Selected Films

Three Colors: Blue  dir. by Krzysztof Kieślowski (1993, 98 min., France/Poland) In French with English subtitles


Julie is haunted by her grief after living through a tragic auto wreck that claimed the life of her composer husband and young daughter. Her initial reaction is to withdraw from her relationships, lock herself in her apartment and suppress her pain. But avoiding human interactions on the bustling streets of Paris proves impossible, and she eventually meets up with Olivier, an old friend who harbors a secret love for her, and who could draw her back to reality.


Three Reasons – Three Colors: Blue     Available to stream:

Three Colors: Blue (1993) on IMDb

Wendy and Lucy  dir. by Kelly Reichardt (2008, 80 min., USA) In English


Wendy Carroll is driving to Ketchikan, Alaska, in hopes of a summer of lucrative work at the Northwestern Fish cannery, and the start of a new life with her dog, Lucy. When her car breaks down in Oregon, however, the thin fabric of her financial situation comes apart, and she confronts a series of increasingly dire economic decisions, with far-ranging repercussions for herself and Lucy.


View Trailer     Available to stream:

Wendy and Lucy (2008) on IMDb

Maborosi  dir. by Hirokazu Kore-eda (1995, 110 min., Japan) In Japanese with English subtitles


Haunted by the mysterious loss of her grandmother many years ago, a beautiful young mother (Yumiko, played by Makiko Esumi) struggles to come to terms with the sudden loss of her husband. Yumiko remarries and with her young son moves to her new husband’s home in a remote village on the wild, untamed Sea of Japan. There, she is haunted by the past, but with time and the natural wonders around her, she awakens to find love, understanding, and a sense of peace.


How Maborosi Depicts Grief (spoilers)     Buy DVD:

Maborosi (1995) on IMDb

Swept Away dir. by Lina Wertmüller  (1974, 114 min., Italy) In Italian with English subtitles


On an elegant yacht cruising off the coast of Sardinia, Raffaella (Mariangela Melato), wife of a rich and powerful capitalist, enjoys tormenting Gennarino (Giancarlo Giannini), a Communist sailor. Fate weaves a different scenario and roles become dramatically reversed when the two find themselves stranded together on a desert island. Raffaella becomes dependent on Gennarino in order to survive, who torments her mercilessly until an unexpected equilibrium develops. A fiery political and sexual dialectic, but also asking—to what extent does love between people depend on their environment and social context?


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Swept Away (1974) on IMDb

Hiroshima, Mon Amour  dir. by Alain Resnais (1959, 90 min., France) In French with English subtitles


A cornerstone of the French New Wave, Alain Resnais' feature debut is one of the most influential films of all time. A French actress and a Japanese architect engage in a brief, intense affair in postwar Hiroshima. With an innovative structure and an Oscar-nominated script by Marguerite Duras, Hiroshima mon amour is a masterwork that weaves past and present, personal pain and public anguish.


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Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959) on IMDb

Memories of Underdevelopment  dir. by Tomás Gutiérrez Alea (1968, 77 min., Cuba) In Spanish with English subs


After his wife and family flee in the wake of the Bay of Pigs invasion, the bourgeois intellectual Sergio (Sergio Corrieri) passes his days wandering Havana in idle reflection, his amorous entanglements and political ambivalence gradually giving way to a mounting sense of alienation. Director Tomás Gutiérrez Alea developed a cinematic style as radical as the times he was chronicling, creating a collage of vivid impressions through the use of experimental editing techniques, archival material, and spontaneously shot street scenes. Intimate and densely layered, the film provides an indictment of its protagonist’s disengagement and an extraordinary glimpse of life in post-revolutionary Cuba.


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Aparajito  dir. by Satyajit Ray (1956, 110 min., India) In Bengali with English subtitles


Satyajit Ray had not planned to make a sequel to Pather Panchali, but after the film’s international success, he decided to continue Apu’s narrative. Aparajito picks up where the first film leaves off, with Apu and his family having moved away from the country to live in the bustling holy city of Varanasi (then known as Benares). As Apu progresses from wide-eyed child to intellectually curious teenager, eventually studying in Kolkata, we witness his academic and moral education, as well as the growing complexity of his relationship with his mother. This tenderly expressive, often heart-wrenching film, which won three top prizes at the Venice Film Festival, not only extends but also spiritually deepens the tale of Apu.


An Act of Faith: Saving the Apu Trilogy     Available to stream:

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly  dir. by Julian Schnabel (2008, 112 min., France) In French with English subtitles


The true story of Elle France editor Jean-Dominique Bauby, who, in 1995 at the age of 43, suffered a stroke that paralyzed his entire body, except his left eye. With the help of an incredibly patient nurse, he uses only that eye to painstakingly blink out his memoir, letter by letter. Bauby eloquently describes the aspects of his interior world, from the psychological torment of being trapped inside his body to his imagined stories from lands he’d only visited in his mind.


View Trailer     Available to stream:

 The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
(2007) on IMDb
Aparajito (1956) on IMDb
Memories of Underdevelopment (1968) on IMDb

The Seventh Continent  dir. by Michael Haneke (1989, 107 min., Austria) In German with English subtitles


The film chronicles three years of a middle class family seemingly caught up in their daily routines, only troubled by minor incidents. But behind their apparent calm and quotidian existence however, deeply abnormal and puzzling behavior begins to reveal itself. In Michael Haneke's masterwork of visual storytelling, these senseless destructive acts betray a sinister, duplicitous plot with unfathomable intentions and motives.


Michael Haneke on The Seventh Continent (spoilers)     Available to stream:

 The Seventh Continent
(1989) on IMDb

Shame  dir. by Ingmar Bergman (1968, 103 min., Sweden) In Swedish with English subtitles


Set in the not-too-distant future, Max von Sydow and Liv Ullmann star as musicians living in quiet retreat on a remote island farm, until the civil war that drove them from the city catches up with them there. Amid the chaos of the military struggle, vividly evoked by pyrotechnics and by cinematographer Sven Nykvist’s handheld camera work, the two are faced with impossible moral choices that tear at the fabric of their relationship. This film, which contains some of the most devastating scenes in Bergman’s oeuvre, shows the impact of war on individual lives.


Ingmar Bergman on Shame (spoilers)     Available to stream:

(1968) on IMDb

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