Made in collaboration with Alberto Lattuada, Federico Fellini’s directorial debut unfolds amid the colorful backdrop of a traveling vaudeville troupe whose quixotic impresario (Peppino De Filippo) is tempted away from his faithful mistress (Giulietta Masina) by the charms of an ambitious young dancer (Carla Del Poggio). Though the details of what the division of duties was between the two directors are unclear, this lively backstage capriccio is unmistakably Felliniesque in its whimsical fascination with the heightened reality, carnivalesque characters, and exotic allure of the world of show business. In the first of her celebrated collaborations with her director husband, Giulietta Masina displays the spirited vulnerability that would soon become an archetype of cinematic emotiveness.
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.