The 1,000 Greatest Films (600-501)

The banner image above is from Luis Buñuel’s That Obscure Object of Desire.
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551
Funny Games

Funny Games


1997 / Austria / 108m / Col / Crime Thriller, Psychological Thriller
Susanne Lothar, Ulrich Muhe, Frank Giering, Arno Frisch, Stefan Clapczynski, Doris Kunstmann, Christoph Bantzer, Wolfgang Gluck, Susanne Meneghel, Monika Zallinger
"Funny Games, a blood-curdling portrait of a family imprisoned in its idyllic summer home by a pair of sadistic killers, puts that question to the test. This beautifully acted and paced German variant of Cape Fear is tricked out with a number of Brechtian devices to catch audiences in a voyeuristic trance. Twice in a film that is predominantly hyper-realistic, one of the killers turns to the camera with a conspiratorial leer and asks the wordless question: What are you looking at and why?" - Stephen Holden, The New York Times
Selected by Jaime Chávarri, David Michôd, Git Scheynius, Mania Akbari, Oliver Schmitz.
599
585
A Place in the Sun

A Place in the Sun


1951 / USA / 122m / BW / Romantic Drama, Psychological Drama
Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor, Shelley Winters, Anne Revere, Keefe Brasselle, Raymond Burr, Fred Clark, Herbert Heyes, Shepperd Strudwick, Frieda Inescort
"When producer-director George Stevens made A Place in the Sun, based on the highly successful novel, An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser, he faced the difficult job of turning a popular book into a worthwhile film… Stevens uses montage, close-ups, and very slow scenes to create an almost dream like atmosphere. The plot moves along slowly but with great fluidity… A Place in the Sun is a significant film not only because of excellent performances elicited from Clift and Taylor, but also because of the society it depicts." - A. Pillai, Film Reference
Selected by Laurent Jullier, Tony Krawitz, David Siegel, Drake Doremus, Dennis Hopper.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
598
497
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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Songs from the Second Floor

Songs from the Second Floor

Sånger från andra våningen (original title)

2000 / Sweden-France-Denmark-Norway-Germany / 98m / Col / Surrealist Film, Black Comedy
Lars Nordh, Stefan Larsson, Hanna Eriksson, Bengt C.W. Carlsson, Torbjorn Fahlstrom, Sten Andersson, Rolando Nunez, Lucio Vucina, Peter Roth, Klas-Gosta Olsson
"Swedish director Roy Andersson presents us with loosely connected scenes from the end of the world, in a series of bizarre tableaux unfolding in weirdly lucid dream-landscapes of vast plains, endless corridors and vertiginous perspective lines - each scene filmed in one long take from a static camera... Andersson has something of Woody Allen and Terry Gilliam, but with strains of anarchy and melancholy that are unique. Here is a film to try the patience of the non-believer, but astonish everyone else. Some might find it a curate's egg of strangeness. But it's one of the Fabergé variety." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Zhao Liang, Mike Leigh, Andrew Kotting, Lone Scherfig, Ruben Östlund.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
596
501
Rebecca

Rebecca


1940 / USA / 130m / BW / Mystery, Gothic Film
Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders, Judith Anderson, Nigel Bruce, Gladys Cooper, Reginald Denny, C. Aubrey Smith, Florence Bates, Melville Cooper
"Last night, I dreamt I went to Manderley again.” Rebecca’s haunting opening line conjures the entirety of Hitchcock’s romantic, suspenseful, elegant film. A young woman (Fontaine) believes her every dream has come true when her whirlwind romance with the dashing Maxim de Winter culminates in marriage. But she soon realizes that Rebecca, the late first Mrs. de Winter, haunts both the temperamental, brooding Maxim and the de Winter mansion, Manderley… The first collaboration between David O. Selznick and Hitchcock, Rebecca was adapted from Daphne du Maurier’s popular novel and won the 1940 Academy Award™ for Best Picture and Cinematography." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by M. Night Shyamalan, Genevieve Sellier, Hideo Nakata, Yvonne Tasker, Margarita Chapatte.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
595
462
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.
594
577
Xala

Xala


1975 / Senegal / 123m / Col / Comedy, Satire
Fatim Diagne, Makhouredia Gueye, Thieno Leye, Dieynaba Niang, Myriam Niang, Iliamane Sagna, Seune Samb, Abdoulaye Seck, Douta Seck, Younouss Seye
"An invigorating film which tells, in leisurely fashion, of a middle-aged Dakar businessman whose social standing begins to slip when he takes a third wife and finds that he's lost his touch in bed ('xala' means impotence). There's no sniggering humour, though; instead, Sembene aims satirical thrusts at the Senegalese bourgeoisie, who impotently ape the worst aspects of their former colonial masters, particularly their corruption and extravagance (our hero, for instance, uses imported mineral water to wash his car). The jokes and details are delightful, yet there's real anger behind them, and it bursts spectacularly into view in the concluding frames." - Geoff Brown, Time Out
Selected by Stuart Klawans, Laura Mulvey, Steven Markovitz, Manthia Diawara, Claire Monk.
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The Royal Tenenbaums

The Royal Tenenbaums


2001 / USA / 109m / Col / Comedy Drama, Comedy of Manners
Gene Hackman, Anjelica Huston, Ben Stiller, Gwyneth Paltrow, Luke Wilson, Owen Wilson, Danny Glover, Bill Murray, Seymour Cassel, Kumar Pallana
"Royal Tenenbaum (Hackman) and his wife, Etheline (Huston), had three children and then they separated. Chas (Stiller) started buying real estate in his early teens… Margot (Paltrow) was a playwright and received a Braverman Grant of $50,000 in the ninth grade. Richie (Luke Wilson) was a junior champion tennis player… Virtually all memory of the brilliance of the young Tenenbaums was subsequently erased by two decades of betrayal, failure, and disaster. The Royal Tenenbaums is a hilarious, touching, and brilliantly stylized study of melancholy and redemption from Wes Anderson." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Hind Mezaina, Jan Distelmeyer, Laurie Anderson, Atom Burke, Cameron Crowe.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
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The Tiger of Eschnapur

The Tiger of Eschnapur

Der Tiger von Eschnapur (original title); Tiger of Bengal (alternative title)

1958 / West Germany-France-Italy / 101m / Col / Adventure Drama, Romantic Drama
Debra Paget, Walther Reyer, Paul Hubschmid, Claus Holm, Luciana Paluzzi, Valery Inkijinoff, Sabine Bethmann, Rene Deltgen, Jochen Brockmann, Victor Francen
"After his long and prolific Hollywood career, Fritz Lang returned to his native Germany at the behest of producer Artur Brauner and embarked on an ambitious two-film project that would eventually become known as his “Indian Epic.”… In the first of the two films, The Tiger of Eschnapur, Lang tells the story of a German architect (Hubschmid) who arrives in India to build a temple for a Maharaja, whereupon the he promptly falls in love with the Maharaja’s intended bride (Paget)… Impeccably directed on a modest budget, en route to a thrilling cliffhanger ending, Lang’s late-career triumph proves the old adage that the enemy of art is the absence of limitations." - Film Society Lincoln Centre
Selected by Miguel Marías, Pierre Rissient, Jesús Franco, Michel Mourlet, Jos Oliver.
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Goodbye, Dragon Inn

Goodbye, Dragon Inn

Bu san (original title)

2003 / Taiwan / 82m / Col / Comedy Drama, Comedy of Manners
Kang-Sheng Lee, Shiang-chyi Chen, Kiyonobu Mitamura, Tien Miao, Chun Shih, Chao-Jung Chen, Kuei-Mei Yang
"Goodbye Dragon Inn concerns the inner life of a poured-concrete cavern in the heart of Taipei, a shabby temple unspooling an old martial arts flick—namely King Hu's 1966 Dragon Inn—to a handful of devotees. Because the theater is about to shut down, there's a superficial resemblance to the canned nostalgia of Cinema Paradiso. But Goodbye Dragon is far less sentimental and considerably funnier than the old Miramax pocket liner. And because Tsai is the director, Goodbye Dragon Inn is also a movie of elegant understatement and considerable formal intelligence." - J. Hoberman, The Village Voice
Selected by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Zachary Wigon, Bruce Jenkins, Monte Hellman, Lalitha Gopalan.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
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Antonio das Mortes

Antonio das Mortes

O Dragão da Maldade contra o Santo Guerreiro (original title)

1969 / Brazil / 95m / Col / Adventure Drama, Political Drama
Mauricio do Valle, Odete Lara, Hugo Carvana, Lorival Pariz, Othon Bastos, Jofre Soares, Rosa Maria Penna, Emmanuel Cavalcanti, Vinicius Salvatori, Mario Gusmao
"Rocha's sequel to his own Black God, White Devil returns to the Brazilian Sertao in the period after 1940, the key year in which the last of the cangaceiro bandits was killed… This time, though, Rocha completely rejects the elements of realism that made his earlier films particularly obscure: the movie is styled and paced like a Leone Western, and is as flamboyantly operatic as a Jancsó parable. Interestingly, the lack of direct historical references makes the result all the more venomously agitational." - Tony Rayns, Time Out
Selected by David Sterritt, Okubo Ken, Rolando Caputo, Jonathan Demme, David Sterritt.
589
580
Raising Arizona

