzel, Andrew Birkin, Paul Tanter, Sacha Gervasi.
435
432
Salesman

Salesman

1968 / USA / 85m / BW / Culture & Society, Documentary
Paul Brennan, Charles McDevitt, James Baker, Raymond Martos, Melbourne I. Feltman, Margaret McCarron, Kennie Turner
"A landmark American documentary, Salesman captures in vivid detail the bygone era of the door-to-door salesman. While laboring to sell a gold-embossed version of the Good Book, Paul Brennan and his colleagues target the beleaguered masses—then face the demands of quotas and the frustrations of life on the road. Following Brennan on his daily rounds, the Maysles discover a real-life Willy Loman, walking the line from hype to despair." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Heather Hendershot, J.M. Tyree, Mike Maggiore, Bart Weiss, Ethan Coen.
434
433
The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser

The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser

Jeder für sich und Gott gegen alle (original title); Every Man for Himself and God Against All (alternative title)
1974 / West Germany / 110m / Col / Psychological Drama, Biography
Bruno S., Walter Ladengast, Brigitte Mira, Herbert Achternbusch, Wolfgang Bauer, Wilhelm Bayer, Gloria Doer, Willy Semmelrogge, Volker Prechtel, Enno Patalas
"The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser is a poignant, visually exquisite allegory of how civilization breeds despair. Based on a true story similar to the case in François Truffaut's The Wild Child (1970), Herzog's rendering of isolated, preverbal foundling Kaspar Hauser's release into the world as an adult reveals the perverse effects of "rational" thought and culture on natural, soulful innocence… Along with Herzog's odd angles and compositions, former mental patient Bruno S.'s ethereal, evocatively affectless performance as Kaspar makes him both endearing and strange, emphasizing his impossible place in 19th century society." - Lucia Bozzola, All Movie
Selected by Dieter Kosslick, Goran Gocic, Julian Jarrold, Lenny Abrahamson, Michael Dudok de Wit.
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Down by Law

Down by Law

1986 / USA / 107m / BW / Comedy, Buddy Film
Tom Waits, John Lurie, Roberto Benigni, Nicoletta Braschi, Ellen Barkin, Billie Neal, Rockets Redglare, Verne Barneris, Timothea, L.C. Drane
"Director Jim Jarmusch followed up his brilliant breakout film Stranger Than Paradise with another, equally beloved portrait of loners and misfits in the American landscape. When fate brings together three hapless men—an unemployed disc jockey (Waits), a small-time pimp (Lurie), and a strong-willed Italian tourist (Benigni)—in a Louisiana prison, a singular adventure ensues. Described by Jarmusch as a “neo-Beat noir comedy,” Down by Law is part nightmare and part fairy tale, featuring sterling performances and crisp black-and-white cinematography by the esteemed Robby Müller." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Yôjirô Takita, Andreas Dresen, Baltasar Komákur, Mania Akbari, Warwick Thornton.
432
412
Land Without Bread

Land Without Bread

Las Hurdes (original title)
1932 / Spain / 28m / BW / Culture & Society, Documentary
Abel Jacquin
"A powerful and important 1932 documentary by Luis Buñuel on the monstrous conditions of life in the very poorest section of western Spain, Las Hurdes, not far from the Portuguese border. The film is doubly horrifying because of the matter-of-fact commentary written by poet Pierre Unik and spoken on the soundtrack as if the scenes of misery and degradation were parts of an ordinary travelogue." - Don Druker, Chicago Reader
Selected by Álvaro Arroba, Antonio Delgado, Bill Nichols, Lola Hinojosa, Nico Baumbach.
431
425
Woman in the Dunes

