Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Night and the City: Am I Noir?

Night and the City 1950 U.S. Twentieth Century Fox; remastered Criterion Collection DVD released in 2015 (101 minutes). Directed by Jules Dassin; screenplay by J. D. Eisinger, from the novel by Gerald Kersh; cinematography by Mutz Greenbaum (as Max Greene); edited by Nick DeMaggio and Sidney Stone; casting by Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Weston Drury Jr.
As a parting gift, Daryl Zanuck gave one of his accused ‘Hollywood Communist’ directors a big budget, a top cast and a crime story to direct in London about an expatriate American ‘artist with no art’.
Richard Widmark, as Harry Fabian, the 'artist with no art' in Jules Dassin's Night and the City
The American, Harry Fabian (Richard Widmark), long on get-rich-quick schemes but ever short of funds, hatches a plot to control London’s professional wrestling circuit. If Fabian succeeds, he gets out from under his nightclub boss Philip Nosseross (Francis L. Sullivan) and outmaneuvers wrestling promoter and organized crime kingpin Kristo (Herbert Lom). His plan involves manipulating his long-suffering girlfriend Mary Bristol (Gene Tierney), his boss’s wife Helen (Googie Withers) and Kristo’s father Gregorius (Stanislaus Zbyszko), an old-time Greco-Roman wrestling champion.  
Richard Widmark, Googie Withers and Francis L. Sullivan in Night and the City:
'Oh dear boy, you'll be the death of me!'
This cast and British character actors from Kristos’s ‘boys’, his lawyer Fergus Chilk (Aubrey Dexter) and his wrestler, The Strangler (Mike Mazurki), to the street operators Anna O’Leary (Maureen Delaney), Googin the Forger (Gibb McLaughlin) and Figler, King of the Beggars (James Hayter), may be the best collection of faces any director ever shot in black and white. Zbyszko, a retired two-time world heavyweight wrestling champion in the 1920s, is a larger-than-life non-actor who nearly steals the show. 
Stanislaus Zybyszko, former champion wrestler, in Night and the City
But London critics did not like this pessimistic tale set in the London criminal underworld, shot in their town by an American director for a Hollywood studio with Widmark and Tierney in the lead roles. The film also reportedly ‘angered’ Gerald Kersh, author of the 1938 novel on which the story was based, though director Jules Dassin said he was given the script to direct without having read the book.
Harry Fabian (Richard Widmark) works Helen Nosseross (Googie Withers) in Night and the City.
Since that time, Dassin’s 1950 Night and the City, a drop-dead-gorgeous masterpiece of make-believe in black and white, has been celebrated as one of the seminal works of film noir. Dassin disputed this label.
‘I didn’t know there was a film noir until I learned the term in France,’ Dassin said in a 2004 interview for Criterion with Issa Clubb. Blacklisted in Hollywood, the former American studio director established himself in France where he made the urban heist classic Rififi (1955) in the twilight between the Second World War and the Nouvelle Vague.
Hard to resist a pretty lady in Jules Dassin's Rififi
‘When Rififi came out, [the critics] talked about how I was indebted to a film made by John Huston called Asphalt Jungle [1950] and how they were similar,’ Dassin said. ‘Now, word of honor, I had not seen Asphalt Jungle until I read about all this and I still don’t see the connection, except for one story element: a guy’s undone because he couldn’t resist pretty girls—or ladies. But that’s all,’ he said in the 2004 interview. 
Hard to resist a pretty lady in John Huston's Asphalt Jungle
Postwar French film intellectuals enthused over the hard-boiled Hollywood crime stories shot in black and white in the narcotic American night and coined them film noir. It was a style of filmmaking that contemporary German film theorist Siegfried Kracauer and others associated with German Expressionism.
German Expressionism: Das Kabinett des Dr Caligari Robert Weine (1919)
But Lotte Eisner, an early German film critic, traced the style to more practical roots, beginning with European theater legend Max Reinhardt. A trained actor, Reinhardt became a successful theater owner and impresario of operas and grand theatrical productions at the turn of the century. He revolutionized the way operas and plays were staged and trained actors and stage crew in his methods at the time when the first German films were being made. Eisner also credits the influence of early naturalistic Danish film directors and elements of German Romanticism. 
Max Reinhardt in Hollywood: A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935)
In her book The Haunted Screen, Eisner noted that Reinhardt’s Deutsches Theater in Berlin, for example, was famous for its revolving stage and elaborate sets. But she said that a shortage of raw materials and limited budgets in the latter part of the First World War inspired Reinhardt to substitute lighting for set décor. Reinhardt also directed several early films (Sumurûn, 1910; Die Insel der Seligen, 1913). Given this practical background, German film directors already were familiar with chiaroscuro effects and had no need to rely on what the Expressionists were doing, Eisner wrote.
Otto Rippert's 'pioneer work' Homunculus (1916)--Lotte Eisner 
‘Proof can be found in the serial film Homunculus [Otto Rippert, 1916] which, made as it was long before [Das Kabinett des Dr] Caligari [Robert Weine, 1919], has not had the attention it deserves. In this pioneer work, the contrasts between black and white, the collisions between light and shade—all the classical elements of the German film, from Der Müde Tod (Destiny) [1921] to Metropolis [1926—both by Fritz Lang]are already present,’ she wrote.
Lang and many of the film professionals who began their careers in the German system where film was regarded an art—Ernst Lubitsch, Billy Wilder, William Dieterle and Robert Siodmak, for instance—emigrated to the Hollywood film studios in the Nazi period. Thus perhaps in a similar practical sense, the way film noir looks owes as much to Reinhardt, taking root in the Southern California desert in the 1930s and becoming a staple of the way studios made films that flourished as American art.
Gene Tierney as Mary Bristol, Harry Fabian's long-suffering girlfriend in Night and the City
Though as Dassin said of film noir in the 2004 interview: ‘You know, sometimes we know not what we do. It just happens.’
In addition to a high definition digital transfer of the original print, the Criterion Collection DVD released in 2015 includes both the U.S. 95 min. release and longer U.K. release reviewed here, as well as a June 1970 interview of Dassin by Paul Seban for the French television show L’invité du dimanche and the 2004 Criterion interview.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Darkest Hour

