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Belle de Jour
Catherine Deneuve's porcelain perfection hides a cracked interior in one of the actress's most iconic roles: Severine, a Paris housewife who begins secretly spending her afternoon hours working in a bordello. This surreal and erotic late-sixties daydream from provocateur for the ages Luis Bunuel is an examination of desire and…
WR: Mysteries of the Organism
What does the energy harnessed through orgasm have to do with the state of communist Yugoslavia circa 1971? Only counterculture filmmaker extraordinaire Dusan Makavejev has the answers (or the questions). His surreal documentary-fiction collision WR: Mysteries of the Organism begins as an investigation into the life and work of controversial…
Beware of a Holy Whore
Part of the Series: The Janus German Collection
In Rainer Werner Fassbinder's brazen depiction of the alternating currents of lethargy and mayhem inherent in moviemaking, a film crew--played by, and not so loosely based on, his own frequent collaborators--deals with an aloof star (Eddie Constantine), an abusive director (Lou Castel), and a financially troubled production. Inspired by the…
Weekend
Part of the Series: Janus French New Wave Collection
This scathing late-sixties satire from Jean-Luc Godard is one of cinema's great anarchic works. Determined to collect an inheritance from a dying relative, a bourgeois couple travel across the French countryside while civilization crashes and burns around them. Featuring a justly famous sequence in which the camera tracks along a…
Andrei Rublev
Immediately suppressed by the Soviets in 1966, Andrei Tarkovsky's epic masterpiece is a sweeping medieval tale of Russia's greatest icon painter. Too experimental, too frightening, too violent, and too politically complicated to be released officially, Andrei Rublev has existed only in shortened, censored versions until the Criterion Collection created this…
Daisies
Maybe the New Wave's most anarchic entry, Vera Chytilova's absurdist farce follows the misadventures of two brash young women. Believing the world to be "spoiled," they embark on a series of pranks in which nothing--food, clothes, men, war--is taken seriously. Daisies is an aesthetically and politically adventurous film that's widely…
Persona
By the midsixties, Ingmar Bergman had already conjured many of the cinema's most unforgettable images. But with the radical Persona, this supreme artist attained new levels of visual poetry. In the first of a series of legendary performances for Bergman, Liv Ullmann plays a stage actor who has inexplicably gone…
Europa
"You will now listen to my voice . . . On the count of ten you will be in Europa . . ." So begins Max von Sydow's opening narration to Lars von Trier's hypnoticEuropa (known in the U.S. as Zentropa), a fever dream in which American pacifist Leopold Kessler…
Orpheus
Jean Cocteau's update of the Orpheus myth depicts a famous poet (Jean Marais), scorned by the Left Bank youth, and his love for both his wife, Eurydice (Marie Dea), and a mysterious princess (Maria Casares). Seeking inspiration, the poet follows the princess from the world of the living to the…
Symbiopsychotaxiplasm
In his one-of-a-kind fiction/documentary hybrid Symbiopsychotaxiplasm Take One, director William Greaves presides over a beleaguered film crew in New York's Central Park, leaving them to try to figure out what kind of movie they're making. A couple enacts a break-up scenario over and over, a documentary crew films a crew…
Valerie and Her Week of Wonders
A girl on the verge of womanhood finds herself in a sensual fantasyland of vampires, witchcraft, and other threats in this eerie and mystical movie daydream. VALERIE AND HER WEEK OF WONDERS serves up an endlessly looping, nonlinear fairy tale, set in a quasi-medieval landscape. Ravishingly shot, enchantingly scored, and…
The Naked City
"There are eight million stories in the Naked City," as the narrator immortally states at the close of this breathtakingly vivid film--and this is one of them. Master noir craftsman Jules Dassin and newspaperman-cum-producer Mark Hellinger's dazzling police procedural, The Naked City, was shot entirely on location in New York.…