Woman in the Dunes

Suna no onna (original title); Woman of the Dunes (alternative title)
1964 / Japan / 127m / BW / Avant-garde-Experimental, Psychological Drama
Eiji Okada, Kyoko Kishida, Hiroko Ito, Koji Mitsui, Sen Yano, Ginzo Sekiguchi, Kiyohiko Ichiha, Hiroyuki Nishimoto, Tamotsu Tamura, Hideo Kanze
"One of the sixties’ great international art-house sensations, Woman in the Dunes was for many the grand unveiling of the surreal, idiosyncratic worldview of Hiroshi Teshigahara. Eija Okada plays an amateur entomologist who has left Tokyo to study an unclassified species of beetle that resides in a remote, vast desert; when he misses his bus back to civilization, he is persuaded to spend the night in the home of a young widow (Kishida) who lives in a hut at the bottom of a sand dune. What results is one of cinema’s most bristling, unnerving, and palpably erotic battles of the sexes, as well as a nightmarish depiction of everyday Sisyphean struggle." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Yorgos Lanthimos, David Flint, Andrey Zvyagintsev, Mike D'Angelo, Ben Rivers.
430
414
The Long Goodbye

The Long Goodbye

1973 / USA / 112m / Col / Mystery, Post-Noir (Modern Noir)
Elliott Gould, Nina Van Pallandt, Sterling Hayden, Mark Rydell, Henry Gibson, David Arkin, Jim Bouton, Warren Berlinger, Jo Ann Brody, Arnold Schwarzenegger
"Robert Altman's 1973 neo-noir was a minor hit upon its initial release, but it's never made it into the pantheon with Nashville and McCabe & Mrs. Miller, despite being (at least) their equal. Elliot Gould is brilliantly cast against type as Philip Marlowe, a sleepy caricature of Chandler's hard-boiled private eye… Altman uses the detective genre as a tool to investigate itself, which in this case means peeling back the layers of artifice from a Los Angeles where even security guards do Barbara Stanwyck impressions… The result is a reinvention of the genre that has rarely been matched (Miller's Crossing is neck-and-neck) and never been surpassed." - Sam Adams, Philadelphia City Paper
Selected by Yorgos Lanthimos, Guy Maddin, Nick Roddick, Andrew Lampert, Andrew Pulver.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
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427
The Tree of Wooden Clogs

The Tree of Wooden Clogs

L'Albero degli zoccoli (original title)
1978 / Italy / 185m / Col / Rural Drama, Family Drama
Luigi Ornaghi, Francesca Moriggi, Omar Brignoli, Antonio Ferrari, Teresa Brescianini, Giuseppe Brignoli, Carlo Rota, Pasqualina Brolis, Massimo Fratus, Francesco Villa
"The Tree of Wooden Clogs was taken from stories Olmi's grandmother told him. Using peasants from the area as actors, it was made with direct sound (very unusual in Italy)… Its strength lies not just in its ravishing depiction of the changing seasons in a stunning part of Lombardy nor in its human sympathies, which are never patronising to the ordinary people he finds so unordinary, but in its measured, cumulative approach to the hard life of those close to penury and exploited by the powerful. For instance, the tree of the title is cut down by a father to make a pair of clogs for his son to reach school. For which he pays a terrible price." - Derek Malcolm, The Guardian
Selected by Mike Leigh, Charles Burnett, Ken Loach, Zdena Škapová, Alessandro Uccelli.
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Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Wo hu cang long (original title)
2000 / Taiwan-Hong Kong-USA-China / 120m / Col / Martial Arts, Romantic Adventure
Chow Yun-Fat, Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi, Chen Chang, Sihung Lung, Pei-pei Cheng, Fazeng Li, Xian Gao, Yan Hai, Deming Wang
"During the final scene in the work of daredevil cinematic artistry that is Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, a major character makes a leap of faith by diving off a mountain into thin air. My advice is that you approach this heartfelt fable with the same outlook and let director Ang Lee be your wings. Here is the kind of filmmaking magic that we've been missing for ages. Lee, the Taiwanese master who made his reputation in America with Sense and Sensibility and The Ice Storm, uses breathless storytelling, ravishing romance and martial-arts miracles to sweep us into adventures beyond our imagining. It's great, gorgeous fun." - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
Selected by Carrie Rickey, Jeon Chanil, Nandini Ramnath, Ceng Xuanchun, Huang Haikun.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
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418
The Sound of Music