Darkest Hour 2017 U.K. (125 minutes) directed by Joe Wright; written by Anthony McCarten; director of photography, Bruno Delbonnel; casting by Jina Jay.

Gary Oldman brings Winston Churchill to life via Churchill’s language, the central ‘character’ in Darkest Hour, with the support of an outstanding cast working with a great script, but the film’s direction and lighting leave much to be desired.

 The ‘darkest hour’ came in 1940 at that moment in history when Nazi Germany appeared poised to conquer the European continent and threaten the British Isles, despite desperate diplomatic moves by British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and others to avoid a second ruinous world war. Darker yet in some circles was the prospect and necessity of replacing Chamberlain with Churchill, an aristocratic speechifying senior politician right about Adolf Hitler, but wrong in a trail of policy decisions going back to the disastrous Gallipoli campaign in the First World War.
Oldman earned his Best Actor Academy Award for Darkest Hour in a role tough not to caricature. He seems to have learned a thing or two from George Smiley. We have not seen a better movie Winston Churchill, and many lesser bluff mimics. Oldman and the cast’s acting stands out because they made an ensemble piece around Churchill’s language: the script is written to Churchill’s language in that it is structured to his speeches; the subsidiary roles support it; the movie even closes with a direct reference to it. 
Lily James as Elizabeth Layton, Churchill’s typist-midwife,

However, apart from the stellar writing, casting and acting, the movie is a bad job. The subject needed something quieter and less Crowded With Import, such as the way Tom Hooper handled The King’s Speech (2010), an equally large—and contemporary—tale. Darkest Hour tells a tremendous story and, as in The King’s Speech, these actors, from Oldman and Kristin Scott-Thomas as Clementine Churchill, to Lily James as Elizabeth Layton, Churchill’s typist-midwife, through the entire cast, had the chops to carry it. Susanna White’s excellent Parade’s End (2012) also comes to mind.

