Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Movie tweets to February 14, 2024 (4 of 4)

 

Kuroneko (1968) – Shindo’s meeting of real and spirit worlds ranks among the most consistently striking of cinematic ghost stories

 

Poetic Justice (1993) – Singleton’s loosely-conceived drama maintains a likeably varied energy, but seldom feels very sturdy or credible

 

Mahogany (1975) – Gordy’s fashion-world opus lacks for both design and craftsmanship, partially compensated for by Ross and the bling

 

All Quiet on the Western Front (2022) – Berger’s handling is sufficiently vivid to surmount various aspects of excess and over-familiarity

 

High Noon (1952) – Zinnemann’s Western is dramatically far thinner and its allegory far less penetrating than its inflated reputation

 

Women (1985) – Kwan’s chronicle of bumpy relationships goes down very easily, but is recurringly laced with a keen sense of pain and anxiety

 

Lord Jim (1965) – notwithstanding the layered Conradian intentions, Brooks allows inauthentically exotic adventurism to swamp all else

 

The Troubles We’ve Seen (1994) – Ophuls’ underseen, at times stimulatingly peculiar study remains near-inexhaustibly fascinating & relevant

 

From Noon Till Three (1976) – perhaps Bronson’s most genial star outing, at the centre of Gilroy’s charming pitting of myth and reality

 

The Box (2021) – Vigas’ penetratingly sparsely-crafted exploration of economic exploitation’s ever-renewing societal and psychic toll

 

She Done Him Wrong (1933) – West’s one-track otherness isn’t particularly well-facilitated by the stodgy clutter of Sherman’s melodrama

 

Sweet Hours (1982) – one of Saura’s less satisfying films, its interrogation of memory overly labored and its psychology superficial

 

The Phenix City Story (1955) – Karlson’s earnest classic hardly avoids artifice & over-simplification, but still brutally connects at times

 

Martin Eden (2019) – Marcello’s near-thrilling adaptation, propelled by ceaseless intellectual and cinematic vitality and engagement

 

Capricorn One (1978) – Hyams short-changes the concept’s darker possibilities and implications, but delivers some lively writing and casting

 

Hit the Road (2021) – the varied serio-comedy of Panahi’s resourcefully simple set up gradually accumulates in cosmic & earthly implication

 

The Small Back Room (1949) – Powell/Pressburger’s customarily alert drama has some memorable set-pieces, but a rather rushed-feeling finale

 

The Invisible Frame (2009) – Beatt’s simple concept fruitfully represents & reflects on the persistence of a superficially-erased history 

 

Doppelganger (1969) – the film has lots of typically likeable Gerry Anderson trappings, but falls narratively and conceptually short

 

The Funeral (1984) – Itami’s painstaking, drolly ambiguous examination of ritual and ceremony is perhaps his most well-calibrated work

 

On a Clear Day… (1970) – Minnelli mostly fails to marshal the problematic material, and yet much about the film is stubbornly beguiling

 

Vortex (2021) – Noe’s is an imposing & gripping creation, although always conditioned by its aesthetically & sociologically rarified choices

 

Look Back in Anger (1958) – Richardson’s is one of the more faded of the “angry young man” cycle, now seeming drably contrived and flailing

 

Night Across the Street (2012) – one willingly submits to the masterly unmappable contours of Ruiz’s warmly finality-embracing late film

 

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931) – Mamoulian’s fine filming has some sensational inventiveness and an acute sense of unbalanced carnality

 

52 Pick Up (1986) – Frankenheimer handles the sleazy manipulations with some expertise, but that only makes it all even less enjoyable

 

Someone Behind the Door (1971) – Gessner’s small-scale study in psychological manipulation doesn’t excite too much, convinces even less

 

Reality (2023) – Satter’s project is a near-perfect meshing of form and content, engaging as a human story, damning as a political one

 

Un homme de trop (1967) – Costa-Gavras provides much ambitious action and confrontation, and yet the cumulative impact is strangely flat

 

Starship Troopers (1997) – the astounding technical prowess of Verhoeven’s fantasy supports a mind-boggling array of historical resonances

 

The Blazing Sun (1954) – Chahine’s intense melodrama rapidly becomes over-extended, however empathetically rooted in sociological outrage

 

Dead for a Dollar (2022) – Hill’s old-style, overly synthetic-feeling Western hardly matters much, but it’s done with pleasing know-how

 

The Sinful Nuns of Saint Valentine (1974) – Grieco’s competent but gusto-lacking effort doesn’t even much seem to relish the sinning nuns

 

The Fantasist (1986) – Hardy’s up-and-down Irish drama does best when sinking into boozy eccentricity and abundant sexual repression

 

Youth of the Beast (1963) – Suzuki gives the film some major visual pop, despite the constraints of a fairly standard gangland narrative

 

Cryptozoo (2021) – Shaw’s transporting flight of fancy tempers its unbroken inventiveness with consistently adult seriousness of purpose

 

The Outlaw and his Wife (1918) – Sjostrom’s film grips and impresses, without fully cinematically tapping the rebellious passion at its core

 

Se7en (1995) – Fincher may overdo the portents of lurking hell, but even on repeat viewings, the film leaves you genuinely chilled & shaken

 

The Second Awakening of Christa Klages (1978) – Trotta’s progressive openness ventilates a potentially confining crime drama framework

 

Rye Lane (2023) – Allen-Miller’s other-side-of-London romance is likeable enough, but too synthetic to tap anything approximating realism

 

The War of the Gargantuans (1966) – Honda’s monster movie tramples through its shakily-crafted motions in consistently listless fashion

 

Last Night at the Alamo (1983) – Pennell’s often raucously funny, deeply lived-in examination of low-level Texas myths and realities

 

Les grandes manoeuvres (1955) – Clair is on pretty sharp directional form, but the material feels underexamined in various regards

 

Top Gun: Maverick (2022) – Kosinski’s movie taps and somewhat reinvigorates old-fashioned mechanics with grand, defiantly superficial style

 

Aguirre, Wrath of God (1971) – Herzog, at his unnervingly daring peak, feels as ever-present as the film’s unforgettably immersive imagery

 

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) – Cameron oversees some terrifically muscular sequences, with some unimportant other stuff in between

 

A Flame at the Pier (1962) – Shinoda’s able if seldom too surprising, hopelessness-suffused drama, a Japanese On the Waterfront of sorts

 

You People (2023) – Barris’ unconvincing culture-clash comedy is disappointingly shallow, providing only sporadic laughs and little bite

 

Martin Roumagnac (1946) – Lacombe’s should-have-been-incendiary pairing of Dietrich and Gabin too often falls flat, if not outright botched

 

Valley Girl (1983) – Coolidge’s film holds up best when affectionately observing the central culture clash; otherwise it’s pretty sketchy

 

Madame X: an Absolute Ruler (1978) – Ottinger’s at times heavy-sailing odyssey does gradually elicit a sense of rewired, liberated delight

 

Nightmare Alley (2021) – del Toro’s inertly handsome but hemmed-in remake never seems remotely necessary, or very coherent on its own terms

 

Sissi – the Fateful Years of an Empress (1957) – Marischka moves the story on, but doesn’t expand the series much in tonal or other respects

 

Dick Tracy (1990) – Beatty’s peculiar take on the old-time material doesn’t really cohere, but provides all kinds of quirky pleasures

 

The Inheritance (1962) – a secondary Kobayashi drama, rather overdoing the tangled venality, but working well as a sleekly cynical yarn

 

The Eternal Daughter (2022) – Hogg’s small but effective film draws out the lurking eeriness and trauma folded within memory and creativity

 

Mr. Majestyk (1974) – a Bronson highlight (he just wants to get the melons picked!), expertly shaped, seasoned and visualized by Fleischer

 

A Closed Book (2009) – one of Ruiz’s more conceptually accessible films, for both lustily enjoyable better and rather rushed-feeling worse

 

The Suspect (1944) – Siodmak’s drama is elegantly and crisply executed in all departments, leading to a nicely modulated conclusion

 

Petite maman (2021) – Sciamma’s lingering, elevating film applies her finely-honed cinematic poise to a potentially eerily simple premise

 

China Doll (1958) – Borzage sustains the story’s idealistic core, albeit one highly dependent on superficial exoticism and rickety plotting

 

Bubble Bath (1980) – Kovasznai’s one-of-a-kind animation admits few visual constraints, while suggesting a primal desperation at its core

 

Brannigan (1975) – Hickox bludgeons noisily through the Duke-goes-to-the-UK set-up with an impressive absence of any higher ambition

 

Donbass (2018) – straddling documentary and satire, Loznitsa’s can’t-look-away film is shocking, disorienting and idealism-draining

 

Last Summer (1969) – Perry’s film ultimately amounts to less than one hopes for, given its languidly effective, vulnerability-laced build-up

 

Bad Luck Banging… (2021) – yet another astounding Jude creation, exhilarating even as it fairly comprehensively drains and depresses

 

Thirteen Women (1932) – Archainbaud’s drama has several creepy, resentment-charged moments, standing out from a rushed overall narrative

 

Full Moon in New York (1989) – one only wishes that Kwan’s delicately wide-angle study of intertwining female experience had been longer

 

Lord Shango (1975) – the mythology feels somewhat arbitrary, but Marsh and the performers sustain a feeling of anxious, bare-bones intensity

 

The Tsugua Diairies (2021) – Fazendeiro and Gomes craft a near-ideal Covid-era balance of languid torpor and small-scale boundary-pushing

 

The River’s Edge (1957) – Dwan’s fine little thriller is visually and narratively vivid at every turn, seeped in resentment and distrust

 

Ingrid Caven: Music and Voice (2012) – Bonello’s highly restrained recording of an often electrifyingly challenging, unbound performance

 

30 is a Dangerous Age, Cynthia (1968) – McGrath’s variable film certainly works hard, sporadically capturing Moore at his multi-faceted best

 

Petition (2009) – Zhao’s must-see record of perseverance against institutional brutality and corruption rings a dark global warning bell

 

Coonskin (1974) – Bakshi’s exuberantly stereotype-embracing, disconcertingly aesthetically coherent odyssey evokes a crazily mixed response

 

A Taxing Woman Returns (1988) – Itami’s sequel is spirited enough on its own terms, but adds little to the first film’s themes and devices

 

Saludos Amigos (1942) – Disney’s complacent South American-themed portmanteau is at least less grating than might have been anticipated

 

The Load (2018) – Glavonic’s tight concept allows haunting glimpses of even a quasi-abstract war’s physical and existential disorientations

 

The Harder they Fall (1956) – Robson and the cast punch home some strong moments, within a nicely venal, if overly calculated narrative

 

Mountains of the Moon (1990) – Rafelson’s drama holds attention well enough, but seldom feels very inspired, or historically reliable

 

The Killer Nun (1979) – Berruti is no Borowczyk, no Argento, etc., but cobbles together an adequately frantic mishmash of sex and trauma

 

Babylon (2022) – Chazelle’s crazy epic is wildly variable in quality, tone, watchability, finesse, you name it, but well, it’s not nothing…

 

Mother Joan of the Angels (1961) – Kawalerowicz’s chillingly well-calibrated vision leaves few points of earthly or spiritual certainty

 

I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing (1987) – Rozema’s landmark Toronto film treads lightly, but with hugely pleasurable, lingering impact

 

The Fall of the House of Usher (1928) – Epstein’s hauntingly inspired silent telling sustains a heightened sense of near-inevitability

 

The Eyes of Tammy Faye (2021) – Showalter slogs through the material in just about the least imaginative, most irrelevant manner available

 

Attention, les enfants regardant (1978) – Leroy’s drama is seldom surprising but completely watchable, not least for its use of Delon

 

Impulse (1990) – the Locke/Russell pairing, intriguing in concept, yields an all-round unattractive, psychologically shallow drama

 

Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964) – Honda oversees a more urgent narrative than many series entries, aided by some pleasingly whimsical touches

 

Three Thousand Years of Longing (2022) – Miller’s improbably successful, narratively and visually sumptuous fusion of form and content

 

Two Men and a Wardrobe (1957) – Polanski’s eerily well-done short is a bitterly comic take on a cruel world’s thwarting of hope and optimism

 

Carbon Copy (1981) – Schultz’s lumpy satire, biting at times and cringe-inducing at others, at least evades being watched with indifference

 

Laocoon & Sons (1975) – Ottinger/Blumenschein’s playfully ruthless reconfiguration of cinematic structure and pleasure as we’ve known it

 

Licorice Pizza (2021) – Anderson applies his immense facility to deceptively light ends, richly flavored with unforced behavioral mysteries

 

Love Circle (1969) – Griffi’s ambiguously psychosexual complications maintain interest despite elements of stodginess and familiarity

 

Criminal Passion (1994) – Deitch ensures a general gender parity in matters of eroticism and messy psychology, but not too much else of note

 

Titanic (1943) – Selpin’s filming generally hits the requisite dramatic marks, while heavily emphasizing the capitalistic culpability angle

 

Empire of Light (2022) – Mendes’ astonishingly, bottomlessly deficient drama at least offers a few points of vague nostalgic recognition

 

The Ballad of Orin (1977) – Shinoda’s chronicle tempers its potential over-pristineness with a touching sensitivity to vulnerability

 

Grace Quigley (1984) – a few moments of relative emotional authenticity aside, Harvey leadenly squanders Hepburn & the blackly comic premise

 

Genocide (1968) – even making copious allowances, Nihonmatsu’s speedily ramshackle apocalypse opus fails to unnerve to the intended degree

 

The Harder they Fall (2021) – Samuel’s never-dull Western is too emotionlessly stylized to impress as meaningful genre revisionism/refresh

 

El vampire negro (1953) – Barreto’s ambitious, atmospheric “M”-channeling drama achieves much of interest, despite its recurring patchiness

 

An Awkward Sexual Adventure (2012) – Garrity’s comedy is no overlooked masterpiece, but has enough good-natured raunch to inhabit its title

 

The Police are Blundering in the Dark (1975) – Colombo’s poorly-integrated killer flick blunders also, albeit mainly in the sleazy light

 

Hustle (2022) – Zager’s movie works consistently well on its own propulsive terms, but a bit more analytical cynicism wouldn’t have hurt

 

A Garibaldian in the Convent (1942) – De Sica’s early film is lively and varied, while trivial in its treatment of enmity and death

 

Blaze (1989) – Shelton simplifies the personal and political alike almost to the point of idiocy, but Newman at least puts on a good show

 

So Sweet…So Perverse (1969) – Lenzi’s unimaginative narrative never acquires much steam, leaving one subsiding on scraps of forced decadence

 

House of Gucci (2021) – Scott’s movie is at best handsomely dull and often grating, with most of the actors at or near their all-time worst

 

Le navire Night (1979) – one of Duras’ most sumptuous works; a film formed of pervasive absence and lack, and yet of sumptuous immediacy

 

Shortbus (2006) – one ultimately feels a bit underserved by Mitchell’s film, despite its wondrous connectivity and celebratory energy

 

Sissi – the Young Empress (1956) – Marischka’s sequel reshuffles the first film’s elements, while boosting the humanity-eroding pageantry

 

The Northman (2022) – Eggers’ film is generally impressive, but allows wanton over-aestheticization to overwhelm most other considerations

 

Fanny (1932) – the second in the Pagnol trilogy often feels dawdling and histrionic, but one inevitably submits to its emotional high points

 

Chameleon Street (1989) – Harris’ remarkably nimble, provocative one-off – a scintillating character study loaded with broader implications

 

Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972) – Fukuda’s poorly-executed, largely fun-starved entry in the series, any potential resonances by now flaccid

 

No Time to Die (2021) – Fukunaga’s handsomely fluid Bond film, as restrained and variedly seasoned as can likely be expected from the series

 

Carmen Falls in Love (1952) – Kinoshita’s high-pitched sequel, marked by bizarre directorial choices, rapidly exhausts the viewer

 

Dream Lover (1993) – Kazan’s suspicion-heavy but tone-deficient drama hardly infiltrates one’s subsequent dreams, waking or otherwise

 

Pale Flower (1964) – Shinoda’s crime drama may be slightly over-venerated, but maintains a sleekly unflappable mood of existential remove

 

Black Panther Wakanda Forever (2022) – Coogler’s sequel offers much forgettably high-end grandeur, seasoned with persuasive melancholy

 

Ned Kelly (1970) – Richardson’s telling is respectable but seldom too imaginative, not least in its literal-minded squandering of Jagger

 

Beauty and the Beast (2014) – Gans’ wantonly over-prettified telling is serviceable enough, but devoid of much emotional connection

 

Key Largo (1948) – Huston and the cast keep things expertly crackling within a confining set-up, with Bogart at his nuanced, watchful best

 

Diary for my Lovers (1987) – Meszaros’ full, constantly shifting sequel makes for heavier viewing than its predecessor (not inaptly though)

 

The Horse Soldiers (1959) – Ford’s drama, soaked in the unbearable frictions of civil war, falls somewhat short in too many key respects

 

Lost Illusions (2021) – Giannoli’s tremendously well-orchestrated, slyly prophetic Balzac adaptation sweeps one along, almost to a fault

 

The Seven-Ups (1973) – D’Antoni’s drama is a respectable French Connection adjunct, with generally comparable high-points and limitations

 

The Best Years of a Life (2019) – whatever its weaknesses, Lelouch’s nostalgic reunion is a staggering pleasure for suitably aged cinephiles

 

Safety Last! (1923) – the nerve-wracking climax remains the clear highlight of Lloyd’s crisply performed & presented, yet uninvolving comedy

 

Rouge (1987) – Kwan’s culturally contrasting ghost story is utterly beguiling in all respects, beautifully inhabited by its actors

 

Rachel, Rachel (1968) – Newman elevates the recessive (but choicely acted) material with surprisingly, even morbidly tough-minded direction

 

The Worst Person in the World (2021) – Trier’s fine character study achieves a high degree of imaginative, unforced verisimilitude

 

The Day of the Dolphin (1973) – one happily submits to the playful core of Nichols’ film; not as much to the rushed sub-Pakula melodrama

 

The Grief of Others (2015) – Wang’s sensitive, creatively bold drama achieves an unusual, sometimes eccentricity-tinged authenticity

 

Two-Faced Woman (1941) – Garbo’s last film lives down to its minor reputation, the star ill at ease under Cukor’s ineffective direction

 

Virgin Stripped Bare by her Bachelors (2000) – Hong’s formal mastery astutely facilitates his smoothly acute study of morphing exploitation

 

And Now Miguel (1953) – the simple focus of Krumgold’s scenically empathetic quasi-documentary feels rather ominously fragile in retrospect

 

Heller Wahn (1983) – von Trotta’s study of symbiotic female friendship is overly calculated at times, but laceratingly indicting at its best

 

What’s Up, Doc? (1972) – Bogdanovich’s film perhaps gets more classically cherishable as time goes on, and I’d say it gets funnier too

 

La verite (2019) – a graceful relatively minor Kore-eda film overall, immensely elevated by impeccably cineaste-friendly attributes

 

One Way Passage (1932) – Garnett’s fatalistic romance is limited by over-concision, but the absence-defined ending lingers in one’s mind

 

Parallel Mothers (2021) – one of Almodovar’s most richly echoing films, a multi-faceted joy to watch even when almost too tragic to bear

 

The Mind Benders (1963) – Dearden’s unshowy approach to a sci-fi-type premise builds promisingly enough, but then talkily fizzles out

 

Circumstance (2011) – Kesharvaz’s film feels overly calculated and compressed at times, but rings sadly, outrage-inducingly true as a whole

 

The Blue Knight (1973) – Butler’s arrestingly-cast drama, though plainly limited by network TV parameters, hits the mark pretty solidly

 

A Taxing Woman (1987) – Itami shows off his well-honed genre smarts and narrative prowess, applied to unusual (and quite educational) ends

 

He Laughed Last (1956) – Edwards’ peculiarly plotted early film doesn’t generate much laughter, maybe a mildly intrigued sense of blankness

 

Aferim! (2015) – Jude’s staggeringly well-realized historical recreation, its unflinching engagement often verbally and morally draining

 

Presenting Lily Mars (1943) – Taurog’s inspiration-challenged, often misjudged Garland vehicle at least offers a few musical highlights

 

Pink Floyd: the Wall (1982) – Parker and Scarfe bludgeon more than they seduce, likely leaving you in no hurry to ever hear the album again

 

The Red Queen Kills Seven Times (1972) – nothing about Miraglia’s colorfully tangled gallop through plot points and murders cuts very deeply

 

Last Night in Soho (2021) – Wright’s colorful, nerve-janglingly propulsive (if inherently hollow) fantasia, packed with incidental pleasures

 

The Marked Eyes (1964) – Hossein’s drama doesn’t have much to it beyond the two central women, but adequately sustains its evasive moodiness

 

Lost Highway (1997) – Lynch’s brilliantly uncrackable and disturbed enigma, his structural and expressive mastery at their near-zenith

 

Wild Geese (1953) – Toyoda’s poignant tale of exploitation, marked by a deeply sympathetic sense of economic and emotional insecurity

 

The Woman King (2022) – Prince-Bythewood’s drama impresses as celebration of community, but too often falls short in much the same old ways

 

Extreme Private Eros (1974) – Hara’s essay film achieves a rare sense of unscrubbed, ideology- and convention-defying self-exploration

 

Cat People (1982) – Schrader’s fascinating if of course amply debatable remake viscerally pulsates with deviant sexuality and desire

 

Brainwashed (1960) – Oswald’s well-structured, physically and psychologically hemmed-in drama expertly maintains its slow-burning tension

 

Scarborough (2021) – even in its missteps, Nakhai and Williamson’s often heartbreakingly well-done social document grips and instructs

 

Marius (1931) – Pagnol’s inevitability-heavy tale yields the kind of film you find lodged in the memory, even if you’ve never seen it before

 

Amateur (1994) – the Hartley well started running dry pretty early on, with little sense of purpose or revelation to the attitudinizing

 

In the Name of the Italian People (1971) – Risi’s punchily enjoyable, optimism-challenged contrasting of personal and societal moralities

 

Sharp Stick (2022) – Dunham’s film might have been conceived as an exercise, largely successfully achieved, in redeeming a dubious premise

 

Love at Sea (1964) – Gilles’ poignantly searching little film glows with the love of Paris, of cinema, of its own sweet ephemerality

 

American Mary (2012) – despite inevitable excesses, the Soskas enjoyably maintain the governing icky/sexy/life-choice-affirming vibe

 

Beautiful Days (1955) – Kobayashi’s absorbing tale of intertwined lives, marked by existential & monetary post-war challenge & compromise

 

The Last Duel (2021) – Scott’s overdone, inauthentic artificiality is far less structurally and thematically provocative than intended

 

Arrebato (1979) – Zulueta’s wildly singular must-see work may possess a lifetime’s worth of vision, creative blood, and unifying conviction

 

Everyone Says I Love You (1996) – Allen’s baggy musical easily passes the time, but mostly strikes you as a clumsy, magic-deprived letdown

 

Waxworks (1924) – Leni’s silent semi-horror film has its stodgy passages, but also some lasting expressionist highlights (the Ripper!)

