An old man strolls through the noisy streets of Rasht, and when his hearing aid is knocked out of his ear, the film’s sound goes off, mimicking the silence that envelops him. At home, the same thing happens when he takes the device out, and Kiarostami intercuts his silent actions with the clamor of schoolgirls who try to get his attention from outside. Another Kiarostami meditation on the contrasts of silence and sound, age and youth, solitude and solidarity.
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.
Mathieu Kassovitz took the film world by storm with La haine, a gritty, unsettling, and visually explosive look at the racial and cultural volatility in modern-day France, specifically the low-income banlieue districts on Paris’s outskirts.
DCP, 35 mm, Blu-ray, DVD
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.