Infused with the spirit of rock ’n’ roll and rebellion, this music-driven counterculture snapshot unfolds to a near wall-to-wall soundtrack of late 1960s-early 1970s Hungarian psych and folk as it traces the odyssey of a young woman (Jaroslava Schallerová, star of the Czech New Wave classic Valerie and Her Week of Wonders) who, on the eve of her marriage to a factory worker (Márk Zala), experiences a final moment of freedom when she runs away with a touring band. One of Márta Mészáros’ most formally experimental works due to its minimal dialogue and almost proto-music video style, Don’t Cry, Pretty Girls! reflects the cultural sea change sweeping Europe at a time when traditional values were being shaken by a youthquake of individual self expression.
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.