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Film Studies

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Film Studies 101

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Cleo From 5 to 7
Agnes Varda eloquently captures Paris in the sixties with this real-time portrait of a singer (Corinne Marchand) set adrift in the city as she awaits test results of a biopsy. A chronicle of the minutes of one woman's life, CLEO…
Rashomon
This riveting psychological thriller that investigates the nature of truth and the meaning of justice is widely considered one of the greatest films ever made. Four people give different accounts of a man's murder and the rape of his wife,…
Seven Samurai
One of the most thrilling movie epics of all time, SEVEN SAMURAI (Shichinin no samurai) tells the story of a sixteenth-century village whose desperate inhabitants hire the eponymous warriors to protect them from invading bandits. This three-hour ride from Akira…
2 videos
Bicycle Thieves
Hailed around the world as one of the greatest movies ever made, the Academy Award-winning BICYCLE THIEVES, directed by Vittorio De Sica, defined an era in cinema. In poverty-stricken postwar Rome, a man is on his first day of a…
The Battle of Algiers
One of the most influential political films in history, THE BATTLE OF ALGIERS, by Gillo Pontecorvo, vividly re-creates a key year in the tumultuous Algerian struggle for independence from the occupying French in the 1950s. As violence escalates on both…
Breathless
There was before Breathless, and there was after Breathless. Jean-Luc Godard burst onto the film scene in 1960 with this jazzy, free-form, and sexy homage to the American film genres that inspired him as a writer for Cahiers du cinema.…
The Beaches of Agnes - Exploring the Memories of a Legendary Filmmaker
A reflection on art, life and the movies, THE BEACHES OF AGNES is a magnificent film from the great Agnes Varda ( Cleo From 5 to 7 ), a richly cinematic self portrait that touches on everything from the feminist…
The 400 Blows - Les quatre cents coups
Francois Truffaut's first feature is also his most personal. Told through the eyes of Truffaut's cinematic counterpart, Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Leaud), THE 400 BLOWS sensitively re-creates the trials of Truffaut's own childhood, unsentimentally portraying aloof parents, oppressive teachers, and petty…
8 1/2
Marcello Mastroianni plays Guido Anselmi, a director whose new project is collapsing around him, along with his life. One of the greatest films about film ever made, Federico Fellini's 8 1/2 ( Otto e mezzo ) turns one man's artistic…
Modern Times
Charlie Chaplin's last outing as the Little Tramp puts the iconic character to work as a giddily inept factory employee who becomes smitten with a gorgeous gamine (Paulette Goddard). With its barrage of unforgettable gags and sly commentary on class…
Hal - The Life and Work of Filmmaker Hal Ashby
Hal Ashby directed a remarkable string of acclaimed, widely admired classics throughout the 1970s (such as Harold and Maude and Being There ), but is often overlooked amid the crowd of luminaries from his generation. Amy Scott's exuberant portrait explores…
L'avventura
Michelangelo Antonioni invented a new film grammar with this masterwork. An iconic piece of challenging 1960's cinema and a gripping narrative on its own terms, L'AVVENTURA concerns the enigmatic disappearance of a young woman during a yachting trip off the…
The Seventh Seal
Disillusioned and exhausted after a decade of battling in the Crusades, a knight (Max von Sydow) encounters Death on a desolate beach and challenges him to a fateful game of chess. Much studied, imitated, even parodied, but never outdone, Bergman's…
Metropolis
Perhaps the most famous and influential of all silent films, METROPOLIS had for 75 years been seen only in shortened or truncated versions. Now, restored in Germany with state-of-the-art digital technology, under the supervision of the Murnau Foundation, and with…
His Girl Friday
In this undeniable gem of Hollywood's golden age, Walter, a hard-boiled newspaper editor, discovers that his ex-wife and former employee, Hildy, is set to marry a wet-blanket insurance salesman. Walter, certain that this is the wrong move for a strong-willed…
Tokyo Story
A profoundly stirring evocation of elemental humanity and universal heartbreak, TOKYO STORY is the crowning achievement of the unparalleled Yasujiro Ozu. The film, which follows an aging couple's journey to visit their grown children in bustling postwar Tokyo, surveys the…
Playtime
Jacques Tati's gloriously choreographed, nearly wordless comedies about confusion in an age of high technology reached their apotheosis with PLAYTIME. For this monumental achievement, a nearly three-year-long, bank-breaking production, Tati again thrust the lovably old-fashioned Monsieur Hulot, along with a…
The Rules of the Game - La règle du jeu
THE RULES OF THE GAME, considered by many to be one of the greatest films ever made, is a scathing critique of corrupt French society disguised as a comedy of manners. Taking place over a weekend at a marquis' country…
Keepers of the Magic - The Great Masters of Cinematography
This groundbreaking documentary explores our fascination with moving images and provides insight into how cinema's most iconic moments came to be. Most of all, it honors the great masters of cinematography's unsung heroes whose vision and talent was always right…
Ikiru
Considered by some to be Akira Kurosawa's greatest achievement, IKIRU presents the director at his most compassionate--affirming life through an exploration of a man's death. Takashi Shimura portrays Kanji Watanabe, an aging bureaucrat with stomach cancer forced to strip the…