With his underappreciated first English-language film, a relationship drama shot near his island retreat of Fårö, Bergman delivered a compelling portrait of conflicting desires. A chance encounter between seemingly contented housewife Karin (Bibi Andersson) and intense American archaeologist David (Elliott Gould) leads to the initiation of a torrid and tempestuous affair, one that eventually threatens the stability of her life with a respected local surgeon (Max von Sydow). Upon its release, Bergman declared this emotionally complex and sensitively performed film to be his first real love story.
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.