Raising Arizona


1987 / USA / 92m / Col / Crime Comedy, Domestic Comedy
Nicolas Cage, Holly Hunter, Trey Wilson, John Goodman, William Forsythe, Sam McMurray, Randall 'Tex' Cobb, M. Emmet Walsh, Frances McDormand, T.J. Kuhn
"The superbly labyrinthine plotting of Blood Simple must have been a hard act to follow; praise be, then, to the Brothers Coen for confounding all expectations with this fervently inventive comedy… What makes this hectic farce so fresh and funny is the sheer fertility of the writing, while the lives and times of Hi (Cage), Ed (Hunter) and friends are painted in splendidly seedy colours, turning Arizona into a mythical haven for a memorable gaggle of no-hopers, halfwits and has-beens. Starting from a point of delirious excess, the film leaps into dark and virtually uncharted territory to soar like a comet." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Edgar Wright, Jay Duplass, Lee Unkrich, Trevor Groth, Joe Swanberg.
588
541
Die Hard

Die Hard


1988 / USA / 131m / Col / Action, Action Thriller
Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Alexander Godunov, Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald VelJohnson, Paul Gleason, William Atherton, James Shigeta, Devoreaux White, Hart Bochner
"It piles every known element of the action genre onto the flimsy story of a New York cop who rescues hostages from a Los Angeles office tower on Christmas Eve. Partly an interracial buddy movie, partly the sentimental tale of a ruptured marriage, the film is largely a special-effects carnival full of machine-gun fire, roaring helicopters and an exploding tank. It also has a villain fresh from the Royal Shakespeare Company, a thug from the Bolshoi Ballet and a hero who carries with him the smirks and wisecracks that helped make Moonlighting a television hit. The strange thing is, it works: Die Hard is exceedingly stupid, but escapist fun." - Caryn James, The New York Times
Selected by Aaron Katz, Jaume Collet-Serra, Magnus Martens, John Maclean, David Wain.
587
518
Scarface (1983)

Scarface


1983 / USA / 170m / Col / Crime Thriller, Gangster Film
Al Pacino, Steven Bauer, Michelle Pfeiffer, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Robert Loggia, Miriam Colon, F. Murray Abraham, Paul Shenar, Harris Yulin, Angel Salazar
"Brian De Palma's Scarface moves the iconic rise and fall crime opera from the tommy-gun gangster wars of the prohibition era to the cocaine wars of Florida in the eighties. In the process, De Palma, screenwriter Oliver Stone and star Al Pacino carved out a film that redefined a generation of gangster cinema… It's a whole new spin on the immigrant story and the American Dream as an underworld nightmare and a fitting bookend to the two Godfather films… De Palma directs it as a blood-drenched thug opera, a mix of the graceful and the garish with Pacino's guttural thug-in-a-suit spitting out dialogue like broken glass in a harsh Cuban accent." - Sean Axmaker, MSN Movies
Selected by Antoine Fuqua, Dimitri Eipides, Matthew Vaughn, Niki Caro, Sean Baker.
586
575
In Vanda's Room

In Vanda's Room

No Quarto da Vanda (original title)

2000 / Portugal-Germany-Switzerland-Italy / 170m / Col / Drama
Lena Duarte, Vanda Duarte, Zita Duarte, Pedro Lanban, Antonio Moreno, Paulo Nunes, Fernando Paixao
"For the extraordinarily beautiful second film in his Fontainhas trilogy, Pedro Costa jettisoned his earlier films’ larger crews to burrow even deeper into the Lisbon ghetto and the lives of its desperate inhabitants. With the intimate feel of a documentary and the texture of a Vermeer painting, In Vanda’s Room takes an unflinching, fragmentary look at a handful of self-destructive, marginalized people, but is centered around the heroin-addicted Vanda Duarte… This was Costa’s first use of digital video, and the evocative images he created remain some of the medium’s most astonishing." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Michelangelo Frammartino, Eulàlia Iglesias Huix, Javier Packer-Comyn, Rebecca Shatwell, Un-Seong Yoo.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
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Hana-Bi

Hana-bi

Fireworks (English title)

1997 / Japan / 103m / Col / Crime Drama, Road Movie
Takeshi Kitano, Kayoko Kishimoto, Ren Osugi, Susumu Terajima, Tetsu Watanabe, Hakuryu, Yasuei Yakushiji, Taro Itsumi, Kenichi Yajima, Makoto Ashikawa
"Kitano's Venice prize-winner mixes tenderness, violence and droll humour… It's exceptionally assured, imaginative and idiosyncratic: the violence is sudden, brutal and almost all in the editing; the working of Kitano's own delightful paintings into the story is astonishingly resonant; the mise-en-scène as sharp and inventive as in Sonatine… Fans of Melville, Keaton, Hawks and Peckinpah should be especially impressed, but anyone with a modicum of patience, an open mind and a little love in their heart will probably recognise it as a masterpiece." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Alexei Popogrebsky, Nashen Moodley, Jia Zhangke, Thomas Allenbach, Daniel Kasman.
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Bande a part

Bande à part

Band of Outsiders (English title)

1964 / France / 97m / BW / Drama, Crime Drama
Anna Karina, Claude Brasseur, Sami Frey, Louisa Colpeyn, Chantal Darget, Michel Delahaye, Daniele Girard, Jean-Luc Godard, Claude Makovski, Ernest Menzer
"Band of Outsiders is the Godard film for people who don't much care for Godard: a proto-slacker mood piece about two nondescript guys trying to persuade a beautiful girl to help them commit a robbery. Adapted from Dolores Hitchens's Fools' Gold, an American '50s crime novel published in France as part of the pulp Série Noire, it's more Renoir than Fuller—the least preoccupied with American culture of any of Godard's '60s films." - Amy Taubin, The Village Voice
Selected by Billy Chainsaw, Joshua Clover, Kaleem Aftab, Jean-Claude Brisseau, John Powers.
583
492
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.
582
574
Splendor in the Grass

Splendor in the Grass


1961 / USA / 124m / Col / Coming-of-Age, Romantic Drama
Natalie Wood, Warren Beatty, Pat Hingle, Audrey Christie, Barbara Loden, Sandy Dennis, Gary Lockwood, Zohra Lampert, Phyllis Diller, Fred Stewart
"Splendor in the Grass was the first work ever written directly for the screen by famed playwright William Inge, whose plays include Bus Stop, Come Back, Little Sheba and the Pulitzer Prize-winning PicnicSplendor in the Grass is a beautiful and tragic love story that has genuine resonance with its themes of passion, love, heartbreak, hypocrisy and madness. Director Elia Kazan called the last reel of Splendor his personal favorite last reel of all of his films." - Andrea Passafiume, TCM
Selected by Stéphane Delorme, Pedro Almodóvar, Laura Kern, Luke Gibbons, Sheila Schvarzman.
581
465
The Red Circle

The Red Circle

Le Cercle rouge (original title)

1970 / France-Italy / 140m / 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.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
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I Walked with a Zombie

I Walked with a Zombie


1943 / USA / 69m / BW / Horror, Supernatural Horror
Frances Dee, Tom Conway, James Ellison, Edith Barrett, Christine Gordon, Sir Lancelot, Darby Jones, James Bell, Theresa Harris, Jeni Le Gon
"I Walked With a Zombie is a master class in sight, sound, and suggestion from beginning to end. Jane Eyre's gothic romance is transplanted to the West Indies, where Betsey Connell (Dee) confronts the power of voodoo. In the film's most famous sequence, Betsey takes an extended trip through a sugar cane field and encounters the zombie Carrefour (Jones). Tourneur's images cast an unnerving spell, suggesting that the emotionally frustrated living may be the real zombies." - Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine
Selected by John Flaus, Patrice Rollet, Quim Casas, Michael Henry Wilson, Robin Wood.
579
520
Ben-Hur

Ben-Hur


1959 / USA / 212m / Col / Religious Epic, Sword-and-Sandal
Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Haya Harareet, Stephen Boyd, Hugh Griffith, Martha Scott, Sam Jaffe, Finlay Currie, Cathy O'Donnell, Frank Thring
"Although a bit like a four-hour Sunday school lesson, Ben-Hur is not without its compensations, above all, of course, the chariot race (which was directed not by Wyler but by Andrew Marton, and it shows). The rest is made interesting by the most sexually ambivalent characters sporting togas this side of Satyricon. When not fondling phallic substitutes, Heston and Boyd gaze admiringly into each other's eyes, but when they fall out - well, hell hath no fury like a closet queen scorned." - Scott Meek, Time Out
Selected by Camille Paglia, Dieter Kosslick, Gaston Kaboré, Mikel Olaciregui, Roque Baños.
578
509
Strike

Strike

Stachka (original title)