 

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (2022) – a solidly flavourful and nuanced telling, especially in its darker and more grotesque aspects

 

Carmen Comes Home (1951) – narratively trifling stuff even by Kinoshita’s frequent standards, but of mild interest as a color milestone

 

Frantic (1988) – among Polanski’s more minor exercises, but with good suspense mechanics, and ample points of tonal and visual interest

 

A Quiet Place to Kill (1970) – Lenzi’s paranoid drama offers standard-issue plotting, scenery, and somnambulant acting (especially Baker)

 

Mass (2021) – Kranz’s fine-tuned, astutely-judged  film is barely equal to the wasteland it surveys, but then that’s largely the point

 

Kill! (1968) – Okamoto’s somewhat overly-prolonged Samurai opus is stylishly sustained, but keeps within its knowingly derivative limits

 

Goodfellas (1990) – Scorsese’s overly affectionate, under-contextualized show of force frustrates about as much as it muscularly dazzles

 

Endless Desire (1958) – a fairly straightforward crime narrative for Imamura, but bitingly well-done at every cynically grasping turn

 

Don’t Worry Darling (2022) – Wilde doesn’t fully realize on the intriguing material, but enlivens the movie in various satisfyingly odd ways

 

Paper Moon (1973) – Bogdanovich’s period piece nicely hits all its intended marks, although Tatum O’Neal’s Oscar now looks wildly generous

 

Cinema Paradiso (1988) – Tornatore’s extended version makes for mostly soft viewing, peddling the most unanalytical, affectless nostalgia

 

Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) – Minnelli’s classic is marvelously sustained, not least for the persistent veins of threat and disruption

 

In the Aisles (2018) – Stuber patiently and astutely explores the workplace as one’s primary structuring reality and point of connection

 

The Naked Truth (1957) – the darkly satiric concept and high-potential casting deserve livelier and sharper direction than Zampi can muster

 

Drive My Car (2021) – Hamaguchi’s extraordinarily rich and satisfying exploration of the creation of meaning and connection in art and life

 

99 and 44/100% Dead (1974) – one of Frankenheimer’s dullest and most perplexing failures, misjudged whether assessed as satire or otherwise

 

Joan of Arc of Mongolia (1989) – Ottinger’s mash-up of grand artificiality and sumptuous travelogue is improbably and winningly nurturing

 

The Appaloosa (1966) – Furie’s shambling border drama is pretty minor, when not cringeworthy, but Brando’s low-key masochism makes the show

 

Wondrous Boccaccio (2015) – the well-seasoned Tavianis’ delicately shaded anthology ultimately lands rather too fleetingly and familiarly

 

A Place in the Sun (1951) – Stevens’ tragic romance still penetrates, particularly in its doomed longing to transcend class and privilege

 

Bergman Island (2021) – Hansen-Love’s film provides constant stimulations and pleasures, but doesn’t connect as intimately as her best work

 

The Boys from Brazil (1978) – Schaffner’s heavy-handedness doesn’t do much to engender a real sense of threat, but it has its moments

 

Tampopo (1985) – Itami’s peppy novelty, propelled by quasi-Bunuelian structural fluidity and amusingly low-stakes Western-genre riffing

 

Jewel Robbery (1932) – Dieterle’s concise diversion sustains its air of cheerful high-life amorality (aided by the laced cigarettes!)

 

Night and Day (2008) – happily hanging out in Paris, Hong wanders smoothly through emotional, legal and other existentially liminal states

 

Written on the Wind (1956) – Sirk’s amazing compositions and jagged psychological structures may leave one feeling personally destabilized

 

Transit (2018) – in a work of crystalline poise, Petzold reinflates classic romantic structures with eerily contemporary anxieties & threats

 

The Sting (1973) – Hill’s Oscar-winner is a handsome but largely empty ride, declining to tap any possible profundity in its reality-bending

 

Summer Night…(1986) – offers passages of Wertmuller at her lyrical best, outweighed by exhausting dollops of her multi-faceted worst

 

Hell’s Angels on Wheels (1967) – Rush’s film has a few raucously amusing moments, but not much in the way of penetrating perspective

 

Prayers for the Stolen (2021) – Huezo’s wrenching drama crafts an almost unbearably convincing sense of endemic threat and thwarted beauty

 

Alice in Wonderland (1951) – Disney’s version is too peculiar and literal to sustain the wonder, but has some sweetly trippy highpoints

 

Godard mon amour (2017) – Hazanavicius somehow converts aging film buff catnip into improbably well-functioning character-based comedy

 

Wattstax (1973) – Stuart skillfully places the concert in its complex social context (but, if anything, there’s not enough of the music!)

 

The Green, Green Grass of Home (1982) – Hou’s early film is a thoroughly winning human document, notable for its environmental concern

 

The Set-Up (1949) – one of Wise’s most satisfying pictures, dense in bleakly amused human observation and incisive cinematic smarts

 

I Do Not Care if…(2018) – a film of sensational, morphing relevance, driven by Jude’s torrential cinematic energy and intellectual dexterity

 

Summer Stock (1950) – Walters oversees some lasting peaks of the musical genre, pushing through a framework of extreme ramshackle corniness

 

Outland (1981) – Hyams executes the misconceived High-Noon-in-space concept in tonally dour, visually drab, all-round unstimulating fashion

 

Hunter in the Dark (1979) – an epically layered, fragility-laced narrative, overseen by Gosha with impressively varying compositional flair

 

Amsterdam (2022) – Russell’s unfairly ignored film is staggeringly flawed for sure, yet fascinating in its ambition, choices and resonances

 

Golden Eyes (1968) – Fukuda’s follow-up to Ironfinger doesn’t quite match the original’s peppily twisting energy, but it’s enough to get by

 

Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986) – Mazursky’s facile comedy, largely disconnected from the real world, is a clear marker of decline

 

A Day in Court (1954) – Steno’s linked vignettes are brightly enough done, laced with an acerbic sense of the system’s puffed-up absurdities

 

West Side Story (2021) – the all-round craftsmanship astounds, & the film does have some bite, while bearing too little contemporary urgency

 

Death Walks on High Heels (1971) – by the standards of such twisting, tilltating thrillers, Ercoli handles it all with nice, nasty zippiness

 

Heart of Midnight (1988) – Chapman’s tinny-feeling journey through sleaze and trauma falls short visually, and on just about every level

 

The Baker’s Wife (1938) – Pagnol’s affectionate, leisurely observation feels over-indulgently uncritical now, but not without its rewards

 

The Menu (2022) – Mylod’s elegantly dark comedy is imaginative and well-handled, although all too easy to swallow, digest and move on from

 

Baaz (1953) – Dutt’s tale of female-led rebellion is stirring enough, despite much cursory storytelling and frequently rickety visualization

 

Jungle Fever (1991) – Lee’s over-extended drama is deeply, even wantonly, flawed, and also of course mesmerizingly stimulating and riveting

 

Goodbye CP (1972) – Hara’s documentary observes cerebral palsy with sympathetic realism, unsentimentally demanding the viewer’s observance

 

Red Rocket (2021) – Baker’s sympathetically disreputable, sociologically exacting high-concept comedy is grandly entertaining throughout

 

Spring Dreams (1960) – Kinoshita’s tragi-farce covers a lot of narrative, tonal and thematic ground, none of it completely satisfactorily

 

Aria (1987) – a somewhat goofy anthology project, hardly conducive to opera appreciation, but with ample variety and general panache

 

Sissi (1955) – Marischka’s opulent romance doesn’t challenge or critique on any level, but draws well on the young Schneider’s happy energy

 

The Inheritance (2020) – drawing on respectfully tended cultural and local roots, Asili crafts a thrillingly tangible form of presentness

 

The Castle of Sand (1974) – Nomura’s for a while seemingly overly-sprawling investigation yields a final stretch of considerable grandeur

 

Digging for Fire (2015) – Swanberg’s tale of marital renewal finds room for actors and situations to breathe, despite much over-tidiness

 

Prison (1949) – Bergman’s self-reflective hell-on-earth drama is somewhat over-extended, but always mesmerizingly ambitious and committed

 

White Noise (2022) – Baumbach’s stylistically all-stops-out existential investigation is improbably satisfying, even in its odder aspects

 

Sincerity (1953) – the title barely captures the well-worked weepiness quotient of Kobayashi’s class-conscious story of personal awakening

 

The Garden (1990) – Jarman’s astounding film feels torn from all corners of a despairing, furious, ecstatic, helplessly expressive psyche

 

The Last of the Mobile Hot Shots (1970) – after a zippy initial opening up, Lumet respectably works through Williams’ toxicity-infused play

 

Deception (2021) – Desplechin’s Roth adaptation is often exquisite, but by its nature eschews the rapturous tumbling energy of his best work

 

Woman of Straw (1964) – Dearden’s drama trudges through its suspense-starved plot with unaccountable dourness, the actors not helping much

 

La flor (2018) – astonishingly enough, Llinas’ staggering creation stimulates and rewards in generous proportion to its ultra-epic length

 

The Mad Miss Manton (1938) – Jason’s ponderous comedy-mystery doesn’t do much with its stars, and is sadly short on inspired madness

 

Diary for my Children (1984) – Meszaros’ absorbing personal and social document, exploring self-determination in the face of regimentation

 

The Molly Maguires (1970) – Ritt’s physically imposing, brute-force drama, righteously drawing on the eternal exploitation of the powerless

 

Great Freedom (2021) – Meise’s absorbing, moving, narratively and psychologically provocative study of institutionalization and its toll

 

Lonelyhearts (1958) – Donehue’s drama isn’t fully achieved, but has some eloquently searching patches, & the mesmerizingly vulnerable Clift

 

In Between Days (2006) – Kim’s intimate, unprettified study of immigrant experience channels some quietly mundane, too-seldom-told truths

 

To Sir, With Love (1967) – Clavell papers over the patchily underdone narrative with a thin veneer of dignity and social conscience

 

My Worst Nightmare (2011) – when not gratingly predictable, Fontaine’s comedic meeting of opposites is unconvincing and underdeveloped

 

Jabberwocky (1977) – the silly comedy often only gets in the way of Gilliam’s impressively detailed visual and logistical imagination

 

The Moon in the Gutter (1983) – Beineix generates some strangely lingering images & moments, notwithstanding the rather heavygoing narrative

 

The Maltese Falcon (1941) – the classic status of Huston’s debut is a little generous, notwithstanding some cracking presences and exchanges

 

Court (2014) – Tamhane’s depressingly well-done, class-attuned dissection of India’s grindingly unfit-for-modern-purposes judicial system

 

American Guerilla in the Philippines (1950) – Lang’s relentless, atypically sun-baked chronicle of entrapment and existential isolation

 

H Story (2001) – Suwa’s reflection on representation and engagement is never uninteresting, but most beguiling when at its loosest

 

The Killer Elite (1975) – Peckinpah’s lumpy drama is disarmingly rambling and eccentric in some respects, murky and disengaged in others

 

Seven Women, Seven Sins (1986) – an energetic themed anthology of satisfyingly varying peculiarity, if expectedly limited overall coherence

 

A Cottage on Dartmoor (1929) – Asquith’s silent film blends social comedy and stark thriller with sustained skill and imaginative fluidity

 

Psychokinesis (2018) – Yeon’s silly quasi-superhero movie, far inferior to his Train to Busan, is mostly just a cursory waste of resources

 

The Computer wore Tennis Shoes (1969) – a weak, low-conviction Disney entry that achieves little on its own terms, let alone anyone else’s

 

Where does your Hidden Smile Lie? (2001) – Costa’s mesmerizing, often revelatory study of the tetchily exacting journey toward sublimity

 

Foxy Brown (1974) – the opening credits and the occasional defiant flourish aside, Hill’s stilted effort doesn’t provide much to savor

 

And the Ship Sails On (1983) – Fellini’s spectacle sadly lacks much ongoing relevance, whatever one’s taste for its grand artificiality

 

The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) – Lean’s epic now seems more calculated and less seeped in madness than the popular memory maintains

 

Scarred Hearts (2016) – Jude’s robust, empathetic chronicle of illness and slow decline, worthy of the defiant life force at its centre

 

In the Good Old Summertime (1949) – Leonard’s pleasant enough but distinctly underpowered (musically and otherwise) Garland vehicle

 

The French Dispatch (2021) – Anderson’s oddly Greenaway-evoking creation is almost oppressively breathtaking, only fitfully passion-forming

 

Death Smiles on a Murderer (1973) – d’Amato’s slack supernatural shocker ultimately acquires some kind of shape, but never amounts to much

 

A Chorus Line (1985) – Attenborough doesn’t do so badly, but the material inherently and stiffly resists any worthwhile cinematic treatment

 

Shozo, a Cat and Two Women (1956) – the climactic stubborn bleakness of Toyoda’s comedy surmounts its trifling and over-protracted aspects

 

Rifkin’s Festival (2020) – another minimal-effort, lost-in-the-past Allen work, playing more engagingly than it might have (but not by much)

 

Death Laid an Egg (1968) – Questi’s must be one of the most chicken-centric movies ever, and is quite a heady mix even aside from that

 

Silent Britain (2006) – Thompson/Sweet’s survey is enormously informative and persuasive, no matter its tonal and scholarly shortcomings

 

Eye in the Labyrinth (1972) – Caiano’s horror mystery keeps things lively and modestly unpredictable, but the overall effect is a bit thin

 

Crimes of the Future (2022) – Cronenberg’s amazing, implication-heavy film, if perhaps overly hermetic, astounds and chills throughout

 

Stolen Desire (1958) – Imamura’s full-to-bursting debut has a striking, ribald energy and an enjoyably pragmatic view of human behaviour

 

Trust (1990) – Hartley’s bumpy journey toward self-actualization is one of his best-realized works, while hardly evoking deep affection

 

The Portrait (1948) – Kinoshita’s genial drama isn’t a major work, but packs a varied range of human dynamics into its brief running time

 

Mogul Mowgli (2021) – Tariq and Ahmed’s case history draws on rich, sometimes harrowing layers of personal and cultural past and present

 

Sword of the Beast (1965) – Gosha sets out the tangled motivations, allegiances and inner burdens with admirable, body-count-heavy clarity

 

Quartet (1981) – Ivory’s film is well-modulated and artfully withholding, but you mostly watch with a feeling of blankly respectful distance

 

Une Parisienne (1957) – Boisrond’s slightly-better-than-average Bardot-showcasing comedy at least doesn’t dawdle (except when ogling…)

 

Relic (2020) – James’ use of horror devices and tropes ultimately yields a remarkable representation of fraught generational bonding

 

Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971) – a bright and zippy, environmentally-charged entry in the series, worth it for the groovy opening credits alone

 

A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001) – Spielberg’s film seems at times oddly simple, yet at others near-crazy in its conceptual grandeur

 

Ironfinger (1965) – Fukuda’s gadget-heavy, jauntily location-hopping quasi-Bond concoction is well-done in its unimportantly breezy fashion

 

Candyman (2021) – DaCosta stylishly maintains a pointed sense of multi-faceted contemporary relevance, even as narrative overload sets in

 

Summer Interlude (1951) – Bergman’s early-ish work is totally involving on its own terms, and dotted with glimpses of the heights to come

 

The Fugitive (1993) – Davis’ stretched drama benefits from sustained logistical prowess, and the patina of single-minded intelligence

 

Sisters of the Gion (1936) – one of Mizoguchi’s most concentrated, thorough and lacerating studies of engrained societal exploitation

 

Beans (2020) – despite various points of excessive tidiness, Deer’s melding of the personal and political is instructionally empathetic 

 

Il bell’Antonio (1960) – Bolognini and Pasolini’s impeccably crafted subversion of patriarchal structures, assumptions and hypocrisies

 

The Intern (2015) – Meyers does pretty well by the appealing concept, even if sentimentality and idealism gradually pushes out most else

 

A Street of Love and Hate (1959) – Oshima develops the fable-like core premise with incisively unsentimental clarity and social awareness

 

Glass Onion (2022) – there’s much pleasure in Johnson’s super-well-worked creation, although of course not so much broader implication

 

Shall We Go to Your Place…(1973) - Hallstrom’s well-observed hook-up journal is as much fun as any of his (far) more polished later works

 

Gorky Park (1983) – Apted’s drama doesn’t spark any great reaction, but then, national joylessness and drabness seem to be largely the point

 

Douce violence (1962) – Pecas’ sex drama has a few diverting, sadism-laced sequences, but for the most part it’s undistinguished stuff

 

4.44 Last Day on Earth (2011) – a near-perfect vessel for Ferrara’s tumultuously restless existential questing and experiential gleaning

 

Stakeout (1958) – Nomura’s impressive film, built on a top-notch suspenseful set-up, steers in surprisingly quiet, humane directions

 

The Sparks Brothers (2021) – Wright’s utterly enjoyable, eye-opening survey, well balanced between explication and wryly reverent distance

 

The Hired Hand (1971) – Fonda’s finely-crafted, often superbly visualized Western, its unshowy realism tinted by a sense of predestination 

 

The Home and the World (1984) – Ray’s blending of personal & political is somewhat over-isolated, but executed with exquisite, seasoned care

 

For Me and My Gal (1942) – Berkeley’s relatively unshowy, expertly-controlled musical contrasts vaudeville strivings and wartime upheavals

 

Karaoke Girl (2013) – Vichit-Vadakan’s perhaps overly discreet but absorbing chronicle of young female migration, adaptation and illusion

 

Wavelength (1967) – Snow’s (not boring!) landmark marries the infallibly all-seeing & the tangibly hands-on, even with traces of wry humour

 

Gabrielle (2005) – Chereau’s audaciously inspired dissection of marriage as personal and social construct is a success on every level

 

Don’t Play Us Cheap (1972) – van Peebles’ wildly iconoclastic, utterly resistance-busting celebration of Black resilience and joyousness

 

Lili Marleen (1981) – even if not among Fassbinder’s best, an enthralling mesh of Nazi-era ambiguities (of actions, motivations, impacts…)

 

Thunderbolt (1929) – Sternberg partially reworks the silent Underworld in a more stylistically restrained, still meatily enjoyable manner

 

Theo & Hugo… (2016) – Martineau/Ducastel’s quite winning nocturnal mini-odyssey spans unbound carnality, giddy idealism, stark realities

 

All About Eve (1950) – Mankiewicz’s breathtaking dialogue still sweeps one along, but at an elegantly-maintained, well-upholstered distance

 

No Place Like Home (2006) – Henzell’s likeable if bumpily-assembled Jamaican odyssey, contrasting manufactured illusions and lived realities

 

THX 1138 (1971) – Lucas’ debut has a conventional overall trajectory, but an astounding wealth of well-worked social & technological detail

 

The Movement of Things (1985) – Serra’s near-revelatory, deeply-present observance of (surely imperiled) lives, rhythms and rituals

 

The League of Gentlemen (1960) – Dearden’s fairly standard heist film, mildly elevated by military affectations & a few disreputable edges

 

Pulse (2001) – perhaps Kurosawa’s most lastingly threatening vision, evading simple explication, but ultimately chillingly all-encompassing

 

Easter Parade (1948) – Walters’ musical is bright and tuneful, but the plotting and much else are perfunctory even by genre standards

                                                                

Jeanne (2019) – the inexhaustibly shifting Dumont expands the corpus of Jeanne d’Arc cinema in startlingly diverse and elevating fashion

 

Madame Claude (1977) – Jaeckin’s mixture of soft core and skullduggery has plenty of intriguing raw elements, but limited overall spark

 

Zeros and Ones (2021) – Ferrara more or less viably positions the pandemic-era as a murkily causation- and coherence-dissolving meltdown

 

Emotion (1966) – Obayashi’s wildly energetic early short film exudes the joy of collaborative cinema-making, at a giddy moment in time

 

A Different Image (1982) – Larkin’s lightly expressed but steel-willed, wide-angle assertion of Black woman as self-determined subject

 

The Snow Flurry (1959) – Kinoshita’s sensitive but not particularly notable, structurally over-extended study of loss and its long aftermath

 

Limbo (2020) – Sharrock’s deadpan premise and remote setting inherently entails a somewhat one-note (but consistently appealing) movie

 

The Demon (1978) – Nomura’s sad, incisive treatment of scalding family dynamics, rooted in parental inadequacy and financial hopelessness

 

In the Family (2011) – the naturalism of Wang’s patient story-telling sometimes wavers a bit, but overall it wears its length intelligently

 

The Witches (1967) – a pleasingly odd anthology, most notable for Pasolini’s segment and for a highly uncharacteristic Clint Eastwood!

 

The Banshees of Inisherin (2022) – McDonagh’s well-acted, considerate (if generally overpraised) movie ably works its odd central premise

 

Battleship Potemkin (1925) – Eisenstein’s tangibly powerful cinema still reverberates, even if as a cinematic road not often now traveled

 

Evil Under the Sun (1982) – Hamilton’s pedestrian mystery doesn’t even film the sun with style, let alone sink intelligently into the evil

 

Spiritual Kung Fu (1978) – much of Wei Lo’s fluctuating, often goofy actioner is simply Jackie Chan on display, so that’s good enough!

 

Let Them All Talk (2020) – Soderbergh expertly sustains a lightly intelligent air, showcasing actors and locations with equal aplomb

 

Son of Godzilla (1967) – Fukuda’s peppy entry in the series has some colourful monster action and a passable patina of “serious” science

 

Collective: Unconscious (2016) – a strongly-conceived, no-weak-link compilation film; Baldwin’s segment particularly lingers in the mind

 

This Can’t Happen Here (1950) – Bergman’s lurching allegorical thriller may be his most peculiarly misconceived and unrewarding work

 

The Humans (2021) – Karem’s strong filming of his genre-expanding existential investigation, done with tremendous visual & spatial assurance

 

The Scar (1976) – Kieslowski’s politically and existentially provocative film, set in the draining shadow of runaway industrialization

 

Love Jones (1997) – much about Witcher’s film remains irresistible (that soundtrack!), although the minor classic status is a bit overstated

 

Assassination (1964) – Shinoda’s narrative complexity and shifting technique draw (largely productively) on Japan’s draining modern history

 

Zola (2020) – Bravo realizes the oddball material with an imaginatively optimal combination of discipline, reflection and digression

 

Breakfast for Two (1937) – Santell’s comedy doesn’t really hang together, but has a few choice sequences, and the actors, and the dog!