The Sound of Music

1965 / USA / 174m / Col / Musical, Drama
Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Eleanor Parker, Richard Haydn, Peggy Wood, Charmian Carr, Heather Menzies, Nicholas Hammond, Duane Chase, Angela Cartwright
"It's hard to tune into The Sound of Music these days without being deafened by the noises off; that caterwauling chorus of adoration, ridicule, reverence and contempt that has dogged the film since its release back in 1965. But check your cynicism at the door: Robert Wise's adaptation of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical still has a little soul in its bones, with its reactionary nature tempered by Ernest Lehman's supple screenplay, and its elephantine running-time eased by a set of songs that lodge in your system like hookworms." - Xan Brooks, The Guardian
Selected by Peter Whitehead, Jane Giles, Ole Bornedal, Slavoj Zizek, Li Zhanpeng.
426
407
Daisies

Daisies

Sedmikrasky (original title)
1966 / Czechoslovakia / 76m / Col-BW / Avant-garde-Experimental, Satire
Jitka Cerhova, Ivana Karbanova, Julius Albert, Marie Ceskova, Jan Klusak, Jirina Myskova, Marcela Brezinova, Dr. Oldrich Hora, Josef Konicek, Jaromir Vomacka
"Maybe the New Wave’s most anarchic entry, Věra Chytilová’s absurdist farce follows the misadventures of two brash young women. Believing the world to be “spoiled,” they embark on a series of pranks in which nothing—food, clothes, men, war—is taken seriously. Daisies is an aesthetically and politically adventurous film that’s widely considered one of the great works of feminist cinema." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by B. Ruby Rich, Claire Monk, Ariel Schweitzer, Hynek Pallas, Pavel Jech.
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Tootsie

Tootsie

1982 / USA / 116m / Col / Showbiz Comedy, Romantic Comedy
Dustin Hoffman, Jessica Lange, Teri Garr, Dabney Coleman, Charles Durning, Bill Murray, Sydney Pollack, George Gaynes, Geena Davis, Doris Belack
"The studio system collapsed in the '60s, but every now and then, attentive mainstream filmmakers are able to recreate the creative conditions that produced so many seamless prestige pictures during Hollywood's Golden Age. In many ways, the 1982 comedy Tootsie is a product of its time, from its bustling Dave Grusin score to its "boy, those modern women sure have it tough" theme. But it's also a study in craft, put together by a crew of actors, writers, and technicians at the top of their games. It's that rarest of high-toned Hollywood products: a pointed farce that ticks like a clock and rings like a bell." - Noel Murray, A.V. Club
Selected by Kenneth Branagh, Ray Lawrence, Cameron Crowe, J.J. Abrams, Judd Apatow.
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Stromboli

Stromboli

Stromboli, terra di Dio (Italian title)
1949 / Italy / 107m / BW / Melodrama, Marriage Drama
Ingrid Bergman, Mario Vitale, Renzo Cesana, Mario Sponzo, Gaetano Famularo
"Roberto Rossellini's 1949 masterwork. Ingrid Bergman plays a young woman displaced by the war, who marries a young fisherman in order to free herself from an internment camp. But she doesn't fit into his island society, and the more she tries to escape, the more spiritually isolated she feels. Rossellini's technique is thoroughly modern: it could have been made last week, or next year, by Jean-Luc Godard. The island setting is made solid and real, but the landscape still carries a powerful metaphorical force. The ending seems all the more beautiful for being dramatically arbitrary: grace enters Bergman's life at the brink of a volcano." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Adriano Aprà, Alberto Pezzotta, Alan Pauls, Chung Sung-ill, Isild Le Besco.
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395
Closely Watched Trains

Closely Watched Trains

Ostre sledované vlaky (original title); Closely Observed Trains (UK title)
1966 / Czechoslovakia / 89m / BW / War, Comedy Drama
Vaclav Neckar, Jitka Bendova, Vladimir Valenta, Josef Somr, Vlastimil Brodsky, Jiri Menzel, Libuse Havelkova, Alois Vachek, Jitka Zelenohorska, Ferdinand Kruta
"At a village railway station in occupied Czechoslovakia, a bumbling dispatcher’s apprentice longs to liberate himself from his virginity. Oblivious to the war and the resistance that surrounds him, this young man embarks on a journey of sexual awakening and self-discovery, encountering a universe of frustration, eroticism, and adventure within his sleepy backwater depot. Wry and tender, Academy Award-winning Closely Watched Trains is a masterpiece of human observation and one of the best-loved films of the Czech New Wave." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Mike Newell, Ken Loach, Andrew Pulver, Alexey Medvedev, Gusztáv Schubert.
422
398
Alexander Nevsky