1925 / USSR / 73m / BW / Political Drama, Historical Epic
Maksim Shtraukh, Grigori Aleksandrov, Mikhail Gomorov, Alexander Antonov, Yudif Glizer, I. Ivanov, Ivan Klyukvin, Anatoli Kuznetsov, M. Mamin, Vladimir Uralsky
"Eisenstein's first feature also remains his most watchable… The story itself is simple: workers clash violently with employers and police during a drawn-out factory strike provoked by the sacking and subsequent suicide of one of their number. But Eisenstein's methods are both complex and extraordinary: his decision to make the masses rather than any single individual his hero lends the film a truly epic sweep… The harshly beautiful imagery roots the movie effortlessly in down-to-earth reality, but its relentless energy and invention transform the whole thing into a raucous, rousing hymn to human dignity and courage." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Paul Bush, David Forgacs, David Hanan, Alexei Balabanov, Peter Greenaway.
577
530
Rocky

Rocky


1976 / USA / 119m / Col / Drama, Sports Drama
Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young, Carl Weathers, Burgess Meredith, Thayer David, Joe Spinell, Jimmy Gambina, Bill Baldwin, Al Salvani
"Made for little, Rocky made a lot, winning the 1977 Academy Award for Best Picture while earning Sylvester Stallone an Oscar nomination for the screenplay and spawning five sequels of increasing scope and silliness. The original film has its charms, not least its embrace of boxing-movie clichés as if they were newly minted revelations… But the film’s true distinguishing mark, which might not even require a spoiler alert, is that when Rocky gets to the big fight, he loses it. The pug’s triumph is that he went the distance with the champ. By recognizing that endurance against all odds is its own heroism, Rocky became more than a contender. It made the movie a winner." - Richard Corliss, TIME
Selected by Jay Duplass, M. Night Shyamalan, Ringo Lam, Anurag Mehta, Yojira Takita.
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Placido

Plácido


1961 / Spain / 85m / BW / Comedy
Cassen, Jose Luis Lopez Vazquez, Elvira Quintilla, Manuel Alexandre, Maria Bustos, Maria Frances, Mari Carmen Yepes, Jesus Puche, Roberto Llamas, Amelia de la Torre
"Luis García Berlanga’s Plácido, which García Berlanga co-wrote mostly with Rafael Azcona, is a dark, dazzling, extremely funny satire of the equivocal nature of charity and the hypocrisy of individual and institutional professions of compassion and concern. The frenetic pace of the dialogue, coupled with the intricate complexity of the people-crowded black-and-white mise-en-scène, besides suggesting familiarity with the satirical cinema of Preston Sturges, relates to the desperation of the poor as they struggle to survive." - Dennis Grunes
Selected by Alejandro Amenábar, José Luis Garci, José Luis Rebordinos, Diego Galán, Javier Angulo.
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Inland Empire

Inland Empire


2006 / USA-France-Poland / 180m / Col / Avant-garde-Experimental, Mystery
Laura Dern, Jeremy Irons, Harry Dean Stanton, Grace Zabriskie, Ian Abercrombie, Peter J. Lucas, Justin Theroux, Terryn Westbrook, Julia Ormond, Diane Ladd
"David Lynch's first digital video is his best and most experimental feature since Eraserhead. Shot piecemeal over at least a year and without a script, this 179-minute meditation builds on Lynch's Mulholland Drive as a sinister and critical portrait of Hollywood. But it resists any narrative paraphrase, with several overlapping premises rather than a single consecutive plot… The visual qualities include impressionistic soft-focus colors, expressionistic lighting, and disquietingly huge close-ups." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by Gillies MacKinnon, Cristina Álvarez López, Ángel Quintana Morraja, Luis Miranda, Martha P. Nochimson.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
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A.I. Artificial Intelligence

A.I. Artificial Intelligence


2001 / USA / 145m / Col / Science Fiction, Psychological Drama
Haley Joel Osment, Frances O'Connor, Sam Robards, Jude Law, Jake Thomas, Brendan Gleeson, William Hurt, Ken Leung, Theo Greenly, Ashley Scott
"Steven Spielberg's film, a project he inherited from Stanley Kubrick, to whom it is dedicated, is a work of brilliant artifice and profound intelligence...The movie's three distinct sections reveal an unsettlingly plausible vision of the future, and explore a rich, complex set of emotions and ideas. Mr. Spielberg accomplishes the improbable feat of melding Kubrick's chilly, analytical style with his own warmer, needier sensibility, and the result is an exquisitely layered, complex movie — the riskiest, most ambiguous, most intellectually challenging fairy tale the director has made to date." - A.O. Scott, The New York Times
Selected by Joseph McBride, Armond White, Stephen Cone, Tom Charity, Bauyrzhan Nogerbek.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
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Love Me Tonight

Love Me Tonight


1932 / USA / 96m / BW / Comedy, Musical Romance
Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald, Charlie Ruggles, Charles Butterworth, Myrna Loy, C. Aubrey Smith, Elizabeth Patterson, Robert Greig, Ethel Griffies, Blanche Frederici
"A superb musical, outstripping the possible influences of René Clair and Lubitsch, to whose work this has been compared…The film is a stylish masterwork of technical innovations, and a delirious result of Mamoulian's desire to incorporate movement, dancing, acting, music, singing, décor and lighting into a cogent cinematic whole. The songs develop the action and characters, the dialogue is witty and rhythmic, and the entire film, with its fine score by Rodgers and Hart, is a charming, tongue-in-cheek fantasy that never descends into syrupy whimsy." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Laura Mulvey, Catherine A. Surowiec, David Meeker, Lars-Olav Beier, Peter Todd.
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Full Metal Jacket

Full Metal Jacket


1987 / USA / 116m / Col / Anti-War Film, War Drama
Matthew Modine, Adam Baldwin, Vincent D'Onofrio, R. Lee Ermey, Dorian Harewood, Arliss Howard, Kevyn Major Howard, Ed O'Ross, Jon Stafford, John Terry
"This odd 1987 adaptation of Gustav Hasford's The Short-Timers, with script-writing assistance from Michael Herr as well as Hasford, has more to do with the general theme of colonization (of individuals and countries alike) and the suppression by male soldiers of their female traits than with the specifics of Vietnam or the Tet offensive. Elliptical, full of subtle inner rhymes, and profoundly moving, this is the most tightly crafted Kubrick film since Dr. Strangelove, as well as the most horrific; the first section alone accomplishes most of what The Shining failed to do." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Antonia Bird, Constantin Popescu, David Siegel, Daniel Kasman.
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531
The French Connection

The French Connection


1971 / USA / 104m / Col / Crime, Action Thriller
Gene Hackman, Fernando Rey, Roy Scheider, Tony Lo Bianco, Marcel Bozzuffi, Frederic de Pasquale, Bill Hickman, Ann Rebbot, Harold Gary, Arlene Farber
"Four decades after its initial release, William Friedkin's Oscar-sweeper The French Connection remains an electrifying achievement, drawing its high-voltage forward momentum from the collision of semi-documentary procedural, with its based-on-real-events verisimilitude, and downbeat rogue-cop revisionism. Shooting in actual locations wherever possible, and availing themselves of the featherweight handheld cameras that enabled the development of the Direct Cinema movement, Friedkin and cinematographer Owen Roizman put the grit into "gritty authenticity." - Budd Wilkins, Slant Magazine
Selected by Alexander Zeldovich, Baltasar Komákur, David Leland, Tibor Bíró, Ringo Lam.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
570
467
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.
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The Lady Vanishes

The Lady Vanishes


1938 / UK / 97m / BW / Spy Film, Thriller
Margaret Lockwood, Michael Redgrave, Paul Lukas, Dame May Whitty, Cecil Parker, Linden Travers, Naunton Wayne, Basil Radford, Mary Clare, Googie Withers
"In Alfred Hitchcock’s most quick-witted and devilish comic thriller, the beautiful Margaret Lockwood, traveling across Europe by train, meets a charming spinster (Whitty), who then seems to disappear into thin air. The younger woman turns investigator and finds herself drawn into a complex web of mystery and high adventure. Also starring Michael Redgrave, The Lady Vanishes remains one of the great filmmaker’s purest delights." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Charles Barr, J.M. Tyree, Robin Wood, Manuel Antin, Philip French.
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571
My Own Private Idaho

My Own Private Idaho


1991 / USA / 102m / Col / Drama, Buddy Film
River Phoenix, Keanu Reeves, James Russo, William Richert, Rodney Harvey, Chiara Caselli, Udo Kier, Grace Zabriskie, Tom Troupe, Michael Parker
"River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves star in Gus Van Sant’s haunting tale of two young street hustlers: Mike Waters, a sensitive narcoleptic who dreams of the mother who abandoned him, and Scott Favor, the wayward son of the mayor of Portland and object of Mike’s desire. Navigating a volatile world of junkies, thieves, and johns, Mike takes Scott on a quest from the grungy streets to the open highways of the Pacific Northwest, in search of an elusive place called home. Visually dazzling and groundbreaking, My Own Private Idaho is a deeply moving look at unrequited love and life at society’s margins." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by John Greyson, Cate Shortland, Gunnar Almer, Sophie Mayer, Xavier Dolan.
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499
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, Acquarello.
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761
Lost in Translation