Kristin Scott-Thomas as Clementine Churchill, with Winston
The most glaring problem is the lighting. It is entirely too white. We thought first that Oldman should have been made up a touch pinker: Churchill was ruddy by nature and drank habitually, yet for the most part looks an awfully pasty white in the film. On a rewatch, it is the lighting that pales him. These actors would have looked marvelous in a softer and more nuanced light. The other part of this is that there is nearly no chiaroscuro: the actors either were blasted by unfiltered beams, or barely visible in the gloaming. The lighting also artificially ‘dates’ the colours, antiquing them to make them look like colours retouched in photographs before this historical period, closer to the turn of the 20th century.
Beyond this, the music booms and the framing of the picture looks overwrought and televisiony, making it ring phony and pretentious. This is entirely unnecessary. There are several choreographed slow-motion ‘person’-in-the-street floatersby scenes in which urban pedestrians and workers pass before the viewer (Churchill, being driven round London) a lot more slowly than one should expect to see them from a moving automobile, even in London traffic. These may have been someone’s idea of ‘art’; it read like an advertisement. And when Churchill takes the London Underground to work for the first time in his life to engage with everyday Britons, the preponderance of women and a young black man as his fellow passengers, though possibly historical, seemed a note strained to exhibit a gratuitous multi-culti bona fide. This kind of ‘artistic’ fiddling distracts from rather than enhances the story.

How the other 99% lives: Churchill rides the Tube to work.
These infelicities aside, this movie is worth seeing because the cast bonds and makes the script sing as they tell the tale.


Saturday, January 20, 2018

The Post

The Post 2017 U.S. (116 minutes) directed by Steven Spielberg; written by Liz Hannah and Josh Singer; cinematography by Janusz Kaminski; editing by Sarah Broshar and Michael Kahn; casting by Ellen Lewis; dedicated to Nora Ephron.

A movie can be a balm in troublous times, especially if that movie is a splendidly-written, brilliantly-acted, beautifully-shot tableau of troublous times past.

Steven Spielberg’s telling of the Pentagon Papers story, The Post, focused on Katharine Graham, the former owner and ‘accidental’ head of The Washington Post, and her executive editor Ben Bradlee, is such a balm. It is hard to imagine that Meryl Streep as Graham and Tom Hanks as Bradlee could be any better, and their superb performances raise those of all around them. 
It also is hard to imagine a more loaded gun at this historical moment than the Pentagon Papers story. But in this age of Wikileaks and King Corn Silk, The Post is a story about family, and a newspaper which, especially in former times, is very much a noisy and contentious family, and how both a family and a newspaper are the sum of each and every part.
One of the many beauties of this film is that it shows a newspaper to be a living thing of nearly infinite parts, down to single letters of type, which each day starts from scratch and ends with the miracle of a fully-integrated, finished product.

But the greatest wonder of this picture is the restraint Spielberg shows in not bill-boarding THE MESSAGE like the nine letters that spell ‘HOLLYWOOD’ on the Hollywood Hills, as so often is his wont. Yes, it is about a Strong Woman, and how this Strong Woman shone a light to others—but not at that time. Thankfully, we only get one embarrassing tracking shot of Graham descending the US Supreme Court steps bathed in the collective golden gaze of a crowd of adoring young women.

Because Meryl Streep, as Graham, embodies this message: she shows it time and again, each time better than before, without anyone’s help but the camera that loves her.
In any case, most of the young people outside the Supreme Court in our jaded memory would be either protestors, or tourists or student groups waiting in line to get in. And in 1971 it is unlikely that anyone but insiders would know who Kay Graham was, what she looked like, and what role she had played.

The Pentagon Papers began as an unvarnished internal report ordered by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara on the history of US involvement in Southeast Asia. The result was a 7,000-page, 47-volume history. Daniel Ellsberg, a former Defense Department analyst who worked at Rand Corporation, found a copy of this top secret report at Rand, took it home and copied it. He then leaked it to New York Times reporter Neil Sheehan.

The Washington papers at this time—the liberal Washington Post and its soon thereafter defunct conservative competitor The Evening Star—were not national papers like The New York Times. They were publications focused on the local industry, which in Washington is national politics, and events such as White House weddings. Graham was a Washington socialite with no profession or work experience. She had grown up with her father’s paper, and her father had passed the reins to her husband Phil Graham. She became the publisher after her husband killed himself in 1963.  

Spielberg’s story takes place at a critical moment eight years later. Graham wants The Washington Post to be a quality national paper. She also needs to take the business public to ensure that it will be a going concern. Bradlee, an editor with a supernatural news sense as great editors have, feels in his bones that The Times’s Neil Sheehan is going to break a big story.
Bradlee grabs an intern, gives him $40 and tells to jump on a train to New York, go to The New York Times and find out what Neil Sheehan is working on.

