Monday, September 13, 2021

Movie tweets to September 13, 2021 (4 of 4)



Wait Until Dark (1967) – despite Hepburn’s touching centre, Young’s luridly over-elaborate exercise in terror is ugly and unappealing


Pain and Glory (2019) – Almodovar hardly challenges us now, but his cinema has become a painterly oasis of gracefully preoccupied serenity


The Spirit of St. Louis (1957) – an atypically straightforward Wilder exercise, executed with empathetic skill within its narrow parameters


Scarlet Diva (2000) – Argento’s quasi-self-portrait confesses, pleads and evades in an aggressively ambiguous, enjoyably in-your-face manner


Images (1972) – the spell of Altman’s breakdown movie lies less in its conceptual elaborations than in its physical immediacy and detail


The Daughters of Fire (2018) – Carri’s film lustily embraces pornographic elements, while bracingly complicating the mechanics and the gaze


Dead of Night (1945) – an ever-irresistible anthology, skipping through its flatter passages to culminate in pull-all-the-stops-out style


TGM the Liberator (1990) – Chytilova’s one-of-a-kind career ends with a lively but far from subversive, reconciliatory-feeling documentary


Blessed Event (1932) – Del Ruth’s newspaper drama has a fabulous line in fast-talking cynicism, dotted with surprisingly raw moments


Ema (2019) – Larrain’s fabulously seductive, fiery chronicle offers an almost frustratingly irresistible alchemy of giving and withholding


Accident (1967) – Losey/Pinter’s film may be the polished, implication-heavy apex of a certain (ultimately unproductive) cinematic strain


Castle in the Sky (1986) – Miyazaki’s wildly imaginative spectacle is fairly exhilarating, although not among his emotionally fullest works


The Red Kimono (1925) – Lang and Davenport’s highly sympathetic, quite cinematically engaging study of a woman’s shame and redemption


Non-Fiction (2018) – Assayas’ film deploys a super-smoothly retrograde approach to surveying the cutting-edge, or maybe it’s vice versa


Hell and High Water (1954) – one of Fuller’s less impactful films delivers fairly standard drama and crudely dated characterizations


Women Without Men (2009) – Neshat and Azari’s rather peculiar tale of lost possibilities is far from perfect, but maintains a glassy allure


Humanoids from the Deep (1979) – the monsters are OK, but Peeters allows the surrounding narrative and quasi-themes to mostly unravel


Staying Vertical (2016) – for every element of earthy rootedness, Guiraudie’s strange self-discovery odyssey throws in a bizarro provocation


Green for Danger (1947) – Gilliat’s whodunit rattles happily along, propelled by doses of comedy, romantic frustration and wartime paranoia


Malmkrog (2020) – Puiu’s brain-flooding film, a shiftingly doom-ridden comedy powered by imposing aesthetic and intellectual seriousness


Lawyer Man (1932) – Dieterle’s steadily unremarkable Powell vehicle breezes through a lifetime’s worth of ups, downs & degrees of cynicism


Casa de lava (1994) – Costa’s challenging, disorienting, lingering-in-the-mind expression of colonialism’s accursedly tangled complexities 


Only Two Can Play (1962) – Gilliat’s smutty comedy somewhat endures as a duly depressing window on its repressed, class-driven milieu


Climax (2018) – Noe comes on like a depraved Busby Berkeley, going from exuberant high to wrenching low with get-out-of-my-fucking way elan


The True Story of Jesse James (1957) – a solid telling, amply studded by Ray with arresting moments and stunning widescreen compositions


My Twentieth Century (1989) – Enyedi’s wide-angle historical fantasy thirsts after greatness, but its devices are too often twee or tiresome


The Velvet Vampire (1971) – Rothman’s (perhaps artfully) unpolished film works savvy, ideologically-charged variations on the vampire genre


J’accuse (2019) – Polanski’s examination of duty in the face of institutional resistance, executed with undiminished fluency and acuity


Black and Tan (1929) – Murphy’s short film preserves some classic Duke Ellington moments within an oddly disorienting comedy-to-tragedy arc


Ex Drummer (2007) – Mortier’s movie bites out its own sick-times-whimsical sorta-category, for unenjoyable yet damnably stimulating viewing


Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948) – one of Ophuls’ loveliest films, drawing on cinema’s inherent play of permanence and transience


Long Day’s Journey Into Night (2018) – one concludes Bi’s dream-noirish, boundary-transcending odyssey feeling transported, even transformed


The Balcony (1963) – Strick’s adaptation is a largely effective, memorably-cast artificiality, even if rather drained of its core power


Un jour Pina m’a demande (1983) – Akerman captures the expressive majesty of Bausch’s work, and its almost scary, destabilizing power


St. Louis Blues (1958) – the film is limited in all the usual Hollywood ways (and then some), but shines for its unique cast and musicality


Antigone (2019) – Deraspe’s excitingly tuned-in repurposing of Greek mythology, as a tragic study in complexities of immigrant assimilation


The Driller Killer (1979) – beneath the notorious “nasty” bits, a bracing early dip into the teeth-bared obsessive well of Ferrara’s cinema


Sicilia! (1999) – it’s an eternal Huillet/Straub mystery, how such precisely grounded calibration yields something close to bountifulness


Shoulder Arms (1918) – Chaplin’s enjoyably patchy, sometimes bleak-streaked soldier comedy aims both high and low, ending in dreamy idealism


Madeline’s Madeline (2018) – Decker’s amazing film, a delicately honey-gathering bee that pollinates the flower at the heart of creation


La francaise et l’amour (1960) – a love-at-all-ages anthology, with seven directors working in a uniformly unexertingly pleasant register


Saturn 3 (1980) – Donen provides a few striking visuals, and the cast is worth something, but the sense of possibility rapidly dissipates


Supermarkt (1974) – Klick’s in-your-face film works both as escalating crime drama and as exploration of social boundaries and affinities


Judy (2019) – Goold’s movie is one of conventional and not particularly exciting strengths, largely including Zellweger’s performance


Diabolique (1955) – Clouzot’s narrative trap, lubricated with humour, cruelty & transgression, barely rusts with time, however often visited


Clockwatchers (1997) – Sprecher’s enjoyably lingering film, starting as fairly easy parody, gradually takes on greater existential weight


Bicycle Thieves (1948) – De Sica’s film still holds truths, but they lie as much around its edges as in its limitingly structured centre


The White Crow (2018) – Fiennes’ time-shifting portrayal of Nureyev is finely-crafted in all respects, perhaps a bit counter-productively


When the Buckwheat Blooms (1968) – Lee’s epically-contoured tale of desire and separation is a restrained, often melancholy pleasure


Perfect (1985) – Bridges undermines his film’s plausible ambitions through persistent over-simplification and lack of critical distance


Vladimir et Rosa (1971) – Godard & Gorin’s mind-filling, often humorous, not-too-didactic engagement with representation in turbulent times


The Farewell (2019) – Wang’s charmingly light but well-considered film studies the loss & regret inherent in personal & societal evolution


I Am Waiting (1957) – Kurahawa’s noir-ish romance has little depth, but much capable low-life distraction and tapping of heavy emotion


Lolita (1997) – Lyne’s adaptation often feels like a rather distanced, academic achievement, although elevated in its climactic bereftness


Faisons un reve… (1936) – a knowingly minor Guitry set-up, but with a few stylistic flourishes and resistance-crushing performance moments


Rebecca (2020) – Wheatley’s scenically well-imagined version is certainly watchable, but doesn’t hang together particularly strongly


La prise de pouvoir par Louis XVI (1966) – Rossellini’s brilliantly-controlled, ever-relevant examination of ritualized image-making & power


Field Niggas (2015) – Allah’s deeply personal & respectful engagement with Harlem street life is immediate & timeless, beautiful & appalling


Passe ton bac d’abord (1977) – with unmatched empathetic clarity, Pialat dissects socially-determined, aspiration-stifling teenage lives


The Hot Stuff (1981) – Vadim’s bland caper doesn’t have much going for it, beyond a few glimmers of engagement with art world practices


Tormento (1950) – Matarazzo’s story of separation & suffering is rather less artful & fully developed than his other Sanson/Nazzari dramas


Never Really Sometimes Always (2020) – the amazing Hittman’s surface minimalism conveys enormous and sobering personal and social complexity


The Little Match Girl (1928) – Renoir’s early short film encompasses both observant emotional poignancy and exuberant visual experimentation


In Fabric (2018) – in Strickland’s hands, potentially trite horror notions acquire extraordinary, blackly amused multi-dimensional ceremony


The Two of Us (1967) – Berri’s balanced study of wartime relocation, crammed with behavioural pleasures and darkly pointed undertones


Housekeeping (1987) – Forsyth’s adaptation often seems defined as much by its absences as its premises, to mixed if quietly endearing effect


Why Does Herr R Run Amok? (1970) – Fassbinder and Fengler’s film may be among the most pitiless and withholding of (sort of) comedies


Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood (2019) – perhaps Tarantino’s most visually and conceptually assured fantasia, teeming with tangible pleasures


The Hidden Fortress (1958) – it’s hard to rate the film as highly as many do, even while bowing to Kurosawa’s inventiveness and assurance


Husbands and Wives (1992) – Allen’s often anguished relationship chronicle is overdone in any number of ways, but connects even so


The Neighbor’s Wife and Mine (1931) – Gosho’s comedy (with jazz!) of a put-upon writer is a bit misshapen, but sprightly handled overall


The Man who Killed Don Quixote (2018) – Gilliam’s accomplished fantasia flamboyantly reflects & quite movingly justifies his long obsession


Season of our Love (1966) – Vancini’s rather ineffectual study of melancholy self-examination falls short of its evident sweeping ambition


Rita, Sue and Bob too (1987) – Clarke’s boisterously funny, grounded plunge into sexual self-determination, not without its overdone aspects


Fortini/Cani (1976) – Straub/Huillet counterpoint calmly observed surfaces with boiling historical stains & complex political hypocrisies


A Rainy Day in New York (2019) – Allen tries to put young faces on classical moods and situations, with often bizarrely misconceived results


Sun in the Last Days of Shogunate (1957) – an incident-packed, nuanced semi-farce, with Kawashima in his most confidently expansive mode


Little Buddha (1993) – Bertolucci’s most uninteresting, inexplicably soft film, suffused in merely superficial beauty and spirituality


Street Scene (1931) – a strangely lesser-known Vidor film, marvelously balancing God’s-eye expansiveness and careful close observation


The Image Book (2018) – Godard’s reflection (both celebration & confession) on cinema’s helpless beauty & intertwined ideological violence


Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) – beneath Edwards’ romanticism and its “iconic” qualities, a relative minefield of insecurity and cynicism


Golden Eighties (1986) – Akerman delivers classic musical-genre pleasures, infiltrated with personal and political insecurity and fracture


The Nightcomers (1971) – an enjoyably peculiar brew, but a less superficial director than Winner would surely have extracted more from it


Buoyancy (2019) – Rathjen’s story of modern-day slavery is often disturbingly convincing, but limited by its “triumph of human spirit” arc


Riot in Cell Block 11 (1954) – Siegel’s dynamically incisive drama, marrying hard-edged realities with muscular, no-nonsense storytelling


The River (1997) – Tsai mesmerizingly explores lives at odds with themselves & God, their emptiness occasionally touched by furtive rapture


Fort Apache (1948) – perhaps the summit of Ford’s particular exploration of ritual and duty, of the tragedy and glory of transition


Diamantino (2018) – Abrantas & Schmidt’s happily iconoclastic fantasy, its artisanal candy floss seasoned by a plethora of modern fears


The Birds (1963) – one of Hitchcock’s, and cinema’s, most mind-alteringly vast expressions of the terrible glory of seeing and desiring


Melo (1986) – Resnais’ film has the heightened emotional concentration of classical theatre, beautifully ventilated with cinematic allusion


Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) – Kaufman’s remake has some terrific elements, although gets more conventional as it goes along


A Screaming Man (2010) – Haroun’s mesmerizingly delicate, personally and politically anguished film leaves one in various states of mourning


Utopia (1950) – Laurel and Hardy’s last film is ambitiously plotted, but often poorly realized, and poorly attuned to their advancing years


Beginning (2020) – Kulumbegashvili’s mind-filling film is often formally mesmerizing, and existentially and socially almost terrifying


You and Me (1938) – Lang’s socially-minded romance incorporates some highly striking emphasis, digressions and musical interpolations


Les confins du monde (2018) – Nicloux travels a wrenchingly original, unsettling route into the extremity of war, as breakdown and erasure


Village of the Damned (1960) – a few elements of Rilla’s drama hang around in one’s memory, despite the often rushed and cursory handling


No Fear, No Die (1990) – Denis’ powers of observation are unnervingly powerful here, although her greatest works reach more thrilling peaks


The Hospital (1971) – Hiller/Chayefsky’s harsh satire provides some lasting, penetrating pleasures, offset by some impassioned overreaching


The Staggering Girl (2019) – Guadagnino’s short film is rich in resources at least, placed in service of a forgettably enigmatic trifle


Rio Bravo (1959) – an abiding source of rich Hawksian pleasures, with some of classic Hollywood’s most easefully fulfilling interactions


The Misfortunates (2009) – Van Groeningen’s boisterous family memoir is quite subtle and reflective, but doesn’t always care to show it


Stormy Weather (1943) – the value and authenticity of Stone’s musical lies in the performances; the rest is, to say the least, interesting


Eter (2018) – Zanussi’s historical drama conducts a fluidly wide-ranging moral & ethical investigation, with a startling final embellishment


The Rain People (1969) – Coppola’s searching early film doesn’t feel quite fully achieved, but represents an appealing road not taken


Intervista (1987) – one of Fellini’s lightest & most purely pleasurable films, his self-mythologizing at its most graceful & least grating


Zorns Lemma (1970) – Frampton’s astonishing edifice emanates the sense of an exactingly structured private (but communicable) obsession


Domains (2019) – Kusano’s unique film immerses us in a behavioural & moral space both meticulously constructed & mysteriously transcended


Kansas City Confidential (1952) – Karlson at his lean and committed best, cleanly navigating through disillusioning layers of venality


Princess Mononoke (1997) – perhaps Miyazaki’s most claspingly direct vision, its beauty offset by discomfiting images of pillage & imbalance


Heaven-Bound Travelers (1935) – in its rough extant form, the Gists’ filmic proclamation is suffused in fervent, even hectoring conviction


Peterloo (2018) – Leigh challenges the viewer with immersively detailed interactions, all the better to establish the climactic injustice


Soleil O (1967) – Hondo’s vibrant, proud, furious anecdote of black experience surveys a whole infrastructure of injustice and condescension


Variety (1983) – Gordon’s exceptionally well-conceived, displaced noir-like journey through societal and cinematic power structures


La gueule ouverte (1974) – one of Pialat’s smaller-scale films, but fully possessed by his rare capacity for naturalistic frankness


The Owls (2010) – Dunye ably contextualizes the narrative and illuminates the project’s collective nature, but to rather arid and minor ends


Krane’s Confectionary (1951) – Henning-Jensen’s study of modest rebellion is well-attuned to individual and collective despair and toxicity


David Byrne’s American Utopia (2020) – Lee’s impeccable film is almost as joyous & fulfilling as the real thing (which I saw – second row!)


Women of the Night (1948) – Mizoguchi in his most indicting, unadorned mode, examining prostitution as a creeping, corroding social trap


Her Smell (2018) – Perry’s deep dive into a psyche and a milieu, infusing broadly familiar structures with jittery, close-up conviction


A Dream Play (1963) – Bergman’s record of Strindberg’s play, filmed with respectful theatricality in all its evasively troubled majesty


Tongues Untied (1989) – Riggs’ hypnotic declaration of presence, pain, pride, diversity, a film both besieged and poetically celebratory


Murmur of the Heart (1971) – Malle’s coming-of-age provocation blurs the line between non-judgmental reverie and soft-centered complacency


The Dead Don’t Die (2019) – Jarmusch, never having made an outright bad film, seems here to laconically tease us with the prospect of one


The White Angel (1957) – Matarazzo’s Vertigo-anticipating extension of Nobody’s Children, increasingly bathed in almost devout conviction


Wolf (1994) – Nichols’ spectacularly misjudged (but, of course, watchable) genre movie fails and bewilders on just about every level


Variete (1925) – Dupont’s almost prototypically ill-fated love triangle drama is absolutely studded with startling expressionist highlights


At Eternity’s Gate (2018) – Schnabel’s deeply-felt approach, both investigation and transmigration, transcends potential over-familiarity


The Steamroller and the Violin (1961) – Tarkovsky’s early work is his most gently accessible, allowing glimpses of greater complexities


The Competition (1980) – Oliansky’s piano-heavy drama is smart enough to maintain interest, despite various unconvincingly struck notes


Satan’s Brew (1976) – Fassbinder’s aggressively hard to take farce inhabits a sickly and soulless society, at the mercy of the ruthless


The Plagiarists (2019) – Parlow’s amusingly shifty, highly allusive film channels both transient preoccupations and classic inspirations


Ikiru (1952) – one of Kurosawa’s most lasting films, on the glory (and institutional rarity) of stagnation overcome through moral clarity


Collateral (2004) – only Mann could have elevated the improbable material so indelibly, with such sustained visual and tonal coherence


Aelita: Queen of Mars (1924) – the demands of Protazanov’s otherworldly dreams ultimately glumly yield to those of the Earthly revolution


Wild Rose (2018) – Harper deftly delivers formulaic satisfaction, while crafting a more individualistic portrait of artistic evolution


The Shop on Main Street (1965) – Kadar and Klos’s drama remains very moving in its final passage, surmounting earlier grating aspects


Streetwise (1984) – Bell’s wrenchingly classic social document continues to provoke complex reactions; pessimism and despair among them


Que la fete commence… (1975) – Tavernier’s teeming portrait of 18th century France is an extraordinary immersion into decadence-ridden chaos


An Oversimplification of her Beauty (2012) – Nance’s delicate self-examination within a beautifully inventive fantasia, and vice versa


Le coup du berger (1956) – Rivette’s early short film, and his first elegantly-observed filmic conspiracy, albeit a modest and schematic one


On the Rocks (2020) – Murray is the main show in Coppola’s slight (but not vacuous), retro-feeling comedy, and that’s basically good enough


La fille de l’eau (1925) – a somewhat choppily eventful Renoir silent film, most memorable for a no-limits expressionistic dream sequence


Buddies (1985) – Bressan’s film remains an affecting human and historical document, its relative weaknesses as endearing as its strengths


The Cow (1969) – Mehrjui’s heartrending story of madness in the face of loss, simply observed but carrying a deep, dignified forcefulness


Destroyer (2018) – Kusama’s gloomy drama has some solidly old-fashioned virtues, but with an escalating sense of existential overreaching


Moses and Aaron (1975) – Straub/Huillet’s near-humblingly great spanning of the representationally fundamental & the metaphysically epic


Q & A (1990) – another powerful Lumet tale of corruption and compromise, although somewhat undermined this time by melodramatic excesses


Hungry Soul, Part II (1956) – a bit more familiar than Kawashima’s key works, but still a finely-calibrated study of unfulfilled yearning


Songs My Brothers Taught Me (2015) – Zhao’s delicately mediated and balanced study, arising out of deep immersion in a culture and location


Burden of Life (1935) – an engaging family drama, although Gosho is less of a stylistic and analytical force than his great contemporaries


It’s My Turn (1980) – Weill’s reserved comedy of self-discovery is agreeably well-judged throughout, with a finely-tuned arrival point


Le caporal epingle (1962) – Renoir’s very fine late work is a renewed assertion of the drive for freedom, & exploration of its ambiguities


Hereditary (2018) – Aster’s commanding film spans agonizing, convincingly-inhabited familial trauma, and gleefully outlandish mythology


Goin’ South (1978) – Nicholson’s minor Western comedy rather allows his own overstated presence to swamp all other potential virtues


Vive l’amour (1994) – Tsai’s shimmering, hypnotically withholding study of emptying possibilities, of connection without connectivity


Angels Over Broadway (1940) – Hecht and Garmes’ baroquely-expressed redemption drama, aggressively seeped in masculine self-disgust


For Sama (2019) – Al-Kateab and Watts’ absolutely vital, often heart-rending documentary prompts a huge sense of respect and humility


Operation Petticoat (1959) – one of Edwards’ most classically well-functioning comic machines, escalatingly subverting the established order


Desordre (1986) – Assayas’ early work shows his facility for narrative & emotional shift, but lacks the overall fullness of his later films


The Assassination Bureau (1969) – Dearden’s plush period comedy too often takes its eye off the concept’s dark morality, and off the fun


An Elephant Sitting Still (2018) – with bleakly supple mastery, the tragic Hu Bo interrogates the unbearable heaviness of modern China


Town Bloody Hall (1979) – a rollicking record of ongoing, shifting relevance (e.g Mailer as seeming foreseer of Trumpian cultural backlash!)


Timecrimes (2007) – Vigalondo’s time travel flick marshals familiar paradoxes with relish, making a definite virtue out of its small scale


Rich and Strange (1931) – an early relationship drama rather more stiff than strange, but navigated with amused Hitchcockian skepticism


Shoah: Four Sisters (2017) – Lanzmann’s record is bottomlessly moving as oral history, endlessly fascinating as an act of witnessing


Kiss Me Deadly (1955) – memorable both for Aldrich’s mastery of genre attitudes and power games, and for the ultimate obliteration of them


Nenette et Boni (1996) – Denis applies her almost unmatched, allusively sensuous powers to a portrait of familial connection and fracture


Underworld, U.S.A. (1961) – Fuller’s comprehensive, astoundingly and intimately pitiless dissection of corporatized American exploitation


Zama (2017) – Martel’s complex, often ravishing film charts an indelible personal odyssey, against the devastation & upheaval of colonialism


The Eagle has Landed (1976) – the film’s virtues are mostly superficial, but Sturges handles the sprawling canvas with veteran know-how


Coup de foudre (1983) – it’s easy to undervalue the controlled scope of Kurys’ work; even so, one wishes the film were a little less studied


Ball of Fire (1941) – by no means the most penetrating of Hawks’ great comedies, but it’s sweetly irresistible in just about every respect


In Bloom (2013) – with devastating precision and finesse, Ekvtimishvili and Gross chart a hard-edged society’s unbalanced sexual politics


Autumn Leaves (1956) – Aldrich’s anxiety- and repression-infused drama, at once plain and yet (not least re Crawford) strangely abstracted


The Life Ahead (2020) – Ponti’s Madame Rosa remake has superficial polish, but is thinner & more sentimentally calculating than the original


The Group (1966) – Lumet’s film occasionally works as disillusioned social history,  when not falling uncomfortably between various stools


The End of Evangelion (1997) – Anno’s (in isolation) confusing narrative yields to turbulently-inspired, strangely mesmerizing expression


The Wild Geese (1978) – McLaglen’s coldly effective action film could have done with a bit more wokeness, even by then-current standards


I Lost My Body (2019) – Clapin’s wondrously singular, superbly realized animation, at once dashingly weird, & hauntingly intimate & lovely


Mercy, the Mummy Mumbled (1918) – Phillips’ sprightly (but sadly degraded) African-American short is as peculiarly inspired as its title


The Legend of Rita (2000) – Schlondorff handles his eventful chronicle of terrorism and its aftermath with veteran incisive confidence


The Brothers Rico (1957) – Karlson seasons his sharp portrayal of pervasive criminality with familial challenges and anxious domesticity


Manta Ray (2018) – Phuttiphong’s enormously allusive, often gorgeously imagined film draws on the multiple losses & atrocities of refugeedom


The Magus (1968) – Green’s dated oddity, somewhat more interesting than its reputation, but tonally mismanaged and ultimately unrevealing


Mauvais sang (1986) – Carax’s modern classic is a rare meeting of strange and lovely, forcefully present while infused with dreamy escapism


Dawn of the Dead (1978) – Romero’s scrappy classic remains among the most strikingly eventful, metaphorically provocative horror films


The Souvenir (2019) – Hogg’s riveting memoir film unfolds in exquisitely considered fragments, highly alert to class-imposed complexities


Redes (1936) – Zinnemann/Muriel’s starkly ravishing tale carries immense righteous power, even though constrained by narrative artifice


Ghost Dog: the way of the Samurai (1999) – Jarmusch weaves together wildly disparate cultural elements into a funnily coherent conversation


Le mystere Picasso (1956) – Clouzot’s cleverly navigated performance film advances to and retreats from revelation in largely equal measure


Gloria Bell (2018) – Lelio’s closely-tracking remake trades up on star-kissed charisma, overall enhancing the graceful existential mystery


Le farceur (1960) – De Broca’s high-energy farce is often quite distinctive in its eccentricity, seasoned by a chillier and lonelier streak


