David Lynch’s labyrinthine Hollyweird freakout—his last feature to date—is his most uncompromising creation: a fugue-state trawl through the darkest realms of the subconscious that pushes his straight-from-the-id imagery and sinister dream logic to their extremes. When she accepts a role in a supposedly cursed production, a movie actor on the verge of a comeback (Laura Dern, in a fearless performance) finds herself tumbling down a series of increasingly disturbing rabbit holes (complete with literal rabbits) that lead her from the glittering heights of Tinseltown to the depths of human depravity. In his first feature shot on digital video, Lynch makes visionary use of the medium’s smudged textures and murky chiaroscuro to enhance the hallucinatory, nightmarish quality of what may be his magnum opus.
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.