‘Is that legal?’ the intern asks.

‘What do you think we do here for a living, kid?’ comes the reply.
The story moves quickly from Ellsberg (Matthew Rhys) in Vietnam; to a set piece in which Graham battles her all-male board, whom as a socialite they do not take seriously; to Bradlee’s race to try to beat a competitor to a scoop; to the enormity of the Pentagon Papers. This narrative trajectory brings Graham full circle because it leads her to McNamara (Bruce Greenwood), a key figure in the Vietnam story and one of her close personal social friends.

The Times’s publication of Sheehan’s story brings down the wrath of President Richard Nixon; The Post (and presumably a number of other papers) gets Pentagon Paper excerpts as a federal judge in New York grants the government’s request for an injunction blocking further disclosure. Bradlee’s reporters track down Ellsberg and their own set of documents. So Graham must decide whether to risk breaking the law by publishing the story, going against the wishes of her board—a composite fictional character in the person of Arthur Parsons (Bradley Whitford)—and possibly jeopardizing her IPO. The rest is history, though we were stiff afterward because the drama is so visceral.

And rather than close on a reverent note after Kay Graham says ‘I don’t think I could ever live through something like this again,’ the camera shows us a security guard finding a door taped open, passing through to the office of the Democratic National Committee. The guard calls DC Metropolitan Police: ‘I think we may have a burglary in progress at the Watergate.’  

Friday, January 5, 2018

Casting out demons in Québec

I Confess 1953 U.S. Warner Brothers/First National (94 minutes) directed by Alfred Hitchcock; written by George Tabori and William Archibald from a play by Paul Anthelme; director of photography, Robert Burks; music composed and directed by Dmitri Tiomkin.
AlfredHitchcock’s ‘I Confess’ is set amid Québec’s grand medieval-looking architecture and long shadows that can make it feel eerie as Prague at night, a natural fit with the Jacques Becker-Jean-Pierre Melville-Jules Dassin French crime dramas of the postwar era.
After the opening credits, we see Hitchcock stroll right to left across the screen, along the top of a staircase. A series of four ‘DIRECTION’ signs then point in a direction opposite to Hitchcock’s. They take us through town to a crime scene. A bead curtain swings. A man in a cassock exits into a night street. A man confesses a murder to a priest. The police arrive at the crime scene.
The circumstantial evidence points to Abbe Michael Logan (Montgomery Clift). The watchful Inspector Larrue (Karl Malden) spots Father Logan in the morning crowd at the crime scene. 
Clift was the first major ‘method’ actor. His Logan is convincing as a priest and returning combat veteran, and he photographs beautifully in black & white. But Clift’s personal life was beset with demons—perhaps not unlike Logan’s.
Father Logan has hired German refugees Otto Keller (O.E. Hasse) and his wife Alma (Dolly Haas) as church custodial staff. Keller also tends the garden of a Monsieur Villette (Ovila Légaré) in town. But he murders Villette and soon afterward confesses his crime to Father Logan in the confessional. Thereafter, the paranoid murderer and his wife, fearful that Logan will turn Keller in, stalk the priest around the rectory like creepy shadows.
Villette is presented as a sleazy lawyer. Keller apparently murdered him when the latter surprised him rifling a cashbox in Villette’s home. Keller tells his wife that the death was accidental. But he had disguised himself as a priest at least to rob Villette. Witnesses saw a priest leave the crime scene, and police later find Villette’s blood type on a cassock that Keller plants in Logan’s trunk. Nothing appears to have been stolen, and no trace evidence such as fingerprints is found at the crime scene; the ‘blunt instrument’ was wiped clean. 
The backstory is related in a statement given to police by Ruth Grandfort (Anne Baxter). Ruth grew up with Mike Logan in the same Québec neighborhood before World War II. They were in love. Mike was among the first to enlist when the war started. He told Ruth he did not want to marry ‘because the war already has made too many widows’, nor should she wait for him. After a time overseas, he stopped writing to her. Ruth eventually married Pierre Grandfort (Roger Dann), a Canadian member of parliament. But she met Logan the day his unit returned to Québec after the war.     
Baxter was not Hitchcock’s first casting pick for Ruth, but she is ideal in this role and photographs beautifully in black & white. A natural blonde, Baxter said that Hitchcock wanted her hair even lighter. Light to platinum blonde hair is ideal for black & white film under studio lighting, exactly the kind of detail that would have interested Hitchcock.

