A selection of exceptional films from around the world.
Romanian New Wave star Porumboi’s sly comedy about history as farce, involving a local talk show host, an alcoholic professor, and a part-time Santa Claus.
12:08 EAST OF BUCHAREST
A tender, sad, and comic debut from Campion about female friendships, and the forces that pull them apart.
Amirpour’s entirely original thriller about a mysterious, chador-clad female bloodsucker in the dilapidated Iranian ghost town of Bad City.
A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT
Jia Zhangke’s jarringly to-the-moment wuxia film focuses on four individuals in four provinces, each pushed towards violence by rampant injustice.
A TOUCH OF SIN
A nonfiction group portrait of a family of nine who find themselves evicted from their home in the wild and forced to adapt to life in the capital.
ACASA, MY HOME
Director Tsai sits with muse Lee Kang-sheng, discussing all manner of things professional and very personal.
Wertmüller’s wild, woolly working-class satire follows a cadre of Sicilian migrants struggling to make ends meet.
ALL SCREWED UP
Pollak’s unabashedly emotional musical melodrama centers on a world-famous conductor who returns to his hometown and rediscovers the joy of music.
AS IT IS IN HEAVEN
In a backwater coastal village in Brazil, an aimless young woman is jolted out of her ennui by the discovery of a corpse.
Mysius’s beautifully enigmatic feature debut follows a 13-year-old girl who learns she is about to lose her eyesight.
A singularly sober, somber war film in which action takes a backseat to meditation on the futility of fighting.
Giuseppe Pignone’s tender documentary pays tribute to Line Wertmüller, tracing her early days as an assistant to Fellini through to her rise to international arthouse celebrity.
BEHIND THE WHITE GLASSES
A vibrant work of courage and clarity in which voices read a poetic text by Jarman—who was dying of AIDS, and would be gone within a year— over an unceasing, monochromatic blue frame.
A brazenly anachronistic and sensual imagining of the life of Renaissance renegade Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, and one of the finest British films of the 1980s.
Drawing inspiration from Tourneur’s I Walked with a Zombie, Costa creates an atmospheric and unsettling rumination on his homeland’s colonial past.
CASA DE LAVA
Entitled rich kid Jean gets a crash course in class consciousness when his family drops out of the ranks of Rio de Janeiro’s moneyed elite.
A landmark work of Portuguese cinema that tells the story of a young man’s return from abroad to his hometown fishing village in lyrical, neorealist style.
CHANGE OF LIFE
A wealthy mother is willing to do anything to protect her wastrel son in this scathing indictment of corruption in contemporary Romania.
Szabó’s historical drama follows the rise of Alfred Redl (a riveting Klaus Maria Brandeur) through the ranks of the Austro-Hungarian Empire’s army before the outbreak of WWI.
When Kata’s husband goes into hiding in WWII-era Hungary, his resistance comrades instruct her to go live with another man.
Visconti brings his outsized emotionality to the chamber drama form, broaching subjects of sex, fascism, and aesthetics in the tale of an aging Roman art historian.
Tsai’s gradual refinement of his cinema to bare essentials reaches a new level of serene beauty in Days.
Elia Suleiman’s nearly dialogue-free depiction of Palestinian life under Israeli occupation finds bleak, bitter humor in the tensions and taboos of a divided society.
A kinky gothic chiller from the maestro, Franco, about an orphan sent to spend the Yuletide holidays in her uncle’s surprise-filled home.
DR. ORLOFF’S MONSTER
A work of noose-tight construction, foreboding, surreal, and brimming with blighted sensuality.
EDEN AND AFTER
Jancsó’s radically original, downright hypnotic retelling of the Ancient Greek myth of Elektra.
ELEKTRA, MY LOVE
Egoyan’s second film tells the story of one man’s dissolution and reunion through a variety of video images
Tsai’s minimalist yet multifaceted film in which a soon-to-be-shut-down movie palace, the Fo-Ho—its screening room, projection booth, hallways, bathrooms—becomes a sort of haunted house.
GOODBYE, DRAGON INN
High school teacher Veronica is imprisoned for a crime she didn’t commit, while the ethical lapses of her health inspector father (a superb David Thewlis) lead to tragedy.
GUEST OF HONOUR
Russian giant Aleksei German’s widely lauded final film transforms a science-fiction classic into a visceral, headlong wallow in medieval muck.
