(Satyajit Ray, 1955) · Inspired by Italian neorealism and encouraged by Jean Renoir (whom he assisted a few years earlier during the filming of The River), Ray set out to make his first film, Pather Panchali, in 1950. He discovered the source material—a Bengali Bildungsroman—by chance while designing book covers. Shot unscripted on location with a limited budget and an inexperienced crew, it would become one of the first Indian films to receive international acclaim.
runtime: 126 min
Print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive
(John Guillermin, 1978) · The immortal Peter Ustinov takes over as Hercule Poirot for the second all-star Agatha Christie adaptation of the '70s. On a lavish Egyptian cruise ship, a beautiful heiress seems to be hated by all the passengers, including her husband's jealous and unstable ex-lover, an embezzling trustee, and a libelous author. But which one killed her? Suspects include Bette Davis, Maggie Smith, Mia Farrow, and a gloriously over-the-top Angela Lansbury.
runtime: 140 min format: 35mm
(Akira Kurosawa, 1957) · Trade Scottish noblemen for Samurai warriors and you get Kurosawa's interpretation of Macbeth in feudal Japan. Despite the liberties he took with the Bard's tragedy, Kurosawa managed to maintain the spirit of the Shakespearean prose while injecting it with his own characteristic blend of history, vitrol, and gore. The ending with Mifune's body engulfed in arrows may or may not be the inspiration for the pig's blood dump in De Palma's Carrie.
runtime: 110 min format: 35mm
(Errol Morris, 2008) · In this 2008 examination of human rights violations at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, Morris gradually constructs and recreates the events from the entire body of photographic evidence. He succeeds in illustrating both the reductive and obscuring power of photography and the failure to adequately assign broad responsibility for the abuse of prisoners. His thematic concerns here predate his later work on photography, most notably his book Believing is Seeing.
runtime: 111 min
Presented in partnership with the Institute of Politics.
(John Landis, 1985) · Ed Okin, in a career-best performance by Jeff Goldblum, can't sleep. He's a wreck at work and his wife is cheating on him, so he drives to LAX, hoping to get away from it all. But into his car leaps Michelle Pfeiffer, fleeing from some very dangerous smugglers. Now, they're running through an L.A. nightmare populated by spies, Elvis-impersonators, and terrorists, but all Okin wants is a good night's rest. Don't miss Bowie's turn as a terrifying British assassin.
runtime: 115 min format: 35mm
(Rob Reiner, 1990) · Kathy Bates' sweetly sinister Annie Wilkes takes in famed novelist Paul Sheldon (James Caan) after he breaks both legs and injures his shoulder in a calamitous car accident. Annie is Paul's number one fan and almost literally chains him to his typewriter in captivity so that he will write her into his narrative. Reiner's second Stephen King adapation is the perfect fusion of humor and horror, playing with fears of isolation, obsession, and hobbled ankles.
runtime: 107 min format: 35mm
(Paweł Pawlikowski, 2013) · Shot in austere black-and-white, Ida tells of an eighteen-year-old nun on the verge of taking her vows. Before committing herself to sisterhood, the Mother Superior asks Anna to visit her only living relative—an estranged aunt named Wanda. As Wanda and Anna search for the answers behind Anna's parents' death, the characters often occupy just a small portion of the frame, emphasizing the deep personal impact of post-war Poland on both of their lives.
runtime: 80 min format: 35mm
(Joseph Seiden, 1939) · Famous for their role as young lovers two years previous in The Dybbuk, Polish husband-and-wife team Leon Liebgold and Lili Liliana are reunited as stars in Kol Nidre, a surprising mashup of romance, melodrama, comedy, and musical. The film tells the story of a girl (Liliana) who is torn between two lovers, using this premise to comment on the expectations surrounding gender, marriage, and the family in a time of generational uproar.
runtime: 85 min format: Digital