The Cotton Club (1984) – Coppola’s epic often enthralls as performance and showmanship, but falls narratively and emotionally a bit flat


My Name is Nobody (1973) – Valerii (and Leone’s?) Western seasons its applause-worthy myth-making with various downright goofy notions


Uncut Gems (2019) – Sandler’s committed presence and the Safdies’ breathless narrative make for an engrossing if rather empty-feeling ride


Apostasy (1948) – Kinoshita’s story of prejudice and injustice retains much social interest, despite evidencing no great directorial finesse


Lady Chatterley’s Lover (1981) – Jaeckin’s pretty enough but hardly earthy adaptation, its edges persistently softened for easy consumption


High Life (2018) – Denis supply molds the genre material in daring, often borderline-outrageous, if not quite masterpiece-generating manner


Olivia (1951) – Audry’s vital study of generation-crossing female desire weaves an intricately mutable web of emotions, moods & power games


Dry Summer (1963) – Erksan’s intense drama of greed, lust and betrayal, powered (sometimes excessively) by unwavering, tense physicality


A Dry White Season (1989) – Palcy’s film contains much that’s savagely agitating, but the dominant narrative too often just gets in the way


India Song (1975) – Duras’ film holds presence & absence in unique equilibrium, casting a spell both soul-sickened & implicitly empowering


Kill List (2011) – Wheatley’s brutally accomplished genre-crossing revel, studded with echoes of past cinematic oddities and swaggers


Aniki Bobo (1942) – Oliveira’s early work, atypical in its straightforward charm, is a well-observed, if sometimes over-emphasized pleasure


The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020) – Sorkin’s packaged telling isn’t worth much, but has a definite right-movie-at-the-right-time vibe


La signora senza camelie (1953) – Antonioni’s sleek study of desolating fame builds to an ironic portrait of cushioned female surrender


Queen of Diamonds (1991) – Menkes incisively nails Vegas’s trashy emptiness, and yet in a film with a sense almost of divine ascension


The Law of the Border (1966) – Akad’s conflict-heavy drama straddles the ragged & the poetic, its genre-type moves pulsing with authenticity


If Beale Street Could Talk (2018) – Jenkins confirms his extraordinary delicacy and ease, in a gloriously balanced, searching adaptation


Duvidha (1974) – Kaul’s film occupies a hauntingly elusive, heightened space, as if directed by the ghost at the heart of its narrative 


Big Time (1989) – not quite the indelible Waits film that we one day deserve, but ably showcasing his unique persona and canny musicianship


An Inn in Tokyo (1935) – Ozu’s silent film is among his saddest, as poverty ultimately imposes a grim, almost self-obliterating morality


Midsommar (2019) – Aster’s stunning, anthropologically compelling waking nightmare grips in every detail, even as it perplexes and repels


Nobody’s Children (1951) – Matarazzo’s tightly-wound, deeply-invested, socially-outraged variation on his recurring themes and devices


Havana (1990) – Pollack aims all too obviously for iconic romanticism and spectacle, but everything about it feels artificial and labored


An Innocent Witch (1965) – Gosho’s sympathetically troubled, ambiguity-seeded tale of exploited female sexuality, desired and demonized


The Favourite (2018) – Lanthimos’s film teems with biting provocations, but is ultimately less involving than his (even) weirder works


Les orders (1974) – Brault’s superbly calibrated record of a modern Canadian atrocity, deeply attuned to the machinery of dehumanization


The Year of Living Dangerously (1982) – Weir’s drama covers the basics, but seldom feels like an optimal approach into the material


Swedenhielms (1935) – Molander’s stagy drama about an over-extended family’s self-centered travails now feels grating and complacent 


The Two Popes (2019) – Meirelles’ drama is plainly a fanciful artifice, but it’s conceived and embodied with pleasingly warm intelligence


Pickpocket (1959) – one of Bresson’s most mesmerizingly crafted inquiries and meditations, a film of almost unnervingly searching detail 


All the Vermeers in New York (1990) – Jost’s strangely haunting meeting of elusiveness & precision, contrasting the lasting & the ephermeral


Teorema (1968) – Pasolini’s inexhaustibly analyzable expression of the bourgeoisie’s unraveling, powered by a slyly seductive premise


Greta (2018) – a silly contrivance, establishing Jordan as a spent force, slightly redeemed by its take on a triumphing female friendship


The Traveler (1974) – Kiarostami’s chronicle of an errant child teems with life & insight, its ending foretelling the greater works to come


The Holcroft Covenant (1985) – Frankenheimer’s wildly unpersuasive high-concept thriller confuses & underwhelms in large & small ways alike


Poil de carotte (1932) – Duvivier’s masterfully-balanced study of an unhappy father and son remains chillingly raw and affecting at times


Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party (2015) – Cone’s sociologically valuable slice of anxiety-ridden Christian life, observed with much dexterity


Spoiled Children (1977) – Tavernier’s early film has a wide thematic reach, strongly anchored in the problems of contemporary urbanization


The Half of It (2020) – Wu’s gentle comedy has scores of appealing traits, but is limited by its artificial premise, among other things


Hungry Soul (1956) – Kawashima’s study of transgressive female desire grows in restrained power, although leaves much for the sequel


Swing Shift (1984) – Demme’s amiably missed-opportunity “Rosie the Riveter” drama is largely drained of analysis, anger or implication


Machorka-Muff (1963) – Straub/Huillet’s “abstract visual dream,” at once hard-edged in its historical specificity, & timelessly liberating


Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) – Singer’s movie rattles by in stilted, compromised manner, while inevitably hitting a few pleasurable marks


It Always Rains on Sunday (1948) – Hamer anchors the central drama within a realistically colourful portrait of unadorned post-war community


Nowhere to Hide (1999) – Lee’s goofily brutal, now-for-my-next-trick action flick is a most uninvolving brand of applause-worthy virtuosity


Silver Bears (1977) – Passer has to scramble to hold the international-finance shenanigans together, but his pleasure is rather infectious


The Aquatic Effect (2016) – Anspach’s last, somewhat over-abbreviated film has a nice line in odd affinities and slanted storytelling


Day of the Outlaw (1959) – De Toth’s raw end-of-the-world Western draws combustibly on primal conflicts, played out in shivery isolation


Kinetta (2005) – a rather arid viewing experience, but not inappropriately to Lanthimos’ exploration of joyless fixations and relationships


Where Eagles Dare (1968) – Hutton’s wartime drama is uninspired in large and small ways alike, heavily flaunting its flavorless silliness


Dogman (2018) – Garrone’s film is uncomfortably well-realized, particularly in its empathetically put-upon central character, and the dogs


They Might be Giants (1971) – Harvey’s fragile-cored, time-capsule-infused comedy is oddly & defiantly appealing, although certainly flawed


Pharos of Chaos (1984) – a somewhat overwhelmed-seeming German observation of the aging Sterling Hayden, in all his grandeur and banality


A Reckless Rover (1918) – notable for a lively depiction of a comedic African-American milieu, although one heavily conceived in stereotype


Elles (2011) – Szumowska’s highly satisfying and assured engagement with prostitution as threat, liberation and domestic reference point


The Devil’s Playground (1976) – Schepisi’s tension-permeated study of Catholic boys school admits a certain rueful, resigned admiration


Mignonnes (2020) – Doucoure’s cynically & carelessly maligned film is an essentially sad social study that’s ultimately too soft if anything


Rio Grande (1950) – the stirring conclusion of Ford’s “cavalry trilogy” at once retreats and eases up, for a tapestry of moods and registers


Malina (1991) – Schroeter’s amazing, fiery, jaggedly sexualized depiction of breakdown is both operatically excessive & hurtingly immediate


Inside Daisy Clover (1965) – the knowing artificiality of Mulligan’s drama is overall more weakness than strength, but it has its moments


The Event (2015) – Loznitsa’s fall-of-USSR record observes and shapes the premonitory mundanity that attends historical momentousness


Newsfront (1978) – Noyce provides an enjoyably episodic sweep of changing times, but at the cost of very much political or emotional depth


The Skin (1981) – Cavani depicts the end of war as a crucible of exploitation, lies and illusions, with often savagely impressive impact


Black Legion (1937) – Mayo’s lumpily flawed movie still fascinates for its ever-relevant angle on cynical manipulation and suckerization


How Fernando Pessoa Saved Portugal (2018) – Green’s “mini-film” comprises an ironically deadpan anecdote with a poetically evocative soul


Foul Play (1978) – Higgins’ peril-comedy isn’t boring, mostly just shallow & clumsy; the soft-balled Hitchcock references count for nothing


The Fish Child (2009) – Puenzo’s love-against-the-odds drama doesn’t really persuade on any level, despite various alluring elements


5 Against the House (1955) – Karlson’s quip-heavy heist drama is over-written and under-impactful, providing merely passing distraction


Gaby Baby Doll (2014) – Letourneau’s opposites-attract trifle evokes an intrigued affection, even if not much of it lands very convincingly


A Dandy in Aspic (1968) – Mann’s twisty Cold War drama provides some pictorial and tonal pleasures, but for much of the time is pretty flat


Porco Rosso (1992) – Miyazaki’s flying pig movie is of course swaggeringly absurd, but also honorably upright, and often evasively lovely


Gentleman’s Agreement (1947) – despite some biting moments, it’s mostly a cinematically moribund message movie, from a pre-Kazanian Kazan


Vox Lux (2018) – Corbet’s grandiose but smart and haunting portrait of soul-destroying modern celebrity’s darkly-charged signification


Of Great Events and Ordinary People (1979) – Ruiz dazzlingly crafts one of the all-time great meditations on representation and engagement


Puberty Blues (1981) – Beresford’s worthwhile portrait observes Australia’s perpetuating patriarchal culture with low-key progressivity


David Golder (1931) – Duvivier’s early sound film, suffused in weary bitterness, still resonates with its depiction of grasping materialism


Late Night (2019) – Ganatra’s calculatingly engaging comedy too often feels like an incompletely-inhabited, blood-and-bile-inhibited outline


The Bronte Sisters (1979) – Techine’s atypical, finely-judged study places the sisters’ creative force as forged in isolation and exclusion


Investigating Sex (2001) – the form of Rudolph’s centered yet shifting film oddly befits its focus on the preoccupying contours of sexuality


The Indian Tomb (1959) – the second part of Lang’s adventure, driven by figurative and literal layers of compounding conspiracy and threat


Green Book (2018) – Farrelly’s relentlessly superficial if cursedly watchable pap lacks any rounded sense of interaction, time or place


Closely Watched Trains (1966) – Menzel’s deftly-observed, gently erotic-minded tale of self-discovery and resistance holds up pretty well


Personal Problems (1980) – Gunn’s shifts of focus, emphasis and rhythm expand and liberate the material, albeit sometimes a bit perplexingly


Don Giovanni (1979) – musically opulent, but Losey’s complacent handsomeness hardly interrogates the largely insufferable narrative


The Laundromat (2019) – Soderbergh’s witty, if often bumpy, deployment of open-ended form to an inherently unsummarizable ongoing outrage


Wooden Crosses (1932) – Bernard’s powerful, illusion-free war film squarely scrutinizes fear and death, and resilience and its limits


Welcome II the Terrordome (1995) – Onwurah’s super-ambitious mash-up has some great far-seeing moments, but bogs down at other times


Suspiria (1977) – Argento’s predestination-seeped classic, as defined by absences and ambiguities as by its often extraordinary compositions


Vice (2018) – for all the movie’s strenuous, certainly seldom-boring efforts, Cheney’s underlying ugliness remains elusively under-analyzed


The Munekata Sisters (1950) – with quiet force, Ozu examines contrasting approaches to self-determination in uncertainly modernizing times


Rich and Famous (1981) – Cukor’s last film is often overdone, but still underrated, curiously trying out modern perspectives on old forms


La boutique (1967) – Berlanga’s sex comedy looks stylish on the surface, but narratively just flails around to little cumulative impact


The Wise Kids (2011) – Cone sinks into the conviviality and suppression of his under-examined milieu with wide-ranging, humane consideration


The Illumination (1973) – a film of relative brevity but vast-ranging (if rather academic) scope, confidently marshaled by peak-form Zanussi


The Invisible Man (2020) – Whannell provides a halfway striking overall angle and some snappy scenes, but it can only count for so much


Bluebeard (1936) – Painleve & Bertrand’s super-whimsical, darkly-undertoned animation lies among cinema’s more oddly inspired 13 minutes


The Underneath (1995) – Soderbergh’s modern-day noir is deftly handled, although its ambitions seldom seem to be set particularly high


L’horloger de Saint-Paul (1974) – Tavernier places a low-key crime narrative at a preoccupied meeting place of old and new anxieties


Stan & Ollie (2018) – Baird’s film makes it easy to coast contentedly along, warmed by skillfully sentimental recreations and evocations


Our Town (1956) – Kawashima’s chronicle of stubborn perseverance provides a colourful & quite affecting window on changing, loss-heavy times


Sleepwalk (1986) – Driver’s altogether wonderful, intimately watchful yet dreamily morphing vision of mundane life infiltrated by myth


Calcutta (1969) – Malle methodically accumulates deprivations and colonially-gifted injustices, properly devoid of much token relief


The Irishman (2019) – Scorsese’s epic is in too many respects familiar, glib, opaque or superficial, eliciting mostly dutiful respect


History Lessons (1972) – Straub/Huillet’s daringly contrasting modes of representing and investigating a capitalism-determined civilization


Party Girl (1995) – Posey is the perfect standard-bearer for Mayer’s peppy fusion of self-expression, personal evolution and library science


The 47 Ronin (1941) – Mizoguchi’s long, contemplative, finely controlled study of the agonizing demands of personal and societal codes


The Mule (2018) – an inevitable if easy pleasure, infusing Eastwood’s sensationally honed storytelling skill with defiant fragility


The Mephisto Waltz (1971) – Wendkos’ deal-with-the-devil drama falls rather ineffectually between a moody high road and a campy low one


Diva (1981) – Beineix’s film has some potentially beguiling elements, but they impact less than the ugly swagger of its governing style


The Caine Mutiny (1954) – Dmytryk’s film is often much duller than its reputation; even the central human drama unfolds overly simply


Corpo celeste (2011) – Rohrwacher’s almost unprecedently wondrous debut, extraordinarily observant and true, shimmering in unforced mystery


The Slender Thread (1965) – Pollack’s race-against-time drama (and implicit tribute to American can-do-ism) is polished, but basically dull


The Hater (2020) – Komasa’s coldly virtuosic dive into the social media dark side is expertly thought-provoking, if inevitably unendearing


Prophecy (1979) – it’s disappointing how Frankenheimer surrenders so fully (albeit fairly proficiently) to unprophetic monster-movie devices


Jacques Rivette – le veilleur (1994) – Denis’ quiet portrait is thrilling for Rivette worshippers, confirming a gentle but firm singularity


Dream Street (1921) – for all its strange & problematic aspects, Griffith’s maligned drama now ranks among his richest, most restless works


Lover for a Day (2017) – Garrel’s impeccably executed romantic shuffling, its classical qualities infused with acutely-felt need and desire


The United States of America (1975) – Benning/Gordon’s mesmerizingly executed trip record, among the largest of small films (or vice versa)


The Forest for the Trees (2003) – Ade’s calmly excruciating study of not fitting in is perfectly pitched all the way to its sublime ending


The Searchers (1956) – perhaps Ford’s most magnificent & complex work, an epic attuned to America’s slow, painful, often ugly self-discovery


Li’l Quinquin (2014) – Dumont’s mesmerizingly strange, often hilarious investigation takes a uniquely wacked-out road to near-greatness


The Italian Job (1969) – Collinson’s caper film holds up well, with an improbable haul of logistically striking or peculiarly iconic moments


Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989) – a delightful instance of Miyazaki’s superbly-visualized, mysteriously affecting, warmly-shaded alchemy


Capernaum (2018) – Labaki’s heart-rending drama is a recent milestone in socially- and humanistically-charged, narratively fluent cinema


Between the Lines (1977) – Silver’s deceptively easygoing newspaper comedy has a terrific instinct for flaws, compromises & elusive closures


Song of the South (1946) – Disney’s notorious film has some conventional virtues, but reeks with racial subservience and marginalization


For Ever Mozart (1996) – one of Godard’s most tragically beautiful late films, on art & war, nobility & naivete, the ephemeral & the abiding


The Missouri Breaks (1976) – Penn’s digressive post-Watergate Western reflects on law and morality with elusive, often eccentric complexity


Spoor (2017) – Holland and Adamik’s darkly handsome, eco-conscious drama is consistently interesting, notwithstanding its big kooky streak


Tight Spot (1955) – for all its professionalism, Karlson’s reluctant witness drama makes only a modest bang, with Rogers unpersuasively cast


Mortal Transfer (2001) – Beineix’s least interesting movie strings together various tawdry manoeuvres, albeit quite dynamically implemented


A Guide for the Married Man (1967) – underneath all the smug leering, Kelly’s unpleasant comedy may embody a few grim social truths


Can you Ever Forgive Me? (2018) – Heller maximizes the story’s crowd-pleasing potential while cultivating an adequate thematic depth


Anne-Marie (1936) – Bernard’s beguiling film blends soaring ambitions and earthly affinities, although its gender role rebellion peters out


Wild Style (1982) – Ahearn’s film prioritizes multi-faceted, digressive observation over plot, with happily ragged, celebratory results


La menace (1977) – Corneau’s (maybe too) cleverly-conceived drama is a bit under-involving, despite plenty of great notions and spectacle


Booksmart (2019) – Wilde’s not too funny wild-night comedy feels largely hollow, hermetic and strained, for all its tolerant open-mindedness


He Who is Without Sin…(1952) – Matarazzo’s melodrama, immersed in separation and suffering, is grandly watchable, if a bit blandly played


Defending Your Life (1991) – probably not Brooks’ conceptually tightest movie, but more than adequately funny and philosophically engaging


The Executioner (1963) – Berlanga’s mesmerizingly assured black comedy expertly tightens an economic & moral vice on its overwhelmed victim


Sorry to Bother You (2018) – Riley’s uniquely-calibrated satire-and-then-some riffs richly on economic exploitation and cultural degradation


Emitai (1971) – Sembene’s highly arresting, clear-sighted, fabulously visualized confrontation of Senegalese culture and malign colonialism


Born in Flames (1983) – Borden’s amazing, teeming, defiantly attack-mode vision-collage foresees our failed, big-lie-infused landscape


Les portes de la nuit (1946) – Carne’s often lovely (when not over-mythologized) fatalistic drama, rooted in vivid post-Liberation anxiety


Museum Hours (2012) – Cohen’s extraordinarily astute, warmly illuminated (but not unshadowed) window on personal and aesthetic engagement


Fata Morgana (1971) – timeless myth-spawning magnificence yields to the human stain in Herzog’s rather magnificently opportunistic reverie


I’m Thinking of Ending Things (2020) – Kaufman’s inspiredly weird expression of the wondrous intimacy & frightening immensity of connection


Gate of Hell (1953) – Kinugasa’s famous tragedy is prettily decorative, but its restrained anguish makes a relatively modest impact now


The Departed (2006) – Scorsese’s Oscar-winner ranks among his more alienatingly self-contained demonstrations of technical mastery


Bambole (1965) – four directors, four hot female stars, and four easy-to-take but mostly forgettable stories of repressed sexuality


Widows (2018) – McQueen’s crime drama has intimations of wide-angle, socially astute greatness, unrealized in the climactic narrative flurry


Scent of a Woman (1974) – Risi’s original moves along briskly and scenically, but its hectoring, leering notion of charm rapidly wears thin


You are Not I (1981) – variously other-worldly and creepily drab, Driver’s short-ish film sets out an implication-infused identity enigma


The Old and the New (1929) – Eisenstein’s industrial paean is deliriously vivid and venerating, both transcending and obliterating humanity


Dolemite is my Name (2019) – Brewer and Murphy put on a great show, although it’s a bit light both as character study and cultural history


Othon (1970) – Straub and Huillet craft a methodical challenge to preconceptions of historical recreation and narrative representation


Afterglow (1997) – Rudolph successfully pitches a potentially straightforward romantic melodrama on the heightened edge of absurdity


Awaara (1951) – Kapoor’s grand melodrama hits expressively fantastic notes & small, socially critical ones with equally accomplished swagger


Suburbicon (2018) – Clooney’s weirdly ungainly blending of unremarkable film noir, toothless satire and bloodless social commentary


The Naked Island (1960) – Shindo’s distilled study of barren lives is certainly memorable, despite counterproductive imposed constraints 


Empty Suitcases (1980) – Gordon’s mind-filling film feels largely, if not yet entirely, despairing of male-determined cinema & society alike


Forza Bastia (1978) – Tati’s rediscovered day-of-the-match footage is nicely observed fun, but real life resists the sublimely Tati-esque


The Report (2019) – Burns’ perhaps artfully dullish record plays rather too familiarly, but effectively puts across its multiple outrages


Les visiteurs du soir (1942) – Carne’s fantasy of supernatural intervention is rather too heavygoing, despite its alluring narrative folds


The Handmaid’s Tale (1990) – Schlondorff’s adaptation collapses into little more than random notions, mostly drained of allegorical force


The Purple Taxi (1977) – Boisset’s Irish-set drama appeals for its once in a lifetime cast, but is mostly empty gestures and pronouncements


The Sisters Brothers (2018) – Audiard pulls off the genre swagger, but the film’s heart is subtly ironic and ambiguously vulnerable 


Burden of Love (1955) – Kawashima’s eye-opening, pregnancy-festooned, progressively issue-laden narrative makes for quite unusual comedy


The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) – there’s much that lingers, maybe forever, in Scorsese’s calculated interrogation of Biblical cliché


Something Different (1963) – Chytilova’s intimately alert study of two female lives, marked by contrasting frustrations and compromises


Us (2019) – Peele weaves in some mild metaphorical interest, but overall the film plays much more conventionally & repetitively than Get Out


Scorpio (1973) – fairly average international spy games, elevated by the cast, when not hampered by Winner’s very basic cinematic instincts


Whisper of the Heart (1995) – Kondo’s happiness-provoking, fantasy-inflected love story, rooted in the interaction of dreams and commitment


Broken Blossoms (1919) – Griffith’s sensibility now seems crass on several fronts, but the film’s central melancholy spell somehow endures


Cities of Last Things (2018) – Ho’s concept-heavy drama ultimately feels rather too removed, but is impeccably structured and populated


Blume in Love (1973) – Mazursky’s delightfully regulated film embraces idealized romanticism all the better for seeing right through it


The Shipwrecker (1984) – Buhler’s coolly cerebral engagement with Sterling Hayden sounds more formally interesting than it actually is


Pushover (1954) – Quine’s expertly paced and plotted thriller is mostly all surface, but one of consistently devious, voyeuristic pleasures


Slack Bay (2016) – Dumont’s class-conscious farce swirls with affectations, peculiarities and taboos, while somehow seeming integrated


Walden (1969) – Mekas’ great submergence in a life fully lived and felt, asserting both the specificity and universality of experience


Water Lilies (2007) – Sciamma’s quietly enchanting study of personality and desire in formation; of femininity as structured display


Saturday Night Fever (1977) – Badham’s strutting classic of sorts, less airy (and more bitingly misogynistic) than the myth might suggest


Season of the Devil (2018) – one of Diaz’s more concentrated works, an extended, aching song of loss and grief in the face of brutality


Curse of the Cat People (1944) – Lewton’s beautiful evocation of intertwined isolations, marked by captivating play of light and shadow


The Invincibles (1994) – Graf’s politically-charged police thriller reaches for grandeur, but lets in too many slack and dilutive elements


Assault on Precinct 13 (1976) – Carpenter executes his shrewdly absurd siege narrative with the maximum in existentially-charged stylization


Nobody’s Daughter Haewon (2013) – with the most finely light-footed seriousness, Hong enmeshes us in shifting internal & external realities


Nightfall (1956) – Tourneur’s film travels from urban darkness to open snowy landscapes, powerfully expressing the passage to redemption


Revenge (1989) – Shinarbayev’s narrative of grim earthly imperatives, shimmeringly told through poetically unbound structures and images


The Caretaker (1963) – Pinter’s inexhaustibly rich and provocative text, more memorable here for the acting than the cinematic realization


Everybody Knows (2018) – from a somewhat limited narrative, Farhadi crafts an insinuating portrait of widespread, if well-concealed, rot


That’s the Way of the World (1975) – Shore’s record-industry drama (Keitel produces EWF!) has enough substance to transcend curio status


La haine (1995) – Kassovitz’s often-inspired lightning-bolt film surveys and sparks multitudes, its ambition in some ways counterproductive


Air Raid Wardens (1943) – some standardly enjoyable Laurel and Hardy set-pieces surmount a blandly unaccommodating homefront framework


Marriage Story (2019) – Baumbach’s smart film overflows with interesting moves and details, while often feeling too studied at key moments


The Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach (1968) – Straub/Huillet’s beautiful, ethical, exactingly rigorous yet deeply alert historical evocation


Parting Glances (1986) – narrative artificiality aside, Sherwood’s classic bearing-of-witness film contains much that’s true and surprising


Mexican Bus Ride (1952) – beneath Bunuel’s convivially eventful surface lies a more deliciously biting vein of transgressive calculation


First Man (2018) – Chazelle’s most interesting film to date, for its intimate physicality and recessive core, and its surprising absences


Baal (1970) – Schlondorff’s Fassbinder-starring Brecht adaptation is rough-hewn, repellent and yet stubbornly, ambiguously insinuating


The French Lieutenant’s Woman (1981) – Reisz and Pinter’s strategy holds up well, although the risk is consummately minimized throughout


Apart from You (1933) – Naruse’s emotionally resonant silent drama surveys a thankless world of gender-based injustice and imposed sacrifice


Sightseers (2012) – Wheatley drolly injects bloody murder into the latter-day strained reality of heritage Englishness’ bucolic surface


Body of my Enemy (1976) – Verneuil’s brassily enjoyable, focus-shifting clutter of a drama eventually submits to revenge-genre mechanics


Da 5 Bloods (2020) – Lee embraces melodrama with relish, as a scaffold for a passionately haunted, digressive survey of unending fracture


War and Peace (1966) – whatever its imposed constraints, Bondarchuk’s massive epic is a constant visual and logistical astonishment


Requiem for a Dream (2000) – Aronofsky’s awe-inspiring but largely unmoving parade of suffering is the most hypnotic of unwatchable movies


The Balloon (1956) – Kawashima’s absorbing family drama sets off understated spiritual searching against harder-edged modern pragmatism


Mid90s (2018) – Hill’s film evidences a fine touch with mood, interaction, and implication, although ultimately pulls up a bit short


Insiang (1976) – Brocka’s sensationally impactful tale of female oppression and revenge both transcends and deeply reflects its setting


Sidewalk Stories (1989) – Lane’s (mostly) silent comedy is cutely conceived, but really no great shakes in any aspect of its execution


Lettres d’amour (1942) – Autant-Lara’s romantic farce is deftly enough assembled, but rather passionlessly relentless in its complications


Burning Cane (2019) – the remarkable Youmans crafts a broodingly and intuitively coherent, if sometimes overwrought, cultural portrait


The Tree of Guernica (1975) – Arrabal’s vision is as much possessed as painterly, but it’s scathingly attuned to war’s corrosive decadence


When Pigs Fly (1993) – Driver’s unusual ghost story has beautiful elements, although overall lands more conventionally than her Sleepwalk


L’arme a gauche (1965) – a solid enough drama, moving from exoticism to remoteness, but probably Sautet’s least interesting work overall


The Old Man & the Gun (2018) – Lowery’s genial, warmly-textured showcase for the cherishable Redford, a film of knowingly small virtues


Le marginal (1983) – Deray’s grabbag of set-ups and confrontations, more than capably held together by conviction and attitude (Belmondo!)