HARD TO BE A GOD
The story of a terse long-distance relationship, charmingly told through a shuffled stack of love letters.
HILL OF FREEDOM
A deceptively simple story starring Isabelle Huppert, which, as lensed by the great Agnès Godard, takes on the enchanted air of a modern-day fable.
A humane, heartbreaking meditation on aging and art by the legendary Manoel de Oliveira, a sprightly 94-year-old when it was released.
I’M GOING HOME
Isabelle Huppert plays three variations on the role of a Frenchwoman abroad in Korea in her first venture into Hong’s peculiar, soju-soaked world.
IN ANOTHER COUNTRY
A delicate, thoughtful, and intimate debut about teenager Aimie, who moves from South Korea to Toronto with her newly divorced mother.
IN BETWEEN DAYS
A hilariously deadpan documentary profile of a soccer obsessive, from one of the leading lights of the Romanian New Wave.
An indigenous Guatemalan girl finds herself torn between traditional society and the modern world.
One of Denis’s most exhilarating films, which charts the travels of a mercenary (Michel Subor) as he journeys from the snowy Alps to Korea to Tahiti in search of a heart transplant and his son.
A sui generis marriage of war film and sunshine pop musical, La France follows Sylvie Testud’s lovelorn heroine into the trenches of WWI to search for her missing husband.
Green’s meditative, exquisite film follows an unhappily married architect and his wife on a trip to follow the trail of Baroque master builder Francesco Borromini.
Philosophy and action merge as one in wuxia legend King Hu’s atmospheric and hypnotic film, shot in the rugged terrain of South Korea.
LEGEND OF THE MOUNTAIN
An atmospheric, neon-drenched film noir fever dream from the Chinese poet and filmmaker Bi Gan that follows a young man as he returns home for his father’s funeral, before traveling down a winding road into the past.
LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT
Wertmüller’s 1930s-set tragicomedy follows country bumpkin anarchist Giancarlo Giannini on his mission to assassinate Mussolini.
LOVE & ANARCHY
Stéphane Brizé’s deceptively minor-key film about the developing romance between a married man and his son’s homeroom teacher, starring a standout Vincent Lindon.
Vincent Lindon is subtly overwhelming as unemployed everyman Thierry, who, after losing his factory job, must submit to a series of humiliating ordeals in his search for work.
THE MEASURE OF A MAN
A troubled 23-year-old chances across footage of an Armenian family who’d given up their infant son, and decides to present himself as their long-lost child.
NEXT OF KIN
Tarkovsky’s penultimate, semi-autobiographical film follows a homesick Russian musicologist in Italy, with the Tuscan countryside rendered a melancholy dreamscape.
Emigholz’s study of Nervi, the poet of poured concrete.
PARABETON: PIER LUIGI NERVI AND ROMAN CONCRETE
Emigholz’s biography/cultural history focuses on French architects and construction engineers Auguste and Gustave Perret.
PERRET IN FRANCE AND ALGERIA
Alain Delon shines in Visconti’s epic devotional tragedy, a film of violent, operatic feeling.
ROCCO AND HIS BROTHERS
Jarman’s feature debut revels in the male form while recounting the biblical story of the martyrdom by arrows of St. Sebastian, a tale of repressed desire turned to sadism.
The controversial, absurd, and uproarious film that made director Lina Wertmüller the talk of film culture, and garnered her the first Best Director Academy Award nomination for a woman.
Enormously empathetic, deeply moving, and entirely free of sentimental cheats, Sister offers an intimate depiction of destitution amidst decadence, so vivid that you can almost feel the slushy chill.
Rothemund’s riveting historical drama features Julia Jentsch in an award-winning performance as the most member of anti-Nazi German student group the White Rose.
SOPHIE SCHOLL: THE FINAL DAYS
A coruscating kaleidoscope tangled relationships, the confusion of life, and its filmed reflection.
A dialogue drama plays out against a backdrop of Uruguayan buildings by Eladio Dieste, Julie Vilamajó, and Arno Brandlhuber.
Italian master Michael Antonioni’s feature debut sees a pair of lovers become co-conspirators in murder.
STORY OF A LOVE AFFAIR
Successive Slidings of Pleasure finds Alain Robbe-Grillet blending sadomasochism, sacrilege, and psychedelia to delirious effect.
