ARTHOUSE / CLASSICS / CULT DVDs (Cinema Nouveau)
19OO – This expansive period drama chronicles the lives and friendship of two men – the landowning Alfredo Berlinghieri and the peasant Olmo Dalcò as they witness and participate in the political conflicts between fascism and communism that took place in Italy in the first half of the 20th century. Epic / Historical / Drama / Politics / 1976 / Writers: Franco Arcalli, Giuseppe Bertolucci, Bernardo Bertolucci / Director: Bernardo Bertolucci / Cast: Robert De Niro, Gérard Depardieu, Dominique Sanda, Francesca Bertini.
A CHORUS LINE – Hundreds of hopefuls congregate at a cattle call for Broadway dancers where they tell their life stories — some tragic, some comic — and explain their love of dance – to a sour director and his burlesque assistant. Musical / Drama / Dance / 1985 / Writers: Arnold Schulman / Concept: Michael Bennett / Book / Musical / James Kirkwood / Director: Richard Attenborough / Cast: Michael Douglas, Terrence Mann, Michael Blevins / * See the DOCUMENTARY: EVERY LITTLE STEP
ACROSS THE UNIVERSE – The songs of the Beatles provide the sonic framework for this musical tale of romance, war and peace. When young British worker Jude (Jim Sturgess) sets sail for the United States in search of his father, he ends up meeting carefree college student Max (Joe Anderson) and his lovely sister, Lucy (Evan Rachel Wood), along with a cast of eccentric characters. It incorporates 34 compositions originally written by members of the Beatles.
AMERICAN BEAUTY – 1999 American black comedy-drama film written by Alan Ball and directed by Sam Mendes. Kevin Spacey stars as Lester Burnham, an advertising executive who has a midlife crisis when he becomes infatuated with his teenage daughter’s best friend, played by Mena Suvari. Annette Bening stars as Lester’s materialistic wife, Carolyn, and Thora Birch plays their insecure daughter, Jane. Wes Bentley, Chris Cooper, and Allison Janney also feature. Academics have described the film as a satire of American middle class notions of beauty and personal satisfaction; further analysis has focused on the film’s explorations of romantic and paternal love, sexuality, materialism, self-liberation, and redemption.
ANGELS IN AMERICA – 2003 American HBO miniseries directed by Mike Nichols and based on the Pulitzer Prize–winning 1991 play of the same name by Tony Kushner. Set in 1985, the film revolves around six New Yorkers whose lives intersect. At its core, it is the fantastical story of Prior Walter, a gay man living with AIDS who is visited by an angel. The film explores a wide variety of themes, including Reagan era politics, the spreading AIDS epidemic, and a rapidly changing social and political climate. HBO broadcast the film in various formats: two three-hour chunks that correspond to Millennium Approaches and Perestroika, further divided into six one-hour “chapters”. It stars Al Pacino, Meryl Streep, Patrick Wilson, Mary-Louise Parker, Emma Thompson, Jeffrey Wright
ARIZONA DREAM – Axel (Johnny Depp) gets caught up into the family car business when his cousin, Paul (Vincent Gallo), coaxes him to come to Arizona to attend the wedding of their Uncle Leo (Jerry Lewis). As Axel makes the decision to try selling Cadillacs with his family, he meets an eccentric woman named Elaine (Faye Dunaway) and her equally quirky stepdaughter, Grace (Lili Taylor). Their lives become inextricably intertwined through romance, dreams — and death. 1993 French-American surrealist indie comedy drama co-written and directed by Emir Kusturica and starring Johnny Depp, Jerry Lewis, Faye Dunaway, Lili Taylor and Vincent Gallo
THE ARTIST – A 2011 French comedy-drama film in the style of a black-and-white silent film or part-talkie. The film was written and directed by Michel Hazanavicius, produced by Thomas Langmann and stars Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo. The story takes place in Hollywood, between 1927 and 1932, and focuses on the relationship between a rising young actress and an older silent film star as silent cinema falls out of fashion and is replaced by the “talkies”. The Artist received widespread critical acclaim and won many accolades. Dujardin won Best Actor at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, where the film premiered. The film was nominated for six Golden Globes, the most of any 2011 film, and won three: Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, Best Original Score, and Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for Dujardin. In January 2012, the film won 7 BAFTAS and five OSCARS including Best Picture, Best Director for Hazanavicius, and Best Actor for Dujardin, making him the first French actor ever to win in this category. It was also the first French-produced film to win Best Picture,
AT ETERNITY’S GATE – 2018 biographical drama film about the final years of painter Vincent van Gogh’s life. The film dramatizes the controversial theory put forward by Van Gogh biographers Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith, in which they speculate that Van Gogh’s death was caused by mischief rather than it being a suicide. The film is directed and co-edited by Julian Schnabel, from a screenplay by Schnabel, Jean-Claude Carrière and Louise Kugelberg. It stars Willem Dafoe as Van Gogh, Rupert Friend, Oscar Isaac, Mads Mikkelsen, Mathieu Amalric, Emmanuelle Seigner and Niels Arestrup.
BABETTE’S FEAST (Danish: Babettes Gæstebud) Beautiful but pious sisters Martine (Birgitte Federspiel) and Philippa (Bodil Kjer) grow to spinsterhood under the wrathful eye of their strict pastor father on the forbidding and desolate coast of Jutland, until one day, Philippa’s former suitor sends a Parisian refugee named Babette (Stéphane Audran) to serve as the family cook. Babette’s lavish celebratory banquet tempts the family’s dwindling congregation, who abjure such fleshly pleasures as fine foods and wines. 1987 Danish drama film directed by Gabriel Axel. The film’s screenplay was written by Axel based on the 1958 story by Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen). It was also the first Danish film to win the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.
BAD EDUCATION (Spanish: La mala educación) 2004 Spanish drama film written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar. Starring Gael García Bernal, Fele Martínez, Daniel Giménez Cacho, Lluís Homar and Francisco Boira, the film focuses on two reunited childhood friends and lovers caught up in a stylised murder mystery. Along with metafiction, sexual abuse by Catholic priests, transsexuality and drug use are also important themes and devices in the plot. The film received critical acclaim, and was seen as a return to Almodovar’s dark stage, placing it alongside films such as Matador (1986) and Law of Desire (1987).