Drive a Crooked Road (1954) – Quine’s snappily-written (by Blake Edwards) little crime drama, drawing shrewdly on social and sexual envy


Only Yesterday (1991) – Takahata’s very sweet expression of a present untidily informed by the past, with its delightfully-conceived ending


The Panic in Needle Park (1971) – Schatzberg’s unyielding study of addiction encompasses bleak documentary and disorienting stylization


Cosmos (2015) – Zulawski’s fulsomely strange, ever-renewing creation intrigues as cinematic sculpting, while hardly aiming to satisfy


Homework (1989) – Kiarostami’s utterly fascinating, formally enveloping testimony on Iran’s education system is humane and quietly ominous


The Fallen Idol (1948) – Reed’s spatially engrossing, delicately observed, emotionally scarred drama, hampered by a rushed-seeming ending


Noise (2006) – Assayas’ often aurally challenging, always rigorously observed record of spectrum-spanning “art rock festival” performances


“Doc” (1971) – Perry’s sparsely eloquent emphasis on frailty and loneliness makes for an unusual, if perhaps overly absent-feeling Western


Sophia Antipolis (2018) – Vernier is rapidly becoming a master chronicler of a fractured, confused age, fusing the discovered and imagined


The Lineup (1958) – with incisive precision and awareness, Siegel navigates a landscape shot through with malign implication and connection


Milou en Mai (1990) – Malle’s fusion of personal and political is pleasant but incompletely realized, seeming to grab at this and that


Robinson Crusoe on Mars (1964) – Haskin’s often handsome concoction intrigues most in its lonely early stages, becoming hokier as it goes on


Knife + Heart (2018) – Gonzalez’s rather astonishing fever drama grips and transfixes with every rich, luridly provocative frame and concept


The Day of the Locust (1975) – Schlesinger’s adaptation feels by turns overwhelmed and inspired, attaining a distinctively pained blankness


Subway (1985) – Besson’s subterranean circus has no shortage of strikingly strutting acts, but it’s hard to care much about most of them


The Navigator (1924) – Keaton’s maritime comedy is filled with great gags, although lacks the personalized allure of his very best films


Camille Claudel 1915 (2013) – Dumont’s immaculate contrasting of physical and spiritual confinement shimmers with hope and injustice


Dark Star (1974) – Carpenter’s beguiling comedic space flick, handled with a perfect blend of disillusioned hokiness and expansive vision


Yella (2007) – Petzold immaculately posits modern Germany’s sleek entrepreneurial sheen as an excluded woman’s moment-of-death fantasy


Witness for the Prosecution (1957) – Wilder’s hermetic courtroom drama rattles happily along to the big reveal, flush on star charisma


Arabian Nights: Volume 3 (2015) – Gomes concludes by easing deeply & beautifully into fundamental (yet myth-tinged) connection & continuity


The Appointment (1969) – channeling European art film influences, Lumet creates an interesting if not very substantial romantic enigma


Antigone (1992) – with typically exacting precision, Straub/Huillet cause the material to at once recede and (as terrible warning) advance


Bonnie Scotland (1935) – a brightly-executed Laurel and Hardy feature, with the amazing pair at their most easefully funny and captivating


Golden Exits (2017) – Perry’s relationship study doesn’t hold the attention like his other works, albeit that might sort of be its point


L’enfant secret (1979) – Garrel’s study of an eroding relationship is an extraordinary emanation of separate, hurting, fractured cinema


Luminous Motion (1998) – Gordon’s astutely disturbing, wonderment-infused weirdo-parable on the stagnating capacity of traditional family


Sylvie et le fantome (1946) – Autant-Lara’s film is pure escapism, skillful and delicate, but its artificiality doesn’t approach poetry


Suspiria (2018) – Guadagnino lets loose (and then some) with quite amazing results, spawning a gorgeously textured, deeply inhabited vision


Docteur Popaul (1972) – a somewhat depressingly leering dark comedy (I suppose) from the well-populated slack end of Chabrol’s oeuvre


Cane River (1982) –  even the many imperfections of Jenkins’ rediscovered historically-conscious romance are cherishable and informative


Babette Goes to War (1959) – Christian-Jaque’s undistinguished WW2 comedy/drama barely even seems interested in, or really aware of Bardot


The Wife (2017) – despite the barnbusting lead performances, Runge’s drama is too tinny and under-powered to leave much of an impact


The Incubus (1981) – Hough’s opportunistic, low-conviction horror movie at least has Cassavetes and an allusively intense conclusion


Weekend at Dunkirk (1964) – Verneuil’s epic has epic moments to match Nolan’s, linked by muscularly varied incident and moral inquiry


Camera Buff (1979) – Kieslowski’s study of cinema as liberator & destroyer relies on relatively easy ironies, but masterfully charted ones


A Star is Born (2018) – Cooper’s treatment is well-inhabited and pleasurable, without dispelling the air of anachronism and redundancy


Un carnet de bal (1937) – a variedly episodic drama, limited by its artificial premise, elevated by Duvivier’s unerringly attuned control


Totally F****ed Up (1993) – Araki’s energetically inquisitive film is a near-hypnotic meeting of stylization and vulnerable authenticity


Coup de Grace (1976) – Schlondorff’s undercurrent-heavy Russian civil war drama is visually haunting, yet surely overly distancing


Ray Meets Helen (2017) – Rudolph’s comeback film doesn’t play entirely steadily, which generally aids its dreamily distanced peculiarity


Montparnasse 19 (1958) – Becker’s portrait of Modigliani is hauntingly pained, although barely explores the specificity of his vision


White of the Eye (1987) – Cammell, as weirdly possessed as his protagonist, pushes a conventional narrative toward the primally visionary


Un singe en hiver (1962) – a rather peculiar film by the often overlooked Verneuil, but not lacking in thematic ambition and reflectiveness


Octavio is Dead! (2018) – Lee hits her stride with the pleasantly-handled gender-fluid interactions, but bogs down in claptrap elsewhere


Dead Ringers (1988) – Cronenberg’s insularly concentrated, rather schematic tale exudes uneasy fascination, not least for Irons’ expertise


The Dawns here are Quiet (1972) – Rostotskiy’s war drama is strong when immersed in action and setting, weaker in its more fanciful aspects


Only One Night (1939) – Molander’s lively but overstated culture-clash drama glaringly underserves its female characters in particular


Cameraperson (2016) – Johnson’s emotion-spanning, ethically stimulating, overall riveting tapestry of personal and professional witnessing


Manila in the Claws of Light (1975) – Brocka’s utterly vivid and gripping, devastating illumination of a teeming, predatory environment


The Watermelon Woman (1996) – Dunye’s unusual, cannily loose-feeling film pleasurably challenges narrative, sexual and canonical norms


The Golden Coach (1953) – one happily submits to Renoir’s sumptuous artificiality, while rather missing the connectivity of his finest work


Leave no Trace (2018) – Granik’s well-observed, quietly tragic chronicle evokes broader fractures & strangenesses at the core of America


The Moment of Truth (1965) – Rosi indelibly records the substance & mystique of bullfighting as glorious, perhaps life force-eroding horror


Tucker: the Man and his Dream (1988) – Coppola’s happily indefatigable chronicle feels like rather too much dream and too little real man


I Will Walk Like a Crazy Horse (1973) – Arrabal’s fiery, provocative vision is as unbound as its title, yet with a tender, even devout core


Eyes, Ears and Throats (2019) – a marvelously assembled collection of restored punk films; likely to set off a weird, irrational longing


L’eternel retour (1943) – Cocteau’s boldly winding retelling of classic material is vividly strange & lovely, strongly realized by Delannoy


Privilege (1990) – Rainer’s amazing film constantly shifts and pivots, deconstructing itself & much else in serious yet celebratory manner


Les mistons (1957) – even in 18 minutes, Truffaut’s nimble, resourceful early short encompasses a range of emotion and life experience


The Eyes of Orson Welles (2018) – Cousins’ enthralling letter to Welles analyzes, illuminates, (sometimes) grates, and in no way exhausts


L’invenzione di Morel (1974) – Greco’s rather heavily-expressed enigma belongs to a time of cinema as grand concept and physical destination


Desperately Seeking Susan (1985) – the central motor of female inspiration remains powerful, although Seidelman allows in too much silliness


A Man Vanishes (1967) – the terse initial momentum of Imamura’s investigation rewardingly stalls and spins and semi-surrenders to invention


Beast (2017) – a much superior serial killer drama, for Pearce’s deft local observation and its sensitively unconventional characterizations


Limite (1931) – Peixoto’s only film is an astounding, inexhaustibly gorgeous flow of water, light, observation, allusion and mystery


Jennifer 8 (1992) – Robinson’s drama is appealing when at its more thoughtful, but ultimately all but falls apart in an unseemly rush


Bread and Chocolate (1974) – Brusati’s comedy is at times too broad, at others bland, at its best when drawing on exile and dispossession


Support the Girls (2018) – Bujalski’s seemingly unassuming film yield layers of piercing, socially and economically indicting observation


Till We Meet Again (1955) – Kawashima’s smoothly ambitious but rather restricted melodrama, ultimately marked by poignant unfulfillment


Patty Hearst (1988) – Schrader’s artfully evasive study often feels almost narcotized, but his formal intelligence gradually imposes itself


Greed in the Sun (1964) – Verneuil’s duel in the desert never acquires much depth, but grips through sustained forceful sun-baked swagger


Did you Wonder who Fired the Gun? (2017) – Wilkerson’s dark investigation, driven by a loathing drink of long-festering familial poison


Mado (1976) – another fascinating exercise in structure and group dynamics from peak-period Sautet, rich in personal and social implication


Girl 6 (1996) – Lee’s representation-preoccupied, intriguingly evasive film of seductive presences built on long-established absences


Two People (1945) – Dreyer’s disowned intimate drama feels rushed and inadequately articulated, yet exudes a strange, stark purity


Crazy Rich Asians (2018) – Chu’s movie is cannily executed throughout, although the “craziness” is mostly of an opulently oppressive nature


Taipei Story (1985) – Yang and Hou’s transfixingly well-rendered study of personal and societal hollowing in the shadow of modernization


Peeping Tom (1959) – Powell’s extraordinarily rich, luridly committed expression of cinema as mirror, excavator, lover and destroyer


Besieged (1998) – the film has its questionable aspects, but Bertolucci’s quicksilver mastery of cinema remains sensuously thrilling


“10” (1979) – probably Edwards’ most study-worthy, self-revealing film, cinematically fascinating & rich in ambiguities (& sure, it’s funny)


Home (2008) – Meier crafts a highly memorable family drama, powered by nuanced relationships and a terrifically-visualized overall concept


Wild 90 (1968) – Mailer’s confined behavioural experiment doesn’t light too many interesting fires, despite repeatedly pugnacious attempts


Mercuriales (2014) – Vernier’s strangely stunning film shifts deftly between multiple states and moods, at once delicate and troubled


Hot Biskits (1931) – Williams’ busy all-African-American short comedy prioritizes clean execution over cultural revelation or flavor


A Year of the Quiet Sun (1984) – Zanussi’s pain-infused post-war romance follows unusual, searching paths, but never fully takes hold


Barry Lyndon (1975) – Kubrick’s inexhaustible historical chronicle negotiates the gloriously palpable and the pervasively unknowable


Cold War (2018) – Pawlikowski’s film possesses an immensely graceful economy, spanning epochal life shifts & intimate behavioural mysteries


This Sporting Life (1963) – Anderson’s powerfully physical drama explores masculinity both as imposing gift and as uncomprehending curse


Daddy Nostalgia (1990) – Tavernier’s quiet surface yields a warm tapestry of actual & figurative separations, of intertwined joys & regrets


The War of the Worlds (1953) – Haskin’s vision of overmatched mankind, memorable for its bleakly beautiful, almost reverential images


Arabian Nights: Volume 2 (2015) – Gomes’ (relatively) more somberly-rooted second segment is a rich excavation of connection and consequence


The Point (1971) – Wolf and Nilsson’s tuneful, sweetly peculiar animation is at once trippy, satirical and, uh, pointedly message-bearing


Le monde vivant (2003) – Green’s open-eyed fairy tale emanates delighted conviction, even as it deconstructs and absurdifies itself


White Zombie (1932) – Halperin’s Haitian-set grab-bag has its moments,  but lacks for an overall insinuating coherence of tone or vision


Burning (2018) – Lee’s quietly glowing masterpiece is a socially resonant cinematic mystery, crossing contrasting states of being and action


Return of the Pink Panther (1975) – perhaps the best Clouseau movie, or at least the best synopsis of its strangely contoured universe


Rendez-vous (1985) – an extremity-embracing narrative of personal and artistic discovery, held together by Techine’s customary smoothness


All Night Long (1962) – Dearden’s jazz-world Othello is mostly just an overwritten curio, but not lacking for musical compensations


Kommunisten (2014) – Straub’s repositioning of extracts from past work gently affirms the breadth, beauty & courage of his work with Huillet


Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) – Siegel’s terrific, propulsive narrative contains one of cinema’s great, ever-renewable allegories


A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery (2016) – Diaz’s epic voyage of engagement with history and myth, to the limits of understanding and grief


Their First Mistake (1932) – among Laurel and Hardy’s strongest and certainly most subtext-heavy shorts; one only wishes it were longer


The Stranger (1991) – Ray ends his career on a physically restricted but intellectually engaged note, emphasizing awareness & reconciliation


Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970) – Meyer’s jaw-dropping vision marries chronic superficiality & bizarrely committed, rutting intensity


The Love Witch (2017) – a visual, tonal and thematic vision not so much implemented as lusciously exhaled by the iconoclastic Biller


Innocence Unprotected (1968) – Makaveyev’s new-film-made-from-an-old-one is a happy but scrupulous assertion of freedom and persistence


Hollywood Shuffle (1987) – Townsend’s happily ramshackle, sort-of-groundbreaking, funny-enough stirring of celebration and condemnation


Gribiche (1926) – Feyder’s contrasting of working-class spontaneity with deadened moneyed formality remains most formally & tonally pleasing


Under the Silver Lake (2018) – Mitchell’s lush, highly fanciful investigation is at once relentlessly revelatory and callowly static


Maitresse (1976) – Schroeder provides ample sympathetic provocations, but the film’s broader strategies ultimately ring rather hollow


Orlando (1992) – a key reference point in the cinema of gender construction, while also, in Potter’s hands, an exquisitely quizzical romp


Memories of Underdevelopment (1968) – an absorbingly cerebral social & personal document by Alea, crafted as near-emblematic art cinema


Exhibition (2013) – Hogg positions and repositions our spectatorship with near-eerie assurance within her remarkable installation-like film


Welcome Mr. Marshall! (1953) – Berlanga’s kowtowing-to-the-Yanks comedy has a few satirical highlights amid a lot of heavy foot-dragging drama


Kiss Me Goodbye (1982) – Mulligan’s feeble comedy is inexplicably bland, showing little affinity for or curiosity in its ghostly premise


Wildwechsel (1973) – Fassbinder’s “jail bait” drama may be one of his more conventional provocations, but no less bitingly executed


BlackKklansman (2018) – a secondary Lee work, most valuable & piercing when least constrained by the often rather plainly executed narrative


The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum (1939) – Mizoguchi’s exquisite tragic love story contrasts formal performance and besieged intimacy


Crooklyn (1994) – Lee’s family chronicle has modest but well-realized ambitions, illustrating his capacity for warmly lived-in observation


Nausicaa (1970) – Varda’s overlooked collage of Grecian mythologies & realities fulfillingly spans the didactic, bizarre, personal & poetic


Krisha (2015) – in its searing balance of naturalism & formal audacity, Shults’ perspective on familial trauma may well prove unforgettable


Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959) – Dutt’s last directorial work is hauntingly bleak, almost seeming as a prophesy of looming self-obliteration


Popeye (1980) – Altman’s strange, attractively visualized project shrouds its “entertainment” in self-absorbed, semi-penetrable mystery


La ronde (1964) – Vadim’s version is handsomely mounted, elegantly amused and quite enjoyably played, but the interest gradually deflates


The Death of Stalin (2018) – Iannucci’s expertly-stylized absurdist patina serves to darkly accentuate the underlying moral emptiness


Beaubourg (1977) – Rossellini’s last film explores the Pompidou Centre with classical grace, prioritizing observation over deconstruction


The Comfort of Strangers (1990) – Schrader extracts every drop of archly twisted beauty from the story, but it still doesn’t amount to much


La Marseillaise (1938) – Renoir’s approach to history, encompassing both grand spectacle and easy intimacy, remains quietly radical


Archipelago (2010) – probably Hogg’s least vital work to date, but nevertheless one of grippingly impressive empathy and controlled tension


Badou Boy (1970) – Mambety’s dizzying short, at once a deeply-rooted celebration and a radical deconstruction, all but overwhelms the senses


Escape from New York (1981) – one wishes Carpenter’s smartly hokey drama spent less time on escaping, more on relishing its bizarro New York


Tales of Ginza (1955) – Kawashima’s ambitiously genre and tone-spanning melodrama gets rather weighed down with complications and oddities


Private Life (2018) – Jenkins’ bitterly humorous chronicle is compelling and existentially charged, although perhaps rather too mannered


Sanjuro (1962) – Kurosawa’s more tightly-conceived extension of Yojimbo makes for a narratively and tonally rather repetitive experience


Prospero’s Books (1991) – an astonishing Tempest, magicked at the peak of Greenaway’s daunting textual, imaginative & organizational powers


Les choses de la vie (1970) – Sautet’s film grips for its structural and logistical panache, while feeling underachieved as character study


Stinking Heaven (2015) – Silver’s impressively harrowing yet withholding study of the promises and agonizing limits of idealized community


The Passionate Friends (1949) – a most repressed form of passion, and somewhat of filmmaking, but certainly elevated by Lean’s precision


Police Story 2 (1988) – as enjoyable for Chan’s unforced geniality as for its near-exhausting-to-watch, somehow noble technical prowess


The Shootist (1976) – Wayne’s aptly final film is hard to resist, even if Siegel pushes the themes and conflicts rather too thickly


Shoplifters (2018) – with consummate skill, Koreeda crafts a fresh and fully-realized, complexly layered perspective on family and morality


Time Without Pity (1957) – Losey suffuses his race-against-time drama in sufficient pained emotion to push through the many deficiencies


Unknown Pleasures (2002) – Jia hauntingly channels China’s confusing evolution, the desultory personal vacuums within its modernity


Night Must Fall (1964) – Reisz and Finney both dissect and relish in the unpleasant material, leaving one both impressed and dissatisfied


Arabian Nights: Volume 1 (2015) – Gomes’ trilogy comes rapidly to colourful, rabble-rousing life, triumphantly spanning the unspannable 


Idaho Transfer (1973) – Fonda’s laid-back, evasive time travel fantasy has a nice angle on the slow extinguishment of youthful idealism


The Last Battle (1983) – Besson’s future-world showdown is basically thin and unedifying stuff, although kitted out with some style


Verdict: Not Guilty (1933) – the Gists’ vision of heavenly judgment is severely (if a bit shakily) yet tangibly and redemptively realized


Atlantique (2019) – Diop’s wonderful film is entirely fresh and alert, and yet with the sense of inevitable, eternally-returning myth


Jubilee (1978) – Jarman’s fabulous, visually and aurally full-to-bursting, sexually liberated punk fantasia both condemns and commemorates


The Juniper Tree (1990) – Keene’s tale of witchcraft and isolation makes for thin cinematic poetry, memorable only in lonely spurts


Sapphire (1959) – Dearden’s vivid, racially charged investigation both challenges and embodies a plethora of prejudices and assumptions


Bitter Money (2016) – Wang’s grave observation of modern China, tracking flickers of human individuality in an oppressive industrial machine


Staircase (1969) – Donen’s tedious, inadequately empathetic study of an aging gay couple seems poorly implemented by almost any measure


O Fantasma (2000) – Rodrigues’ amazing nocturnal vision of restless sexuality and desire drifts into a leather-clad feral wasteland


Female Trouble (1974) – below Waters’ delirious, tear-it-down odyssey may lie an empathetic dissection of the social construct of femininity


I Am Not a Witch (2017) – Nyoni’s film teems with well-observed visual and cultural astonishments, while often feeling somewhat held back


Moonrise (1948) – Borzage’s wondrously calibrated drama, possessed of haunting visual and narrative articulacy and expressive delicacy


Angst (1983) – Kargl’s close-up study of a startlingly vivid killer resists any sort of embrace, but is too smart and distinctive to dismiss


Maidstone (1970) – Mailer’s pugnacious patchwork of heightened “reality” is a highly of-its-time tumble of limitations and liberations


Border (2018) – Abbasi’s seriously strange, disquieting, multiple-boundary-exploring film is seeped in moral allusions and challenges


The Scapegoat (1959) – Hamer’s story of switched identities is entertaining enough, but feels overly formal and superficially inhabited


Petits freres (1999) – Doillon’s eventful picture of near-lawless youth is often depressing, ultimately hopeful (not entirely convincingly)


Harper (1966) – Smight’s attitude-heavy private eye flick is smoothly handled and spikily written, but the cynicism digs merely tan-deep


La Sapienza (2014) – Green’s wondrously distinct film nurtures a wryly life-, light-- and love-asserting core within its formal trappings 


Black Jack (1979) – Loach’s often grimly-anchored adventure yarn prioritizes its extraordinary period flavour over easy narrative momentum


The Death of Empedocles (1986) – Straub/Huillet’s text-heavy, formally rigorous performance work is strangely beautiful, even transcendent


Putting Pants on Philip (1927) – a formative Laurel & Hardy work with a breezy air of communal engagement, and a priapically energized Stan


L for Leisure (2014) – Kalman/Horn’s smartly evasive reflection on non-work, as multi-faceted institution and dreamy semi-glimpsed gateway


Suzaki Paradise Red Light (1956) – Kawashima’s study of marginal lives, both facilitated and slightly limited by its tolerant incisiveness


The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988) – Kaufman’s adaptation is in too many ways titillating and posturing, rather than investigative


Yojimbo (1961) – Kurosawa’s sly action film is masterfully visualized and structurally striking, but hollower than one wishes of a classic


Eighth Grade (2018) – not that I would know, but Burnham’s well-modulated study feels authentically, often excruciatingly tuned-in


Joi Baba Felunath (1979) – Ray’s easygoing, scenic detective story is a knowingly minor work, defined mainly by relaxed interactions


Dave Chappelle’s Block Party (2006) – there may be times when Gondry’s happy record is just exactly what you need (and, wow, Erykah Badu!)


