Five young men linger in a postadolescent limbo, dreaming of adventure and escape from their small seacoast town. They while away their time spending the lira doled out by their indulgent families on drink, women, and nights at the local pool hall. Federico Fellini’s second solo directorial effort (originally released in the U.S. as The Young and the Passionate) is a semiautobiographical masterpiece of sharply drawn character sketches: Skirt chaser Fausto, forced to marry a girl he has impregnated; Alberto, the perpetual child; Leopoldo, a writer thirsting for fame; and Moraldo, the only member of the group troubled by a moral conscience. An international success and recipient of an Academy Award® nomination for Best Original Screenplay, I vitelloni compassionately details a year in the life of a group of small-town layabouts struggling to find meaning in their lives.
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.