Repulsion (1965)

Repulsion (1965) What I have most admired about Catherine Deneuve is her choice of roles in movies. Instead of catering to her physical beauty as a model, she has undermined her image by playing psychopaths and sexual deviants, maturing eventually to respectable but flawed matriarchs. In this early performance, she embodies Roman Polanski’s jaded vision … More Repulsion (1965)

Asparagus (1979) and Pinball (2013)

Asparagus (1979), Suzan Pitt’s first breakthrough animation, and Pinball (2013), her last animation, showcase amazing accomplishments celebrating independent filmmaking. On the CalArts Web site, Maureen Seawood wrote, “She [Suzan] believed that within us, we had the ability to unfold the way we dream. That each image leads us to the next image, giving birth to … More Asparagus (1979) and Pinball (2013)

Meshes of the Afternoon

Meshes of the Afternoon (1943) Maya Deren broke through the glass ceiling to create this significant surreal statement of women’s consciousness during the conformist forties and fifties. As the Museum of Modern Art has indicated, “A non-narrative work, it has been identified as a key example of the ‘trance film,’ in which a protagonist appears … More Meshes of the Afternoon

Judex (1963)

Judex (1963) Jacques Champreux, the grandson of Louis Feuillade, convinced Georges Franju to remake Judex in the tradition of early French serial crime dramas. A banker is sent a threatening letter, demanding that he return all money swindled from other clients. It is signed “Judex,” which means either “justice” or “revenge.” The result is a … More Judex (1963)

The Color of Pomegranates (1969)

The Color of Pomegranates (1969) Sergei Parajanov recreates the story of Armenian bard Sayat-Nova through a series of iconographic tableaux. The resplendent colors and austere asceticism of historic locations saturate this movie in ritual. “Actress Sofiko Chiaureli notably plays six roles in the film.” Soviet censors had little understanding or sympathy for such celebration of … More The Color of Pomegranates (1969)

Au rendez-vous de la mort joyeuse , aka Expulsion of the Devil (1973)

  Au rendez-vous de la mort joyeuse , aka Expulsion of the Devil (1973) Juan Luis Buñuel co-wrote and directed this horror film in which a house takes possession of its inhabitants and drives them mad. Dominique, the son, prefers playing outside with his toy soldiers, whereas Sophie draws imaginary buildings while her father sketches … More Au rendez-vous de la mort joyeuse , aka Expulsion of the Devil (1973)

Dalí’s Greatest Secret (2013)

  Dalí’s Greatest Secret (2013) Paul Perry wrote and directed this documentary that focuses on Salvador Dalí’s commission to paint the first vision of Fatima, The Vision of Hell. Conceived by John Hartford of the Blue Army as publicity celebrating the Vatican’s proposed 1961 disclosure of the secret third vision, the painting, over which Dalí … More Dalí’s Greatest Secret (2013)

Repo Man (1984)

    Repo Man (1984) “The life of a Repo Man is always intense,” Harry Dean Stanton [as Bud] tells Emilio Estevez [as Otto], and no more so than when repossessing a 1964 Chevrolet Malibu full of alien bodies from outer space. Alex Cox wrote and directed this punk satire of science fiction and teen … More Repo Man (1984)

Cronos (1993)

Cronos (1993) Guillermo del Toro’s first gothic masterpiece studies the relationship between a grandfather and his granddaughter through a surreal allegory about immortality and the limits of life on earth. Federico Luppi gives a stunning performance as the elderly antiques dealer who discovers a treasure that rejuvenates his blood and turns him younger. But there … More Cronos (1993)