La grande illusion (1937) – a Renoir masterpiece, holding myriad complexities and subtleties in almost mystically perfect equilibrium


Dark River (2017) – Barnard’s drama builds Gothic elements onto naturalistic observation, impacting a little less than her earlier work


L’homme en colere (1979) – Pinoteau’s very basic action picture is at once slapdash & unimaginative, with minor time-capsule compensations


Yentl (1983) – Streisand’s musical has an enterprising core, self-regardingly wrapped in oblivious timidity and sterile handsomeness 


Secrets of Women (1952) – Bergman’s series of variously flat or overdone vignettes presages the smiles of later, more fully-achieved works


The Kindergarten Teacher (2018) – Colangelo’s unusually unsettling drama, rooted in distorted idealism, anchored by a sensational Gyllenhaal


Viva l’Italia (1961) – a Garibaldi film of ample grand spectacle, anchored by Rossellini’s unforced, probing approach to recreating history


Jackie Brown (1997) – one of Tarantino’s most conceptually restrained, pleasurably observed and seasoned, and treasurably cast films


Serie noire (1979) – Corneau injects a brilliantly unbound Dewaere into the drabbest of crime film milieus, with fine & distinctive results


Sun Don’t Shine (2012) – Seimetz’s fine, hauntingly fraught character study, built on genre-displaced noir-ish motivations and anxieties


Brothers and Sisters of the Toda Family (1941) – Ozu’s semi-precursor to Tokyo Story calmly excavates familial faultlines and hypocrisies


Hide in Plain Sight (1980) – Caan’s only directorial credit has some decent feeling and observation, but is rather too narratively sketchy


Un flic (1972) – Melville’s notionally rather unambitious last film moves further toward wordless abstraction, as if to a vanishing point


Don’t Worry, he Won’t Get Far on Foot (2018) – Van Sant drowns his film in group therapy tedium, barely cracking Callahan’s artistic engine


Robinson Crusoe (1954) – a diverting and colourful telling of the tale, particularly when most gripped by Bunuel’s expressive capacity


Just Another Girl on the I.R.T. (1992) – Harris’ portrait is spikily exuberant, emotionally compelling and smartly politically charged


Barrier (1966) – the remarkable Skolimowski charts a disorienting, almost hallucinatory path through troubled personal & societal landscapes


The Selfish Giant (2013) – Barnard’s powerful drama is painfully true to its deeply challenged community, yet not without a troubling beauty


The Cage (1975) – Granier-Deferre’s confinement drama plays its modest cards pretty strongly, all the way to an oddly satisfying ending


Near Dark (1987) – if not Bigelow’s best film, maybe the one you’d rescue first from the sunrise inferno, for its confident genre swagger


Der var engang (1922) – an incompletely surviving Dreyer work, of limited thematic interest, but not without feeling and expressive gravity


Annihilation (2018) – Garland’s film grips as a creepily insinuating allegory of environmental weirding, less so in its overdrawn specifics


Vincent, Francois, Paul…(1974) – an engaging study of weary male life passages, typifying Sautet’s structural and observational subtlety


Blow Out (1981) – a classic de Palma set-up, finding a relative integrity in disreputable material, and a terrible kind of commemoration


Pyaasa (1957) – Dutt’s finely-expressed melodrama, an emotionally unwavering elevation of artistic purity over money-grabbing venality


Hello Again (2017) – a valuable, generally pleasant record of LaChiusa’s great musical, if more jarring and less unified than would be ideal


Mickey One (1965) – a mesmerizingly observed yet wildly unbound existential mystery, as Penn and Beatty accelerate into their great periods


Goodbye South, Goodbye (1996) – Hou’s enveloping study of inter-dependence in the midst of distance – from past roots and present paradigms


The Ritz (1976) – Lester’s film, in concept a liberatingly open-minded breathless farce, in practice makes for rather tedious viewing


Shirkers (2018) – Tan places her long-lost movie within a lightly reflective quasi-detective story, to colourful and mostly pleasing effect


Man’s Castle (1933) – its somewhat insipidly conceived heroine aside, Borzage’s love story is delicately observed and often spikily funny


Swann in Love (1984) – Schlondorff’s Proust adaptation is meticulously considered, but it barely breathes or bleeds or bites or evokes


The Duelists (1977) – Scott’s episodic debut has plenty of actorly and pictorial interest, but never pierces very deeply, even less wounds


Sicilian Ghost Story (2017) – Grassadonia and Piazza’s absorbingly unusual negotiation between grim reality and liberating dream-life


Room at the Top (1959) – Clayton’s intensely class and power-conscious drama feels overwrought now, but it retains an elemental basic force


Mysterious Object at Noon (2000) – Weerasethakul’s film is at once intimate and limitless, wondrously invented while patiently unearthed


The Maidens of Fetish Street (1966) – Resnick’s string of grubby fantasies is fitfully semi-persuasive as a quasi-poetic essay on obsession


Tricked (2012) – Verhoeven’s brightly-executed, only modestly biting drama hardly evidences the flaunted innovation of its creative process


Lost Horizon (1973) – Jarrott’s famous flop isn’t so difficult to get through, but has only superficial beauty & little artistic coherence


Police Story (1985) – even for non-genre-aficionados, Chan’s breathlessly uplifting action-farce is impressively conceived and executed


Broadway Melody of 1940 (1940) – Taurog’s super-smooth Astaire-Powell teaming is among the most blissful of musicals, non-auteur division


Girl (2018) – Dhont’s absorbing transgender portrait balances reticence and exactitude, marked by intense attention to fragile physicality


Claudine (1974) – Berry’s small classic explores edge-of-its-tether black working class culture with rambunctious, almost radical frankness


Workers, Peasants (2001) – Straub/Huillet’s mysteriously perfect meeting of form and content, infused with the dignity of human endeavour


The Son of Joseph (2016) – Green deploys his uniquely-honed aesthetic strategies to perhaps their loveliest, warmest and funniest ends 


The Savage Innocents (1960) – Ray’s polar drama has an authentic core, but it’s often barely visible through the glaring, grating weaknesses


La nuit de Varennes (1982) – Scola’s expansively-conceived, pedagogically-minded French Revolution mash-up is a great, garrulous ride


The Long Good Friday (1979) – Mackenzie’s in-the-zone gangster drama piles strength upon strength, while overstating its thematic case a bit


High Flying Bird (2019) – Soderbergh gives the film a steely, probing intelligence, but it remains overly artificial and under-involving


Destiny (1921) – Lang’s mythology- & magic-heavy tale is most impactful now when anticipating later, more concentrated Langian conspiracies


Streamers (1983) – Altman’s incisive Rabe adaptation slices into the inherently unstable, desire-suppressing theatre of the military


Get Out Your Handkerchiefs (1978) – Blier’s relentlessly transgression-laden comedy feels at once fully achieved and largely affectless


First Reformed (2018) – Schrader’s agonized drama is at once significantly overstated, even crass, and yet rather magnificently rendered


Queimada! (1969) – Pontecorvo’s vivid drama of revolution and colonial meddling is problematic and bumpy, but always grandly provocative


Freeway (1996) – mythic echoes count for little in Bright’s enjoyably disreputable B-movie, enlivened by Witherspoon in her best ever mode


Razzia sur la chnouf (1955) – Decoin’s atmospheric drug-trade expose teems with character & incident, tersely anchored by the imposing Gabin


Lucky (2017) – Lynch constructs a fine late showcase for Stanton, lightly seasoned with philosophical investigations & existential mysteries


Viaggio con Anita (1979) – Monicelli’s murky, often attitudinally ugly comedy lurches arbitrarily along, wasting a displaced Hawn


Prince of the City (1981) – Lumet’s exactingly subtle study slowly exposes its initial exultation as an ethically untethered illusion


A Mother Should be Loved (1934) – even in incomplete surviving form, Ozu’s silent film is emotionally compelling and visually eloquent


Tully (2018) – Reitman and Cody’s study of motherhood is well-observed and empathetic and also utterly misconceived, in roughly equal parts


L’emmerdeur (1973) – Molinaro doesn’t offer much beyond briskness and a quirky casting pairing, but it still beats Wilder’s leaden remake


Funny Ha Ha (2002) – Bujalski perfectly channels a generation’s faltering adulthood, with the film’s modest means reflecting its milieu


Love in the City (1953) – a valuably auteur-heavy docu-fiction compilation, much more socially & existentially bleak than the title suggests


Submergence (2017) – Wenders’ strained narrative mostly fails to productively interrogate or stimulate, even less to create cinematic poetry


The Rite (1969) – Bergman’s study of art and authority in conflict is somewhat overstated and grotesque, and yet comprehensively stunning


The Falcon and the Snowman (1985) – Schlesinger’s spy drama is smoothly executed, but rather too politically and emotionally lightweight


Toute une vie (1974) – Lelouch’s romantic epic expands outward with hypnotically vast ambition, at the cost of a recurring emptiness


The Dressmaker (2015) – a borderline-gratingly eccentric patchwork, consistently well-stitched by Moorhouse, but with skin-deep impact


De Mayerling a Sarajevo (1940) – an unusual Ophuls work in its mesh of ominous political specificity and elegantly timeless romanticism


Barton Fink (1991) – the Coens’ painstaking, gusto-infused, yet largely affectless vision of Hollywood as (at least) existential purgatory


Une histoire simple (1978) – Sautet’s empathetic, anxiety-attuned study is appealing, but less striking than his propulsive genre work


The Rider (2017) – Zhao’s gloriously considered and observed film engages uniquely with damaged masculinity and compromised sense of purpose


Le cave se rebiffe (1961) – Grainger’s counterfeiter drama, entirely typical of late Gabin, plays pretty well if hardly too distinctively


Sophie’s Choice (1982) – despite its “classic” elements, Pakula’s reverent but mis-weighted adaptation is among his less impressive films


Le notti di Cabiria (1957) – for all its heavy pathos, one willingly yields by now to the contours of Fellini’s film as those of a classic


Ready Player One (2018) – Spielberg notionally asserts the primacy of reality, while rejecting it with dazzlingly kinetic repetitiveness


Sextette (1977) – an astounding concoction, hardly lacking in bizarro interest, “directed” by Hughes with a sense of despairing hopelessness


And Life Goes On (1992) – Kiarostami’s journey through extreme human resilience exemplifies his masterly, expansively interrogative method


Bed of Roses (1933) – La Cava’s girls-on-the-make comedy packs plenty of plot, but gets flatter and less snappy as the girls get gooder


Western (2017) – Grisebach’s well-observed study of cross-cultural aspirations and realities, richly lodged in the folds of modern Europe


The Island of Dr. Moreau (1977) – Taylor’s no-dawdling adaptation doesn’t have much individuality, nor much relish for the sheer weirdness


A Short Film About Killing (1988) – a promise chillingly kept: Kieslowski achieves a multi-faceted, if knowingly circumscribed perfection


Oh…Rosalinda!! (1955) – for all its formal excellence, Powell and Pressburger’s late musical too often feels rather distant and academic


Bergman Island (2004) – Nyrerod’s satisfyingly frank, often poignant (if highly selective) portrait of a filmic lion in isolated winter


Guns of the Trees (1961) – Mekas’ incompletely realized (as acknowledged) debut is nonetheless productively strange, whimsical and engaged


Tabu (2012) – Gomes’ singularly surprising film, in which classical cinematic dream-making  emerges from artful contemporary complexity


Cuba (1979) – Lester’s romance-infused drama veers from knowing classicism into uninvolving artificiality, despite many interesting elements


The Emperor of Peru (1982) – a pretty enjoyable kid-friendly fantasy, especially when Arrabal brings the subdued peculiarity to the fore


Sergeant York (1941) – among the least Hawksian and most conventionally emotion-stoking of Hawks films, but not entirely unmoving


Let the Girls Play (2018) – Hallard’s breezy film prioritizes bright & easy narrative, at the cost of much deeper engagement or illumination


Sunday too Far Away (1975) – Hannam’s study of the sheep-shearing life is modest in most respects, but always anthropologically interesting


Le pont des arts (2004) – Green’s beautiful expression of art’s transcendent, connective possibilities, and the associated earthly threats


Cool Hand Luke (1967) – the rebellion in Rosenberg’s drama is mainly skin-deep, albeit very charismatic, glisteningly photographed skin


A Useful Life (2010) – Veiroj’s study of enforced transition is nicely done throughout, with particular resonance for aging cineastes (hi!)


To Catch a Thief (1955) – Hitchcock’s mostly shallow distraction often pushes scenic sophistication into the realm of pure abstraction


Class Relations (1984) – Straub/Huillet’s stark vision of a serially enmeshing, subjugating America is among their most powerful works


Get Carter (1971) – Hodges’ gangster classic is a hard-to-look-away negotiation between cold-eyed genre swagger and locally-rooted grit


La pelicula infinita (2018) – Listorti’s compilation taps into what might be cinema’s secret dream, of becoming pure Lynchian conspiracy


Swiss Miss (1938) – worth it for Laurel, Hardy, the St. Bernard and the piano, despite the dull setting and stodgy wraparound material


Benny’s Video (1992) – Haneke’s ambiguous fable of technology-fueled deterioration is effective but limited as both diagnosis and prophecy


The Hot Rock (1972) – Yates’ film may be the epitome of the undemandingly creative, pleasantly acted, un-bothersomely weightless caper flick


The Man from Nowhere (2010) – Lee’s pitting of enigmatic protagonist against the sleazy world is muscularly stylish, but mostly unmoving


Satan in High Heels (1962) – Intrator’s melodrama spins its wheels for much of the time, seldom living up to the title’s sleazy promise


True Stories (1986) – Byrne’s eye-filling journey through puzzlin’ modern-day evidence and fancy is one of the great cinematic one-offs


Wild Strawberries (1957) – among Bergman’s most classically impeccable, all-seeing studies, less disquieting than his later savage peaks


You Were Never Really Here (2017) – Ramsay’s striking but minor film infuses low-grade melodrama with dark texture & traumatic implication


Un papillon sur l’epaule (1978) – Deray’s enjoyable journey of conspiracy-tinged bemusement, toward an arrival point of limited clarity


Bottle Rocket (1996) – Anderson’s uncannily out-of-the-box-Andersonian debut is a happy string of variously peculiar, absurd & sweet notions


Antoine et Antoinette (1947) – Becker impeccably ventilates his sweetly simple narrative with a bustling wealth of flavorful observation


Isle of Dogs (2018) – eccentric material even for Anderson, laying on layers of oddity and separation with happy, beguiling hermeticism


The Ear (1970) – Kachyna’s fluently uneasy exploration of a toxic marriage, backgrounded by pervasive state-driven insecurity & infiltration


See You in the Morning (1989) – Pakula’s interesting but rather too aridly analytical exploration of modern familial infrastructure


The Sicilian Clan (1969) – given the great trio of stars, it’s a pity Verneuil’s crime epic isn’t more tonally and thematically striking


Darkest Hour (2017) – it feels like such overly- polished & -orchestrated slabs of history should have run their course, but apparently not


Archimede, le clochard (1959) – hardly a demanding work, but lifted by its verbal ornateness and by Grangier’s loose, unfussy handling


Babylon (1980) – Rosso’s electrifying portrait of community, in all its exuberant complexity, transcendent aspiration and besieged reality


Max et les ferrailleurs (1971) – Sautet’s drama drives home its strong premise, within a rich observance of contrasting tones & moralities


The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018) – the Coens’ beautifully-judged, existentially-charged journey along the Western-genre spectrum of doom


The President (1919) – Dreyer’s penetrating drama of transgression and guilt, well-attuned to recurring patriarchal arrogance and injustice


Career Girls (1997) – simple and yet increasingly expansive, even mystical, Leigh enjoyably explores the complicated energies of friendship


Le voleur de crimes (1969) – Trintignant’s tale of proud self-obliteration is a bit too slight, for all its sustained eccentric intensity


Disobedience (2017) – Lelio appears almost eerily attuned to the material & milieu, creating a consistently, observantly subtle experience


Car Wash (1976) – even when embracing dumbness, Schultz’s comedy has winning interactions and a persistent feeling for societal currents


L’infant de l’hiver (1989) – early but quite assured Assayas work shows his feeling for emotional structures, if not yet fully inhabited


The Lost Weekend (1945) – Wilder’s literately wrenching drama is hardly uninteresting, but now seems over-emphatic in many respects


The Dreamed Path (2016) – Beckermann contrasts conversations between generations, crafting an alluring sense of communion across them


Unman, Wittering & Zigo (1971) – Mackenzie’s drama of British public school malevolence: no If, but effective on its own off-putting terms


Deep Crimson (1996) – Ripstein gives the macabre story an effective if limited air of twisted vulnerability and lurking deep-black comedy


A Countess from Hong Kong (1967) – Chaplin’s last film is hardly a success, but may be grudgingly admired for its stubborn artificiality


Stray Dogs (2013) – Tsai’s film is persistently, hauntingly touching and connective, despite its unique, withholding strangeness 


China Gate (1957) – Fuller’s artifice-transcending Apocalypse Now-like quest digs deeply & rawly into racial prejudice & political ambiguity


L’oeuvre au noir (1988) – Delvaux’s Inquisition-era drama leavens its prevailing studious gravity with idiosyncratic inquiry & observation


The Fury (1978) – the film bursts with sensational De Palma sequences, while ultimately seeming perplexingly unworthy of his attention


Black Tide (2018) – Zonka’s no-one-is-innocent police drama is pretty effective, despite its ample doses of hamminess and overstatement


The Music Box (1932) – a reliable delight for Stan and Ollie’s beautifully textured interplay, although this isn’t its richest expression


Farewell, Babylon! (1993) – out of not that much, Arrabal spins a mostly diverting, happily eccentric quasi-narrative (and time capsule)


Thank God it’s Friday (1978) – Klane’s sanitized, inoffensive diversion offers prototypical character antics and credits-to-credits disco


Visages villages (2017) – Varda and JR’s enchanting, sweetly poignant journey overflows with productive, respectful engagement and invention


House on Bare Mountain (1962) – Frost brings some real zest to his nudie-centric narrative, but it’s unfortunately only minimally infectious


Too Early/Too Late (1982) – Straub/Huillet’s impeccably measured indictment of capitalism’s crushing of natural dignity, agency and beauty


Stalag 17 (1953) – Wilder’s blend of dark drama and dumb comedy is well-paced and -calculated rather to the point of alienating coldness


Au poste! (2018) – Dupieux’s amiably goofy police-interrogation comedy playfully and unpredictably interrogates its own form and content


The Skin Game (1931) – a dated but still quite biting tale of conflicting values and prejudices, lifted by the odd Hitchcockian flourish


Mala noche (1986) – Van Sant’s first feature is perhaps still his most personally expressed, emotionally frank & sociologically interesting


Les naufragés de l'île de la Tortue (1976) – Rozier’s singular comedy celebrates openness to chance and discovery, in life and (and as) art


The Post (2017) – a softly conventional treatment of the material by any measure, but Spielberg certainly runs a polished, assured show


Paw (1959) – Henning-Jensen’s tale of a “boy of two worlds” is scenically pleasurable, while depending on simplistic cultural oppositions


Hammett (1982) – Wenders navigates fluidly within conventions and ambiguities, at once objectively distanced and seductively enmeshed


Profound Desires of the Gods (1968) – a compelling provocation, for all Imamura’s calculated drawing on primitivism and transgression


The 15:17 to Paris (2018) – Eastwood’s intriguingly experimental take on the material roots the heroism in extreme unadorned ordinariness


The Old Gun (1975) – Enrico discomfitingly steers from honorably anguished evocation of war to near exploitation-genre-type vengeance


Water (1985) – Clement’s cluttered colonial farce hits wanly at easy political targets, entirely ignoring the real tragedy of its premise


The Song of Home (1925) – Mizoguchi’s somewhat schematic and inevitably ragged early film already shows his deep feeling and individualism


Film Stars don’t die in Liverpool (2017) – McGuigan’s appealing but minor historical footnote lacks much sense of faded Hollywood glamour


Pravda (1970) – viewed at a time of brutally ascendant capitalism, the Vertov Group’s rather plaintive seriousness becomes reinvigorated


Fort Apache the Bronx (1981) – Petrie’s focus-shifting, episodically-ambitious cop drama ultimately lacks authorial strength and flavour


Days of Hate (1954) – Nilsson’s concise tale of an obsessed woman carries a pervasive oneiric quality, creating its own unsettling texture


Female Human Animal (2018) – Appignanesi constructs an absorbing, informatively provocative investigation, although not without missteps


Melodie en sous-sol (1963) – Verneuil’s unhurried handling & some nifty moves lift the caper mechanics, and then there’s also Delon & Gabin


How to Get Ahead in Advertising (1989) – Robinson’s very patchy & unsatisfactory film does retain shards of eloquence & conceptual grandeur


Le maître-nageur (1979) – Trintignant’s weirdo satire is dotted with piercing moments, within an uncompromisingly whimsical overall scheme


Phantom Thread (2017) – Anderson thrillingly evokes a hermetic creative world, in all its nuanced glory and seeping underlying instability


Goupi mains rouges (1943) – Becker’s bustling story of familial conflicts, evidencing all his supple mastery with character and incident


Permanent Vacation (1980) – a lonely study, modest in scope and in resources, but satisfactorily equipped with emerging Jarmuschian attitude


Le secret (1974) – Enrico’s intriguingly enigmatic if not ultimately too illuminating drama, drawing deeply on charismatic star presence


22 July (2018) – Greengrass’ reverent recreation is as solid as expected, but tends toward over-conventionality in its tone and focus


La casa del angel (1957) – Nilsson’s atmospheric study of emerging sexuality, beautifully poised between innocence, repression and menace


Heathers (1988) – Lehmann’s multi-kind-of-iconic, black-as-death-and-then-some, parody-transcending comedy still surprises and impresses


Classe tous risques (1960) – Sautet puts across the packed narrative with the optimum meeting of pacey toughness and immersed sensitivity


Molly’s Game (2017) – Sorkin’s mannered skill verges by now on grating self-parody, generating a pointless, uninterestingly proficient film


Craig’s Wife (1936) – Arzner’s condensed drama of a woman’s unraveling, filled with precise observation and wide-reaching social implication


Cure (1997) – with quietly creeping mastery, Kurosawa extends his terrific genre premise into broader implication and destabilization


The Seduction of Joe Tynan (1979) – Alda and Schatzberg’s genteel calibrations and contrasts go down too soothingly to matter much now


Amour fou (2014) – Hausner transfixingly crafts a highly-poised, allusive reflection on freedom and its personal and societal ambiguities


Shadows (1959) – from the start, Cassavetes was the greatest & coolest of behavioral choreographers & investigators, also of shit disturbers


A Short Film about Love (1988) – a shivery prison of a film, but conceived and executed by Kieslowski with almost breathtaking exactitude


Charlie Bubbles (1968) – Finney’s one film as director is both formally striking and pensively authentic, if ultimately overly elusive


Roma (2018) – Cuaron’s grandly (almost disquietingly) well-achieved evocation, marked by shimmering observation and stunning set-pieces


Renaldo and Clara (1978) – Dylan wraps his Rolling Thunder tour record in wryly messy observation and wistfully eccentric playacting


Alexandria Again and Forever (1989) – Chahine’s full-blooded, politically charged outburst, overwhelmed by endless self-mythologizing


Cops (1922) – Keaton and Cline’s priceless short ranks among the most fluently and elegantly unbroken twenty minutes of comedy on film


120 battements par minute (2017) – Campillo’s essential, perfectly-calibrated memoir of Act Up - Paris is galvanizing and heartbreaking


The Late Show (1977) – the (forced) Carney/Tomlin teaming only partially elevates the prevailing ordinariness of Benton’s comedic film noir


Palermo Shooting (2008) – Wenders’ citing of Bergman & Antonioni only confirms his own film’s gimmicky, if proficiently explored, hollowness