 

I Wish I Knew (2010) – Jia’s typically graceful engagement with Shanghai, as cinematic myth, as visual wonder, as often-brutal lived reality

 

March or Die (1977) – Richards’ French Foreign Legion drama is a peculiar, if often impressively realized, meshing of moods and registers

 

Light Years Away (1981) – Tanner’s scenic, eccentric contrivance is hardly his most meaningful work, but it’s oddly cherishable even so

 

Carry on Regardless (1961) – a barely carrying-on early series entry, mostly just one under-developed, flatly handled bit after another

 

The Happiest Girl in the World (2009) – Jude’s irresistible set-up facilitates a poignant character study amid ample deadpan humour

 

The Lavender Hill Mob (1951) – Crichton oversees a most highly-functioning comic machine, in which realities are only passingly glimpsed

 

Chez Jolie Coiffure (2018) – Mbakam’s well-observed study of displaced community, insecurity and struggle never far beneath the surface

 

Tracks (1976) – arguably Jaglom’s most impactful film, his trademark conviviality yielding to reality-bending Vietnam-era paranoia

 

Passion (1982) – a work of stunning, ever-pivoting Godardian craft, crackling with disillusionment at its own visual sumptuousness

 

The Criminal (1960) – a highly superior crime drama, elevated through Losey’s dynamic feel for space, behavior, and broader implication                             

 

Cargo 200 (2007) – Balabanov’s missive from a cesspit-like Russia, all the more depressing for its formidable creative and formal strengths

 

Moontide (1942) – Mayo’s memorably-cast coastal romance doesn’t generally excel, but sustains an often lovely mood of threatened aspiration

 

Barrage (2017) – Schroeder’s largely unexceptional tale of tentative reconciliation, at its strongest when tapping into underlying traumas

 

Russian Roulette (1975) – Lombardo finds small ways to rise above the general pedestrianism, delivering a striking downtown Vancouver climax

 

Santa Sangre (1989) – Jodorowsky, in full showman mode, never crafts a dull scene, nor (luridness aside) a particularly penetrating one

 

Stereo (1969) – Cronenberg’s early film explores a bracingly strange, droll, cerebral and concept-heavy (if not yet fully navigated) space

 

Merci pour le chocolat (2000) – among Chabrol’s thinner works, notwithstanding its elegant toying with familial definitions and boundaries

 

The Crowd Roars (1932) – Hawks’ early racing car movie delivers well enough on the action, but is under-developed in most key respects

 

I Saw the Devil (2010) – Kim’s extended showdown is never dull, but it’s unedifyingly driven by relentless contrivance and wanton nastiness

 

Cooley High (1975) – Schultz’s engaging slice of life, focusing less on big laughs and set-ups than on challenged character and community

 

Tenue de Soiree (1986) – one submits to Blier’s aggressively assumption-baiting farce with amazement, and at least some form of respect

 

The Story of a Three Day Pass (1967) – the matchless Van Peebles channels Black experience, identity and insecurity with undiminished verve

 

Afternoon (2015) – a small delight, with Tsai’s unhurried formal simplicity facilitating a funny, revealing portrait of mutual dependency

 

Native Son (1951) – Chenal’s adaptation sustains a strong vein of brutalized authenticity, notwithstanding structural and other weaknesses

 

Bright Future (2002) – Kurosawa’s evasively ambiguous parable of modern directionless is hauntingly effective, with an oddly beautiful core

 

Radio On (1979) – Petit’s movie engages in unique (albeit heavily Wenders-enthused) manner with a fraying Britain’s bottomless confusions

 

You Will Die at Twenty (2019) – Alala’s absorbingly imagined and realized expression of mystical indoctrination and its consequences

 

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969) – Neame’s mannered drama excessively prioritizes Smith’s performance, over almost all else of interest

 

I Want to Go Home (1989) – Resnais’ peculiar mix of elements and references is ultimately rewarding, if often rather grating along the way

 

The Harvey Girls (1946) – Sidney delivers a few lasting musical highlights, without seemingly trying to impose much stylistic or tonal unity

 

Happy Hour (2015) – one could almost limitlessly observe Hamaguchi’s painstakingly realized world, continually reconsidering & recalibrating

 

Drive, He Said (1971) – Nicholson’s absorbing directorial debut draws acutely and imaginatively on its people, place and social context

 

Daratt (2006) – Haroun acutely sifts the complexities of revenge and reconciliation through suspensefully intertwining characterizations

 

The Love Bug (1968) – Stevenson’s blithely disbelief-suspending, solidly-staged bit of silliness holds up better than might be expected

 

The Wonder (2022) – Lelio’s carefully considered adaptation is mostly satisfying, without transcending its inherent literary artificiality

 

Le jour se leve (1939) – Carne’s fatalistic landmark, with Gabin at his best, retains its exquisitely crafted, societally pessimistic grip

 

Rare Beasts (2019) – Piper’s distinctively intelligently debut provides a coherently off-kilter take on life & love & the whole f-ing thing

 

Benilde or the Virgin Mother (1975) – one of de Oliveira’s most accessible films, crafting an enthralling space of mystery and inquiry

 

The Father (2020) – Zeller crafts one of the most indelible recent actor-driven films, formally remarkable and at times sadly frightening

 

The Return of Ringo (1965) – Tessari’s crisply conceived and relishingly executed reboot/sequel improves on its flatter predecessor

 

Cop (1988) – the strained and grotesque aspects of the central narrative rather undermine Harris’ spiky facility with character and mood

 

Les dragueurs (1959) – Mocky offsets the relentless skirt-chasing with sometimes poignant casting and sufficient emotional flavour

 

C’mon C’mon (2021) – despite (or because of) its empathetic strengths, Mills’ under-involving film often feels like enforced therapy

 

Silence (1971) – Shinoda’s pained chronicle of faith and persecution engages no less fully and directly than Scorsese’s later telling

 

Voyage of Time (2016) – a somewhat typically unsatisfying latter-day Mallick, ravishing the eye more fully than the ear or intellect

 

Goke, Body Snatcher from Hell (1968) – Sato throws in enough incident, spectacle and topical charge to surmount the often shaky execution

 

Minari (2020) – Chung’s film is rather too formulaic (not least Youn’s Oscar-bait character), but has an attentively pleasantly way about it

 

Marriage in the Shadows (1947) – whatever its deficiencies, Maetzig’s melodrama carries an immense, even overpowering historical immediacy

 

Green Card (1990) – Weir’s comedy eschews any hints of significance, but the well-matched actors and sustained amiability put it across

 

A Night Full of Rain (1978) – Wertmuller’s tone-deaf study of a turbulent relationship makes for monotonously unrewarding viewing 

 

Everything Everywhere all at Once (2022) – the Daniels’ imaginative tour de force is overwhelmingly impressive, and underwhelmingly trite

 

Night and Fog in Japan (1960) – Oshima’s dissection of complacency & culpability, at once intellectually exacting & cinematically liberating

 

Siberia (2019) – despite its unyielding and unreadable aspects, Ferrara’s odyssey sustains a strangely moving sense of questing penance

 

White Paradise (1924) – Lamac’s silent melodrama moves through various modes with appealing, if not always perfectly controlled, enthusiasm

 

French Exit (2020) – Jacobs’ oddity doesn’t ultimately amount to that much, but is sufficiently unpredictable and consistently likeable

 

Ai no corrida (1976) – at once emptying & exhilarating, Oshima’s is one of cinema’s most sustained studies of extreme, desperate sexuality

 

Sitting Ducks (1980) – Jaglom’s amiable but entirely unpersuasive comedy feels largely lazy and trivial in the wake of his preceding Tracks

 

Change of Life (1966) – an evocative study of personal and economic fragility, if the slightly more mannered of Rocha’s two fine early works

 

Summer of Soul (2021) – an animating gift from the archival gods, more than satisfactorily curated and contextualized by Questlove

 

Santa Claus (1959) – Cardona’s dawdling, distanced-feeling celebration does have the occasional touching or pleasingly whimsical moment

 

The Ecstasy of Wilko Johnson (2015) – Temple pulls out a few too many visual stops at times, but Wilko is unmatchable value for money

 

The Most Beautiful Wife (1970) – a potentially rich and bitingly comic battle of the sexes, handled rather too straightforwardly by Damiani

 

Sylvie’s Love (2020) – Ashe’s period romance doesn’t hit any huge heights, but is unassumingly and progressively pleasurable throughout

 

Night of the Bloody Apes (1969) – Cordona’s aggressively poor, barely-even-trying monster rampage doesn’t get the simplest thing right

 

A Stranger Among Us (1992) – Lumet’s well-honed judgment deserts him for long stretches here, with unconvincing, if not eye-rolling, results

 

An Old Gangster’s Molls (1927) – Innemann’s silent comedy, forgivably overstuffed at times, motors along in happily try-anything style

 

The Good Nurse (2022) – Lindholm’s overly tidy and linear drama is fairly well-attuned to human fragility, but distinctly short on surprises

 

The Debut (1977) – Van Brakel’s vital, even-handed study of a transgressive relationship, deeply attuned to youthful impulse and sensation

 

Fourteen (2019) – Sallitt’s film feels truthful & lived-in at every turn, with a beautifully crafted sense of personal shifts & evolutions

 

Les abysses (1963) – Papatakis doesn’t so much depict as ferally seep us in the madness-inducing wretchedness of domestic power structures

 

Falling in Love (1984) – Grosbard’s reticent drama is immeasurably lifted by, and utterly rewatchable for, the astounding star pairing

 

To Joy (1950) – Bergman’s early film has its conventional aspects, but its emotional core is often ruthlessly unsentimental and surprising

 

Worth (2020) – Colangelo’s empathetic treatment is more than respectable, but (probably inevitably) skips over much substance and complexity

 

Diary of a Mad Housewife (1970) – Perry’s study is artfully excruciating on several levels, with an oddly haunting sense of futility

 

Angels Wear White (2017) – Qu’s incisively sad, hope-challenged film thoroughly dissects the commodification and exploitation of young women

 

High Sierra (1941) – Walsh’s classic of contrasting spaces, registers and moralities; a near-peak for Bogart, and for cinematic canines

 

Time and Judgement (1988) – Shabazz’s deeply personal, expressive journey through Black history, its prophecies seeming partly poignant now

 

A Man for All Seasons (1966) – Zinnemann’s unstirringly respectable study of principle gains modest resonance in an age of alternative facts

 

This is Not a Burial…(2019) – Mosese’s tale of resistance, suffused in steely urgency, deeply of (yet unconstricted by) its time and place

 

Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) – Spielberg’s vision elicits lasting affection, for all its rigged build-up and pumped-up wonder

 

Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy (2021) – the short-story format rather limits the possibilities of Hamaguchi’s patiently immersive explorations

 

Decision at Sundown (1957) – a second-tier Boetticher/Scott Western, perhaps most notable for its expectation-defying final moments

 

Train to Busan (2016) – Yeon’s isn’t the most thematically rich of zombie flicks, but hardly makes a wrong move on its own propulsive terms

 

Saturday Night and Sunday… (1960) – Reisz’s enduring blast of futile anger in the face of the inevitable, with Finney a mesmerizing centre

 

The Milk of Sorrow (2009) – Llosa’s small miracle of a film provides countless penetrating moments, underpinned by lingering trauma

 

Lovin’ Molly (1974) – a lesser-known but likeable Lumet work, charting the gently transgressive structures underlying small-scale lives

 

The Perfect Candidate (2019) – Al-Mansour’s study in determination hardly lacks for sharp truths, but unfolds a bit too tidily and brightly

 

Lights of New York (1928) – Foy’s early talkie holds up respectably enough, occasionally pushing (modestly) past the merely workmanlike

 

Blind Chance (1987) – reaching far above gimmickry, Kieslowski pessimistically surveys and analyzes Poland’s corroding complexities

 

Hell in the Pacific (1968) – Boorman and two ideally committed stars generate a satisfyingly propulsive, muscularly executed enigma

 

The Third Murder (2017) – the courtroom genre isn’t best suited to Koreeda’s skills, rendering the reflective ambiguities overly artificial

 

A Safe Place (1971) – Jaglom’s peculiar debut at least intrigues as a formal and tonal experiment, with flashes of greater magic 

 

Ils (2006) – Moreau/Palud’s supposedly fact-based terror exercise feels thin and fake, seldom jolting in its rhythms, tactics or reveals

 

The Clock (1945) – Minnelli’s utterly captivating, highly idealistic but wisely nuanced romance, with Garland at her most transfixing

 

Creepy (2016) – not Kurosawa’s most persuasive or resonantly implicative narrative, but of course compulsively watchable all the same

 

What Did You Do in the War, Daddy? (1966) – Edwards’ conceptually amazing comedy is among his richest and most penetratingly-realized

 

The Photograph (1986) – Papatakis’ tense, stark fable, propelled by the futile dreaming of the relentlessly toiling, marginalized exile

 

Let Me Die a Woman (1977) – Wishman’s peculiar “documentary,” in its way sincere and progressive, while also helplessly stilted and prurient

 

About Endlessness (2019) – Andersson applies his weird but apparently inexhaustible aesthetic to all that obscures our sense of possibility

 

Ace in the Hole (1951) – Wilder’s conceptually evergreen film is a frequent logistical knock-out, but stumbles over the climactic turnaround

 

Porto of my Childhood (2001) – de Oliveira’s alchemical film of memory and loss, at once alluringly accessible and uncommunicably personal

 

Boom (1968) – the hectoring heaviness of Losey’s notorious, exotically disembodied spectacle perhaps makes it too easily dismissible overall

 

Jeanette (2017) – Dumont’s often (no surprise) quirky instincts create an oddly productive tension with the film’s visual & narrative purity

 

The Visitors (1972) – the film is effective enough on its own coarsely sparse terms, but one would strain to find Kazan’s signature on it

 

Youssou N’Dour: I Bring What I Love (2008) – an eye- & ear-filling, if inevitably selective, spotlight on a towering performer & presence

 

Discontent (1916) – Weber & Siegler’s compact morality tale is pretty straightforward, but crisply and often amusingly observed & executed

 

Grigris (2013) – Haroun’s story of urban survival beautifully explores modern dualities, yielding a strongly communal, woman-driven outcome

 

The Innocents (1961) – a work of polished distance and artful ambiguity, but quivering with deeply-felt corruption-induced anxiety

 

Mass Appeal (1984) – Jordan’s study of generational Catholic church conflict is far too glib and bland for anything to stick or penetrate

 

All Screwed Up (1974) – among Wertmuller’s best films, its teeming untidiness expressing modern life’s ceaseless traps and shortfalls

 

News of the World (2020) – Greengrass’ drama is rather conventionally impressive, but with no shortage of biting contemporary resonance

 

Berlin-Alexanderplatz (1931) – Jutzi’s potently condensed version provides great comparative viewing, with sensational on-location shooting

 

Malcolm X (1992) – Lee’s vital, daring epic is still high-impact viewing, its relevance and urgency shifting but perpetually undiminished

 

Les amities particulieres (1964) – within its constraints, Delannoy’s study of idealized same-sex love is relatively direct and moving

 

Night Raiders (2021) – Goulet injects some cultural and conceptual distinctiveness, but not enough to transcend familiar dystopian weariness

 

Brother Carl (1971) – for all its weaknesses, Sontag’s tale of dysfunction and transcendence has a strangely lingering cumulative effect

 

Saint Maud (2019) – Glass’s anxiety-ridden modern horror is smartly crafted throughout, with  more than a few flat-out awesome moves 

 

Godzilla: King of the Monsters! (1956) – a capably straight-faced Americanization, but thematically & tonally diluted from Honda’s original

 

The World to Come (2020) – Fastvold’s film is strong in all respects, with great attention to behavioural, visual and structural detail

 

Girl at the Window (1961) – Emmer’s undersung, structurally memorable, culturally astute chronicle accumulates surprising existential weight

 

Green Ice (1981) – Day’s would-be drama leaves about as little impact as cinematically possible, aided by utterly lazy lead performances

 

Gang War in Milan (1973) – Lenzi keeps the high-activity narrative moving, but it’s almost entirely as generic & surprise-free as its title

 

Apollo 10 ½ (2022) – Linklater’s dream-laced, reference-packed family memoir makes for utterly (arguably excessively) captivating viewing

 

J’accuse (1938) – Gance’s bombastically imagined film fascinates and compels, even as it marches on into simplistic self-congratulation

 

Appropriate Behavior (2014) – Akhavan’s well-judged, quite wide-ranging comedy, propelled by a pleasing sense of multi-faceted exploration

 

The Green Years (1963) – Rocha’s wondrous, socially-grounded delicacy ultimately yields to a shocking, almost Bressonian conclusion

 

Promising Young Woman (2020) – Fennell’s astute and stimulating film nails its strategies, even if one has a few reservations about them

 

The Mansion of Madness (1973) – Moctezuma’s chaotic drama provides some bizarre grandeur, with great dollops of interspersed clumsiness

 

Someone to Love (1987) – essential viewing for Frishberg and Welles, whatever one’s assessment of Jaglom’s formal and tonal mannerisms

 

Nazarin (1959) – Bunuel’s remarkably sustained, slyly balanced allegory, albeit perhaps not among his most vibrantly pleasurable works

 

The Green Knight (2021) – Lowery’s telling is structurally and visually captivating at its best, rising above some relative dull patches

 

The Sun’s Burial (1960) – Oshima’s early exercise in socially conscious nihilism, visually and narratively arresting at every corrosive turn

 

Domino (2019) – De Palma’s thrilling cinematic skills aren’t snuffed out yet, but have seldom felt as callously or indifferently deployed

 

The Sicilian Connection (1972) – Baldi’s drug-trade procedural is solid enough, in a mostly unexciting, sometimes haphazard-feeling way

 

In the Cut (2003) – Campion’s riskily vivid, darkly sexy genre piece pulsates with unconventional stylings, resonances and emphases

 

Humanity and Paper Balloons (1937) – Yamanaka’s deceptive study of community and honour lingers not least for its climactic cheerlessness

 

Nomadland (2020) – Zhao’s film is a virtuous but overly fragmented and depoliticized window on an admittedly barely explicable world

 

The Hero (1966) – Ray’s study of a disaffected film star is engrossingly detailed, while illustrating his work’s occasional insularity

 

One More Time with Feeling (2016) – Dominik is a worthy (if inevitably rather submissive) chronicler of Cave’s personal & artistic evolution

 

The Scarlet Letter (1973) – Wenders’ not entirely successful version does vividly draw on America’s formative hypocrisies and contradictions

 

Causeway (2022) – Neugebauer’s small-scale but overly calculated, straightforwardly acted drama doesn’t amount to much on any level

 

Thirst (1949) – a structurally and psychologically challenging Bergman, perhaps his strongest early film, infested with existential crisis

 

She Hate Me (2004) – Lee’s messy film doesn’t really pull its diverse elements into shape, but it’s oddly engaging and (mostly) rewarding

 

Cemetery without Crosses (1969) – Hossein’s bleak Western largely realizes the title’s haunting promise, although not without some strain

 

Let Him Go (2020) – Bezucha’s well-cast journey into familial nightmare largely sustains a fine line between sensitivity and grotesqueness

 

A Woman Like Eve (1979) – Van Brakel’s shockingly under-celebrated film comprehensively questions prevailing social and sexual assumptions

 

The Personal History of David Copperfield (2019) – Iannucci’s wonderfully canny, affirmative adaptation is consistent light-footed pleasure

 

Do Bigha Zamin (1953) – Roy’s drama of fruitless striving increasingly impresses and chills as its full clarity of purpose becomes apparent

 

Shoplifters of the World (2021) – remove the Smiths and Kijak’s engaging little movie wouldn’t amount to much, but hey, you don’t need to!

 

Ceiling (1962) – Chytilova’s early short film has her uniquely recognizable sense of play, with its underlying interrogative seriousness

 

Fat Man and Little Boy (1989) – Joffe’s drama falls oddly flat, half-heartedly ticking off the minimum narrative and moral ingredients

 

Gloria Mundi (1976) – Papatakis’ almost frighteningly high-pitched drama of art and politics, savagely contemptuous of bourgeois pretensions

 

Alex Wheatle (2020) – an absorbing personal & social history, albeit probably the least relatively imposing of the wondrous Small Axe series

 

Pinocchio (1940) – Disney’s objectively bizarre classic holds the panderingly sweet & the deeply sinister in eternally finely-honed balance

 

To the Ends of the Earth (2019) – Kurosawa’s beguiling, observant odyssey charts a culture-crossing path to (relative) female empowerment

 

The Sea Gull (1968) – Lumet’s Chekhov adaptation is worthy and absorbing, while lacking much individual cinematic identity or presence

 

Woman on the Beach (2006) – Hong effects a unique marriage of straightforwardness and mystery, mesmerizing in every shift and detail

 

Firepower (1979) – Winner’s action romp is comprehensively misjudged and overdone from start to end, with clueless use of its high-end cast

 

Thelma (2017) – Trier’s attraction to such fanciful material is rather unclear throughout, despite his evident skill and thoughtfulness

 

Tea and Sympathy (1956) – Minnelli’s study of non-conformity as threat and disruption is, at least, richly analyzable in its hemmed-in-ness

 

DNA (2020) – Maiwenn’s examination of origins & becoming is fairly modest, but much lifted by well-observed ,conflict-ridden family dynamics

 

The Learning Tree (1969) – one might have forgotten the extent of bitterness, suffering and sin folded into Parks’ bucolically-titled drama

 

Boris sans Beatrice (2016) – Cote’s slyly-sculptured, sometimes inscrutably playful deployment of class- and power-based narratives

 

The Grasshopper (1970) – Paris’ never-dull chronicle of ups & downs bumpily combines relative progressiveness with much shallow contrivance

 

24 City (2008) – the perhaps all-seeing Jia once again arranges personal and collective story arcs into mysteriously beautiful formation

 

The Haunted House (1921) – Keaton’s short lets loose a truly impressive volume of gags, without rivaling his most coherent or elevated work

 

Leto (2018) – Serebrennikov’s inspired, vital dive into the 80’s Soviet rock scene is a galvanizing historical/cultural perspective-changer

 

The Swimmer (1968) – the intriguing concept and Lancaster’s poignant presence generally surmount Perry’s frequently overdone direction

 

In Search of Famine (1981) – Sen’s richly ambitious engagement with the moral complexities and obligations of historical filmmaking

 

Bronco Bullfrog (1970) – an appealing if mostly minor exploration of low-option lives, elevated by Platts-Mills’ taciturn romantic fatalism

 

After the Storm (2016) – Koreeda’s reflection on becoming & being is as finely calibrated as usual, but modest both in conception & impact

 

Five Graves to Cairo (1943) – Wilder’s under-sung early work effectively navigates its tense, morally-charged physical and narrative space

 

Still Life (2006) – Jia’s astounding marshaling of an almost incomprehensible modern history, a work of vast (& at times playful) witnessing

 

Candy (1968) – Marquand’s colourful comic odyssey hardly forms a satisfying whole, but at least you’re never waiting long for the next thing

 

The Halt (2019) – Diaz’s deeply relevant vision of darkness is relatively accommodating in some ways, overwhelmingly forbidding in others

 

Absolution (1978) – Page/Shaffer’s study of Catholic school manipulation and anguish is capably enough handled, while in no way excelling

 

Visit, or Memories and Confessions (1982) – de Oliveira’s long-hidden, poignantly tranquil document gracefully combines testimony & reverie

