The heartrending final installment of Márta Mészáros’ autobiographical Diary trilogy continues to trace the journey of Juli (Zsuzsa Czinkóczi), a young orphan, through the tumult of postwar Hungary. Set in the wake of the failed 1956 Hungarian revolution, Diary for My Mother and Father follows Juli as she leaves film school in Moscow and returns home to Budapest where she discovers a shattered world, one where brutality, fear, and anxiety permeate every aspect of life as Soviet forces tighten their grip on power. Seamlessly interweaving documentary newsreel footage with stirring human drama, Mészáros creates an at once epic and intimate portrait of history as she experienced it, bearing witness to both the horrors of totalitarian oppression and the courage of those who resist.
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.