Alexander Nevsky

Aleksandr Nevskiy (original title)
1938 / USSR / 107m / BW / Historical Epic, Biography
Nikolai Cherkasov, Nikolai Okhlopkov, Andrei Abrikosov, Dmitri Orlov, Vasili Novikov, Nicolai Arsky, Varvara Massalitinova, Vera Ivashova, Aleksandra Danilova, Vladimir Yershov
"Eisenstein drew on history, Russian folk narratives, and the techniques of Walt Disney to create this broadly painted epic of Russian resilience. This story of Teutonic knights vanquished by Prince Alexander Nevsky’s tactical brilliance resonated deeply with a Soviet Union concerned with the rise of Nazi Germany. Widely imitated—most notably by Laurence Olivier’s Battle of Agincourt re-creation for Henry V—the Battle on the Ice scene remains one of the most famous audio-visual experiments in film history, perfectly blending action with the rousing score of Sergei Prokofiev."- The Criterion Collection
Selected by Béla Tarr, Gary Indiana, Martin Tudor Caranfil, Guy Hamilton, Mary Harron.
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Raise the Red Lantern

Raise the Red Lantern

Da hong deng long gao gao gua (original title)
1991 / Hong Kong / 125m / Col / Period Film, Marriage Drama
Gong Li, Ma Jingwu, He Caifei, Cao Cuifeng, Jin Shuyuan, Kong Lin, Ding Weimin, Cui Zhihgang, Chu Xiao, Cao Zhengyin
"Raise the Red Lantern, a magnificent film that confirms Zhang as a world-class director… The setting is northern China in the Twenties. The teenage Songlian (Gong Li) marries the fiftyish Chen (Ma Jingwu), a rich and ruthless man who already has three wives. Each night, servants raise a red lantern in front of the door of the wife whom the master decides to reward with his sexual favors. The struggle among the wives for power, or at least the appearance of it, allows Zhang to suggest disturbing links between past and present. Gong Li delivers a performance of exquisite expressiveness that, like the film itself, is unnerving in its emotional nakedness." - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
Selected by Girish Kasaravalli, Jerry Schatzberg, Keren Yedaya, Khalo Matabane, Richard Woolley.
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Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks

Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks

2003 / China / 551m / Col / Culture & Society, Documentary
"Bracketed by stunning long shots taken from the front of a moving freight train, Wang Bing’s epic, three-part documentary is an astonishingly intimate record of China’s painful transition from state-run industry to a free market… Wang and his sound engineer, Lin Xudong, painstakingly document the death throes of the Tie Xi industrial district in the city of Shenyang, in northeast China, a once-vibrant symbol of a thriving socialist economy. As factories close and workers lose not only their jobs but also their homes and social networks, the filmmakers patiently observe the end of an era and the fortitude of those left floundering in its wake." - Jeannette Catsoulis, The New York Times
Selected by João Moreira Salles, Sukhdev Sandhu, Berenice Reynaud, Lou Ye, Andrew Šprah.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
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The Hustler

The Hustler

1961 / USA / 135m / BW / Drama, Sports Drama
Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason, George C. Scott, Piper Laurie, Myron McCormick, Murray Hamilton, Michael Constantine, Stefan Gierasch, Jake LaMotta, Gordon B. Clarke
"Newman is Fast Eddie, doing his best to convince the world that he can take on Minnesota Fats (Gleason) at pool and walk away with the world title. As always with Walter Tevis (the author of the original book), it takes defeat, and a longish dark night of the soul with Laurie, a drunken, lame waif of a woman, before he can summon the self-respect to return to battle. Rossen allows much space to the essentially concentrated, enclosed scenes of the film, and so it rests solidly on its performances. A wonderful hymn to the last true era when men of substance played pool with a vengeance." - Chris Peachment, Time Out
Selected by Jeff Nichols, Michael Apted, Borja Cobeaga, Carlos Boyero, Bob Ellis.
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The Asphalt Jungle