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST – Belle (Emma Watson), a bright, beautiful and independent young woman, is taken prisoner by a beast (Dan Stevens) in its castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the beast’s hideous exterior, allowing her to recognize the kind heart and soul of the true prince that hides on the inside. 2017 musical romantic fantasy film directed by Bill Condon from a screenplay by Stephen Chbosky and Evan Spiliotopoulos. The film is a live-action adaptation of Disney’s 1991 animated film of the same name, itself an adaptation of Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont’s 1756 version of the fairy tale. It features an ensemble cast including Emma Watson and Dan Stevens as the eponymous characters, with Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Audra McDonald, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Ian McKellen, and Emma Thompson
BROKEN EMBRACES (Spanish: Los abrazos rotos) 2009 Spanish romantic thriller film written, produced, and directed by Pedro Almodóvar. Led by an ensemble cast consisting of many Almodóvar regulars, it stars Lluís Homar as a blind Madrilenian screenwriter who recalls his tragic love for Lena, played by Penélope Cruz, the deceased lead actress in his last directional feature Girls and Suitcases, who was also the mistress of a powerful, obsessive businessman (José Luis Gómez). Inspired by darkness and by a photo of a couple that Almodóvar took of El Golfo beach in Lanzarote in the late 1990s, the film serves as an homage to filmmaking, cinema and its various film genres. Stylistically, it is a complex noir-ish melodrama, that also blends comic elements with a film within a film
CABARET – 1972 musical drama directed by Bob Fosse, and starring Liza Minnelli, Michael York, and Joel Grey. Set in Berlin during the Weimar Republic in 1931, under the presence of the growing Nazi Party, the film is loosely based on the 1966 Broadway musical Cabaret by Kander and Ebb, which was adapted from Christopher Isherwood’s semi-autobiographical novel The Berlin Stories (1945) and the 1951 play I Am a Camera adapted from the same work. The film also brought Liza Minnelli her own first chance to sing on screen, and she won the Academy Award for Best Actress. With Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actor (Joel Grey), Best Director (Bob Fosse), Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Sound, Best Original Song Score and Adaptation, and Best Film Editing, Cabaret holds the record for most Oscars earned by a film not honored for Best Picture.
CAPOTE – 2005 biographical film about Truman Capote directed by Bennett Miller. It follows the events during the writing of Capote’s 1966 non-fiction book In Cold Blood. Philip Seymour Hoffman won several awards, including the Academy Award for Best Actor, for his portrayal of the title character. The film was based on Gerald Clarke’s 1988 biography Capote.
CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF – After Brick Pollitt (Paul Newman) injures himself while drunkenly revisiting his high school sports-star days, he and his tempestuous wife, Maggie (Elizabeth Taylor), visit his family’s Mississippi plantation for the 65th birthday of his hot-tempered father, Big Daddy (Burl Ives). Cantankerous even with declining health, Big Daddy demands to know why Brick and Maggie haven’t yet given him a grandchild, unlike Brick’s brother Gooper (Jack Carson) and his fecund wife, Mae (Madeleine Sherwood). 1958 American drama film directed by Richard Brooks. It is based on the 1955 Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name by Tennessee Williams and adapted by Richard Brooks and James Poe. The film stars Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Burl Ives, Judith Anderson, Jack Carson and Madeline Sherwood.
CERTAIN WOMEN – Three strong-willed women strive to forge their own paths amidst the wide-open plains of the American Northwest: a lawyer who finds herself contending with both office sexism and a hostage situation; a wife and mother whose determination to build her dream home puts her at odds with the men in her life; and a young law student who forms an ambiguous bond with a lonely ranch hand. 2016 American drama film edited, written, and directed by Kelly Reichardt. Based on Native Sandstone, Travis, B. and Tome—three short stories from Maile Meloy’s collections Half in Love and Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It—it stars Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, Michelle Williams, Lily Gladstone, James Le Gros, and Jared Harris.
CLEOPATRA – 1963 American epic historical drama film directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, with a screenplay adapted by Mankiewicz, Ranald MacDougall and Sidney Buchman from the 1957 book The Life and Times of Cleopatra by Carlo Maria Franzero, and from histories by Plutarch, Suetonius, and Appian. It stars Elizabeth Taylor in the eponymous role. Richard Burton, Rex Harrison, Roddy McDowall, and Martin Landau are featured in supporting roles. It chronicles the struggles of Cleopatra, the young Queen of Egypt, to resist the imperial ambitions of Rome.
THE DANISH GIRL – With support from his loving wife Gerda (Alicia Vikander), artist Einar Wegener (Eddie Redmayne) prepares to undergo one of the first sex-change operations. 2015 biographical romantic drama film directed by Tom Hooper, based on the 2000 novel of the same name by David Ebershoff, and loosely inspired by the lives of Danish painters Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener. The film stars Eddie Redmayne as Elbe, one of the first known recipients of sex reassignment surgery, Alicia Vikander as Wegener, and Sebastian Koch as Kurt Warnekros, with Ben Whishaw, Amber Heard, and Matthias Schoenaerts in supporting roles.
THE DEER HUNTER – 1978 American epic war drama film co-written and directed by Michael Cimino about a trio of Russian-American steelworkers whose lives were changed forever after fighting in the Vietnam War. The three soldiers are played by Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, and John Savage, with John Cazale (in his final role), Meryl Streep, and George Dzundza playing supporting roles. The story takes place in Clairton, Pennsylvania, a working-class town on the Monongahela River south of Pittsburgh, and in Vietnam.
DELIVERANCE – Four city-dwelling friends (Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty, Ronny Cox) decide to get away from their jobs, wives and kids for a week of canoeing in rural Georgia. When the men arrive, they are not welcomed by the backwoods locals, who stalk the vacationers and savagely attack them in the woods. Reeling from the ambush, the friends attempt to return home but are surrounded by dangerous rapids and pursued by a madman. Soon, their canoe trip turns into a fight for survival. 1972 American thriller film produced and directed by John Boorman, and starring Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty and Ronny Cox, with the latter two making their feature film debuts.
DEPARTURES (Japanese: おくりびと, Hepburn: Okuribito, “one who sends off”) 2008 Japanese drama film directed by Yōjirō Takita and starring Masahiro Motoki, Ryōko Hirosue, and Tsutomu Yamazaki. The film follows a young man who returns to his hometown after a failed career as a cellist and stumbles across work as a nōkanshi—a traditional Japanese ritual mortician. He is subjected to prejudice from those around him, including from his wife, because of strong social taboos against people who deal with death. Eventually he repairs these interpersonal connections through the beauty and dignity of his work.
THE FAVOURITE – In the early 18th century, England is at war with the French. Nevertheless, duck racing and pineapple eating are thriving. A frail Queen Anne occupies the throne, and her close friend Lady Sarah governs the country in her stead while tending to Anne’s ill health and mercurial temper. When a new servant, Abigail, arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah. Sarah takes Abigail under her wing, and Abigail sees a chance to return to her aristocratic roots. 2018 period black comedy film directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, and written by Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara. Set in early 18th century Great Britain, the film’s plot examines the relationship between cousins Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough (Rachel Weisz) and Abigail Masham (Emma Stone), who are vying to be Court favourite of Queen Anne (Olivia Colman).
