It would be hard to count how many films Brief Encounter has influenced over the years. See where so much of the romantic-drama foundation was poured. Certified Copy plays with perspective and form while never losing track of the two fascinating performers at its center. If you have access to his entire oeuvre, Citizen Kane is the logical opening salvo, but that — as well as some of the other more widely known classics — is not on the Criterion Channel.
Largely dismissed upon its release, Chimes has developed a following over the years and was restored by Janus and Criterion in for a new generation to discover. Varda recently passed away at 90 , leaving even hard-core cinephiles wondering if they had seen enough of her influential work. How important is Varda to film history? Sils Maria stars Juliette Binoche as a famous actress being asked to reprise a role in the play that made her a star. As she rehearses with her assistant, wonderfully played by Kristen Stewart, who won the French equivalent of an Oscar for her work here, reality and fiction intertwine.
Despite some third-act problems, this is a fascinating, haunting film, and a great way to sample how narratively daring Assayas can be. Federico Luppi plays an antiques dealer who finds a scarab that leads him into a nightmare. Correct that oversight. Perhaps the toughest part of being a Chaplin fan is picking one for newbies. No matter, they generally end up watching them all. The Maysles and co-directors Ellen Hovde and Muffie Meyer capture the decline of opulence in a way that turns their realistic approach into a commentary on the end of an era.
This is what Camelot becomes: co-dependent former socialites stuck in their routines in a crumbling mansion. Also his first, it stars Emmanuelle Riva and Eiji Okada as a French actress and a Japanese architect who have an affair amidst the ruins of Hiroshima. It earned an Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay.
Ikiru Akira Kurosawa. Even if Criterion had only a handful of Kurosawa films, it would still be difficult to choose between The Seven Samurai , Rashomon, and Ran, to name a few. So why Ikiru? More Kurosawa on the Criterion Channel: Too many to list. The two play neighbors who develop an attraction to one another in a way that feels both deeply cinematic and completely human.
This examination of the gradual breakdown of the routines of an ordinary life turns everyday detail into something unforgettable, even transcendent. The Village Voice named it one of the 20 best films of the 20th century. Luckily, his fantastic The Killing of a Chinese Bookie is here in two versions. What if someone could just disappear off the face of the Earth? La Promesse Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne Though Criterion has released several great films by the Dardennes, only one is on the channel as of this writing.
La Strada Federico Fellini As with several filmmakers on this list, picking a single Fellini feels almost cruel, but a good place to start is with the unforgettable visage of Giulietta Masina. She plays Gelsomina, a woman sold to a circus strongman, played by Anthony Quinn. A wonderful genre blend, it nimbly incorporates elements of comedy into the mystery. An underrated great.
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Moments from childhood rise to the surface and then fade back again, often with perfectly chosen music to accompany them. A beautiful, lyrical, deeply poetic piece of filmmaking. M Fritz Lang A perfectly calibrated suspense film about a serial killer, unforgettably played by Peter Lorre.
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters Paul Schrader Writer-director Paul Schrader is known for his films about men on the fringes of society see: Taxi Driver and First Reformed , but this is arguably his most visually striking work, about a man who merged his life and art.
Ken Ogata plays Yukio Mishima, who committed public seppuku in to protest what he saw as the decadence of Japanese postwar culture.
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Challenging traditional forms of cinematic storytelling, Mishima is a modern classic. Mulholland Drive David Lynch. Night of the Living Dead George A. DIY filmmaking changed forever when George A. Romero got some friends and colleagues together to make a zombie movie that remains powerful a half-century later. He knew how to use them to enhance the mood of masterpieces like The Third Man and this thriller, in which James Mason plays a political conspirator on the run, hunted by police throughout Belfast.
Soon the whole world starts to feel dangerous and unsettling. Paths of Glory Stanley Kubrick The only Kubrick film currently on the channel is the searing Paths of Glory, starring Kirk Douglas as a WWI French colonel forced to defend his men against a charge of cowardice after they refuse to go through with an order that would lead to their deaths.
It remains a powerful indictment of what governments and militaries ask young men to do in combat. The Piano Teacher Michael Haneke Years before he won an Oscar for Amour , Michael Haneke was a controversial voice on the international scene with several challenging flicks. This Grand Prix winner at Cannes in was one of his major turning points.
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