Lost in Translation


2003 / USA-Japan / 102m / Col / Comedy, Drama
Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Giovanni Ribisi, Akiko Takeshita, Kazuyoshi Minamimagoe, Kazuko Shibata, Take, Catherine Lambert, Anna Faris, Fumihiro Hayashi
"In her impressive second feature, Sofia Coppola—who wrote as well as directed—gives Murray room to stretch and is rewarded with some remarkably melancholy clowning… Lost in Translation is as bittersweet a brief encounter as any in American movies since Richard Linklater's equally romantic Before Sunrise. But Lost in Translation is the more poignant reverie. Coppola evokes the emotional intensity of a one-night stand far from home—but what she really gets is the magic of movies." - J. Hoberman, The Village Voice
Selected by Zach Braff, Richard Curtis, Helena Taberna, Murat Özer, David Wain.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
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Nazarin

Nazarín


1958 / Mexico / 94m / BW / Religious Drama, Satire
Francisco Rabal, Marga Lopez, Rita Macedo, Jesus Fernandez, Ignacio Lopez Tarso, Luis Aceves Castaneda, Ofelia Guilmain, Noe Murayama, Rosenda Monteros, Victorio Blanco
"This deceptively simple masterwork was one of Buñuel's favorite films and one of his most curiously received, and with good reason. "Jacques Prévert, an adamant anticleric, regretted that I'd given a priest the leading role. 'It's ridiculous to worry about their problems,' he told me, believing as he did that all priests were thoroughly reprehensible," notes Buñuel in his autobiography. Others referred to the film as the director's "attempt at personal rehabilitation" and while Nazarín may find him uniquely sympathetic to the Catholic cause, Buñuel is still very much critical of the folly of a certain pure form of Christianity." - Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine
Selected by Arturo Ripstein, Hong Sang-soo, José María de Orbe, C.S. Venkiteswaran, Peter von Bagh.
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606
Local Hero

Local Hero


1983 / UK / 111m / Col / Comedy, Comedy of Manners
Burt Lancaster, Peter Riegert, Denis Lawson, Fulton Mackay, Peter Capaldi, Rikki Fulton, Jenny Seagrove, Jennifer Black, Christopher Rozycki, John Gordon Sinclair
"Local Hero, which concerns the frustrations of a Texas oilman's attempts to buy up an idyllic Scottish village, ranks as a lyrical anti-urban comedy in the great tradition of films like I Know Where I'm Going and Whisky Galore!; and its essential triumph is to prove that comedy can still contain a gentle, almost mystical, aspect without necessarily being old-fashioned. The film achieves this best in its superb sense of location and the haunting contrast between Texas and Scotland." - David Pirie, Time Out
Selected by Cameron Crowe, Jane Lamacraft, Niki Caro, Edward Zwick, Kevin Murphy.
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803
Grizzly Man

Grizzly Man


2005 / USA / 103m / Col / Nature, Documentary
Timothy Treadwell, Amie Huguenard, Warren Queeney, Franc G. Fallico, Willy Fulton, Sam Egli, Marnie Gaede, Marc Gaede, Larry Van Daele, Sven Haakanson
"Tragicomedy is an overworked word. Yet nothing else will do. Werner Herzog, that connoisseur of extreme figures in far-off places, has made an inspired documentary about the gonzo naturalist Timothy Treadwell, who in 2003 ended up as lunch for the bears he lived with in the remote Alaskan wilderness. It is poignant, it is beautiful, and it is absolutely hilarious. Herzog didn't even have much work to do, what's more, because Treadwell - gifted, untrained film-maker that he was - had done almost everything himself, leaving behind hundreds of hours of videotape that he had shot at extreme and indeed fatal risk to himself." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Ally Derks, Adirley Queirós, Dana Stevens, Eduardo Escorel, Ute Holl.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
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565
Being There

Being There


1979 / USA / 130m / Col / Comedy, Satire
Peter Sellers, Shirley MacLaine, Melvyn Douglas, Jack Warden, Richard Dysart, Richard Basehart, Ruth Attaway, David Clennon, Fran Brill, Denise DuBarry
"Most movies don't benefit from an inability to make up their minds, but Being There glides on its own contradictions. Closing out a decade of great, too-often-overlooked work, Hal Ashby directed this 1979 feature with a straight face that could hide a wicked grin, a beatific glow, or both. It ends with what looks like a miracle, but Ashby's ability to make the peculiar story as moving as it is opaque is kind of miraculous in itself. He had help, of course. In his next-to-last role, Peter Sellers plays Chance, a sheltered Washington D.C. gardener who's known only one home since childhood. But when his benefactor dies, he's forced to leave." - Keith Phipps, A.V. Club
Selected by M. Night Shyamalan, Judd Apatow, Gary Tarn, Matthew Vaughn, Klaus Härö.
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No Country for Old Men

No Country for Old Men


2007 / USA / 122m / Col / Thriller, Crime Thriller
Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Woody Harrelson, Kelly Macdonald, Garret Dillahunt, Tess Harper, Barry Corbin, Stephen Root, Rodger Boyce
"No Country for Old Men is purgatory for the squeamish and the easily spooked. For formalists — those moviegoers sent into raptures by tight editing, nimble camera work and faultless sound design — it’s pure heaven... Joel and Ethan Coen, who share writing and directing credit here, combine virtuosic dexterity with mischievous high spirits, as if they were playing Franz Liszt’s most treacherous compositions on dueling banjos… In the Coen canon it belongs with Blood Simple, Miller’s Crossing and Fargo as a densely woven crime story made more effective by a certain controlled stylistic perversity." - A.O. Scott, The New York Times
Selected by Farai Sevenzo, Milan Pavlovic, Mohamed Al-Daradji, Philip Berk, Andrew Droz Palermo.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
560
496
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, Robert Rodriguez.
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626
Detour

Detour


1945 / USA / 69m / BW / Film Noir, Crime Drama
Tom Neal, Ann Savage, Claudia Drake, Edmund MacDonald, Tim Ryan, Esther Howard, Roger Clark, Pat Gleason, Don Brodie, Eddie Hall
"What can you say about a 69-minute grade-Z production from 1945 starring a catatonic unknown (Neal) and the most metaphysically distressing actress ever to grace an American film (Savage) that takes place mainly in front of a rear projection screen and a progression of minimally rendered motel rooms and roadside diners—except that it's one of the most daring and thoroughly perverse works of art ever to come out of Hollywood? The director was Edgar G. Ulmer, a master of cinematic stylization too long underappreciated." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Mark Webber, Richard Kuipers, Robert Polito, Errol Morris, Tony Krawitz.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
558
476
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.
557
504
Great Expectations

Great Expectations


1946 / UK / 118m / BW / Drama, Period Film
John Mills, Valerie Hobson, Martita Hunt, Bernard Miles, Francis L. Sullivan, Finlay Currie, Jean Simmons, Anthony Wager, Alec Guinness, Freda Jackson
"The adaptation by Lean and his collaborators is a model of intelligent adaptation, rich with character and atmosphere yet focused firmly on the journey of Pip, from young orphan on the Kent marshes to young man in London society. Lean fills Great Expectations with a wealth of visual detail and vivid characters and personalities without allowing them to swamp his hero, and he directs with a warmth and humor often missed in such costume dramas and reverent literary adaptations. Though greatly pared down, this third screen version of Dickens' novel remains to this day the quintessential cinematic incarnation." - Sean Axmaker, TCM
Selected by Terence Davies, Joel Schumacher, Matthew Sweet, Jason Solomons, Bryan Forbes.
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Secrets & Lies

Secrets & Lies


1996 / UK / 142m / Col / Drama, Family Drama
Timothy Spall, Brenda Blethyn, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Claire Rushbrook, Phyllis Logan, Elizabeth Berrington, Michele Austin, Lee Ross, Lesley Manville, Ron Cook
"Even as Leigh derives gentle comedy from the plight, aspirations and often pathetic attempts at communication of Cynthia (Blethyn) and her tribe, an immense, unforced sympathy is extended to all involved, a generosity of spirit thoroughly in keeping with the performances. Everyone's superb, Blethyn and Spall in particular. Yes, it's long, visually a little static, and rather narrowly concerned with the everyday experiences of one family, but that depth, focus and intensity of concentration result in a film of extraordinary emotional riches. Spellbinding." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Ahmed Atef, Anna Smith, Marek Hendrykowski, Patricia Rozema, Tadeusz Sobolewski.
555
542
Boudu Saved from Drowning

Boudu Saved from Drowning

Boudu sauvé des eaux (original title)