Viewers may notice that Ruth’s testimony is shot in a slow, soft romantic glow. Logan says little about himself throughout the film. According to the narrative, the war ‘changed’ him to the extent that he decided to become a Roman Catholic priest. But the detail that a québécois joined a unit based far to the west in Saskatchewan could signal an even earlier desire to change his life.

Ruth tells police that the day after Logan got back from overseas, they spent an afternoon in the country. They took shelter in a gazebo when a storm blew up—a naturalistic scene shot al fresco. They missed the last ferry and spent the night clothed and damp in the gazebo. In the morning, the gazebo owner—Villette—discovered them there. Villette recognized Mme. Grandfort and made insinuating comments. Logan knocked Villette to the ground and he and Ruth returned to town. She disclosed to the police that later, after Logan was ordained, Villette tried to blackmail her over the purported ‘affair’. 

Ruth wanted to give her friend an alibi for the evening of the murder. However, rather than saving him, the blackmail detail gives Logan a motive in the eyes of the police. The crescendo of circumstantial evidence and Logan’s obstinate refusal to speak leave Larrue and his investigators, Crown Prosecutor Willy Robertson (Brian Aherne) and Pierre Grandfort little doubt as to what happened. 
Later at trial, Keller puts his thumb on the circumstantial scale by dilating on Father Logan’s ‘distress’ in the church the evening of the murder. ‘After the event he wept. He promised a new start. I made no comment. What should I resent?’

This produces a classic Hitchcock dilemma: Father Logan is the prime suspect and the actual murderer has confessed the crime to him; yet the priest’s dedication to his calling will not let him violate the sanctity of the confessional, regardless of how despicable the culprit, even to save himself. 
Also Hitchcockian is a sense that many people’s individual guilt seek a public scapegoat for a deliverance from evil if not absolution. The question Hitchcock appears to resolve is, if vengeance truly is the Lord’s, will He repay?

This masterpiece concludes with a grand dénouement in the Québec’s landmark Chateau Frontenac. 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The Ring

The Ring 1927 U.K. (89 minutes) written and directed by Alfred Hitchcock; cinematography by John J. Cox.

This visually inventive black & white silent film, Alfred Hitchcock’s fourth feature and his only original screenplay, is a terrific boxing picture with more life than a great many technicolor talkies.
In The Ring, one of film’s great visual storytellers sets a love story amid the kinetic activity of an amusement park and the drama of the boxing ring. What we see through Hitchcock’s camera eye looks similar to the dynamic camera work that was coming out of 1920s Weimar Germany and the Kuleshov Workshop of the State Film School in Moscow. He assembles his shots in an efficient narrative which guides a viewer’s thoughts and emotions, even makes the viewer a vicarious participant in that one can feel the movement and hear the sounds.

We know that Hitchcock worked at the famous UFA film studios in Berlin briefly in the mid-1920s and joined F.W. Murnau on the set while Murnau was shooting Der Letzte Mann (1924-The Last Laugh). We also know that he and his lifelong collaborator Alma Reville saw many German and Soviet films in London. But rather than simply having ‘absorbed’ influence, Hitchcock’s work suggests that this experience inspired and encouraged him to develop thinking already advanced on these lines, ideas that continued to develop throughout his long career into the visual poetry of such films as North by Northwest (1959) and The Birds (1963).

His main difficulty at first must have been selling this vision to producers who expected to see adaptations of traditional stage drama. But this challenge likely spurred Hitchcock to invent even more ingenious ways to tell stories without words. The Ring is the first film that shows the range of his genius for telling a story in pictures. The facts that he just had left Gaumont and that this also was the first movie for his new employer, British International Pictures, may have helped.

The opening sequence brings the viewer through a busy weekend or holiday amusement park in a manner similar to Dziga Vertov’s later Man with a Movie Camera (1929-Человек с кино-аппаратом) or Robert Siodmak and Edgar Ulmer’s People on Sunday (1930-Menschen am Sonntag). The viewer arrives at the front of a booth in which a crowd is amusing itself by dunking a carny. The carny is a black man, and the scene is sure to offend mainstream sensibilities in the 21st century US. A small boy hits the man in the face with an egg, to great gales of laughter from the crowd, including a policeman. But this breaks the rules of the game. The white booth manager sets the policeman after the boy and his friend.

