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The Threepenny Opera
The sly melodies of composer Kurt Weill and the daring of dramatist Bertolt Brecht come together on-screen under the direction of German auteur G. W. Pabst (Pandora's Box) in this classic adaptation of the Weimar-era theatrical sensation. Set in the impoverished back alleys of Victorian London, The Threepenny Opera follows…
La bete humaine
Based on the classic Emile Zola novel, Jean Renoir's La bete humaine was one of the legendary director's greatest popular successes--and earned star Jean Gabin a permanent place in the hearts of his countrymen. Part poetic realism, part film noir, the film is a hard-boiled and suspenseful journey into the…
A Story of Floating Weeds
In 1959, Yasujiro Ozu remade his 1934 silent classic A Story of Floating Weeds in color with the celebrated cinematographer Kazuo Miyagawa (Rashomon, Ugetsu). Setting his later version in a seaside location, Ozu otherwise preserves the details of his elegantly simple plot wherein an aging actor returns to a small…
The Testament of Dr. Mabuse
Locked away in an asylum for a decade and teetering between life and death, the criminal mastermind Doctor Mabuse (Rudolf Klein-Rogge) has scribbled his last will and testament: a manifesto establishing a future empire of crime. When the document's nefarious writings start leading to terrifying parallels in reality, it's up…
Pandora's Box
One of the masters of early German cinema, G. W. Pabst had an innate talent for discovering actresses (including Greta Garbo). And perhaps none of his female stars shone brighter than Kansas native and onetime Ziegfeld girl Louise Brooks, whose legendary persona was defined by Pabst's lurid, controversial melodrama Pandora's…
The Lower Depths
Jean Renoir and Akira Kurosawa, two of cinema's greatest directors, transform Maxim Gorky's classic proletariat play The Lower Depths in their own ways for their own times. Renoir, working amidst the rise of Hitler and the Popular Front in France, had need to take license with the dark nature of…
Flanders
Andre Demester leaves his farm in northern France to become a soldier in a far off land. On his last night of freedom he witnesses Barbe, his childhood friend and secret love, sleeping with another man. A twist of fate puts the two men side by side in combat where…
The Sun
The final portrait in a series on the lives of dictators by Alexander Sokurov, THE SUN is a re-imagining of Emperor Hirohito's final days in power during the waning days of WWII. Hirohito wanders through his palace in a child-like state of denial. But reality soon intrudes as American soldiers…
His Majesty's Sergeant
His Majesty's Sergeant is a film produced by the late Ghanaian director Ato Yanney. A story of racial conflict set in the war-torn Burmese forest during 1944 when three soldiers, an African, an Indian and a Briton, end up hiding together. Three disparate bands, Jafa (Tommy Ebow Ansah), Singh (Surinder…
The Home and the World
Both a romantic-triangle tale and a philosophical take on violence in times of revolution, The Home and the World (Ghare Baire), set in early twentieth-century Bengal, concerns an aristocratic but progressive man who, in insisting on broadening his more traditional wife's political horizons, drives her into the arms of his…
Every Night Dreams
In the formally ravishing Every-Night Dreams, set in the dockside neighborhoods of Tokyo, a single mother works tirelessly as a Ginza bar hostess to ensure a better life for her young son--until her long-lost husband returns. Additional Reading: http://www.criterion.com/current/posts/1787-eclipse-series-26-silent-naruse
Under the Roofs of Paris
In Rene Clair's irrepressibly romantic portrait of the crowded tenements of Paris, a street singer and a gangster vie for the love of a beautiful young woman. This witty exploration of love and human foibles, told primarily through song, captures the flamboyant atmosphere of the city with sophisticated visuals and…