The Asphalt Jungle

1950 / USA / 112m / BW / Crime Thriller, Film Noir
Sterling Hayden, Louis Calhern, Jean Hagen, James Whitmore, Sam Jaffe, John McIntire, Marilyn Monroe, Marc Lawrence, Barry Kelley, Anthony Caruso
"An early masterclass in the art of the caper movie, John Huston's 1950 thriller stands up wonderfully well, even if we've got used to far more convoluted scheming by movie robbers in the intervening period. One of The Asphalt Jungle's strengths is that the crims seem about as thick as you suspect they would be in real life: no Cruise or Clooney-style braniac super-athletes here… It all looks fabulous too, a Brechtian ode to the urban wasteland." - Andrew Pulver, The Guardian
Selected by Mike Hodges, Monte Hellman, Alejandro Agresti, Dusan Makavejev, Philip Kaufman.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
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Day for Night

Day for Night

La Nuit américaine (original title)
1973 / France / 120m / Col / Comedy Drama, Showbiz Drama
Jacqueline Bisset, Valentina Cortese, Jean-Pierre Aumont, Francois Truffaut, Jean-Pierre Leaud, Dani, Alexandra Stewart, Jean Champion, Nathalie Baye, Bernard Menez
"Set in Nice's Victorine Studios, where it was filmed, Day for Night is a touching, funny and accurate account of the travails (accidents, disputes, affairs, imbroglios, death) involved in the making of an all-star international picture called Je vous présente Paméla. It is a Pirandellian affair, an elegiac celebration of a dying kind of cinema, a meditation on the connection between film and life by Truffaut, who plays Ferrand, the film's constantly troubled yet dedicated director, a man much like himself." - Philip French, The Observer
Selected by Dávid Klág, Mohamed Khan, Alan Rudolph, Michael Dwyer, Lorenzo Rossi.
416
415
The Young Girls of Rochefort

The Young Girls of Rochefort

Les Demoiselles de Rochefort (original title)
1967 / France / 124m / Col / Romance, Musical
Catherine Deneuve, Francoise Dorleac, George Chakiris, Jacques Perrin, Michel Piccoli, Jacques Riberolles, Grover Dale, Henri Cremieux, Danielle Darrieux, Gene Kelly
"There’s an enchanting minor strain in French cinema devoted to visually reproducing the heady sensation of going to the cinema. And so it is with Jacques Demy’s pastel-hued masterpiece Les Demoiselles de Rochefort, a luminous musical about dreams, romance and destiny which lovingly reworks the classic Hollywood ‘putting on a show’ template into an essay on the emotional rollercoaster ride that is movie-going… The film centres on Catherine Deneuve and Françoise Dorléac as the ‘pair of twins, born in the sign of Gemini’ looking to escape the sleepy environs of Rochefort for life in the big city… See it, and swoon." - David Jenkins, Time Out
Selected by Michael Omasta, Keith Uhlich, David Jenkins, Girish Shambu, Gertrud Koch.
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Short Cuts

Short Cuts

1993 / USA / 189m / Col / Ensemble Film, Urban Drama
Tim Robbins, Lily Tomlin, Tom Waits, Matthew Modine, Frances McDormand, Andie MacDowell, Annie Ross, Jack Lemmon, Madeleine Stowe, Peter Gallagher
"The visions of two great American artists merge in Short Cuts, maverick director Robert Altman’s kaleidoscopic adaptation of Raymond Carver short stories. Epic in scale yet meticulously observed, the film interweaves the lives of twenty-two characters struggling to find solace and meaning in contemporary Los Angeles. The extraordinary ensemble cast includes Tim Robbins, Julianne Moore, Robert Downey, Jr., Jack Lemmon, and Jennifer Jason Leigh; all giving fearless performances in one of Altman’s most compassionate creations." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Destin Daniel Cretton, Beat Glur, Klaus Kreimeier, Mani Haghighi, Matthew Leyland.
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Barren Lives

