What Have I Done To Deserve This?

Definitive mid-period Almodóvar (post-avant-garde tyro, preestablishment icon), this typically hysterical family melodrama pitches Carmen Maura's downtrodden amphetamine-addicted housewife, her two teenage dope-dealing hustler sons, her…

Gaul To Arms

France's answer to Mean Streets, Trainspotting and Do The Right Thing all rolled into one...

Wild River

Every film buff knows Elia Kazan's On The Waterfront and East Of Eden, but his two greatest films are terribly overlooked. In the case of…

Forty Guns

Sam Fuller once claimed that the point of any opening sequence was to give the viewer an erection. Here we have Barbara Stanwyck in black,…

Naked Lunch

William Burroughs' novel was long considered to be unfilmable, a theory that David Cronenberg proved with this '91 adaptation. Riffing through the book, sampling scenes…

Elephant

Gus Van Sant's Palme d'Or-winning take on the Columbine massacre makes for understandably difficult viewing. Van Sant deliberately shoots the movie flat and spare, looping…

Plein Soleil

Directed at mercilessly cool, wickedly tense pace by René Clément, the original 1960 French adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's The Talented Mr Ripley pisses from on…

Balzac And The Little Chinese Seamstress

Dai Sijie's beguiling, semi-autobiographical movie is set during China's Cultural Revolution, when two reactionary city students are sent to the mountains to be re-educated in…

Angela

A patchy Italian crime thriller, the only fresh 'angle'being that the drug dealer working for the Mafia is a woman (she hides the goods in…

Dragonflies

Norwegian psychological thriller which starts slowly but soon has its hooks in you so deep you daren't move. With shades of Harry, He's Here To…

Historias Minimas

Low-key Argentinian road movie of sorts from director Carlos Sorin. A lost dog provides the impetus for an old man to amble off on a…

The Man Without A Past

Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki's maverick reputation is built on a series of inspired, lugubrious comic gems, but this latest film—about a coma victim who wakes…

A Touch Of Zen

Originally re-edited and released in two parts, King Hu's lengthy 1969 spiritual kung-fu masterpiece here appears as the director intended. The first half is slow,…

Timecode

Mike Figgis' one-take, four-camera, split-screen Hollywood satire is avant-garde without being pretentious, innovative without being wearisome. Here, like a Dogme remix of The Player, Figgis…

Boudu Saved From Drowning

Jean Renoir's 1932 blueprint for Paul Mazursky's heavy-handed 1986 remake Down And Out In Beverly Hills stars Michel Simon as a Parisian tramp rescued from…

Europa Europa

When, in '91, this wasn't nominated for a best foreign film Oscar, nearly every living German director signed a protest letter. Agnieszka Holland hasn't since…