1932 / France / 87m / BW / Comedy, Satire
Michel Simon, Charles Granval, Marcelle Hania, Severine Lerczynska, Jean Daste, Max Dalban, Jacques Becker, Jean Gehret, Jane Pierson, Georges St. Saens
"The movie dramatises the old adage about no good deed going unpunished, or perhaps it demonstrates how inscrutable fate may find a way to punish a wrongdoer through his one, atypical, altruistic act. The anarchic Boudu sweeps through this bourgeois home, upsetting and exposing all its complacent arrangements and concealments. There is a startling contrast between the drawing-room comedy of the interior scenes and Renoir's superbly dynamic documentary-style realism in the Paris streets outside: crowded, bustling, cosmopolitan. Almost 80 years on, it still has a superb energy." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Aki Kaurismäki, Hong Sang-soo, Dina Iordanova, Shinji Aoyama, Glenn Kenny.
554
493
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.
553
435
Salesman

Salesman


1969 / 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.
552
498
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, Mike Newell.
551
526
Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia


1974 / USA / 112m / Col / Black Comedy, Action Thriller
Warren Oates, Isela Vega, Gig Young, Kris Kristofferson, Emilio Fernandez, Robert Webber, Helmut Dantine, Jorge Russek, Chano Urueta, Don Levy
"For something so bleak, so purposely revolting and unsentimental, there are reservoirs of profound poetry in Alfredo Garcia, the only film that Peckinpah ever considered completely his own… Peckinpah was known for his hard drinking, stubbornness, and eccentricity; indeed, his life would eventually be decimated by the strain brought about by both his constant battles with the studios who funded (and frequently butchered) his work, and by his uncontrollable thirst for alcohol. Yet for one brief moment in 1974, Peckinpah enjoyed complete creative control, and the result was this magnificently depraved piece d'resistance." - Nick Schager, Slant Magazine
Selected by Park Chan-wook, Mark Duguid, Tsui Hark, Shunichi Nagasaki, Hugh Sullivan.
550
516
Scorpio Rising

Scorpio Rising


1964 / USA / 29m / Col / Avant-garde-Experimental, Surrealist Film
Bruce Byron, Ernie Allo, Frank Carifi, Steve Crandell, Johnny Dodds, Johnny Sapienza, Bill Dorfman, John Palone, Barry Lubin
"Scorpio Rising is a pop-art collage of found artifacts which submerges itself in the chrome-and-leather, skull-and-swastika iconography of the motorcycle cult that provides its subject… Anger's manipulations of the culturally overloaded imagery of Nazism, sado-masochism, and the occult finally result in a film which refuses to conform to any dominant, edifying reading whatsoever—an almost unparalleled achievement which should earn Scorpio Rising an enduring place in the artistic annals of the 1960s, a decade remembered for the challenges it posed to ruling ideology. - Ed Lowry, Film Reference
Selected by Gaspar Noé, Rebecca Shatwell, Ben Walters, Fernando F. Croce, Haden Guest.
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A Separation

A Separation

Jodaeiye Nader az Simin (original title)

2011 / Iran / 123m / Col / Drama, Ensemble Film
Peyman Moadi, Leila Hatami, Sareh Bayat, Shahab Hosseini, Sarina Farhadi, Merila Zare'i, Ali-Asghar Shahbazi, Babak Karimi, Kimia Hosseini, Shirin Yazdanbaksh
"With rare subtlety and transforming art, the remarkable writer-director Asghar Farhadi takes us into the emotional heart of modern Iran. Nader (Moaadi) and Simin (Hatami) are a middle-class couple seeking a divorce. She wants to move abroad with their 11-year-old daughter, Termeh (Sarina Farhadi, the director's child). He wants Termeh to stay… As the tension builds in court, Farhadi reveals his country in microcosm, divided by gender, class, religion and invisible borders of destruction. The actors do wonders, uncovering rich depths in their characters. A Separation is a landmark film. No way will you be able to get it out of your head." - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
Selected by Clare Stewart, Pen-Ek Ratanaruang, Alby James, Keith Shiri, Matthias Lerf.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
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864
Colossal Youth

Colossal Youth

Juventude Em Marcha (original title)

2006 / Portugal-France-Switzerland / 155m / Col / Drama, Slice of Life
Ventura, Vanda Duarte, Beatriz Duarte, Gustavo Sumpta, Cila Cardoso, Isabel Cardoso, Alberto 'Lento' Barros, Antonio Semedo, Paulo Nunes, Jose Maria Pina
"Many of the lost souls of Ossos and In Vanda’s Room return in the spectral landscape of Colossal Youth, which brings to Pedro Costa’s Fontainhas films a new theatrical, tragic grandeur. This time, Costa focuses on Ventura, an elderly immigrant from Cape Verde living in a low-cost housing complex in Lisbon, who has been abandoned by his wife and spends his days visiting his neighbors, whom he considers his “children.” What results is a form of ghost story, a tale of derelict, dispossessed people living in the past and present at the same time, filmed by Costa with empathy and startling radiance." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Julian Graffy, Cristina Fernandes, Andy Rector, Jesús Piquero, Gonçalo Tocha.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
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700
The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant

The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant

Die Bitteren Tränen der Petra von Kant (original title)

1972 / West Germany / 124m / Col / Drama, Melodrama
Margit Carstensen, Hanna Schygulla, Irm Hermann, Katrin Schaake, Eva Mattes, Gisela Fackeldey
"Adapted from Fassbinder's own play, the film hardly hides its theatrical origins, turning them instead to its advantage. Rather than camouflage the proscenium, Petra makes it a prison, a gilded cage of suffocating aestheticism… Cinematographer Michael Ballhaus (who went on, of course, to a long career collaborating with Martin Scorsese) composes every frame within an inch of its life, trapping the figures with their own beauty… An incredible confluence of human insight and artistic expression, Petra is Fassbinder at his most over-the-top, but also his most exacting." - Sam Adams, Philadelphia City Paper
Selected by Nick Pinkerton, Richard Woolley, Tim Highsted, Michael Sicinski, Barbara Hammer.
546
540
That Obscure Object of Desire

That Obscure Object of Desire

Cet obscur objet du désir (original title)

1977 / France-Spain / 103m / Col / Black Comedy, Satire
Fernando Rey, Carole Bouquet, Angela Molina, Julien Bertheau, Milena Vukotic, Andre Weber, Pierre Pieral, Maria Asquerino, Ellen Bahl, Valerie Blanco
"Luis Buñuel’s final film explodes with eroticism, bringing full circle the director’s lifelong preoccupation with the darker side of desire. Buñuel regular Fernando Rey plays Mathieu, an urbane widower, tortured by his lust for the elusive Conchita. With subversive flare, Buñuel uses two different actresses in the lead—Carole Bouquet, a sophisticated French beauty, and Angela Molina, a Spanish coquette. Drawn from Pierre Louÿs’s 1898 novel, La Femme et le Pantin, That Obscure Object of Desire is a dizzying game of sexual politics punctuated by a terror that harkens back to Buñuel’s brilliant surrealistic beginnings." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Mike Figgis, Kong Rithdee, Jamie Graham, Long Tin Shum, Cui Zi'en.
545
521
Boogie Nights

Boogie Nights


1997 / USA / 155m / Col / Comedy Drama, Ensemble Film
Mark Wahlberg, Burt Reynolds, Julianne Moore, Don Cheadle, Heather Graham, Alfred Molina, Philip Baker Hall, Nicole Ari Parker, Luis Guzman, William H. Macy
"Paul Thomas Anderson's Boogie Nights is an epic of the low road, a classic Hollywood story set in the shadows instead of the spotlights but containing the same ingredients: Fame, envy, greed, talent, sex, money. The movie follows a large, colorful and curiously touching cast of characters as they live through a crucial turning point in the adult film industry… Boogie Nights has the quality of many great films, in that it always seems alive." - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
Selected by Edgar Wright, Todd Phillips, Andrew Birkin, Joseph Cedar, Hannah Fidell.
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721
East of Eden

East of Eden


1955 / USA / 115m / Col / Family Drama, Rural Drama
James Dean, Raymond Massey, Julie Harris, Richard Davalos, Burl Ives, Jo Van Fleet, Albert Dekker, Lois Smith, Harold Gordon, Timothy Carey
"It was Kazan's first color film and his first CinemaScope production. He handles both magnificently. He shoots in longer takes, which gives the film the slower pace of an older age and draws the eye to Dean's restlessness and nervous spontaneity, which stands out against the calm and control of the rest of cast. "His body was much more expressive, actually, in free movement, than Brando's it had so much tension to it," observed Kazan. "Dean had a very vivid body; and I did play a lot with it in long shots." - Sean Axmaker, TCM
Selected by Krzysztof Zanussi, Robert De Niro, Bruno Barreto, Gulbara Tolomushova, Lone Scherfig.
543
478
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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Oldboy

Oldboy

Oldeuboi (original title)

