Barbet Schroeder’s mesmerizing follow-up to More returns to themes of counterculture rebellion and experimentation—this time on a grand, almost mythic scale. While on an excursion in New Guinea to procure rare feathers, Vivian (Bulle Ogier), a French diplomat’s wife, joins a band of vagabond hippies on a quest to discover an uncharted, utopian valley. As the bourgeois Vivian delights in the new pleasures of free love and consciousness-expanding drugs, she believes she has found paradise. But is it just an illusion? Suffused with cosmic mystery—enhanced by a trancey Pink Floyd score and stunning cinematography by Néstor Almendros, who captures the island’s lush, awe-inspiring beauty—The Valley is a hallucinatory parable of post-sixties idealism hurtling into oblivion.
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.
Four charming comedies from Eric Rohmer.
Melvin Van Peebles’s edgy, angsty, romantic first feature could never have been made in America. Unable to break into a segregated Hollywood, Van Peebles decamped to France, taught himself the language, and wrote a number of books in French, one of which, La permission, would become his stylistically innovative feature debut.
Melvin Van Peebles
DCP, Blu-ray, DVD
A triumph at the 2020 Berlin International Film Festival, the revelatory debut feature from codirectors (and twin brothers) Arie and Chuko Esiri is a heartrending and hopeful portrait of everyday human endurance in Lagos, Nigeria.