Trailblazing auteur Márta Mészáros gives aching expression to the experiences of women in 1970s Hungary in this sensitive and absorbing slice-of-life drama, which became the first film directed by a woman to win the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival. Through intensely intimate camerawork, Mészáros immerses the viewer in the worlds two women, each searching for fulfillment: Kata (Katalin Berek), a middle-aged factory worker who wishes to have a child with her married lover, and Anna (Gyöngyvér Vigh), a teenage ward of the state determined to emancipate herself in order to marry her boyfriend. The bond that forms between the two speaks quietly but powerfully to the social and political forces that shape women’s lives as each navigates the realities of love, marriage, and motherhood in her quest for self-determination.
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.