 

Island in the Sun (1957) – Rossen’s lushly race-anxiety-infused colonial melodrama is, at least, almost infinitely susceptible to analysis

 

Stray (2020) – Lo provides ample empathetic pleasure for dog-centric viewers; the returns for others are likely a little more limited

 

The Absent-Minded Professor (1961) – Stevenson’s comedy holds up pleasantly enough, while hardly putting the core concept to optimal use

 

Homo Sapiens (2016) – the terrible beauty of Geyrhalter’s witnessing of abandonment and decay acts as memorial, indictment and premonition

 

An Unmarried Woman (1978) – Mazursky’s appealingly lived-in film has some idealized and overdone aspects, but contains much that connects

 

Alcarras (2022) – Simon explores threatened physical & emotional topographies with equally memorable, socially-charged assurance & finesse

 

Honor Among Lovers (1931) – a fine, lesser-known example of Arzner’s pioneering intelligence, focusing on personal and professional ethics

 

Mind Game (2004) – Yuasa’s wildly unbound (and yet so delectably delicate and psychologically loaded) animation is an absolute trippy rush

 

The Great Escape (1963) – Sturges’ drama has too much cursory storytelling and characterization to remotely merit its classic status

 

New Order (2020) – Franco’s high-intensity vision is harrowingly accomplished at times, and productively debatable overall at the very least

 

Alex and the Gypsy (1976) – Korty’s bumpy romance makes one aggressively inexplicable choice after another, with keenly unenjoyable results

 

Sunset (2018) – Nemes’ outstandingly unpredictable study of historical turbulence, often hypnotically unprecedented both in style & content

 

The Westerner (1940) – Wyler’s well-balanced, forgivably history-bending, often memorably visualized drama, boosted by peak star charisma

 

I’m Your Man (2021) – Schrader’s lightly comic investigation is enjoyable viewing, while mostly skimming over its broader implications

 

The Lost Man (1969) – Aurthur’s drama is spirited enough when channeling righteous anger and action, but dissipates toward the end

 

Tom of Finland (2017) – Karukoski’s biopic is solid stuff, although less formally and visually daring than the subject might have allowed

 

The Squeeze (1977) – Apted and the actors squeeze plenty out of the material, while tending to the prevailing disreputable atmosphere

 

Epicentro (2020) – Sauper’s musings get a little strained at times, but even so help render his study of Cuba constantly fresh & unexpected

 

Park Row (1952) – one of Fuller’s most vital films, propelled by a passionate fusion of form, content, and directorial identification

 

As Tears go By (1988) – brasher than Wong’s later works, but dotted with early signs of his irresistible, searching lightness of spirit

 

Let’s Make Love (1960) – Cukor’s over-extended comedy endures better than it should, mostly of course for its sensational Monroe moments

 

Flee (2021) – Rasmussen’s considered use of animation both (necessarily) conceals and penetrates, yielding a rich, forceful testimony

 

Deadly Strangers (1975) – Hayers’ low-finesse thriller isn’t exactly dull, but labors heavily on its way to its epically predictable “twist”

 

State Funeral (2019) – viewed in an age of right-wing cults, Loznitsa’s magnificent assembly almost plays as warning-laden horror-comedy

 

Stagecoach (1939) – a lasting pleasure (albeit an easy one), with Ford’s multi-faceted finesse surmounting various less elevated aspects

 

Apples (2020) – Nikou’s wry, composed comedy falls prey to a sense of diminishing returns, despite its potentially sinister intimations

 

Twisted Nerve (1968) – Boulting’s manipulatively nasty drama works well enough overall, frequent eye-rolling pretensions notwithstanding

 

Ripley’s Game (2002) – Cavani’s is perhaps not in the top rank of Highsmith films, but it’s a well-judged, elegant yarn on its own terms

 

Convoy (1978) – Peckinpah’s messy spectacle, not without a certain brute-force beauty, gains oddly in resonance in warped Trumpian times

 

Cette maison (2022) – Charles’ oddly haunting, if not entirely stumble-free, meeting of commemoration & speculation, tragedy & celebration

 

The Dumb Girl of Portici (1916) – Weber’s costume drama is certainly notable, but lacks the penetrating quality of her best surviving works

 

A Woman’s Life (2016) – Brise’s somberly hypnotic, finely etched study of a vibrant life force slowly ground down by patriarchal lies

 

The Sundowners (1960) – Zinnemann’s blandly episodic drama has little feel for the country, even less for the itinerant lives within it

 

The Words and Days…(2020) – Edstrom/Winter’s quietly paradigm-shifting study, transporting largely in proportion to its eight-hour duration

 

Executive Suite (1954) – Wise’s business world machinations still strike the occasional chord, when not reduced to mere speechifying

 

Judgement (1999) – Park’s drolly morality- and identity-questioning, apocalypse-tinged short film is as satisfying as much of his major work

 

Chilly Scenes of Winter (1979) – Silver deftly explores an unusual central dynamic, drawing out the joy and pain of romantic preoccupation

 

Lingui (2021) – Haroun’s drama is hardly lacking in interest or impact, but feels less fully developed and immediate than his best work

 

A Taste of Honey (1961) – Richardson’s drama lurches around rather grotesquely, seldom now seeming very emotionally or socially truthful

 

Senorita (2011) – Sandoval crafts a compellingly honest human document, despite a recurring feeling of excessive narrative artifice

 

Nightmare Alley (1947) – Goulding’s floridly eventful drama doesn’t quite fully realize its various dark potentialities (hence, remake!)

 

Uppercase Print (2020) – another super-stimulating Jude work, its implications by no means consigned to the (almost hilariously drab) past

 

The Tamarind Seed (1974) – Edwards executes the seldom-surprising, dispassionately-acted material with counterproductively distanced skill

 

Repentance (1984) – Abuladze’s satire isn’t without its heavygoing aspects, but carries overall a laceratingly imaginative, possessed force

 

Comanche Station (1960) – the terrific Boetticher-Scott series culminates at its most starkly minimal and, ultimately, near-transcendent

 

The African Desperate (2022) – Syms’ fiercely intelligent and singular experiential blast is surely one of the strongest recent debuts

 

Yoshiwara (1937) – Ophuls’ culture-spanning romance has its uneasily dated aspects, but the fragile, doomed delight at its centre endures

 

The Burnt Orange Heresy (2019) – Capotondi’s take on art world ambiguities is elegantly if rather too archly done; the cast certainly helps

 

Lumiere (1976) – Moreau’s elegant study of friendship among female actors, its form elegantly open-ended, as light always slowly shifts

 

Shiva Baby (2020) – Seligman satisfyingly infiltrates a fairly standard set-up with multiple strands of dread and anxiety, even of terror

 

Is Paris Burning? (1966) – Clement’s rather bland epic dissipates its energy across star-laden vignettes, lacking sufficient overall force 

 

Love Affair (1994) – Caron’s remake is overdone in some ways, hardly done at all in others, far too dependent on its theoretical star power

 

Godzilla Raids Again (1955) – Oda’s sequel builds rather weakly and diffusively on the original, leaving a mostly deflated aftertaste

 

Old (2021) – the material mostly fizzles in Shyamalan’s heavy hands, yielding little suspense, tonal variation, or intellectual stimulation

 

Tauw (1970) – Sembene’s short (yet immense) film summarizes a nation’s devastating absence of social infrastructure & individual possibility

 

Lucky Life (2010) – Chung’s measured reflection on loss and endurance perhaps isn’t a major work, but leaves a gently haunting aftermath

 

Rabindranath Tagore (1961) – Ray’s too often just superficially informative summary illustrates the occasional limitations of his craft

 

Still Processing (2020) – relative to its brief running time, Romvari’s deeply personal film is astoundingly wide-ranging and fulfilling

 

L’inhumaine (1924) – L’Herbier’s silent classic is a feast of eye-filling design, narrative audacity and instinctive cinematic know-how

 

Urgh! A Music War (1981) – or indeed Whoa!, as Burbridge races through the highlights (Klaus Nomi, Steel Pulse) and the forgettable alike

 

Un homme qui dort (1974) – Perec/Queysanne’s study of withdrawal holds alienation and engagement in singularly heightened equilibrium

 

Men (2022) – Garland’s distinctive expression of trauma and reconciliation has its elements of weirdo, take it or leave it tour-de-force

 

Layer Cake (1968) – Wajda’s big-question-crammed short comedy is certainly energetic, although the ultimate impact is fairly fleeting

 

I Care a Lot (2019) – Blakeson disappointingly squanders a terrifying real-life premise with tedious gangster crap and other excesses

 

Bezhin Meadow (1937) – the fragmented remains of Eisenstein’s lost film suggest both forceful inspiration and aesthetic repetition

 

Falling (2020) – Mortensen works small, satisfying variations on largely familiar territory, occasionally unlocking something unnerving

 

The Prostitutes of Lyon Speak (1975) – Roussopoulos’s minimally intermediated record is both sociologically specific and bleakly timeless

 

Heat and Dust (1983) – Ivory’s ambitious film is (to say the least) interesting on all levels, but makes an oddly limited cumulative impact

 

A Bagful of Fleas (1962) – Chytilova’s early short film is a bubbling, limitation-busting assertion of feminine experience and perspective

 

King Richard (2021) – Green’s film doesn’t total to much more than the sum of its biographical parts, but it’s warmly likeable throughout

 

En cas de malheur (1958) – a somewhat peculiarly judged Autant-Lara drama, but near-compulsive viewing if only for the Bardot-Gabin teaming

 

Lilting (2014) – Khaou’s study of loss and acceptance is modestly scaled, but with a delicately impactful emotional and cultural breadth

 

One Day Before the Rainy Season (1971) – Kaul’s masterly tale of longing & separation sustains a quite extraordinary formal & tonal delicacy

 

The Devil all the Time (2020) – Campos delivers little more than an indigestibly lurid absurdity, marked by extensive actorly slumming

 

Mandabi (1968) – Sembene’s all-seeing study of a society overwhelmed by need and incapacity leaves one astounded, drained and humbled

 

Lair of the White Worm (1988) – Russell puts across his creation, about as absurd as England itself, with magnificently disarming conviction

 

A Story of Floating Weeds (1934) – Ozu’s beautiful tale of absence and acceptance lies among the most precisely eloquent of silent films

 

Emily the Criminal (2022) – Ford’s film is absorbing at its most socially grounded, dropping off a bit as the dramatic stakes escalate

 

Ticket of no Return (1979) – Ottinger’s wondrously outré, boozy fantasy of female self-expression, built on serious social underpinnings

 

The Changeling (1980) – Medak and Scott give the dubious narrative a solid veneer of class, but it’s inherently beneath them (and us)

 

Thanos and Despina (1967) – Papatakis’ unbound quasi-romance becomes a scorching Grecian microcosm, madness & liberation all but inseparable

 

Supernova (2020) – Macqueen’s relationship study is respectably touching, but it’s a small film in every respect (barring the title)

 

Boyfriend in Sight (1954) – Berlanga’s peppy youth-in-revolt comedy gradually reveals a quite expansively skeptical satirical bite

 

Sound of Metal (2019) – Marder’s film is often technically and empathetically enthralling, even if in some ways too conventionally shaped

 

The Wasps are Here (1978) – much of Pathiraja’s study is fairly elemental, but with ample fine points of visual and sociological observation

 

Dune (2021) – Villeneuve’s control and judgment increasingly impress as the film escalates, and moves past the initial hollow grandeur

 

La piscine (1969) – Deray’s abiding if modestly over-venerated, languidly gleaming drama, elevated by shards of masculine vulnerability

 

High Season (1987) – Peploe’s tonal and thematic mix doesn’t fully cohere or rise, but one appreciates the rather odd nature of its ambition

 

La revue des revues (1927) – the (mostly mild) interest value of the recorded performances barely surmounts the narrative & visual flatness

 

Tenet (2020) – a long string of expensively fleeting virtues, rendered mostly off-putting through Nolan’s humourless self-absorption

 

L’uomo senza memoria (1974) – Tessari’s amnesia-driven drama falls short in too many respects, but has its blood-spattering high points

 

The Hard Stop (2015) – Amponsah’s humanely outraged film, a deeply and vividly personal perspective on a gapingly unjust national wound

 

Signs of Life (1968) – Herzog’s feature debut remains haunting, for the stubborn, parched beauty of its vision of symbolic self-obliteration

 

Catherine Called Birdy (2022) – Dunham’s chirpy, nice-looking film is so thinly tethered to reality that it might as well be set on the moon

 

Kuhle Wampe (1932) – Brecht/Dudow’s engagement with societal shortfall exerts a sensationally confident intellectual and cinematic grip

 

Mommie Dearest (1981) – a major failure by Perry, with little sense of analytical prowess, critical distance, or basic wit and imagination

 

Visions of Eight (1973) – a variable, seldom entirely bland, seldom transcendent Olympic anthology: Zetterling’s segment probably takes gold

 

Miss Juneteenth (2020) – Peoples’ film is a pleasing observance of regrets and economic realities, but too constrained to hit major heights

 

All my Good Countrymen (1969) – Jasny’s beautifully measured, accumulatingly indicting study of ideology-ruptured lives, land and community

 

Motherless Brooklyn (2019) – Norton’s adaptation must have had terrific potential, but much of it ends up heavy-footed and flavourless

 

La bestia debe morir (1952) – Barreto’s drama is more propulsive and less piercing than Chabrol’s (overall superior filming) of the material

 

Spencer (2021) – Larrain holds mystery, deconstruction, wish fulfilment, psychological horror, fantasy and more in mesmerizing equilibrium

 

Maso et Miso vont en bateau (1975) – a sensational collective repositioning of a jaw-droppingly misogyny- and complacency-riddled TV show

 

Stardust Memories (1980) – Allen’s elegantly self-examining comedy now seems to foretell the receding creative horizons of his later years

 

A Pistol for Ringo (1965) – Tessari’s briskly twisting drama largely lacks the edge, dazzle or subtext of the Italian Western highpoints

 

The Nest (2020) – Durkin’s excavation of familial rot provides some classic throwback-type pleasures, its time and place perfectly judged

 

The Bank Dick (1940) – Fields’ brilliant, oddly lonely brand of otherness hits its zenith in Cline’s irresistible, reality-bending vehicle

 

The Children Act (2017) – Eyre’s film leaves a fairly reticent impression, despite much thematic interest, and the indispensable Thompson

 

May Morning (1970) – Liberatore’s authenticity-stressing university chronicle ends up as a peculiar, but not unseductive, time capsule

 

Blonde (2022) – Dominik’s project makes for overly heavy viewing, obscuring its resourceful playing with image-making and representation

 

Devi (1960) – Ray’s tale of idolatory and delusion makes a rather remotely cloistered impact, despite elements of implied social criticism

 

Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (2007) – Lumet’s last film is a near-inspired drama of unraveling, propelled by some crackerjack acting

 

The Masseurs and a Woman (1938) – Shimizu’s unusual study possesses an exquisite sense of vulnerability, longing and pervasive absence

 

Education (2020) – one of the smaller-scale Small Axe films, and one of the most straightforwardly moving, outrage-provoking and inspiring

 

Borsalino (1970) – Deray’s eventful period gangster film never acquires sufficient heft or character, rather limiting its two great stars

 

Greed (2019) – Winterbottom’s satiric skewering of capitalist excess is over-stuffed and ungainly, but knowingly and mostly fruitfully so

 

Death Rides a Horse (1967) – notwithstanding Morricone’s all-out score, Sollima’s intense revenge Western falls in the middle of the pack

 

The Tragedy of Macbeth (2021) – Coen’s reading is at the very least respectable, with various points of visual and actorly excellence

 

Wedding Ring (1950) – Kinoshita’s tale of suppressed attraction is sensitively done, but the overall trajectory is fairly commonplace

 

Maeve (1981) – Murphy’s amazing film, impacting equally as historical record, intimate portrait and philosophical/political reflection

 

Faro Document 1979 (1979) – Bergman’s island record, rather conventional in some ways, but marked by the personal depth of his engagement

 

Black Bear (2020) – Levine dives into creativity and human connection in all their wondrous, sexy, destabilizing, addictive slipperiness

 

Help! (1965) – the musical numbers aside, the Beatles (maybe excepting Ringo) end up rather lost amid Lester’s distancing inventiveness

 

A Season in France (2017) – Haroun’s fine study of crushing immigrant experience, suffused with the sadness of squandered human capacity

 

The Pirate (1948) – not Minnelli’s warmest or most psychologically acute film, yet near rapture-inducing in its ravishing artificiality

 

France (2021) – Dumont’s productively alluring semi-satire holds superficial transparency and conditioned inscrutability in fine balance

 

A Bridge too Far (1977) – Attenborough’s most watchable film embeds impressive set-pieces within broader strategic and moral failure

 

Francisca (1981) – a major example of de Oliveira’s fluidly rigorous sense of cinema, singularly blending interiority and expansiveness

 

The Day of the Jackal (1973) – Zinnemann’s largely empty suspense film, propelled by a near-bottomless succession of show-me moments

 

The Trouble with Being Born (2020) – Wollner’s haunting “anti-Pinocchio” is a deeply-considered meditation on identity and morality

 

5 Fingers (1952) – the indispensable Mason aside, Mankiewicz’s blandly authenticity-seeking espionage drama offers little of particular note

 

Dziga and his Brothers (2002) – Tsymbal’s too-brief overview goes little beyond scratching the (albeit abidingly thrilling) surface

 

Paris Blues (1961) – Ritt’s horribly overwritten drama has the actors mostly at their worst, and even short-changes you on Ellington’s music

 

Bardo (2022) – for all that’s stubborn, trifling and grotesque about Inarritu’s greedy opus, it holds the attention, and rewards it

 

Dracula (1979) – a few visual flourishes aside, Badham ticks off the requisite plot elements in dutifully dull, at times barely-alive manner

 

L’atelier (2017) – Cantet’s massively watchable drama stimulates & disturbs, even while leaving a sense of incompleteness & over-idealism

 

Suspense (1913) – Weber’s brief but highly assured prototypical woman-in-peril film remains both narratively and cinematically riveting

 

Isabella (2020) – Pineiro’s brief running time contains multitudes of gracefully ambiguous camaraderie and competition, creativity and doubt

 

Arabesque (1966) – Donen’s relentlessly superficial caper, almost poignantly inadequate in its “Hitchcockian” aspirations and contrivances

 

Freak Orlando (1981) – Ottinger’s super-queered spectacle elicits much conceptual admiration, but often feels like being lost at the circus

 

Lucky Lady (1975) – Donen gets bogged down in hollow spectacle, allowing too little sense of

overall purpose, style or (least of all) fun

 

Rien a foutre (2021) – Lecoustre and Marre’s astutely tuned-in workplace study, convincingly laced with contemporary existential drift

 

Buchanan Rides Alone (1958) – probably the shallowest & weakest of the Boetticher/Scott Westerns, narratively cluttered & tonally uncertain

 

Labyrinth of Cinema (2019) – Obayashi’s exuberantly singular last film unceasingly (albeit weirdly) reboots, extends & interrogates itself

 

A Kind of Loving (1962) – in their enjoyably desultory way, Schlesinger’s human dynamics now feel over-stylized, & ultimately overly hopeful

 

There is No Evil (2020) – Rasoulof’s film has impressive moral force, while not entirely avoiding narrative and tonal predictability

 

Catch-22 (1970) – Nichols’ film is a frequent logistical marvel, in the cause of confoundingly insufficient intellectual or comedic purpose

 

Poulet au vinaigre (1985) – far from Chabrol’s best work, dawdling in some respects and rushing through others, for a lumpy overall impact

 

The Lady from Shanghai (1948) – Welles’ indelibly peculiar drama, alluring in all respects, ranks among his most fully-realized notions

 

The Swimmers (2022) – however based in reality, El Hosaini’s glossily calculated treatment feels unconvincingly and unmovingly synthetic

 

The World of Suzie Wong (1960) – the copious travelogue virtues aside, Quine’s flat drama now hardly seems worth seriously critiquing

 

Suburban Birds (2018) – Qiu’s pensively charming, gently time-bending exploration of China’s ever-evolving denaturization and distanciation

 

Bone (1972) – Cohen’s daringly inspired debut startles, exposes, challenges and destabilizes at every relishingly visualized turn 

 

Riders of Justice (2020) – Jensen’s super-enjoyable saga goes robustly over-the-top, while seeming improbably thoughtful on multiple levels

 

The Daughter of Dawn (1920) – Myles’ indigenous drama is largely unshowy storytelling, but enormously buoyed by collaborative authenticity

 

Wolf’s Hole (1987) – Chytilova gives the generic material some visual and allegorical vitality, but it still falls far below her capacities

 

Gunn (1967) – Edwards’ film version systematically undercuts & weirdifies its genre mechanics, even as it discharges them with polished cool

 

Feast (2021) – Leyendekker’s formally & stylistically formidable film engages its real-life source material with startling adventurousness

 

Love and Bullets (1979) – Rosenberg’s low-excitement action film has some nice scenery, but not enough love (or even enough bullets)

 

A Girl Missing (2019) – Fukada crafts an alluring narrative and surrounding structural mystery, although the ultimate impact is fairly muted

 

Paths of Glory (1957) – a flawed but inescapable reference point in the cinema of wartime morality, indelible at its most Kubrickian

 

Dear Comrades! (2020) – Konchalovsky’s strong film overemphasizes personal over collective experience, but stimulates at every turn

 

Flower Drum Song (1961) – Koster’s constrained film does well enough by the music and choreography, but much else is dated and/or debatable

 

La vallee fantome (1987) – another bracingly unpredictable, thematically & geographically expansive reverie from the sadly undersung Tanner

 

Cross of Iron (1977) – Peckinpah’s war drama lacks the precision of his best work, but steadily grows in smoldering, sickened forcefulness

 

Gangubai Kathiawadi (2022) – Bhansali’s scrubbed and idealized telling has amply winning heart-in-the-right-place momentum and charisma

 

The Razor’s Edge (1946) – Goulding’s uninspired adaptation prioritizes tedious melodrama over the supposedly central philosophical inquiry

 

Barbara (2017) – Amalric’s bewitching exercise in evocation and representation, at once scintillatingly present and elegantly elusive

 

The First Time (1969) – Neilson’s horny-teenagers/Jackie-Bisset flick isn’t so bad on its own terms, but they’re not the most elevated terms

 

Wife of a Spy (2020) – Kurosawa’s delectable historical drama gradually eliminates almost any points of personal or national certainty

 

Plaza Suite (1971) – Hiller’s overly faithful filming of Neil Simon’s play is, at best, little more than a tolerably dated museum exhibit

 

Emporte-moi (1999) – Pool’s warm film is rather thin at times, but benefits from its various points of cultural and personal specificity

 

Twentieth Century (1934) – an ever-reliable, grandly acted pleasure, even if not quite equaling the depth and range of Hawks’ greatest works

 

Hive (2021) – the film has inherent anthropological interest, but Basholli’s narrative and cinematic instincts are overly superficial

 

The Lion in Winter (1968) – Harvey’s mostly heavy-footed filming of Goldman’s endlessly twisting archness gets tedious long before the end

 

Beanpole (2019) – Balagov’s arrestingly visualized, trauma-suffused study of post-war adjustment, marked by startling psychology & behaviour

 

The Song Remains the Same (1976) – an often eccentric, overreaching but have-to-see-once-if-you-care-at-all-about-Led Zeppelin concert movie

 

Quo Vadis, Aida? (2020) – Zbanic’s propulsive narrative bears witness to an almost unbearable weight of moral and individual failure

 

Cry Terror! (1958) – Stone’s hard-driving thriller has plenty of great sequences, and a cracking cast, but ultimately disappoints a bit

 

Apparition (2012) – Sandoval’s small but haunting study sets out the futility of idealized religion in the face of political brutality

 

The Naked Edge (1961) – a sad use of Cooper in his last film, cast adrift by Anderson’s cluelessly over-emphatic notion of suspense

 

Decision to Leave (2022) – Park’s best film to date occupies and ventilates its chosen genre with staggering control and imaginative panache

 

Cold Sweat (1970) – Young’s no-nonsense drama is at least cleanly done, benefiting mightily from a bizarrely classy cast (Liv Ullmann!)

