Juliette Binoche, Julie Delpy, and Irene Jacob star in Krzysztof Kieslowski 's Blue, White, and Red trilogy

‘Three Colors’ – Kieslowski’s sublime trilogy on Criterion Channel and Blu-ray/DVD

The three colors are blue, white and red. They are the colors of the French flag, of course, and they are appropriated by director Krzysztof Kieslowski along with the themes of the motto they more or less represent: liberty, equality, fraternity. But the films Three Colors: Blue (1993), Three Colors: White (1993), and Three Colors: […]

Bruno Ganz is Adolph Hitler in the Oscar-nominated film from Oliver Hirschbiegel

‘Downfall’ – The last days of Hitler on Netflix

Downfall (2004), Oliver Hirschbiegel’s ambitious and complex dramatization of the final days of Adolf Hitler and the collapse of Germany, is a compelling history lesson and a riveting drama. Bruno Ganz plays Hitler with creepy charm and paternal affection amidst his ping-ponging emotional instability. His megalomania and paranoia take over in an adrenaline rush and […]

Dominique Sanda and Stefania Sandrelli in Bernardo Bertolucci's 'The Conformist' starring Jean-Louis Trintignant

Bernardo Bertolucci’s ‘The Conformist’ on FilmStruck and Fandor

Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Conformist (1970), his dense, visually intricate, and stylistically ornate adaptation of the revered novel by Alberto Moravio, tosses sex, desire, politics, and personal responsibility into the Fascist era before World War II. Marcello (an actively repressed Jean-Louis Trintignant), a petty bourgeois man in late 1930s Italy, joins the Italian Fascist party as […]

Takeshi Kitano directs and stars in "Violent Cop"

‘Violent Cop’ and ‘Boiling Point’ – The volatile Takeshi Kitano on Amazon Prime and Sundance Now

In Violent Cop (1989) and Boiling Point (1990), actor-turned-filmmaker Takeshi Kitano has a way of transforming stillness into tension in his crime films. In the opening shot of Violent Cop, Kitano’s 1990 directorial debut, the camera holds on the smiling face of a toothless derelict. Like a pebble dropping into a pond the calm is […]

Emmanuelle Seigner and Mathieu Amalric star in 'Venus in Fur,' directed by Roman Polanski

‘Venus in Fur’ on Hulu

Venus in Fur (France, 2013), adapted by Roman Polanski with playwright David Ives from his Tony Award-winning play, is Polanksi’s second theater piece in a row. This is a two-hander between a playwright (Mathieu Amalric) auditioning actresses for his adaptation of the novel by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch and an actress (Emmanuelle Seigner) who arrives late […]