Yojimbo

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Marketa Lazarová
In its native land, Frantisek Vlacil's Marketa Lazarova has been hailed as the greatest Czech film ever made; for many U.S. viewers, it will be a revelation. Based on a novel by Vladislav Vancura, this stirring and poetic depiction of a feud between two rival medieval clans is a fierce,…
Faces
John Cassavetes puts a disintegrating marriage under the microscope in the searing Faces. Shot in high-contrast 16 mm black and white, the film follows the futile attempts of the captain of industry Richard (John Marley) and his wife, Maria (Lynn Carlin), to escape the anguish of their empty relationship in…
Foreign Correspondent
In 1940, Alfred Hitchcock made his official transition from the British film industry to Hollywood. And it was quite a year: his first two American movies,Rebecca and Foreign Correspondent, were both nominated for the best picture Oscar. Though Rebecca prevailed, Foreign Correspondent is the more quintessential Hitch film. A full-throttle…
Closely Watched Trains
At a village railway station in occupied Czechoslovakia, a bumbling dispatcher's apprentice longs to liberate himself from his virginity. Oblivious to the war and the resistance that surrounds him, this young man embarks on a journey of sexual awakening and self-discovery, encountering a universe of frustration, eroticism, and adventure within…
The Naked Kiss
The setup is pure pulp: A former prostitute (a crackerjack Constance Towers) relocates to a buttoned-down suburb, determined to fit in with mainstream society. But in the strange, hallucinatory territory of writer-director-producer Samuel Fuller, perverse secrets simmer beneath the wholesome surface. Featuring radical visual touches, full-throttle performances, brilliant cinematography by…
Love Affair, or the Case of the Missing Switchboard Operator
In outline, this is the story of the tragic romance between a young telephonist (Eva Ras) and a middle-aged rodent sanitation specialist (Slobodan Aligrudic) in Belgrade. Yet in Dusan Makavejev's manic hands, this second feature becomes an endlessly surprising, time-shifting exploration of love and freedom. Featuring interludes of interviews with…
The Bad Sleep Well
A young executive hunts down his father's killer in director Akira Kurosawa's scathing The Bad Sleep Well. Continuing his legendary collaboration with actor Toshiro Mifune, Kurosawa combines elements of Hamlet and American film noir to chilling effect in exposing the corrupt boardrooms of postwar corporate Japan. Additional Reading: http://www.criterion.com/current/posts/409-the-bad-sleep-well-the-higher-depths http://www.criterion.com/current/posts/1828-the-bad-sleep-well-shakespeare-s-ghost
Drunken Angel
In this powerful early noir from the great Akira Kurosawa, Toshiro Mifune bursts onto the screen as a volatile, tubercular criminal who strikes up an unlikely relationship with Takashi Shimura's jaded physician. Set in and around the muddy swamps and back alleys of postwar Tokyo, Drunken Angel is an evocative,…
Red Beard
A testament to the goodness of humankind, Akira Kurosawa's Red Beard(Akahige) chronicles the tumultuous relationship between an arrogant young doctor and a compassionate clinic director. Toshiro Mifune, in his last role for Kurosawa, gives a powerhouse performance as the dignified yet empathic director who guides his pupil to maturity, teaching…
Samurai Rebellion
Toshiro Mifune stars as Isaburo Sasahara, an aging swordsman living a quiet life until his clan lord orders that his son marry the lord's mistress, who has recently displeased the ruler. Reluctantly, father and son take in the woman, and, to the family's surprise, the young couple fall in love.…
A Woman Under the Influence
This uncompromising portrait of domestic turmoil details the emotional breakdown of a suburban housewife and her family's struggle to save her from herself. Gena Rowlands and Peter Falk give unforgettably harrowing performances as a married couple deeply in love but unable to express their ardor in terms the other can…
Shadows
John Cassavetes's directorial debut revolves around a romance in New York City between Lelia (Lelia Goldoni), a light- skinned black woman, and Tony (Anthony Ray), a white man. The relationship is put in jeopardy when Tony meets Lelia's darker-skinned jazz singer brother, Hugh (Hugh Hurd), and discovers that her racial…