 

IP5… (1992) – a mostly uncomfortable, mysticism-tinged amalgam of disparate elements, embodying the ebbing of Beineix’s creative energy

 

Drums Along the Mohawk (1939) – not Ford’s emotionally or thematically richest film, but one filled with ravishingly painterly compositions

 

The Swarm (2020) – Philippot’s well-ordered but limited quasi-horror falls rather short, whether narratively, thematically or emotionally

 

Grand Prix (1966) – Frankenheimer oversees a solid all-stops-out spectacle, seasoned with a requisite amount of melodrama and inner turmoil

 

The Body Remembers…(2019) – Hepburn and Tailfeathers’ deceptively simple film surveys a riveting myriad of personal and cultural imbalances

 

Still Life (1974) – Saless’ moving, unadorned examination of institutional indifference to small lives is resonant even in its limitations

 

Boiling Point (2021) – Barantini’s movie is super-entertaining, even if it feels more like a bunch of flashy appetizers than a balanced meal

 

Todo un caballero (1947) – Delgado’s modestly refreshing film places its central courtroom drama in laconically amused, reflective context

 

The Couch Trip (1986) – Ritchie’s shoddy comedy is a head-shaking low point for most concerned, the genial Akroyd partially excepted

 

La viaccia (1961) – Bolognini’s undernoted film, the central romance gradually overshadowed by a pessimistic dissection of venal capitalism

 

The Midnight Sky (2020) – Clooney’s end-of-the-world drama intrigues for its melancholy recessiveness, despite some exasperating elements

 

Be Pretty and Shut Up! (1976) - Seyrig’s likably inelegant, sometimes eccentrically assembled testimonies remain amply worthwhile overall

 

The Last Face (2016) – Penn attempts an ambitious fusion of registers and intents, but mostly only undermines the film’s primary strengths

 

Godzilla (1954) – Honda’s cheesy mayhem is diverting enough, but it’s the persistent nuclear-age anxiety and moroseness that lingers

 

Dog (2022) – Tatum/Carolin’s movie is supple enough, but with few narrative or sociological surprises, and even fewer emotional ones

 

The Confrontation (1969) – with almost Demy-evoking fluidity, Jancso challengingly represents a fraught modern history of corroded idealism

 

Harry & Son (1984) – Newman’s story of age and anxiety maintains a warm amiability, at the cost of pulling its social and emotional punches

 

La grande bouffe (1973) – Ferreri’s opera of imploding potency carries a weird, determined majesty, even if of a mostly alienating timbre

 

Ammonite (2020) – Lee’s drama feels overly dour at times, but grips for its alertness to class complexities & its multi-faceted physicality

 

Enthusiasm (1930) – Vertov’s escalating submissiveness in the face of industrial fervour seems tragically infused now with pending decline

 

Just Mercy (2019) – whatever its points of over-familiarity, Cretton’s focused study is frequently enormously and righteously moving

 

The 1,000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse (1960) – Lang’s massively enjoyable final film brings classic intrigues & threats into a new technological age

 

Cry Macho (2021) – Eastwood knowingly undermines the apparent road thriller premise, taking things slow and small and rather sweet

 

Property is no Longer a Theft (1973) – Petri’s acidicly unbending deconstruction of capitalism grows more discouragingly relevant overall

 

Chinese Boxes (1984) – Petit’s tersely-expressed, often amusingly withholding drama, built around layers of narrative and moral absence

 

Falbalas (1945) – Becker deftly evokes the setting in all its hectically layered complexity, even as the narrative becomes a bit overwrought

 

Possessor (2020) – Cronenberg’s creepy premise makes for rather narrow, but quite thematically fruitful, emotionally pained viewing

 

Zero Focus (1961) – Nomura’s rather too flatly revelation-heavy investigation is at least quite moving in its melancholy arrival point

 

Thirst Street (2017) – Silver’s amusing, unpredictable cross-cultural study of personal unraveling makes a satisfying if modest impression

 

Letter from Paris (1976) – Borowczyk’s noisily deglamorized portrait may be sort of a one-joke movie, but in its way a life-affirming one

 

After Yang (2022) – Kogonoda’s is among the most suggestively delicate of high-concept futuristic films, sometimes to a wistful fault

 

Poem of the Sea (1958) – Solntseva’s painterly but probing film constantly elevates and surprises, transcending its ideological constraints

 

Extremities (1986) – Young’s film of Mastrosimone’s play provides too little serious examination, but is certainly nerve-jangling at times

 

The Whip and the Body (1963) – Bava’s horror film well sustains its mood of heavy foreboding, supplemented by flashes of relishing sadism

 

Wendy (2020) – Zeitlin’s expansively imaginative sensibility is highly appealing, even if the film is often as confounding as it is magical

 

Come Have Coffee with Us (1970) – Lattuada’s musty, predictably under-examined sex comedy never works up much narrative or erotic energy

 

First Cow (2019) – Reichardt’s small treasure of a film, told with her customary all-round finesse and exquisite attention to detail

 

The Dybbuk (1937) – one submits willingly (if not always without difficulty) to Waszynski’s exacting stylistic, mythic and tonal severity

 

The Card Counter (2021) – one of Schrader’s major works, constantly surprising, yet suffused in lonely, quasi-ritualistic inevitability

 

The Holy Man (1965) – Ray’s minor tale of exploitation and gullibility is rather overdone in some ways and under-developed in others

 

Who is Bernard Tapie? (2001) – Zenovich places packaged biography within an ambiguously self-revealing (or self-mythologizing?) framework

 

Swept Away (1974) – Wertmuller’s most prettily streamlined, drainingly single-minded film wears down the viewer as fully as the characters

 

She Dies Tomorrow (2020) – Seimetz’s fascinatingly supple and allusive creation accommodates dread and wonder, defeat and transcendence

 

Hermoso ideal (1948) – Galindo’s melodrama creaks plenty, but briskly covers an impressive span of cultural and geographic territory

 

A Bread Factory, Part Two (2018) – Wang’s second part ramps up the peculiarities, but the cumulative result is nourishingly mind-filling

 

The Big Gundown (1966) – Sollima’s money-in-the-bank Western, powered by well-conceived stand-offs, twists and contrasting moralities

 

Elvis (2022) – Luhrmann’s frequently mystifying labors leave one feeling distanced and short-changed at best, actively hostile at worst

 

Downpour (1972) – Beizai’s vital snapshot of a lost-in-time Iran teems with creative zest, ranging from kookiness to existential despair

 

Light of Day (1987) – a rather flat Schrader oddity , not that strong on either the aspirational rock life nor the conflicting real one

 

In Spring (1929) – Kaufman’s all-seeing survey of Ukraine’s seasonal rebirth remains transportingly fresh, gracefully engaged, vital viewing

 

The Hunt (2020) – Zobel keeps things snappy and adequately inventive, but the vein of would-be satiric commentary is mostly eye-rolling

 

The Mercenary (1968) – a sweepingly confident Western, propelled by frenetic revolutionary fervour, but lacking the bite of Corbucci’s best

 

Waves (2019) – Shults’ emotionally ambitious drama has its problematic aspects, but even so is mostly quite shimmeringly compelling

 

What Have You Done to Solange? (1972) – Dallamano’s conventionally nasty scenario eventually runs out of narrative & psychological momentum

 

In the Earth (2021) – Wheatley blends science and myth with resourceful panache, generating a surprisingly coherent-feeling experience

 

Where to? (1957) – Nasser’s anthropologically valuable story of poverty, its authenticity-seeped modesty both endearing and limiting

 

Eye of the Needle (1981) – Marquand’s all-round expertise and a fascinating Sutherland consistently lift a potentially leaden thriller

 

Dutch Wife in the Desert (1967) – Yamatoya’s jazzy, oddly pleasing hitman flick busts through narrative, thematic and tonal expectations

 

Shirley (2020) – Decker’s darkly eccentric quasi-fantasia confirms her huge artistic vibrancy, although the film isn’t ideal in various ways

 

The Fate of Lee Khan (1973) – Hu again makes kick-ass, if not transcendent, use of colourfully confined narrative and physical space

 

A Bread Factory, Part One (2018) – Wang’s empathetic scope and odd humor wins one over, despite various stilted or unpersuasive aspects

 

Blind Venus (1941) – Gance’s undoubtedly sincere but convoluted and dated melodrama, best when busily surrendering to dreamy absurdity

 

Tribute (1980) – a mostly eye-rolling extravaganza of sentimental excess and overacting, overseen by Clark with no finesse whatsoever

 

Blue Film Woman (1968) – the stylistic peak of Kan’s chronicle is probably the opening credits; what follows leaves one largely indifferent

 

X (2022) – West works his enjoyably disreputable horror movie premise to the max, incorporating an unusual meeting of creepiness and longing

 

The Shadow Within (1970) – a secondary Nomura film, but illustrating his customarily skillful spanning of genres, moods and concerns

 

Guest of Honour (2019) – perhaps Egoyan’s smoothest and best recent movie, despite much that’s over-elaborate or just impenetrably peculiar

 

Walpurgis Night (1935) – Edgren’s overstuffed melodrama races (not unrevealingly) through everything from abortion to the Foreign Legion!

 

The Return of the Soldier (1982) – Bridges’ unremarkable heritage project, elevated by its strong cast and multi-faceted class consciousness

 

The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1964) – Pasolini’s deeply socially connective, dialectical witnessing of classic revolutionary myth

 

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (2020) – the movie is funny, well-conceived and even kinda sweet in parts, but the formula rapidly stretches thin

 

Companeros (1970) – Corbucci’s revolution-charged Western, even if familiar in many respects, is never dull, plain or under-invested

 

The Party (2017) – Potter’s overwound contrivance goes down more than easily, but doesn’t hit any great heights, satirical or otherwise

 

Hotel des Invalides (1952) – Franju’s observance of imperial grandiosity and human toll may belong among cinema’s most staggering 22 minutes

 

The Electrical Life of Louis Wain (2021) – Sharpe’s freshly imaginative treatment makes for bright, if hardly very analytical, viewing

 

Bandini (1963) – Roy’s strong wronged-woman melodrama is empathetic and progressively charged, although not without its rickety aspects

 

New Year’s Day (1989) – Jaglom’s peculiar, untidy-seeming instincts do succeed in creating a distinct tonal and cinematic space of sorts

 

Fruit of Paradise (1970) – Chytilova’s aggressively inventive fantasia of self-discovery & resistance, exuberantly rooted in founding myths

 

1917 (2019) – for the most part, Mendes’ rather absurdly polished, pacey compression alienates & obscures as much as it compels & reveals

 

Crossfire (1947) – Dmytryk’s intriguingly structured, often potent thriller, unusually rich in memorable characterizations and interactions

 

This Much I Know to Be True (2022) – Dominik’s outstandingly-crafted performance film, seemingly all but psychically synced to its subjects

 

La visita (1963) – beneath a cringe-inducing romantic mismatch, Pietrangeli dexterously opens up layers of compromise and self-recognition

 

Chan is Missing (1982) – Wang’s film remains satisfyingly fresh and amusing, observationally and in its cultural and philosophical musings

 

The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970) – Argento’s precariously stylish killer mystery, capped by some spectacularly twisted psychology

 

Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami (2017) – Fiennes’ portrait is surprisingly candid at times, while preserving Jones’ uncrackable otherness

 

Flunky, Work Hard! (1931) – Naruse’s brief early study of economic insecurity, deftly anchoring its comedy within a broader desperation

 

Kajillionaire (2020) – by far July’s most appealing movie to date, its imaginative whimsy yielding a surprising kind of mini-perfection

 

A bout de souffle (1960) – one might respond forever to Godard’s inexhaustible film, whether in words or celluloid or gestures or dreams

 

The House of the Devil (2009) – West pulls off some very well-done suspense and switches of tone, but one ultimately just wishes for more

 

Night Train Murders (1975) – Lado’s dispiriting Virgin Spring appropriation is half-hearted even in its sleaziness, let alone anything else

 

Rocks (2019) – Gavron’s method yields some moments of uncommonly energetic authenticity, rather overshadowing the notional narrative

 

Devdas (1955) – Roy’s epic of caste-enforced separation and lifelong suffering, much of its impact lying in unsparing accumulation

 

The Lost Daughter (2021) – Gyllenhaal’s strong if slightly overly-structured debut, distinguished by its unusual complexity of character

 

The Virgin Spring (1960) – Bergman’s work of fearsome contrasts and conflicts, its unsettling mastery bordering on ruthless exploitation

 

Night Falls on Manhattan (1997) – a second-tier Lumet at best, its moral shadings undermined by overly compressed and linear plotting

 

Papa les petits bateaux (1971) – Kaplan’s stylistically and tonally exaggerated woman-takes-charge comedy rather wears out its welcome

 

The Great Buster (2018) – Bogdanovich’s rightly affectionate Keaton tribute is expertly and informatively curated and appealingly organized

 

The Victory of Women (1946) – not among Mizoguchi’s most emotionally galvanizing works, but utterly instructive even at its most didactic

 

The Batman (2022) – Reeves’ joyless take on the material is strongly done on its own preoccupied terms, if hardly a must-see at this point

 

Two Weeks in September (1967) – Bourguignon’s Bardot-adoring romantic travelogue is nicely pitched, but ultimately not very consequential

 

Talk Radio (1988) – the battering nihilism of Stone’s empty film distinctly misconstrues the medium’s real strategic insidiousness

 

Uptown Saturday Night (1974) – it’s fun to see Poitier in a looser vein, exercising a convivial, if forgivably haphazard directorial hand

 

Psychomagic, a Healing Art (2019) – Jodorowksy’s genially-presented case studies are often oddly touching, if at best only semi-persuasive

 

Dodsworth (1936) – one of Wyler’s more lasting films, for its steady contrasting of attitudes, cultures, and capacities for personal growth

 

Sun Children (2020) – Majidi’s overdone street-kid yarn packs in all manner of colour & social interest, but increasingly loses its bearings

 

if….(1968) – Anderson’s extraordinary survey of British inadequacy and structural porousness remains as ruthlessly unprecedented as ever

 

Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (2005) – Park’s drama eventually attains a near-grandeur equal to its sometimes rather distancing craft

 

Breezy (1973) – Eastwood shapes the somewhat risky material into a sensitively flavorful time capsule, run through with middle-aged anxiety

 

Celeste (1980) – Adlon’s study of devotion and interdependence constitutes a narrow but finely delineated dramatic and cinematic space

 

Crime of Passion (1956) – Oswald’s drama doesn’t entirely come together, but exercises some pull through its idiosyncratic tonal choices

 

Titane (2021) – the startlingly expressive, vulnerable physicality of Ducournau’s work makes much of cinema seem, well, staid by comparison

 

David and Lisa (1962) – Perry’s solicitous observation of fragile coping mechanisms surmounts the film’s various under-developed aspects

 

Beloved Sisters (2014) – Graf’s impeccably sustained, multi-faceted historical extrapolation, rich in compelling personal and social detail

 

The Nickel Ride (1974) – Mulligan emphasizes anxious character study over crime drama, with satisfyingly flavorful, albeit modest, results

 

Afternoon (2007) – Schanelec’s family portrait constructs a somehow (if ambiguously) perfect lattice from lassitude and ephemerality

 

Saboteur (1942) – one of Hitchcock’s more cursory works overall, but well-stocked with engaging peculiarities and striking characterizations

 

The Metamorphosis of Birds (2020) – Vasconcelos’ family memoir sustains a wondrously searching sense of connectivity and receptivity

 

Eye of the Devil (1966) – ritualistic horror claptrap, made all the more unpalatable by Thompson’s humorlessly bombastic direction

 

Collective (2019) – Nanau’s immensely, often chillingly implication-heavy uncovering of modern-faced endemic corruption and inadequacy

 

A Little Night Music (1977) – Prince’s disappointing rendering of Sondheim’s sublime musical, a glumly static, jarringly miscast affair

 

Tigrero: a Film that Was Never Made (1994) – Kaurismaki’s laconically pleasing, absence-haunted meeting of worlds, cultures and maestros

 

It Happened One Night (1934) – Capra’s classic works a treat of course, while lacking the acuity and finesse of the genre’s very best

 

RRR (2022) – you think of Jeanne Dielman, and then Rajamouli’s boisterously digitized, sadism-laden myth-making would be, like, the opposite

 

The Family Way (1966) – the Boultings’ comedy now plays like a catalogue of socially-imposed dysfunction, suppression and lurking anger

 

The Wild Pear Tree (2018) – Ceylan’s exacting cross-generational negotiation of the spiritual and material might just be his greatest work

 

Man on a Swing (1974) – Perry’s police drama is often tonally interesting, but the central histrionics pan out rather underwhelmingly

 

The Woman Next Door (1981) – a relatively minor Truffaut work overall, and yet enrichened at every turn by his empathetic resourcefulness

 

Niagara (1953) – Hathaway turns in some memorably imposing images of Monroe and the falls, but much of the rest is highly unremarkable

 

Fever Dream (2021) – Llosa has spellbinding capacities, but the material here is ultimately far less permeating than her Milk of Sorrow

 

Life at the Top (1965) – Kotcheff solidly extends the original’s tone & themes, although with a recurring sense of going through the motions

 

Honeyland (2019) – the film’s huge effectiveness as implication-heavy narrative somewhat works against that as instructive realism

 

Sparkle (1976) – O’Steen’s showbiz saga is overstuffed and/or sketchy at times, but has lots of sweetness and crystalline musicality

 

The Gentle Art of Japanese Extortion (1992) – with brash ruthlessness, Itami (rather chillingly ill-fatedly) nails the parasitical shitheads

 

The Big Steal (1949) – Siegel’s cracking early work plays and shifts and morally realigns while driving surely and sleekly ahead 

 

Undine (2020) – Petzold invests himself in a somewhat lame narrative, albeit skillfully positioned both emotionally and historically

 

Beat Girl (1960) – Greville’s wide-eyed mash-up of milieus and cultures teems with odd sociological interest, knowingly and otherwise

 

Dead Pigs (2018) – Yan’s likeable if familiar satire of contemporary China’s excesses and contrasts is ultimately a bit too reconciliatory

 

Cotton Comes to Harlem (1970) – Davis’ irresistible, attitude-seeped drama provides an energetic mini-microcosm of urban Black culture

 

Inspecteur Lavardin (1986) – Chabrol makes it difficult to know where sly manipulation meets indifference, but it’s something to contemplate

 

The Mummy (1932) – Freund’s famous piece of creepy mythology has worn a bit thin by now, despite ample visual and mythological paddings

 

Argentina, 1985 (2022) – the strengths and limitations of Mitre’s treatment manifest largely as expected, but it’s a solid work even so

 

The Pink Panther (1963) – a potentially dull romp, elevated as much by some gorgeous Edwards scene-making as by the embryonic Clouseau

 

A Hidden Life (2019) – an (ever-timely) narrative of principled resistance, well-served by Malick’s perpetually questioning sensuousness

 

Pressure (1976) – Ove’s landmark film, as authentically revealing in its messy over-ambition as in its dramatization of relentless prejudice

 

Eros (2004) – Wong’s segment is the captivating highpoint; Antonioni’s is cherishable if overstated; Soderbergh’s is a bit of a throwaway

 

Black Widow (1954) – Johnson’s winding mystery is an adequate time-filler, while lacking in much vigor, bite or culminating surprise

 

What Do We See…? (2021) – Koberidze’s meditative movie gently tunes into infinite possibilities, while marked by a certain central avoidance

 

Hotel (1967) – it’s no Airport (!), but Quine keeps the pieces (albeit of varying interest & broader relevance) glossily & smoothly purring

 

La ultima pelicula (2013) – Martin/Peranson’s “last movie” is as beautifully, critically, wittily mind-bending as that appellation deserves

 

Nationtime – Gary (1972) – Greaves’ convention record is a mind-changingly vital, if imperfect record of emerging will and consciousness

 

The Professional (1981) – Lautner’s politically skeptical, proficient but not too noteworthy Belmondo-outsavvies-them-all action vehicle

 

Hail the Conquering Hero (1944) – Sturges’ rip-roaring classic keeps things pumping in inspired, if reinforcingly sentimental fashion

 

Athena (2022) – Gavras’ application of astounding technical virtuosity to alienatingly flawed content represents a modern pinnacle of sorts

 

The Servant (1963) – a dominatingly cerebral Losey/Pinter achievement, but one that now feels sociologically and cinematically distant

 

Corpus Christ (2019) – Komasa’s modern-day religious parable fuses the beatific and the feral with invigorating style and self-belief

 

Space is the Place (1974) – Coney’s wow-quality Sun Ra fantasia has one well-shod foot in the then-present, the other in the trippy beyond

 

Portrait d’une jeune fille…(1994) – Akerman’s lovely yet grave study of character in formation, a dance of indelibility and transience

 

The Hurricane (1937) – some expressive prison suffering aside, not too Fordian a Ford film, but with amply muscular conflict & destruction

 

My Little Sister (2020) – even at its most necessarily harrowing, Chuat and Reymond’s film maintains its cultural and behavioral freshness

 

Luv (1967) – Donner’s awful, brain-hurting film allows only the vaguest glimpses of how bitingly well the material may have worked on stage

 

The Lure (2015) – Smoczynska’s blissfully kooky but not unserious mermaid-themed quasi-musical, propelled by female desire and sexuality

 

Rage (1972) – Scott’s drama is most tonally and visually striking in its early stages, with interest waning as the revenge mechanics gear up

 

White Wedding (1989) – Brisseau’s tale of shocking attraction walks a fine line between compelling provocation & unconvincing arbitrariness

 

7 Men from Now (1956) – Boetticher frames a tightly anguished story of honor & venality against overwhelming, not-yet-conquered landscapes