Two skeptical dunking spectators then move to a nearby booth which features ‘One Round’ Jack Sander (Carl Brisson), who welcomes all comers to last a round with him in the boxing ring. People pay admission to see this carny pugilist make fools of young bucks, blowhards, drunks and others, including middle-aged men put up by their wives. Again, the humor is heavy-handed and physical in a way that would not be acceptable as entertainment in the US and the UK today, the crowd amused by others’ discomfort and distress—and not just because they have black skin.
It is noteworthy that one of Jack’s team is a black man who, like the others, looks as though he actually could be a boxer, and appears throughout the rest of the film as one of ‘the boys’. Hitchcock knew boxing as a fan and frequent fight attendee. Brisson himself had been a prizefighter before the First World War, and uncredited cast members include legendary British boxer Eugene Corri (as MC) and ‘Bombardier Billy Wells’, British and British Empire champion from 1911 until 1919.
The two spectators in our story turn out to be Bob Corby, ‘Heavyweight Champion of Australia’ (Ian Hunter), and his manager, James Ware (Forrester Harvey). They are scouting local talent for a sparring partner for Corby. Corby also is drawn to Mabel (Lillian Hall Davis), the ticket-taker outside the boxing tent, who is engaged to be Jack’s wife.
In a dynamic sequence of shots, Corby, removing his jacket and hat and stepping into the ring in a bow tie, packs the house when he goes an unprecedented four rounds with Jack. Jack has natural ability but needs seasoning to become a professional boxer; he and Mabel also have emotional growing up to do. Mabel marries Jack, but falls for the celebrity champ Corby.

At Mabel and Jack’s wedding ceremony, another ring—Mabel’s wedding band—is misplaced, confused with a button and then recovered by Jack’s bemused best man and trainer (Gordon Harker) in beautifully mimed sequence. Jack places this ring on Mabel’s hand, where it remains.
Thus the story shows Jack grow in two arenas, as a boxer and a husband, culminating in his heavyweight fight with Corby for the title and to win back Mabel’s affection.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

film review index by country

Photomontage by Sally Geier

Carancho 2010 Argentina

Nueve Reinas (Nine Queens) 2000 Argentina

Animal Kingdom 2010 Australia

The Interview 1998 Australia

The Proposition 2005 U.K./Australia

Revanche (Getting Back) 2008 Austria

À deriva (Adrift) 2008 Brasíl

Tropa de Elite 2-O Inimigo Ahora É Outro (Elite Squad 2-The Enemy Within) 2010 Brasíl

Дзифт (Zift) 2008 Bulgaria

Slings & Arrows 2003-6 Canada (three six-episode seasons)

Protégé (門徒 Moon tow—Cantonese; Mén Tú—pinyin) 2007 Hong Kong

Czech Republic
A Páty Jezdec je Strach (The Fifth Horseman Is Fear) 1964 Czechoslovakia

Protektor 2009 Czech Republic

Democratic Republic of the Congo
Viva Riva! 2010 Democratic Republic of the Congo

ID:A 2011 Denmark

Cronicas (Chronicles) 2004 Ecuador

À bout portant (Point Blank) 2010 France

Le ballon rouge (The Red Balloon) 1956 France

Blame It on Fidel (La faute à Fidel !) 2006 France

Blue Is the Warmest Color (La vie d'Adèle - Chapitres 1 et 2) 2013 France

Bob le Flambeur 1956 France

Copie conforme (Certified Copy) 2010 France/Italy

Le Corbeau (The Raven) 1943 France

La faute à Fidel ! (Blame It on Fidel) 2006 France

Gainsbourg: vie héroïque (Gainsbourg—A Heroic Life) 2010 France

L'Heure d'été (Summer Hours) 2008 France

Joueuse (Queen to Play) 2009 France

Les parapluies de Cherbourg (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg) 1964 France

