In the aftermath of a 1990 earthquake that left 30,000 dead, Kiarostami returned to the village of Koker where his camera surveys not only the devastation but the teeming life that continues in its wake. Blending fiction and reality into a playful, poignant road movie, And Life Goes On follows a film director (played by an actor standing in for Kiarostami) who, along with his son, makes the difficult trek to the region in hopes of finding out if the young star of his movie Where is the Friend’s House? is among the survivors. There he discovers a resilient community pressing on in the face of tragedy as he’s helped along on his journey by the generosity of those he meets. Finding beauty in the bleakest of circumstances, Kiarostami crafts a quietly majestic ode to the best of the human spirit.
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.