FIDDLER ON THE ROOF – The film centers on Tevye, the father of five daughters, and his attempts to maintain his Jewish religious and cultural traditions as outside influences encroach upon the family’s lives. He must cope both with the strong-willed actions of his three older daughters, who wish to marry for love – each one’s choice of a husband moves further away from the customs of his faith – and with the edict of the Tsar who evicts the Jews from the town of Anatevka. 1971 epic musical comedy-drama film produced and directed by Norman Jewison. Starring Topol, Norma Crane, Leonard Frey, Molly Picon, and Paul Mann. Throughout the film, Tevye talks to God and directly to the audience, breaking the fourth wall. In these monologues, Tevye ponders tradition, the difficulties of being poor, the Jewish community’s constant fear of violence from their non-Jewish neighbours, and important family decisions.
FULL METAL JACKET – 1987 war film directed, co-written, and produced by Stanley Kubrick and starring Matthew Modine, R. Lee Ermey, Vincent D’Onofrio and Adam Baldwin. The screenplay by Kubrick, Michael Herr, and Gustav Hasford was based on Hasford’s 1979 novel The Short-Timers. The storyline follows a platoon of U.S. Marines through their boot camp training in Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina, primarily focusing on two privates, Joker and Pyle, who struggle under their abusive drill instructor, Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, and the experiences of two of the platoon’s Marines in Vietnamese cities of Da Nang and Huế during the Tet Offensive of the Vietnam War. The film’s title refers to the full metal jacket bullet used by military servicemen.
THE GODFATHER – 1972 American crime film directed by Francis Ford Coppola, who co-wrote the screenplay with Mario Puzo, based on Puzo’s best-selling 1969 novel of the same name. The film stars Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Richard Castellano, Robert Duvall, Sterling Hayden, John Marley, Richard Conte, and Diane Keaton. It is the first installment in The Godfather trilogy. The story, spanning from 1945 to 1955, chronicles the Corleone family under patriarch Vito Corleone (Brando), focusing on the transformation of his youngest son, Michael Corleone (Pacino), from reluctant family outsider to ruthless mafia boss.
THE GODFATHER PART II American epic crime film produced and directed by Francis Ford Coppola from the screenplay co-written with Mario Puzo, starring Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Robert De Niro, Talia Shire, Morgana King, John Cazale, Mariana Hill, and Lee Strasberg. It is the second installment in The Godfather trilogy. Partially based on Puzo’s 1969 novel The Godfather, the film is both a sequel and a prequel to The Godfather, presenting parallel dramas: one picks up the 1958 story of Michael Corleone (Pacino), the new Don of the Corleone family, protecting the family business in the aftermath of an attempt on his life; the prequel covers the journey of his father, Vito Corleone (De Niro), from his Sicilian childhood to the founding of his family enterprise in New York City.
GOODFELLAS (stylized GoodFellas) 1990 American biographical crime film directed by Martin Scorsese, who also wrote with Nicholas Pileggi, and produced by Irwin Winkler. It is a film adaptation of the 1985 nonfiction book Wiseguy by Pileggi. Starring Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco and Paul Sorvino, the film narrates the rise and fall of mob associate Henry Hill and his friends and family from 1955 to 1980.
HAIR – 1979 musical anti-war comedy-drama film based on the 1968 Broadway musical Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical about a Vietnam War draftee who meets and befriends a “tribe” of hippies on his way to the army induction center. The hippies introduce him to marijuana, LSD and their environment of unorthodox relationships and draft evasion. The film was directed by Miloš Forman (who was nominated for a César Award for his work on the film) and adapted for the screen by Michael Weller. Cast members include John Savage, Treat Williams, Beverly D’Angelo, Annie Golden, Dorsey Wright, Don Dacus, Cheryl Barnes, Melba Moore, and Ronnie Dyson. Dance scenes were choreographed by Twyla Tharp, and were performed by the Tharp’s dancers.
HAMLET – A ghostly visitation prompts Denmark’s Prince Hamlet (David Tennant) to feign madness and avenge his father, who died at the hands of Hamlet’s uncle (Patrick Stewart). 2009 television film adaptation of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s 2008 modern-dress stage production of William Shakespeare’s play of the same name, aired on BBC Two on 26 December 2009. It was broadcast by PBS’ Great Performances in the United States on 28 April 2010. Directed by Gregory Doran, it features the original stage cast of David Tennant in the title role of Prince Hamlet, Patrick Stewart as both King Claudius and the ghost of Hamlet’s father, Penny Downie as Queen Gertrude, Mariah Gale as Ophelia, Edward Bennett as Laertes, Oliver Ford Davies as Polonius, and Peter de Jersey as Horatio. The production was filmed with a single-camera setup, using the pioneering RED One camera technology
HAROLD AND MAUDE – 1971 American coming-of-age dark comedy–drama film directed by Hal Ashby and released by Paramount Pictures. It incorporates elements of dark humor and existentialist drama. The plot revolves around the exploits of a young man in his early 20s named Harold Chasen (Bud Cort) who is intrigued with death. Harold drifts away from the life that his detached mother (Vivian Pickles) proscribes for him, and slowly develops a strong friendship, and eventually a romantic relationship, with a 79-year-old woman named Maude (Ruth Gordon), a Nazi concentration camp survivor who teaches Harold about the importance of living life to its fullest and that life is the most precious gift of all. The film was based on a screenplay written by Colin Higgins and published as a novel in 1971.
HIGHLANDER – 1986 fantasy action-adventure film directed by Russell Mulcahy and based on a story by Gregory Widen. It stars Christopher Lambert, Roxanne Hart, Clancy Brown, and Sean Connery. The film chronicles the climax of an ages-old war between immortal warriors, depicted through interwoven past and present-day storylines. Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert) is born in the Scottish Highlands in the 16th century. After reviving from a fatal wound, MacLeod is found by swordsman Ramírez (Sean Connery) who explains they and others were born immortal, invincible unless beheaded. Immortals wage a secret war, fighting each other until the last few remaining will meet at the Gathering to fight for the Prize. In 1985, the Gathering is finally happening in New York City and MacLeod must make sure the Prize is not won by his oldest enemy, the murderous Kurgan (Clancy Brown).
INTOLERANCE – 1916 epic silent film directed by D. W. Griffith. Subtitles include Love’s Struggle Throughout the Ages and A Sun-Play of the Ages. Regarded as one of the most influential films of the silent era (though it received mixed reviews at the time), the three-and-a-half-hour epic intercuts four parallel storylines, each separated by several centuries: a contemporary melodrama of crime and redemption,a Judean story: Christ’s mission and death, a French story: the events surrounding the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre of 1572, and a Babylonian story: the fall of the Babylonian Empire to Persia in 539 BC. Each story had its own distinctive color tint in the original print, but not in the currently available versions. The scenes are linked by shots of a figure representing Eternal Motherhood, rocking a cradle.
JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR – 1973 musical drama directed by Norman Jewison and jointly written for the screen by Jewison and Melvyn Bragg; they based their screenplay on the 1970 rock opera of the same name, the libretto (book and lyrics) of which were written by Tim Rice and whose music was composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber. The film, featuring a cast of Ted Neeley, Carl Anderson, Yvonne Elliman, Barry Dennen, Bob Bingham, and Kurt Yaghjian, centers on the conflict between Judas and Jesus during the week before the crucifixion of Jesus.
THE LAST FIVE YEARS – 2014 musical romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by Richard Lagravenese. Based on Jason Robert Brown’s musical of the same name, the film stars Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan as married couple Cathy Hiatt and Jamie Wellerstein. It presents their relationship out of chronological order, in a non-linear narrative.
THE LIMITS OF CONTROL – 2009 American film written and directed by Jim Jarmusch, starring Isaach de Bankolé as a solitary assassin, carrying out a job in Spain. Filming began in February 2008, and took place on location in Madrid, Seville and Almería, Spain.
LOVING VINCENT – 2017 experimental animated biographical drama film about the life of the painter Vincent van Gogh, and, in particular, about the circumstances of his death. It is the first fully painted animated feature film. The film, written and directed by Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman, First conceived as a seven-minute short film in 2008, Loving Vincent was realized by Dorota Kobiela, a painter herself, after studying the techniques and the artist’s story through his letters. Each of the film’s 65,000 frames is an oil painting on canvas, created using the same techniques as Van Gogh by a team of 125 artists drawn from around the globe.
MAD MAX COLLECTION
- MAD MAX – 1979 Australian dystopian action thriller film directed by George Miller and produced by Byron Kennedy. Mel Gibson stars as “Mad” Max Rockatansky, a police officer-turned-vigilante in a near-future Australia in the midst of societal collapse. Joanne Samuel, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Steve Bisley, Tim Burns, and Roger Ward also star. James McCausland and Miller wrote the screenplay from a story by Miller and Kennedy.
- MAD MAX 2 (released as The Road Warrior in the United States) 1981 Australian post-apocalyptic action thriller film directed by George Miller. It is the second installment in the Mad Max franchise, with Mel Gibson reprising his role as “Mad” Max Rockatansky. The film’s tale of a community of settlers who moved to defend themselves against a roving band of marauders follows an archetypical “Western” frontier movie motif, as does Max’s role as a hardened man who rediscovers his humanity when he decides to help the settlers
- MAD MAX BEYOND THUNDERDOME: 1985 Australian post-apocalyptic dystopian action film directed by George Miller and George Ogilvie and written by Miller and Terry Hayes. In this sequel to Mad Max 2, Max (Mel Gibson) is exiled into the desert by the ruthless ruler of Bartertown, Aunty Entity (Tina Turner), and there encounters an isolated cargo cult centred on a crashed Boeing 747 and its deceased captain.
- MAD MAX FURY ROAD – Available on Blu-Ray
THE MAID (Spanish: La Nana) – A woman feels she must fight to hold on to her place in the household where she’s been a servant for much of her life. 2009 comedy-drama film, directed by Sebastián Silva and co-written by Silva and Pedro Peirano. Starring: Catalina Saavedra, Claudia Celedón, Alejandro Goic
MAN OF LA MANCHA – Cervantes and his manservant have been imprisoned by the Spanish Inquisition, and a manuscript by Cervantes is seized by his fellow inmates, who subject him to a mock trial in order to determine whether the manuscript should be returned. Cervantes’ defense is in the form of a play, in which Cervantes takes the role of Alonso Quijano, an old gentleman who has lost his mind and now believes that he should go forth as a knight-errant. Quijano renames himself Don Quixote de La Mancha, and sets out to find adventures with his “squire”, Sancho Panza. 1972 film adaptation of the Broadway musical Man of La Mancha by Dale Wasserman, with music by Mitch Leigh and lyrics by Joe Darion. With Peter O’Toole as both Miguel de Cervantes and Don Quixote, James Coco as both Cervantes’ manservant and Don Quixote’s “squire” Sancho Panza, and Sophia Loren as scullery maid and prostitute Aldonza, whom the delusional Don Quixote idolizes as Dulcinea.
MARTY – This acclaimed romantic drama follows the life of Marty Piletti (Ernest Borgnine), a stout bachelor butcher who lives with his mother (Esther Minciotti) in the Bronx. Always unlucky in love, Marty reluctantly goes out to a ballroom one night and meets a nice teacher named Clara (Betsy Blair). Though Marty and Clara hit it off, his relatives discourage him from pursuing the relationship, and he must decide between his family’s approval or a shot at finding romance. 1955 American romantic drama film directed by Delbert Mann in his directorial debut. The screenplay was written by Paddy Chayefsky, expanding upon his 1953 teleplay of the same name, with Ernest Borgnine and Betsy Blair
MAURICE – 1987 British romantic drama film directed by James Ivory, based on the 1971 novel Maurice by E. M. Forster. The film stars James Wilby as Maurice, Hugh Grant as Clive and Rupert Graves as Alec. The supporting cast includes Denholm Elliott as Dr Barry, Simon Callow as Mr Ducie, Billie Whitelaw as Mrs Hall, and Ben Kingsley as Lasker-Jones. The film was produced by Ismail Merchant via Merchant Ivory Productions and Film Four International, and written by Ivory and Kit Hesketh-Harvey, with cinematography by Pierre Lhomme. It is a tale of gay love in the restrictive and repressed culture of Edwardian England. The story follows its main character, Maurice Hall, through university, a tumultuous relationship, struggling to fit into society, and ultimately being united with his life partner.
MIDNIGHT COWBOY – 1969 American buddy drama film, based on the 1965 novel of the same name by James Leo Herlihy. The film was written by Waldo Salt, directed by John Schlesinger, and stars Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman, with notable smaller roles being filled by Sylvia Miles, John McGiver, Brenda Vaccaro, Bob Balaban, Jennifer Salt, and Barnard Hughes. Set in New York City, Midnight Cowboy depicts the unlikely friendship between two hustlers: naïve sex worker Joe Buck (Voight), and ailing con man “Ratso” Rizzo (Hoffman). At the 42nd Academy Awards, the film won three awards: Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. Midnight Cowboy is the only X-rated film ever to win Best Picture. It has since been placed 36th on the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 greatest American films of all time.
