Spending most of her days at home following the birth of her son but curious as ever about the people and places that surrounded her, Agnès Varda found inspiration for Daguerréotypes just outside her door: on Paris’s rue Daguerre, where she had lived and worked since the 1950s. The director turns her camera on the business owners whose shops are the street’s lifeblood: bakers, tailors, butchers, perfumers, music-store clerks, driving instructors, and others, who, between the everyday rituals of their work, talk of their lives, relationships, and dreams. Blending her photographer’s eye for still portraiture with her filmmaker’s gift for finding visual rhymes and resonances between images, Varda reveals the rich social fabric of an entire world—all without leaving her block.
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.