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Border Radio
Before carving out a niche as one of the most distinct voices in nineties American cinema, Allison Anders made her debut, alongside codirectors and fellow UCLA film school students Kurt Voss and Dean Lent, with 1987's Border Radio. A low-key, semi-improvised postpunk diary that took four years to complete, Border…
Master of the House
Before he turned to the story of Joan of Arc, the Danish cinema genius Carl Theodor Dreyer fashioned this ahead-of-its-time examination of domestic life. A deft comedy of gentle revenge, it is the story of a housewife who, with the help of a wily nanny, turns the tables on her…
The Rise of Catherine the Great
Part of the Series: The Criterion British Collection
A quick-witted and compelling dramatization of the troubled marriage of Catherine II (played by German actress Elisabeth Bergner, in her English-language debut) to Peter III (a randy Douglas Fairbanks Jr.) and her subsequent ascension to the throne as Empress of Russia. With its luxurious renderings of the eighteenth-century St. Petersburg…
My Night at Maud's
In the brilliantly accomplished centerpiece of Rohmer's "Moral Tales" series, Jean-Louis Trintignant plays Jean-Louis, one of the great conflicted figures of sixties cinema. A pious Catholic engineer in his early thirties, he lives by a strict moral code in order to rationalize his world, drowning himself in mathematics and the…
Clean, Shaven
Lodge Kerrigan began his succession of utterly unique, visually and aurally dazzling character studies with the raw, ravaging Clean, Shaven. A compelling headfirst dive into the mindscape of a schizophrenic (played by the remarkable Peter Greene) as he tries to track down his daughter after he is released from an…
The King of Kings
The King of Kings is the Greatest Story Ever Told as only Cecil B. DeMille could tell it. In 1927, working with one of the biggest budgets in Hollywood history, DeMille spun the life and Passion of Christ into a silent-era blockbuster. Featuring text drawn directly from the Bible, a…
Knife in the Water
Roman Polanski's first feature is a brilliant psychological thriller that many critics still consider among his greatest work. The story is simple, yet the implications of its characters' emotions and actions are profound. When a young hitchhiker joins a couple on a weekend yacht trip, psychological warfare breaks out as…
Young Törless
Part of the Series: The Criterion German Collection
At an Austrian boys' boarding school in the early 1900s, shy, intelligent Torless observes the sadistic behavior of his fellow students, doing nothing to help a victimized classmate--until the torture goes too far. Adapted from Robert Musil's acclaimed novel, Young Torless launched the New German Cinema movement and garnered the…
Pickpocket
Robert Bresson's incomparable tale of crime and redemption follows Michel, a young pickpocket who spends his days working the streets, subway cars, and train stations of Paris. As his compulsion grows, however, so too does his fear that his luck is about to run out. Tautly choreographed and crafted in…
Sawdust and Tinsel
Ingmar Bergman presents the battle of the sexes as a ramshackle, grotesque carnival in Sawdust and Tinsel, one of the late master's most vivid early works. The story of the charged relationship between a turn-of-the-century traveling circus owner (Ake Gronberg) and his performer girlfriend (Harriet Andersson), the film features dreamlike…
The Emperor Jones
Of all Paul Robeson's eleven starring film performances, by far his most iconic was his breakthrough in the big-screen adaptation of Eugene O'Neill'sThe Emperor Jones (1933). He was already a legend for his stage incarnation of Brutus Jones, a Pullman porter who powers his way to the rule of a…
Late Autumn
The great actress and Ozu regular Setsuko Hara plays a mother gently trying to persuade her daughter to marry in this glowing portrait of family love and conflict--a reworking of Ozu's 1949 masterpiece Late Spring. Additional Reading: http://www.criterion.com/current/posts/634-eclipse-series-3-late-ozu