Uncut Gems – 2019 Safdie

A roller-coaster, a time bomb, a heart-attack—you pick the analogy--- the Safdie brothers have confirmed their arrival as major auteurs, in a big way, with Uncut Gems. Their specific brand of narrative propulsion is their

Stray Dog – 1949 Kurosawa

Kurosawa takes De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves concept the year before, a stolen object (in this case a colt pistol) as the driving force for the narrative. At some point this film evolves into a compelling

Raising Cain – 1992 De Palma

A flawed work from Brian De Palma but it’s De Palma—meaning there are some exceptional cinematic moments paired (often right alongside) some cringe-worthy storytelling/writing and pulpy pop psychologyThe psychological thriller, De Palma always the Hitchcock

The Baron of Arizona – 1950 Fuller

A fascinating true story of forgery and deception- fits with Fuller’s obsession with exposing the sordid underbelly or ugly truthShot by James Wong Howe (Hud, Seconds – both would come later of course but Body

I Shot Jesse James – 1949 Fuller

Sam Fuller’s debut, and in typical Fuller fashion it was shot on almost no-budget in 10 days. Much of the acting in Fuller’s filmography is suspect— but John Ireland here is one of the exceptions—he’s

Mustang – 2015 Ergüven

A stellar debut from Turkish director (and shot in Turkey) Deniz Gamze Ergüven— certainly the plot is similar to Sofia Coppola’s debut in 1999- The Virgin Suicides A strong debut from Turkish director (and shot

Companeros – 1970 Corbucci

The sixth archiveable film in an incredibly fertile period for Sergio Corbucci—all westerns, another one here starring Franco Nero, with a score from Ennio MorriconeNero’s lone antihero (always out for himself here and the almighty

The Ninth Gate – 1999 Polanski

It’s a far cry from The Ghost Writer let alone Chinatown or Rosemary’s Baby but Polanski’s The Ninth Gate is still a very worthy B-side entry Once again Polanski, the occult and the devil –

The Great Silence – 1968 Corbucci

Corbucci’s most serious film, a brilliant revisionist western starring two titans of European cinema, Jean-Louis Trintignant and Klaus Kinski, just because they became household namesA devastating Morricone score as well- perhaps not as catchy as

Drunken Angel – 1948 Kurosawa

The first of 16 pairings (in 16 years) between the acclaimed director/actor pairing of Kurosawa and Mifune – perhaps the greatest pairing in the cinema historyIt was Mifune’s fourth film, but the first I have

La Vie de Bohème – 1992 Kaurismäki

A bit of a change of pace from Kaurismäki—unlike his Proletariat Trilogy (color films, very short, set in Finland, single protagonist) this is a black and white film about three characters (further cementing Kaurismaki with

One Wonderful Sunday – 1947 Kurosawa

Almost like a combination of Open City from Rossellini and Brief Encounter from David Lean (maybe a tad of depression-era Capra)- a two-hander romance, a couple drifting through a city (during a set period of

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