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Passing Fancy
The first of many films featuring the endearing single-dad Kihachi (played wonderfully by Takeshi Sakamoto), Passing Fancy is a humorous and heartfelt study of a close, if fraught, father-son relationship. With an ever more sophisticated visual style and understanding of fragile human relationships, Ozu seamlessly weaves rib-tickling comedy and weighty…
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 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…
The Threepenny Opera
Part of the Series: The Criterion German Collection
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…
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…
Les Miserables, Part 3
Hailed by film critics around the world as the greatest screen adapation of Victor Hugo's mammoth nineteenth-century novel, Raymond Bernard's dazzling, nearly five-hour Les miserables is a breathtaking tour de force, unfolding with the depth and detail of its source. Featuring stunning art direction and cinematography and unforgettable performances by…
Les Miserables, Part 2
Hailed by film critics around the world as the greatest screen adapation of Victor Hugo's mammoth nineteenth-century novel, Raymond Bernard's dazzling, nearly five-hour Les miserables is a breathtaking tour de force, unfolding with the depth and detail of its source. Featuring stunning art direction and cinematography and unforgettable performances by…
Les Miserables, Part 1
Hailed by film critics around the world as the greatest screen adapation of Victor Hugo's mammoth nineteenth-century novel, Raymond Bernard's dazzling, nearly five-hour Les miserables is a breathtaking tour de force, unfolding with the depth and detail of its source. Featuring stunning art direction and cinematography and unforgettable performances by…
Le Million
An impoverished artist discovers he has purchased a winning lottery ticket at the very moment his creditors come to collect. The only problem is, the ticket is in the pocket of his coat. . . which he left at his girlfriend's apartment. . . who gave the coat to a…
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
The Rules of the Game
Considered one of the greatest films ever made, The Rules of the Game (La regle du jeu), by Jean Renoir, is a scathing critique of corrupt French society cloaked in a comedy of manners in which a weekend at a marquis' country chateau lays bare some ugly truths about a…