MY AFTERNOONS WITH MARGUERITTE (French: La Tête en friche) – An illiterate man bonds with an older, well-read woman. 2010 French film directed by Jean Becker, based on the book of the same name by Marie-Sabine Roger. It stars Gérard Depardieu, Gisèle Casadesus, Claire Maurier, Maurane, and François-Xavier Demaison.
MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO – In this loose adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Henry IV,” Mike Waters (River Phoenix) is a gay hustler afflicted with narcolepsy. Scott Favor (Keanu Reeves) is the rebellious son of a mayor. Together, the two travel from Portland, Oregon to Idaho and finally to the coast of Italy in a quest to find Mike’s estranged mother. Along the way they turn tricks for money and drugs, eventually attracting the attention of a wealthy benefactor and sexual deviant. 1991 American independent adventure drama film written and directed by Gus Van Sant. My Own Private Idaho is considered a landmark film in New Queer Cinema, an early 1990s movement in queer-themed independent filmmaking. Since its release, it has grown in popularity and been deemed a cult classic, especially among LGBT audiences. The film is notable for its then-taboo subject matter and avant-garde style
NETWORK – 1976 American satirical black comedy-drama film written by Paddy Chayefsky and directed by Sidney Lumet, about a fictional television network, UBS, and its struggle with poor ratings. The film stars Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch and Robert Duvall and features Wesley Addy, Ned Beatty and Beatrice Straight. Network received widespread critical acclaim, with particular praise for the performances. The film won four Academy Awards, in the categories of Best Actor (Finch), Best Actress (Dunaway), Best Supporting Actress (Straight) and Best Original Screenplay (Chayefsky).
THE NEW WORLD (See TREE OF LIFE) – 2005 historical romantic drama film written and directed by Terrence Malick, depicting the founding of the Jamestown, Virginia, settlement and inspired by the historical figures Captain John Smith, Pocahontas of the Powhatan tribe, and Englishman John Rolfe. It is the fourth feature film written and directed by Malick. The cast includes Colin Farrell, Q’orianka Kilcher, Christopher Plummer, Christian Bale, August Schellenberg, Wes Studi, David Thewlis and Yorick van Wageningen.
ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST (Italian: C’era una volta il West, “Once upon a time (there was) the West”) There’s a single piece of land around Flagstone with water on it, and rail baron Morton (Gabriele Ferzetti) aims to have it, knowing the new railroad will have to stop there. He sends his henchman Frank (Henry Fonda) to scare the land’s owner, McBain (Frank Wolff), but Frank kills him instead and pins it on a known bandit, Cheyenne (Jason Robards). Meanwhile, a mysterious gunslinger with a score to settle (Charles Bronson) and McBain’s new wife, Jill (Claudia Cardinale), arrive in town. 1968 epic Spaghetti Western film directed by Sergio Leone, who co-wrote it with Sergio Donati based on a story by Dario Argento, Bernardo Bertolucci, and Leone.
ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST – 1975 American drama film directed by Miloš Forman, based on the 1962 novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey. The film stars Jack Nicholson as Randle McMurphy, a new patient at a mental institution, and features a supporting cast of Louise Fletcher, Will Sampson, Danny DeVito, Sydney Lassick, William Redfield while being the film debut for Christopher Lloyd and Brad Dourif. Considered by many to be one of the greatest films ever made, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is No. 33 on the American Film Institute’s 100 Years… 100 Movies list.The film was the second to win all five major Academy Awards (Best Picture, Actor in Lead Role, Actress in Lead Role, Director, and Screenplay)
ON THE BEACH – After World War III, Australia is the only remaining haven for mankind. However, wind currents carrying lingering radiation all but condemn those on the continent to the same fate suffered by the rest of the world. When the survivors receive a strange signal from San Diego, Cmdr. Dwight Towers (Gregory Peck) must undertake a mission with Lt. Peter Holmes (Anthony Perkins) to see if there is hope for humanity — leaving behind Moira (Ava Gardner) and Mary (Donna Anderson), the women they love. 1959 American post-apocalyptic science fiction drama film from United Artists, produced and directed by Stanley Kramer, that stars Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Fred Astaire, and Anthony Perkins. This black-and-white film is based on Nevil Shute’s 1957 novel of the same name depicting the aftermath of a nuclear war.
PAINT YOUR WAGON – In this musical based on the Broadway show, Ben Rumson (Lee Marvin) happens upon a wrecked wagon containing a dead man and his surviving brother, Pardner (Clint Eastwood), in the wilds of California during the Gold Rush. At the burial, they discover gold dust and stake a claim. Soon a mining camp dubbed “No Name City” emerges, rife with lonely men starved for female companionship. When a polygamist Mormon arrives looking to sell off a wife (Jean Seberg), a bidding war commences. 1969 Western musical film starring Lee Marvin, Clint Eastwood, and Jean Seberg. The film was adapted by Paddy Chayefsky from the 1951 musical Paint Your Wagon by Lerner and Loewe. It is set in a mining camp in Gold Rush-era California. It was directed by Joshua Logan.
THE PANIC IN NEEDLE PARK – 1971 American romantic drama film directed by Jerry Schatzberg and starring Al Pacino. The screenplay was written by Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne, adapted from the 1966 novel by James Mills. The film portrays life among a group of heroin addicts who hang out in “Needle Park” (then-nickname for Sherman Square on Manhattan’s Upper West Side near 72nd Street and Broadway). The film is a love story between Bobby (Pacino), a young addict and small-time hustler, and Helen (Kitty Winn), a restless woman who finds Bobby charismatic. She becomes an addict, and life goes downhill for them both as their addictions worsen, eventually leading to a series of betrayals.
PLEASANTVILLE – 1998 American fantasy comedy-drama film written, co-produced, and directed by Gary Ross. It stars Tobey Maguire, Jeff Daniels, Joan Allen, William H. Macy, J. T. Walsh, and Reese Witherspoon, with Don Knotts, Paul Walker, Marley Shelton and Jane Kaczmarek in supporting roles. The story centers on two siblings who wind up trapped in a 1950s TV show, set in a small Midwest town, where residents are seemingly perfect.
PSYCHO – 1960 American psychological horror thriller film produced and directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The screenplay, written by Joseph Stefano, was based on the 1959 novel of the same name by Robert Bloch. The film stars Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin and Martin Balsam. The plot centers on an encounter between on-the-run embezzler Marion Crane (Leigh) and shy motel proprietor Norman Bates (Perkins) and its aftermath, in which a private investigator (Balsam), Marion’s lover Sam Loomis (Gavin) and her sister Lila (Miles) investigate the cause of her disappearance.
ROAD TO PERDITION – 2002 American crime film directed by Sam Mendes. The screenplay was adapted by David Self from the graphic novel of the same name written by Max Allan Collins and illustrated by Richard Piers Rayner. The film stars Tom Hanks, Paul Newman, Jude Law, and Daniel Craig. The plot takes place in 1931, during the Great Depression, following a mob enforcer and his son as they seek vengeance against a mobster who murdered the rest of their family.
THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW – 1975 musical comedy horror directed by Jim Sharman. The screenplay was written by Sharman and actor Richard O’Brien, who is also a member of the cast. The film is based on the 1973 musical stage production The Rocky Horror Show, with music, book, and lyrics by O’Brien. The production is a parody tribute to the science fiction and horror B movies of the 1930s through to the early 1960s. Along with O’Brien, the film stars Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, and Barry Bostwick and is narrated by Charles Gray with cast members from the original Royal Court Theatre, Roxy Theatre, and Belasco Theatre productions including Nell Campbell and Patricia Quinn. The story centres on a young engaged couple whose car breaks down in the rain near a castle where they seek a telephone to call for help. The castle or country home is occupied by strangers in elaborate costumes celebrating an annual convention. They discover the head of the house is Dr. Frank N. Furter, an apparently mad scientist who actually is an alien Transvestite who creates a living muscle man named Rocky in his laboratory. The couple are seduced separately by the mad scientist and eventually released by the servants who take control.
ROMA (also known as Fellini’s Roma or Federico Fellini’s Roma) 1972 semi-autobiographical comedy-drama film depicting director Federico Fellini’s move from his native Rimini to Rome as a youth. It is a homage to the city, shown in a series of loosely connected episodes set during both Rome’s past and present. The plot is minimal, and the only “character” to develop significantly is Rome herself. Peter Gonzales plays the young Fellini, and the film features mainly newcomers in the cast.
THE ROMAN SPRING OF MRS. STONE – Karen Stone (Helen Mirren) is a former actress who has settled into a staid marriage with a wealthy husband (Brian Dennehy). After he suddenly dies during an Italian vacation, Karen is left alone and in need of company. When she meets the enigmatic Contessa (Anne Bancroft), Karen is set up with the handsome, and much younger, Paolo (Olivier Martinez), which leads to an intense romance. Trouble arises, however, when it seems that Paolo may not reciprocate Karen’s deep affection for him. The film follows the odyssey of Karen Stone, an actress who loses her husband to a heart attack. In Rome, she meets a contessa and another man with other romantic intentions and interests that have nothing to do with Mrs. Stone. 2003 American-Irish made-for-television romantic drama film and a remake of the 1961 film of the same name based on the 1950 novel of the same title by Tennessee Williams.
ROMEO AND JULIET – In the Italian city of Verona, the Montague and the Capulet families are perpetually feuding. When Romeo (Leonard Whiting), a handsome young Montague, disregards convention by attending a Capulet ball, he falls in love with the beautiful Juliet (Olivia Hussey), a Capulet. After a brief courtship, the two elope, creating even greater tension between their families. Italian director Franco Zeffirelli’s film is considered one of the best screen versions of Shakespeare’s classic love story. 1968 period romantic tragedy film based on the play of the same name by William Shakespeare. Directed and co-written by Franco Zeffirelli, the film stars Leonard Whiting as Romeo and Olivia Hussey as Juliet. Laurence Olivier spoke the film’s prologue and epilogue and dubs the voice of the actor Antonio Pierfederici, who played Lord Montague, but was not credited in the film at all. The cast also stars Milo O’Shea, Michael York, and John McEnery.
SCHINDLER’S LIST – 1993 American epic historical drama film directed and produced by Steven Spielberg and written by Steven Zaillian. It is based on the 1982 non-fiction novel Schindler’s Ark by Australian novelist Thomas Keneally. The film follows Oskar Schindler, a German industrialist who together with his wife Emilie Schindler saved more than a thousand mostly Polish-Jewish refugees from the Holocaust by employing them in his factories during World War II. It stars Liam Neeson as Schindler, Ralph Fiennes as SS officer Amon Göth and Ben Kingsley as Schindler’s Jewish accountant Itzhak Stern.
THE SHAPE OF WATER – 2017 American romantic fantasy film directed by Guillermo del Toro and written by del Toro and Vanessa Taylor. It stars Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Doug Jones, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Octavia Spencer. Set in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1962, the story follows a mute cleaner at a high-security government laboratory who falls in love with a captured humanoid amphibian creature.
THE SHINING – 1980 psychological horror film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick and co-written with novelist Diane Johnson. The film is based on Stephen King’s 1977 novel of the same name and stars Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers, and Danny Lloyd. The film’s central character is Jack Torrance (Nicholson), an aspiring writer and recovering alcoholic who accepts a position as the off-season caretaker of the isolated historic Overlook Hotel in the Colorado Rockies. Wintering over with Jack are his wife, Wendy Torrance (Duvall), and young son, Danny Torrance (Lloyd). Danny is gifted with “the shining”, psychic abilities that enable him to see into the hotel’s horrific past. The hotel cook, Dick Hallorann (Crothers), also has this ability and is able to communicate with Danny telepathically. The hotel had a previous winter caretaker who went insane and killed his family and himself. After a winter storm leaves the Torrances snowbound, Jack’s sanity deteriorates due to the influence of the supernatural forces that inhabit the hotel, placing his wife and son in danger.
SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN – A spoof of the turmoil that afflicted the movie industry in the late 1920s when movies went from silent to sound. When two silent movie stars’, Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont, latest movie is made into a musical a chorus girl is brought in to dub Lina’s speaking and singing. Don is on top of the world until Lina finds out. 1952 American musical romantic comedy film directed and choreographed by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen, starring Kelly, Donald O’Connor, and Debbie Reynolds and featuring Jean Hagen, Millard Mitchell and Cyd Charisse. It offers a lighthearted depiction of Hollywood in the late 1920s, with the three stars portraying performers caught up in the transition from silent films to “talkies”. In 1989, Singin’ in the Rain was one of the first 25 films selected by the United States Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. In 2005 the British Film Institute included it in its list of the 50 films to be seen by the age of 14. In 2008, Empire magazine ranked it as the eighth-best film of all time. In Sight & Sound magazine’s 2012 list of the 50 greatest films of all time, Singin’ in the Rain placed 20th
THE SKIN I LIVE IN (Spanish: La piel que habito) Ever since his beloved wife was horribly burned in an auto accident, Dr. Robert Ledgard (Antonio Banderas), a skilled plastic surgeon, has tried to develop a new skin that could save the lives of burn victims. Finally, after 12 years, Ledgard has created a skin that guards the body, but is still sensitive to touch. With the aid of his faithful housekeeper (Marisa Paredes), Ledgard tests his creation on Vera (Elena Anaya), who is held prisoner against her will in the doctor’s mansion. 2011 Spanish psychological thriller drama film written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar, starring Antonio Banderas, Elena Anaya, Marisa Paredes, Jan Cornet, and Roberto Álamo. It is based on Thierry Jonquet’s 1984 novel Mygale, first published in French and then in English under the title Tarantula. Almodóvar has described the film as “a horror story without screams or frights”
SILENCE – 2016 epic historical drama film directed by Martin Scorsese and with a screenplay by Jay Cocks and Scorsese, based on the 1966 novel of the same name by Shūsaku Endō. Set in Nagasaki, Japan, the film was shot in Taiwan, using studios in Taipei and Taichung and locations in Hualien County. The film stars Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Liam Neeson, Tadanobu Asano, and Ciarán Hinds. The plot follows two 17th-century Jesuit priests who travel from Portugal to Edo-era Japan via Macau to locate their missing mentor and spread Catholic Christianity. The story is set in a time when it was common for the faith’s Japanese adherents to hide from the persecution that resulted from the suppression of Christianity in Japan during the Shimabara Rebellion (1637–1638) against the Tokugawa shogunate. These are now called the kakure kirishitan, or “hidden Christians”. It is the second filmed adaptation of Endō’s novel, following a 1971 film of the same name.
