In outline, this is the story of the tragic romance between a young telephonist (Eva Ras) and a middle-aged rodent sanitation specialist (Slobodan Aligrudic) in Belgrade. Yet in Dusan Makavejev’s manic hands, this second feature becomes an endlessly surprising, time-shifting exploration of love and freedom. Featuring interludes of interviews with a sexologist and a criminologist, as well as some of the most elegant dramatic filmmaking of the director’s career, Love Affair, based on a true incident, further demonstrated Makavejev’s adeptness at mixing and matching genres, and his odd, sophisticated humanism.
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.