Bergman Island: Form and Feeling
In this shape-shifting exploration of creativity, couplehood, and artistic influence, Mia Hansen-Løve offers a glimpse at the existential heavy lift required by her deceptively simple autofictions.
This Is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection: Staying Power
Filled with evocative images and guided by the unique aesthetic sensibility of the landlocked kingdom of Lesotho, Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese’s film is an exploration of the power of grief that is paradoxically uplifting.
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.
Imitation of Life: On Passing Between
In its ambivalence toward its provocative themes, John M. Stahl’s groundbreaking exploration of racial identity demonstrates the insolubility of Hollywood’s representational conundrum.
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen: A Reason to Believe
A work of pure, rigorous enchantment, the final film in Terry Gilliam’s “Trilogy of Imagination” employs old-fashioned technical wizardry to bring about its wall-to-wall visual astonishments.
Cooley High: Young, Gifted, and Black
A departure from the tales of sex and violence that defined Black cinema in the early 1970s, Michael Schultz’s beloved coming-of-age film celebrates the emotional bonds among a group of young Black men.
Mai Zetterling: Cinema Artist
A pioneering feminist artist drawn to universal themes, the Swedish director mined the complexity and humor of human behavior in films that courted controversy and cultivated a sense of detachment.
Michael Haneke’s Alienation Effect
Known for their austerity and shocking moments of violence, the Austrian director’s first three films cultivate a kind of humanism in their dogged refusal to coddle the viewer.
WALL•E: Whoooooaaaaaaahhh . . .
Deeply influenced by the classics of silent-era comedy, this vision of a postapocalyptic future celebrates cinema as a universal language that offers us a sense of common ground.
The Infernal Affairs Trilogy: Double Bind
A box-office success that buoyed Hong Kong’s beleaguered movie industry in the early 2000s, this suite of crime films combines narrative intricacy and moral complexity with an abundance of megastar charisma.
The Power of the Dog: What Kind of Man?
In her first film that places a male character front and center, Jane Campion trains her unsparing gaze on the brutality of patriarchal power and the pain of repressed homoerotic desire.
Daisies: Giggling Generals; One and Two
In one of the most incendiary and formally experimental films of the Czechoslovak New Wave, two mysterious young women uncover humanity’s endless potential for revolt.
Notes on In the Mood for Love
A film of rich colors, mournful silences, and haunting symmetries, Wong Kar Wai’s masterpiece is a meticulously constructed memory box that invites fetishistic dissection.
Eve’s Bayou: The Gift of Sight
One of the few American films of its era directed by a Black woman, Kasi Lemmons’s feature debut advances a critique of patriarchy and asks questions about gender and sexuality that still resonate today.
Chess of the Wind: The Glorious Miniature of an Upheaval
A long-obscure landmark of the Iranian New Wave, Mohammad Reza Aslani’s daringly ambiguous portrait of feudalism’s demise mirrors the revolutionary times in which it was made.