 

CODA (2021) – Heder deploys many of the standard weaknesses of sentimentally formulaic moviemaking, but it adequately connects regardless

 

Paris vu par…(1965) – one of the best of the 60’s anthology films, with no real weak links; Rouch’s segment is perhaps the most penetrating

 

Sorry We Missed You (2019) – Loach’s pace and compression limit the sense of realism, but the thesis is as wrenchingly galvanizing as ever

 

Raining in the Mountain (1979) – Hu’s epic doesn’t rival A Touch of Zen, but provides stirringly mysticism-tinged colour and confrontation

 

Terminal USA (1993) – as per the title, Moritsugu’s uproariously cliché-splattering hour-long evisceration doesn’t leave much in place

 

Ghost of Yotsuya, Part Two (1949) – Kinoshita’s rushed, villainy-heavy conclusion doesn’t deliver on the first part’s intensifying promise

 

The Glorias (2020) – Taymor’s shake-up of the biographic form is engagingly enjoyable,

despite (or in part because of) its flaws and oddities

 

Katzelmacher (1969) – Fassbinder’s quasi-deadpan-comedy of cheerless lives builds to a strange kind of minimalist, marooned grandeur

 

The Nightingale (2018) – Kent marshals the hyper-dramatic elements with unnervingly dark and forceful, socially eviscerating sense of purpose

 

The Automobile (1971) – Giannetti’s lightly poignant film feels too slight both as character study (notwithstanding Magnani) and moral tale

 

Can She Bake a Cherry Pie? (1983) – a loose, rather creatively under-nourished Jaglom romance, as the scope of his work starts to narrow

 

The Count of the Old Town (1935) – Adolphson’s comic slice of Stockholm life doesn’t offer much beyond jovial eccentricity and local colour

 

Deep Water (2022) – Lyne maintains a handsomely seductive, implication-heavy mood, but much about the film seems oddly under-developed

 

La boulangere de Monceau (1963) – Rohmer’s short film pulsates with the charmed sense of an astounding artist commencing his life’s work

 

Swallow (2019) – Mirabella-Davis’s film is effective, if artificial-feeling, for much of its length, although not ultimately very persuasive

 

Autostop rosso sangue (1977) – Campanile’s unabashedly venal road movie makes for sleazily compulsive, if spiritually draining viewing

 

Boogie Woogie (2009) – Ward’s plushly-cast art-world satire has its moments, but for the most part plays out too obviously and monotonously

 

Late Chrysanthemums (1954) – Naruse’s very fine study of contrasting post-war fates and economic stability, studded with unusual detail

 

Being the Ricardos (2021) – Sorkin’s relentlessly overstuffed (and centrally miscast) movie only sporadically hits a productive stride

 

The Basilisks (1963) – Wertmuller’s study of small-town dynamics is a bit over-insistent, but well-attuned to social and existential stasis

 

Flames (2017) – Throwell and Decker’s provocatively ambiguous self-exposure is a spikily and surprisingly elevating, creation-saturated trip

 

Prefab Story (1979) – Chytilova’s immersion into eye-hurting, identity-sapping would-be modernity, navigated with fantastic, swerving energy

 

Fearless (1993) – Weir’s film is visually and behaviorally riveting, even if ultimately rather too heavy on free-floating mysticism

 

Ghost of Yotsuya, Part One (1949) – Kinoshita’s drama is suffused in escalating pressure and anguish, building to a well-judged cliffhanger

 

The King of Staten Island (2020) – no doubt fated to stand as the emblematic Pete Davidson movie, but it’s adroitly unexceptional otherwise

 

La voglia matta (1962) – Salce’s lively, quite well-sustained, ultimately desolation-tinged comedy of escalating middle-aged humiliation

 

Frankie (2019) – Sachs’ knowingly incomplete-feeling yet often exquisite, precisely inhabited tour through internal and external landscapes

 

Charles and Lucie (1979) – Kaplan’s broad comedy of mishap and resulting renewal is appealingly unvarnished, but hardly very major stuff

 

Annie (1982) – a pretty consistently enjoyable, nicely cast adaptation, with Huston at the very least avoiding the most likely pitfalls

 

Las Hurdes (1933) – Bunuel’s study of utter dispossession establishes the utter conceptual clarity and seriousness of his wondrous cinema

 

Kimi (2022) – Soderbergh applies his formidable technical know-how to an effectively-conceived, very much of-the-moment tech thriller

 

Black Orpheus (1959) – Camus’ film endures less as myth or sociology than as a seldom-equaled explosion of sustained colour, rhythm & motion

 

The Assignment (2016) – under the absurd circumstances, Hill and the cast execute the mission with admirable straight-faced intensity

 

Il merlo maschio (1970) – Campanile’s sex comedy is a shameless morass of insecurity and objectification, but fairly inventive about it

 

Better Luck Tomorrow (2002) – Lin’s slick drama mildly subverts cultural stereotypes, while also jettisoning much flavor and plausibility

 

Take Aim at the Police Van (1960) –  Suzuki delivers complications worthy of that title in lean, no-nonsense, sleaze-seasoned style

 

Don’t Look Up (2021) – McKay’s satire is impressively conceived & controlled, although an ensuing sense of emptiness is all but inevitable

 

The Mill on the Po (1949) – Lattuada’s (sometimes overly) forceful contrasting of personal and collective drama yields some major highpoints

 

Ford vs. Ferrari (2019) – as technically impressive a vehicle as expected, aside from lacking any worthwhile spiritual or thematic engine

 

End of the Game (1975) – Schell’s existentially-charged crime drama doesn’t fully come off, but contains sufficient diverting oddities

 

Dangerous Game (1993) – for all the off-putting excess, Ferrara taps a grippingly intense, confessional sense of cinematic insatiability

 

Le bonheur (1965) – one of Varda’s most disturbingly beautiful works, contrasting socially-rooted pleasures with radical challenges to them

 

Red, White and Blue (2020) – McQueen’s involving study is a bit more conventional and less complexly textured than the best of Small Axe

 

Stromboli (1950) – Rossellini’s meeting of truths & artifices, its predominant visual barrenness yielding extraordinary underlying fullness

 

Kate Plays Christine (2016) – Greene’s investigation consistently intrigues, even as it establishes all too well its own ultimate inadequacy

 

Illustrious Corpses (1976) – if not Rosi’s finest film, perhaps his most emblematic; meticulously controlled and broadly indicting

 

Old Enough (1984) – Silver’s study of a class-crossing youthful friendship has enough truth and freshness to surmount its bumpy elements

 

Osaka Elegy (1936) – Mizoguchi digs into societal gender-based injustice with a breathtaking, ultimately near-defiant lack of sentimentality

 

tick, tick…BOOM! (2021) – Miranda provides sufficient performative highpoints to get through the overdone and/or repetitive passages

 

Diamonds of the Night (1964) – Nemec’s tight concept yields a terrifyingly virtuosic tapestry of experience, memory, and imagining

 

Dark Waters (2019) – Haynes’ uncharacteristic but very fine and humane, politically and morally relevant, sometimes Pakula-evoking drama

 

The Judge and the Assassin (1976) – Tavernier’s subtle yet often boldly surprising navigation through personal and collective morality

 

Teknolust (2002) – Leeson’s oddly overlooked high-concept film is a tonal and visual delight, light-footedly stimulating at every turn

 

L’ecole des facteurs (1947) – the kick-off to Tati’s indelible body of work, his behavioral mastery and cinematic precision already intact

 

The Sky is Everywhere (2022) – the suboptimal material pushes Decker toward multiple excesses, not that she doesn’t do it with major flair

 

Aparajito (1956) – Ray’s second film remains a key reference point, holding large and small things in impeccable, attentive equilibrium

 

Ray & Liz (2018) – Billingham’s laugh-or-you’ll-cry riveting, unsentimentally close-up observation of desperate parental inadequacy

 

The Murri Affair (1974) – Bolognini’s broadly satisfying historical drama, spiced by social tensions and ambiguously decadent implication

 

Working Girls (1986) – Borden’s revelatory workplace study, dense in character and incident, every moment fully inhabited and informed

 

Entranced Earth (1967) – Rocha’s fiery, restless vision encompasses pride & self-loathing, tapping a history of failed, out-matched idealism

 

Pig (2021) – Sarnoski works some amusing and adroit variations on vigilante-type structures, although it’s overdone in multiple respects

 

La cigarette (1919) – Dulac’s tender yet ominous story of melancholy misunderstanding, with notable use of contrasting perspectives

 

White Riot (2019) – Shah’s Rock Against Racism movie pleasingly tracks a progressive piece of drop-in-the-ever-troubled-ocean history

 

Lucky Luciano (1973) – Rosi’s artfully constructed, often unexpectedly indirect study, heavy in disillusioned political implication 

 

Babymother (1998) – Henriques’ slice of Black British life has an engaging general vibe & energy, but too often feels overstuffed & sketchy

 

Passing Fancy (1933) – Ozu’s cherishable silent film applies his customary visual delicacy to a story of initially deceptive simplicity

 

Pieces of a Woman (2020) – Mundruczo finds some unusually bracing perspectives on a wrenching physical and psychological experience

 

Doctor Glas (1968) – Zetterling’s fascinatingly unconventional, visually aggressive contrasting of a poised outer and a turbulent inner life

 

Dawson City, Frozen Time (2016) – Morrison’s merging of actual and dream histories utterly absorbs, if more as reverie than film scholarship

 

Les novices (1970) – a thin, under-invested Bardot comedy, with little sign of Chabrol’s reported shadow-directing, but the dog is great

 

Deal of the Century (1983) – Friedkin’s uncertain quasi-satire hardly lives up to its title, although in some respects it ages fairly well

 

I vitelloni (1953) – Fellini’s pessimistic study of hindered masculinity ages more gracefully than many of his grander subsequent works

 

The Power of the Dog (2021) – Campion’s seasoned powers are on full display, even if the film is a little less deft than her finest work

 

Port of Call (1948) – Bergman’s socially-critical drama, suffused in working-class physicality, typifies his sturdy, if narrower, early work

 

Seberg (2019) – Andrews’ well-intended but disappointing study is a lot of missed opportunities, including an atypically dull Stewart

 

Despair (1978) – Fassbinder dazzlingly orchestrates the enigma, but it’s one of his most conventionally tricky, somewhat sealed-off films

 

Ready to Wear (1994) – hardly Altman’s most major film, but it’s enormous fun, with reality and artifice persuasively inter-mingled

 

The Hellbenders (1967) – Corbucci’s vivid, incident-packed Western is no masterpiece, but enjoyably gleams with crazed, committed venality

 

One Night in Miami (2020) – King’s too-smooth drama has no shortage of isolated strengths, but never transcends its inherent limitations

 

Pillars of Society (1935) – Sirk’s early drama has its peculiarities, but bites with relish into small-town stuffiness and hypocrisy

 

The Ghost of Peter Sellers (2018) – Medak’s memoir provides irresistible cinema-geek pleasures, along with some seasoned poignancy

 

Dodes’ka-den (1970) – Kurosawa’s chronicle contrasts the naturalistic and the expressionist, its impact ranging from diffident to absorbing

 

Sharky’s Machine (1981) – Reynolds’ rather uncertainly-handled action drama manages an occasional flash of individuality, not too much more

 

La verité (1960) – an engrossing Bardot-centered courtroom drama, but impacting more straightforwardly than Clouzot presumably intended

 

In the Heights (2021) – Chu’s over-calculating musical, vibrantly uplifting in theory, displays a disappointingly bland form of proficiency

 

Nice and Friendly (1922) – a woodenly-executed, low-effort/low-reward Chaplin short, even allowing for the limited underlying ambition

 

The Traitor (2019) – one of veteran Bellocchio’s most classically enthralling works, darkly interrogating relative honour and morality

 

The Mutations (1974) – Cardiff’s bizarre spectacle tempers its rampant absurdity with heavy elements of misplaced-seeming authenticity

 

The Power of Kangwon Province (1998) – Hong’s fine early work, often playfully structured, but colored by dissatisfaction and misconnection

 

El Dorado (1967) – a deep abiding pleasure for Hawksian connoisseurs, brimming with perfectly pitched exchanges, shadings and fallibilities

 

Genus Pan (2020) – not Diaz’s strongest work, and yet an audacious expression of the chaos and carnage flowing from human desperation

 

That Uncertain Feeling (1941) – a happily peculiar, psychosexually infiltrated application of the high-functioning Lubitsch “touch”

 

Rodin (2017) – Doillon’s study withholds much, all the better to evoke the difficult contours of creativity, and attendant personal detritus

 

Jaws (1975) – Spielberg’s first huge hit barely seems dated, its impeccable technique supported by an alert sense of character and place

 

The Cool Lakes of Death (1982) – Van Brakel’s committed chronicle of repression and self-discovery largely achieves its epic ambitions

 

Modesty Blaise (1966) – beneath its rather heavy concept of stylishness, Losey’s movie primarily talks to and (one hopes) entertains itself

 

Earwig (2021) – Hadzihailovic’s highly singular vision, penetratingly present & utterly displaced, voyages toward the strangest of closures

 

Damn Yankees (1958) – Donen/Abbott’s irresistible musical has some distinctive texture, and fabulous (if barely integrated) Fosse routines

 

And then we Danced (2019) – Akin’s film is narratively fairly predictable, but has plenty of sociological colour and observational flair

 

Dusty and Sweets McGee (1971) – Mutrux’s lassitude-heavy study of marginal lives is a peculiar, only fitfully effective category hybrid

 

Of Freaks and Men (1998) – Balabanov is a wondrously imaginative & controlled director, but the film often makes for near-loathsome viewing

 

Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941) – beneath its light conventionality, Hitchcock’s atypical comedy casts a fascinated eye on twisted marital dynamics

 

The Human Voice (2020) – Almodovar’s high-panache, mega-designed short film expertly expands its constrained physical and thematic space

 

The Music Man (1962) – it’s pleasing to revisit Willson’s material once in a while, even in DaCosta’s deficiency-strewn filming of it

 

Penance (2012) – Kurosawa’s long, often rather peculiar, but thoroughly satisfying tale, a series of studies in relative power and capacity

 

A Doll’s House (1973) – Losey’s approach to Ibsen’s play hardly lacks compensations, but is far from ideal, flubbing some key moments

 

Letters Home (1986) – Akerman’s lovely film, based on Sylvia Plath’s correspondence, its theatricality facilitating as much as it constrains

 

Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950) – a classic anguished noir set-up, evidencing throughout Preminger’s masterly control of tone, mood and pace

 

Introduction (2021) – the objective “smallness” of Hong’s film somehow allows almost limitless-feeling structural & observational capacity

 

Hands Across the Table (1935) – Leisen’s delicate comedy has some lovely scenes (and Lombard!), although gets a little plainer as it goes on

 

Vitalina Varela (2019) – Costa’s masterwork is a stunning communion of physical & spiritual states, of limitless light & intimate darkness

 

The Parallax View (1974) – among Pakula’s most lasting films, brilliantly placing genre heroics in outmatched, implication-heavy perspective

 

Katalin Varga (2009) – more sparely linear than Strickland’s later work, but marked by elements of comparably near-chilling authority

 

Guess who’s Coming to Dinner (1967) – Kramer’s trumped-up concoction is hardly lasting cinema, but at least it’s not like watching nothing

 

Another Round (2020) – Vinterberg ensures the premise goes down easily, although rather constrained both as social and psychological study

 

How Green was My Valley? (1941) – Ford’s gorgeous Welsh family drama is moving and meaningful, for all its idealizations and simplifications

 

L’homme fidele (2018) – Garrel’s slight but elegant, amusingly ambiguous exercise in emotional, sexual and psychological architecture

The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) – a shallow, unexciting Bond effort, valueless except as a shrine to the dated and objectionable

 

Un jeu brutal (1983) – Brisseau is weirdly successful at making his film’s grotesque contrivances feel almost profound and elevating

 

Little Man, What Now? (1934) – Borzage’s soulful but socially-critical, perfectly pitched and acted story of young love’s financial struggle

 

A Hero (2021) – Farhadi’s finely-tuned work does evoke the sense of a recurring template, but one of seemingly inexhaustible adaptability 

 

What’s New Pussycat? (1965) – Donner’s antic comedy, seldom actually funny, is at least conceptually interesting, in a hollowing kind of way

 

Coincoin and the Extra-Humans (2019) – Dumont’s exercise in all-out apocalypse-heralding weirding is an improbably worthy Quinquin follow-up

 

The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer (1970) – Billington’s often very funny wide-angle satire, forged in uneasily far-seeing datedness

 

Bye Bye Africa (1999) – Haroun’s engrossing (if perhaps over-calculated) film explores (and enacts) cinema as facilitator and destroyer

 

Three Cases of Murder (1955) – a seemingly mismatched and yet, in its variety and intermittent eccentricity, unexpectedly satisfying trilogy

 

Notturno (2020) – Rosi’s almost heartbreaking act of witnessing excavates humanity and strange beauty from within unimaginable chaos

 

Unfaithfully Yours (1948) – Sturges’ expertly conceived and structured comedy, perhaps as often disconcerting or chilling as it is funny

 

Blood of my Blood (2015) – Bellocchio’s sort-of nutty and yet rather masterfully executed angle on abiding governing perversion & corruption

 

The Homecoming (1973) – Hall’s valuable filming of Pinter’s sensational play, imposingly attuned to all its biting multi-faceted turbulence

 

Come and See (1985) – Klimov’s chilling, stand-alone vision, from the comprehension-dissolving boundary of wartime extremity & grotesqueness

 

The Cardinal (1963) – Preminger’s study of personal and institutional Catholicism is strong and wide-ranging (while hardly exhaustive)

 

The Hand of God (2021) – Sorrentino’s winning memory film is full of impressive showmanship, while seldom connecting very meaningfully

 

Born Yesterday (1950) – Cukor’s adaptation, constrained and stagy and dated in any number of ways, happily retains its central charm

 

Les miserables (2019) – Ly’s all-seeing, draining sociological survey is almost too cinematically exciting and sleek for its own deeper good

 

Coma (1978) – Crichton’s paranoid thriller is enjoyably well-conceived, and buoyed by its famously compromised “feminist” sensibility

 

The Lover (1992) – for all its care and handsomeness, Annaud’s adaptation too often feels emotionally and intellectually undercharged

 

The Broken Butterfly (1919) – Tourneur’s rediscovered silent melodrama has some lovely, pastoral elements, amid much mega-dated contrivance

 

Eureka (2000) – Aoyama’s pilgrimage-like drama contains much of impressive allure, even if it doesn’t entirely justify its epic length

 

The Boston Strangler (1968) – Fleischer impressively varies the approach, pace & tone, without generating commensurate impact or revelation

 

The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2013) – a slight, fanciful premise, but one explored by Takahata with an exquisitely sustained delicacy

 

Old Boyfriends (1979) – Tewksbury’s semi-comedic identity puzzle has, at the least, an intriguing structure and some striking tonal shifts

 

The Velvet Underground (2021) – Haynes dazzlingly establishes the group’s miraculously transporting singularity; any caveats are minor

 

The White Sheik (1952) – Fellini’s early, endearingly fantasy-propelled comedy, elevated by outbursts of broader energy and ambition

 

Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) – reliably easy-pleasure viewing, alertly charting the varied terrain of teenage self-mythologizing

 

The Night of Counting the Tears (1969) – Salam’s grandly singular film stands almost as unyieldingly outside time as its subject matter

 

The Assistant (2019) – Green examines the self-perpetuating, belittling wasteland of office culture with rare, smartly excruciating focus

 

Uski Roti (1970) – Kaul’s time-fragmenting, quietly existentially-charged study of distantly joined lives, spent fruitlessly waiting

 

The Trip to Greece (2020) – Winterbottom again adjusts the ridiculously satisfying formula just about as much as needed, so I’m all good!