Barren Lives

Vidas Secas (original title)
1963 / Brazil / 103m / BW / Drama, Rural Drama
Atila Iorio, Maria Ribeiro, Orlando Macedo, Jofre Soares, Gilvan Lima, Genivaldo Lima
"Widely considered a landmark of the nation's cinema, Santos's Vidas Secas is no less radical a cultural examination than Rocha's Black God, White Devil the following year, yet where Rocha gets Godard-medieval on the camera's ass, Santos keeps his lenses squarely focused on the barren lives of his characters, the gaze as concentrated as the sun blasting the arid expanses of Brazil's northeast." - Fernando F. Croce, Slant Magazine
Selected by Fernando Meirelles, Walter Salles, Carlos Reichenbach, Billy Woodberry, José Carlos Avellar.
413
392
Triumph of the Will

Triumph of the Will

Triumph des Willens (original title)
1935 / Germany / 110m / BW / Propaganda Film, Documentary
Adolf Hitler, Max Amann, Martin Bormann, Walter Buch, Walter Darre, Otto Dietrich, Sepp Dietrich, Hans Frank, Josef Goebbels, Hermann Goring
"Triumph of the Will is one of the greatest examples of film propaganda ever made. Commissioned by Hitler, Leni Riefenstahl recorded the 1934 Nuremberg National Socialist Party rally, transforming it through innovative editing, montage, and lighting into a frighteningly impressive work of indoctrination… Its influence on post-war cinema has been long-lasting, and the contemporary advertising industry uses many of the techniques used to such great effect in the film to capture the minds and thoughts of the audience: the repetition of motifs, montage, and a use of emotive and stirring music to manipulate the audience." - A. Pillai, Film Reference
Selected by Amir Emary, Amos Poe, Richard Sowada, Dusan Makavejev, Denys Arcand.
412
381
In a Year with 13 Moons

In a Year with 13 Moons

In einem Jahr mit 13 Monden (original title); In a Year of 13 Moons (alternative title)
1978 / West Germany / 129m / Col / Drama, Psychological Drama
Volker Spengler, Ingrid Caven, Gottfried John, Elisabeth Trissenaar, Eva Mattes, Gunther Kaufmann, Lilo Pempeit, Isolde Barth, Karl Scheydt, Walter Bockmayer
"Another story about the crazy things people do for love, In A Year With 13 Moons details the lonely street life of a Frankfurt drifter who had a sex-change operation in Casablanca years earlier… Structurally radical and emotionally operatic, the film links several bravura set pieces, including a monologue on self-mutilation set on the killing floor of a slaughterhouse, a long take of a nun recalling Spengler's harrowing childhood at an orphanage… At once melodramatic and coolly distant, wrenching and clinical, Fassbinder's character study never telegraphs the "right" way to respond to it, which leaves viewers with plenty to sort out afterwards." - Scott Tobias, A.V. Club
Selected by Stanley Kwan, Laurence Kardish, Cristina Nord, Ed Gonzalez, Emily Wardill.
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Monty Python's Life of Brian

Monty Python's Life of Brian

Life of Brian (alternative title)
1979 / UK / 93m / Col / Parody/Spoof, Religious Comedy
Terry Jones, Graham Chapman, Michael Palin, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Carol Cleveland, Kenneth Colley, Gwen Taylor, Terence Bayler
"From the opening sequence, in which Brian is born in a manger next door to Joseph and Mary's, to the classic closing musical number of "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life," sung by a chorus of crucified criminals, Life of Brian leaves no piety unscathed. And it's the apotheosis of Pythonesque humor, an absurdist grab bag of the non sequiturs, puns and bawdy Britishisms that endeared the comedy troupe to the generation of Americans who came of age during the run of "Monty Python's Flying Circus" on TV in the 1970s… The movie still holds up beautifully, as both pointed satire and silly, stakes-free comedy." - Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
Selected by Andrew Kotting, Bence Fliegauf, Karen Oughton, Nancy Savoca, Michel Chion.
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Gimme Shelter

Gimme Shelter

1970 / USA / 91m / Col / Music, Documentary
Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts, Keith Richards, Mick Taylor, Bill Wyman, Marty Balin, Sonny Barger, Melvin Belli, Dick Carter, Jack Casady
"Called the greatest rock film ever made, this landmark documentary follows the Rolling Stones on their notorious 1969 U.S. tour. When three hundred thousand members of the Love Generation collided with a few dozen Hells Angels at San Francisco’s Altamont Speedway, Direct Cinema pioneers David and Albert Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin were there to immortalize on film the bloody slash that transformed a decade’s dreams into disillusionment." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Derek Cianfrance, Todd Phillips, Ally Derks, Charlotte Cook, Richard Sowada.
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Strangers on a Train