SOME LIKE IT HOT – 1959 American black-and-white romantic comedy film directed and produced by Billy Wilder, starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon. The supporting cast includes George Raft, Pat O’Brien, Joe E. Brown, Joan Shawlee, Grace Lee Whitney, and Nehemiah Persoff. The screenplay by Wilder and I. A. L. Diamond is based on a screenplay by Robert Thoeren and Michael Logan from the 1935 French film Fanfare of Love. The film is about two musicians who dress in drag in order to escape from mafia gangsters whom they witnessed committing a crime (inspired by the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre).
SOPHIE’S CHOICE – 1982 American drama film directed and written by Alan J. Pakula, adapted from William Styron’s 1979 novel of the same name. The film stars Meryl Streep as Zofia “Sophie” Zawistowski, a Polish immigrant with a dark secret from her past who shares a boarding house in Brooklyn with her tempestuous lover, Nathan and a young writer Stingo. It also stars Kevin Kline (in his feature film debut), Peter MacNicol, Rita Karin, Stephen D. Newman, and Josh Mostel.
SPACEBALLS – 1987 American science fiction comedy film co-written, produced and directed by Mel Brooks. Starring Brooks, Bill Pullman, John Candy and Rick Moranis, the film also features Daphne Zuniga, Dick Van Patten, George Wyner and the voice of Joan Rivers. In addition to Brooks in a supporting role, the film also features Brooks regulars Dom DeLuise and Rudy De Luca in cameo appearances. The film’s setting and characters parody the original Star Wars trilogy, as well as other sci-fi franchises and popular films including Star Trek, Alien, The Wizard of Oz, 2001, and the Planet of the Apes.
TAXI DRIVER – Set in a decaying and morally bankrupt New York City following the Vietnam War, the film follows Travis Bickle, a taxi driver and veteran, and his deteriorating mental state as he works nights in the city. 1976 American film directed by Martin Scorsese, written by Paul Schrader, and starring Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd, Harvey Keitel, Peter Boyle, Leonard Harris, and Albert Brooks.
THE TEMPEST – A shipwreck casts members of a royal court ashore on a mysterious island. Their fateful arrival is no accident, for it was engineered by Prospera (Helen Mirren), a sorceress whom these men banished, and who now plans to take vengeance on them. With the help of Caliban and Ariel, her sometimes-unwilling aides, Prospera brings her powers to bear on her former tormentors. Then love casts a spell on her daughter and the king’s son, and Prospera is powerless to intervene. 2010 film based on the play of the same name by William Shakespeare. In this version, the gender of the main character, Prospero, is changed from male to female; the role was played by Helen Mirren. The film was written and directed by Julie Taymor, with Helen Mirren as Prospera – a sorceress and Miranda’s mother / Ben Whishaw as Ariel – a spirit who aids Prospera / Djimon Hounsou as Caliban, Prospera’s slave who, along with Stephano and Trinculo, plots against her
TO DIE FOR – Suzanne Stone (Nicole Kidman) is a weather reporter at her small-town cable station, but she dreams of being a big-time news anchor. However, she feels that her middle-class husband (Matt Dillon) is holding her back, so she decides to have him murdered. For this, she enlists Jimmy (Joaquin Phoenix), a high school boy who is enamored with her. The plan doesn’t work exactly as she intended, though, and her husband’s family starts to suspect that she was involved in his death. 1995 black comedy-drama crime film directed by Gus Van Sant, and written by Buck Henry based on the novel of the same name by Joyce Maynard, which in turn was inspired by the story of Pamela Smart. It stars Nicole Kidman, Joaquin Phoenix and Matt Dillon, with Illeana Douglas, Wayne Knight, Casey Affleck, Kurtwood Smith, Dan Hedaya and Alison Folland as supporting cast.
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD – Scout Finch (Mary Badham), and her older brother, Jem (Phillip Alford), live in sleepy Maycomb, Ala., spending much of their time with their friend Dill (John Megna) and spying on their reclusive and mysterious neighbor, Boo Radley (Robert Duvall). When Atticus (Gregory Peck), their widowed father and a respected lawyer, defends a black man named Tom Robinson (Brock Peters) against fabricated rape charges, the trial and tangent events expose the children to evils of racism and stereotyping. 1962 American drama film directed by Robert Mulligan. The screenplay by Horton Foote is based on Harper Lee’s 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name. It stars Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch and Mary Badham as Scout. To Kill a Mockingbird marked the film debuts of Robert Duvall, William Windom, and Alice Ghostley.
TOMMY – 1975 British satirical operetta fantasy drama film written and directed by Ken Russell and based upon The Who’s 1969 rock opera album Tommy about a “psychosomatically deaf, mute, and blind” boy who becomes a pinball champion and religious leader. The film featured a star-studded ensemble cast, including the band members themselves (most notably, lead singer Roger Daltrey, who plays the title role), Ann-Margret, Oliver Reed, Eric Clapton, Tina Turner, Elton John, and Jack Nicholson.
TO THE WONDER – 2012 American experimental romantic drama film written and directed by Terrence Malick and starring Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko, Rachel McAdams, and Javier Bardem. Filmed in Oklahoma and Paris, the film chronicles a couple who, after falling in love in Paris, struggle to keep their relationship from falling apart after moving to the United States
THE TREE OF LIFE – 2011 American epic experimental drama film written and directed by Terrence Malick and featuring a cast of Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Hunter McCracken, Laramie Eppler, Jessica Chastain, and Tye Sheridan in his debut feature film role. The film chronicles the origins and meaning of life by way of a middle-aged man’s childhood memories of his family living in 1950s Texas, interspersed with imagery of the origins of the known universe and the inception of life on Earth.