Dementia (1955) – Parker’s sinisterly sleazy vision is a striking, if ultimately rather hollow assembly of troubled surfaces and notions


Senoritas (2013) – Rodriguez’s observation of a young woman balances intimacy & isolation, connectivity & anomie, revelation & unknowability


Kaleidoscope (1966) – Smight’s low-impact caper illustrates Beatty’s oddly recurring career-long affinity to flat, undemanding material


La balance (1982) – Swaim’s multi-faceted crime drama is skillful but not really genre-defying, rendering its stature rather mysterious


The Wrath of God (1972) – Nelson’s rambunctious movie is mostly notions and affectations, devoid of any Peckinpah-like coalescing spirit


A Fantastic Woman (2017) – a few grace notes aside, Lelio’s film draws its strength from sympathetic dignity rather than radicalism


The Flying Deuces (1939) – an enjoyably rickety Laurel and Hardy feature, with a peculiarly (ultimately nuttily) morbid underlying streak


The Voice of the Moon (1990) – Fellini’s last film doesn’t lack for characteristic flourishes, but seldom fully galvanizes or inspires


Bloodbrothers (1978) – Mulligan doesn’t seem ideally attuned to the boisterous material, although it’s dotted with searching moments


Patience (after Sebald) (2012) – Gee’s superbly-crafted essay film is at once dramatization, elucidation, extrapolation and pilgrimage


Little Peach (1958) – Naruse immerses himself deeply, often rawly, into the grind of marriage; as a woman’s choice, and as her subjugation


Finders Keepers (1984) – Lester’s breathless comedy is a relative marvel of pacing and organization, but one of pretty hollow consequence


Du rififi a Paname (1966) – given the raw elements (Gabin vs Raft!), de La Patelliere’s international crime mishmash is pretty underwhelming


Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017) – McDonagh’s largely grotesque contrivance should have been shunned more than lauded


Du cote d’Orouet (1971) – beneath its easy pleasures, Rozier’s understated film explores under-examined lives & the institution of leisure


Scrubbers (1982) – Zetterling’s raucously humane study of female confinement, with an almost Kubrickian attunement to visionary strangeness


La petite Lise (1930) – Gremillon’s drama is suffused in fatalistic brooding, with sequences of intense, almost disembodied physicality


Unsane (2018) – for all Soderbergh’s practiced intensity, the movie’s ultimate impact doesn’t much transcend that of standard fraught peril


Foxtrot (1976) – Ripstein’s sputtering tale of class-fueled desert island breakdown is underpowered both as drama and as wartime allegory


Southern Comfort (1981) – at the engaged peak of his terse powers, Hill elevates a nastily conceived narrative to near-classic status


Ten to sen (1958) – apparently based on classic detective material, but Kobayashi’s extremely perfunctory handling hardly brings that out


The Shape of Water (2017) – del Toro’s immaculately-textured film is no doubt an immediate classic, and yet a barely relevant trifle


The Girl with a Pistol (1968) – Monicelli’s rather messy Vitti-goes-to-Britain movie teems with time-capsule, culture-clash interest


The Coca-Cola Kid (1985) – Makavejev’s strangely suppressed film barely hits as satire, maybe all the better to evoke dark corporate gravity


The Scientific Cardplayer (1972) – an enjoyably inventive, bitterly class-conscious parable, despite Comencini’s constraints as a stylist


The Other Side of the Wind (2018) – a thrilling, teeming Welles reclamation, at once interrogatingly present and receding into unknowability


Lo squadron bianco (1936) – Genina’s crisp but memorably visualized drama of self-exile and redemption belongs in the canon of desert movies


Bad Timing (1980) – probably not Roeg’s most pleasurable film, but among his most fearlessly transgressive, destabilizing and accusatory


Man on the Roof (1976) – Widerberg grounds his memorable climactic set-piece in a well-stewed portrait of police force contrasts & tensions


Downsizing (2017) – Payne’s ambitious film has many incremental strengths, none of which mitigate against a dissipated overall impact


La tete contre les murs (1959) – with appalled restraint, Franju probes the disquietingly exploitable morality of mental hospitalization


Withnail & I (1987) – Robinson’s enduringly funny comedic memoir, anchored by the priceless Grant, shot through with existential panic


The Great Silence (1968) – Corbucci’s strikingly wintery western pitilessly depicts the extinction of all goodness under a twisted law


Red Sparrow (2018) – Lawrence maintains an impersonal & unmoving efficiency, obliviously punctuated with regular nastiness & exploitation


La califfa (1970) – Bevilacqua suffuses his film in jaggedly politicized provocations and oppositions, to rather unclear ultimate ends


In the Line of Fire (1993) – Petersen’s highly proficient, characterless thriller stands at the very top rank of third-tier Eastwood films


L’auberge rouge (1923) – Epstein is among the most ominously fascinated, and visually and psychologically engaging, of silent directors


Battle of the Sexes (2017) – King’s personal & political history might deserve a movie less suffused in Hollywoodian slickness & calculation


Der Fall (1972) – you’ll seldom see a detective film that suppresses genre swagger as thoroughly as does Bruh’s absorbingly morose study


Modern Problems (1981) – Shapiro’s laughlessly scattershot telekinesis-themed comedy is poorly conceived and even more wretchedly executed


Signori & signori (1966) – Germi’s high-energy farce traffics ruthlessly in chronic sexual compulsion & its surrounding societal hypocrisies


A Field in England (2013) – Wheatley’s strange and remarkable creation, earthily and unearthily celebratory while seeped in ominous stasis


The Lady of Musashino (1951) – Mizoguchi’s tenderly clear-eyed study of a refined tradition eroded by urbanization, by modern moralities


Harlequin (1980) – Wincer’s drama steadily descends into lofty supernatural grab-bag, with unconvincing political/allegorical seasoning


Cesar and Rosalie (1972) – …and David, as Sautet’s well-played love triangle takes on more structurally and emotionally radical undertones


Marjorie Prime (2017) – Almereyda’s superbly-crafted, implication-heavy exploration of the evolving malleability of identity and memory


The Plough and the Stars (1936) – a concentrated study in Ford’s ruefully sentimental, gratingly celebratory, helplessly tribal Irishness


On ne meurt que deux fois (1985) – Deray’s investigation has an off-kilter, iconic Rampling-charged appeal, when not seeming overly murky


California Split (1974) – on repeat viewings, Altman’s texturally absorbing gambling study feels defined primarily by its ultimate emptiness


Quand on a 17 ans (2016) – Techine’s fine study of turbulent teenage attraction, richly rooted in its environment, in behavioural mysteries


The Killing (1956) – Kubrick’s first great filmic enigma, layering exacting detail over pervasive (if not yet cosmic) existential absence


Car Cemetery (1983) – Arrabal’s punky/kinky post-apocalyptic fantasia feels as much constrained as inspired by its Biblical parallels


The Illustrated Man (1969) – Smight’s Bradbury adaptation is consistently portentous, unenjoyably acted, and aggressively meaningless


Un beau soleil interieur (2017) – yet another captivating Denis masterpiece, shimmering with structural and observational delicacies


Comes a Horseman (1978) – an unusual setting for Pakula, but its thematic links to his greatest works gradually come into satisfying focus


Les uns et les autres (1981) – as Lelouch’s epic, performance-heavy spectacle expands toward greatness, its core feels smaller and emptier


The Paleface (1922) – Keaton’s film fascinates as performance and even as existential mystery, even as it now offends in many other respects


Happy as Lazzarro (2018) – at once intensely observed and serenely imagined, Rohrwacher’s graceful vision is perhaps improbably persuasive


Freebie and the Bean (1974) – amid all the goofy excess, Rush’s more intimately off-kilter sensibility shows through pretty regularly


Theories des ensembles (1990) – a delightful mini-Marker, as simple as a bedtime story, yet deeply technologically & philosophically engaged


Dishonored (1931) – Sternberg’s sensationally atmospheric showcase for Dietrich, at her most seductively amused and reality-bending


Sleeping Sickness (2011) – Kohler’s fascinatingly measured observations encompass a bracing range of cultural and political complexity


Gypsy (1962) – an adequate record of potentially sensational material, only shallowly tapped by LeRoy, and with imperfect lead casting


Mille milliards de dollars (1982) – Verneuil’s investigation of malign corporate power remains relevant, despite its suboptimal execution


Hustle (1975) – Aldrich’s stark, rather incompletely-realized drama is a melancholy channeling of its period’s confusions & contradictions


9 doigts (2017) – Ossang’s punkish spinning of myth and genre sustains a handsomely intense artificiality, but never really galvanizes


The Reckless Moment (1949) – Ophuls’ fascinating incursion of noir-ish menace into superficially perfect (but confining) domesticity


La belle noiseuse (1991) – Rivette’s film about a painting yields some of his most exquisitely realized ambiguities and complexities


They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (1969) – Pollack’s film always feels a little too removed from the fatigue & stench & ultimate hopelessness


Francofonia (2015) – Sokurov’s heavily-executed blend of recreation, history and reflection informs, but only intermittently stimulates


Saint Jack (1979) – one of Bogdanovich’s best films, navigated with understated skill, and great facility with character and atmosphere


Un coeur en hiver (1989) – Sautet’s study of emotional distance is exquisitely calibrated, but ranks below his more connective work


Sons of the Desert (1933) – prime Laurel & Hardy, the spousal dynamic adding a deliriously weird subtext to their eternal codependency


The Land of Steady Habits (2018) – probably Holofcener’s flattest & least resonant work, albeit that might kind of be its sociological point


Edouard et Caroline (1951) – Becker’s beautiful little relationship study, marked by the most delicate visual and emotional calibration


Micki & Maude (1984) – a comedy from just past the end of Edwards’ great period, always enjoyably proficient but only sporadically inspired


The Stranger within a Woman (1966) – Naruse, at his engrossing bleakest, introduces an extreme rupture into a familiar domestic structure


Outside In (2017) – as in much of Shelton’s work, the carefully sensitive observation ultimately yields a limited lasting consequence


Dorian Gray (1970) – interesting less for the narrative updating than for Dallamano’s committed channeling of period style and decadence


Mary Jane’s Not a Virgin Anymore (1996) – Jacobson’s likeably rough-edged film infuses lurking darkness into sex-positive collegiality


Six et demi onze (1927) – Epstein’s doomed romance is structurally & visually fascinating, regarding photography both as marvel & threat


Black Panther (2018) –  Coogler’s cinematic exuberance and sharply-honed contemporary instincts largely surmount the conventional aspects


Anna (1967) – Koralnik’s love letter to Karina is a rather dreamily eccentric treat, a closer relative to long-form music video than to Demy


Sea of Love (1989) – Becker’s serial killer drama is hardly memorable as narrative, but has pretty strong writerly and actorly texture


El sopar (1974) – Portabella’s alert witnessing of lives forged by resistance, allowing neither easy articulation nor clear arrival point


Call me by your Name (2017) – Guadagnino’s aspirational vision of love and pain is aesthetically impressive, if more as statue than flesh


Le dos au mur (1958) – Molinaro’s neatly-plotted adultery and blackmail drama maintains interest despite its overly passionless execution


Mr. Jealousy (1997) – Baumbach’s identity-in-formation early work is too artificially & repressively conceived, but goes down easily enough


Three Daughters (1961) – Ray’s rather unwieldy trilogy: two sensitively rendered if limited vignettes bracketing an unremarkable ghost story


The Stairs (2016) – Gibson’s study of middle-aged addiction in Toronto is a humane act of witness-bearing, devoid of false certainties


Madame Rosa (1977) – Mizrahi’s film is certainly more morally provocative and unsentimental than it sounds in outline, if calculatingly so


Willie and Phil (1980) – Mazursky’s over-affable take-off on Jules et Jim extends tolerant pleasantness to the point of near-affectlessness


Un nomme La Rocca (1961) – Becker and Belmondo allow the rather perplexingly shifting narrative a quasi-Melvillian stylistic coherence


All the Money in the World (2017) – Scott’s monotonous charting of easy oppositions is as handsome and under-invested as all his late work


La spiaggia (1954) – Lattuada’s summer resort melodrama becomes increasingly sharp in its social criticism, embodied in a distinctive ending


Scenes from the Life of Andy Warhol (1990) – Mekas’ deeply-lived personal memorial doesn’t deny the viewer a propulsive voyeuristic thrill


Jacob the Liar (1974) – Beyer’s triflingly empathetic fable offers trite foreground interest at the cost of an obscured ultimate horror


Hello Destroyer (2016) – Funk’s sad character study is also a persuasive indictment of a rampant hypocrisy at the heart of Canadian culture


An American Romance (1944) – Vidor’s grand hymn to exceptionalism eschews subtlety in favour of surrender-inducing physicality & incident


Beau pere (1981) – Blier’s transgressive love story stays on the right side of complete ickiness, with Dewaere an empathetic focal point


Jack of Diamonds (1967) – Taylor’s slick caper delivers strictly generic distractions, notwithstanding its unctuously-treated “guest stars”


Madame Hyde (2017) – Bozon puts the worn-out concept to surprisingly stimulating use, as a renewal of personal and pedagogic communication


The Medusa Touch (1978) – Gold’s smart handling of the melodrama allows the film an improbable degree of grounded, widely-indicting power


L’Anglaise et le duc (2001) – a fine extension of Rohmer’s oeuvre, stimulating both as naturalistic recreation and historical interrogation


Libeled Lady (1936) – Conway’s pacey screwball comedy is a confident delight, if a bit more mechanical and skin-deep than the genre’s highs


Boro in the Box (2011) – Mandico’s deliciously iconoclastic short film pays Borowczyk the most liberated yet loving tribute imaginable


The Jokers (1967) – Winner’s appealingly-conceived, happily thrown-together caper is certainly more fun than his later wearisome cinema


The Last Metro (1980) – Truffaut’s film is consistently and eventfully engaging, at the cost of greater historical bite or evocative power


Piranha (1978) – Dante’s early mayhem-fest is zippily written and zestily executed, with nicely judged infusions of political resonance


Voyage a travers le cinema francais (2016) – completely irresistible of course, curated by Tavernier with delightful, frank individuality


Lured (1947) – Sirk’s enjoyably busy, focus-shifting thriller, enlivened by its steady critique of woman as societal bait and decoration


Orson Welles: One Man Band (1995) – Silovic’s mesmerizing assembly properly celebrates Welles’ restless, often joyous creative radicalism


Midnight Lace (1960) – Miller’s suspense film has an enjoyably Hitchcockian surface & structure, less so the underlying acuity & intensity


Blind Massage (2014) – Lou’s informative, often-surprising portrait of an alternative community spans sensitivity, sensuality and turbulence


Funny Lady (1975) – leaving aside a few tunes and the easy nostalgia, Ross turns in a mostly dreary, going-through-the-motions sequel


Quelques jours avec moi (1988) – Sautet steers his eccentric narrative toward a quirkily engaging emphasis on connection and acceptance


County Hospital (1932) – if only for the “hard-boiled eggs and nuts,” a solid core element of the indelible Laurel and Hardy mythology


Mother! (2017) – Aronofsky’s tritely magnificent expression of monstrous creativity works best when in blackly satiric, discomfiting mode


Le Marie du port (1950) – Carne’s polished attentiveness to messy motivations and behaviour elevates an otherwise minor if eventful romance


Bad Lieutenant (1992) – Ferrara and Keitel’s absolute tour de force in absurd revelation, confounding one’s rational judgment and taste


Up to his Ears (1965) – despite de Broca’s ravishing set-pieces and backdrops, the film’s thematic weightlessness tips into insipidity


Werewolf (2016) – McKenzie’s hauntingly close, sparse study of addiction both as deprivation and as near-wondrous, if doomed, fulfilment


Nea (1976) – Kaplan’s lively “young Emmanuelle” story acts out the classic ambiguities of female-desire centric, female-directed cinema


Street of No Return (1989) – Fuller’s displaced but largely effective last film lands some old-style punches, under an often peculiar gloss


Aerograd (1935) – Dovzhenko fulfils propagandistic stipulations while (more interestingly) crafting a darkly intimate cultural study


I, Tonya (2017) – Gillespie’s tiresomely over-active movie is at best ineffectual & anthropologically shallow, at its worst barely tolerable


I fidanzati (1963) – notable for Olmi’s distinctive placement of romantic realization within almost peerless social & industrial observation


The Music of Chance (1993) – Haas is well attuned to the mysterious alternative-paradigm sort-of-coherence of the Austerian tone and method


L’invitation (1973) – Goretta skillfully crafts the characters and group dynamics, but the film seldom feels notably challenging or profound


For the Plasma (2014) – Bingham/Molzam craft a sparsely alluring, if surely under-developed, negotiation between specificity & transcendence


Ajatrik (1958) – Ghatak invests his episodic tale of a poor-man-and-his-car with consistently raw, widely observant emotion and power


Fever Pitch (1985) – Brooks’ disparaged drama provides strong doses of troubled observation & reportorial snap, its narrative excesses aside


Funeral Parade of Roses (1969) – Matsumoto’s transgender-centered drama ranges from the representationally striking to the trite and lurid


Lady Bird (2017) – Gerwig’s debut exhibits wonderful deftness, counterpointed by a warm, wise feeling for frustrations and anxieties


The Deadly Trap (1971) – Clement’s faltering grafting of Gaslight-type anxiety narrative onto vague mass-conspiracy drama, or vice versa


Nighthawks (1981) – Malmuth’s New York terrorism drama does OK for pacy spectacle but lacks much context (especially in post 9/11 hindsight)


Paradis perdu (1940) – Gance’s multi-generational story of love and loss is well-told on its own too-often tritely sentimental terms


Miss Sloane (2016) – Madden’s tiresome lobbyist drama feels as overly polished and inauthentically calculating as its political targets


Le tigre aime la chair fraiche (1964) – Chabrol handles the shenanigans with some style and deadpan wit, although to inherently limited ends


Repo Man (1984) – Cox’s classic mash-up retains a weirdly indelible stylistic and attitudinal coherence, even as the fun rapidly wears thin


Un borghese piccolo piccolo (1977) – Monicelli slyly takes a seeming “average man” satire in a rather startlingly subversive direction


Roman J. Israel, Esq. (2017) – Gilroy’s diverting character study is impressively thoughtful, but narratively rather over-extended


A Girl in Every Port (1928) – a prototypically Hawksian dynamic makes for solid formative viewing, spiced & strangified by the iconic Brooks


The Double Life of Veronique (1991) – Kieslowski’s existential mystery, both propelled & (of course) restricted by its alluring calibrations


The Thomas Crown Affair (1968) – a largely bland caper, absent Jewison’s meshing of relentless materialism with stylistic over-consumption


Neighboring Sounds (2012) – Filho’s geographically-specific life study is masterfully constructed, vibrantly observed, sociologically rich


Crazy Mama (1975) – Demme’s good humour and flair with wacky group dynamics can only do so much to elevate the thin, constrained material


Maine Ocean (1986) – Rozier’s unbound narrative encompasses everything from communal goofiness to virtually end-of-the-world-type solitude


You’ll Never Get Rich (1941) – Lanfield’s Astaire-Hayworth match-up goes too light on song and dance, too heavy on turgid complications


The Strange Little Cat (2013) – with composed idiosyncrasy, Zurcher charts the mundanity, mystery and latent horror of family interactions


The Madwoman of Chaillot (1969) – the peculiar blend of whimsy and commentary only fitfully flourishes under Forbes’ overwhelmed direction


Cache (2005) – Haneke’s brilliantly articulated film carries an immense implicative scope, leaving almost no points of certainty or comfort


The Main Event (1979) – any potential for a nicely crackling face-off is squandered by substantial lack of punch, in all departments


Pieta (2012) – for all the film’s superficial diversions, Kim’s concepts and instincts seem mostly grotesque, contorted and deadening


The Fixer Uppers (1935) – an adequate but somewhat peculiarly-conceived Laurel and Hardy short, rather limiting their classic interplay


Garcon! (1983) – a relatively minor Sautet work, yet an utterly pleasurable, marvelously orchestrated anecdote of compromise and renewal


Coogan’s Bluff (1968) – Siegel’s mastery of space, attitude and pacing elevates the (now unfavourably dated) narrative’s easy oppositions


The Bridges of Sarajevo (2014) – a largely successful, if overly dutiful-feeling anthology, satisfyingly varied in style and perspective


The Groundstar Conspiracy (1972) – Johnson’s high-concept premise is offset by a vulnerable human core, to moderately diverting effect


Husbands and Lovers (1991) – Bolognini’s overly prettified tale of agonized polyamory is far better at exposing bodies than emotional truth


The Disaster Artist (2017) – Franco’s watchably breezy but unimportant quasi-tribute feels more like a borrowed ride than an actual one


La nuit de carrefour (1932) – Renoir’s early crime drama, fascinatingly rooted in the sensual and behavioural textures of shadowy lives


Looker (1981) – Crichton’s forward-looking thriller doesn’t lack for interesting concepts, nor sadly for uninteresting narrative & character


Sudden Rain (1956) – Naruse’s small-scale drama subtly charts perhaps-irresolvable familial and communal anxieties and discontentments


Keanu (2016) – enjoyable but thematically blunted Key and Peele romp has future Oscar-winning screenwriter all over it (uh, not really…)


Vice and Virtue (1963) – Vadim’s rather grotesque visual and narrative concepts do little to illuminate the morality of war, or of anything


Eureka (1983) – Roeg’s strange, mythically-infused tale of intertwined discovery and loss is as productively challenging as any of his works


Le parfum de la dame en noir (1931) – L’Herbier dispatches the somewhat creaky narrative with some panache, if minimal broader implication


Blade Runner 2049 (2017) – despite any number of impressive & thoughtful concepts, Villeneuve’s film is more trudge than transporting vision


The Arrival of Joachim Stiller (1976) – Kumel’s winding tale of faith and influence is distinctly eccentric, but very shrewd and winning


Wolfen (1981) – Wadleigh’s genre picture generally feels rather distant and underinvolving, despite various points of broader resonance


Manon 70 (1968) – Aurel’s film provides rather too much easy enjoyment & prettiness to fully impress as an investigation of moral relativity


Their Finest (2016) – Scherfig’s quite stirring film articulately explores cinematic compromises while (unironically?) capitulating to them


A Woman’s Face (1938) – Molander’s enjoyable melodrama never transcends absurdity, skipping along on easy transitions and contrasts


Slaves of New York (1989) – the movie has its pleasures, but Ivory never feels sufficiently close to the milieu or its anxieties & attitudes


The Lion Hunters (1966) – Rouch’s hypnotically rich chronicle of the hunt, as respectful of its layered myths as of its meticulous realities


Detroit (2017) – Bigelow applies her visceral organizational skills to still-incendiary material, evoking a deep and righteous anger


Malj (1977) – Ilic’s ominously-styled short film is certainly one of the more singular expressions of survival and escape in cinema history


The Morning After (1986) – one of Lumet’s more low-impact dramas, embodying a missed opportunity to engage with Fonda’s shifting star image


Les plus belles escroqueries du monde (1964) – Godard’s closing segment subtly indicts the mostly undemanding pleasures that precede it


The Lost City of Z (2016) – Gray’s historical drama, rich with old-fashioned pioneering grandeur, feels at once unresolved and inevitable


Le rideau cramoisi (1953) – Astruc’s seductively enigmatic short story of desire would be the blackest of comedies, if pitched differently


Heist (2001) – it’s narratively clever of course, but also chilly and mechanical, suffused in Mamet’s writerly affectations and maneuvers


The Third Lover (1962) – a modest but effective study of envy and malign intervention, perfectly suited to Chabrol’s fascinated scrutiny


Dunkirk (2017) – Nolan’s formally impressive, immersive recreation transcends genre norms in many ways, remains limited by them in others


Imperative (1982) – Zanussi’s honorable but forced philosophical investigation ultimately just about overcomes its rather arid gravity


The Blot (1921) – Weber’s silent landmark remains immensely empathetic and intimately moving, shimmering with intertwined complexities


Things to Come (2016) – an absorbing, probing tapestry of life adjustments & passages, luminously woven by Hansen-Love & embodied by Huppert


Big Bad Mama (1974) – Carver’s loosely-driven period piece is brashly engaging, even if its main commitment is to redneck-brand titillation


Docteur Chance (1997) – Ossang’s road movie is a strangely beautiful artifice, placing doomed, pouting momentum over conventional coherence


Brief Ecstasy (1937) – Greville’s alert handling of stodgy melodrama, not least the (unresolved) emphasis on female intellectual fulfilment


In the Fade (2017) – Akin’s drama is mostly schematic & sensationalistic, relying heavily for any sense of coherence on Kruger’s conviction


The Drowning Pool (1975) – Rosenberg’s polished but no-big-deal detective flick almost seems weightily reflective by latter-day standards


