This utterly unclassifiable film is one of Makavejev’s most freewheeling farces, assembled from the “lost” footage of the first Serbian talkie, a silly melodrama titled Innocence Unprotected, made during the Nazi occupation; contemporary interviews with the megaman who made it and other crew members; and images of the World War II destruction, and subsequent rebuilding, of Belgrade. And at its center is a (real-life) character you won’t soon forget: Dragoljub Aleksic, an acrobat, locksmith, and Houdini-style escape artist whom Makavejev uses as the absurd and wondrous basis for a look back at his country’s tumultuous recent history.
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.