THE TRUMAN SHOW -1998 American psychological comedy-drama directed by Peter Weir, produced by Scott Rudin, Andrew Niccol, Edward S. Feldman, and Adam Schroeder, and written by Niccol. The film stars Jim Carrey as Truman Burbank, a man who grew up living an ordinary life that—unbeknownst to him—takes place on a large set populated by actors for a television show about him. Eventually, he discovers the truth and decides to escape. Additional roles are performed by Laura Linney, Noah Emmerich, Natascha McElhone, Holland Taylor, Ed Harris, Paul Giamatti and Brian Delate.
THE USUAL SUSPECTS – 1995 neo-noir mystery thriller film directed by Bryan Singer and written by Christopher McQuarrie. It stars Stephen Baldwin, Gabriel Byrne, Benicio del Toro, Kevin Pollak, Chazz Palminteri, Pete Postlethwaite, and Kevin Spacey. The plot follows the interrogation of Roger “Verbal” Kint, a small-time con man, who is one of only two survivors of a massacre and fire on a ship docked at the Port of Los Angeles. Through flashback and narration, Kint tells an interrogator a convoluted story of events that led him and his criminal companions to the boat, and of a mysterious crime lord—known as Keyser Söze—who controlled them. The film was shot on a $6 million budget and began as a title taken from a column in Spy magazine called The Usual Suspects, after one of Claude Rains’ most memorable lines in the classic film Casablanca, and Singer thought that it would make a good title for a film.
WITHNAIL AND I – A 1987 British black comedy film written and directed by Bruce Robinson. Loosely based on Robinson’s life in London in the late 1960s, the plot follows two unemployed actors, Withnail and “I” (portrayed by Richard E. Grant and Paul McGann, respectively) who share a flat in Camden Town in 1969. Needing a holiday, they obtain the key to a country cottage in the Lake District belonging to Withnail’s eccentric uncle Monty and drive there. The weekend holiday proves less recuperative than they expected. Withnail and I was Grant’s first film and established his profile. The film featured performances by Richard Griffiths as Withnail’s Uncle Monty and Ralph Brown as Danny the drug dealer. The film has tragic and comic elements and is notable for its period music and many quotable lines. It has been described by the BBC as “one of Britain’s biggest cult films”
THE WIZARD OF OZ – When a tornado rips through Kansas, Dorothy (Judy Garland) and her dog, Toto, are whisked away in their house to the magical land of Oz. They follow the Yellow Brick Road toward the Emerald City to meet the Wizard, and en route they meet a Scarecrow (Ray Bolger) that needs a brain, a Tin Man (Jack Haley) missing a heart, and a Cowardly Lion (Bert Lahr) who wants courage. The wizard asks the group to bring him the broom of the Wicked Witch of the West (Margaret Hamilton) to earn his help. 1939 American musical fantasy film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Often seen as one of the greatest films of all time, it is the most commercially successful adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s 1900 children’s fantasy novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Directed primarily by Victor Fleming (who left the production to take over the troubled Gone with the Wind), the film stars Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale alongside Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, Bert Lahr and Margaret Hamilton. Characterized by its use of Technicolor, fantasy storytelling, musical score, and memorable characters, the film has become an American pop culture icon.
WHERE DO WE GO NOW – A group of Lebanese women try to ease religious tensions between Christians and Muslims in their village. The group of women, half of them Christian, half of them Muslim, conspire to keep the men of their town from killing each other. Director: Nadine Labaki. Written byThomas Bidegain · Rodney El Haddad · Bassam Habib · Jihad Hojeily / Starring: Labaki, Julien Farhat, Claude Baz Moussawbaa
WERNER HERTZOG COLLECTION
THE ENIGMA OF KASPAR HAUSER (German: Jeder für sich und Gott gegen alle; lit. Every Man for Himself and God Against All) 1974 West German drama film written and directed by Werner Herzog and starring Bruno Schleinstein (credited as Bruno S.) and Walter Ladengast. The film closely follows the real story of foundling Kaspar Hauser, using the text of actual letters found with Hauser. The film follows Kaspar Hauser, who has lived the first seventeen years of his life chained in a tiny cellar with only a toy horse to occupy his time, devoid of all human contact except for a man, wearing a black overcoat and top hat, who fed him. One day, in 1828, the same man takes Hauser out of his cell, teaches him a few phrases, and how to walk, before leaving him in the town of Nuremberg. Hauser becomes the subject of much curiosity, and is exhibited in a circus before being rescued by Professor Georg Friedrich Daumer, who patiently attempts to transform him.
EVEN DWARFS STARTED SMALL (German: Auch Zwerge haben klein angefangen) 1970 West German comedy-drama film written, produced, and directed by Werner Herzog. Dwarfs confined in an institution on a remote island rebel against the guards and director, also dwarfs, in a display of mayhem. They gleefully break windows and dishes, abandon a running truck to drive itself in circles, engineer food fights and cock fights, set fire to pots of flowers, kill a large pig, torment some blind dwarfs, and perform a mock crucifixion of a monkey.
FATA MORGANA – 1971 film by Werner Herzog, shot in 1968 and 1969, which captures mirages in the Sahara and Sahel deserts. Herzog also wrote the voiceover narration by Lotte H. Eisner, which recites the Mayan creation myth, the Popol Vuh.
HEART OF GLASS (German: Herz aus Glas) 1976 German film directed and produced by Werner Herzog, set in 18th century Bavaria. The film was written by Herzog, based partly on a story by Herbert Achternbusch. The main character is Hias, based on the legendary Bavarian prophet, Mühlhiasl. The setting is an 18th-century Bavarian town with a glassblowing factory that produces a brilliant ruby glass. When the master glass blower dies, the secret of producing it is lost. The local Baron, who owns the factory, is obsessed with the ruby glass and believes it to have magical properties. With the loss of the secret, he descends into madness along with the rest of the townspeople. The main character is Hias, a seer from the hills, who predicts the destruction of the factory in a fire.
STROSZEK – Bruno Stroszek (Bruno S.), a hapless busker in Berlin, falls for a prostitute (Eva Mattes) who’s in trouble with local thugs. With nothing to lose, the new couple decide to emigrate to the United States with their neighbor Scheitz (Clemens Scheitz), whose American nephew lives in rural Wisconsin. But after a customs agent confiscates his cherished pet bird, Beo, Stroszek begins a downward spiral into culture shock and surreality as he experiences the dark underbelly of the American dream. a 1977 German tragicomedy directed by Werner Herzog and starring Bruno S., Eva Mattes, and Clemens Scheitz. Written specifically for Bruno S., the film was shot in Plainfield, Wisconsin, and North Carolina. Most of the lead roles are played by non-actors.