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The Battle of Algiers
One of the most influential political films in history, THE BATTLE OF ALGIERS, by Gillo Pontecorvo, vividly re-creates a key year in the tumultuous Algerian struggle for independence from the occupying French in the 1950s. As violence escalates on both…
Breathless
There was before Breathless, and there was after Breathless. Jean-Luc Godard burst onto the film scene in 1960 with this jazzy, free-form, and sexy homage to the American film genres that inspired him as a writer for Cahiers du cinema.…
The 400 Blows - Les quatre cents coups
Francois Truffaut's first feature is also his most personal. Told through the eyes of Truffaut's cinematic counterpart, Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Leaud), THE 400 BLOWS sensitively re-creates the trials of Truffaut's own childhood, unsentimentally portraying aloof parents, oppressive teachers, and petty…
Seven Samurai
One of the most thrilling movie epics of all time, SEVEN SAMURAI (Shichinin no samurai) tells the story of a sixteenth-century village whose desperate inhabitants hire the eponymous warriors to protect them from invading bandits. This three-hour ride from Akira…
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Rashomon
A riveting psychological thriller that investigates the nature of truth and the meaning of justice, Rashomon is widely considered one of the greatest films ever made. Four people give different accounts of a man's murder and the rape of his…
Cleo From 5 to 7
Agnes Varda eloquently captures Paris in the sixties with this real-time portrait of a singer (Corinne Marchand) set adrift in the city as she awaits test results of a biopsy. A chronicle of the minutes of one woman's life, CLEO…
Bicycle Thieves
Hailed around the world as one of the greatest movies ever made, the Academy Award-winning BICYCLE THIEVES, directed by Vittorio De Sica, defined an era in cinema. In poverty-stricken postwar Rome, a man is on his first day of a…
Charade
In this equally thrilling and romantic classic, Regina Lampert (Audrey Hepburn) falls for the dashing Peter Joshua (Cary Grant) while on holiday in the French Alps. Her newfound romance is interrupted, however, upon her return home, when it is revealed…
The Seventh Seal
Disillusioned and exhausted after a decade of battling in the Crusades, a knight (Max von Sydow) encounters Death on a desolate beach and challenges him to a fateful game of chess. Much studied, imitated, even parodied, but never outdone, Bergman's…
Playtime
Jacques Tati's gloriously choreographed, nearly wordless comedies about confusion in an age of high technology reached their apotheosis with PlayTime. For this monumental achievement, a nearly three-year-long, bank-breaking production, Tati again thrust the lovably old-fashioned Monsieur Hulot, along with a…
8 1/2
Marcello Mastroianni plays Guido Anselmi, a director whose new project is collapsing around him, along with his life. One of the greatest films about film ever made, Federico Fellini's 8 1/2 ( Otto e mezzo ) turns one man's artistic…
L'avventura
Michelangelo Antonioni invented a new film grammar with this masterwork. An iconic piece of challenging 1960's cinema and a gripping narrative on its own terms, L'AVVENTURA concerns the enigmatic disappearance of a young woman during a yachting trip off the…
Ali: Fear Eats the Soul
Rainer Werner Fassbinder, already the director of almost twenty films by the age of twenty-nine, paid homage to his cinematic hero, Douglas Sirk, with this updated version of Sirk's All That Heaven Allows . Lonely widow Emmi Kurowski (Brigitte Mira)…
Purple Noon
Alain Delon was at his most impossibly beautiful when Purple Noon was released and made him an instant star. This ripe, colorful adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's vicious novel The Talented Mr. Ripley, directed by the versatile Rene Clement, stars Delon…
Tokyo Story
A profoundly stirring evocation of elemental humanity and universal heartbreak, Tokyo Story is the crowning achievement of the unparalleled Yasujiro Ozu. The film, which follows an aging couple's journey to visit their grown children in bustling postwar Tokyo, surveys the…
Solaris
Ground control has been receiving mysterious transmissions from the three remaining residents of the Solaris space station. When cosmonaut and psychologist Kris Kelvin is dispatched to investigate, he experiences the same strange phenomena that afflict the Solaris crew, sending him…
Umbrellas of Cherbourg
An angelically beautiful Catherine Deneuve was launched to stardom by this dazzling musical heart-tugger from Jacques Demy. She plays an umbrella-shop owner's delicate daughter, glowing with first love for a handsome garage mechanic, played by Nino Castelnuovo. When the boy…
Le Samouraï
In a career-defining performance, Alain Delon plays a contract killer with samurai instincts. A razor-sharp cocktail of 1940s American gangster cinema and 1960s French pop culture--with a liberal dose of Japanese lone-warrior mythology--maverick director Jean-Pierre Melville's masterpiece Le Samourai defines…
Jules and Jim
Hailed as one of the finest films ever made, Jules and Jim charts, over twenty-five years, the relationship between two friends and the object of their mutual obsession. The legendary Francois Truffaut directs, and Jeanne Moreau stars as the alluring…
His Girl Friday
In this undeniable gem of Hollywood's golden age, Walter, a hard-boiled newspaper editor, discovers that his ex-wife and former employee, Hildy, is set to marry a wet-blanket insurance salesman. Walter, certain that this is the wrong move for a strong-willed…