Pépé le Moko 1937 France

Point Blank (À bout portant) 2010 France

Un prophète (A prophet) 2009 France

Quai des Orfèvres 1947 France

The Red Balloon (Le ballon rouge) 1956 France

Ricky 2010 France

Sarah’s Key 2012 France

Summer Hours (L'Heure d'été) 2008 France

Tzameti (13) 2005 France

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Les parapluies de Cherbourg) 1964 France

Der blaue Engel (The Blue Angel) 1930 Germany
Die mörder sind unter uns (The Murderers Are among Us) 1946 German Democratic Republic
Der Fall Gleiwitz (The Gleiwitz Case) 1961 German Democratic Republic
Karbid und sauerampfer (Carbide and Sorrel) 1963 German Democratic Republic
Nackt unter Wölfen (Naked among Wolves) 1963 German Democratic Republic
West Germany
Lebenszeichen (Signs of Life) 1968 West Germany/Greece
Die verlorene Ehre der Katharina Blum oder: Wie Gewalt entstehen und wohin sie führen kann (The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum, or How Violence Develops and Where It Can Lead) 1975 West Germany
Germany Post-Reunification
Crossing the Bridge: The Sound of Istanbul 2005 Germany
Gun-shy (Schussangst) 2003 Germany
Im Juli (In July) 2004 Germany
Die Innere Sicherheit (The State I Am In) Germany 2000
Jerichow 2008 Germany
Der Krieger und die Kaiserin (The Princess and the Warrior) 2000 Germany
Schussangst (Gun-shy) 2003 Germany
Soul Kitchen 2009 Germany
Vision—Aus dem Leben der Hildegard von Bingen (Vision—From the Life of Hildegard of Bingen) 2009 Germany
Κυνοδοντας [Kinodontas] Dogtooth) 2010 Greece
Kisses 2008 Ireland/Sweden
Footnote (הערת שוליים[He'arat Shulayim]) 2011 Israel

Bellissima 1951 Italy
La doppia ora (The Double Hour) 2009 Italy
Il momento della verità (The Moment of Truth) 1965 Italy
Pane e tulipani (Bread and tulips) 2000 Italy
Il posto (The Position) 1961 Italy
Brudermord (Fratricide) 2005 Luxembourg/Germany/France
Aventurera (The Adventuress) 1950 Mexico
El Topo (The Mole) 1970 Mexico
The Holy Mountain 1973 Mexico
El imperio de la fortuna (The Realm of Fortune) 1986 Mexico
Demony wojny w/g Goi (Demons of War [according to Goya]) 1998 Poland
Необычайные приключения мистера Веста в стране Большевиков (Neobychainye priklyucheniya mistera Vesta v strane Bol’shevikov—The Extraordinary Adventures of Mister West in the Land of the Bolsheviks) 1924 U.S.S.R.
The Cranes Are Flying (Летят журавли [Letyát zhurávli]) 1957 U.S.S.R.
Девятая рота [Devyátaya róta] (Ninth Company) 2005 Russia/Ukraine
Happy-Go-Lucky (Печки-лавочки [Pyéchki-lávochki]) 1972 U.S.S.R.
Летят журавли [Letyát zhurávli] (The Cranes Are Flying) 1957 U.S.S.R.
Мое счастье [Moyó schást’ye] (My Joy) 2010 Russia
Мы едем в Америку [My yédem v Amériku]/We Are Going to America/ אין פארן מיר אמצריקצ [Mir forn in Amerike] 1992 Russia
Ninth Company (Девятая рота [Devyátaya róta]) 2005 Russia/Ukraine
Печки-лавочки [Pyéchki-lávochki] (Happy-Go-Lucky) 1972 U.S.S.R.
Солнце [Sóln’tse] (The Sun) 2005 Russia
Biutiful 2011 Spain
Celda 211 (Cell 211) 2009 Spain
Intacto (Untouched) 2001 Spain
Los Lunes al sol (Mondays in the Sun) 2002 Spain
Muerte de un ciclista (Death of a Cyclist) 1955 Spain
El orfanato (The Orphanage) 2007 Spain
La piel que habito (The Skin I Live In) 2011 Spain
Viridiana 1961 Spain

