French filmmaker Jacques Demy (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Donkey Skin) never shied away from dipping his toes in the fanciful, but A Slightly Pregnant Man takes a full dive into the delightfully absurd. A comic confection with a provocative aftertaste, Demy’s film concerns a mustachioed driving instructor (Marcello Mastroianni) and his hairdresser wife (Catherine Deneuve) faced with an unexpected pregnancy. As one can glean from the title, she’s not the one with the expanding belly. In Demy’s film, a serious examination of shifting gender roles sits happily alongside the goofball scenario.
With his lush and sensual visuals, pitch-perfect soundtracks, and soulful romanticism, Wong Kar Wai has established himself as one of the defining auteurs of contemporary cinema.
“No one sees anything. Ever. They watch, but they don’t understand.” So observes Connie Nielsen in Olivier Assayas’s hallucinatory, globe-spanning Demonlover, a postmodern neonoir thriller and media critique in which nothing—not even the film itself—is what it appears to be.
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An intoxicating, time-bending experience bathed in the golden glow of oil lamps and wreathed in an opium haze, Hou Hsiao-hsien’s gorgeous period reverie traces the romantic intrigue, jealousies, and tensions swirling around a late 19th century Shanghai brothel, where the courtesans live confined to a gilded cage, ensconced in opulent splendor yet forced to work to buy back their freedom.