2003 / South Korea / 120m / Col / Thriller, Psychological Drama
Min-Sik Choi, Ji-tae Yu, Hye-jeong Kang, Byeong-ok Kim, Dae-han Ji, Dal-su Oh, Seung-Shin Lee, Jin-seo Yun, Tae-kyung Oh, Yeon-suk Ahn
"If revenge is a dish best served cold, then Park Chan-wook's deliriously unhinged Oldboy is an unthawed Hungry Man TV dinner… Park marries the vibrant style of the Hong Kong action scene to the disturbing psychosexual currents running through many new films from his native country. The result is a powerfully visceral experience that justifies itself almost entirely on surface chops, with striking color composition and a complex sound design that elevates the story to an operatic scale." - Scott Tobias, A.V. Club
Selected by Cameron Crowe, Eli Roth, Lizelle Bisschoff, Simon Rumley, Youngmee Hwang.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
541
477
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 Chris Columbus, Allan Arkush, Esther Leslie, Norm Wilner, Hal Hartley.
540
459
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. And the character of Accattone himself, self-destructive and conscious of his situation within a class from which he cannot escape, embodies many of the contradictions in Pasolini's lifetime of coming to terms with Marxism and Catholicism." - Rod McShane, Time Out
Selected by Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, Ryan Gilbey, Philippe Parreno, Bernardo Bertolucci, Alberto Pezzotta.
539
418
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.
538
489
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, Dan Georgakas, John Baldessari, Raquel Abad.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
537
505
Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid

Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid


1973 / USA / 122m / Col / Revisionist Western, Outlaw (Gunfighter) Film
James Coburn, Kris Kristofferson, Bob Dylan, Richard Jaeckel, Katy Jurado, Chill Wills, Slim Pickens, Jason Robards, R.G. Armstrong, Luke Askew
"Peckinpah brings the film a deep-dish sense of atmosphere and arid beauty, glorifying in the committed individualism of Billy the Kid while mourning how the passage of time made his attitude seem outdated. It's also worth noting that the beguiling mood Peckinpah weaves here is aided considerably by John Coquillion's lush photography and Bob Dylan's moody song score. The end result is a mythic, personalized Western that could have only been created by the one and only Sam Peckinpah. Thus, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid is a must for his fans and anyone interested in a good revisionist take on the Old West." - Donald Guarisco, All Movie
Selected by Nick Roddick, Constantin Popescu, Ian Penman, Jean-Pierre Garcia, Santiago Mitre.
536 Up Arrow
559
12 Angry Men

12 Angry Men

Twelve Angry Men (alternative spelling)

1957 / USA / 95m / BW / Drama, Courtroom Drama
Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, Ed Begley, E.G. Marshall, Jack Warden, Jack Klugman, Martin Balsam, John Fiedler, George Voskovec, Robert Webber
"12 Angry Men, by Sidney Lumet, may be the most radical courtroom drama in cinema history. A behind-closed-doors look at the American legal system that is as riveting as it is spare, this iconic adaptation of Reginald Rose’s teleplay stars Henry Fonda as the dissenting member on a jury of white men ready to pass judgment on a Puerto Rican teenager charged with murdering his father. The result is a saga of epic proportions that plays out over a tense afternoon in one sweltering room. Lumet’s electrifying snapshot of 1950s America on the verge of change is one of the great feature film debuts." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Tata Amaral, David Leland, Richard Sowada, Akin Omotoso, Antonia Bird.
535
532
Shadow of a Doubt

Shadow of a Doubt


1943 / USA / 108m / BW / Thriller, Psychological Thriller
Joseph Cotten, Teresa Wright, Macdonald Carey, Henry Travers, Patricia Collinge, Hume Cronyn, Wallace Ford, Edna May Wonacott, Irving Bacon, Charles Bates
"One of Hitchcock's finest films of the '40s, with Cotten as the infamous 'Merry Widow' murderer, who takes refuge with the small-town family of his sister (Collinge). Focusing on adoring niece Wright's dawning realisation that her kind, generous and handsome uncle is in fact a cold and cynical killer, the film is not only psychologically intriguing (both niece and uncle are called Charlie, and he arrives in town as if in answer to her prayers for excitement), but a sharp dissection of middle American life, in its own quiet way an ancestor of Blue Velvet... Funny, gripping, and expertly shot by Joe Valentine, it's a small but memorable gem." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Guillermo del Toro, Diane Negra, Noël Burch, James Mangold, Sam Ho.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
534
513
Alice in the Cities

Alice in the Cities

Alice in den Städten (original title)

1974 / West Germany / 110m / BW / Drama, Road Movie
Rudiger Vogler, Yella Rottlander, Lisa Kreuzer, Edda Kochl, Ernest Boehm, Sam Presti, Lois Moran, Didi Petrikat, Hans Hirschmuller, Sibylle Baier
"This bittersweet gem from 1974 delivers an ambling tale of loss and estrangement which rings as true today as it would have more than 30 years ago… The film is full of love/hate relationships, an idea that is physically represented by the prickly bond between Philip (Vogler) and Alice (Rottlander), but who also symbolise Wenders’ own bewilderment (and wide-eyed fascination) with the architecture, advertising, music, photography and inescapable cultural-sprawl of the US." - David Jenkins, Time Out
Selected by Lodge Kerrigan, Andrés Di Tella, Isabel Stevens, Jaco Van Dormael, Nick Hasted.
533
453
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, David Robinson.
532 Up Arrow
586
Picnic at Hanging Rock

Picnic at Hanging Rock


1975 / Australia / 110m / Col / Mystery, Period Film
Rachel Roberts, Dominic Guard, Helen Morse, Jacki Weaver, Vivean Gray, Kirsty Child, Margaret Nelson, Anne Lambert, Karen Robson, Jane Vallis
"This sensual and striking chronicle of a disappearance and its aftermath put director Peter Weir on the map and helped usher in a new era of Australian cinema. Based on an acclaimed 1967 novel by Joan Lindsay, Picnic at Hanging Rock is set at the turn of the twentieth century and concerns a small group of students from an all- female college who vanish, along with a chaperone, while on a St. Valentine’s Day outing. Less a mystery than a journey into the mystic, as well as an inquiry into issues of class and sexual repression in Australian society, Weir’s gorgeous, disquieting film is a work of poetic horror whose secrets haunt viewers to this day." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Darrell Roodt, Niki Caro, Emma Wilson, Miroslaw Przylipiak, Vlado Skafar.
531
510
Hannah and Her Sisters

Hannah and Her Sisters


1986 / USA / 106m / Col / Comedy Drama, Ensemble Film
Woody Allen, Michael Caine, Mia Farrow, Carrie Fisher, Barbara Hershey, Lloyd Nolan, Maureen O'Sullivan, Daniel Stern, Max von Sydow, Dianne Wiest
"From 1986, when Woody Allen's strike rate was more consistent, this triple Oscar-winner is one of his best. Mia Farrow plays the title role, an acclaimed actress with a seemingly idyllic family life. But husband Michael Caine has the hots for youngest sister Barbara Hershey, while middle sister Dianne Wiest is a recovering drug addict pin-balling from one ill-advised career choice to another. Allen is Hannah’s ex-husband, as neurotic and nebbish as ever. Around these characters the film weaves a rich Chekhovian mix, full of wry insights into the fragility of human emotions." - Philip Kemp, Total Film
Selected by Briony Hanson, Aaron Katz, Alejandro Agresti, Guy Lodge, Köves Gábor.
530
433
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 Zhao Liang, Yojiro Takita, Andreas Dresen, Baltasar Komákur, Warwick Thornton.
529
528
The Big Heat

The Big Heat


1953 / USA / 90m / BW / Crime, Film Noir
Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame, Jocelyn Brando, Alexander Scourby, Lee Marvin, Carolyn Jones, Jeanette Nolan, Peter Whitney, Willis Bouchey, Robert Burton
"Lang strips down William P. McGivern's novel to essentials, giving the story a narrative drive as efficient and powerful as a handgun. The dialogue is functional. Every shot is composed with economy and exactitude, no act gratuitous. The most celebrated scene, where Marvin's psychopathic gangster mutilates his moll Grahame's face with scalding coffee, is remarkable in that you never see him do it; the contract killings are also sex murders, but again unseen." - Wally Hammond, Time Out
Selected by Jean Narboni, Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, José Luis Rebordinos, Barbet Schroeder, Lloyd Kaufman.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
528 Up Arrow
535
Aparajito

Aparajito


1956 / India / 108m / BW / Drama, Coming-of-Age
Pinaki Sengupta, Smaran Ghosal, Karuna Banerji, Kanu Banerji, Ramani Sen Gupta, Charu Ghosh, Subodh Ganguly, Kali Charan Ray, Santi Gupta, K.S. Pandey
"Satyajit Ray creates a sublime and deeply affecting portrait of the struggle between tradition and progress in Aparajito, the second film of the monumental Apu Trilogy. Embodied through the maturation of Apu at the turn of the century, Ray creates an insightful social commentary on a profoundly changing culture, reflected through Apu's dilemma between traditional and modern education; his decision to leave home in order to further his studies; his part-time job at a printing press." - Acquarello, Strictly Film School
Selected by Moinak Biswas, Riri Riza, Mrinal Sen, Howard Schumann, Ray Loriga.
527 Up Arrow
545
Rebel Without a Cause