South Korea
The Chaser (추격자  [Chu-gyeok-ja]) 2008 South Korea
Mother (마더 [Madeo]) 2009 South Korea
Poetry ( [Shi]) 2011 South Korea
Secret Sunshine (밀양 [Miryang]) 2007 South Korea
Untold Scandal (스캔들 - 조선 남녀 상열지사 [Seukaendeul - Choseon nam nyeo sang yeol jisa]) 2003 South Korea
추격자  [Chu-gyeok-ja] (The Chaser) 2008 South Korea
마더 [Madeo] (Mother) 2009 South Korea
밀양 [Miryang] (Secret Sunshine) 2007 South Korea
스캔들 - 조선 남녀 상열지사 [Seukaendeul - Choseon nam nyeo sang yeol jisa] (Untold Scandal) 2003 South Korea
[Shi] (Poetry) 2011 South Korea
Searching for Sugar Man 2010 Sweden/U.K.
Das Fraülein 2006 Switzerland
Bir zamanlar Anadolu’da (Once Upon a Time in Anatolia) 2011 Turkey
United Kingdom
A Cottage on Dartmoor 1929 England

Darkest Hour 2017 U.K.
The Day of the Jackal 1973 U.K./France
Endeavour 2012 U.K.
Fish Tank 2009 England
Free Cinema 1952-1963 U.K.
Good Times, Wonderful Times 1966 England/U.S.
The Lady Vanishes 1938 U.K.
Man on Wire 2008 U.K.
Night Train to Munich 1940 U.K.
Page Eight 2011 U.K.
Red Road 2006 Scotland
The Ring 1927 U.K.
Skyfall 2012 U.K.
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy 2011 U.K.
Wasp 2003 Scotland
Zen 2011 U.K. (one three-episode season)
United States (by period)
The Silent Era
Traffic in Souls, or While New York Sleeps: a Photodrama of Today 1913 U.S.
Hypocrites 1915 U.S.
Lady Windermere’s Fan 1925 U.S.
The Patsy 1928 U.S.
Hollywood before the Hayes Code
The Divorcée 1930 U.S.
The Maltese Falcon (aka Dangerous Female) 1931 U.S.
Heroes for Sale 1933 U.S.
International House 1933 U.S.
Midnight Mary 1933 U.S.
Golden Age
Satan Met a Lady 1936 U.S.
Make Way for Tomorrow 1937 U.S.
Moon over Harlem 1939 U.S.
New Orleans 1947 U.S.
Film Noir
Born to Kill 1947 U.S.
Daisy Kenyon 1947 U.S.
The Big Steal 1949 U.S.
Border Incident 1949 U.S.
Gun Crazy 1949 U.S.
The Set-Up 1949 U.S.
Mystery Street 1950 U.S.
Clash by Night 1952 U.S.
The Narrow Margin 1952 U.S.
The Big Combo 1955 U.S.
Illegal 1955 U.S.
Blast of Silence 1961 U.S.
Morris Engel and Ruth Orkin
Little Fugitive 1953 U.S.
Lovers and Lollipops 1955 U.S.
Weddings and Babies 1958 U.S.
Fabulous Fifties & Sixties
Pat and Mike 1952 U.S.
I Confess 1953 U.S.
A Face in the Crowd 1957 U.S.
Damn Yankees! 1958 U.S.
Anatomy of a Murder 1959 U.S.
The Misfits 1961 U.S.
Topkapi 1964 U.S.
On the Bowery 1956 U.S.

In the Year of the Pig 1968 U.S.
La ciudad (The City) 1998 U.S.
The Mark of Cain 2000 U.S./Russia
Tabloid 2010 U.S.
Raging Bulls
Who’s That Knocking at My Door 1968 U.S.
Fat City 1972 U.S.
The Man 1972 U.S.
King of Comedy 1982 U.S.
Spanish America
Quinceañera 2006 U.S.
Ladrón que roba a ladrón (It Takes a Thief to Rob a Thief) 2007 U.S.
Cruzando (Crossing) 2008 U.S.
Sin nombre 2009 U.S./Mexico
And after
Reversal of Fortune 1990 U.S.
Happiness 2006 U.S.
Beginners 2011 U.S.
The Ides of March 2011 U.S.
Martha Marcy May Marlene 2011 U.S.

The Tree of Life 2011 U.S.
Win Win 2011 U.S.
Hitchcock 2012 U.S.
The Counselor 2013 U.S.

The Post 2017 U.S.
Whisky 2004 Uruguay