 

Costa Azzurra (1959) – Sala’s sun-baked French Riviera comedy examines its own dated attitudes just enough to attain marginal respectability

 

Strange Culture (2007) – Leeson’s flexible investigative form skillfully illuminates and interrogates a startling real-life incident

 

Pirosmani (1969) – Shengelaia’s visually ravishing, studiously unconventional study of the Georgian artist is a small, immersive revelation

 

Chained for Life (2018) – Schimberg’s fascinating spanning of ideas & registers is never less than respect-inducing, often rather dazzling

 

The Long Farewell (1971) – Muratova’s wonderfully layered and attentive family portrait pulsates with intimations of ambition and constraint

 

Passing (2021) – Hall’s film has its debatable aspects, but there’s not a moment that doesn’t hold one’s aesthetic and thematic attention

 

On purge bebe (1931) – Renoir’s efficient, often highly theatrical laxative-driven farce plays a bit puzzlingly now, but not unenjoyably

 

Prizzi’s Honor (1985) – Huston’s late film at times seems cunningly and darkly wry, at others merely incomprehensibly and impenetrably blank

 

Berenice (1954) – Rohmer’s unadorned early short film is probably his most overtly horror-like, even vampiric study of attraction

 

Bombshell (2019) – Roach’s underwhelmingly efficient movie dangles a plethora of synthetic amusements, to overly bland and toothless ends

 

Beware of a Holy Whore (1971) – Fassbinder’s observance of movie-set disorder & torpor as exotically desolate, laughlessly comic wonderment

 

City Hall (2020) – Wiseman’s epic portrait of the city as aspiration and reality is grandly (if sometimes a bit hagiographically) satisfying

 

Il moralista (1959) – Bianchi’s comedy takes a few titillatingly satiric punches at censorious hypocrisy,  but is mostly just messy

 

…Two Girls in Love (1995) – Maggenti’s progressive romance isn’t particularly sophisticated overall, but certainly maintains a winning charm

 

The Artful Penetration of Barbara (1969) – Brass’s never-a-dull-moment London grab-bag throbs with sexed-up curiosity and engagement

 

Lovesong (2016) – Kim’s astutely-observed study of female friendship and its parameters is a pleasure, although restrained to a fault

 

Love in the Rain (1975) – Jeong’s romantic comedy draws only modest variations on a familiar premise, muting the class-driven implications

 

The Voyeurs (2021) – Mohan exploits some time-honoured cinematic mechanisms fairly effectively, but the impact rapidly diminishes

 

La vie du Christ (1906) – Guy’s simple but bustling history embodies the uncynical wonder of very early film, especially in its final scene

 

Trouble in Mind (1985) – for all its sometimes inspired oddities, Rudolph’s strangified modern noir leaves a rather flat overall impression

 

High and Low (1963) – one of Kurosawa’s finest films repositions a wrenching personal drama as a window on societal inequality & instability

 

Richard Jewell (2019) – Eastwood allows in too much cheap stuff and clutter, but the central study of overwhelmed decency is finely observed

 

Sunyeo (1979) – Kim’s tale of injury, striving and temptation isn’t perhaps his most piercing work, but engages spikily with conventions

 

His House (2020) – Weekes flirts with run-of-the-mill horror, transcended through compellingly unique articulations of displaced otherness

 

Music in Darkness (1948) – Bergman’s study of life without sight slowly transcends apparent predictability, in small ways and in larger ones

 

Chocolate Babies (1996) – Winter’s raucous slice of queer community is an exuberantly serious assault on conformity and complacency

 

Home from the Hill (1960) – Minnelli brings the narrative’s sensational primal melodrama to rivetingly visualized, deeply felt fruition

 

Amnesia (2015) – it’s good to see Schroeder still at it, but this meeting of disparate elements never fully coalesces or penetrates

 

I Walk the Line (1970) – Frankenheimer’s southern potboiler is under-developed in most respects, although hardly dull (if only for the cast)

 

Ste. Anne (2021) – Vermette’s film pulsates with openness to a land, a culture, to the inexhaustible seductiveness of cinematic exploration

 

The Return of Bulldog Drummond (1934) – Summers’ shakily get-the-job-done drama remains of modest interest for its time capsule elements

 

Un dimanche a la campagne (1984) – Tavernier’s skillfully recessive film is finely done, if relatively overrated among his very varied works

 

Freud (1962) – Huston’s impressively conceived if over-schematic project carries at times the feel of a preoccupied private tutorial

 

The Whistlers (2019) – Porumboiu delivers plausibly generic crime thriller pleasures, while also bending them with playfully astute rigour

 

From Here to Eternity (1953) – Zinnemann’s drama, potentially a compromised sprawl, displays an improbable array of individual strengths

 

Swimming out Till the Sea turns Blue (2020) – the great Jia places modern Chinese literature in warmly-evoked historical & cultural context

 

FTA (1972) – however rough-edged, Parker’s record of Fonda/Sutherland’s idealistic roadshow still hits diversely meaningful targets

 

On connait le chanson (1997) – Resnais provides endless formal pleasure, while remaining true to thwarted, weighed-down human experience

 

Kitty (1945) – not Leisen’s most substantial work, but with some sublime moments within the accomplished, often amusing superficiality

 

Mekong Hotel (2012) – Apichatpong’s brief, entirely beguiling hybrid of the startling and soothing, the placid now and the loaded then

 

Film (1965) – Beckett/Schneider’s short work hardly satisfies; what’s most debatable perhaps is the exact fashion in which it alienates

 

Annette (2021) – Carax’s intense, self-extrapolating opus is awe-inspiring at its best, easily surmounting various less persuasive aspects

 

Rock ‘n’ Roll High School (1979) – Arkush’s happily Ramone-heavy (yeh!) extravaganza, with empowerment mostly winning out over ogling

 

Barking Dogs Never Bite (2000) – Bong pretty much hits the ground running, with an amusingly shifting, lightly ethically-seeded narrative

 

Tevya (1939) – Schwartz’s filming of the Fiddler source material holds up well, risks of over-flavoring held in check by defiant stoicism

 

Bacurau (2019) – Mendonca Filho and Dornelles challengingly reposition nasty genre material in mostly compelling, culturally resonant ways

 

Ride Lonesome (1959) – another impeccable Boetticher/Scott contrast of condensed (yet richly-felt) tension and limitlessly open backdrops

 

I Was at Home, But…(2020) – Schanelec’s film holds sharply observed human truths in equilibrium with scintillating cinematic mysteries

 

A Bigger Splash (1973) – Hazan’s unprecedented, alluring David Hockney-centered reverie occupies all kinds of mysterious intersections

 

Success is the Best Revenge (1984) – Skolimowski’s deeply personal, lumpy yet possibly quasi-magnificent expression of exile and engagement

 

A Walk with Love and Death (1969) – Huston’s chronicle of purity in the midst of national nightmare sustains a fragile, doomed conviction

 

Manakamana (2013) – Spray/Velez’s film exemplifies structured denial as a route into somewhat rarified cinematic and sociological pleasures

 

The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek (1943) – Sturges’ pacey ingenuity coexists with too much repetition and indifference to real character

 

Azor (2021) – Fontana’s intelligently restrained, class-sensitive craftmanship dissects a society’s calculated moral and structural erosion

 

Farewell, my Lovely (1975) – Richards’ retro project is solid enough, but is tonally too unvarying, never feeling particularly vital

 

Irma Vep (1996) – Assayas’ captivatingly singular film about a film spans quasi-documentary, pointed satire, and wondrous abstraction

 

Sylvia Scarlett (1935) – Cukor’s remarkable comedy is as “queer” in its tone & structure as in the title character’s unfussy gender-fluidity

 

Agnes par Varda (2019) – only Varda could make a 90-year-old’s wander through the past feel like such a brightly forward-looking affirmation

 

The Alphabet Murders (1965) – Tashlin’s unconventional approach to Agatha Christie is more of a shaky peculiarity than anything else

 

Preparations to be Together… (2020) – Horvat places a classic modern-day enigma within acutely-observed social and personal realities

 

Three Women (1924) – Lubitsch’s melodrama provides ample evidence of the fabled “touch,” albeit applied here to often strained material

 

Spirited Away (2001) – for me anyway, this is Miyazaki’s most fully-inhabited, humorously singular, completely enthralling feast of a movie

 

Let’s Scare Jessica to Death (1971) – Hancock’s drama is intriguingly evasive, navigating between sweetness and multi-faceted threat

 

A Woman’s Revenge (2012) – as its fierce central concept becomes clear, Gomes’ ethically considered theatricality grows greatly in power

 

It Should Happen to You (1954) – Cukor’s fame-for-fame’s-sake comedy has plenty of bright spots, although the satirical bite is restrained

 

Prime Time (2021) – Piatek’s drama isn’t that interesting as a narrative, but more so for its gradually-revealed vein of societal pessimism

 

Morituri (1965) – aided by the mercurial Brando, Wicki’s drama intermittently makes the prevailing murkiness into a moral and visual virtue

 

Clemency (2019) – Chukwu disinters the ritualistic machinery of death and its accumulating existential toll with draining brilliance

 

The Bandit (1946) – the initial atmospheric starkness and social grounding of Lattuada’s drama rather extravagantly dissipates as it goes on

 

Escape to Victory (1981) – Huston’s strange project, wildly fanciful and revisionist, but played mostly straight, to the point of dourness

 

The Nude Princess (1976) – Canavari affects a degree of political consciousness, but the movie is defined primarily by lewd exhibitionism

 

The Wedding Guest (2018) – Winterbottom’s injection of noirish plotting & terseness into an India/Pakistan travelogue comes off pretty well

 

El fantasma del convento (1934) – de Fuentes’ mysterious tale is atmospherically creepy, but narratively and thematically rather limited

 

Lovers Rock (2020) – McQueen’s elevating immersion into the joy of gathering, laced with the threats and irritants against which it rises

 

The Guerilla Fighter (1968) – Sen’s frustration-ridden political drama is a fascinating reference point, in its omissions & inclusions alike

 

Jojo Rabbit (2019) – Waititi’s Nazi comedy may be less dreadful than expected, but it’s hard to see the point or virtue of any of it

 

Los tallos amorgos (1956) – the strengths of Ayala’s sweatily noirish exercise in guilt & manipulation outweigh the over-emphatic weaknesses

 

Skin Deep (1989) – much underrated late Edwards rewardingly revisits “10” territory, studded with immaculate, desperation-fueled set-ups

 

About Some Meaningless Events (1974) – Derkaoui’s vivid, punchy, if work-in-progress-feeling political and cultural temperature-taking

 

Ingrid Goes West (2017) – Spicer’s film has its predictable aspects, but nicely channels a certain strand of contemporary desperation

 

Quai des Orfevres (1947) – Clouzot’s drama is a highly superior, atmospherically balanced marvel of characterization, incident & implication

 

Mr. & Mrs. Bridge (1990) – Ivory’s adaptation is carefully delineated to a fault, but crafts a moving portrait of quiet capitulation

 

Charles, Dead or Alive (1969) – Tanner’s wryly amusing study of rebellion, studded with personal, political and philosophical inquiry

 

Color out of Space (2019) – Stanley’s triumphant return is a crazed yet held-together spectacle of comprehensive destabilization & breakdown

 

I’ll Give a Million (1935) – Camerini’s consistently lively if not quite screwball-pace comedy, served with not-too-biting social critique

 

Children of a Lesser God (1986) – Haines provides some respectable observation and debate, along with much under-energized sogginess

 

Daughters of Darkness (1971) – Kumel’s uniquely-pitched vampire film embeds its chilly genre moves within greater psychological mysteries

 

Beirut (2018) – Anderson delivers the pictorial values and the requisite sense of chaos, but it’s all far more basic than the history merits

 

Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (1954) – Becker’s colourful but mostly trite spectacle leaves its venal backdrop almost entirely unexamined

 

Color Adjustment (1992) – Riggs’ study of prime-time representation is a bit dated and hardly comprehensive, but full of shrewd reflection

 

Jeff (1969) – Herman’s concise double-cross gangster flick is pretty standard Delon fare, leavened with just a few eccentric touches

 

Queen & Slim (2019) – it’s not hard to reel off excesses in Matsoukas’ narrative & mythologizing, and yet the film rises and connects

 

Snow Trail (1947) – Taniguchi’s never-a-dull-moment (if elemental and ultimately oddly sentimental) escape-through-the-mountains drama

 

Special Effects (1984) – Cohen has a great core concept, but his race-to-the-finish-line approach doesn’t explore it very resonantly

 

Tomka and his Friends (1977) – Keko’s study of childhood during wartime charms and informs, despite a feeling of artistic tunnel vision

 

Nurse (2013) – Aarniokoski at least brings some style to the sleazy lameness, and especially to the bloody climactic high-absurdity mayhem

 

No Blood Relation (1932) – Naruse’s silent film is compulsive story-telling, if more visually and emotionally insistent than his finest work

 

The United States vs. Billie Holliday (2021) – Daniels’ wastefully unilluminating treatment verges on being a fuzzy one-note trudge

 

A Woman in the Wall (1969) – Park’s concentrated relationship-triangle drama is decently (even if not that memorably) positioned and crafted

 

Ad Astra (2019) – Gray’s introspective drama starts off tonally and visually strong, but the overall design ultimately feels insufficient

 

La sonate a Kreutzer (1956) – Rohmer’s jittery early work hardly matches his later serene assurance, but teems with historical interest

 

The Slugger’s Wife (1985) – one can vaguely see the possibility of a passable movie, but Ashby barely seems interested in drawing it out

 

The Howl (1970) – Brass’s sex-and-violence-stained odyssey bleeds brain-frying creative energy, earning an exhausted form of respect

 

Diane (2018) – Jones’ remarkable film masters the rhythms and textures of modest lives, and the existentially-charged complexity within

 

A Ship to India (1947) – Bergman’s semi-Bergmanish early melodrama blends noir-inflected romance with desperately toxic family dynamics

 

The Delta (1996) – Sachs’ early film is sociologically and behaviourally fascinating, although leaves a questionable final impression

 

El camino (1963) – Mariscal’s funny, tolerantly varied study of narrowly-defined lives is a consistent delight, if seldom too surprising

 

Little Women (2019) – Gerwig’s enormously skillful adaptation is a real elevating delight, even if perhaps too virtuously scrubbed in parts

 

I Was Born, But…(1932) – Ozu’s silent film is a fully-realized, subtly-observed delight, feeling entirely unconstrained by the lack of sound

 

Marvin & Tige (1983) – Weston’s pretty basic, sentimental story of an unlikely friendship, considerably elevated by Cassavetes’ presence

 

Gods of the Plague (1970) – Fassbinder’s assured but exploratory-feeling, noir-influenced early work, suffused in lassitudinous implication

 

The Story of Lovers Rock (2011) – in charmingly unpolished fashion, Shabazz’s cultural history steadily indicts an exclusionary mainstream

 

Throne of Blood (1957) – Kurosawa’s adaptation is often visually galvanizing, yet never completely banishes a sense of arbitrariness

 

The 40-Year-Old Version (2020) – Blank’s movie has much that’s engagingly authentic, mixed in with a few too many phony beats and set-ups

 

A Man and a Gisaeng (1969) – Shim/Shin’s brassy comedy intrigues for its gender-crossing moves, although it’s ultimately pretty conservative

 

Alice (1990) – Allen’s movie falls mostly flat both as character study and as magic-infused reverie, leaving just secondary compensations

 

Douce (1943) – among Autant-Lara’s most darkly sumptuously works, its romantic longings infested with bitterly class-based realities

 

The Mustang (2019) – de Clermont-Tonnerre’s study is narratively and metaphorically unsurprising, but scenically and sociologically winning

 

The Working Class Goes To Heaven (1972) – Petri’s fire-breathing drama of workplace action sees dehumanization & delusion in all directions

 

Puffball (2007) – Roeg’s last film plainly doesn’t touch his peak, but is intriguingly suffused in female biology, conflicts and affinities

 

Intermezzo (1936) – Molander’s pained love story only mildly satisfies at best, before ultimately entirely sinking into a melodramatic swamp

 

It Comes at Night (2017) – Shults’ minor but well-controlled threat- and mistrust-heavy drama benefits somewhat from Covid-era resonance

 

Lucia (1968) – Solas’ expressively & narratively bold (to a fault) trilogy pries open the painful intimate crevices of revolutionary change

 

Pale Rider (1985) – Eastwood delivers expertly-honed, righteously-fueled pleasures, notwithstanding mythological and egotistical excesses

 

Detective Story (1951) – Wyler’s practiced theatricality and actor-shuffling can hardly withstand the damaged intensity at the centre

 

An Easy Girl (2019) – Zlotowski’s pleasurable chronicle deftly represents female sexuality, alert to the ambiguities of choice and power

 

Black Girl (1972) – Davis’s modest but far-reaching family drama opens up wrenching layers of societally-imposed compromise and regret

 

The Color of Lies (1999) – one of Chabrol’s strongest and gravest late films, a sustained reflection on morality and accountability

 

To Each His Own (1946) – Leisen’s warm skill & de Havilland’s steady presence almost serve to completely extinguish one’s sense of absurdity

 

Before we Vanish (2017) – Kurosawa retains a great feel for metaphorically loaded concepts, but this lands more lightly than his best works

 

How to Steal a Million (1966) – handsomely unimportant Wyler fluff, even by the long-established standards of handsomely unimportant fluff

 

Raja (2003) – Doillon’s oddly persuasive study of turbulent obsession channels the distorting complacency of male colonial privilege

 

Full of Life (1956) – Quine’s slice of pregnant life lightly distinguishes itself through its ethnic flavour and range of thematic interests

 

Merveilles a Montfermeil (2019) – Balibar’s film sustains a kind of klutzy disorientation that viably probes progressive ideals & quicksands

 

Airport 1975 (1974) – Smight’s sequel has little of the original’s sprawling appeal and sporadic human interest, but it’s not dull anyway

 

Countryman (1982) – Jobson juxtaposes traditional, mythic & nastily contemporary notions of Jamaica, with lumpy but mostly appealing results

 

The Lion has Wings (1939) – the idealism is of course overdone, but it’s thoroughly interesting when considered in its historical context

 

Ash is Purest White (2018) – Jia’s work is limitlessly interesting, despite an increasing sense of sociological and thematic familiarity

 

It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963) – Kramer’s epic is generally as gratingly over-insistent as that tiring title, rarely actually funny

 

L’enfer (1994) – Chabrol’s more quotidian but still expertly unnerving adjunct to Clouzot’s legendary unfinished version of the material

 

Remember the Night (1940) – Leisen’s lovely romantic fancy walks a touching, perfectly-played line between discovery and predestination

 

Family Romance, LLC (2019) – an easy treasure trove of modern ambiguities and poignancies, observed by Herzog with unusual self-effacement

 

10 Rillington Place (1971) – Fleischer’s ideally cast dramatization is an almost unbearably sad and creepy study in calculated malevolence

 

Le bal des folles (2021) – Laurent’s study of oppression is rather too stately & quasi-spiritual to fully realize its potent subject matter

 

Sebastian (1968) – Greene’s fizzily diversion-laden codebreaking yarn tempers its general nonchalance with shards of deeper implication

 

Rafiki (2018) – Kahiu’s Kenyan same-sex romance isn’t particularly sophisticated in many respects, but its very existence brings joy

 

The Wild One (1953) – Benedek’s once-disruptive drama retains shards of cultural significance, but feels under-achieved on its own terms

 

Joint Security Area (2000) – Park’s border-set drama grips through its bold-strokes occupation of political, geographical & narrative space

 

Murder at the Vanities (1934) – a silly hybrid of over-the-top musical revue and backstage mayhem, energetically held together by Leisen

 

Young Ahmed (2019) – both in what it includes and excludes, the Dardennes’ too-brief study of radicalized youth seldom feels ideally judged

 

The Andromeda Strain (1971) – Wise sets out the high-concept notions with admiring subservience, injecting an occasional overdone flourish

 

Marianne & Julianne (1981) – von Trotta’s study of turbulent sisterhood is an expertly practiced occupying of rather familiar thematic space

 

The Grass is Greener (1960) – Donen’s monied dud has a few passingly charming notions, but few signs of any life worth giving a damn about

 

A Silent Voice: the Movie (2016) – Yamada’s astonishingly impressive study of teenage pain & connection surely ranks with the best of anime

 

The Lady Eve (1941) – Sturges’ classic comedy is full of glorious notions & moments, shrouding a certain absence of central emotional truth

 

Oxygene (2021) – Aja’s accomplished but still rather deadening film never transcends the sum of its parts, which get flightier as it goes on

 

The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973) – Yates’ excellent study of crime-world dependency and betrayal, a bleak tapestry of subtly tragic ironies

 

A Portuguesa (2019) – Gomes’ extraordinarily subtle exploration of a reflective female-written world sustained within a reckless male one

 

The Tall T (1957) – Boetticher’s incisive, expertly shaped Western, infiltrated with manifold questionings of frontier masculinity

 

Une semaine de vacances (1980) – Tavernier’s restrained but exceptionally smart and satisfying examination of youthful existential crisis

 

Once a Thief (1965) – Nelson’s relevance-aspiring crime drama has sufficient flavour and oddity to transcend utter conventionality

 

Somniloquies (2017) – corporeal solidity blurrily yields to ascendantly transgressive dreams, with destabilizing, boundary-crossing effects

 

In Name Only (1939) – Cromwell’s love vs. avarice melodrama isn’t particularly notable, but Lombard gives it a touchingly delicate centre

 

Center Stage (1996) – Kwan’s entrancingly well-judged intertwining of textured historical evocation & multi-faceted present-day perspective

 

Greaser’s Palace (1972) – Downey’s blissfully whacked-out allegorical grabbag is startlingly (if not completely explicably) fulfilling!

 

Wasp Network (2019) – Assayas’ intelligently expansive film both simplifies and obscures, appositely to the political chaos it charts

 

They Were Expendable (1945) – among Ford’s most complexly moving pictures, for its recurring offsetting of heroism with absence and loss

 

Red Moon Tide (2020) – Patino’s folk-tale-like reverie, in some ways localized simplicity itself, culminates in gorgeously eruptive imagery

 

The Dirty Dozen (1967) – Aldrich’s eye-poppingly-cast drama provides some dumb good fun, when it’s not in one way or another repulsive

 

The Hedonists (2016) – Jia’s tragi-comic short film (which you truly wish were longer) observes the bewildering transition to new paradigms

 

Shoes (1916) – Weber’s tough, observant social document, frankly surveying the reality of poverty, and underlying dreams of better lives

 

Rosa Luxemburg (1986) – von Trotta’s study conveys a moving empathy for the wearying toll of resistance, but too often falls rather flat

 

The Sugarland Express (1974) – Spielberg overplays things a bit, but is well attuned to the multi-level, quasi-prophetic (O.J.?) dynamics

 

Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019) – Sciamma’s instant classic places some absolutely electric moments within a near-swoon-inducing whole

 

The Marrying Kind (1952) – Cukor’s episodic marriage chronicle leavens its deft comedy with convincing economic and behavioral anxiety

 

De l’autre cote (2002) – Akerman’s border study identifies much parched, plaintive beauty, and contrasting institutionalized ugliness

 

Reflections in a Golden Eye (1968) – hard to look away from Huston’s drama, even (or especially) at its most adventurously questionable

 

Infinite Football (2018) – Porumboiu wryly positions a futility-marked conversation to accommodate social glimpses & philosophical shadings

 

Midnight (1939) – Leisen’s exemplary comedy seems virtually to float on air (expensively accessorized, eloquently twist-laden air, that is)

 

Les equilibristes (1991) – Papatakis’ unprecedented, destabilizing journey through possibility and destruction, love and exploitation

 

Shivers (1975) – Cronenberg’s early work has its ragged aspects, but they don’t much impede its central visceral and allegorical potency

 

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) – Heller likely makes the material as rewardingly & artfully multi-faceted as reasonably possible

 

Vendetta of a Samurai (1952) – Mori’s suspensefully legend-debunking perspective provides an intriguingly disillusioned genre counterpoint

 

Stripes (1981) – Reitman’s pallid creation provides familiarly under-examined ideological reassurance and few enduring comic highlights

 

Deadly Sweet (1967) – Brass’ cursorily plotted response to Blow-Up is impressively stylistically rapacious, but with scattershot results

 

Princess Cyd (2017) – Cone’s study of gradually accumulating awareness & sensation has a slender, but warmly & pleasurably inhabited frame

 

Paracelsus (1943) – Pabst’s rather histrionic but not unthoughtful drama stands in interesting relationship to its Nazi production context

 

Bowfinger (1999) – Oz’s pleasantly imagined and performed comedy is engaging enough, even if not often particularly funny (the dog aside)

 

Adoption (1975) – Meszaros’ unadorned but highly illuminating study of the wrenchingly shifting line between female freedom and constraint

 

Knives Out (2019) – Johnson’s satisfyingly intricate, misdirection-heavy whodunit, seasoned with a barbed take on privilege and entitlement

 

The Mission (1986) – Joffe arouses suitable anti-colonial and -doctrinal disgust, for all his film’s exoticism-seeking and other excesses

 

Siren of the Tropics (1927) – Etievant/Nalpas’ dated melodrama endures as an imperfect (but better than nothing) Josephine Baker showcase

 

Return of the Prodigal Son (1967) – Schorm’s study of disaffection is one of the Czech New Wave’s major, most lastingly questioning works

 

Welcome to New York (2014) – Ferrara, in relatively straightforward mode, relishingly sinks his teeth into the super-well-suited material

 

A Journey to the Beginning of Time (1955) – Zeman’s prettily-imagined, gently pedagogically-driven voyage through the glories of evolution

 

The Mauritanian (2021) – Macdonald’s drama is always solid and intelligent, if only occasionally moving past relative conventionality

 

The Crimes of Petiot (1973) – Madrid’s serial-killer flick, potentially preoccupied and trauma-inducing, mostly just feels flat and drained

 