SUCCESSIVE SLIDINGS OF PLEASURE
A delicate, charming film from Kawase about intergenerational misunderstandings and the patient, arduous process of artful food preparation.
Wertmüller’s battle royale of the sexes/classes, a powder keg of a film that’s lost none of its ability to generate controversy almost 50 years after its release.
A tour de force of montage filmmaking illustrating the rise and fall of Romania’s notorious totalitarian and his wife.
THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF NICOLAE CEAUSESCU
Roffman’s feature debut follows a straight-and-narrow cat who falls into a seedy underworld of beatnik baddies, led by a young Peter Falk.
THE BLOODY BROOD
Imhoof’s suspenseful WWII-set drama follows a ragtag band of Austrian Jewish refugees—and one Nazi deserter—as they attempt to gain asylum in Switzerland.
THE BOAT IS FULL
Set entirely on a rotting fishing boat anchored on the Korean coast, Kim’s elegiac, unexpectedly sweet film centers on an elderly man and his charge, a teenage girl.
Eve, a shy young woman working as a maid at a posh Mexico City hotel, pursues a vision of a better life.
Puiu’s landmark scabrous satire follows the ailing elderly Mr. Lazarescu on an infernal journey through the Romanian public health system.
THE DEATH OF MR. LAZARESCU
Part game show, part intellectual tug-of-war, Lars von Trier challenges an elder Danish filmmaker to remake his film under strict parameters.
THE FIVE OBSTRUCTIONS
Borsos’s beloved adventure film gives Richard Farnsworth a career-best role as a former stagecoach robber who emerges from prison after 33 years to find a changed world—then goes right back to his old ways, planning a daring train robbery.
THE GREY FOX
The Mask isn’t just the first Canadian horror feature and the first Canadian film shot in 3D—it’s also a landmark of psychedelic cinema, dating from a time before most of the world had heard of LSD.
A man and a woman traveling through South Korea’s mountainous east are gradually revealed to be linked by the past.
THE POWER OF KANGWON PROVINCE
Tarkovsky’s final masterpiece is a haunting vision of a world threatened with nuclear annihilation.
The first film in Hùng’s acclaimed Vietnam Trilogy is a beautifully detailed, sublimely sensitive romance, which observes life within two different Saigon families.
THE SCENT OF GREEN PAPAYA
Giancarlo Giannini stars as a laborer being wooed by both the unions and the mafioso in Wertmüller’s raunchy and romantic comic drama.
THE SEDUCTION OF MIMI
Parisian teenager Victor sets out in search of a father figure in Green’s effervescent modern-day reworking of the nativity story, featuring Mathieu Amalric.
THE SON OF JOSEPH
Serge Bozon’s screwball comedy comes in a policier package, in which the central mystery opens onto the larger subject of France’s history of colonial crime.
A freewheeling visual essay that mines cinematic archives to contemplate Earth’s nearest neighbor.
TO THE MOON
A documentary-fiction hybrid essay film combining interviews with a narrative centered on two characters struggling with a sense of alienation from their bodies.
TOUCH ME NOT
An essential but lesser-known Claire Denis film, in which she documents the creation of a new dance work by Mathilde Monnier.
A pulp pastiche laid out with cool, mathematical symmetry, featuring Jean-Louis Trintignant at his most theatrical.
A beautifully observed story of a middle-aged man who must choose between his wife and younger mistress.
TUESDAY, AFTER CHRISTMAS
Dvortsevoy’s debut feature is a charming, vivacious depiction of an ancient way of life with an uncertain future.
Vacationing 22-year-old Nicole wiles away days in her middle-class Québéc neighborhood in Lafleur’s feather-light depiction of quarterlife drift and suburban malaise.
TU DORS NICOLE
A typically wry meditation from Hong on the vagaries of memory and the deceits of subjectivity.
VIRGIN STRIPPED BARE BY HER BACHELORS
Costa’s solemn and sumptuous Vitalina Varela gives center stage to Vitalena, a Cape Verdean widow, as she begins to establish a new life.
A young Mumbai native falls for a punkish artist and has to dream up ways to keep himself in the US in David Rathod’s charming ’80s romantic comedy.
WEST IS WEST
A suspenseful culture-clash drama about a young woman’s repression and resilience that packs a considerable emotional punch.
WHAT WILL PEOPLE SAY
An intimate insight into Costa’s creative process through his dialogue with two of his premiere artistic inspirations, filmmaker duo Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet.