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Preston Sturges' The Lady Eve is layered with texture and substance draped in the gleeful prurience of a master of slapstick and romance who could write foolish millionaires with the same deft ear as cultured hooligans.
Paul Schrader's The Comfort of Strangers presents the discomfiting encounter with another —someone like you—and yet entirely unlike you, mysterious to you, unknown and unknowable.
In Scorsese's hands, the voice-over is less a substitute for what we are not shown but instead becomes a vital thread woven into the fabric of the film's meaning.
The Cameraman is Keaton's last great film, a jubilant, chaotic, and overactive silent romantic comedy that, intentional or not, doubles as a vision of the precarity of celebrity, independence, and artistry in the brutal Hollywood system.
While philosopher Stanley Cavell endeavors to show that we must mean what we say in a very important sense, Godard's Bruno Forestier of Le Petit Soldat suggests that we simply cannot and must not mean what we say.
The sense of artifice in Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel helped him create an alluring reverie of both color and meaning.
Told through the voices and movements of the legends and pioneers of the '80s Harlem drag-ball scene, Paris Is Burning is an indispensable look at one of America's most influential subcultures of the last half-century.
Far from being escapist entertainment, Herz's The Cremator is a dissection of evil and how deluded one becomes in willing themselves to power.
There are mythical moments in Almodóvar's All About My Mother. We are meant to register repetition in the story as something wonderfully strange, a connection across the chasm of impossibility.
The imaginative filmmaker Karel Zeman influenced many artists including Terry Gilliam, Tim Burton, fellow Czech Jan Švankmajer, the Brothers Quay, and animator Lawrence Jordan's recycling of classic 19th Century imagery.
If you had seen The Story of Temple Drake in 1933 -- which would have been your last chance to see it for decades -- you would have known that Paramount didn't dare name the notorious novel it was based upon.
Directed by the master of claustrophobic tension Sidney Lumet, Fail Safe (1964) is one of the most gripping Atomic Era thrillers ever made and its message resonates to this day.
The Story of Temple Drake grapples with the unbidden, unsettling force of emergent sexuality.
Bellocchio's best work, Fists in the Pocket (I pugni in tasca) is key to understanding the stark shift Italian cinema experienced in moving from the post-realism phase of the 1950s into the experimentalism, social commentary, and surrealism of the 1960s.
The Criterion Collection's essential 30th anniversary Blu-ray package of Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing honors the film's heart, aesthetic brilliance, and pointed message on American racism, diversity, and community.
Ingmar Bergman's Shame is one of his few films so blatantly concerned with the impositions of the external world,as opposed to the internal, subjective aspects of life.
Are fantasies mixed up with memories in Jan Němec's film adaptation of Arnošt Lustig's autobiographical story of surviving WWII, Diamonds of the Night (Démanty noci)? Will these babes forever be in the woods?
Re-releases of Police Story and Police Story 2 show writer-director-star Jackie Chan in his finest fighting style -- along with his usual over mugging for the camera.
As a piece of both cultural history and film history, David Byrne's True Stories takes its place alongside two other films from the mid-'80s that are also steeped in a surrealistic other-worldly place, Repo Man and Blue Velvet.
At the Crossroads of Pity and Revolt: Intensity and Time in Lino Brocka's 'Manila in the Claws of Light'
Lino Brocka's Manila in the Claws of Light seethes with rage against colonial oppression without ever becoming overt agitprop.
In Tomás Gutiérrez Alea's film the protagonist is an inhabitant too estranged from his country to belong, a tourist too familiar with his environment to experience the passing joy of surprise.
The experiences you have in NYC are not the best experiences to be had, the sex you have is not the best sex, the friends you make are not the best of all possible friends—but they ought to be.
The Criterion edition of 1991's The Silence of the Lambs reminds us what the film has always stood for: Don't underestimate Clarice.
The film is imbued with a painterly quality wherein the not-quite static framing of the human visage is its main concern, its aesthetic gambit, and the source of its affective impact.
Alexander Payne's 1999 cult black comedy about high school politics is ripe for a revisit, and Criterion is up to the task.
Jabberwocky takes the enticingly evocative, nearly blank canvas of Lewis Carroll's poem and fills it with a parody of medieval banalities that make the film a grimier, far less amusing companion to Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
Under the lens of cultural and historical context, as well as understanding the reflective nature of popular culture, it's hard not to read this film as a cautionary tale about the limitations of isolationism.