Recorder: the Marion Stokes Project (2019) – Wolf’s intriguing study in intertwined vision and eccentricity, perspicacity and passivity

 

It Rains on our Love (1946) – Bergman’s early, socially-critical film is lastingly frank & intimate, even if overelaborate in some respects

 

Black is…Black ain’t (1994) – Riggs’ urgently visionary final work stands as a moving and ambitious memorial, however incompletely realized

 

La parmigiana (1963) – Pietrangeli’s open-minded chronicle of a young woman, smoothly contrasting relative moralities and states of freedom

 

A Quiet Place (2018) – Krasinski’s tight, creepy drama sits at the safe end of the horror spectrum, but still works well in most respects

 

I grandi magazzini (1939) – Camerini’s bustling comedy-drama is mostly light stuff, elevated by its acute sense of workplace power relations

 

They All Laughed (1981) – Bogdanovich’s connection-heavy comedy has a limited sweetness and panache, but feels strangely hollow and absented

 

The American Soldier (1970) – a decadent Fassbinder highlight: a displaced film noir skewering the allure & cluelessness of American swagger

 

Gemini Man (2019) – a total success, assuming Lee’s ambition was to sublimate himself in coldly alienating, concept-squandering nonsense

 

Huis-clos (1954) – Audry’s cinematic “opening up” is utterly worth seeing, even if it dilutes the force of Sartre’s text in key respects

 

Fear of a Black Hat (1993) – Cundieff’s affectionately undiluted rap mockumentary holds up well, not least the sharp musical parodies

 

Our Lady of the Turks (1968) – Bene’s fragmented expression of (I think) history’s traumatic legacy makes for difficult, withholding viewing

 

A Story of Children and Film (2013) – Cousins pleasurably, and sometimes relishingly, combines the personal and the wide-rangingly pedagogic

 

Secrets of a Soul (1926) – Pabst’s “psychoanalytical film” seems staidly over-literal now, but it remains fascinating in its ambition

 

No Sudden Move (2021) – Soderbergh’s drama never really breaks out, but becomes more satisfying as the scope expands & the twists accumulate

 

Crime and Passion (1976) – one can glimpse something complexly multi-faceted and darkly-charged, but Passer rather lets it get away from him

 

The Accidental Tourist (1988) – a few shallow diversions (mostly the dog) aside, Kasdan’s adaptation is somnolent and barely sufferable

 

Scattered Clouds (1967) – Naruse’s sweetly melancholy last film patiently explores gradations of conflict, regret and mutual understanding

 

The Vast of Night (2019) – Patterson’s retro-flavoured sci-fier is best when sinking into time and place, falling somewhat short plot-wise

 

Assunta Spina (1948) – Mattoli marshals classic melodrama both as a vehicle for and a social investigation of Magnani’s piercing affect

 

The Pickle (1993) – Mazursky’s satire has flashes of his warmth and skill, but overall seems like a severe lapse in judgment and inspiration

 

Baxter, Vera Baxter (1977) – a major, underseen Duras work: an investigation of a woman, and an investigation into investigations of women

 

White Boy Rick (2018) – Demange’s low-life odyssey, forgettable for much of the way, eventually reaches ethically stimulating territory

 

The Sign of Venus (1955) – Risi’s comedy has a notably sad but stoic female-driven core, surrounded by a gallery of flawed masculinity

 

Fear X (2003) – Winding Refn’s tale of loss and obsession doesn’t rank as much more than a curiosity, but a very skillfully calibrated one

 

Black Jesus (1968) – Zurlini overemphasizes white perspectives, but crafts a compelling, politically-charged study of principled suffering

 

Triple Frontier (2019) – Chandor expands with assurance into an old-fashioned adventure yarn; it’s a shame it all matters so little

 

Remontons les Champs-Elysees (1938) – Guitry’s priapic history lesson distorts & trivializes, yet not without a certain galloping grandeur

 

Beverly Hills Cop (1984) – Murphy’s monster hit now plays very blandly, virtually all potentially sharp edges smoothed down to nothing

 

Yeong-ja in her prime (1975) – beneath the often brash pace and expression, Kim sets out a sympathetic and socially-revealing case history

 

Butter on the Latch (2013) – Decker’s first feature is enthralling both as psychological puzzle & as unfamiliar anthropological observation

 

Michael (1924) – Dreyer’s fascinating silent film finds a strange ultimate transcendence within recurring disappointment and exploitation

 

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2020) – Wolfe’s film is awkward in various ways, but preserves the central glory and agony of Wilson’s work

 

12 + 1 (1969) – an Italian “twelve chairs” romp, offering adequate variety and diversion (Sharon Tate!), but hardly satisfying overall

 

Conceiving Ada (1997) – Leeson’s high-concept cross-century female conversation impresses, but isn’t the overall equal of her Teknolust

 

Torna! (1954) – best approached from a Matarazzo-centric worldview, whereby the echoing of past films becomes a rather endearing strength

 

Velvet Buzzsaw (2019) – Gilroy (no Peter Strickland) scores some mild satirical points, but shows little flair for the giallo-type stuff

 

Comment ca va (1976) – Godard and Mieville delve exactingly, yet not hopelessly, into the latent oppressiveness of mass communication

 

48 Hrs. (1983) – Hill’s early distinctiveness is utterly lost in this brain-hurtingly banal stuff; even Murphy only provides minimal uplift

 

A Broken Drum (1949) – Kinoshita’s busy drama of family conflicts has some adroit moments, amid an often overly clunky overall framework

 

NOTFILM (2015) – Lipman’s careful explication of the 1965 Beckett/Keaton short as a locus of connections, complexities and reflections

 

Black Peter (1964) – in its deadpan observation of teenage directionlessness, Forman’s debut is among his funniest & most distinctive works

 

Coffee and Cigarettes (2003) – Jarmusch’s impeccably executed compilation, dotted with cool contrasts, correspondences and intimations

 

Mon pere avait raison (1936) – one of Guitry’s more intriguing films, for its probing of life passages and generational expectations

 

Dragged Across Concrete (2019) – in its weaving between forcefulness and evasiveness, Zahler’s drama approaches a blunt conceptual grandeur

 

Transgression (1974) – Kim’s probing take on monastic life is always arresting, often disorienting, somehow fusing irreverence and devotion

 

Slacker (1990) – with super-impressive use of limited resources, Linklater achieves a weirdly beguiling, philosophically loaded quasi-stasis

 

The Lower Depths (1957) – Kurosawa’s sense of desperate community leavens one of his most tough-minded, expressively heightened works

 

Louder than Bombs (2015) – for all its care and technical skill, Trier’s family drama feels disappointingly artificial and unmoving

 

The Fabulous Baron Munchausen (1962) – with eccentric courtliness, Zeman’s fantasy pointedly insists on narrative and formal variation 

 

Scanners (1981) – although hardly dull, it’s one of Cronenberg’s less penetrating early films, its themes and concepts rather too dispersed

 

You Only Live Once (1937) – Lang’s classic doomed-lovers thriller finds moments of fragile loveliness within a largely pitiless society

 

Take Me Somewhere Nice (2019) – Sendijarevic’s amused but mindful cross-border journey makes some easy moves, & several boldly resonant ones

 

Guru, the Mad Monk (1970) – Milligan’s extreme mismatching of style and content achieves a most artless form of deadened coherence

 

Abouna (2002) – Haroun’s mostly easygoing but quietly pleasing chronicle of preoccupying absences and unconventionally happy presences

 

The Solid Gold Cadillac (1956) – for all its simplifications and contrivances, Quine’s film skips brightly through mildly unusual territory

 

The Fall of the American Empire (2018) – it’s easy enough to warm to Arcand’s ambition and sympathies, despite the movie’s copious obstacles

 

The Volunteer (1944) – only Powell and Pressburger would have made a military recruiting film that’s so whimsically and humanely engaging

 

The Swindle (1997) – Chabrol’s elegantly unimportant con man/woman drama is certainly skillful in its way, but it’s not much of a way

 

Next Stop, Greenwich Village (1976) – Mazursky’s highly appealing quasi-memoir is warmly dexterous throughout, within its knowing limits

 

Zombi Child (2019) – Bonello’s prodigous meeting of spiritual and national myths, of supernatural and personal confinements and escapes

 

Daydreams (1922) – episodic (and incompletely-surviving) Keaton short includes a few sublime moments amid a rather downbeat overall scheme

 

A Tale of Two Sisters (2003) – Kim’s dissection of familial damage makes for memorable, if hermetically constrained, cinematic architecture

 

Rosemary’s Baby (1968) – one might regard Polanski’s classic as a painfully intimate film within a sillier (but full-bloodedly handled) one

 

Loveless (2017) – Zvyagintsev’s calculated film punches a range of outrage-inducing buttons in expertly imposing, socially-critical fashion

 

Duck Soup (1933) – McCarey’s (let’s say) conceptually interesting Marx Brothers classic aggressively evades any kind of capsule summary

 

The Disciple (2020) – Tamhane’s painstaking study of artistic struggle, both illuminatingly hermetic and (a bit too smoothly) universal

 

Season of the Witch (1972) – Romero’s atypical but successful film, driven as much by sharp-tongued social critique as by horror mechanisms

 

Boat People (1982) – Hui’s pumped-up Vietnamese drama constitutes a problematically interesting blend of witness-bearing and artifice

 

No Man of Her Own (1950) – Leisen’s fateful noir-tinged melodrama is finely-handled, but thinner than his or Stanwyck’s greatest works  

 

Roubaix, une lumiere (2019) – Desplechin’s police drama, in no way limited by genre, rich in observance of place, chance and causation

 

A Song is Born (1948) – Hawks’ remake of his own Ball of Fire has far less energy & heart, notwithstanding various musical compensations

 

Double Edge (1992) – Kollek’s Israel-Palestine survey remains dispiritingly relevant, for all its unimpressive manipulation & sensationalism

 

Our Dancing Daughters (1928) – Beaumont’s silent contains lots of fizzy interaction, but with a surprising amount of cautionary perspective

 

Mia madre (2015) – Moretti’s observance of art and death gently satisfies, but doesn’t quite attain its sought-for revelatory synthesis

 

The List of Adrian Messenger (1963) – Huston’s amused, relaxed-feeling mystery, decorated with enjoyable if inconsequential trickery

 

The Lighthouse (2006) – Saakyan’s hypnotic study of life in war feels entirely real and rooted, and yet intensely imagined and painted

 

Modern Times (1936) – Chaplin’s instincts and affinities now often appear dated or hollow, but the moments of dexterous grace remain

 

Parasite (2019) – Bong’s film has elements of thematic and narrative inspiration, although it’s the initial exposition that engrosses most

 

Butley (1974) – Pinter barely “opens up” Gray’s play, but punches home the desperately lonely flailing underlying the bitter hectoring

 

Growing Up (1983) – Chen’s pleasant study of childhood is cleanly and crisply observed, while never penetrating to the extent of Hou or Yang

 

Loving Vincent (2017) – overall, a limitation-transcending expression of adoration for Van Gogh as artist, myth, transformer of sight itself

 

Phffft (1954) – Robson’s often dire, mechanically single-minded sex comedy at least has the odd lively exchange, and a nice dancing scene

 

The Paradine Case (1947) – a relative Hitchcock failure, its prevailing stiffness and propriety stifling the erotic obsession at its centre

 

The White Tiger (2021) – Bahrani unfortunately steers the culturally rich material perilously close to being a patchy, meandering slog

 

St. Louis Blues (1929) – Murphy’s showcase for Bessie Smith, as a zone of heavy lament within a happily hedonistic all-black world

 

Synonyms (2019) – Lapid comes at his themes with major intellectual resourcefulness, but it’s all a bit more fun in theory than practice

 

The Unforgiven (1960) – Huston’s tortured Western, its relish at a glimpsed American dream gradually devastated by lies, blood and prejudice

 

Plaisir d’amour (1991) – Kaplan’s comedy punctures smug male self-entitlement in elegantly varied, if not ultimately too revelatory fashion

 

Love on the Run (1936) – Van Dyke’s indifferently scripted and cursorily executed comedy, only intermittently elevated by star quality

 

3 Faces (2018) – Panahi’s meditation on confinement, transgression and continuance is an enveloping meeting of pleasure and profundity

 

The Witch who Came from the Sea (1976) – Cimber’s ill-fated-sexuality-studded film navigates pretty well between shock and poignancy

 

Naussica of the Valley of the Wind (1984) – Miyazaki’s debut is thematically engaging, but often crude and cluttered by his later standards

 

Stage Struck (1958) – Lumet’s creaky drama doesn’t really hold up, but provides plenty of incidental, time capsule-type amusements

 

Based on a True Story (2017) – Polanski expertly expands the parameters of the familiar core premise, but the ultimate impact is a bit light

 

Penny Serenade (1941) – it’s hard to warm to Stevens’ essentially coldly deterministic view of adult happiness, despite its strengths

 

La captive (2000) – Akerman’s study of thwarted male control over female narratives is formally seductive and strangely, tragically comic

 

Strangers when we Meet (1960) – Quine’s most enduring film, every scene channeling the period’s strange marriage of affluence & suppression

 

Joker (2019) – Phillips’ film is horribly effective, even impressive, in parts, but its would-be vision is laboured and vague at best

 

The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum (1975) – Schlondorff/von Trotta’s drama impresses and informs, yet doesn’t fully land its ultimate punches

 

Staying Alive (1983) – Stallone’s thinly flashy, entirely unpersuasive sequel lacks any of the original’s relative sociological interest

 

Dollar (1938) – Molander’s arch comedy of interrelated couples is frequently grating, its commentary on values and priorities falling flat

 

Thou Wast Mild and Lovely (2014) – the extraordinary Decker weaves a sensuously full cinematic space, and then startlingly deconstructs it

 

The Wayward Girl (1959) – Karlmar beautifully observes evolving female sexuality & sensibility, but the film overall comes up a little short

 

Judas and the Black Messiah (2021) – King’s absorbing, if imperfect, historical missive, from one era of calculated oppression to another

 

Road to Sampo (1975) – Lee’s film evolves from a wintry, absurdist comedy into a delicately poignant study of compromises and transitions

 

Hustlers (2019) – Scafaria’s film never feels really vital, notwithstanding its prioritizing of empathy & social awareness over exploitation

 

Women of Ryazan (1927) – Preobrazhenskaya observes rural community in all its hypocrisy, offset by a strong closing declaration of purpose

 

The Ploughman’s Lunch (1983) – Eyre/McEwan’s marvelously subtle, way under-appreciated personal, political and historical temperature-taking

 

Le mariage de Chiffon (1942) – Autant-Lara’s romantic confection is able enough on its own terms, but they’re distinctly complacent ones

 

It Felt Like Love (2013) – Hittmann’s extraordinarily tuned-in study of chaotic teenage sexuality, haunting both as cinema & social document

 

Nest of Vipers (1978) – Cervi’s period drama of intertwined desires is rather too tentative and underdeveloped to stir up much interest

 

Mangrove (2020) – McQueen absorbingly evokes time and place and the texture of threatened community, although pushes a bit too hard at times

 

The Cremator (1969) – Herz’s utterly ensnaring study of spiritual degradation and manipulation is impeccable in every twisted detail

 

The Lighthouse (2019) – Eggers’ possessed, often rollickingly hilarious, perfectly pitched vision of corroding identity and sanity

 

Dos monjes (1934) – Oro’s film lingers for its starkly pained, boldly expressed framing story, more than the rather florid melodrama within

 

The Killing Floor (1984) – Duke’s revealing piece of social & racial history makes for committed, if in various ways rather bare-bones filmmaking

 

March of Fools (1975) – Ha’s fascinating portrait of youth; spanning low comedy, tragedy, philosophical inquiry & militarized homoeroticism

 

The Great Pretender (2018) – Silver’s relationship study may be a small film, but smartly ventilated by mysterious glimpses of a bigger one

 

Scandal in Sorrento (1955) – Risi’s sun-baked, sex-propelled comedy is certainly handsome enough, but it’s mostly mechanical and trifling

 

The Last Seduction (1994) – Dahl’s shrewd and stylish manipulation doesn’t penetrate that deeply, but Fiorentino is a presence for the ages

 

O Ebrio (1946) – de Abreu’s film has patches of near-unhinged storytelling & uncertain handling, but an overriding conviction & sincerity

 

Honey Boy (2019) – the film has its familiar aspects, but also much authentic-feeling hurt & strange magic, beautifully modulated by Har’el

 

Vivre ensemble (1973) – Karina’s underseen, observantly personal, unpredictable directorial debut, vital to fully appreciating her legend

 

The Fly (1986) – a more conventionally audience-friendly Cronenberg film no doubt, but made with wittily top-quality control and calibration

 

Il maestro di Vigevano (1963) – Petri’s put-upon comedy is bitterly but sympathetically alert to class-based subjugation & infantilization

 

The 50 Year Argument (2014) – Scorsese’s most self-effacing work is a respectfully rarified immersion into engagement and contemplation

 

La souriante Madame Beudet (1923) – Dulac’s contrasting of a woman’s inner and external lives is a searing, much undersung silent classic

 

Time (2020) – Bradley’s film is as wide & deep & precise yet ungraspable as its title, closely personal and inherently, tragically political

 

Chung Kuo (1972) – Antonioni’s voyage to China is a humbly serene, deeply fascinated observation of (and self-acknowledgement of) otherness

 

Dressed to Kill (1980) – De Palma’s often sumptuous atrocity might simultaneously have you holding your breath and rolling your eyes

 

Intimate Lighting (1965) – the (then) radicalism of Passer’s film lies in its very uninsistence, its impact at once evasive and lingering

 

The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019) – Talbot’s small miracle of a film captivates with each deeply-experienced, searching frame

 

Eva (1948) – Molander’s Bergman-written, death-dogged life chronicle is grippingly ambitious & assured, even if not consistently persuasive

 

The Day I Will Never Forget (2002) – a record of a terrible act, calmly placed by Longinotto within its self-perpetuating cultural context

 

Ici et ailleurs (1976) – the Dziga Vertov’s group’s from-a-distance reflection on Palestine, shot through with a sense of rueful limitation

 

London Fields (2018) – Cullen’s flashy adaptation has a rudimentary, diversionary skill, but feels persistently distanced and incomplete

 

Les espions (1957) – Clouzot’s initially cluttered-seeming drama gradually reveals itself as a sharp vision of pervasive threat and anxiety

 

Archangel (1990) – Maddin’s obsessively exacting aesthetic impresses & sometimes seduces, even as it remains largely distant & unyielding

 

Hotel du Nord (1938) – Carne’s emblematically idealistic, helplessly enveloping marriage of romantic fatalism and bustling proletarianism

 

Black and Blue (2019) – Taylor’s police drama has terrific momentum, laced with more than sufficient outrage-inducing social content

 

The Insect Woman (1972) – Kim’s delectable film holds a rather astounding number of themes and twists in darkly amused equilibrium

 

An Officer and a Gentleman (1982) – Hackford’s drama is at least somewhat personal-feeling in its recurring clunkiness and misogyny

 

Loves of a Blonde (1965) – if only in its understated unpredictability and humour, Forman’s study remains an endearing assertion of freedom

 

Starlet (2012) – Baker’s thoroughly winning modern fairy tale of sorts, laced with deadpan comedy and clear-sighted social observation

 

Army (1944) – Kinoshita’s episodic portrayal of Japanese lives molded by past and looming wars, notable now mainly for historical reference

 

Mank (2020) – Fincher’s pristinely-crafted film sounds in theory like a movie lover’s dream, but only intermittently connects or rouses

 

Diabolo menthe (1977) – the light touch of Kurys’ journey through teenage sisterhood shouldn’t obscure its range and quiet radicalism

 

The Brave (1997) – Depp doesn’t really justify the sad premise, but well-sustains a tone of doomed stoicism, sprinkled with varied oddities

 

Fools in the Mountains (1957) – Carlmar’s comedy has its bright aspects, but wears out its mistaken identity concept long before the end

 

The Twentieth Century (2019) – Rankin’s blissfully inventive, goofily inspiring vision of Canada’s definitional conflicts and confusions

 

Le nouveau testament (1936) – Guitry’s comedy is skillfully loquacious, but the life lessons (such as they are) barely register now

 

8 Million Ways to Die (1986) – Ashby’s crime thriller is flat and fuzzy stuff, lacking much critical perspective or notable creative energy

 

Ankur (1974) – with quiet fortitude, Benegal lays out the moral decay that underlies rural India’s tradition- and caste-driven structures

 

Sweet Country (2017) – Thornton’s (just a bit too) virtuosically-gripping case history of sparse yet already defilement-sodden society

 

Medea (1969) – an often-disorienting but bewitching, stunningly-designed telling, feeling almost as if directly dreamed onscreen by Pasolini

 

The Doctor (1991) – Haines’ taste-of-my-own-medicine drama may be more primally affecting than it objectively deserves, but what can you do?

 

Chains (1949) – Matarazzo’s drama is at its anxiety-stirring best when tightening the screws; less so in the (inevitably) liberating finale

 

Where’d You Go, Bernadette (2019) – Linklater’s tale of regeneration often plays a bit flatly, but opens up winningly in the home stretch

 

Humain, trop humain (1974) – Malle’s now near-nostalgic observance of factory production is inherently but insufficiently political

 

Five Days One Summer (1982) – Zinnemann’s last film has much genuine, sometimes haunting, grandeur, but an overly restrained narrative core

 

Nana (1926) – a too-often dull silent Renoir, at its best at its most nakedly suffering, but damaged by Hessling’s unalluring presence

 

God’s Own Country (2017) – Lee’s engrossingly authentic-feeling, frank study, electrically attuned both to the scenic and the intimate

 

I Live in Fear (1955) – Kurosawa’s atomic-age drama is among his more low-key, brooding works, gripping for its central existential clarity

 

Phantom Love (2007) – Menkes’ astounding fusion of lived and imagined experience, of pain and rapture, resistance and transcendence

 

Dosuni (1963) – Park’s lightly-handled but meaningful chronicle of a determined young woman in an economically strained, hustling society

 

Sword of Trust (2019) – Shelton’s comedy becomes narratively over-stretched, but her relaxed way with interactions really shines at times

 

Thomasine & Bushrod (1974) – Parks’ enjoyable outlaw drama keeps things mostly loose and variable, with lightly norm-challenging results

 

Capitaine Conan (1996) – Tavernier’s artfully disorienting war film reverberates with astounding incident, implication and moral complexity

 

Hallelujah (1929) – Vidor’s all-black musical drama reaches numerous expressive heights, amid its largely unceasing anthropological interest

 

The Ornithologist (2016) – Rodrigues’ exceptional cinematic offering, a pilgrimage deep into nature & unnature, self-discovery & self-loss

 

Dancing Lady (1933) – Leonard’s musical skips along in snappily blissful implausibility, propelled by effortlessly elevating star quality

 

Soigne ta droite (1987) – a relative knockabout comedy from Godard, its virtues requiring (to me anyway) rather strenuous excavation efforts

 

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