The Bottom Line: Ivan Locke, a dedicated family man and successful construction manager, receives a phone call on the eve of the biggest challenge of his career that sets in motion a series of events that threaten his careful cultivated existence.
The Bottom Line: Seeing a way to reassert control over her adult son’s life when he faces manslaughter charges, an affluent Romanian woman sets out on a campaign of emotional and social manipulation to keep him out of prison, navigating the waters of power, corruption and influence.
The Bottom Line: A story set in Santiago and centered on Gloria, a free-spirited older woman, and the realities of her whirlwind relationship with a former naval officer whom she meets out in the clubs.
The Bottom Line: A cryptic phone call sets off a dangerous game of risks for Elliot, a down-on-his luck salesman. The game promises increasing rewards for completing 13 tasks, each more sinister than the last.
The Bottom Line: After a bad blind date, a man and woman find themselves stuck together at a resort for families, where their attraction grows as their respective kids benefit from the burgeoning relationship.
The Bottom Line: Based on the true childhood experiences of Noah Baumbach and his brother, The Squid and the Whale tells the touching story of two young boys dealing with their parents’ divorce in Brooklyn in the 1980s.
The Bottom Line: Blending his personal history with metaphor, mythology and poetry, The Dance of Reality reflects Jodorowsky’s philosophy that reality is not objective but rather a “dance” created by our own imaginations.
The Bottom Line: A former British Army officer, who was tormented as a prisoner of war at a Japanese labor camp during World War II, discovers that the man responsible for much of his treatment is still alive and sets out to confront him.
The Bottom Line:In 2028 Detroit, when Alex Murphy - a loving husband, father and good cop - is critically injured in the line of duty, the multinational conglomerate OmniCorp sees their chance for a part-man, part-robot police officer.
The Bottom Line: An officer finds himself caught in a time loop in a war with an alien race. His skills increase as he faces the same brutal combat scenarios, and his union with a Special Forces warrior gets him closer and closer to defeating the enemy.
Hands of Bresson, a visual essay on the tactile world of Robert Bresson created for the Criterion Collection by kogonada. Music: Schubert, Piano Sonata No. 20, D. 959 (used in Bresson’s Au Hasard Balthazar ).
Here is a great documentary titled ‘Elia Kazan, Outsider’ (1982). “In this documentary on director Elia Kazan, his views on his life and oeuvre are brought forward through a long interview conducted by MichelCiment, by a talk with Robert De Niro, and by clips from his movies ‘America, America and ‘Baby Doll.’ Although his interview is long, Kazan does not probe too deeply into his methodology or some of the more critical moments of his life, or why he had not worked on many projects in the years before this interview.” —Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi
Spike Lee’s list of essential films every filmmaker must see:
I’ve been a professor at the NYU Graduate Film for the past 15 years. The 1st day of every class I hand out my list of films that I feel you must see if you want to make films. Please look at this list and see what you might have missed. As I tell my students if you want your film “game” to be tight you must have seen great movies, world cinema, it just can’t be Hollywood films. Educate yourself. Learn. Grow. Evolve. Make great films. Peace, onward and upward. —Spike Lee
Richard Linklater on being a self-taught filmmaker:
An incredibly illuminating, relatable and one of the most inspiring commentaries you’ll hear. I’ve cut out only the moments where Linklater talks about his twenties, and the 9 years he self-educated himself in filmmaking. The fact that he has become a success on a worldwide level, is all the more inspiring.
A wonderful addendum to this commentary is this 40 minute interview from John Cassavetes. For those who don’t know, John Cassavetes is essentially the father of the independent film movement. He was the lone wolf, who began making films on his own on the east coast in the 60′s, mobilizing everyone he knew. His films are gritty, raw, and relying on pure emotion. They’re solid and inspiring. —filmschoolthrucommentaries
The essential documentaries on John Cassavetes, including Cinéastes de notre temps — John Cassavetes (1969), I’m Almost Not Crazy: John Cassavetes — the Man and His Work (1984), Anything for John (1993), Cinefile: John Cassavetes: Out Of The Shadows (1993), John Cassavetes: A Constant Forge (2000), John Cassavetes: To Risk Everything to Express It All (1996), rare footage, John Cassavetes directing, from the French TV series “Cinema Cinemas,” a 1983 feature on Cassavetes directing the movie Love Streams (1984), which Cassavetes both wrote and directed, and a super-rare look behind the scenes of Cassavetes’ first ‘big budget’ film, Husbands.