Lars von Trier’s Europe Trilogy: Straight to the Bottom of the River
One of contemporary cinema’s most provocative filmmakers launched his career with three deeply unnerving, deliriously genre-blending portraits of Europe.
Slash Americana: Strange Behavior’s Eerie Charm
With an inscrutable aesthetic that feels stumbled upon as much as developed, Michael Laughlin’s cult B movie is a delirious mix of science fiction, horror, and American pastoral archetypes.
Pink Flamingos: The Battle of Filth
Boasting a larger-than-life Divine, John Waters’ underground classic finds the sublime in the ridiculous.
Double Extremity: Judy Davis in Naked Lunch
In David Cronenberg’s deeply strange adaptation of the William S. Burroughs novel, Judy Davis plays two dissonant variations on the theme of the archetypal Beatnik Muse.
Outlier Looking In: Emmanuelle Devos in A Christmas Tale
Amid the tumultuous family dynamics on display in Arnaud Desplechin’s A Christmas Tale, Emmanuelle Devos delivers a performance of remarkable subtlety and lyricism.
Ghost World: Séance in Wowsville
Combining sardonic humor with poignant characterizations, this cult comedy explores the discontents of two high-school graduates adrift in strip-mall America.
Experience Necessary: Deborah Harry in Videodrome
One-Eyed Jacks: Zen Nihilism
The result of a notoriously troubled production, Marlon Brando’s unorthodox western presents a brooding vision of human futility.
The Manchurian Candidate: Dread Center
Set during the height of McCarthy-era paranoia and arriving in 1962, in the middle of the Cuban Missile Crisis, John Frankenheimer’s high-anxiety Communist conspiracy thriller tapped into the darkest fears of Cold War America.
Death by Hanging: Hanging by a Thread
In Death by Hanging, Nagisa Oshima spins a complex aesthetic web around his documentary-like structure, packing detail, history, politics, and emotion into his surrealist inquiry into capital punishment.
The Complete Lady Snowblood: Flowers of Carnage
Toshiya Fujita’s two-film saga set exuberant, manga-inspired martial-arts choreography against a backdrop of a Japanese society in transition to unfold a vivid tale of epic vengeance.
A Hard Day’s Night: The Whole World Is Watching
In 1964, Richard Lester harnessed the Beatles’ exploding superstardom for a giddy day-in-the-life pop masterpiece.
Quadrophenia: Jimmy vs. World
With humor and melancholy, Franc Roddam’s coming-of-age drama, based on the Who’s iconic album, shows us a g-g-generation on the edge.
Tokyo Drifter: Catch My Drift
Europa: Night Train
Pitfall: Outdoor Miner
Pitfall is the kind of semiuncanny, equivocally realist movie you might hope to duck into in a strange city, stumbling across it in a low-rent theater while escaping a bad date or a debt collector. Impressively anomalous and consistently unpredictabl…
Kill!: Pardon My Dust
Youth of the Beast: Screaming Target
“Just shut up and watch!” So snarls a frenzied gangster-pimp to baby-faced tough Joe Shishido as the creep whips a prostrate prostitute. There’s plenty for the naked eye to absorb: the delicate calligraphic detail of the bloody lash marks, set…