Breaking the Waves (1996), Lars von Trier ★★★★★
Broken down into chapters, each with a surreal landscape shot that seems to come alive with time and a separate musical theme by Elton John, T-Rex, Mott the Hoople, Roxy Music, Jethro Tull, etc.
Runoff (2015), Kimberly Levin ★★★★★
Her debut film, with many beautiful shots – starting with the opening scene, which dovetails perfectly into it’s theme.
Where is My Friend’s House? (1987), Abbas Kiarostami ★★★★★
Listed in Hulu plus as a Criterion Collection, complete with the Janus logo and spinning C. First film in his Koker trilogy, followed by Life and Nothing More (1991), and Through the Olive Trees (1994). I’m on the hunt for those two! edit: found it.
The Band Wagon (1953), Vincente Minnelli ★★★★★
I’ve been catching up on Martin Scorsese’s Film School: The 85 Films You Need To See To Know Anything About Film through netflix and hulu plus and the library.
Judex (1963), Georges Franju ★★★★
Fill the Void (2012), Rama Burshtein, movie of the week ★★★★★
Debut film, she knocks it out of the park. A new #1 for 2013 (U.S. release date), unseating The Wolf of Wall Street.
After seeing Hadas Yaron in Felix & Meira, I had to watch this.
There’s a scene, where Shira is smiling and playing the accordion at a kindergarten and the kids are dancing with hands in the air, and the teacher whispers to her her condolences and her expression changes to sorrow, she slows the song and closes her eyes and transitions to a sad song, and the shot changes to over her shoulder showing the kids dropping their arms, and slowly turn to face her.
Tangerine (2015), Sean Baker ★★★★
I’ve been waiting to see this after his excellent Starlet (2012). Shot with an iphone 5S with anamorphic adapters. Like Sisters of the Gion, Tangerine takes you into the life of the oldest profession.
Osaka Elegy (1936), Kenji Mizoguchi ★★★★★
Onibaba (1964), Kaneto Shindo ★★★★★
Sisters of the Gion (1936), Kenji Mizoguchi ★★★★★
Three films with men in supporting roles. For Mizoguchi, Sisters followed Osaka Elegy and both star Isuzu Yamada. Onibaba’s gruesome method of putting rice on the table can be seen in Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, and evidenced by Toshiro Mifune’s speech / revelation. Sometimes hell hath no fury like a man scorned (Sisters of the Gion).
Pather Panchali (1955), Satyajit Ray ★★★★★
TCM played all 3 of the Apu trilogy, so I rewatched the first. If I had the set I’d be watching them a few times a year.
Secret Honor (1984), Robert Altman ★★★★★
Ever since I heard Altman mention in one of his commentaries how he met and was in contact Paul Thomas Anderson, I’ve noticed the connection, in this case the star: Philip Baker Hall – the only actor in this film. Captivating.
Come Drink with Me (1966), King Hu ★★★★
Juliet of the Spirits (1965), Federico Fellini, Gianni di Venanzo DOP ★★★★★
Joining the short list of Technicolor masterpieces; Jack Cardiff’s Black Narcissus (1947) and The Red Shoes (1948), Claude Renoir’s The River (1951) and The Golden Coach (1953) (haven’t seen The Tales of Hoffmann yet).