Invitation au voyage (1982) – when not feeling forced, Del Monte’s transgressive pop-inflected odyssey sustains a darkly romantic charge


Bedtime Story (1964) – Levy’s confidently-motoring, savvily twisting artificiality, with Niven and Brando an abstractly empathetic tag team


The Unknown Girl (2016) – the Dardennes’ spartan but hauntingly acute investigation of the nature and toll of responsibility and redemption


Night Call Nurses (1972) – Kaplan’s lively exploitation picture actually is almost as preoccupied with trauma & activism as with titillation


Mahjong (1996) – Yang’s film teems with incident and stringent moral implication, but doesn’t cohere as pleasingly as his greatest works


The Fly (1958) – Neumann’s straight-faced absurdity benefits from its visual and vague thematic kinship to the period’s domestic melodramas


Happy End (2017) – Haneke’s utterly enveloping study of multi-faceted destabilization; of intertwining literal and figurative death wishes


The Toolbox Murders (1978) – Donnelly gets the highlights, if that’s what they are, out of the way early; the rest is mostly a blank


Veronika Voss (1982) – Fassbinder positions his Sunset Boulevard-like narrative as a window on cold-hearted cultural & historical transition


King & Country (1964) – Losey’s concentrated case study of wartime inhumanity is potently visualized, but narrow in its scope and impact


The Dreamed Path (2016) – a bit less satisfying than Schanelec’s previous work, despite its impeccable precision and alluring layerings


Show People (1928) – an early example of Hollywood’s self-absorption, conveyed by Vidor in his lightest, most happily celebratory vein


Nelly & Monsieur Arnaud (1995) – Sautet’s fine body of work ends on a delicately woven, immaculately restrained study of life transitions


The Eiger Sanction (1975) – Eastwood delivers on the material’s scenic potential, and doesn’t seem to aim to fire anything else out of it


Logan Lucky (2017) – Soderbergh’s well-made caper comedy doesn’t amount to much, despite its bedrock of cultural sympathy and attentiveness


Diary of a Shinjuku Thief (1969) – Oshima’s astounding exercise in narrative rebellion, powered by a kind of aggressive semi-callowness


Labyrinth (1986) – Henson’s fantasy never cooks up much magic, but has the occasional striking element, and Bowie! (sure, not prime Bowie)


Lac aux dames (1934) – Allegret’s pleasant film delivers varied incident and (surprising) titillation more surely than emotional depth


Southside with You (2016) – Tanne doesn’t tap Linklater-type enchantment, but any Obama mythology/nostalgic longing is pretty irresistible


The Empty Canvas (1963) – Damiani’s tale of obsession and frustration provides plenty of interest, despite its overall aesthetic modesty


Stealing Beauty (1996) – Bertolucci’s Tuscan contrivance skirts insipidity, and yet his sensuous cinematic observation remains remarkable


La fievre monte a El Pao (1959) – Bunuel’s socially-conscious, somberly-rendered drama, underlain by moral compromise & twisted desire


Beatriz at Dinner (2017) – Arteta’s largely well-played if unsurprising clash of worldviews isn’t exactly a beacon of hope for progressives


The Woman in Blue (1973) – Deville ultimately steers an initially flimsy-seeming enigma into more intriguing, pensively reflective territory


The Hand (1981) – Stone does pretty well at giving events a fraught, varied texture (kinda like JFK!), but the upside is inherently limited


La pyramide humaine (1961) – Rouch’s fascinating , forgivably earnest meeting of cultures is both cinematic experiment & idealistic reverie


Gimme Danger (2016) – Jarmusch’s Stooges documentary is an archival delight, contemplative for all its (never dangerous) visual energy


Farewell to Spring (1959) – for all its empathetic care, Kinoshita’s study of maturing friendship in wrenching times seldom pierces deeply


Crossroads (1986) – the dubiously-conceived myth-inflected narrative reduces Hill to ambling triviality; the music is the main compensation


The Girls (1968) – Zetterling’s innovatively provocative clash of art and life interrogates just about every stale assumption about women


Fahrenheit 451 (2018) – Bahrani’s insufficiently-reflective, repetitively-pounding filming feels like a missed opportunity in every respect


From the Clouds to the Resistance (1979) – Straub/Huillet challengingly interrogate the persistence of humanity’s violent submission to myth


Mascara (1987) – Conrad’s myth-stained melodrama feels forged in committed inside-out queerness, however oddly framed, located and expressed


The Eagle with Two Heads (1948) – Cocteau’s grandly singular structure of political and regal intrigue, rendering twisted tragedy as triumph


The Comedian (2016) – in no way a Pupkin-update (if only!) but still a relative triumph for De Niro, if one of easy effects and pleasures


Le Tigre se parfume a la dynamite (1965) – raggedly-plotted espionage stuff, so loosely controlled by Chabrol as to seem mildly subversive


Personal Best (1982) – Towne’s sports film remains a stimulatingly problematic text in representing female physicality and fluid desire


Numero zero (1971) – Eustache’s respectful record of his grandmother’s life testimony, a pure channeling of weary, turbulent experience


Brad’s Status (2017) – White’s preoccupied character study never transcends “first world problems”-type introspection and self-readjustment


L’oro di Roma (1961) – Lizzani’s piercing but constrained drama doesn’t quite rank among the cinema of occupation’s most lasting works


Lulu on the Bridge (1997) – for all its clunky peculiarities, Auster’s film intrigues for its sense of elemental investigation and pleasure


Party Girl (1958) – Ray’s rather bumpy melodrama is most compelling for its central sense of worn-out decency, under siege by empty swagger


La soledad (2016) – Armand’s film hardly lacks for haunted, bewildered impact, even as he pushes too hard to encompass Venezuela’s tragedy


The Man who Knew too Much (1934) – Hitchcock’s effective thriller, pushing throughout toward greater future depth & psychological complexity


Grandeur et decadence… (1986) – Godard treads fairly lightly & affectionately through times of change, rendering you poignantly stimulated


The Domino Principle (1977) – Kramer’s serviceable assassination thriller falters at delivering much on its apparent grander ambitions


Ismael’s Ghosts (2017) – Desplechin may be dancing on the spot, but the choreography and rhythms remain uniquely beguiling and stimulating


The Royal Hunt of the Sun (1969) – Lerner’s quite compelling opening out of Shaffer’s fascinating sun-drenched, humanity-stained quest


Fado majeur et mineur (1994) – a grave yet playfully confounding fragment from Ruiz’s bottomless cinema of echoes, layers and dreams


Telefon (1977) – an effective thriller for Siegel’s assured tone and pacing and the anxious subtext, although with muted ultimate impact


Victoria (2016) – Triet’s end-of-her-tether comedy seems to aspire to a wilder, more tempestuous tone than its cutes and clutter allow


The Seventh Victim (1943) – Lewton and Robson’s quietly threat-laden devil worshipper drama leaves a complexly troubled aftertaste


Un mauvais fils (1980) – an astutely-measured, searching study of incremental renewal, a peak illustration of Sautet’s more intimate mode


The Choirboys (1977) – the material should surely sing of a messed-up America more scabrously and roughly than it does in Aldrich’s hands


Orly (2010) – Schanelec sets out pleasingly innovative routes into the well-established existential possibilities of airport departures


Topaz (1969) – Hitchcock’s late film at times seems stolid and artificial, at other times almost experimental in its shifts and abstractions


A Confucian Confusion (1994) – Yang’s sharply genial study of a society where economic growth outpaces the emotional and intellectual kind


Hardcore (1979) – a strong, inherently diverting film, but for Schrader, something of a missed moral, sociological and stylistic opportunity


La loi de la jungle (2016) – Peretjatko’s satire of unprincipled development is mostly a goofy slog, with little real bite or panache


The Man in the White Suit (1951) – Mackendrick’s smart, sure-footed comedy, cleverly foreseeing the looming fragility of industrial society


Eaux profondes (1981) – Deville’s Highsmith adaptation falls a bit short overall, despite striking stylistic, tonal and structural moves


Pass Over (2018) – Lee’s exemplary filming of vivid theatrical material, a Godot-like expression of America’s complex culture of oppression


Les nouveaux messieurs (1929) – Feyder’s silent drama stirringly contrasts the promise of the left & the practiced persistence of the right


Blue Black Permanent (1992) – Tait’s wonderfully measured, alert conversation between generations, and reflection on seeing and recording


Anima nera (1962) – Rossellini ruthlessly deconstructs the stereotype of male irresponsibility, stripping it down to its outmaneuvered core


I Called Him Morgan (2016) – Collin makes unusually effective use of archival materials, crafting a haunting memoir of thwarted artistry


Ugetsu (1953) – Mizoguchi’s chillingly beautiful tale of earthly tumult & fracture that lets in the ghosts of temptation, & those of comfort


HealtH (1980) – Altman’s thinly allegorical satire is enjoyable enough, but rather too defined by the transient hollowness it observes


A Woman’s Decision (1975) – Zanussi’s study is one of his looser works, but deeply attuned to existential anxieties and social heaviness


Wonder Wheel (2017) – one of Allen’s more sustained late works shifts effectively from easeful period evocation into stark, pitiless tragedy


The Walls of Malapaga (1949) – Clement’s doomed romance endures for its immersion in time and place, despite its familiarly fatalistic core


Surrender (1987) – Belson’s lazily-handled comedy of intertwined emotional and economic anxiety never works up much pace or punch


La punition (1962) – Rouch’s captivating (seemingly Varda-inflected?) meditation on the freedom and limitation of exploration and encounter


Lady Macbeth (2016) – Oldroyd’s chilling drama: superbly sparse and confined, yet infused with an ambiguous air of broader societal shifting


Les amis (1971) – Blain’s calmly radical treatment of potentially transgressive material, carefully evasive and indirect, never merely coy


Tequila Sunrise (1988) – Towne’s film is an able study in structure, mood and light, until plot mechanics ultimately triumph over all else


A double tour (1959) – Chabrol extracts just about every tortured, loathing nuance possible from the ultimately somewhat thin material


War for the Planet of the Apes (2017) – Reeves’ is an impressively conceived and sustained vision, if seldom very conceptually stimulating


Immortal Love (1961) – Kinoshita’s eventful drama of relentless familial pain is rather too dutiful & restrained to penetrate as it intends


Star 80 (1983) – Fosse’s filmography ends in flashy disappointment, extracting little of substance from its unpleasant case history 


The Tenant (1976) – Polanski’s effective if rather over-elaborated tale of paranoia, at its best when evoking anxiety and persecution


A United Kingdom (2016) – Asante’s welcome excavation of a significant historical episode feels a little more stifled than necessary


Zouzou (1934) – Allegret’s atmospherically bustling, often saucy rags-to-riches tale provides an effective showcase for Josephine Baker


Things Change (1988) – a pleasant, well-played trifle, but Mamet’s affinity for such pervasively genre-limited cinema is hard to figure out


Bande a part (1964) – Godard’s legendary film pulsates with the allure of losing oneself in an invented moment, and with its sadness


The Trip to Spain (2017) – a get-together as ingratiatingly familiar by now as any mainstream franchise, but funny and seductive throughout


T. R. Baskin (1971) – a film of modest virtues, since contemporary dehumanization and personal enigma aren’t Ross’s most natural territory


The Nights of Zayandeh-Rood (1990) – wrecked by censorship, Makhmalbef’s family chronicle speaks tremulously to the trauma of revolution


The Devil is a Woman (1935) – von Sternberg/Dietrich’s rather coldly capricious last film lacks the overwhelming allure of its predecessors


A Decent Woman (2016) – Rinner’s well-crafted showdown of nudists and materialists is too straightforward to really stir or challenge


The Rowdyman (1972) – Carter/Pinsent’s film chugs along rather too easily to achieve lasting impact, other than as a marker of time & place


Histoires d’Amerique (1988) – Akerman’s mesh of jokes & testimony is both celebratory & eerie, mirroring the fraught Jewish-American odyssey


Cactus Flower (1969) – the familiarly-honed material neither stings nor blossoms cinematically, but Saks navigates it pleasantly enough


Bird People (2014) – Ferran extends the weary metaphorical possibilities of airports to wondrously extreme, persuasively unfettered heights


The Yin and the Yang of Mr. Go (1970) – Meredith’s jumbled, pseudo-idealistic action-comedy, suffused in dopiness and antiquated attitudes


Sankofa (1993) – Gerima’s always strikingly-conceived, often astounding expression of reborn communion with past culture and injustice


Isle of the Dead (1945) – a modest narrative, but suffused with Lewton’s remarkable shadow-infused play of preoccupation and fragility


The Handmaiden (2016) – likely Park’s best film, if only for obscuring his hermetic limitations with sheer narrative & visual sumptuousness


Mandingo (1975) – Fleischer’s terrifyingly well-realized exploration of slave-owning America’s moral and psychological wretchedness


The Supplement (2002) – Zanussi’s interesting exercise in fleshing out the bones of an earlier film, rather labored on its own terms though


Single Room Furnished (1968) – Mansfield is strikingly plaintive in her last film, which Cimber generally handles with a decent touch


The Square (2017) – Ostlund’s sleek, assured exhibit of a film, an impressively multi-pronged exploration of art-world ethics & absurdities


Blue Collar (1978) – Schrader’s powerful debut remains a key film of its period about labour, race, power and their complex interaction


The Case is Closed (1982) – with understated power and empathy, Sen dissects the bottomless inequalities and injustices of Indian society


The Narrow Margin (1952) – Fleischer’s terse and tight thriller is great viewing, but ranks below film noir’s thematic and sensual peaks


Queen of Katwe (2016) – Nair delivers the expected tale of colourful odds-beating assertion, with an (equally expected) absence of much else


Being Two isn’t Easy (1962) – Ichikawa’s eyes-of-a-child slice-of-life drama is at best trifling, and frequently tedious and/or insipid


9 to 5 (1980) – Higgins’ easy-to-take comedy can be seen now as unnecessarily and counterproductively rigged, and only half-woke at best


The French Way (1945) – De Baroncelli’s low-energy farce makes poor use of Josephine Baker, largely pushed to the narrative’s bland margins


The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017) – Lanthimos’ imposing if knowingly alienating exercise in ominous, mythologically-informed displacement


Slap the Monster on Page One (1972) – Bellocchio’s dark study of establishment hypocrisy remains potent, for all the territory’s familiarity


Iceman (1984) – notwithstanding its Sorkin-ish science chatter, Schepisi’s drama just gets increasingly silly, contrived and clumsy


Les enfants terribles (1950) – a mesmerizing, disruptive amalgam of Cocteau’s poetic extremity & Melville’s skeptical, unsparing observation


I, Daniel Blake (2016) – near-vanishing-point Loach, the weight of injustice reducing a quietly worthy man to a dying assertion of identity


The Structure of Crystal (1969) – Zanussi’s understated reflection on relative freedoms, a very subtle posing of the personal as political


Lookin’ to Get Out (1982) – the movie sustains a superficial, raucous energy, but it all matters far less than Ashby’s enduring earlier work


Torso (1973) – the impact of Martino’s lascivious, committed fluidity is rather limited by the film’s thematically sparse narrative


The Florida Project (2017) – Baker’s sociologically, morally & stylistically rich study walks an immaculate line between cute & troubling


L’argent (1928) – L’Herbier’s milestone silent drama, epically grappling with the unequal power and morality of man and financial markets


Rough Cut (1980) – a passable caper, but would be low-energy, textureless stuff from anyone, let alone a film notionally signed by Siegel


Jaguar (1968) – Rouch’s dizzyingly stimulating country-to-city African odyssey throbs with incident and underlying social implication


Paterson (2016) – Jarmusch’s masterful observation of inner lives, an implicit rebuke to the prevailing brainlessness of dominant culture


The Tree of Wooden Clogs (1978) – Olmi’s moving chronicle of peasant life, encompassing generous humanism and quiet political indictment


Dreamscape (1984) – Ruben’s thriller falls short of Pakula on one hand and Ken Russell on the other, but is good, lightly-implicating fun


The Silence (1963) – Bergman’s highly arresting study of conflict and flight is one of his most sensuous, implication-laden enigmas


Girls Trip (2017) – Lee’s energetic movie doesn’t flag, but the narrative & moral trajectory & sexual frankness are predictably calibrated


It (1927) – Bow still radiates - if not all of “it” - at least a big piece of it, showcased by Badger’s admiring, fleet-footed narrative


Dog Day (1984) – Boisset’s injection of the iconic Marvin into a raucously bawdy French rustic context shambolically fails to come off


Justine (1969) – Cukor’s formally impressive but distant film feels too inertly classical to tap the material’s rich potential complexities


Antiporno (2016) – Sono at once creates candy-porn, jerks off to it and blows it up, in formally impressive if ideologically suspect style


The Klansman (1974) – Young’s film stimulates for its wretched sociological background, more than for its ploddingly ugly foreground drama


Une etrange affaire (1981) – Granier-Deferre’s elegant, mysterious but precise fable of charismatic leadership and its reality-bending orbit


The Whole Town’s Talking (1935) – an enjoyably fast-paced if never biting comedy, a fluent adjunct to Ford’s primary cinematic achievement


Mountains may Depart (2015) – Jia’s limitlessly fascinating straddling of experiences, of personal and societal shifts and displacements


Time after Time (1979) – Meyer’s high-concept film appeals most for its pleasant incongruities, before fraught plot mechanics take over


Purple Butterfly (2003) – Lou’s historical reverie/thriller is frequently dreamily enveloping, at other times rather murkily disorienting


The Queen’s Guards (1961) – a pageantry-seeped military memoir, with Powell fitfully engaged by its more skeptical and anguished elements


Cezanne et moi (2016) – for better & worse, Thompson scenically observes her epochal protagonists more than she stylistically channels them


Cisco Pike (1972) – Norton’s loose-limbed drug-dealer drama, a great little time capsule of in-the-moment presences and interactions


Chronicle of a Death Foretold (1987) – Rosi’s only superficially engaging adaptation is heavy with over-deliberation and over-prettification


Battling Butler (1926) – a pleasant but relatively subdued Keaton comedy, not equaling the cinematic and physical grace of his best works


Roxanne Roxanne (2017) – Larnell’s intuitively-shaped, empathetic chronicle, emphasizing Shante’s perseverance against chronic male weakness


Porte des lilas (1957) – Clair’s late film feels like a settling for less, but finds some darker veins within its small-scale observation


The First Deadly Sin (1980) – Hutton handles the weary procedural aspect solidly enough, but flails at the apparent broader intentions


Mother Kusters goes to Heaven (1975) – Fassbinder’s stylistically restrained but utterly fascinating exercise in frustration and venality


Norman (2016) – Cedar’s nimble film, at its best in exploring the textures of connection, ultimately leaves a softer impact than one hopes


Amore et rabbia (1969) – five varied provocations, most notably Bertolucci’s possessed performance art and Godard’s interrogative beauty


Battle Beyond the Stars (1980) – Murakami delivers some colorfully goofy visions of community, stranded among much anonymous space padding


La beaute du diable (1950) – Clair’s fine treatment of Faust, propelled throughout by exquisite narrative fluidity and directorial elegance


Last Flag Flying (2017) – Linklater’s knowingly old-fashioned Vietnam reunion odyssey sinks easefully into contradictory American attitudes


Petit a petit (1970) – beneath its loose, often goofy surface, Rouch’s film reflects on the delights & limitations of cultural interchange


Suburbia (1984) – Spheeris’ super-cool, attitude-heavy vision of (inevitably doomed) alternative community amid a hostile & clueless society


Liliom (1934) –  a rather draggy supernaturally-infused tale of redeemed brutishness, notable though as an uncharacteristic Lang work


Free Fire (2016) – Wheatley tightly concocts a carnage-strewn, no-way-out, near-vanishing-point of genre cinema, to somewhat unclear ends


The Condemned of Altona (1962) – despite its heavy-footedness, De Sica’s brooding Sartre adaptation wades in fascinating moral waters


Dreamchild (1985) – Millar and Potter’s reverie nimbly spans ages and registers, but the calculated restraint and taste limits its impact


Bellissima (1951) – Visconti’s neo-realist grounding is merely an intermittent anchor for choreographic flourishes and actorly histrionics


Obvious Child (2014) – of course, the (modest yet meaningful) virtue of Robespierre’s abortion-centered comedy is its very ordinariness


Kleinhoff Hotel (1977) – Lizzani’s erotic drama is calculatingly exploitative, and yet not without a striking commitment and preoccupation


Max Dugan Returns (1983) – Ross/Simon’s low-impact comedy would be a grim study of moral and material surrender, if it meant anything at all


Fraulein Doktor (1969) – hints of decadence & a powerful final battle scene aside, Lattuada’s war drama is largely mechanical & passionless


Gold (2016) – Gaghan’s Bre-X fictionalization maintains interest, but one often wishes for the hand of a Mann or Pakula (or Eureka’s Roeg!)


Portrait of Madame Yuki (1950) – another calmly potent Mizoguchi study of toxic gender relations, ultimately all but conflating sex & death


Track 29 (1988) – Roeg/Potter’s mostly underwhelming drama layers rather strained elaborations on top of a central psychological enigma


Irezumi (1966) – Masumura’s bloodily devouring, desirous melodrama; one of his more straightforward works, but utterly gripping throughout 


Manifesto (2015) – Rosefeldt’s unique high-concept piece is a near-marvel of organization, imagination, pedagogery and pure performance


Lust for Life (1956) –  Minnelli’s expressive powers are ironically constrained by fidelity to Van Gogh’s; but Douglas compels throughout


La naissance du jour (1980) – Demy’s small-scale literary adaptation most intrigues for fleetingly complex glimpses of his unique sensibility


The Getaway (1972) – a decent thriller on its own terms, although a minor, morally weightless work in the context of Peckinpah’s cinema


Wet Woman in the Wind (2016) – Shiota ventilates the brisk soft-porn material with an appealingly deadpan, lightly absurdist sensibility


The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) – at its frequent finest, a transporting, sensitive, evocative record of Welles’ immense cinematic fluency


Decoder (1984) – Muscha’s brooding drama is appealingly dated in its punkish analog trappings, very little so in its broader preoccupations


Leo the Last (1970) – Boorman’s peculiar, voyeuristic sociological parable/channeling of revolutionary desires/chaotic provocation


Journey to the West (2014) – Tsai’s (slowly!) dreamy and gracefully funny short film, seemingly carrying a subtext of understated indictment


Madigan (1968) – Siegel’s tough, propulsive detective thriller; impeccably weaving moral contrasts and shadings and shifting perspectives


Marseille (2004) – Schanelec’s impressively considered film crafts a most unusual alchemy of person & place, & expression of new beginning


No Blade of Grass (1970) – Wilde’s environmental collapse thriller is at best a brash visual assault, at (frequent) worst unhinged & jarring


Informe general II (2016) – Portabella’s clear-eyed if genteel charting of the gulf between small-group awareness and state-wide torpor


The Leopard Man (1943) – Lewton/Tourneur’s brilliantly-sustained classic, a haunting, seldom-equaled marriage of delicacy and pained gravity


Salto nel vuoto (1980) – for all Bellocchio’s acuity, this repression-laden, corroded-establishment drama is a bit too heavy & unsurprising


Lost Lost Lost (1976) – but also vibrantly and permanently found; in Mekas’ absorbing survey of exile, arrival, evolution and community


Journey to the Shore (2015) – Kurosawa’s calm rewriting of our metaphysical universe, studiously free of conventional genre trappings


The Bronze Buckaroo (1939) – Kahn’s bare-bones all-black Western carries its unstated otherness with shambling charm, but few fireworks


The Constant Factor (1980) – Zanussi’s almost mathematically powerful study of pervasive corruption and the limits of a moral response to it


Colossal (2016) – could Vigalondo have foreseen that his out-there movie would so resonate as a remarkable allegory of Trumpian menace?


