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Reservoir Dogs (1992) Directed by Quentin Tarantino Tarantino’s revelatory gut-punch of a first feature, now 25 years old, has profoundly influenced crime movies. It established snappy dialogue on life’s banalities, 1970s nostalgia, extreme casual violence, vintage noir tribute, and foul-mouthed jokes as staples of the genre that endure to this day. The tone is set in the legendary pre-credit sequence, with the color-codenamed gang of veteran thieves eating at a diner. Mr. Pink (Buscemi) whiningly questions...
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992) Directed by David Lynch One of the many positive effects of the impending return of Twin Peaks to the television airwaves is in bringing—on its 25th-anniversary year, no less—Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me back into wider public consciousness, thus opening it up to the reassessment it so richly deserves after its lackluster reception back in 1992. Naturally, David Lynch being the uncompromisingly idiosyncratic auteur that he is, the...
Stalker (1979) Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky This is a beautiful restoration, with Tarkovsky’s previous feature Solaris to follow, courtesy of Mosfilm. Now a “quasi-private” venture, the studio outlived the USSR by adapting successfully to an environment of economic, rather than historical, materialism—meaning that it trades on the many Soviet-era classics it once produced, including Stalker and Solaris. Happily, nothing like the sci-fi apparatus of the earlier film exists in Stalker, though it too is an adaptation...
How to Be Loved (1963) Directed by Wojciech Has In Has’s masterful melodrama, a Polish radio-show personality, Felicja, takes a plane to Paris. During the flight, she reminisces about her experiences in Nazi-occupied Warsaw during World War II. Has, whose passion was to make time vividly felt in cinema, moves fluidly between Felicja’s flight conversations and jitters and her reminiscences: In the latter, we see her as an aspiring ingénue, whose theatrical career dreams are interrupted...

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