Strangers on a Train

1951 / USA / 101m / BW / Psychological Thriller, Crime Thriller
Farley Granger, Robert Walker, Ruth Roman, Leo G. Carroll, Patricia Hitchcock, Laura Elliott, Marion Lorne, Howard St. John, Jonathan Hale, John Brown
"Strangers on a Train is subversively ghoulish even by director Alfred Hitchcock's standards. The film, taken from an early novel by Patricia Highsmith, has an irresistibly pragmatic hook: Two men, both of whom are tormented by respective intimate persons they wish to off, will trade murders so as to properly prepare much-needed alibis… Strangers on a Train is also simply a great thriller, yet another illustration of Hitchcock's awe-inspiring ability to convey more with a single image than most directors can with minutes upon minutes of belabored set pieces." - Chuck Bowen, Slant Magazine
Selected by Whit Stillman, Mike Newell, Pen-Ek Ratanaruang, Albert Maysles, Jonathan Lynn.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
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La Region centrale

La Région centrale

1971 / Canada / 180m / Col / Avant-garde-Experimental, Drama
"One of the classics of conceptual filmmaking, Michael Snow's three-hour film is a landscape study with a vengeance: a camera, equipped with a remote-controlled zooming and panning device, was set up in a remote area in northern Canada, and made to go through every possible permutation of camera angle and focal length as it probed the surrounding wilderness. The resulting footage finds a strange beauty in the constant tension between the mechanical, mathematically determined operations of the camera and the chance transformations of the landscape as it's raked by the light of the passing day." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Tom Gunning, Michelangelo Frammartino, Peter Rist, Andréa Picard, José Luis Torres Leiva.
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Dersu Uzala

Dersu Uzala

1975 / USSR-Japan / 144m / Col / Drama, Adventure Drama
Maksim Munzuk, Yuri Solomin, Mikhail Bychkov, Suimenkul Chokmorov, Svetlana Danilchenko, Dmitri Korshikov, Vladimir Kremena, Aleksandr Pyatkov, B. Khorulev, Sovetbek Dzhumadylov
"Akira Kurosawa transcends the confines of traditional cinema with the startling imagery and camerawork of Dersu Uzala… To define Dersu Uzala as a story about an aboriginal tribesman is to describe humanity through a two-dimensional photograph. Dersu Uzala is an allegory for the environmental toll of civilization, a testament to a profound, enduring friendship, and a heartbreaking portrait of aging and obsolescence." - Acquarello, Strictly Film School
Selected by Rolf De Heer, Karl Markovics, Masoud Amralla Al Ali, Mingchuam Huang, Robert Gardner.
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Kagemusha

Kagemusha

Shadow Warrior (alternative title)
1980 / Japan / 159m / Col / Historical Epic, Samurai Film
Tatsuya Nakadai, Tsutomu Yamazaki, Kenichi Hagiwara, Jinpachi Nezu, Shuji Otaki, Daisuke Ryu, Masayuki Yui, Kaori Momoi, Mitsuko Baisho, Hideo Murota
"When a warlord dies, a peasant thief is called upon to impersonate him, and then finds himself haunted by the warlord’s spirit as well as his own ambitions. In his late, color masterpiece Kagemusha, Akira Kurosawa returns to the samurai film and to a primary theme of his career—the play between illusion and reality. Sumptuously reconstructing the splendor of feudal Japan and the pageantry of war, Kurosawa creates a historical epic that is also a meditation on the nature of power." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Carlos Saura, David Robinson, Evans Chan, Josué Méndez, Oliver Schmitz.
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Tree of Life