Come Drink with Me (1966) – vividly enjoyable but not yet full-throttle Hu, in terms of both raw technique and underlying sensuousness


Superstar (1988) – Haynes’ Karen Carpenter bio-pic is at once an eerily multi-faceted investigation, and a negation of any such possibility


Ossessione (1943) – hard not to think of Visconti’s adaptation primarily in earthier, hungrier contrast to its Hollywood counterparts


Alien: Covenant (2017) - Scott sure knows how to punch it out, but the feeling of repetition, redundancy and overreach is insurmountable


Birds in Peru (1968) – Gary’s ritualistic, sun-baked ceremony of sex, death & fate taps (albeit rather strenuously) a sparse elemental power


Working Girl (1988) – Nichols’ overvalued comedy, heavily dependent on reality-obscuring simplifications, feels now like a dusty relic


I Will Buy You (1956) – Kobayashi’s (rather strenuously) heavy-hearted baseball scouting drama is among the most somber of sports films


Fences (2016) – Washington does right by the (inherently not so cinematic) play, such that you lose yourself in the language and evocation


The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (1970) – De Sica’s rather familiarly, elegantly rarified, but nonetheless moving drama of looming Holocaust


Galaxina (1980) – Sachs’ genre parody is perplexing in most ways, hardly aiming for quality yet drearily tentative in its raunchy cheesiness


Letters by a Novice (1960) – an artful mixture of austere investigation and calculating decadence, seemingly entirely up Lattuada’s alley


The Beguiled (2017) – Coppola’s restraint and feeling for female community serves here to push the material toward virtual invisibility


The Music (1972) – Masumura/Mishima’s astonishingly-rendered, pained erotic extremity, conflating psychoanalysis & transgressive invention


Revolution (1985) – Hudson’s film is mostly effective when channeling chaotic mass experience, much less so in its narrative contrivances


Mammy Water (1953) – Rouch’s brief but teeming study exuberantly straddles eye-filling actualities and respectfully-presented myths


Christine (2016) – Campos renders a sad real-life tale as a case study in pervasive discomfort, and in coping mechanisms taken and spurned


Michael Kohlhass (1969) – Schlondorff’s tale of injustice and rebellion, its impact rather muddied by its attempt to channel the sixties


Maria’s Lovers (1984) – Konchalovsky’s minor post-war drama feels mostly trivial and arbitrary, not tapping its actors’ considerable powers


The National Health (1973) – Gold/Nichols’ carefully-gauged hospital comedy, its diagnosis both directly scathing and challengingly evasive


Marguerite & Julien (2015) – Donzelli’s period-bending treatment of transgressive material, intriguingly straddling history & romantic myth


A Woman of Paris (1923) – its modest sensitivity to female perspective & desire aside, Chaplin’s drama is of limited cinematic interest now


Mourir a 30 ans (1982) – Goupil’s memoir of 1968, somberly but piercingly contrasting all-consuming activism & subsequent directionlessness


The Night Visitor (1971) – Benedek’s ingenious thriller delivers fascinating logistics, although its echoes of Bergman are merely frost-deep


Raw (2016) – at its harrowing best, Ducournau’s vivid film is a startling expression of the scorching, perilous power of female desire


Tom Jones (1963) – occasional pell-mell interest aside, Richardson’s relentless opportunism now seems mostly tiring and alienating


Lost Persons Area (2009) – Strubbe’s representation of Europe’s shifting order is highly well-conceived, but carries a muted overall impact


The Reckoning (1970) – Gold’s super-meaty class-conscious drama, anchored by Williamson’s sensationally contemptuous, possessed presence


Une jeunesse allemande (2015) – Periot’s absorbing film conveys the turbulent passing of a very era-specific melding of culture and action


Raw Deal (1948) – under Mann’s alert handling, a thriller narrative of hard-driving visual eloquence, suffused with unfulfilled longing


Kung-fu master! (1988) – no director can bridge loveliness and social transgression as easefully yet meaningfully as the incomparable Varda


Julia (1977) – Redgrave’s moving presence aside, Zinnemann’s lead-footed memory piece seldom feels fully-inhabited or very evocative


The Future Perfect (2016) – Wohlatz’s beguiling study of a young immigrant’s multiple aspirations, navigating self-assertion & assimilation


Station Six-Sahara (1963) – superficially a potboiler, but infused by Holt with substantial behavioral relish & subtle structural mysteries


A Cat in the Brain (1990) – pure immersive cinema of a kind, although Fulci’s show of anguished self-reflection is only semi-persuasive


Story of a Love Story (1973) – Frankenheimer’s all-but-lost film is ceaselessly if strenuously investigative, and surprisingly rewarding


A Ghost Story (2017) – Lowery’s extraordinarily well-judged amalgamation of tangibly-depicted myths and sparse, searching ambiguities


The Mascot (1934) – Starewicz’s remarkable stop-motion adventure is an early spanning of Toy Story & Tim Burton, of the cute & the freaky


Goya’s Ghosts (2006) – the narrative contrivances of Forman’s blandly handsome film seriously weaken its historical and cultural impact


La terra trema (1948) – Visconti’s searching emphasis on realism is moving, yet highly mediated, arguably undermined by wider ambitions


Snowden (2016) – Stone applies relative directorial restraint to potentially paranoia-strewn material, with respectable but limited results


The Corruption of Chris Miller (1973) – Bardem’s expressively visualized semi-elevation of a lurid killer narrative, with a dash of Persona!


Peggy Sue Got Married (1986) – Coppola affectionately makes it all feel more meaningful than it is, aided by seen-the-future-level casting


My Second Brother (1959) – the major impact of Imamura’s engaging and committed early film lies in its bleak social and economic awareness


Wonderstruck (2017) – Haynes’ parallel lives story has the multi-dimensional beauty of a diorama, to be meticulously explored and caressed


L’attentat (1972) – Boisset’s solid, wide-ranging entry into a classic tradition, finding corruption and complacency inside every dark suit


Death Proof (2007) – hard not to admire Tarantino’s artful balance of leisurely good spirits, deceptive finesse, and insistent disposability


Marketa Lazarova (1967) – Vlacil’s turbulent, imposing historical chronicle, both vividly direct & narratively elusive, even hallucinatory


The Bad Batch (2016) – Amirpour’s film becomes increasingly intriguing, as a sly subversion of swaggering post-apocalypse-type cliches


Kill! (1971) –  Gary’s murky drug-trade thriller, fitfully sparked by the tussle between intellectual ambitions and mostly pulpish execution


Wrong is Right (1982) – Brooks’ well-titled farce-attack is both absurd & prescient, stylistically uncertain & (thus) pretty much on target


The Burmese Harp (1956) – Ichikawa’s transcendence-seeking tale of post-war Burma seldom surpasses superficial grandeur and spirituality


Good Time (2017) – the Safdies’ very striking blend of propulsively inventive crime narrative and extraordinary observational directness


The Golden Fortress (1974) – you might view Ray’s handling of the flamboyant material either as overly staid, or as carefully interrogative


Heat (1995) – a modern genre landmark, for Mann’s awe-inspiring, deeply-searching mastery of narrative, visual and thematic geometry


La ligne de demarcation (1966) – Chabrol’s effective Occupation drama emphasizes dogged collective solidarity over individual heroism


Hidden Figures (2016) – Melfi’s bland conventionality leaves little basis for distinguishing inspirational truths from trite exaggerations


Dear Summer Sister (1972) – Oshima’s unusual, oddly troubling layering of an almost naively beaming surface on deeply fractured depths


Mike’s Murder (1984) – Bridges plays observantly and languidly with textures and contrasting milieus, although to limited ultimate ends


Les maitres fous (1955) – Rouch’s unique, often astonishing anthropological record also acts as a savage parody of hollow colonial pomp


Wonder Woman (2017) – Jenkins’ blockbuster is pretty fresh and engagingly literate, when not lost in interminable pyrotechnic abstraction


A Special Day (1977) – Scola’s precisely rendered study of a brief encounter, affectingly contrasting intimate truths and national delusions


Casino (1995) – illustrating Scorsese both at his most technically unimpeachable, and at his most relentlessly & under-rewardingly hermetic


Vie privee (1962) – Malle rather peculiarly extrapolates Bardot’s immense if rather shallow mythology into a fatalistic death ritual


Nocturnal Animals (2016) – Ford’s tiresomely pretentious, airlessly “well-crafted” drama is almost entirely unpleasant and unedifying


The Penal Colony (1970) – Ruiz’s strangely ominous creation almost seems now like a prediction of degrading political & factual objectivity


An Unsuitable Job for a Woman (1982) – Petit’s film is less a detective story than a genre- and gender-defying study in absence and darkness


Mother Never Dies (1942) – Naruse’s moving story of life after loss, rather more sentimental (& ultimately jingoistic) than his finest work


My Cousin Rachel (2017) – Michell’s drama of suspicion and desire avoids Gothic excess, but at the cost of diluted ambiguity and impact


The Silent Partner (1978) – Duke’s pretty nifty, sometimes surprisingly raw thriller, cherishable as an all-time-great Toronto time-capsule


In the White City (1983) – Tanner’s questing cinema finds here its most mythic port of call, experience and memory shimmeringly intertwining


Hud (1963) – the physical and emotional territory of Ritt’s bleak drama frequently evokes stronger, less constrained films, before and since


Frantz (2016) – with customarily precise yet somewhat passionless virtuosity, Ozon navigates post-war misdirections and compromises


Steelyard Blues (1973) – Myerson’s frequently grating drop-out comedy does happily elevate at times (mostly due to the inspired Peter Boyle)


Une vieille maitresse (2007) – Breillat’s brilliant 19th century drama, composed yet destabilizing, of a desire that pushes toward death


Carmen Jones (1954) – Preminger’s all-black musical now seems more like an artificialized denial of black culture than an elevation of it


The Other Side of Hope (2017) – Kaurismaki’s customarily well-honed, wide-ranging and supple survey of multi-cultural dreams and realities


Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania (1972) – Mekas’ remarkable, captivating memory film, feeling at once unfiltered and highly mediated


The Girl from Trieste (1982) – Campanile’s undercharged story of obsession does find its way to a strikingly doomed, alienated finale


Hot Thrills and Warm Chills (1967) – for Berry, thrills and chills evidently drive their own unknowable laws of narrative, framing & pacing


Nocturama (2016) – Bonello’s sleekly knowing, trite yet stimulating terrorism drama sleekly rejects conventional representational dilemmas


Real Life (1979) – Brooks’ evasively fascinating, at least semi-premonitory collision of showbiz stylization and documentary-style flatness


Life as a Fatal Sexually Transmitted Disease (2000) – Zanussi’s drama pushes as hard as its title, but attains a sort of cranky magnificence


Veiled Aristocrats (1932) – Micheaux’s clear-eyed, ultimately celebratory assertion of racial identity and (also!) female self-determination


Baby Driver (2017) – for the most part, the film zooms & flies on Wright’s happy cinematic air, infused with barely flagging creative joy


Moderato Cantabile (1960) – one of the period’s memorably doomed enigmatic encounters, hauntingly observed by Brook (& Antonioni’s spirit?)


Phobia (1980) – if only Huston had brought some bleak relish and a greater sense of the absurd to the mechanical serial killer narrative…


The Man who Put his Will on Film (1970) – Oshima’s stark enigma seems to posit cinema as a shifting, almost autonomously malevolent threat


Jackie (2016) – at once highly immersive and dreamlike, Larrain’s precise recreation taps the ambiguities of intimate witnessing of history


Haxan (1922) – Christensen’s unequaled blend of historical pedagogy, lurid fantasy & socially-aware self-reflection remains quite remarkable


Rollover (1981) – few films ever grappled with global financial complexity as Pakula’s does, even fewer with such stylistic audaciousness


Le temps de mourir (1970) – paranoia spawns its own bleak destiny in Farwagi’s enigmatic, occasionally striking drama of predestination


Logan (2017) – Mangold at least brings some modest literacy, cinematic grandeur & emotional frailty to the essentially meaningless material


Moi, un noir (1958) – Rouch’s vastly impactful study of African exile, aspiration & resentment remains ambiguously revelatory & troubling


Mr. Patman (1980) – in various oddly interesting ways, Guillermin’s murky drama symbolizes its strange, displaced era in Canadian cinema


Monsieur Klein (1976) – Losey’s dark case history of the Holocaust’s perversion of fate and rationality, articulated with unforced mastery


La La Land (2016) – Chazelle’s airily pretty but passionless appropriation of classic forms yields only fleeting, if not vapid pleasures


The Champagne Murders (1967) – an enjoyably anxious exercise in highly-designed, ambiguous confinement; second-tier Chabrol at best though


The Color of Money (1986) – Scorsese’s perhaps most underrated movie, placing stark psychological structures within restless cinematic ones


Trois jours a vivre (1957) – Grainger’s rather rushed marriage of backstage theatrics and noir-type tension never satisfactorily coheres


A Quiet Passion (2017) - Davies' outstanding study of Emily Dickinson enthralls with its sensitivity and precise charting of complexities


La memoire courte (1979) – de Gregorio’s increasingly bracing, Rivette-tinged investigation into evasive histories and unreliable narrators


I Dreamt I Woke Up (1991) – Boorman’s loving exploration of his Irish home, both facilitated and cluttered by playfully mythic inventions


Ten Nights in a Bar Room (1926) – Calnek’s tale of lost moral compasses ultimately rather chills for its repurposed imagery of mob justice


I Am Madame Bovary (2016) – Feng’s alert, tragi-comic charting of classically thwarted female determination in an age of dismal bureaucracy


Monterey Pop (1968) – Pennebaker’s (too short!) concert film contains some indelible, almost incomparably vivid images of key performers


Wimbledon Stage (2001) – Amalric’s enigmatic investigation of a non-writing writer balances persuasive mystery & lightly-observed detail


There was a Crooked Man (1970) – Mankiewicz’s late-career slumming exercise maintains its brassy swagger, but it’s all offputtingly coarse


The City Below (2010) – Hochhausler’s quite fascinating immersion in intertwined possibilities – personal & corporate, elevating & ominous


He Ran all the Way (1951) – a modest set-up, boosted by Berry’s expressive direction and Garfield’s hauntingly tortured final performance


Vanishing Point (1984) – like cinematic breath, Ruiz’s film draws in toward its ominous secrets, out toward a world of cryptic possibilities


The Goodbye Girl (1977) – under the narcotic-like patter, Simon’s comedies now seem relentlessly complacent and behaviorally under-engaged


Europe, she Loves (2016) – Gassmann’s observant study of marooned modern youth presses the “Europe is lost” theme rather too single-mindedly


The Nest of the Cuckoo Birds (1965) – Williams’ rediscovered, obsession-ridden oddity is proudly defiant, yet often strangely lovely


The Diary of Lady M (1993) – Tanner’s intimate films with Mezieres are strong and progressive, but more transient than his major works


Murder on the Orient Express (1974) – Lumet’s (indeed) plushly train-like version doesn’t allow the concept or the cast much fresh air


First they Killed my Father (2017) – for all its committed skill, Jolie’s memoir of 1970’s Cambodia feels overly mediated and composed


Bride of Frankenstein (1935) – Whale’s grandly-visualized horror milestone teems with intense repression & feeling, amid wondrous mythology


Cheerful Wind (1981) – Hou’s early film belongs very much to his lighter, even goofy, side, but already hints at the scope of his concerns


The Birth of a Nation (2016) – Parker’s persistent lack of subtlety fortunately doesn’t obscure the film’s central, primally righteous force


Manji (1964) – Masumura’s creepily expansive (if hardly optimistic) vision of desire and fulfilment at once thrills and repels you


Full Metal Jacket (1987) – Kubrick immerses us in soldiering and war as a journey into hermetic, edge-of-madness self-fictionalization


Traffic Jam (1979) – Comencini gradually supplants the initial broad comedy with a bleak portrait of societal paralysis and venality


The End of the Tour (2015) – who knows whether Ponsoldt’s film captures the “real” Wallace, but it’s persuasive on its own intimate terms


Cesar (1936) – Pagnol’s prolonged talkiness increasingly impresses as a form of psychologically and sociologically engaged modernism


War Machine (2017) – Michod’s McChrystal-by-another-name semi-satire is mostly heavy-footed stuff, often seeming tonally all wrong


Camouflage (1977) – Zanussi’s confidently scathing portrait of the multi-faceted rot, if not outright madness, underlying hermetic academia


Cutter’s Way (1981) – Passer’s brilliantly, evasively tortured film seems even more prescient in a fractured, dark-fantasy-ridden America


Charulata (1964) – the perfectly nuanced sensitivity of such genteelly interiorized Ray films is both their majesty and their limitation


Silence (2016) – a luminously immersed testing of faith, in which the relative silence of “Scorsese” may be as prominent as that of God


Joe Bullet (1973) – for all its pulp limitations, de Witt’s apartheid-era drama buzzes with the possibility of unconstrained action


Desert Hearts (1985) – Deitch’s beautiful period story of women in love, a restrained small step & clear-eyed large one for American cinema


La traversee de Paris (1956) – Autant-Lara’s rather grating Occupation comedy increasingly flails around as it grasps at darker resonance


Queen & Country (2014) – a mostly pleasing cinematic withdrawal by Boorman into memoir, dense with calmly-observed anxiety & repression


Ludwig (1973) – a study of anguished royalty, typifying Visconti’s problematic placement between turgidity and genuine tormented grandeur


Mudbound (2017) – Rees’ patient, ultimately traumatizing drama presages the geographic & cultural divides that will all but consume America


Dragon Inn (1967) – Hu’s gorgeous classic sinks with relish into genre skirmishes while increasingly seeming to dream beyond it, toward Zen


To Live and Die in L.A. (1985) – Friedkin’s strangely compelling straddling of vulgar disposability and almost spiritually-infused certainty


Le mouton enrage (1974) – Deville’s evasively peculiar comedy of compromised self-determination, built on bleakly twisted underpinnings


Personal Shopper (2016) – Assayas’ scintillating cinematic tapestry, woven from a myriad of artistic and existential strivings and mysteries


Ten Minutes to Live (1932) – hard to surmount the limitations of Micheaux’s revue/drama, likely the least necessary of his surviving films


Good Men, Good Women (1995) – Hou’s impeccable work of reflective commemoration, spanning generations of national and personal traumas


Escape from Alcatraz (1979) – Siegel’s classic escape film is a tersely vivid tapestry of figurative, spiritual and physical confinements


Jauja (2014) – in Alonso’s beautiful, respectful cinema of discovery and exile, the potentially startling flows as naturally as clear water


Barefoot in the Park (1967) – Simon’s facile writing now seems beyond machine-like, almost monstrous in its faking of human intercourse


On Body and Soul (2017) – Enyedi’s beautifully attentive film, on what our dreams know better than our tired, ritualistic waking minds


Little Murders (1971) – Arkin’s black, black comedy has a highly distinctive angle on contemporary alienation, disarray and screwed-up hope


The Future is Woman (1984) – Ferreri strikingly (if not so subtly) welds an amped-up disco surface onto an elemental, nurturing underbelly


Woman of the Year (1942) – considered at a time of yawning cultural divide, the central conflict of Stevens’ comedy seems all the fresher


The Human Surge (2016) – Williams’ artfully rough-hewn global survey captures cultural parallels & divergences, possibilities & confinements


Child’s Play (1972) – a limited, contrived piece of theater, but lifted by Lumet’s dark shaping and by crackerjack actorly presences


To Die Like a Man (2009) – Rodrigues’ fascinating, melancholy film, rich with unusual representations of performance and self-assertion


The Chase (1966) – Penn’s overstuffed but powerful, premonitory allegory of American delusion, ugliness and societal incoherence


Land of Mine (2015) – an effective depiction by Zandvliet of post-war abstractions, even if it follows familiar emotional and dramatic beats


Just a Gigolo (1979) – Hemmings’ film doesn’t exhibit much relish for the period/setting, the decadence nor (most sadly) its striking cast


L’amant double (2017) – Ozon’s sleek, erotic creepy-twin melodrama is to lasting cinema what phantom pregnancies are to population growth


The Flying Ace (1926) – Norman’s niftily plotted and quite fluid thriller doesn’t mention or hint at race, which fuels its quiet radicalism


Ce jour-la (2003) – Ruiz’s singular comedy progresses from rather grating wackiness to (I think) strangely complex allegorical depths


The Brood (1979) – one of Cronenberg’s less gripping or persuasive creations, at least up to the eye-popping, repulsion-rich final stretch


Toni Erdmann (2016) – Ade’s highly successful serio-comic investigation of our faltering personal and collective spontaneity & connectivity


The Bellboy (1960) – Lewis’ engagingly alienating (if that makes sense) directorial debut, at once formally exacting & conceptually unbound


The State I am in (2000) – Petzold’s coolly allusive drama of modernity possessed by past; endless flight indistinguishable from stasis


Daisy Miller (1974) – Bogdanovich’s pleasant but passionless James adaptation, limited by insufficient tonal and analytical precision


Okja (2017) – Boon’s film feels ultimately like a soft punch, despite all its whimsy, biting satire, technical panache and general oddness


One A.M. (1916) – an impeccable exhibition of dexterity, although feeling now rather as if Chaplin barely sensed the audience beyond himself


Querelle (1982) – Fassbinder’s remarkable, no-way-back meditation; a ritualistic, anguishing enacting of intertwined awakening and death


The Founder (2016) – Hancock’s flavorless McDonald’s origin story doesn’t even hint at the fast food industry’s mostly toxic social legacy


Three Rooms in Manhattan (1965) – clash-of-culture interest aside, Carne’s over-extended study in romantic anguish falls mostly flat


So Fine (1981) – Bergman’s comedy is enjoyable and varied enough but never really sparks, with the central gimmick contributing little


Les maries de l’an deux (1971) – Rappeneau puts together a grand, fast-paced historical romp, little of which seems to matter much now


The Big Sick (2017) – absent its modest contribution to filmic diversity, Showalter’s comedy would be no more than unremarkably pleasant


Letter from Siberia (1958) – Marker at once descends deeply and ethically into his complex subject, and seems to whimsically ascend above it


Pi (1998) – perhaps Aronofsky’s most lasting film, pounding its way to some kind of jittery coherence (if not necessarily persuasiveness)


Flic story (1975) – a largely familiar detective/gangster structure, enhanced by actorly charisma & Deray’s evocation of post-war weariness


Lion (2016) – Davis’ quite offputtingly well-polished, sociologically and otherwise mostly valueless piece of one-in-a-million feel-goodery


Seisaku’s Wife (1965) – Masumura (epically under-celebrated) unflinchingly depicts the repression and meanness at the heart of rural society


Chain Letters (1985) – Rappaport’s distinctive take on contemporary unease feels at once highly stylized and yet near-randomly unearthed


I Am Self-Sufficient (1976) – Moretti’s early film is a bit underpowered, even allowing that dissatisfied lassitude is its main fuel source


Get Out (2017) – Peele’s metaphorically-charged horror comedy is sharp and eerily effective, yet has surely been too generously appraised


My Love has been Burning (1949) – Mizoguchi’s film is an absolute landmark in the cinema of women’s rights, activism and self-determination


Xanadu (1980) – Greenwald’s mostly ill-considered, what-were-they-thinking mishmash at least exhibits a spurting idiosyncratic dreaminess


Elle (2016) – hard to know how to react to Verhoeven’s elegantly calculated displacements, or (beyond admiring Huppert) how much even to try


The Deadly Affair (1966) – Lumet and le Carre’s familiarly solid, unshowy exercise in institutional, ethical and domestic exhaustion


Eden (2001) – Gitai’s evocation of 1940s Israel feels like a boringly missed opportunity, allowing only flashes of insight or identification


Shampoo (1975) – Ashby/Towne’s impeccable utilization, extension and ultimate (transient) hollowing-out of the bottomless Beatty mystique


Sacro GRA (2013) – Rosi’s well-caught quotidian observations seem to hint at an underlying unifying loss, a troubling existential darkness


Sergeant Madden (1939) – about five parts unimportantly enjoyable police drama to one part visually and thematically engaged von Sternberg


13 Tzameti (2005) – Babluani’s tight, unsentimental drama is impressively (if not that consequentially) fully-imagined in every detail


The Seven-Per-Cent Solution (1976) – a Holmes/Freud mash-up more stimulating in Meyer’s concept than in Ross’s blandly rendered actuality


Neruda (2016) – Larrain’s meta-fiction narrative might have seemed strained, in the hands of a less graceful weaver of cinematic tapestries


All Fall Down (1962) – Frankenheimer’s family melodrama has plenty of meat and color, but ultimately lacks emotional and expressive potency


Cobra Verde (1987) – Herzog’s drama piles on eye-filling scenes, while surely grappling inadequately with the representation of slavery


All that Jazz (1979) – Fosse’s cinematic testimony is a whirl of the repellent and the visionary, artistic virtuosity and mere restlessness


Scabbard Samurai (2010) – Matsumoto’s is the most enjoyably Letterman-ish samurai movie we’re likely to see, cutesy sentimentality aside


I Was a Male War Bride (1949) – Hawks’ brilliantly unforced comedy of frustration and denial, soberly building to a classic final stretch


Pars vite et reviens tard (2007) – Wargnier drives an interesting urban paranoia premise toward strictly superficial, convoluted rewards


Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street (1973) – Fuller’s rather peculiar German thriller is at once classical and chaotic, immediate and abstracted


Julieta (2016) – Almodovar’s sensuous melodrama hardly seems aware of real life’s messy textures, but easily envelops on its own terms


Uptight (1968) – Dassin’s powerful, often anguished informer melodrama, galvanized by the era’s tensions, debates and social realities


Historias extraordinarias (2008) – Llinas’ binge of storytelling, drunk on narrative possibility, while retaining an evenly wry sobriety


Pete ‘n’ Tillie (1972) – Ritt’s episodic, philosophical, often bitter comedy, propelled by beautifully dry writing, directing and acting


Abuse of Weakness (2013) – Breillat’s fascinating, masterfully-controlled case study in the ambiguous exercise of power and exploitation


Birthright (1939) – for all its imperfections, Micheaux’s drama is a deeply-felt expression of anger at persistent belittlement & injustice


Shadows in Paradise (1986) – an emblematic illustration of Kaurismaki’s peculiar melding of gloomy denial and tight-lipped hopefulness


Asparagus (1979) – Pitt’s brief, vivid, sensuous animation drinks/sucks from strange, deep pools/organs of individual & collective desire


It’s only the end of the world (2016) – largely dour & limited family material, but rather interestingly interrogated & ventilated by Dolan


Indecent Desires (1968) – marginally interesting for Wishman’s modestly innovative structure of desire, and for its starkly pitiless ending


Symbol (2009) – Matsumoto’s great tease of a movie, positing utter nonsense as the heart of all meaning & connection (or something anyway…)


The War between Men and Women (1972) – Shavelson’s pretty ambitious Thurber-inspired comedy too often bogs down in tedious wheel-spinning


Potiche (2010) – Ozon’s broad, breezy tale of female awakening plays pretty successfully with garishly outdated attitudes and aesthetics


Eleven P.M. (1928) – Maurice’s drama is often confusingly articulated, but still intrigues for its sad, ultimately other-worldly conviction


Plein sud (1981) – Beraud’s preoccupied drama of erotic collision and chaotic personal reinvention is pleasingly engaged and unpredictable


Arrival (2016) – Villeneuve’s well-crafted alien visitor drama ultimately privileges dreaminess over investigation, rather disappointingly


Farewell, friend (1968) – Herman’s twisty thriller is well-plotted and -paced and has the striking Delon-Bronson team-up, so that’s all good


Until the end of the World (1991) – a great escalation of Wenders’ movie wanderlust, yet a relative stagnation in his artistic expansiveness


Le trio infernal (1974) – Girod’s rather rigidly nasty piece of period decadence makes only a modest satirical or stylistic impact


The Dinner (2017) – more a fussy dog’s breakfast of family anguish, as Moverman unenjoyably and indigestibly burns up the cinematic kitchen


Rififi (1955) – the film now might seem alternatively either conventional or forced, but Dassin finds in it a pained, pessimistic coherence


Author! Author! (1982) – interesting only for stray glimpses of a preoccupied centre, but barely breaking through Hiller’s ineffectual gloss


A Touch of Zen (1971) – Hu’s great epic travels from rich, intimate narrative to an astounding relinquishment of earthly and cinematic bonds


Rules don’t Apply (2016) – Beatty’s fascinating exercise in evasiveness – his subject’s, his own, that of his film’s preoccupied playfulness


I knew her well (1965) – Pietrangeli’s brilliantly observant, assumption-challenging study of a young woman, both celebratory and sobering


Local Hero (1983) – for every nicely observed element of Forsyth’s widely-treasured film, there’s another that seems crass or undercooked


Shock Treatment (1973) – the hedonistic sheen of Jessua’s breezy modern vampirism drama is more striking than the cynical underpinning


The Lovers (2017) – navigating most deftly between lightness and gravity, Jacobs explores ideas of intertwined withering and renewal


Toni (1935) – Renoir’s tragic drama of thwarted desire and ambition; as always, rich in broader, impeccably-seeded social implication


Modern Romance (1981) – one of Brooks’ best & most elusively funny films, at once universal & distinctly, itchily precise (space floor?!)


‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore (1971) – Griffi’s film sustains a suitably pained if somewhat overly prettified air, on the way to its bloody finale


I Am Not Your Negro (2016) – for all its clear strengths, Peck’s film is maybe a less electric interlocutor than Baldwin’s work would merit


Not Reconciled (1965) – Straub’s brief work implicitly rebukes an entire tradition of stale, conventional narrative and representation


He Knows you’re Alone (1980) – a moderately lively slasher, limited by Mastroianni’s lack of cinematic relish, nastiness-wise or otherwise


Two English Girls (1971) – one of the finest illustrations of Truffaut’s navigation between intimacy & distance, whimsicality & formality


Song to Song (2017) – Malick’s immersive new cinema remains both vital & alienating, experience & sensation at once elevated & flattened


Sunday in Peking (1956) – viewing China primarily as bucolic fulfilment of past dreams, Marker could hardly imagine the shape of its future


Swamp Thing (1982) – Craven’s film isn’t very dramatically or thematically imposing, but skips by on bursts of broadly-etched zestiness


Ecce bombo (1978) – Moretti’s early not-quite comedy is a rather interestingly ungraspable exercise in blankness and dissatisfaction


20th Century Women (2016) – for all its vivid sincerity, Mills’ film seems strained & artificial next to, say, Reichardt’s Certain Women


La chamade (1968) – not much in Cavalier’s film penetrates too deeply, albeit that the sense of weightlessness is inherent to the theme


Werner Herzog eats his Shoe (1980) – worth seeing just for the concept, even if the movie is short on actual unambiguous shoe-eating


Shadowman (1974) – Franju’s late, sporadically insinuating thriller provides some elemental narrative pleasures, but limited overall potency


T2 Trainspotting (2017) – strained regrets aside, Boyle’s sequel has a lot of synthetic-feeling energy & conflict, but little real feeling


Utamaro and his Five Women (1946) – Mizoguchi’s captivating, deeply-connected reflection on integrity and self-determination in art and love


The First Monday in October (1981) – time-capsule interest aside, Neame’s plodding semi-comedy doesn’t argue a very stirring case for itself


In a Year with 13 Moons (1978) – among Fassbinder’s most extreme expressions of trauma, querulously balancing intimacy and ungraspability


Loving (2016) – Nichols’ study appeals most for its reticence; its quiet observance of social revolution embodied by unassuming people


Le trou (1960) – Becker’s near-hypnotic prison escape drama builds to a devastating final evaluation of relative freedom and morality


Some Kind of Hero (1982) – Pressman’s overly brisk downward-spiral Vietnam vet movie needed more character, and a far less flimsy redemption


The Outside Man (1973) – a terse, efficient thriller, vastly elevated by Deray’s fascinated immersion in Los Angeles geography and culture


The Meyerowitz Stories (2017) – despite inspired stretches and overall consummate skill, the film doesn’t much extend our sense of Baumbach


Conflagration (1958) – Ichikawa’s hermetic but intensely gripping tale, darkly propelled by barely expressible self-loathing and anguish


Compromising Positions (1985) – Perry’s not-exactly-Lynchian exposure of suburban secrets and discontent plays it a bit too soft throughout


Story of Sin (1975) – Borowczyk painstakingly, almost austerely charts the moral ambiguities underlying his potentially lurid chronicle


The Eyes of my Mother (2016) – hard not to admire Pesce’s straddling of tranquility & malevolence, while also praying for release from it


Red Angel (1966) – Masumura’s amazing study of war’s perverting yet cleansing effects, suffused in physical and psychic damage and suffering


Eyewitness (1981) – beneath its rather conventional surface, Yates’ drama is heavy with the detritus of America’s scarred moral landscape


Sauvage innocence (2001) – a mesmerizingly-executed slow collision with fate, perhaps somewhat conventionally conceived for Garrel though


The Electric Horseman (1979) – a nice little ramble, leaving aside the inherent hypocrisy of its anti-corporate, simplicity-embracing creed


A Man called Ove (2015) – Holm at least brings some decent warmth to his distinctly familiar-feeling melting-of-a-crusty-old-man tale


The Bedford Incident (1965) – Harris navigates a grippingly mirthless course to a highly Strangelove-ian abstract/realist end-point


Amelie (2001) – Jeunet’s notably skillful crowdpleaser no doubt hits every target for which it aims, albeit they’re mostly valueless ones


1,000 Convicts and a Woman (1971) – the title is pretty much the only relish-worthy aspect of this largely joyless British contrivance


Century of Birthing (2011) – Diaz’s mighty reflection on faith, creativity and commitment, encompassing the grotesque and the sublime


It’s Always Fair Weather (1955) – if only Donen/Kelly’s musical could have dug even deeper into the melancholy that tempers its exuberance..


Thomas in Love (2000) – Renders maintains the governing gimmick quite ably, but the film doesn’t leave much lasting impression of any kind


The Mackintosh Man (1973) – a rather plain drama, but lifted by Huston’s seasoned, unshowy pleasure in the life-draining spy machinations


Ruined Heart…(2014) – Khavn’s doomed criminal/whore love story is a strikingly individual, aggressively visualized performance-art piece


Bad Girls go to Hell (1965) – Wishman injects a trace of quiet authorial sympathy into a generally disembodied & mechanical victimhood drama


Danton (1983) – Wajda skillfully navigates historical events & oppositions, yet his film hardly taps the revolution’s complex momentousness


Our Souls at Night (2017) – you wish the still-magnetic stars were in harder-edged material, but a pleasing movie on its own flaccid terms


Casque d’Or (1952) – Becker’s drama of doomed romance might almost embody the huge virtues of the period’s French cinema, & its limitations


The Loveless (1981) – Bigelow/Montgomery’s striking collision, at once direct & evasive, of classic biker aesthetics & small-town repression


Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974) – among Fassbinder’s most precise, unerring works; occupying a unique space between reverie & social document


Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (2016) – Lee’s engaging cavalcade of American idiocies and failings is generally more dutiful than incisive


Record of a Tenement Gentleman (1947) – Ozu’s exquisite portrait, both bleak and hopeful, of a post-war community’s gradual rehumanization


Paris, Texas (1984) – Wenders’ finely weighted, and yet somewhat forced, navigation between old- and new-world connections and ruptures


Police Woman (1973) – an often disengaged-feeling martial arts potboiler, suffused in the kind of mediocrity one can be nostalgic about


The Light between Oceans (2016) –  Cianfrance’s tragi-romance is mostly pleasantly if unremarkably old-fashioned, without being cloying


Odd Obsession (1959) – Ichikawa’s darkly preoccupied family drama might have a racy synopsis, but is a largely monotonous viewing experience


Critical Care (1997) – interesting enough material, not lacking in care, but Lumet needed to give it some extra fire, or kick, or passion…


Turkish Delight (1973) – few films have immersed themselves in gleeful, unashamed animal spirits as boisterously as Verhoeven does here


Berlin Syndrome (2017) – the grimly unappealing core material ultimately proves unworthy of Shortland’s multi-faceted engagement with it


3 hommes a abattre (1980) – Deray’s efficient but rather mechanical man-in-the-wrong-place thriller feels only intermittently engaged


The Girl from Chicago (1932) – its depiction of varying morality aside, one of Micheaux’s weaker, more thematically limited surviving films


Ares (2016) – Benes’ grim vision of a strained future benefits from being viewed in fanciful hindsight as a pumped-up prophecy of Macron!


Rabid (1977) – Cronenberg’s vividly punishing early work effectively occupies the intersection of intimate and collective anxieties


Chungking Express (1994) – perhaps the most purely enjoyable, kinetic, wondrously intuitive expression of Wong’s beautiful cinematic gifts


The Big Clock (1948) – Farrow’s structurally-striking thriller is great to watch, but lacks the thematic & tonal depths of classic noir


John From (2015) – Nicolau’s idiosyncratic, precise deconstruction of teenage dreams & rituals, in the most beguiling of sun-kissed packages


The Driver’s Seat (1973) – Griffi’s odd little jigsaw movie (with Taylor & Warhol!) draws fairly effectively on the era’s multiple anxieties


Oldboy (2003) – no doubt a gift from Park to genre fans, bringing a patina of tragic grandeur to its manipulations and contrivances


The Sorcerors (1967) – Reeves’ great little mind-control drama, seeped in local texture, agonized emotion and overall genre mastery


Evolution (2015) – Hadzihailovic’s eerily precise, mythic tale of ritual and mutation; suffused in alienated, somehow accusatory beauty


Born to Win (1971) – Passer’s sadly under-remembered movie is a distinctive blend of eccentric delight and grim, no-way-out junkiehood


The Factory (2004) – Loznitsa’s short study sets out unchanging brutal realities, couched within semi-abstract, almost wondrous mystery


The Scar of Shame (1927) – some biting thematic elements aside, Perugini’s drama is a bit less notable than other “race film” landmarks


Spetters (1980) – Verhoeven propels the broadly-drawn, often biting material with his swift, brutally frank cinematic, social & moral relish


Barry (2016) – Gandhi’s gentle Obama mythology now seems as far removed as Columbus, given America’s current Presidential atrocities


Investigation of a Citizen above Suspicion (1970) – the orderliness of Petri’s comedy of degraded power may feel weirdly comforting now


Blue Steel (1989) – Bigelow’s minutely alert but short-of-redemptive visualization of a dispiritingly ugly relentless killer narrative


Rome, Open City (1945) – one feels Rossellini methodically constructing, if not yet fully crossing, a bridge to cinematic modernity


Night will Fall (2014) – Singer’s chronicle of recovered Holocaust film is reverent and moving, but can it ever pierce us sufficiently now?


La prisonniere (1968) – Clouzot’s strained last film is most gripped & gripping when immersed in pure cinematic &/or behavioral manipulation


Kicking and Screaming (1995) – Baumbach’s debut lacks much overall punch, but provides many appealing, often quite Stillman-esque fragments


Stavisky (1974) – Resnais’ sumptuous surface incrreasingly yields a study of extraordinary complexity, subtlety and regretful allusiveness


The Girl with all the Gifts (2016) – McCarthy’s impeccable character-driven vision both delivers and transcends zombie-genre pleasures


Touchez pas au grisbi (1954) – Becker’s famous, precisely rendered crime drama, marked throughout by wearily understated observation


Starman (1984) – Carpenter’s basic-feeling alien visitor road movie is generally pleasant, but no great shakes in any department whatsoever


Storm Children (2014) – Diaz’s observation of devastation; a quietly challenging fusion of pictorial mastery and sociological helplessness


The Sandpiper (1965) – pretty insipid stuff in all respects, with Minnelli’s expressive mastery seemingly shamed into timid submission


Trance (2006) – Villaverde’s study of enforced prostitution finds startling, quasi-mythic ways to chart the limits of our identification


The Spy who Loved Me (1977) – a sporadically pretty but hollow & unengaged Bond epic, hardly sustaining the “nobody does it better” branding


Jonas et Lila, a demain (1999) – Tanner’s enthralling late-career investigation is allusive & romantic, but also alert to threats & limits


The Lodger (1927) – Hitchcock’s tightly gripping silent film foretells his later masterly explorations of sexual obsession and trauma


Therese Desqueyroux (2012) – Miller’s careful but unsurprising telling feels far less alive and piercing than Franju’s earlier version


The Shooting (1966) – Hellman’s mythic ambitions can seem rather strained, but the film nevertheless emanates a strange, sparse power


Demain on demenage (2004) – in its own celebratory yet haunted way, Akerman’s comedy is as radically destructive as her epic Jeanne Dielman


Prime Cut (1972) – Ritchie’s should-be classic thriller is sparsely & scenically articulated, on a startlingly weird underlying sensibility


Our Little Sister (2015) – Koreeda’s Ozu-lite tale is overly prettified and hardly momentous, but filled with subtle, satisfying virtues


Hellbound train (1930) – for all its hectoring strangeness, Gist’s film is a raggedly authentic cry of wide-ranging societal anguish


Grenouilles (1983) – Arrieta’s short film plays engagingly (in its minimal, abstracted way) with low-budget genre myths and contrivances


The Accountant (2016) – O’Connor’s weirdly over-stuffed narrative is all debits and few credits, bursts of accounting-talk notwithstanding


Sounds from the Mountain (1954) – Naruse’s masterfully observed, often severely piercing study of faltering relationships and structures


What Women Want (2000) – Meyers’ unmemorable comedy is largely free of complexities, ambiguities or ironies (oh, or of real laughs either)


The Tenth Victim (1965) – Petri’s playful futuristic thriller is diverting and good-looking, but doesn’t have his later forceful bite


The Last Married Couple in America (1980) – beneath the standard contrivances, Cates provides bitter glances at a vast emotional wasteland


Keetje Tippel (1975) – a strikingly expansive chronicle of social and sexual exploitation, well-served by Verhoeven’s unflinching brashness


American Honey (2016) – Arnold’s microcosm of strained capitalism; a lovely, piercingly observant odyssey of cinematic pollen-gathering


The Village Teacher (1947) – initial promise as a character study yields to Donskoy’s dutifully reverent evocation of Soviet achievements


Black Hawk Down (2001) – despite Scott’s exacting focus on immersive authenticity, the film doesn’t really expand the genre’s vocabulary


Description d’un combat (1960) – Marker strains to see Israel’s future, and (of course) fails, even as the most effortless of time travelers


Black or White (2014) – Binder’s tidily balanced conventionality hardly allows his greater thematic ambitions (such as they are) to flourish


Drunken Master (1978) – whatever one’s affinity for the genre, Chan’s almost constant, cleanly-observed ultra-physicality is mesmerizing


Mirror, Mirror (1990) – Sargenti smartly positions the lurid Carrie-like material to reflect female desires, insecurities, bonds and rifts


The 400 Blows (1959) – Truffaut’s film taps a romantically poignant, searching totality that binds and transcends the sum of its parts


Cafe Society (2016) – hardly a fully-achieved Allen film, but appealing for its gorgeous surfaces and quietly regretful, dreamy undertones


Les bas-fonds (1936) – Renoir’s peerlessly varied observation of social complexities culminates in offsetting states of relative liberation


Captive (1986) – Mayersberg’s somewhat detached but resonant reflection on, perhaps, the intertwined confinements of storybook princesses


The Triplets of Belleville (2003) – Chomet’s wonderfully-executed animated treasure, pitched at a previously uncharted angle to the world


Model Shop (1969) – Demy’s treasurably dead-end American film, drifting plaintively at an intersection of drab depression & displaced beauty


Florentina Hubaldo, CTE (2012) – Diaz’s ultimately devastating investigation of the cruel contours and legacy of extreme personal trauma


Scum (1979) – Clarke’s unsparing portrait of callous institutional uselessness ultimately verges on draining, Kubrickian horror fantasy


Ashik Kerib (1988) – less satisfying than his earlier works, Parajanov’s fantasy spans both painstaking conservation and hermetic denial


The Exile (1931) – Micheaux’s film groundbreakingly digs into racial constructs and perceptions, technical limitations notwithstanding


Big Man Japan (2007) – Matsumoto wittily spins his superhero mumbo-jumbo-mythmaking to absurd lengths, & yet finds a rumpled grandeur there


Magnificent Obsession (1954) – Sirk immaculately renders the astounding plot contrivances  & settings as confining as they are transcending


Fire at Sea (2016) – Rosi’s suprising, quietly audacious approach to the migrant crisis draws out sharply tragic parallels and oppositions


They’re a Weird Mob (1966) –  a proficient if often toothless romp, elevated by Powell’s playfully brutal observations of masculinity


Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001) – it’s hardly worth recalling the nominal plot, but Gans’ escalating abandon makes some kind of impression


The Spook who sat by the Door (1973) – Dixon’s remarkable, incendiary blend of biting satire and deadly serious revolutionary quasi-prophecy


In a Glass Cage (1985) – for all Villalonga’s exacting skill with challenging material, there’s little to be gained from watching the film


Dirty Gertie from Harlem U.S.A. (1946) – Williams’ rather under-realized melodrama teems with interesting, sometimes provocative fragments


Denial (2016) – any contribution to the cinema of rationality is ever-timely and valuable, despite Jackson’s overly conventional instincts


Two Women (1960) – De Sica’s ending largely retains its bleak power, but much of the film’s querulous suffering feels strenuously calculated


A Beautiful Mind (2001) – Howard’s highly watchable (of course), not unmoving movie is laden with predictable simplifications & limitations


Le Amiche (1955) – Antonioni’s early masterpiece, suffused with spiritual misalignment beneath its ceaselessly observant, probing surface


James White (2015) – a film of essentially small parameters, but deftly seeded by Mond & the fine actors with unusual hurts & grace notes


Pointilly (1972) – Arrieta’s fragment of preoccupation (and abuse?), both watchful and mythic, is intriguing enough that you wish for more


The Last Days of Chez Nous (1992) – Armstrong’s modest but vividly, expansively observed drama of familial transitions and displacements


Menilmontant (1926) – Kirsanoff’s supremely haunting narrative is a glory of cinema’s expressive power, both as disruption and as comforter


Certain Women (2016) – Reichardt’s exquisitely observed and geographically rooted, deeply-felt study in circumscribed but meaningful lives


That Man from Rio (1964) – de Broca’s pantheon-worthy romp, its underlying coldness mightily offset by the epically charismatic Belmondo


Unrelated (2007) – Hogg demonstrates a superb, sometimes quietly heartbreaking feeling for the shifts in human connection, and their victims


O Henry’s Full House (1952) – Hawks’ sequence aside, the use of five directors doesn’t prevent a frequent feeling of sanitized repetition


Sogni d’oro (1981) – Moretti’s incident-filled 8 ½-type self-mythology is at once sort of unsummarizably brilliant, yet mostly uninteresting


Nude on the Moon (1961) – hard to imagine whose erotic reveries would exactly have been satisfied by Phelan/Wishman’s perplexing fantasy


Dog Days (2001) – Seidl’s unique deployment of cinema’s inherent voyeurism opens up knowingly problematic yet oddly expansive sexual terrain


Puzzle of a Downfall Child (1970) – Schatzberg’s study of a fashion model taps both the industry’s modish surfaces and its enervating heart


The Salesman (2016) – Farhadi’s well-honed investigative method again probes rewardingly into Iran’s distinct yet very human hypocrisies


The Thing from Another World (1951) – it’s true - Nyby’s classic yarn most enthralls for the constantly masterful Hawksian group dynamics


Le cent et une nuits de Simon Cinema (1995) – Varda’s goofy, ramshackle star-studded homage teems with defiantly elemental creative pleasure


Dr. Strangelove (1964) – a lasting achivement, if frequently a stifling one, for Kubrick’s visual grandeur and structural cleverness


The Tribe (2014) – Slaboshpitsky’s stylization is arguably overdone, but the film is still something of a startling triumph on its own terms


Christopher Strong (1933) – Arzner’s fascinating study of intertwined female capacity and (both self- and externally-imposed) limitations


The Settlement (2002) – Loznitsa crafts his film almost as strange displaced science fiction, but challenges us to see the humanity within


De Palma (2015) – Baumbach and Kasdan deliver just about as effective and illuminating a survey as one can imagine in the time allotted


The New Land (1972) – the second part of Troell’s fine saga, as eerily well-attuned to the new life’s isolation as to its grand belonging


Married to the Mob (1988) – on its own terms, capable only of demonstrating Demme to be a proficient enhancer of largely turgid material


Jack Frost (1964) – Rou’s charmingly tangible musical fantasy evokes its magical rustical world with beguiling, knowing primitivism


Equity (2016) – Menon’s control and the well-worked-out script make for gripping viewing, despite the project’s narrow, hermetic nature


Listen to Britain (1942) – Jennings and McAllister bring diverse observations of a challenged nation into precise, watchful equilibrium


The Legend of Suram Fortress (1985) – Parajanov/Abashidze’s film is an alluring, somewhat weary emissary from a far-off aesthetic tradition


The Last Picture Show (1971) – Bogdanovich’s haunting film merits its reputation, even if its poetic desolation can feel over-calculated


An Investigation on the Night that Won’t Forget (2012) – Diaz’s commemoration could hardly be cinematically simpler, or more vastly human


Year of the Dragon (1985) – Cimino’s provocatively flawed but often brashly scintillating expression of America’s escalating tribal madness


La carriere de Suzanne (1963) – Rohmer’s second moral tale, dense with deeply considered relationships, is among the most rawly complex 


The Sea of Trees (2015) – an increasingly depressing slog through the forest, as the full depth of Van Sant’s insipidity blooms into view


Double Indemnity (1944) – a fascinating noir web, with Wilder’s snappy perfection almost entering a zone of spiritually-drained abstraction


Cemetery of Splendour (2015) – as always, Apichatpong’s exquisite perceptions seem to open up wondrous new spiritual and narrative spaces


The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989) – Kloves’ film poses at being harder-edged than it is, but is pleasingly seeped in taciturn charisma


Requiem for a Vampire (1971) – Rollin seems rather lacking in conviction here, leaden plotting somewhat undercutting his erotic ritualism


Pride (2014) – Warchus’ calculating film is hardly hard-edged, but is pleasing & persuasive in its evocation of community & shared struggle