Rebel Without a Cause


1955 / USA / 111m / Col / Teen Movie, Family Drama
James Dean, Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo, Jim Backus, Ann Doran, Corey Allen, Edward Platt, Dennis Hopper, Nick Adams, William Hopper
"Profoundly romantic and lacerating in its despair, Nicholas Ray's Rebel Without a Cause, a self-contained portrait of three isolated teenagers, is James Dean's best film and best performance (it ranks high in Ray's work as well)… Ray emphasizes the reds and blues in his widescreen frame for an unforgettably neurotic effect, and he showcases savant-like Dean as gently as Jim Stark takes care of Plato (Mineo). Ray seems to understand the self-dramatizations and exaggerated melancholy of adolescence, but he portrays these qualities with deep affection, respect and insight." - Dan Callahan, Slant Magazine
Selected by Robert De Niro, Dennis Hopper, Erik Syngle, Francisco D'Intino, Matt Zoller Seitz.
IMDB / No votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll / Amazon
526
447
Trainspotting

Trainspotting


1996 / 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, Fruit Chan, Michaela Boland.
525 Up Arrow
552
Ninotchka

Ninotchka


1939 / USA / 110m / BW / Romantic Comedy, Sophisticated Comedy
Greta Garbo, Melvyn Douglas, Ina Claire, Sig Ruman, Felix Bressart, Bela Lugosi, Alexander Granach, Gregory Gaye, Richard Carle, Edwin Maxwell
"Directed by Ernst Lubitsch and co-scripted by Billy Wilder, this enduring delight stands at the crossroads of American screen comedy. Studded with instances of the 'Lubitsch Touch' and imbued with the screwball spirit, it contains significant traces of the acerbic satire that would become Wilder's trademark in the less innocent postwar world… Lubitsch managed to relax Garbo to the extent that she was not only very funny, but also more feminine than in any role bar Camille and it's the fact that she comes across as a woman and not an icon that makes this performance so memorable… Iridescent and teaming with vitality, Garbo glows in her penultimate film " - David Parkinson, Empire
Selected by Fernando Trueba, Carrie Rickey, Cameron Crowe, Marc Cerisuelo, Jean Dutourd.
IMDB / No votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll / Amazon
524 Up Arrow
633
The Damned

The Damned

La Caduta degli dei (original title)

1969 / Italy-West Germany / 155m / Col / Political Drama, Family Drama
Dirk Bogarde, Ingrid Thulin, Helmut Griem, Helmut Berger, Renaud Verley, Umberto Orsini, Reinhard Kolldehoff, Albrecht Schoenhals, Florinda Bolkan, Charlotte Rampling
"Like so many of Visconti's films, The Damned is the story of the decline and decomposition of a family, and as in Senso and The Leopard in particular, the fortunes of individuals are linked to wider developments at a climactic moment of history… In short, The Damned , without being one of Visconti's finest films, is still a remarkable work, but it is one which, for its own sake, needs to be rescued from some of the more inflated claims—political, psycho-sexual, and mythological—which have sometimes been made for it, albeit with the best of intentions." - Julian Petley, Film Reference
Selected by Andrei Plakhov, Andriy Khalpakhchi, Jean-Stephane Sauvaire, Czeslaw Dondzillo, Patrick Duynslaegher.
523 Up Arrow
524
The Rise to Power of Louis XIV

The Rise to Power of Louis XIV

La Prise de pouvoir par Louis XIV (original title); The Taking of Power by Louis XIV (alternative title)

1966 / France / 100m / Col / Historical Film, Period Film
Jean-Marie Patte, Raymond Jourdan, Silvagni, Katharina Renn, Dominique Vincent, Pierre Barrat, Fernand Fabre, Francoise Ponty, Joelle Laugeois, Maurice Barrier
"Filmmaking legend Roberto Rossellini brings his passion for realism and unerring eye for the everyday to this portrait of the early years of the reign of France’s “Sun King,” and in the process reinvents the costume drama. The death of chief minister Cardinal Mazarin, the construction of the palace at Versailles, the extravagant meals of the royal court: all are recounted with the same meticulous quotidian detail that Rossellini brought to his contemporary portraits of postwar Italy. The Taking of Power by Louis XIV dares to place a larger-than-life figure at the level of mere mortal." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by James Quandt, Daniel V. Villamediana, David Forgacs, Iain Sinclair, Juan Villegas.
522
514
Faust

Faust

Faust - Eine deutsche Volkssage (original title)

1926 / Germany / 116m / BW / Fantasy, Tragedy
Emil Jannings, Gosta Ekman, Camilla Horn, Eric Barclay, Hans Brausewetter, William Dieterle, Werner Fuetterer, Yvette Guilbert, Lothar Muthel, Frida Richard
"The great F.W. Murnau directed only one real blockbuster in Germany, just before coming to America to make his masterpiece, Sunrise; extravagant in every sense, Faust is laden with references to Dutch, German, and Italian painting and was rivaled only by Fritz Lang's Metropolis in driving the UFA studio toward bankruptcy. Like Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, this extraordinary piece of artistry and craftsmanship integrates its dazzling special effects so seamlessly that they're indistinguishable from the film's narrative, poetry, and, above all, metaphysics." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by Pierre Rissient, Shinji Aoyama, Måns Månsson, Michael Koller, Noel Vera.
521
402
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, Ching Siu-Tung.
520
494
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, Ben Wheatley, Anton Dolin, Heinz Emigholz.
519
456
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.
518 Up Arrow
589
Bigger Than Life

Bigger Than Life


1956 / USA / 95m / Col / Psychological Drama, Family Drama
James Mason, Barbara Rush, Walter Matthau, Robert F. Simon, Roland Winters, Christopher Olsen, Rusty Lane, Rachel Stephens, Kipp Hamilton, Betty Caulfield
"Though ignored at the time of its release, Nicholas Ray’s Bigger Than Life is now recognized as one of the great American films of the 1950s. When a friendly, successful suburban teacher and father (James Mason, in one of his most indelible roles) is prescribed cortisone for a painful, possibly fatal affliction, he grows dangerously addicted to the experimental drug… This Eisenhower-era throat-grabber, shot in expressive CinemaScope, is an excoriating take on the nuclear family. That it came in the day of Father Knows Best makes it all the more shocking—and wildly entertaining." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Quim Casas, Dennis Lim, Chris Fujiwara, Violeta Kovacsics, Joe Lawlor.
517
517
The Devils

The Devils


1971 / UK / 109m / Col / Historical Film, Religious Drama
Oliver Reed, Vanessa Redgrave, Dudley Sutton, Max Adrian, Gemma Jones, Murray Melvin, Georgina Hale, Michael Gothard, Graham Armitage, Kenneth Colley
"Considered by many to be Ken Russell's best film (and by others to be simply unwatchable), The Devils is an undeniably powerful and unforgettable cinematic experience. Rarely has so much anger and outrage been poured into a film (or directed at a film by its detractors) -- and rarely has a film offered so much to surely offend and shock so many... What is surprising is how effective the film is; while one may be repulsed by it or disagree with its sometimes simplistic political views, it's still a film that rushes over and overwhelms the viewer, taking him or her prisoner and refusing to let go." - Craig Butler, All Movie
Selected by Abel Ferrara, Mark Kermode, Tim Lucas, Ben Wheatley, Billy Chainsaw.
516
487
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.
515 Up Arrow
561
Cat People

Cat People


1942 / USA / 73m / BW / Horror, Supernatural Thriller
Simone Simon, Kent Smith, Tom Conway, Jane Randolph, Jack Holt, Elizabeth Russell, Alan Napier, Elizabeth Dunne, Henrietta Burnside, Alec Craig
"First in the wondrous series of B movies in which Val Lewton elaborated his principle of horrors imagined rather than seen, with a superbly judged performance from Simon as the young wife ambivalently haunted by sexual frigidity and by a fear that she is metamorphosing into a panther. With its chilling set pieces directed to perfection by Tourneur, it knocks Paul Schrader's remake for six, not least because of the care subtly taken to imbue its cat people (Simon, Russell) with feline mannerisms." - Tom Milne, Time Out
Selected by Sara Driver, Violeta Kovacsics, Jacques Lourcelles, Ivan Cardoso, Ricardo Bedoya.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
514
469
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 Ben Wheatley, Ian Christie, Dario Oliveira, Marten Blomkvist, Mikel Olaciregui.
513
508
All the President's Men

All the President's Men


1976 / USA / 138m / Col / Political Drama, Paranoid Thriller
Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford, Jack Warden, Martin Balsam, Hal Holbrook, Jason Robards, Jane (1) Alexander, Meredith Baxter Birney, Ned Beatty, Stephen Collins
"Inevitably softened by hints of self-congratulation concerning the success of Woodward and Bernstein's uncovering of the Watergate affair, Pakula's film is nevertheless remarkably intelligent, working both as an effective thriller (even though we know the outcome of their investigations) and as a virtually abstract charting of the dark corridors of corruption and power. Pakula's visual set-ups are often extraordinary, contrasting the light of the Washington Post newsroom with the shadows in which hides star informant Deep Throat, and dramatically engulfing Hoffman and Redford in monumental buildings to stress the enormity of their task." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Robert Redford, Bruce Robinson, George Clooney, Diane Negra, David Fincher.
512
425
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.
511 Up Arrow
584
Our Hospitality

