Allison Anders, Dean Lent, and Kurt Voss
Before carving out a niche as one of the most distinct voices in nineties American cinema, Allison Anders made her debut, alongside codirectors and fellow UCLA film school students Kurt Voss and Dean Lent, with 1987’s Border Radio. A low-key, semi-improvised postpunk diary that took four years to complete, Border Radio features legendary rocker Chris D., of the Flesh Eaters, as a singer/songwriter who has stolen loot from a club and gone missing, leaving his wife (Luanna Anders), a no-nonsense rock journalist, to track him down with the help of his friends (John Doe of the band X; Chris Shearer). With its sprawling Southern Californian and Mexican landscapes, captured in evocative 16mm black and white, Border Radio is a singular, DIY memento of the indie film explosion in America.
This boldly cinematic trio of stories about love and loss, from Krzysztof Kieślowski was a defining event of the art-house boom of the 1990s. The films are named for the colors of the French flag and stand for the tenets of the French Revolution—liberty, equality, and fraternity—but that hardly begins to explain their enigmatic beauty and rich humanity. Set in Paris, Warsaw, and Geneva, and ranging from tragedy to comedy, Blue, White, and Red(Kieślowski’s final film) examine with artistic clarity a group of ambiguously interconnected people experiencing profound personal disruptions. Marked by intoxicating cinematography and stirring performances by such actors as Juliette Binoche, Julie Delpy, Irène Jacob, and Jean-Louis Trintignant, Kieślowski’s Three Colors is a benchmark of contemporary cinema.
The Hong Kong crime drama was jolted to new life with the release of the Infernal Affairs trilogy, a bracing, explosively stylish critical and commercial triumph that introduced a dazzling level of narrative and thematic complexity to the genre with its gripping saga of two rival moles.
The release of François Truffaut’s The 400 Blows in 1959 shook world cinema to its foundations.