‘Fantastic Planet’ – the animated cult classic on HBO Max and Criterion Channel

More fantasy than science fiction, the strange, metaphorical portrait from filmmaker Rene Laloux plays out in a world as psychedelic as ‘Yellow Submarine’ but far more predatory.

The Belladonna of Sadness from Japan, directed by Eiichi Yamamoto

‘The Belladonna of Sadness’ on Criterion Channel

The Belladonna of Sadness (Japan, 1973), a lost classic of Japanese animation, is an erotic drama by definition, but it is quite a sophisticated one that is part subversive folk tale, part rock ballad musical, and part experimental filmmaking. Set in an unnamed kingdom in an abstracted medieval Europe, it’s a provocative film about female […]

Last chance: ‘Enter the Dragon’ – Bruce Lee is supreme on Netflix

Enter the Dragon (1973) – After years of supporting roles in Hollywood, American citizen Bruce Lee became a star in Hong Kong with a handful of hard-edged martial arts thrillers. He returned to conquer his adopted homeland with this American/Hong Kong co-production, a glorified B-movie mix of kung-fu fighting (choreographed by Lee himself) and James […]

Dustin Hoffman and Steve McQueen in the 1973 escape drama from director Franklin J. Schaffner

Last chance: Steve McQueen is ‘Papillon’ on HBO Max

Ten years after Steve McQueen made his name in the most famous prison break thriller of them all—The Great Escape—he stepped into the role of Henri ‘Papillon’ Charriere, the real-life French safecracker convicted of murder (unjustly, he maintained) and sentenced to the prison colony in French Guyana and, later, Devil’s Island. Directed by Franklin J. […]