Our Hospitality

1923 / USA / 74m / BW / Comedy, Romantic Comedy
Buster Keaton, Natalie Talmadge, Joe Roberts, Ralph Bushman, Craig Ward, Monte Collins, Joe Keaton, Leonard Chapman, Edward Coxen, Jean Dumas
"The main reason why Keaton is funnier and infinitely more 'modern' than Chaplin is that his movies are written, directed and shot as movies, never as excuses for comedy and/or pathos. This was his second feature and first full-length masterpiece, a story about the innocent inheritor of an old feud between Southern families, who carelessly starts dating the girl from the other family. The period setting (1831, the early days of rail travel) is made integral to the action, and all the laughs spring directly from the narrative and the characters. Buster's climactic rescue of his sweetheart from a waterfall is one of his most daringly acrobatic (and most celebrated) gags." - Tony Rayns, Time Out
Selected by David Robinson, Kevin Jackson, Geoff Andrew, Jim Emerson, Geoff Brown,.
510
507
Halloween

Halloween


1978 / USA / 93m / Col / Horror, Slasher Film
Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Nancy Loomis, P.J. Soles, Charles Cyphers, Kyle Richards, Brian Andrews, John Michael Graham, Nancy Stephens, Arthur Malet
"It's more clear than ever that John Carpenter's Halloween is a remarkable film that towers over the endless clones that followed it. In fact—and this doesn't really detract from Scream's cleverness—watching Halloween again makes it apparent just how saddled with poor self-parody so many of its slasher follow-ups were… Carpenter's story of childhood killer Michael Myers' return to the town in which he has become a symbol of all that is dark relies more on suspense and suggestion than cheap shocks and gore, which in itself makes it a better film than its successors… Ignore the Prom Nights and the Friday The Thirteenths; Halloween cuts deepest." - Keith Phipps, A.V. Club
Selected by Edgar Wright, John Singleton, Dane Cook, Benjamin Spacek, Nathan Tyler.
IMDB / No votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll / Amazon
509 Up Arrow
741
The Lives of Others

The Lives of Others

Das Leben der Anderen (original title)

2006 / Germany / 138m / Col / Political Thriller, Period Film
Martina Gedeck, Ulrich Muhe, Sebastian Koch, Ulrich Tukur, Thomas Thieme, Hans-Uwe Bauer, Volkmar Kleinert, Matthias Brenner, Charly Hubner, Herbert Knaup
"In his feature debut as director and screenwriter, von Donnersmarck burrows into the erotic, engrossing and thoroughly nasty business of spying. The place is East Berlin, in 1984, the Wall is still up, glasnost is far off and the Stasi (secret police) don't believe in privacy… The director weaves a complex political thriller that touches an emotional chord. All the performances are top-tier — Sebastian Koch is a star in the making — but it's Ulrich Muhe who leaves the deepest impression… von Donnersmarck has crafted the best kind of movie: one you can't get out of your head." - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
Selected by Lizelle Bisschoff, Minky Schlesinger, Tibor Bíró, Bob Balaban, Josh Radnor.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
508
442
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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Frankenstein

Frankenstein


1931 / USA / 70m / BW / Horror, Monster Film
Boris Karloff, Colin Clive, Mae Clarke, John Boles, Edward Van Sloan, Dwight Frye, Frederick Kerr, Lionel Belmore, Michael Mark, Marilyn Harris
"A stark, solid, impressively stylish film, overshadowed (a little unfairly) by the later explosion of Whale's wit in the delirious Bride of Frankenstein. Karloff gives one of the great performances of all time as the monster whose mutation from candour to chill savagery is mirrored only through his limpid eyes. The film's great imaginative coup is to show the monster 'growing up' in all too human terms… The film is unique in Whale's work in that the horror is played absolutely straight, and it has a weird fairytale beauty not matched until Cocteau made La Belle et la Bête." - Tom Milne, Time Out
Selected by Hirokazu Koreeda, Guillermo Del Toro, Roger Corman, Federico Fellini, Nelson Pereira dos Santos.
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La Terra trema

La Terra trema

La Terra trema: Episodio del mare (original title); The Earth Trembles (alternative title)

1948 / Italy / 160m / BW / Drama, Docudrama
Luchino Visconti, Antonio Pietrangeli, Maria Micale, Sebastiano Valastro, Antonino Micale, Nelluccia Giammona, Agnes Giammona, Salvatore Vicari, Giuseppe Vicari, Giuseppe Arcidiacono
"Visconti's second feature (five years after Ossessione in 1942) was an improvised drama produced by the Communist Party, filmed with and among Sicilian fishermen in the village of Aci-Trezza. An overwhelmingly stark chronicle of a family which strives but fails to break out of the poverty trap, La Terra Trema‚ stands as a masterpiece of neo-realism, a social conscience cinema of proletarian ways and means. Yet, despite this, it's no less 'operatic' than the director's later decadent melodramas: it surges with great tides of emotion. The film is distinguished by its vivid camerawork, at once poetic and 'documentary'." - Tom Charity, Time Out
Selected by José María de Orbe, Ulrich Gregor, Bryan Chang, Augusto M. Seabra, Ramin Bahrani.
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Dead Man

Dead Man


1995 / USA-Germany / 121m / BW / Hybrid Western, Psychological Western
Johnny Depp, Gary Farmer, Robert Mitchum, Lance Henriksen, Gabriel Byrne, John Hurt, Alfred Molina, Crispin Glover, Michael Wincott, Mili Avital
"With its black-humored tale of a mild Cleveland accountant (Depp) who travels to the Northwest, shoots a man in self-defense and is forced to become a fugitive outlaw, Dead Man contains thematic echoes of Jarmusch's previous work, particularly Down By Law and Mystery Train. And it's as strong as anything else he's done. Jarmusch's trademark quiet irony, affinity for the outcast and oddball, and moonscape visuals suit the Western genre well. And yes, Jarmusch does exercise his hep-cat credentials, assigning soundtrack-composition duties to Neil Young and featuring Iggy Pop in a dress and bonnet." - Maria Schneider, A.V. Club
Selected by Jurgis Krasons, Paul Tickell, Isaki Lacuesta, Jill Godmilow, Daniil Dondurei.
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Wagon Master

Wagon Master

Wagonmaster (alternative spelling)

1950 / USA / 86m / BW / Western, Traditional Western
Ben Johnson, Joanne Dru, Harry Carey Jr., Ward Bond, Charles Kemper, Alan Mowbray, Jane Darwell, Russell Simpson, James Arness, Ruth Clifford
"The film that John Ford most often cited as his personal favorite among his westerns, Wagon Master stars Ben Johnson and Harry Carey Jr. as two drifters assigned to lead a Mormon train to the Utah frontier. Ford treats one of his central themes—the birth of a community—through a sweeping visual metaphor of movement. Seldom has the western landscape seemed such a tangible emblem of hope and freedom. A masterpiece beyond question—but a masterpiece that never degenerates into pomposity or self-consciousness. It's American filmmaking at its finest and most eloquent." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Joseph McBride, Gilberto Perez, Whit Stillman, Santos Zunzunegui, Michael Baute.
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Les Vampires

Les Vampires


1915 / France / 440m / BW / Master Criminal Film, Crime Thriller
Musidora, Edouard Mathe, Marcel Levesque, Jean Ayme, Fernand Herrmann, Stacia Napierkowska, Edmund Breon, Renee Carl, Miss Edith, Louis Leubas
"Louis Feuillade's extraordinary ten-part silent serial of 1916, running just under eight hours, is one of the supreme delights of film—an account of the exploits of an all-powerful group of criminals called the Vampire Gang, headed by the infamous Irma Vep (Musidora), whose name is an anagram for “vampire.” Filmed mainly in Paris locations, Feuillade's masterpiece combines documentary with fantasy to create a dense world of multiple disguises, secret passageways, poison rings, and evil master plots that assumes an awesome cumulative power." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by Ed Park, David Meeker, Kevin B. Lee, J. Hoberman, Chung Sung-ill.
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Loves of a Blonde

Loves of a Blonde

Lásky jedné plavovlásky (original title); A Blonde in Love (alternative title)

1965 / Czechoslovakia / 88m / BW / Comedy Drama, Satire
Hana Brejchova, Vladimir Pucholt, Vladimir Mensik, Antonin Blazejovsky, Milada Jezkova, Josef Sebanek, Ivan Kheil, Jiri Hruby, Marie Salacova, Jana Novakova
"With sixteen women to each man, the odds are against Andula in her desperate search for love—that is, until a rakish piano player visits her small factory town and temporarily eases her longings. A tender and humorous look at Andula’s journey, from the first pangs of romance to its inevitable disappointments, Loves of a Blonde immediately became a classic of the Czech New Wave and earned Milos Forman the first of his Academy Award nominations." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by David Stratton, Ken Loach, Jamie Thraves, Martin Kanuch, Pawel Pawlikowski.
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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.