The Tree of Life

2011 / USA / 139m / Col / Drama, Family Drama
Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain, Hunter McCracken, Laramie Eppler, Tye Sheridan, Fiona Shaw, Jessica Fuselier, Nicolas Gonda, Will Wallace
"Terrence Malick's mad and magnificent film descends slowly, like some sort of prototypical spaceship: it's a cosmic-interior epic of vainglorious proportions, a rebuke to realism, a disavowal of irony and comedy, a meditation on memory, and a gasp of horror and awe at the mysterious inevitability of loving, and losing those we love... This is visionary cinema on an unashamedly huge scale: cinema that's thinking big. Malick makes an awful lot of other film-makers look timid and negligible by comparison." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by David Denby, Roger Ebert, Guy Maddin, Fernando Meirelles, Juan Antonio Bayona.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
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Salvatore Giuliano

Salvatore Giuliano

1961 / Italy / 125m / BW / Crime, Political Drama
Frank Wolff, Salvo Randone, Frederico Zardi, Sennuccio Benelli, Giuseppe Calandra, Pietro Cammarata, Max Cartier, Nando Cicero, Giuseppe Teti, Cosimo Torino
"Filming in the exact locations and enlisting a cast of native Sicilians once impacted by the real Salvatore Giuliano, director Francesco Rosi harnessed the facts and myths surrounding the true story of the bandit’s death to create a startling exposé of Sicily and the tangled relations between its citizens, the Mafia, and government officials. A groundbreaking work of political filmmaking, Salvatore Giuliano established Rosi’s reputation and assured his place in cinema history." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Michel Ciment, Martin Scorsese, Dan Georgakas, Firat Yucel, Gary Crowdus.
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Toy Story

Toy Story

1995 / USA / 80m / Col / Fantasy Comedy, Animation
Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles, Jim Varney, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Annie Potts, John Morris, Erik von Detten, R. Lee Ermey
"Seeing Toy Story, I felt some of the same exhilaration I felt during Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Both movies take apart the universe of cinematic visuals, and put it back together again, allowing us to see in a new way. Toy Story is not as inventive in its plotting or as clever in its wit as Rabbit or such Disney animated films as Beauty and the Beast… Its best pleasures are for the eyes. But what pleasures they are! Watching the film, I felt I was in at the dawn of a new era of movie animation, which draws on the best of cartoons and reality, creating a world somewhere in between, where space not only bends but snaps, crackles and pops." - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
Selected by Brad Bird, Tim J. Smith, Paul Wells, Lisa Mullen, Jane Lamacraft.
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Doctor Zhivago

Doctor Zhivago

1965 / USA / 197m / Col / Romantic Epic, Period Film
Omar Sharif, Julie Christie, Geraldine Chaplin, Tom Courtenay, Alec Guinness, Siobhan McKenna, Rod Steiger, Ralph Richardson, Rita Tushingham, Adrienne Corri
"As a love story played out against the background of a sweeping march of historical events, Doctor Zhivago is comparable to Gone With the Wind. Adapted from a complex novel by Boris Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago follows the tribulations of a Moscow doctor (Sharif) exiled by the Bolsheviks for writing poetry and separated from his true love (Christie). Director David Lean does for snow what he did for sand in his previous epic, Lawrence of Arabia… Overly long at three-hours-plus, it's chock full of terrific images and gorgeous landscapes, to which the story at times becomes secondary." - Michael Betzold, All Movie
Selected by Irina-Margareta Nistor, Youngmee Hwang, Floyd Mutrux, Mark L. Lester, Raymond Lee.
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Happy Together

Happy Together

Xi qi bi ren (original title)
1997 / Hong Kong / 97m / Col / Romance, Drama
Leslie Cheung, Tony Leung, Chen Chang, Gregory Dayton
"Loose, buoyant and bracingly original, Happy Together is the story of a gay couple who are miserable together and incapable of doing much about it. On vacation in Argentina, Lai and Ho, played by Chinese superstars Tony Leung and Leslie Cheung, are at the literal (and emotional) edge of their world… Rather than being enslaved by the forms and formulas of the Hollywood movies he grew up on, Wong has twisted, eviscerated and redefined film technique. His film is a splash of cold, fresh water on the face of a tired, over-fed beast." - Edward Guthmann, San Francisco Chronicle
Selected by Gregg Araki, Edgardo Cozarinsky, Eva af Geijerstam, Jane Yu, Marcelo Alderete.